Cyclist injured abroad awarded compensation in Scotland
Iain, a 46-year-old cyclist from Scotland, was on the second day of his cycling holiday in Spain when he was involved in road traffic accident.
“It all happened so quickly and I couldn’t do anything to avoid it. The driver knocked me off my bike and broke my wrist. I wasn’t able to cycle after that and it ruined the rest of my holiday.”
When he returned home, he had problems sleeping and suffered from flashbacks and nightmares from the accident. He was unable to drive for 6 weeks. This meant his wife had to drive him to and from his work in Glasgow, over 100 miles a day. When he was able to get back on the bike, he suffered from anxiety and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“After the accident, the driver acted like she couldn’t care less about what had happened and wasn’t apologetic at all. She tried to drive off but the police stopped her. I decided to get in touch with Digby Brown Solicitors when I got home to see if they could help.”
Specialist lawyers in accidents abroad
“There are obviously differences in Spain than here but Digby Brown explained it all to me and were on the ball with everything. They had international law connections which helped me win my case.”
Our expert lawyers in personal injury law abroad acted on behalf of Iain.
No vehicle registration for driver at fault
The first step to pursing this case was to trace the driver responsible for the road accident. Iain had been unable to get a note of the registration number of the Spanish driver but we instructed a Spanish lawyer to recover a copy of the police report in Spain. From here, it was possible to identify which Spanish car insurer that the claim should be made against.
Spanish police claim cyclist at fault
Another issue with this case was that the Spanish police report didn’t accurately describe the circumstances of the accident. The report said that Iain was at fault for the road accident and his injuries. Fortunately, Iain was cycling with a friend at the time who was able to provide a statement to corroborate Iain’s version of the accident.
After the insurer accepted the police report was inaccurate, they admitted liability for the accident.
Our specialist lawyers commented that: “Our experience of handling road traffic accidents in Spain has highlighted that Spanish police reports do not necessarily reflect the true circumstances of the accident. This is often the case because interpreters are not there to assist at the scene of the accident and therefore the language barrier can result in the facts being misunderstood. This is particularly common in accidents involving a Spanish motor vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist.”
Court action in Scotland for accident abroad
Although the insurer admitted responsibility for the road accident, they were not forthcoming with any offers to compensate Iain for his injuries and losses.
Fortunately, even though the cycling accident happened in Spain and Spanish law applied to the injury claim, the case could be raised directly against the Spanish insurer in a court here in Scotland.
Our lawyers raised Iain’s injury claim using no win no fee funding to force the insurer to settle the case. They made a compensation offer in the amount of £20,000 and this was happily accepted by Iain.
“The process went really well. Digby Brown kept me up to speed with everything going on, pushed as much as they could and I was quite impressed. The service was ten out of ten – they couldn’t have done any more for me.
“I was over the moon with the compensation – it was a lot more than I was expecting to get.
“For me, having a specialist lawyer was invaluable. This is not something I deal with or know much about so I needed experts on my side.”