Cycling Accident Claims
With many of us trying to get fit, save money and do our bit for the environment, it’s no wonder that there are a growing number of cyclist on our roads. Unfortunately, these cyclists are significantly more vulnerable to personal injury than other types of road users. They do not have the body of a vehicle to protect them if they are involved in a collision, or if a pothole forces them off their bike.
If you have had an accident on your bike that wasn’t your fault, we can help you. We deal with thousands of cycling accident claims every year, from minor lacerations to life-changing injuries, and aim to make your claim as stress-free as possible.
Common causes of cycling accident claims
Accidents involving cyclists can happen for all sorts of reasons. However, in our experience, the most common causes of cycling accident claims are those set out below.
- Collision with a car or vehicle
- Collision with another cyclist or a pedestrian
- Vehicle doors opening into the path of an oncoming cyclist
- Potholes, worn tarmac, raised manhole covers and other defects in the road
- Slippery road conditions such as oil spills, ice and snow
- Injuries relating to faulty bicycle parts or repairs
- Injuries sustained on a rented bike
- Criminal assault.
Many cyclists do not realise that if you are involved in an accident that was someone else’s fault, then you may be able to claim compensation. Whatever the cause of your injuries, our network of cycling accident claims solicitors can quickly figure out whether you have a claim and help you recover maximum compensation.
Who do you sue in cycling accident claims?
Who you sue depends on the circumstances of the accident. If you were injured by a car driver, for example, then you would bring your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you were injured by a pothole in the road, then you would bring your claim against the person responsible for maintaining the road, which is usually the local authority.
Your solicitor will identify the “Defendant” at the outset of your case and help you make the right claim against the right people.
Is it easy to prove cycling accident claims?
This depends on the evidence. If the Defendant does not admit liability, then your claim may be won or lost based on the witness evidence. Appointing a solicitor is crucial since you will need to gather witness statements before the memories of witnesses fade.
Where the accident happened on a major road or in an urban centre, we can frequently call on CCTV footage to prove how the accident occurred. If you were wearing a helmet camera, then your own footage may also be used as evidence, assuming the footage clearly shows the accident and is of sufficient quality.
Where video footage is not available, and the Defendant disputes liability, then it may be necessary to appoint a road traffic reconstruction expert to examine the accident scene. It is important to keep your damaged bike and clothing so they can be examined and used to support your story.
Can I make a claim if I hit a pedestrian?
If the pedestrian negligently caused the incident, for example, by stepping out into the road without looking, then, in theory, you can make a claim against them. The law treats claims against pedestrians in exactly the same way as it treats claims against drivers.
The problems lie in the fact that few, if any, pedestrians will carry insurance to protect them against the possibility of being sued. Even if you win your claim, the pedestrian may not be in a financial position to pay your damages. Unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do about that.
What if a negligent driver was not insured?
Many cyclists assume if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, or if the motorist flees the scene without leaving their details, that you cannot make a claim. This is not the case. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) compensates the victims of uninsured or untraced drivers, as long as it can be shown the driver was at fault.
Accidents must be reported to the police as soon as reasonably possible (and preferably within five days) otherwise MIB can refuse to deal with your claim. If we discover that the driver is not insured, we will let you know immediately and, with your permission, redirect your claim to the MIB.
Will I need a medical examination to make an injury claim?
Our aim is to negotiate the best possible settlement for you. To help us do this, we will need to obtain a medical report from a doctor who specialises in the type of injuries you have sustained. The purpose of the medical examination to provide evidence of your injuries, their impact on your quality of life, and your prognosis. These are important factors when calculating your compensation.
If you have recovered from your injuries, or it is clear that your injuries will heal on their own over time, you may only need to undergo one medical examination in order to reach a settlement of your claim. If your injuries are much more severe or further treatment is required, you may need to be examined by different specialists as you progress towards recovery.
Many people worry that they will have to travel long distances to attend a medical assessment. At The Compensation Experts, our solicitors have access to medical centres all over the country and we are confident that an assessment can be carried out close to your home.
Do cycling accident claims have to go to Court?
It is very rare for cycling accident claims to end up in Court. The overwhelming majority of claims settle before the hearing when the Defendant admits liability and makes an offer of settlement.
If the Defendant does not admit liability, or if there is a serious dispute about the amount of compensation, then we will issue legal proceedings on your behalf. The Court will then set a strict timetable for your case, including a date for attending Court and presenting your case before a judge. We will explain the Court procedures to you when we issue proceedings and give you all the support you need.
