A cyclist crushed between two lorries in London has received £280,000 compensation in an out-of-court settlement after a three-year legal battle.
Doris Barrera-Torrico, 31, suffered multiple fractures and degloving – where skin is torn off the underlying tissue – in the accident on Holloway Road in December 2007, which happened while she was cycling to a charity where she did voluntary work.
The Chilean student, who lives in Gipsy Hill, south London, told the London Evening Standard: “I could see the bits of my leg on the road. I don’t know how I survived.” Doctors feared they might have to amputate her right leg. She said the incident had changed her life forever.
Barrera-Torrico sued the driver of one of the lorries for negligence. Her solicitor, Paul Kitson, head of the cycling accident unit at Russell Jones and Walker, said: “After a long and hard battle, the case settled out of court, shortly before trial, when blame was apportioned at 70:30 in Doris’s favour.
“She has a permanent disability which has restricted her mobility and has also prevented her pursuing her sporting activities. Before the accident she was an accomplished triathlete. The settlement provides compensation for Doris’s severe injuries, the nine operations she has undergone, as well as compensation for her past and future care requirements, and loss of earnings.”
Barrera-Torrico called for motorists to pay more attention to cyclists, saying: “Lorry drivers as well as car drivers need to be aware of cyclists on city roads. Safer, more aware driving will prevent other people suffering serious injuries like I did.”