Though great for your health and the environment, cycling poses several risks of its own. The lack of protection from other drivers and even unsafe road conditions could turn your comfortable bike ride to work into a disastrous accident. In many cases, these injuries might have occurred due to the negligence of another party.
A car that didn’t check their blind spot and hit you could be successfully sued for compensation. An improperly paved road that caused you to lose control could mean you have a case against the city.
The difficulty in these cases, and why you should always hire an experienced attorney, is that in most cases the furthest a plaintiff can go with their case of negligence is contributory negligence, which puts both parties to blame for the accident. Not know how to make personal injury claims? Read on.
Can You Claim Compensation for a Cycling Accident?
Just as you can claim compensation after a driving accident or if you were hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, so too can you claim compensation when you are a cyclist.
What are the Complications When Making a Claim?
That being said, there are some complications. A pedestrian on the pavement who gets hit had no responsibility in the accident, as the vehicle that hit them violated the rules of the road. As cyclists and motorists share the road, however, this can make compensation claims a bit more tricky.
This is because the cyclist can be proven to be distracted at the time of the accident. As a cyclist, it is your responsibility to be attentive at all times. Even listening to music on the way to work or getting a drink from your water bottle can be construed as a distraction when making a compensation claim.
This does not rule out your ability to win a claim, but it does increase the likelihood that the amount you receive will be deducted. This is because what will often happen because these cases are considered to be contributorily negligent, or, in other words, you were partly to blame for the accident. The case is, if you weren’t distracted, you would have been able to stop in time or avoid the accident.
The other complication is that judges are not very familiar with cycling injuries and accidents. That is why hiring a knowledgeable lawyer can help, as they will explain in legal terms the case in a way the judge can understand.
The Issue of Distractions
Contributory negligence does not mean you won’t receive compensation. It just means the total amount you will be awarded would be discounted, sometimes by as much as 25%, though the exact amount will depend on how complicit the judge believes you were in the accident. The argument has to be made that, if you were not distracted by something, you would have been able to get away, stop, or otherwise minimise the accident from occurring. If a driver breaks the law while injuring you (instead of, say, turning lanes without checking their blind spot), then you have a very solid case.
What to Do If You Have Been a Victim to a Cycling Accident
If you have been the victim of a cycling accident that wasn’t your fault, then you will want to:
- Seek Out a Lawyer
- Seek Out Professional Rehabilitation
By doing so, you give yourself the best chance of being compensated for a personal injury accident claim.