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Lee v Williams

5 March 2001
The issues

Contributory Negligence Of A Cyclist Failing To Dismount At A Junction

The facts

The Claimant was injured at the mouth of an access road as the defendant emerged from the access road in his car. The Claimant has been cycling along the pavement of the main road and had intended to cross the access road. It was a difficult junction – it was not well sighted for drivers coming from the access road or for pedestrians wanting to cross. The Judge at first instance found that the Defendant solely to blame for failing to keep a proper lookout. He found that the Claimant had not been negligent on the basis that he took appropriate care at a difficult junction to check that it was safe to cross.

The Defendant appealed.

The decision

The Claimant had accepted that he should not have been cycling on the pavement but the Judge had found that this made no difference to the accident and that the Claimant was really in the position of a pedestrian. The Court of Appeal do not accept that conclusion.

The Claimant had stopped with his bicycle projecting two or three feet into the road. This made him more vulnerable than a pedestrian. He had not dismounted and had therefore inhibited himself from getting himself or the bicycle out of the path of the collision. Liability would be apportioned 60% against the Defendant and 40% against the Claimant.

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