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Cyclist who sustained brain injury in pothole crash sues TfL for £300,000

High Court writ alleges that road defect should have been spotted and remedied through regular inspections

A Croydon cyclist who cyclist sustained a brain damage when he was involved in a collision with a car after crashing due to a pothole is suing Transport for London (TfL) for £300,000.

The incident happened on a bus lane the A23 Brighton Road close to Coulsdon Town railway station (formerly Smitham station), a Red Route in the London Borough of Croydon that is part of the TfL Road Network.

The plaintiff, whom the Evening Standard reports cannot be named due to legal reasons, is aged in his sixties and also broke several ribs, his collarbone and his back in the crash in 2016.

The man, from Croydon, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and spent almost six months in hospital. It is said he now needs constant supervision and suffers from fatigue, memory loss, and lack of concentration.

In a High Court writ, barrister Simon Brindle said that “the pothole represented a dangerous hazard in the road and rendered it substantially out of repair,” and that it should have been identified through regular inspections.

He continued: “The claimant has suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and he no longer has the capacity to manage his own affairs.

“He continues to suffer from fatigue, poor memory and concentration and significant difficulties with taking on new information and planning ... he now effectively is completely dependent upon his wife and requires constant supervision.”

The writ goes on to say that due to a “real risk” that his condition will worsen, the amount of the claim could exceed £300,000.

The Evening Standard reports that details of TfL’s defence are not yet available and that the case has not yet gone to court.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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4 comments

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the nutcracker | 6 years ago
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The bus drivers who repeatedly drove over this 'dangerous hazard' in the road should a) be sacked for gross misconduct/negligence for failing to report this potentially lethal defect to their employer b) be prosecuted in a court of law for causeing the defect in the first place by willfully driving a vehicle known to cause damage to roads on a carraigeway. The government should be brought down for their complicity in this whole affair in particular for their lack of education to vunerable road users on the fact that in some instances asphalt is not 100% spirit level smooth and easy to ride on, as well as their culpability for a lack of road signage indicating that pot holes may present a danger to cyclists.... while we are here can i sue TFl for the loss of earnings I experienced as a result 3 days off from work with a bad neck caused by repeatedly cycling over pot holed roads.

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alansmurphy replied to the nutcracker | 6 years ago
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the nutcracker wrote:

 

The bus drivers who repeatedly drove over this 'dangerous hazard' in the road should a) be sacked for gross misconduct/negligence for failing to report this potentially lethal defect to their employer b) be prosecuted in a court of law for causeing the defect in the first place by willfully driving a vehicle known to cause damage to roads on a carraigeway. .

 

I understand your anger but am unsure that is feasible really. Surely every time a vehicle uses the road it is eroding the surface by some degree. Also, what is acceptable for a multi-ton vehicle may be totally unacceptable to a cyclist. It's a bit like considering a risk for you versus a small child, I assume you are able to use sharp knives...

 

the nutcracker wrote:

The government should be brought down for their complicity in this whole affair in particular for their lack of education to vunerable road users on the fact that in some instances asphalt is not 100% spirit level smooth and easy to ride on, as well as their culpability for a lack of road signage indicating that pot holes may present a danger to cyclists.... 

I think the government has bigger cases to answer in general. However, as their employer (if you pay taxes) and with them being responsible for the contracting of road building and maintenance you should definitely contact your local MP if you have concerns.

 

the nutcracker wrote:

while we are here can i sue TFl for the loss of earnings I experienced as a result 3 days off from work with a bad neck caused by repeatedly cycling over pot holed roads

 

I'm not sure this is what this site was designed for, i would seek legal representation. I'd be cautious in admitting you repeatedly cycled over them though as they may question why you continued to do something that was detrimental to your health.

 

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Yorkshire wallet | 6 years ago
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Sounds like his life is totally ruined. £300k is low.

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bendertherobot replied to Yorkshire wallet | 6 years ago
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Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Sounds like his life is totally ruined. £300k is low.

Doesn't it? The problem is that we really don't compensate for injuries anywhere near as much as people might suspect. The top end of the severe brain damage category is £354,000. You might wonder about why you've seen higher awards, and that's because they generally include cost of care, wages, that kind of thing. This £300k will be a claim for the injury and any other losses. Rendering the actual award for the injury itself somewhat lower.

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