Policewoman Urges Stirling Council To Invest In Road Safety
A policewoman who dedicated 22 years of her career to fighting crime in the Falkirk community says she is still coming to terms with being told she can no longer be out on the beat after suffering serious injuries in a cycling accident caused by a pothole.
PC Anne Lake has been a devoted police officer for the Central Scotland Police Force for more than two decades but her injuries and ongoing pain have prevented her returning to the active, community-based job she excelled at, and she has now instructed serious injury specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell to secure funds for the rehabilitation she needs.
The 41-year-old is now likely to serve out the remaining eight years of her service with the force in an administration role rather than out on the beat and says the hammer blow to her career has left her feeling isolated and frustrated.
The mother-of-four, from Falkirk in Scotland, needed emergency surgery after suffering a dislocated shoulder, spinal injuries and a fractured collar bone when she hit a pothole on the poorly lit New Line Road in Stirling.
The operation at Stirling Royal Infirmary after the accident in September 2010 saw a metal plate inserted in her right shoulder, which she says still causes her constant pain and discomfort 18 months on from the incident.
Serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell are now working with her to help secure funds to help with the ongoing rehabilitation treatment she needs to recover fully from her injuries after Stirling Council admitted their poorly maintained roads caused the accident.
Anne and her lawyers are now urging Stirling Council, which is partnered with Cycling Scotland, to prioritise road maintenance and safety to prevent similar accidents happening to cyclists in future.
Anne said: “Almost two years on, I still feel absolutely devastated about the effect the accident has had on my life. I have worked for the Central Scotland Police Force for more than 20 years and really enjoyed my work in the community, particularly with schools and community groups.
“I loved being out and about on my bike or on foot. I’m very much an outdoors girl and like to keep fit by cycling or walking around my patch. In fact, my Sergeant would struggle to keep me in the office for long enough to do my paperwork. The community-based job I did helped keep me fit and healthy, which has always been important to me.
“Now I feel isolated and frustrated at work as a desk job isn’t something I enjoy. I appreciate that I’m still able to work for the force but it’s not the role I signed up for, or where my skills are best utilised, and I’m devastated that I can’t get out and about any more.”
She added: “I hope that my story encourages Stirling Council to invest in the city’s road network to ensure the safety of cyclists and other road users. I also hope my experience doesn’t discourage other cyclists from getting on their bikes in future because Stirling is a beautiful place to cycle around, but I hope it does raise awareness of how treacherous the roads can be.”
Elaine Russell, a partner and specialist in the personal injury department at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office representing Anne, said: “We see more and more cases of injury caused by potholes, some of them life-changing such as Anne’s where victims of poor road maintenance have had to endure surgery and long periods of rehabilitation and recovery.
“Stirling Council try to encourage more people to cycle for the good of their health and the environment but when some roads are in such bad condition it can be very unsafe.
“We hope Anne’s case highlights the need for council’s to prioritise the maintenance and repair of roads so that cyclists and drivers are not discouraged from getting on their bikes because they fear an accident.
“Thankfully Stirling Council has taken responsibility for the incident involving Anne and we can now work with them and Anne to agree on an appropriate settlement so that we can help with her recovery and to access the rehabilitation she needs.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in cycling accident, our specialist cycling accident lawyers could help you claim compensation. Visit our Road Traffic Accident Compensation page for more information.