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£20,000 settlement for cyclist who sustained terrible injuries after hitting a pothole.

Client stories

Express Solicitors, experts in cycling accident compensation claims settled a £20,000 claim for Jack Brigden who suffered injuries to his jaw after he was knocked off his bicycle after hitting a large pothole on his way home from work.

Mr Brigden, 27, from London was represented by Express Solicitors’ Partner in the Occupiers and Public Liability department, Craig Phillips. Mr Phillips helped secure the compensation Mr Brigden deserved after the injuries received caused him ongoing pain and functional issues with his jaw.

Newly engaged, Jack Brigden lives and works in London as an architect. He was on his commute home from work when the accident occurred.

Express Solicitors instructed specialist independent medical experts to assess their client’s jaw following the fracture of his mandible. The experts were also able to determine that the injury occurred as a direct result of a fall caused by unsafe road conditions.

“This case required the gathering of evidence to support Mr Brigden’s claim for compensation on the basis that the road in Greenwich he was cycling on was unsafe, due to the large pothole in the tarmac.” adds Craig Phillips.

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Phillips continued: “The resulting injuries left my client with a fractured bone in his jaw, which caused him difficulties eating, drinking and speaking. The accident also required him to undergo many different tests and scans to check for injuries to the brain and skull after blood was coming out of his ear. Fortunately, no such injuries were diagnosed, but this caused my client a lot of stress and worry, understandably.

The accident has also led my client to have ongoing headaches and pain in his jaw, causing him to require additional time off work to attend multiple doctors and hospital appointments. I’m delighted that we were able to settle this case for Mr Brigden, securing him substantial compensation for the impact this accident has had on his life.”

“The resulting injuries left my client with a fractured bone in his jaw, which caused him difficulties eating, drinking and speaking.”

Not your usual commute home

On a weekday in May 2018, between 6:00-7:00 pm, Mr Brigden was cycling home on his usual route from work in Greenwich, London.

“I was cycling along the road and there was this big pothole. My front wheel went into it because of how flat the back edge of it was and it stopped my momentum and threw me over my handlebars. I landed on my chin at the edge of the road. I remember rolling over to my side to try and move out of the way of oncoming traffic. I sat at the side of the road to compose myself when a family walked past. They stopped to see if I was ok. They kindly gave me a wet wipe so I could clean myself up a bit. Luckily the Tesco store I also worked at was close by, so I walked to the store to get myself properly cleaned up and seek medical attention.”

Mr Brigden spoke to some of his colleagues explaining what had happened and they called an ambulance. Mr Brigden also left his bike at the store whilst he went to hospital.

A trip to hospital

“The ambulance took me to the Queen Elizabeth hospital. I was in A&E until about 4:00 am the following morning whilst I was having tests and receiving treatment. I had about an inch gash on my chin which the doctors glued up. I also had a CT scan of my head as I had blood coming from my left ear. Fortunately, this didn’t show anything concerning. I got a taxi back home and the doctors gave me some painkillers to help manage the pain. I didn’t think I would need them. I was quite high on adrenaline that night and when I woke up the next day I realised how stiff my jaw was and that I was struggling to eat.” Continued Mr Brigden.

A tricky recovery process

Mr Brigden didn’t require any time off work to recover from the accident. However, he did require time off to attend multiple check up appointments for his injuries, “Because it was just my face that was injured, it didn’t impact my ability to work, however, my speech was a bit slower at the time. It was only for appointments that I took time off work. I went to the ear specialists in Lewisham to check my stability after blood was coming from my ear after the accident. I also had Maxillofacial appointments too.”

“When I open my jaw to the widest point I feel a popping sensation which is really painful.”

Mr Bridgen described what he found most difficult about the injuries he sustained, “I experienced the pain in my jaw and headaches around three or four times a week for the first year or two after the accident. The pain in my jaw affected me opening and closing my mouth and even now I can’t really eat hard foods. If I want to eat an apple, I have to cut it up first, I can’t just bite into it like I used to. When I open my jaw to the widest point I feel a popping sensation which is really painful. The first six months after the accident were the toughest and I just tried to work through the pain I was experiencing. I still experience headaches today.”

Why Express Solicitors?

“When I first started thinking about making a claim, I wrote to Greenwich Council via a form they had on their website. I explained how I’d had an accident on their roads and wanted to claim liability from them. They responded by saying they have a three-month period to issue me with a response. I hadn’t heard anything on the day of the three-month deadline so I called them for an update. They said they needed another month as the person who was looking after my case had just gone on maternity leave. I gave them another month and at that point, they said they weren’t liable. So I did a Google search for no win, no fee law firms, and that’s how I found Express Solicitors.”

We asked Mr Brigden about the support he received from Express Solicitors, “Craig was great at communicating everything to me and explained the whole process. He would tell me his next steps so I would know what to expect and he told me what needed to happen in order to secure the case.”

Why explore a claim?

Mr Brigden explained, “I wanted to make a claim because of the injuries I incurred, but also because of the reaction I received from the council. They dismissed my claim and weren’t even willing to speak with me about it. I also thought, if it could happen to me, it could happen to someone else too and I wouldn’t want that to happen. In the little correspondence I had with the council, they would sign off every email with ‘The Royal Borough of Greenwich’, as if to maybe sway me from pursuing action. The council only properly fixed said pothole about six months ago by resurfacing the whole road. Before that, they would fill it in but then the pothole would just keep reappearing. I had to go back to the scene sometime after my accident to take photos of the area, as instructed and the pothole was very much still there. I now cycle past there every day after having moved away for a while and the road is so much better.”

Compensation payout

“A large portion of the compensation has gone into my savings and some has been used to buy an engagement ring!”

“I still get occasional headaches that tend to start from the left-hand side of my head, which makes me think they are related to the injuries from my accident. Other than that, I’m pretty much back to normal now.” Concluded Mr Brigden.

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