If you have been involved in a cycling accident you may be able to claim compensation. As a cyclist you are particularly vulnerable and even minor incidents can result in major injuries.
If someone is at fault for your accident you can make a claim for compensation against them. For instance, your accident may have been caused by the actions of another, a defect in your cycling equipment or the cycling environment. You can even make a claim if you do not know the identity of the person that caused your accident, such as in a hit and run incident.
However, your accident has been caused we will use our experience and expertise to get you back on your bike as soon as possible. If you are seriously injured we will connect you with medical and rehabilitation services to help you make the best possible recovery.
Types of Cycling Accident Claims
The vast majority of cycling accidents occur on the road and many of those involve collisions with other road users, including pedestrians. However, you can also claim for accidents caused by poor road conditions, such as potholes and by defects in your equipment, such as your bike or helmet.
Road Traffic Claims
Cyclists are particularly at risk on the road from other road users. Accidents can be caused by drivers not taking sufficient care, using excessive speed or passing too closely whilst overtaking. In some instances it can be deliberate, in a moment of road rage.
Our experience shows that critical dangers arise at roundabouts, junctions, traffic lights and, perhaps ironically, cycle lanes.
Because of the nature of these incidents, usually involving a huge differential in mass and speed, the consequences to the cyclist can be catastrophic. We have dealt with the results ranging from fairly superficial cuts and bruises to life changing injuries.
Cyclist Pothole Claims
Whilst potholes are a nuisance to all road users they can be extremely dangerous to a cyclist. Most potholes form towards the edges of the road and cyclists can often find themselves facing a choice of swerving out into a flow of fast moving traffic or riding through, or trying to jump over, a pothole. This can result in damage to the bike and/or a crash.
The most common injuries caused by potholes are to the head, face and shoulders, where the rider has been catapulted over the handlebars and down onto the road surface. If you are involved in such an accident you should seek medical assistance to check for head injuries even if you feel ok immediately after the incident.
Pothole claims can prove difficult and the more data you can gather at the scene the better. Highway authorities will deny fault as a matter of course and you will be required to prove that they have not met the minimum standards set by law for the maintenance of the road. Basically, the pothole needs to be larger than a set minimum size and it needs to be shown that it is not recent, otherwise the authority will be able to claim that it had inspected recently and there was no pothole. Photographs with date stamp and some item to provide a comparative measure will help, especially if the hole can be seen to show evidence of age, e.g., filling with debris.
If you can return to the scene over a period of time and take pictures showing the potholes continued existence this will help prove the authority’s reaction time to road hazards. It is therefore recommended not to report the incident to the authority. Often the pothole will be quickly filled.
Seeking local witnesses that are able to attest to the pothole’s existence over a period of time will also help to prove your claim.
Cycling Lane Accident Claims
Whilst cycling lanes have been introduced to improve the safety of cyclists on the road, accidents in cycle lanes are common place.
Accidents in cycle lanes can be caused by other vehicle entering the cycle lane. For instance other road users may use the cycle lane to overtake, or they may pull in to drop off passengers, or may simply turn left across the cycle lane without taking adequate notice of who is using it.
Equally accidents can be caused by obstructions in the cycle lane. In some places vehicles are regularly parked in cycle lanes and nearly all drains and metal access plates, which can be slippery when wet, are located near the edge of the road, where the cycle lanes are located. In addition, debris from the road gathers in the cycle lanes, not to mention potholes and road kill. Any of these obstacles may result in a cyclist having to move swiftly out of the cycle lane into the main traffic lane.
We will always take into consideration all the factors of the accident when making a compensation claim.
Bicycle Component Failure Claims
You can claim compensation for an injury caused by the failure of a cycling component. Your accident may have been caused by a faulty part, negligent fitting or inadequate repair by a professional.
Alternatively you may have suffered more extensive injuries than you should have in an accident due to a faulty helmet.
If you have been involved in an incident due to a faulty part retain the bike and the faulty part. This is your main evidence. If you need to have the bike repaired ensure that it is fully inspected by a reputable bike shop who can report comprehensively on the part failure.
How do I Make a Cycling Accident Compensation Claim?