Even if a Court date is set, it is unlikely that you will have to attend a hearing. In our experience, simply issuing Court proceedings is enough to prompt a settlement offer by the other side. The Court actively encourages settlement negotiations and will make sure that you have plenty of opportunities to settle your claim.
What is “contributory negligence” in cycling accident claims?
Sometimes, the Court will decide that you, the cyclist, were partly at fault for your injuries. This might happen where, for example, you were riding without a helmet or high visibility clothing, you were riding under the influence of alcohol, or you failed to follow the special rules for cyclists contained within sections 59 to 82 of the Highway Code. Being partly to blame for your injuries is known as “contributory negligence.”
Contributory negligence generally leads to a partial reduction in your compensation. For example, if you found to be 30% responsible for the accident, then your compensation would be reduced by 30%.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Court proceedings must be started within three years from the date of your accident. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your right to claim damages from the other side.
The reality is that most cycling accident claims have been in negotiation or have even settled long before the three-year deadline approaches. The majority of claims are settled out of Court well within the legal time frame, and often before Court proceedings are even issued.
Your solicitor will need to gather evidence before lodging an official Court action, so it is important that you do not leave your claim until the last minute. A solicitor may not take your case if you are close to the three-year cut off, and the solicitor believes that there is insufficient time to prepare your claim.
If you are making the claim on behalf of a child, then the claim must be issued within three years of the child’s 18th birthday.
How long do cycling accident claims take?
A straightforward cycling claim can often be settled within six months. If liability is denied or your injuries are complicated, then the claim may take far longer to settle.
You can help speed your claim by returning any paperwork to us as soon as possible and providing any information we request in full. It will also help your claim if you keep a full written record of important information such as the date, time and place of the accident, the contact details of witnesses, police reference numbers, the at-fault driver’s insurance details (if the accident involved another vehicle) and the date and location of any medical treatment you received.
How much compensation am I likely to receive?
Compensation awards in cycling accident claims are broken down into two components, general damages and special damages.
General damages are intended to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life you have experienced as a result of the injury. The calculation will take into account the type and seriousness of your injuries, degree of pain, your prognosis, age, life expectancy and other factors.
The Courts take the view that you are entitled to compensation for each of your injuries and any medical complications that may arise in the future. The medical report will provide this information and we use the report as a starting point in settlement negotiations.
At this stage, it is impossible to say with certainty what general damages you will receive. Once the full extent of your injuries is known, there are judicial guidelines and past cases which we consult to give us a good idea of what your claim should be worth.
As well as compensation for your pain and suffering, you can recover any costs and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident. This might include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Train and bus fares
- Loss of earnings and bonuses
- Repair or replacement of your bicycle and other personal property
- Help with household chores
- Personal care and assistance
It is important that you keep receipts for any expenses so that we can include these in your claim.
How much do cycling accident claims cost?
If you hire a solicitor on a “No Win, No Fee” basis (a Conditional Fee Agreement), then it is on the basis that your solicitor will not charge you if your claim is unsuccessful. If you win your claim, then your solicitor will retain a percentage of your compensation as their “success fee” to recognise the risk of them not getting paid.
The maximum that solicitors can charge as their success fee is 25% of the total compensation amount.
A No Win, No Fee arrangement passes all the risk of proving your claim to the legal team. In practical terms, this means that a solicitor will not take your case unless they believe that you have a very good chance of winning. If you solicitor accepts your case on a No Win, No Fee basis, then you can rest assured that your claim has at least a 60% likelihood of success, and considerably more in most cases.
Have questions about cycling accident claims?
We understand that making a cycling accident claim can be confusing and there is a lot of information to take in. That’s why we offer a free initial consultation. Our dedicated personal injury advisors can answer any questions that you might have and tell you within a matter of minutes whether you are eligible to make a compensation claim.
Simply call us to get started. Alternatively, fill out our contact form and an advisor will call you back at your convenience.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have been harmed physically in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident you may have a longer period to claim.
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: extent of your injuries, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be keep up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We assess all claims on a No Win No Fee basis, then we can determine how successful a claim is likely to be. This service is 100% free.
We assess each claim on its merits with the information provide, which aids us determine its likely success rate.
Our dedicated panel are experts in securing compensation no matter the injury.
Our personal injury lawyers are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you while providing expert support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
Each client is provided with their own Personal Injury lawyer who will work on the case from start to finish, being there every step of the way. The client will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of the lawyer.
Expert cycling accident claims solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of bike accidents claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case you don’t pay! Once you make contact, our experienced team will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.