Accident on an Orca lane separator

Last month I was riding along, minding my own business, when I lost the front end on an ‘Orca’ cycle lane separator.  The Orca was supposed to be parallel with the white line for the cycle lane, but it was horizontal and protruding into the main road.  I didn’t see it until it was too late and ended up breaking my collarbone.  I instructed a friend who is solicitor and he wrote to the council on my behalf.  They have chosen to ignore him and he’s not sure what to do next.
Ethan – by email

Answer

How to proceed will depend on what caused the Orca to be positioned horizontally.  They are usually secured by two bolts, and so in order for it to have been positioned horizontally one of the bolts would have had to fail or to have not been secured properly in the first place.

If the bolt failed then you potentially have a claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau under the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement.  This would be on the basis that the most likely cause of the failure was being hit by a heavy motor vehicle (like a bus or lorry).  If the bolt wasn’t secured properly in the first case then you would potentially have a case against the local council.

I would recommend pursuing both simultaneously and instructing a specialist solicitor to avoid further issues.

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