Sinclair v Joyner: QBD 23 Jun 2015

The claimant cyclist sought damages from the defendant motorist after a collision in which she was severely injured. They approached each other on a narrow lane. The claimant said that the defendant did not pull over as much as she should, and the defendant said that the claimant had lost contol of the bike.
Held: The claim succeeded subject to a deduction of 25% for the claimant’s own contributory negligence. The defendant had failed properly to assess and act upon what should have been a clear hazard, and ‘Motorists have to anticipate hazards in the road, particularly from vulnerable road users, and to be ready to react to them. In my judgment the Defendant cannot be relieved of that duty of care by seeking to blame the Claimant, who was obviously in difficulty, for deviating into her side of the road and colliding with the rear offside tyre, after the front of the car had gone past her. The fact that a collision occurred demonstrates that there was not sufficient room for her to pass the Claimant safely, and that the Defendant’s assumption to the contrary was in error. She ought to have appreciated that her car was too close to the centre of the road for her to have passed this cyclist safely.’
As to the claimant’s failure to wear a cycle helmet: ‘no court has yet decided that failing to wear a helmet actually amounts to contributory negligence, although they have come close (see Smith v Finch [2009] EWHC 53 (QB)). In the present case the Claimant was an adult enjoying a bicycle ride in the countryside on a sunny day. There was no medical evidence adduced to show that failing to wear a helmet made the Claimant’s injuries worse, and the subject was not addressed in submissions. I therefore reject that allegation of contributory negligence in this case.’

Cox J
[2015] EWHC 1800 (QB)
England and Wales
CitedLiddell v Middleton CA 1996
The Court was concerned with a traditional road traffic accident in which a pedestrian was injured by a moving car. A question arose as to the admissibility of an expert.
Held: Stuart-Smith LJ stated of the test of admissibility laid down in . .
CitedLunt v Khelifa CA 22-May-2002
The claimant pedestrian had been injured when hit by a car driven by the defendant as she stepped into the roadway. Both parties appealed against the assessment of contributory negligence. The claimant had a blood alcohol level three times that . .
CitedAhanonu v South East London and Kent Bus Company Ltd CA 23-Jan-2008
Laws LJ said that the duty to take reasonable care can sometimes look more like a ‘guarantee of the Claimant’s safety’ when evaluated by reference to ‘ . . fine considerations elicited in the leisure of the court room, perhaps with the liberal use . .
CitedStewart v Glaze QBD 7-Apr-2009
Coulson J considered the place of expert evidence in cases involving road traffic accidents, saying: ‘it is the primary factual evidence which is of the greatest importance in a case of this kind. The expert evidence comprises a useful way in which . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.549418