Cycling Accident Compensation Claims
Have you been injured in a bike accident due to someone else’s negligence? If so, you may be able to make a cycling accident claim to win the compensation you deserve.
What are cycling accident compensation claims?
A cycling injury claim is any kind of compensation claim that involves a cyclist being injured as a result of poor road conditions or the actions of another road user.
With so 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 cyclists on UK roads.
Unfortunately, cyclists are significantly more vulnerable to personal injury than other types of road users.
As a result, cycling injury claims are on the rise. There are many cycling accidents on our road every year. While this is low compared to road traffic accidents involving cars, these statistics do show that cycling accidents tend to be far more serious.
A report by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has revealed that per 1 billion vehicle miles, 1,011 pedal cyclists are killed or seriously injured in comparison to just 26 car drivers. It also showed that cyclists are more likely to be involved in a cycling accident during the day than in the evening, with 80% of bike accidents occurring in daylight.
Common causes of cycling accident compensation claims
Cyclists lack the same level of protection as car drivers if there’s a collision, and are susceptible to injury if a pothole throws them off their bike, meaning you’re far more likely to suffer an injury should you come off your bike.
A bike accident can happen for all sorts of reasons. However, in our experience, the most common cycling accident claims are the following:
- Hit and run road cyclist accident.
- A collision with a car, vehicle or even 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.
- Any slippery road conditions due to oil spills, ice and snow.
- Injuries relating to faulty bicycle parts or repairs.
- A criminal assault incident whilst on your bike.
Who do you claim against in cycling accident claims?
Many cyclists don’t realise that, if a bike accident was someone else’s fault, they can claim compensation. Whatever the cause of your injuries, the bicycle accident claims solicitors we work with can quickly figure out if you have a case.
Who you can claim against depends on the circumstances of your bike accident. If a car driver injures you, for example, then you’d bring your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
On the other hand, if your bicycle accident is from a road pothole, you’d claim against the party responsible for maintaining the road, usually the local authority.
If you’re unsure what type of bike accident claim to make, your solicitor will identify the “Defendant” at the outset of your case and help you make the right cycling accident claim against the right people.
Are cycling accident compensation claims easy to prove?
For any claims process regarding a bicycle accident, the complexity of the case 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 bicycle accident lawyer is crucial since you’ll need to gather witness statements before your witnesses’ memories fade.
Whether the accident happened on a major road or in an urban centre, you may be able to use CCTV footage to prove how your bicycle accident occurred. If you were wearing a helmet camera, then your footage can serve as evidence in your bike accident claim as well (assuming the footage clearly shows the accident and is of sufficient quality)
But what if video footage of your bike accident is not available, and the defendant disputes liability? In this case, we can appoint a road traffic reconstruction expert to examine the accident scene.
It’s very important to keep bike and clothing damages available for examination to support your story.
Can I make a bike accident claim if I hit a pedestrian?
Many cyclists assume if a driver without insurance hits you, or flees the scene without leaving details, you can’t make a claim. In fact, this is not the case.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) compensates the victims of uninsured or untraced drivers, as long as there is evidence that the driver was at fault. You should report a cycle accident to the police as soon as reasonably possible (preferably within five days), or the MIB can refuse to deal with your claim.
If we discover that the driver has no insurance, we’ll let you know immediately and, with your permission, redirect your cycling accident claim to the MIB.
Where you have been involved in an accident with a driver and intend to make a claim against an uninsured or untraced driver, or an accident in the UK involving a foreign-registered vehicle, or claim involving a vehicle accident abroad (EEA/Green Card System), you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. It may be possible for you to present the claim yourself directly, for free, with the Motor Insurance Bureau.
Can you make cycling accident claims if a negligent driver doesn’t have insurance?
Many cyclists assume if a driver without insurance hits you, or flees the scene without leaving details, you can’t make a claim. In fact, this is not the case. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) compensates the victims of uninsured or untraced drivers, as long as there is evidence that the driver was at fault.
You should report a bike accident to the police as soon as reasonably possible (preferably within five days), or MIB can refuse to deal with your claim. If we discover that the driver has no insurance, we’ll let you know immediately and, with your permission, redirect your cycling accident claim to the MIB.
Will I need a medical examination to make a bicycle accident claim?
When taking on cycling accident claims, our aim is to negotiate the best possible settlement. 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 is to provide evidence of your injuries, their impact on your quality of life, and your prognosis. These are important factors when calculating your cycling accident 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 to reach a bike accident settlement figure.
However, if your injuries are much more severe or require further treatment, you may need a medical examination from different specialists as you progress towards recovery.
Do cycling accident compensation claims have to go to court?
