A judge has determined liability in a cycling accident injury compensation claim made on behalf of a brain damaged woman unable to represent herself.
On July 3rd 2011, Fenella Sinclair (62) – an office administrator from Tunbridge Wells in Kent – was cycling along Broadwater Forest Lane when the wheel of her bicycle was clipped by a 4×4 driven by Rachel Joyner.
The contact, although minimal, caused Fenella to fall from her bicycle and she suffered multiple skull fractures, brain damage, several broken ribs and damage to her spine after landing heavily on the road surface. Due to the extent of her injuries, Fenella remains in a minimally conscious state four years after the accident and relies on others to provide her with 24-hour care.
After a police investigation into the accident, no criminal charges were brought against Rachel Joyner. However, Fenella´s daughter made a cycling accident injury compensation claim on her mother´s behalf, as Fenella was unable to remember the circumstances leading up to the accident and is too brain damaged to be able to represent herself.
Rachel Joyner denied liability for causing the accident in which Fenella was so badly injured, so Fenella´s daughter instructed solicitors to engage an accident reconstruction expert to determine how the accident occurred. Together with information from the Kent police, the solicitors were able to construct a case to support the cycling accident injury compensation claim.
Despite the evidence against her, Rachel Joyner refused to accept responsibility for Fenella´s injuries, and the cycling accident injury compensation claim went to the High Court, where it was heard by Mrs Justice Cox. After three days of testimony, Judge Cox ruled that Rachel Joyner had driven her 4×4 in a negligent manner and attributed her with 75% liability for Fenella´s injuries after allowing for the cyclist´s position in the road at the time contact was made.
The cycling accident injury compensation claim was subsequently adjourned so that an assessment of Fenella´s future needs can be made. According to Fenella´s lawyer, the settlement of the claim should exceed several million pounds which “will give Mrs Sinclair´s family peace of mind in knowing that she will recover damages to pay for the care and treatment she will need in the future”.