Cyclist says he paid out £60k after settling with pedestrian who walked into road while looking at her phone
After a long court battle, Robert Hazeldean says he feared bankruptcy
The cyclist involved in a legal battle with a pedestrian who walked out in front of him has paid out £60,000 after settling the case.
Robert Hazeldean collided with Gemma Brushett in London in 2015 after she walked into the road while looking at her phone, with both rider and pedestrian left unconscious after the crash.
Most of the costs were covered by a fundraising page that was set up to support his legal battle, but he still had to pay out around £3,000 of his own money and there was no cash left for charity, as Hazeldean had hoped to donate any leftovers.
Last year, a judge ruled that both Hazeldean and Brushett shared equal blame but Hazeldean was forced to pay out after he failed to launch a counter-claim and owing to his lack of insurance.
In a Twitter thread posted on Monday (February 24), Hazeldean revealed he opted to settle the case, which resulted in him paying around £60,000 in damages and legal fees.
Hazeldean said: “It’s not the result I was hoping for, but I do at least feel free of it now.
“There was a very real result of even a good result. I had no faith in the court system and the risks were simply too high so I decided to settle costs at £30k.
“If you're in an accident, think very hard before you sue someone. The process is long and unpleasant and there is another person on the other end, someone you likely know nothing about.”
The crash happened at a junction near Cannon Street in London during rush hour, when Brushett stepped into the road.
Hazeldean sounded his airhorn and swerved to try and avoid Brushett, but collided with her as she tried to step back on to a traffic island, with the judge saying: “Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear.”
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Breaking down the costs, Hazeldean said that £59,643 was raised through the fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.
The costs for GoFundMe were £2,766, while Hazeldean then had to pay £4,300 in damages, £434 in interest on the damages, £30,000 legal costs for the other side, and £25,000 in his own legal costs. He made up the £2,979 deficit himself.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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