A Norfolk County Council worker and UNISON member who was forced to take medical retirement after she suffered nasty fractures to both her wrists after a cycling accident has received a significant sum in compensation.

The 57-year-old from Norwich was left needing surgery in both wrists after she came off her bike as she cycled over electrical cables laid across the road on a country lane in the Norfolk countryside.

The accident happened at road works whilst she was on a bike ride with her husband in June 2008.

As they approached the road works the site foreman signalled it was safe for them to ride over the cables but when the woman’s front wheel hit the last cable she was thrown from the bike. She fractured both wrists when she put her hands out to break her fall. Both her arms were put in plaster up to the elbow but the breaks did not heal correctly and she needed surgery.

She has been left with severely weakened wrists which cannot take her weight. She is reliant on her husband’s help for personal care and cooking. She finds it difficult to drive and has to tie her dog’s lead around her waist to avoid injuring her wrists if it pulls. She had hoped to return to work but after 18 months off sick it was clear that her injuries were too severe and she was medically retired.

Thompsons Solicitors pursued a claim for compensation

Following the accident she contacted her trade union, UNISON, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation against Spice Ltd, the company responsible for the road works. Spice admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

The UNISON member said: “It was a lovely day for a bike ride and we were only cycling near our home. I never imagined when I got on my bike that day that I would end up in hospital and then unable to work again. The fractures never healed correctly and though I try my best to adapt there are a number of things I can no longer do. The compensation I have received will make up for my lost wages but also mean I can buy things such as an automatic car to make life easier and reduce my almost constant pain.”

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, added: “Our member’s legal services extends beyond injuries in the workplace. This member has been left unable to work as a result of this accident and we were more than happy to take her case and offer her our full support during this difficult time.”

Samantha Vallis from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Cyclists are not just vulnerable from cars when you come off your bike you have little protection. In the most severe case long term injuries can mean the end of a career. This compensation reflects what our client has been through, will continue to suffer and recognises the things she needs to help her adapt to her disability.”