A CYCLIST who crashed into a yoga teacher after she stepped into the road while staring at her phone has been ordered to pay up to £100,000 in compensation and court costs.
Gemma Brushett, 28, was knocked unconscious after she was hit by Robert Hazeldean on a busy crossing as he rode home through central London in 2015.
Ms Brushett sued Mr Hazeldean and was awarded a payout, despite Judge Shanti Mauger finding that she was equally to blame for the accident, and could have been sued herself by the cyclist.
At Central London County Court today, Judge Mauger awarded her £4,161.79 in damages after saying that the 8mm scar she suffered to her lip did not wreck her “very attractive” appearance.
But the bill increased after Ms Brushett won the case – meaning Mr Hazeldean had to pay her lawyer bills.
Speaking in court, Judge Mauger said: “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.”
Ruling on the amount in damages that Ms Brushett will receive, the judge said the scar to her lip had left her feeling self-conscious at times.
But she added: “It seems to me that, objectively, she still presents as a very attractive young woman.”
The court heard that Ms Brushett, who works for a finance firm in the City as well as running yoga retreats, was one of a “throng” of people trying to cross the road at the start of rush hour when the accident occurred.
She was looking at her mobile phone when crossing the road from east to west and only noticed Mr Hazeldean approaching at the last moment.
She “panicked” and tried to dodge back to a traffic island, but the cyclist, who had been travelling at between 10-15mph, swerved in the same direction and hit her.
Mr Hazeldean had come through a green traffic light, and had sounded a loud airhorn attached to his Specialized roadbike, as well as shouting, swerving and braking in a bid to avoid the pedestrian.
Both Ms Brushett and Mr Hazeldean were knocked out by the impact, with Ms Brushett suffering cuts, cracked teeth and post-traumatic amnesia.
When in accident and emergency in hospital shortly after the smash, she forgot about her very recent breakup with her partner, the judge was told.
Cycling – the law
UP to 130 people were seriously injured in accidents involving cyclists last year and four were killed on Britain’s roads.
And more than ten pedestrians suffer life threatening injuries every month when they are hit by people on bicycles.
As a result, the government is looking at ways to make the roads safer for pedestrians and are urgently reviewing whether new laws should be brought in to cover dangerous cycling.
The current Victorian legislation was originally used deal with reckless handling of horses but there is no cycling equivalent to the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.
Cycling without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for other road users carries a £1,000 maximum fine, while dangerous cycling could land someone with a £2,500 fine.
But causing injury by cycling furiously has a two year maximum sentence and falls under the legislation from 1861.
Pedestrians have a duty to take care of their own safety and in civil law, but even if they step onto a road without looking first and into the path of an oncoming car, the pedestrian may still consider a claim for compensation against the driver.
A driver can claim compensation from the pedestrian in respect of vehicle damage or other injury or losses the driver suffers but they rarely win.
MOST READ IN NEWS
Last week, Judge Mauger found that Mr Hazeldean was liable to pay damages for the accident, despite calling him “a calm and reasonable road user”.
Although Ms Brushett was “was looking at her phone” when she walked into the road in front of him, Mr Hazeldean knew the road was not entirely clear when he tried to ride through.
The judge said: “Cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.”
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.