A cyclist who was driven over by a partially sighted motorist has described her year-long struggle to get the driver’s insurer, Aviva, to pay out.
Joanna Davies was dragged along the road for 20 metres by the elderly driver, who was found to have such poor eyesight that his car was impounded by the police on the spot.
Despite him admitting liability at the time, being successfully prosecuted for driving without due care and attention and later banned, Joanna says Aviva’s appointed lawyers have so far refused to accept that she needs a new bike or to even replace the clothes the paramedics had to cut off her at the scene.
Had Joanna been in her car instead of her new Dutch bike, she thinks her claim would have been paid months ago, The Guardian reports.
She says her solicitor told her this week that Aviva has offered just over £5,000, less than half of the £11,000 she has claimed.
If it goes to court she faces another year of waiting.
Aviva has denied it is stalling or refusing to pay her claim, and has pledged to conclude the matter.
Joanna said: “I was cycling home on my new electric bike of three weeks when a driver ran me over from behind.
“My bike and I were pulled under his car. A witness later described how he had carried on driving because he thought he had hit a traffic cone.”
Joanna blacked out for a few seconds with the initial impact.
“When I came to, I was being dragged along with my head inches from the rear wheel arch before I was able to free myself and roll away,” she says.
“The driver carried on another 30m with my bike under his car and only stopped when other motorists forced him to pull over. Had I not been wearing a helmet the worst could have happened, and it was the most unbelievably terrifying event.”
After the crash she hired the law firm Bott and Co to pursue a claim against Aviva to cover the cost of her bike, cyclewear and income while she was unable to work.
The businesswoman, who runs the Gilded Teapot, a tea shop in Lymington, says she followed all the advice and kept a recovery diary, tracked everything she had to spend on taxis and trains while she was on crutches and took photos of her injuries. Her accountant calculated her loss of earnings.
“The driver’s insurance seem to think I’m fraudulent but I’ve sent absolutely everything which proves I’m not. I just don’t understand why this is happening.”
Aviva says: “We were very sorry to hear of the accident and the injuries Ms Davies sustained in her road traffic accident.
"We have reviewed the details of the claim and confirmed liability but are still awaiting basic information. We’re going to be in touch with Ms Davies’ solicitors to try to conclude this matter as quickly as possible.”