If you wish to make a cycling accident compensation claim then talk to one of our specialists. We offer a free consultation with no obligation. This will give us an opportunity to assess whether you have a claim and you the chance to see if you like us and want us to represent you.
If you have a claim and would like us to act on your behalf we act on a No Win No Fee basis to progress your claim.
What can I Claim Compensation for after a Cycling Accident?
This depends on the severity of your injuries, the amount of damage to your bike and equipment and your personal circumstances.
Any claim for damages will be split into two elements:
Compensation for your injuries (called general damages)
The amount of compensation for your injuries is relative to their severity. The level is determined by reference to previous claims for similar injuries and we refer to these cases as ‘precedents’. Every case is different and we have to look at a number of similar previous cases which will provide us with a range of figures likely to be appropriate to your own case.
We will give you full advice about the value of your injuries when the medical evidence in your case is complete.
Financial losses (called special damages)
In addition to damages for injuries as above, you are entitled to claim for all reasonable financial losses you suffer.
An obvious loss may be damage to your:
• and other physical things damaged in the accident.
However, you can also claim for:
• loss of earnings
• loss of employment benefits
• travel expenses
• medical expenses
• pay for DIY and gardening
• loss of insurance premium
• loss of holiday or enjoyment of a holiday
• and possibly a lump sum claimed for losing your job.
We will calculate these losses for you and prepare a schedule of your losses for you to check and sign.
When do I need to make a claim for a Cycling Accident?
If claiming for yourself you need to make your claim within three years of the date of the accident.
If claiming for a child you can do so at any time before their 18th birthday. After that they will need to make their own claim and they will have three years from their 18th birthday to do so.
If you are claiming for someone who died as a result of an incident you need to claim within three years of their death or receiving their post mortem results.
If you are claiming on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity there is no time limit.
Can I make a No Win No Fee Cycling Accident Claim?
At our initial meeting we will discuss the circumstances of your injury to assess whether a claim can be made. If we feel that you have a potential claim, we will review all of the funding options with you.
For instance, you may have legal expenses cover as part of your motor or home insurance. This is sometimes called Legal Expenses Insurance or Family Protection Insurance. We will investigate the policy to find out whether it will adequately fund the legal costs and expenses required to bring your claim. This is not always the case.
Usually the most appropriate option is a Conditional Fee Agreement, commonly called No Win No Fee. This is because it gives you the reassurance that if your claim is unsuccessful then you won’t have to pay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I claim compensation if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
It is not a legal requirement for cyclists to wear a helmet although many bodies recommend that they do so.
If you were involved in an accident whilst not wearing a helmet it will not affect the outcome of liability for the incident, i.e. it will not have any effect on who was at fault or to blame.
However, it may have some effect on how much compensation you would be entitled to. If, in the circumstances of the case, your injuries would not have been so severe if you had been wearing a helmet, your compensation may be adjusted accordingly. So, if you are claiming for injuries associated with the head your compensation may be reduced but if you are claiming for, say, a broken leg, this is unlikely.
Can I claim compensation if I did not have lights on?
It is a legal requirement to have a white light on the front and a red light on the rear of a bicycle lit when it is dark and when the light conditions are poor. Failing to have lights switched on in such conditions may result in your compensation payment being reduced if it was a factor in the incident leading to your injury.
Can I claim compensation if I wasn’t wearing hi viz clothing?
Whilst there is no legal requirement to wear hi-viz clothing your compensation payment may be reduced if visibility was a factor in your accident. It will depend on the circumstances of the incident. For instance, if you had lights on at the time of the incident then a lack of hi-viz clothing will not affect the outcome of your claim.
Do I have to go to court?
The level of compensation in most of the cycling accident claims we assist with is agreed without you needing to go to court. However, in a few cases, for instance when the fault for the accident is not accepted or if the claim for compensation is particularly complex, the decision of the court might be sought.
If you do need to go to court we will be with you throughout the process to support you and get the best resolution to your claim.
If you believe that you have a claim then please contact Simon, James (Jim) or James for free confidential advice on 01752 668246, or if you prefer simply click here to arrange your free initial compensation claim meeting.