A cyclist who was involved in an accident after he was hit by a car has received £18,000 in compensation.

The 64-year-old, from Exeter, was cycling his normal commute to work in October 2009 on Heavitree Road, Exeter when a car suddenly cut across his path.

He slammed on his brakes in an attempt to avoid a collision but was thrown over his handle bars and hit the side of the car.

The Stagecoach bus driver was left with injures to his head, elbow and both knees and ended up needing surgery and intensive physiotherapy on his right knee.

He had to take five months off work and when he returned found it difficult to drive certain types of buses due to the pressure he needed to put on his leg.

He still suffers from intermittent pain in his knee and in his left elbow.

Thompsons made claim for compensation

Following the accident he contacted his trade union, the RMT, for advice. The union instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

Thompsons were able to settle the claim out of court after the driver of the car admitted liability.

The bus driver said: “I cycle that route to work every day and I’ve never had a problem. On the day of the accident I didn’t have a chance. The car cut across me without any warning and I’m just glad I was able to react as I fear my injuries could have been much worse if I’d hit the car straight on.

“Claiming compensation was the last thing on my mind but as time went on and I had more time off work i knew that I would need to do something. I knew the RMT would be able to help me through its free legal service and its been impressive.”

Bob Crow, general secretary at the RMT added: “Our member was involved in a serious accident through no fault of his own. He had to take several months off work and have a painful operation. We are pleased to have been there for him when he needed his union.”

Shelly Newman from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Accidents involving cars and bicycles are never good for cyclists. What we do is to make sure that though cyclists might get bullied by some car drivers on the road, they don't get bullied by their insurers in court.”