The incident, which took place in February 2010, occurred when the bus was attempting to overtake Nick Black as he cycled towards a roundabout along Relay Road near the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush.
Although the bus driver initially denied liability, CCTV footage proved that the bus was being driven too closely to Nick, as well as overtaking him on his left-hand side. This caused Nick to lose balance, fall into the bus’s path, and resulted in its rear wheel running over his leg.
I would like my case to raise awareness of the desperate need for improved driver training, which pays particular attention to cyclists, who are at their mercy on London’s busy roads."
Nick Black - CTC member
Medical staff initially tried to save Nick’s leg, but the bones in his leg and foot were degloved* and so badly crushed that ten days later, the leg was amputated just below the knee.
Initially, Nick had to use a wheelchair and required extensive care as he adapted to his new disability. Although Nick now has a prosthesis, doctors have concluded that he will require use of a wheelchair for the rest of his life, meaning his home and car will both need significant and costly adaptation. CTC, the national cycling charity, together with Russell Jones & Walker (RJW), enabled Nick to progress his claim which has now been settled and will help Nick lead a better quality of life.
Nick commented: “I am profoundly grateful to the medical team at Charing Cross Hospital who have helped with my treatment and rehabilitation. Even after two years I still need significant medical care, as my leg is continuing to shrink so the prosthesis needs changing and refitting regularly to avoid complications like ulcers. I’ve already had one infection which led to me being readmitted to hospital.
“As well as the medical complications, the accident has also meant a complete change of lifestyle – previously I was really active, I enjoyed walking and sailing as well as cycling, and I was halfway through refurbishing my home. I can’t pursue these interests in the same way as before.
“I’ve clocked up around 100,000 miles cycling in London, and whilst I am no longer able to ride my bike, I am profoundly indebted to CTC. The legal cover provided by my membership has meant I’ve received a settlement without causing further distress to myself or my family. The settlement will enable me to purchase equipment and prosthetic limbs which I hope will help me to have a better quality of life in my retirement.”
Nick’s case demonstrates the need for London’s bus drivers to undergo more advanced training in road safety, and to have a greater awareness of cyclists."
Paul Kitson - lawyer CTC Accident Line (RJW)
Paul Kitson, head of the serious injury department at RJW, part of Slater & Gordon Lawyers said: “Nick is not the first and will not be the last cyclist to fall victim to negligent bus drivers on London’s roads, and we are going to continue to see severe cyclist injuries and fatalities unless training programmes are made more rigorous. Fortunately, with the support of Nick`s membership organisation CTC, we were able to pursue litigation against the bus company and reach a settlement within 25 months of the incident. ”