A cyclist, who suffered a head injury when a dog´s lead got caught up in the spokes of his bike, has settled his injury claim against a negligent dog walker.
In August 2012, Anthony Steele (59) was in training for a coast-to-coast cycling event, and cycling along the promenade at the seafront in Heysham, Lancashire, when he approached a group of people standing in the middle of the path.
Anthony rang the bell on his bike to warn them of his presence and he went to cycle around the left hand side of the group. As he did so, one of the pedestrian´s dogs darted out in front of him. The dog´s retractable lead got caught in the spokes of Anthony´s bike and stopped it in its tracks.
Anthony was propelled his bike, hitting the ground with such force that he lost consciousness. When he came round, he in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where he was diagnosed with a major fracture to the right side of his skull, several fractures to his clavicle, and several fractured ribs.
As a result of his head injury, Anthony was off work for seven weeks and required neuro-psychotherapeutic therapy and cognitive rehabilitation. He still suffers from a permanent loss of hearing in his right ear and non-specific pain in his right shoulder. Anthony also has spells of dizziness, headaches and balancing issues.
It took Anthony almost three years to find the woman who had been in charge of the dog when it ran across him, after which he made an injury claim against the negligent dog walker. In his legal action, Anthony alleged that the woman was not familiar with the use of a retractable lead, and it was her negligence that ultimately caused his injuries.
Liability for Anthony´s injuries was initially denied, and the injury claim against the negligent dog walker was scheduled to be heard at Manchester County Court. However, before the hearing could take place, the negligent dog walker agreed to an out-of-court settlement amounting to £65,000.
Speaking after his injury claim against the negligent dog walker had been resolved, Anthony said: “All I wanted out of this was to get the financial support I needed for my rehabilitation and to raise awareness of how dangerous retractable dog leads can be, especially if people don’t know what they’re doing with them. I can’t quite believe that all of this has been caused by someone who could not control their dog or be aware of their surroundings.”