Yesterday the newspapers reported the tragic deaths of Ross Simons and his wife Clare who were knocked off their tandem bike by a hit and run driver.
I cannot comment on the circumstances of the Cycling Accident because I don`t know how it happened. Press reports indicate that police officers were alerted to a Citroen Picasso which did indicate to stop. The car then drove off at speed and according to the press reports it then hit another vehicle and then collided with the 2 cyclists who were riding a tandem. The driver abandoned his vehicle and fled from the scene but he later gave himself up to the police.
Motorists who cause death on the roads can be prosecuted either for "death by dangerous driving” (maximum penalty 12 years imprisonment) or if the drivers actions are judged to be less serious then "death by careless driving" (maximum penalty 5 years imprisonment).
In cases of failure to report an accident there is a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment.
Assuming the collision was caused by the negligent driving of one or more drivers there would be civil liability to the estate of Mr & Mrs Simons. This would be limited to funeral expenses, property damage and any pain and suffering. If death was instantaneous then there would be no award for the Fatal Injuries - in any event any injury award would be very modest. Under English law neither Mr & Mrs Simons parents or siblings are able to claim the statutory bereavement award of £11,800.
It is not known if Mr & Mrs Simons had any children. If they did, the children would also not be able to claim the bereavement award as this is reserved for husband`s & wife`s of the deceased or parents of deceased children under the age of 18. If there were children in the family then they would have a "financial dependency claim" based on the pre incident financial position. There would also be a "services dependency" based on amount of childcare and support provided by Mr & Mrs Simons.
Neither Mr or Mrs Simons were members of CTC, the national cycling charity. Slater and Gordon have been representing CTC members since 2002. The specialist team is led by keen cyclist Paul Kitson who represents CTC members across the UK. Follow these links for more information on CTC and Cycling Accident Compensation Claims.