Cycle accident claims - what are the legal rights of cyclists on the road?
With the cost of public transport and owning a motor vehicle continuing to rise, it’s not too surprising to hear that more people than ever are turning to cycling as a way of commuting and getting around. There are now more than 13 million cyclists on UK roads, which represents an increase of over 110% since 2000, and according to British Cycling, more than two million people cycle at least once a week.
It’s not too surprising then that as the number of cyclists increases, so does the number of accidents: a government study released in June showed that more than 3,200 cyclists were seriously injured on the UK’s roads, with a large percentage of these accidents involving a motor vehicle such as a car or bus. If a cyclist is injured in a road traffic accident and it wasn’t their fault, they are entitled to make a personal injury claim and receive compensation for their injuries, recuperation and damage to their bike.
How to make a personal injury claim for a cycling accident
If you have been injured while riding your bike on the road, the first, and most important, thing to do is ensure you’re well. It is important to make sure you see a doctor immediately after the accident so they can assess you and record any injuries you may have sustained. Once you have recovered from your injuries, the next step is to speak with a claims management company such as ourselves here at Fonseca Law; when you make contact with us, one of our experienced personal injury solicitors will assess your personal injury claim and determine whether you’re eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. Bike injuries are usually separated into two claims categories: general damages (physical and psychological injuries), and special damages (repairs, damaged clothing, loss of earnings etc.), and this will affect the level of compensation you are awarded.
If the accident happened on the road with a car, then the claim will follow similar proceedings to those in personal injury claims between two cars. Once we have assessed your claim and determined that you’re entitled to compensation, we will submit the claim to the insurer of the other driver, where they will either admit liability or contest liability. If they admit liability, a compensation package will be agreed and you will receive compensation based on your injury; if they contest liability, the case will likely go to court where a judge will assess the claim and determine the level of compensation you should be awarded, if any.
Evidence to submit in a cycle claim
We know that immediately following an accident, it’s hard to focus on anything other than the accident, but to help your claim, you should try and take photos of the accident scene and obtain details of any witnesses. It would also be beneficial to submit other documents such as an estimate of bike repair costs and the bike’s pre-accident value. If you’re also claiming for loss of earnings, this will differ on a case-by-case basis, which we will discuss with you while assessing your claim.
How much compensation can be claimed for a cycle accident?
The level of compensation awarded is very hard to determine without knowing the details of your personal injury claim. As a general rule of thumb, the more serious the injury, the larger the compensation package will be. It is worth bearing in mind that wearing a helmet is not a legal requirement in the UK for cyclists, but your compensation package may be reduced if you do not wear one and are involved in an accident.
If you have been injured in a bike accident through no fault of your own, we can help you claim compensation for your injuries. To make a claim, contact us today on 0800 156 0770, email firstname.lastname@example.org, fill out our online claim evaluation form, or pop into our offices based in Ebbw Vale, South Wales.