If you’ve experienced a cycling accident and been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior on the roads, you could be eligible for compensation. At Slater and Gordon, we help cyclists injured in cycling accidents , where someone else was either fully or partly to blame, to get compensation and rehabilitation support. Our solicitors represent cyclists from across the UK including members of Cycling UK, the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation. For a free consultation with on of our specialist team of solicitors dealing with cycling accidents call us on Freephone 0808 175 8000 or request a call back online.
Cycle accident claims facts
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), just over 18,800 cyclists were injured in road traffic accidents in 2015. Many accidents are not reported to the police, while others cause more serious injuries and, in the worst circumstances, fatalities.
However, with the help of personal injury specialists at Slater and Gordon, cyclists are fighting back. We have secured over £50million in compensation for Cycling UK members injured in cycling accidents since 2002.
Types of cycle accident claims
Unfortunately, there are large number of different types of cycle accident claims. Drivers of cars and larger vehicles do not always give cyclists the respect and room they need to cycle safely, while others forget to check their blind spots. Collisions between vehicles and bicycles can cause serious injuries to the rider. Even being clipped by a vehicle significantly larger than your bicycle can destabilise you and lead to an accident.
Other types of cycle accident claims involve car doors being opened without looking, as well as collisions with motorbikes and accidents related to potholes and poor road maintenance.
What can I claim for?
When you’ve been hurt as a result of a cycling accident where someone else is fully or partially to blame, you may have the right to claim compensation for your injuries. You can also claim for medical bills and rehabilitation as well as damage to your bicycle or other property, loss of earnings due to your injuries and for additional travel costs if your bike is damaged and you can’t use it for your usual commute.
The following are examples of the types of compensation and damages you can claim for:
Whether it’s a minor injury or something more serious, your personal injury lawyer can help you secure compensation for the pain, discomfort and inconvenience you’ve experienced. Personal injuries can affect any part of the body, including spinal or head injuries, broken bones or fractures, eye injuries to severe bruising.
Personal injury doesn’t just cover the physical either, as you may also have the right to claim for any psychological damage the accident has caused as long as your solicitor can demonstrate that these issues are a direct result of the accident.
You can claim for either the cost of repairing your bike if it is damaged in an accident, if the cost of repair works is less than the value of the bike before the incident. If the repair bill is more than the bike’s original value, you can seek compensation for the full value so that you can replace the bike.
It’s not only your bike that may be damaged in a road accident. Many people regularly cycle to work, so they carry laptops, phones, tablets, MP3 players and other valuables with them. Other items commonly damaged in accidents include items of clothing, watches and jewellery, as well as cycling gear such as helmets and shoes. These items can often be expensive to replace. If any of these items are damaged in an accident, leaving you out of pocket to repair or replace them, this should be included in your compensation claim.
Loss of earnings
When you are injured in an accident, it will naturally take time for you to recover both physically and emotionally. You are likely to need time off work, whether you are employed or self-employed. Your time off may be covered by only statutory sick pay or there may be a time limit on how long you can receive sick pay, so you may experience a loss of earnings. Even if you are eligible for sick pay while you recover, you could still be missing out on potential bonuses, commissions and opportunities for promotion to a higher pay grade.
For self-employed people, a claim can be made for loss of profits as a result of the time you need to spend away from your business to recover and rehabilitate.
If you are out of work at the time of the accident but were actively looking for work, and your solicitor can prove this, you may still be able to claim for loss of earnings. This is because the accident could have prevented you from getting a job and starting to earn a wage.
Additional travel costs
Living without your bike for any period of time can be expensive as well as inconvenient for someone who regularly cycles to work, to appointments or for pleasure. If your bike is out of action, you may be able to claim compensation for any costs you have to pay for alternative transport. This can cover taxis, public transport or car hire costs for travel to and from work, hospital visits and any other appointments.
If you’ve had a cycle accident and are planning to claim for travel costs, it’s important that you keep all receipts and documentation relating to your travel arrangements as these will support your case.
