A cyclist who suffered devastating spinal and internal injuries when he was hit by a lorry at road works has been awarded £2.5 million in compensation by the High Court in London.
Alexander Kotula, A police constable from Hertfordshire was left facing a lifetime in a wheelchair following his horrific accident. He fell into barriers around electrical works being carried out and was subsequently hit by a passing lorry reports the St Albans review.
EDF Energy Networks PLC and their contractors, Morrison Utility Services Ltd and Birch Utilities Ltd admitted that they were in “breach of duty” due to their failure to maintain a pedestrian passge of one-metre width through the works. They had originally claimed that Mr Kotula was partly to blame as he had either negligently cycled on the pavement or dismounted and carelessly walked through the works.
Judge Simon Brown QC rejected these claims stating that “the defendants were wholly responsible for this accident” he said that the electrical works were beside a very busy road, with no warnings and no safety zone between the barrier and passing traffic. As the road was narrow and without cycle lanes, he said that Mr Kotula had made a “reasonable decision” to cycle on the pavement.
After suffering devastating spinal and internal injuries causing his dependency on a wheelchair, Mr Kotula was awarded £30,000 a year to cover care costs until he is 45, rising by increments to £85,000 a year when he is aged 65, plus £16,000 a year until he reaches retirement age to compensate him for loss of earnings. These payments are in addition to a £2.5 million lump sum.
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