"Helmet Saved My Life" - Brain Injured Cyclist Makes Safety Plea As £2m Settlement Is Secured

Lawyers Secure Settlement For Rehabilitation And Care After Cycling Crash


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A cyclist left with a severe brain injury after he was hit by a car on the A62 near Oldham has received a £2m settlement to help cover the costs of his rehabilitation and care needs.

John Wellock, 61, from Mossley, was hit by a car in September 2010 while riding his bike down the A62 in Delph, near Oldham, when a driver pulled out of a side road in front of him. The Defendant driver pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention before Magistrates at Oldham Magistrates Court in 2011.

John was wearing a cycling helmet, without which he believes he would not have been here today. He was a keen cyclist at the time of his accident, an activity he had taken up to control his diabetes.

However, as a result of the accident, John suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma. He spent nine months in hospital and intensive rehabilitation. His injuries have left him dependent on his wife Elaine. In approving the settlement terms His Honour Mr Justice Blake paid tribute to Elaine for the care she had given to John and for the burden that she continues to bear in that regard.

John now attends his local Headway Group and is passionate about campaigning for the wearing of cycle helmets to be made compulsory for everyone (as it has been in Jersey although only for children). He has been writing letters with the help of his wife to his local newspaper about this issue.

The couple instructed specialist serious injury solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the crash and following an admission of liability by the defendant’s insurers, lawyers at the firm have now secured a £2m out-of-court settlement*. This will allow John to continue with his rehabilitation.

The settlement was approved by the High Court in Manchester today (13/01/2015). As part of the settlement there is provision for the family to return to Court if John later develops uncontrolled epilepsy as a result of his brain injury.

John said: “I believe wearing a cycle helmet saved my life. I’ve been campaigning to try and make them compulsory for all. Anything that can be done to improve safety for cyclists is extremely important.”

Geraldine McCool, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing him, said:

Expert Opinion
This was a terrible accident and highlights how vulnerable cyclists can be on the roads. John’s life will never be the same again but at least now we have secured the settlement he will be able to access the expert support, care and rehabilitation he needs to help with his recovery. This is a big relief for the family that they their future needs will be provided for.

“Drivers need to ensure they take more care in relation to vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. As this accident shows cycling injuries can be extremely serious and have life-changing consequences so it is vital that all road users look out for each other as much as possible.”
Geraldine McCool, Partner

Before the accident John was a self-employed estimator/salesman for an interior design company but will now never be able to work again. Elaine also gave up her job to take care of her husband.

John’s wife, Elaine said: “The settlement is a massive relief and a weight off our shoulders. We can now look to the future as we know that John’s care needs will be taken care of for the rest of his life.

“We know nothing will ever be the same again but at least now we have some comfort in knowing that we have the security provided by the settlement.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Brain Injury Claims.