Okay so I realise I must sound like a bit of a car hater but I’m not, and today I even tried to do my bit to defend the good name and no claims bonus of a taxi driver. This is a little surprising when I tell you that the taxi driver in question is the one who mowed me down on the first working day of 2009.
An insurance company had been trying to contact me and I had avoided their advances, wrongly assuming that they were ambulance chasers who had picked up the details of my incident from somewhere. However, the persistant Martin phoned my home number and explained to my wife that he was investigating a claim regarding the accident.
I was knocked down by Oliver the taxi driver as I crossed a mini roundabout at the end of Littleton Road. He admitted guilt, seemed genuinely remorseful but was apologetic to the point of me wanting to punch him. He offered to take me to Hope hospital as he was taking someone there anyway but I declined and after dropping the passenger off he took me and my broken bike to work. As the pain in my knee grew through the morning I decided to have it checked out with the hospital confirming that there was no significant damage, I should keep it moving, and within a couple of weeks it should be okay. I struggled to walk for a couple of days but sure enough within 2 weeks it was better and I could start training for the C2C that I completed later that year.
I had got off lightly and so had the bike, Oliver took me to and from the bike shop in Rusholme and paid for the repair of the buckled wheel as well as buying me a new Altura hi-viz jacket as the previous coat had obviously lost a bit of its effectiveness. I had cycle insurance through Everyday Cycling the main reason being to give me 3rd party cover in the unlikely event that I accidentally kick someone’s wing mirrors off, but another aspect of the cover is access to a legal team to assist a claim for injury. It gave me some extra peace of mind but once 3 weeks had passed I told them they could close the case as I felt as fixed as my bike was.
I see Oliver about once every couple of months and wave to him whenever our paths cross (usually around Broughton) so we are on good terms and a few months after the accident whilst side by side at traffic lights, he asked me if I had put in a claim against him. I told him that we were straight as far as I was concerned and thought nothing more of it.
Today it transpires that over 2 years on the passenger is pursuing a claim for physical and mental trauma due to the incident. This sounds quite far fetched in my opinion and during my meeting with Martin from his insurance company today I confirmed that the car would have been doing no more than 20 mph as it drove onto the roundabout. If it was going any faster I would have known Oliver had not seen me and I would have stopped before he could hit me. He drifted onto the roundabout and only at the last minute did I realise he had not seen me and I had a split second to slam on and risk skidding under or going over the car, or alternatively I could accelerate. I took the 2nd option which meant that he clipped my rear wheel rather than hitting me directly and I hurt myself as I fell to the ground. Physically, I doubt she could even have got whiplash but the mental side is ridiculous. No blood was spilt and I even managed to moderate my language whilst discussing with Oliver the failings of his professional abilities.
So I stand by Oliver, although he does drive like a complete knob.