Woman hit by cyclist on pavement blocked from claiming damages
A WOMAN who suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain after being hit by a teenager cycling on the pavement has lost her job and been left suffering a huge financial blow.
But the victim – who cannot be named – has been told she cannot sue and has no claim for compensation because the rider was not insured.
The Evening News understands the incident happened last year in the south-east of the city.
Due to the cyclist having no insurance she could not pursue a civil case while Police Scotland also ruled out criminal charges.
Legal experts say dozens of people across the Capital and Lothians are missing out on compensation after being unable to make an injury claim due to cyclists not having any insurance.
Gordon Dalyell, partner at Digby Brown Solicitors, said: “This is a really common issue faced by pedestrians and our solicitors are genuinely upset when they have to tell people they can’t doing anything to help.
“The reason for this is if a cyclist isn’t insured then it makes it difficult for the pedestrian to recover damages.
“And because so many incidents aren’t prosecuted, injured parties can often feel they’ve not seen justice in either the criminal or civil courts.
Mr Dalywell also said he was against cycling insurance being mandatory due to additional costs to the state and rider.
But with the city congestion worsening, it is feared the number of injured pedestrians will continue to rise. Politicians and cycle groups have warned a significant investment is required on the city’s roads so cyclists feel safe to ride on them.
Green transport spokesperson Chas Booth said: “Scotland has very poor facilities for cycling compared to other countries. Sustained investment in high-quality segregated cycle paths and lanes is the best way to stop cyclists using the pavement.”
Conservative transport spokesman, Nick Cook said: “It isn’t acceptable for cyclists to travel on pavements. However many cyclists feel they have no alternative due to the poor condition of Edinburgh’s pothole laden streets. An expansion of quality cycle infrastructure has broad political support, but such schemes can’t come at the expense of the basics – like fixing the potholes which pose danger to all road users.”
A spokesperson for Sustrans Scot said: “We don’t advocate cycling on pavements, but often fining people that do is a harsh line to take. The needs and safety of pedestrians must come first. If we are to encourage cycling as an efficient and healthier way to get around our towns and cities, whilst reducing cycling on pavements, we need to provide better space for people on bikes.”
Inspector Roger Park of Edinburgh’s road policing unit said: “I would urge all road users to please look out for each other and travel safely. Anyone who is involved in a collision and is hurt should contact police on 101 or 999 as appropriate.”