A cyclist who crashed into a woman who stepped in front of him while using her mobile has been ordered by a court to pay an amount of up to $126,000.
Garden designer Robert Hazeldean knocked over yoga teacher Gemma Brushett on July 20, 2015.
Both of them became unconscious after the accident, and Gemma received some facial scars as well as damage to her front teeth.
Soon after, the woman, from Kent, sued Hazeldean, blaming him for the accident.
A court has now ordered the unfortunate man to pay a whopping amount in compensation and court costs.
Hazeldean says paying such an amount will make him ‘bankrupt.’
Luckily, one of his friends has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for covering Hazeldean’s legal fees and compensation.
Referring to the accident, the crowdfunding page reads: “On his daily commute home from his job at a mental health charity, a pedestrian stepped out into the road while concentrating on her phone.
“Robert did all he could to prevent an accident – he had come through a green light, sounded a loud airhorn attached to his bike, as well as shouting, swerving and braking.
“They collided, and both ended up unconscious.
“Now, four years on, a judge has ruled that he is to pay the pedestrian compensation and legal fees – despite calling him ‘a calm and reasonable road user.’
“Pedestrian witnesses backed Robert, telling police that the pedestrian was ‘not looking where she was going’ and stated that ‘the cyclist was not at fault.'”
At Central London County Court, Judge Shanti Mauger said Gemma was ‘equally to blame for the accident’ and that Hazeldean could’ve sued her in return if he had wanted to.
“Ms. Brushett and Mr. Hazeldean were equally culpable in this accident and Mr. Hazeldean, for whatever reason, hasn’t made a claim and so only Ms. Brushett is getting a payout,” the judge said.
She said the costs ‘appeared to be disproportionate’, but Hazeldean should pay it as the 28-year-old, who runs yoga retreats and works for a finance firm in the City, won her claim.
The judge also noted that the 8mm scar the woman received to her lip during the accident didn’t destroy her appearance.
“It seems to me that, objectively, she still presents as a very attractive young woman,” she said.
If Hazeldean had been insured, he wouldn’t have been ordered to pay such a large amount, Emma Farrell, head of the Personal Injury team, said.
A brief statement on the outcome of today's hearing to decide costs and damages. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages.
– Robert Hazeldean #cycling #cyclist @LeviSolicitors pic.twitter.com/wzrfW1lOzH
— Rob Hazeldean (@RobHazeldean) June 20, 2019
“If he had come to us sooner, we would have advised him to enter a counterclaim given that he has been left with permanent scarring, both physically and mentally.
“He would then have had protection under the law against a large costs order.”
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