John Agius was cycling down High Road in Benfleet, Essex, in November 2010, when he was hit by a driver pulling out of a junction. The impact threw John from his bike onto the car and then onto the road.

Three operations required

The 62-year-old Unite the Union member sustained a badly fractured wrist that required emergency surgery. However, a few months after the operation, doctors identified that the fractured bones were failing to properly fuse together and he had to undergo a second operation.

The second operation took a bone graft from John’s hip to insert into his wrist to encourage the fracture to heal. Six months after his accident, John had yet another operation, this time to control numbness in his hand.

After the three operations and six months off work from his job as a rescue and recovery driver, the long-term damage to John’s wrist means he is still unable to lift heavy items at work and requires occasional help to carry out his job.

“I’ve always enjoyed riding my bike but my accident really has taken the enjoyment out of my hobby” said John.

“I’ve slowly been able to rebuild my confidence to cycle on the road again. However, my accident has made me realise just how vulnerable cyclists are on the roads and I’m always very wary when approaching a junction, even if it is a quiet road.

“I will never be able to fully rebuild the strength in my left wrist and this has a limiting effect on my day-to-day life from chores around my home to jobs I’m expected to carry out at work. I’m very grateful for the support I have received from both my union UNITE and Thompsons Solicitors.”

Following his accident, John contacted Unite Legal Services who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim on their member’s behalf. Thompsons settled the claim in full despite the Defendant initially claiming contributory negligence.

Motorists must use roads responsibly

Peter Kavanagh from Unite the Union, said: “Cyclists really are vulnerable road users and although this wasn’t a work related injury UNITE stands by its members wherever they are injured.

“Motorists have a responsibility to ensure that they are aware of all other road users and not just of other cars and John’s accident was a classic example of a driver not paying enough attention, which meant he suffered a traumatic experience that will have a lasting effect on him, his work and his family."