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29 July 2014, 19:10
A cyclist from Portsmouth has won an out-of-court settlement after a seat clamp broke causing him to fall from his bike in front of oncoming traffic.
Matthew Buck, 41, of London Road, was cycling home from a trip to the supermarket in April 2011 when the seat clamp on his bicycle snapped as he was travelling at about 15mph, according to his solicitors Irwin Mitchell.
A spokesman for the firm said:
"The fault caused Matthew to lose balance and fall whilst still on his bike, trapping his left leg and exposing him to oncoming traffic in the middle of the road with one car missing his head by only two to three feet.''
The accident caused neck injuries that took 11 weeks and a month of physiotherapy to recover from as well as "severe'' cuts and bruises.
Mr Buck also suffered from the psychological trauma, which led to five weeks of insomnia as he had flashbacks and memories of the crash and traffic.
He has now received a #1,500 settlement from Cycle World Wessex and clamp producer Fisher Outdoor Leisure who both denied liability for his injuries but made the out-of-court agreement.
Stephanie Whatmore, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:
"Mr Buck experienced a variety of problems following the accident, which could have been much worse if a car had hit him whilst he was in the road. We are pleased that he has now received justice for an accident that could have been prevented.
"The country is seeing an increase in the number of cyclists on the road but they can be very vulnerable road users. This case highlights the importance of ensuring that the parts of a bicycle are correctly fitted and maintained to prevent any similar accidents in future.''
Mr Buck, who was still affected by the crash up to 10 months later, said:
"I am very relieved that the case has come to a close. For two weeks following the accident I was unable to wash my clothes, go shopping, drive or socialise. I was in so much pain and felt angry that the accident had happened but lucky that it had not been worse.
"I don't want anyone else to have to experience what I did and I hope that those involved take the steps necessary to make sure that it doesn't happen again.''
A spokesman for Fisher Outdoor Leisure declined to comment.