It is very rare for cycle accident claims to end up in court. Instead, the overwhelming majority of cycling injury claims conclude 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 bike accident 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 and presenting your cycling accident claim before a judge. We will explain the court procedures to you and give you all the support you need.
But, even if a court date is set, you may avoid ever going to 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 any bicycle accident claims.
What is “contributory negligence” in bicycle 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. If someone is only partly to blame for your bike accident and injuries, they have “contributory negligence.”
Contributory negligence generally leads to a partial reduction in your compensation. For example, if you’re 30% responsible for the bike accident, then your compensation reduces by 30%.
What is the time limit for making bicycle accident claims?
Court proceedings must begin within three years from the date of your bike accident. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your right to claim damages from the other side.
The reality is that most cyclist accident claims enter negotiation or settlement long before the three-year deadline approaches. The majority of claims avoid court well within the legal time frame, and often before the issuance of court proceedings.
Your bicycle accident lawyer will need to gather the evidence before lodging an official court action, so it’s important that you do not leave your claim until the last minute. A bike accident lawyer might avoid your case if you are close to the three-year cut-off point, or if the solicitor believes that there is insufficient time to prepare your claim.
If you are making the bike accident 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 compensation claims take?
A straightforward cycling accident claim often reaches settlement within six months. However, when the party at fault denies liability or your injuries worsen, the claim can take longer to settle.
You can help speed up your bike accident claim by returning any outstanding 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 regarding the case. For example, write down:
- The date, time and place of the bike accident.
- Contact details of witnesses to the cycle accident.
- Police reference numbers.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance details (if the accident involves another vehicle).
- The date and location of any medical treatment you receive following your bike accident.
How much cycling accident compensation am I likely to receive?
Compensation in cycling accident claims has two components: general and special damages.
With support from our medical experts, we’ll be able to attach a unique amount of cycling accident compensation to your specific case as an estimate of how much you could potentially claim.
General damages for bicycle accident claims
General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you experience as a result of the injury. The calculation considers the following factors, among others:
- The type and seriousness of your injuries
- The degree of pain.
- Your prognosis, age, life expectancy.
The courts take the view that you have a right to cycling accident compensation for both:
- Your injuries.
- 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 how much in general damages you will receive. When we know the full extent of your injuries, then we examine the judicial guidelines. Past cases provide us with a good idea of what your cycling accident claim should be worth.
Special damages for cycling injury claims
As well as compensation for your pain and suffering, you can recover the costs and expenses you incur when you’re involved in a bike accident. These 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 cycling accident claim.
How much do cycling accident claims cost?
So what happens when you hire a bicycle accident lawyer on a “No Win, No Fee” claims basis (a Conditional Fee Agreement – CFA)?
In essence, a CFA case revolves around the basis that your cycle accident solicitors won’t charge you if your cycling accident claim is unsuccessful. If you win your claim, then your bike accident lawyer retains a percentage of your compensation as their “success fee”. Typically, customers pay 25% including VAT of the compensation amount that is recovered by our third-party law firms, although this is subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may be more or less than this. For example, you may be required to pay an additional fee for other costs such as after-the-event (ATE) insurance.
This arrangement passes all the risk of proving your cyclist accident claim onto the legal team. Effectively, a solicitor will take your case only if they believe you have a very good chance of winning.
However, you should also know that if you terminate the agreement before your bicycle accident claim ends, you may also be liable to pay basic charges including (but not exclusively) disbursements and barrister’s fees.
Have questions about cycling accident claims?
We understand that making a cycling accident claim is confusing. Moreover, there’s just a lot of information to take in as a result of the accident itself. That’s why we offer a free initial conversation. Our dedicated agents can answer any questions that you might have.
Additionally, they can tell you whether you are eligible to make a bike accident compensation claim.
We can start your cycling accident claim today; simply fill out our contact form and an advisor will call you back at your convenience.
We work with expert cycle accident solicitors who have years of experience and are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Am I eligible?
If you have been involved in a cycle accident in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a bike accident claim.
The exception to this is if you were a child at the time of the accident, or you’re making a bicycle accident claim on behalf of a child. In each case, you may have a longer period to claim.
How much could I claim?
Each bicycle accident is different, so the amount of compensation paid out can differ from case to case. Varying factors that lead to the final figure include the extent of your bike accident injuries, any earnings missed out on, and potential future losses.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much cycling accident compensation you could potentially claim for.
How does the process work?
We understand that, when making a bike accident claim, it’s important to know what to expect. That’s why we make the bike accident claim process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your bike accident lawyer will gather all the evidence and notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. You will be kept up to date every step of the way, with your bicycle accident lawyer negotiating on your behalf.