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Mountain biker was hurt when ambulance carrying him braked suddenly and hit head

A man who was injured inside an ambulance that had picked him up from a cycling accident has been awarded 27,700 Euros by a court in Ireland as compensation.

Stephen Burns, 37, had lost consciousness when he fell head first onto a rock while mountain biking.
When he came to, he walked down the hill with his bike till he met a woman who called him an ambulance.

He told the Circuit Civil Court that although he was bleeding, with swelling over one eye, he felt no pain in his neck and back when the ambulance arrived.

According to the Herald Ireland, Mr Burns told Judge Alan Mahon that after an assessment by the paramedics, he was placed on a stretcher and his head supported by blocks.

He said he was not supplied with a neck collar and, on the way to St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, the ambulance had to perform an emergency brake to prevent a collision with another driver.

The court heard Mr Burns’s head hit a partition in the ambulance. He said there was "stuff all over the place in the back of the ambulance".

He said that one paramedic was knocked to the floor and one of his head blocks came loose. He said that he sufferent back and neck soft tissue injuries.

Mr Burns sued the HSE and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland for damages.

The HSE alleged Mr Burns was not wearing a cycling helmet when he hit the rock.

Judge Mahon said the violent stop had caused Mr Burns' injuries, and that he was satisfied the accident had not been caused by the ambulance driver.

We recently reported a different civil case in Northern Ireland, in which the High Court reduced the damages awarded to a cyclist involved in a collision with a car because the judge found that looking at his heart rate monitor amounted to contributory negligence.

The court awarded Conor McAllister over £50,000 in damages after finding that driver John Campbell was responsible for the injuries Mr McAllister sustained when he hit Mr Campbell’s car in November 2009.

But the damages would have been £70,000 if Mr McAllister had been looking where he was going.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.