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Twisted Spokes: JMW’s Cycling Claims Specialists
Despite attempts to improve cycling safety, accidents can still happen - and they are often the result of another party's negligent actions. The cycling accidents team at JMW is here to help you make a claim should you suffer an injury while riding your bicycle. Our team is recognised by independent industry guides for our personal injury work and, as passionate cyclists, we understand the intricacies of the lifestyle and the effects an injury can have on your ability to cycle.
To speak to a member of our team about how we can help you if you have been involved in a cycling accident, simply call us on 0808 168 0607. If you would prefer that we contact you, complete our online form featured on this page and we will call you back at a time that's convenient for you.
Cycling Accident Claims Explained
If you’ve had an accident while on your bike and have suffered an injury, it is your right to make a claim and our specialist cycling team is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Your final compensation award can help you to recover, amongst other things, the cost of repairing or replacing your bike. In legal terms, the term "damages" is used to refer to the money you will receive as compensation, following on from a successful claim.
There are two types of damages that make up your final compensation award. These are referred to as “general damages” and “special damages”.
General damages deal with how much a specific injury is worth and a figure is arrived at via a combination of guidelines developed by judicial experts who have dealt with personal injury claims and previous case law.
Your solicitor will use the information you have provided about your injuries, and any independent medical reports that we have in relation to your case, to determine how best to assess what general damages you may be entitled to.
You can find out more about how much different injuries are worth by visiting our compensation calculator.
Special damages deal with all financial losses you have suffered, or that you will suffer, as a result of your accident. For a cyclist, these can be wide-ranging, and can include:
- Damage to your bike - Your solicitor can include a claim for the cost of repair or replacement of your bike. This could be vital, particularly if you have invested a lot of money in your bike.
- Damaged cycling kit and accessories - If you have damaged your cycling kit in an accident, your solicitor can seek to reclaim these costs for you.
- Medical costs - Your cycling claim can include provisions for any physiotherapy, surgical procedures and medicines you have paid for as a result of your accident.
- Travel costs - If you have been forced to use an alternative form of transport because your bike was in need of repair, was a write-off, or because you had to pay to travel to medical appointments, these out-of-pocket expenses can be claimed back.
- Lost earnings - If your cycling accident has forced you to take time off work and you have suffered a financial shortfall as a consequence, we can include in your claim the amount you have lost.
- Care and assistance - After your accident, you may have had to rely on friends or relatives to help with grocery shopping or household chores, or to assist you with personal care. We can include, as part of your claim, how much time has been put into caring for you.
- Hobbies - Unfortunately, some individuals suffer injuries that prevent them from cycling, or taking part in other hobbies. If your injuries prevent you from pursuing your interests, you can include this as part of your claim.
Special damages are different for every claim, and you may find there are more costs for which you can claim. Our advice is to retain receipts and other documentary evidence of purchases that you have had to make as a direct result of your accident, as this can assist in ensuring these costs are recovered.
The Claims Process
Examples of Cycling Accident Injuries
There are a whole host of hazards that all cyclists, regardless of their experience, will be aware of when cycling - many of which are caused by the negligent actions of others. These hazards can cause you to come off your bike and result in injury. Among the most common injuries are:
- Road rash or skin abrasions
- Soft tissue injuries to the neck, shoulders and back
- Fractured collarbone
- Wrist injuries, ranging from soft tissue injuries to fractures
- Fractured pelvis and coccyx
- Fractures to legs, ankles or feet
- Concussion and/or head injury
- Anxiety and other associated psychological injuries
Reasons Why Cycling Accidents Happen
Cyclists have to share the road with many other vehicles, including cars, vans and lorries, and even the most experienced rider is still, to an extent, reliant on other road users' skills and awareness to remain safe. As both solicitors and avid cyclists, we have seen many types of crashes, but the most common cycling collisions we find ourselves dealing with are caused by:
- Drivers turning into the path of a cyclist
- Drivers failing to see cyclists when turning or changing lanes
- Drivers pulling out of a road into a cyclist
- Vehicle doors opening in front of an oncoming cyclist
- Potholes and other road defects
- Careless, reckless or speeding vehicles
If you have been injured while out and about on your bike, our experienced solicitors are on hand to provide advice and guidance on how you can make a claim for the pain and suffering caused by somebody else’s negligence.