You may have to pay other expenses following your bike accident, such as:
- Adaptations to your home to help you live with a medical condition
- Medical care and prescriptions
- Physiotherapy and rehabilitation
- Household help, care and assistance
Additionally, you can claim for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of the accident, as well as the detrimental effect the accident has had on your relationships, hobbies, sports or any other aspect of your life. In short, if your quality of life has been negatively affected as a direct result of an accident someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, you could have a valid claim for compensation.
There are many factors to be considered when determining the amount of compensation to be awarded in a personal injury claim. The nature of the accident and the seriousness of the injuries are the main factors, but a court may also consider others such as whether you were partially to blame for what happened. This doesn’t mean that you can’t claim compensation, but the amount may be lower if you were at fault in some way that contributed to the accident.
Compensation varies based on the severity of the injuries and the circumstances. An experienced personal injury solicitor will be able to advise on how much you may expect if you win your case, using the specific details of what happened to you. If your injuries are very serious or your quality of life has been badly affected by what happened, you could be eligible for much more if your claim is successful.
How is my claim funded?
For an accident involving a motor vehicle of any kind, compensation to the victim is usually paid using the other person’s insurance. If you win your claim and successfully prove that the other party was responsible for your accident, their insurance company will have to foot the bill for compensation for your injuries and any other damages.
If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident or the other party doesn’t have any insurance, don’t worry. You may still be able to claim compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). If you’re not sure or you’re worried about being left out of pocket following an accident with an uninsured driver, contact the team here at Slater and Gordon for expert advice you can trust.
Things you should do immediately after the accident
The steps you take immediately following an accident can potentially affect the outcome of your compensation claim. A cyclist involved in a road accident should aim to:
- Get out of the road - your safety is paramount, so if possible, move out of the road to somewhere safe where you can evaluate your injuries and seek help or medical attention.
- Call the police - even if you’ve only experienced minor injuries, it’s important to get an official record of what happened on file and go through the proper channels, especially if you hope to put in a compensation claim later on. If possible, keep a copy of the police report to use as evidence in your case.
- Note down exactly what happened - including the location of the accident, number plate details and every detail you can remember about it. These details may fade in your memory later on, so it’s best to write them down now if you can.
- Get witness details – note down the contact details for any bystanders or other road users who may have witnessed the accident and be willing to give a statement for evidence in your case.
- Take photos – if it is safe to do so, take pictures of the scene of the accident, the damage to your bike and the other vehicle, and of your injuries immediately afterwards. You might need another person’s help to do this.
- After an accident, it’s normal to feel distressed, upset and disorientated. You may not be thinking straight. However, by remembering the above points and getting as much evidence as possible as long as it is safe to do so, it makes it easier for a personal injury solicitor to win your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Things you should not do
Never put your safety at further risk following an accident, even to gather evidence for a compensation claim. You should also avoid:
- Admitting liability, verbally or otherwise
- Becoming angry or aggressive – avoid swearing or threats of any kind
- Riding away – it’s only natural to want to get somewhere safe following an accident, but you could be putting yourself in danger by riding away. You could be disorientated, concussed or more badly hurt than you realise, so you need to seek medical help right away. You could also be harming your case if you leave the scene before the accident has been reported and all the necessary steps taken.
Why choose Slater and Gordon for your cycling accident claim?
Slater and Gordon Lawyers handle more cycle accident injury claims than most other UK law firms. We have many years' experience dealing with cycling accident claims caused by other motorists, potholes, buses, animals, faulty equipment and road defects.
Cycling accident claims can be complex. Our solicitors have brought cases for many cyclists, including mountain bikers, professional cyclists, people riding bikes to work and cycling just for fun. We have been highly successful in bringing claims against motor insurers, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and highway authorities.
Slater and Gordon are proud to sponsor the Cycling UK Road Justice Campaign
Road casualties can and should be prevented, but the justice system is not ensuring safety on our roads by not taking road crime seriously. The Road Justice Campaign aims to make our roads safer by making the justice system take a tougher approach to bad driving. For more details please visit Road Justice or to support this campaign by petitioning the police, click here.
At Slater and Gordon Lawyers, we pride ourselves on our sympathetic, professional and honest approach to people who come to us with cycling accident injuries. We can also help if your accident was caused by an uninsured or untraced driver. To speak with one of the team please call Freephone 0808 175 8000 or request a call back online.