Crashing is one thing, but getting hit by an unobservant road user is something else.
I fully expect you to call me a bit of a bellend, but this is what happened. I was going too fast and crashed my bike. I slid along the carriageway, without doing myself any real harm and then, a bit stunned.
I lay in the road for a couple of seconds before starting to get up. Coming in the opposite direction were five lads in a Transit van, two loose in the back, three squashed into the front, and as I was picking myself up from the middle of the road this van scooped me up and carried me for about 15 metres.
As the van decelerated with me on the front. I rolled off it but the van was still going forward and managed to drive over my buttock, giving me a condition which I have genuinely never heard of called ‘battered buttock syndrome”. I have got no broken bones, but even eight months post-accident I am still having difficulty walking.
I completely accept that I ballsed the corner up. but I have been back at work on light duties for two months, and my own medical team are saying to me that I am going to be struggling doing my job in the future. Is it worth bringing a claim, or should I just suck it up, because it was my balls-up!
You should bring a claim. You correctly observed that you ballsed up the corner. You were wholly responsible for being sat in the carriageway, but you had come to a stop, and was clearly on the road in front of the Transit van, which ran you over. The fact that the Transit van had a couple of illegal passengers in the back of the van makes no difference, unless, for example, there was evidence that the van was dangerously overloaded, which meant it could not steer or brake.
It would have to have had some kind of causative affect. It has not however, your case against the Transit van driver is that you were an unusual, but foreseeable hazard. You could just as easily have been a punctured cyclist and looking at the photographs of the collision scene the driver of the Transit had he been looking, had a clear view of over 200 metres, but he just did not see you, or if he did see you, he saw you far too late.
In so far as your ‘battered buttock syndrome’ is concerned, whilst it might sound comical, it is an injury that I have seen quite a few times, it is a serious condition. The subcutaneous fat under your skin has been traumatically forced into your muscle. Muscle is supposed to sit under fat, and the two do not mix very well, as you have found out.
My strong feeling is that if this case were to go to Court the Judge would find each of you equally to blame. You for putting yourself in the position of danger, completely of your own making by overcooking the corner. The driver of the Transit van clearly was not concentrating because if he had been, he would have seen you and come to a halt. Also, I note the way that you dealt with the Police, and this actually plays to your advantage. Telling the Police that you completely cocked up the corner has had two advantages.
The first is you are patently honest, and the second is the Police Officer decided against prosecuting you for driving without due care because you immediately ‘fessed up’. You would have had to have given some explanation as to how you came to be sat in the wrong carriageway on a 90 degree bend with your bike in a hedge, and there are not many explanations which would exonerate you, and had you come up with some self-serving story I suspect it probably would have coloured both the Police and potentially
the Judge against you.
Your case is actually quite simple. There are not competing causes to your injury. You can only get ‘battered buttock’ by a crush injury, and bearing in mind there is a crush mark of the approximate size of the front tyre of a Transit van across your backside, it really is not open to the potential Defendants to argue that you had injuries caused by your slide. Your only serious injury arises from the impact of the Transit on you, and whilst a Judge could give a variety of outcomes, I think the most likely outcome is you receiving one half of your damages, with you bearing one half of the blame.
And as to calling you a bellend. If any reader of this magazine has not had a moment when they’ve just got away from overcooking a corner, more by luck than judgement I say they are either talking cobblers or reading the wrong magazine. I’ve done it so if you are a bellend, so am I. I was just luckier.
Fast Bikes Mag April 2020