Can I Make a Claim?
Anyone injured as a result of somebody else’s negligence is entitled to make a claim, as long as the accident happened within the last three years.
What Evidence Do I Need to Make a Claim?
Put simply, there are no hard and fast rules as to what evidence you need to make a claim. But, there is certain evidence that you should keep hold of or secure when pursuing a cycling accident claim, as it can help to strengthen your case, and will help us to get you the compensation you deserve.
For a damaged bicycle, you should provide:
- Detailed information about what parts of your bike have been damaged
- An estimate from a cycling shop on how much repairs will cost
- Photographs of the damage to the bicycle
To help you with assessing your bike’s damage, we have created a Bicycle Repair Assessment Form, which you can take to a repair shop for an estimation of the costs.
If any cycling accessories, such as helmets and clothing, have been damaged, you must provide cost estimates (including original receipts if possible) and ideally photographic evidence of damage.
You should also try to keep receipts for any other out of pocket expenses you have had as a result of the accident. If we believe it will strengthen your claim, we will arrange for you to see an independent medical expert to provide a report on your injuries and prognosis, which can be used as evidence.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
If you have been injured in an accident, once you have ensured you are not in immediate danger, you should seek medical attention, as postponing treatment may worsen your injuries. Once you are well enough, there are a number of steps you should take that can strengthen your claim.
To read about the steps you should take following an accident, take a look at our ‘What to Do After a Cycling Accident’ page.
How Long Does a Claim Take?
There is no set time for how long a claim will take, but, generally speaking, case lengths are determined by the type of injury you have sustained, how your recovery progresses, and whether or not liability has been admitted for your accident. If liability is admitted, the claims process is usually a little more straightforward. Supporting evidence for your claim will be submitted to the defendant, enabling both parties to discuss, and ultimately reach an agreement on a compensation settlement for you.
If liability is not admitted, your solicitor will gather as much supporting evidence as possible to strengthen your case and negotiate the position with the defendant. As well as medical evidence and information you have provided about your financial losses, this may include additional information and reporting such as:
- Obtaining a police report
- Speaking to witnesses of the incident and obtaining a statement from them
- Considering images of the scene of the accident
Your solicitor will continue to negotiate with the defendant on your behalf, and will use all the available evidence to support your claim. They will try to encourage the defendant to change their position and admit liability, or settling the case even if some issues remain disputed.
Whether or not liability is admitted, it may be that court proceedings will have to be issued. Should this happen, your solicitor will advise you of what this means and the next stages.
Mike Mansfield Testimonial
Why Choose Us?
Cyclists who make a claim with us not only benefit from an expert claims service provided by a law firm with a strong national reputation in personal injury law, but also from dealing with a group of lawyers who are passionate about cycling. You can trust us to understand and empathise with your needs, while at the same time securing you the accident compensation you deserve in an efficient and professional manner.
We also understand that different cyclists have different needs. For example, an experienced cyclist who participates in races, sportives or triathlons could be injured while riding a bespoke and expensive carbon frame bike. If you have been injured while training for an event, we understand it is often a priority to get your bike repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
In contrast, cyclists who use their bikes solely for commuting or for leisure are likely to have different needs. While you might not need your bike immediately for training purposes, it may be your only source of exercise or transport - and, unlike a competitive cyclist - it may be your only bike.
We can help you by making sure that any bicycle accident claim you make with us includes an allowance for the cost of the damage to your bike. This means that any compensation award will specifically take into account the cost of your bike’s repair, or the cost of a replacement bike. If you are a commuting cyclist and your accident forces you off the road, we can assist you in claiming back any money spent on additional transport costs.