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Cycling Accident Compensation Claims
Despite attempts to improve cycling safety, accidents can still happen - and they are often the result of another party’s negligent actions. If you’ve had an accident while out for a ride and have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, it is your right to make a bike accident claim for compensation.
Our cycling accident solicitors are 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. That's why we go out of our way to secure you the cycling accident compensation you need to get back on your bike.
To speak to a member of our team and find out if you could make a cycling accident claim, call us on 0808 168 0607. If you would prefer that we contact you, complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back at a time that’s convenient for you.
How JMW Can Help
Cyclists who make a claim with us not only benefit from an expert claims service provided by a solicitors 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 securing the accident compensation you deserve in an efficient and professional manner.
Read on to find out why a cycling solicitor will best represent your interests if you’ve had an accident whilst out on your bike.
1. We understand what a bike is worth
Non-specialist lawyers who are not interested in cycling will simply have no idea of the potential value of your bicycle. They are not likely to understand the amount of time and money that is often spent upgrading a bicycle with new or better components, or that the bicycle may have increased in value since it was purchased.
Naturally, the at-fault driver’s insurer isn’t going to want to pay for these things and will do their best to minimise what they do pay, so you need a lawyer who knows about bikes to ensure that you are properly reimbursed for the value of your damaged bicycle and accessories. You need a lawyer that knows their group sets from their chain rings!
2. We understand how expensive it is to travel when you or your bike is out of action
When it comes to claiming back travel costs on a personal injury case, a non-specialist lawyer will normally just consider receipts for the travel expenses incurred in order to reach appointments associated with the accident-related injuries. What they might not take into consideration are the everyday additional travel expenses incurred when a cyclist is without their bike or is too injured to ride.
If you’ve gone from having a free commute on your bicycle to shelling out on petrol or bus/train tickets or taxis, we can make sure you get that money back as part of your claim.
3. We understand a cyclist’s perspective
Most people are motorists and lawyers are no different; in our experience, most people are not shy when it comes to complaining about cyclists. A lot of people harbour prejudice against cyclists because they are not familiar with the experience of cycling themselves. We understand the complexities and variations that exist among all people who cycle and this is reflected in how we look after your claim. You won’t have to battle with the usual comments on cycle helmets or hi-vis clothing and the associated victim blaming. As cyclists, we are well able to address any concerns related to allegations that you might have been at fault for not wearing a helmet or hi-vis clothing.
4. We understand cyclists have different needs
We 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 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 their own unique set of needs. While you might not need your bicycle immediately following an incident for training purposes, it may be your only source of exercise or transport - and, unlike competitive cyclists, it may be your only bike.
We can help you by making sure that any cycling injury claim you make with us includes an allowance for the cost of the damage of the bike. This means that any compensation award will specifically take into account the cost of repairing your bike, or replacing it. 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.
5. We understand the need to get back on the bike
Cycling is simply a way of life for many and we understand that cyclists tend to be active individuals who will find being injured particularly difficult. Not only do we understand how frustrating it is for any cyclist to be unable to ride, but we also know that as a more active person, a cyclist can be due more compensation. This is on the basis that their loss of amenity (inability to carry out their daily living activities) will be greater than a less active person, putting them at a greater disadvantage. This means we can push to get more compensation. A non-specialist lawyer is unlikely to recognise this.
We can also arrange early rehabilitation on a private basis, with no upfront cost, to aid your recovery.
6. We understand a cyclist’s view of the road
We know the challenges faced on the roads for cyclists because we encounter these ourselves when out riding. Given our specialism in cycling claims, we are also very familiar with the common excuses given by motorists following a collision. We have developed effective strategies to efficiently address any misguided attempts to avoid responsibility.
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How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Cycling Accident?
Claiming compensation for a bicycle accident can help you to recover from your injuries and replace or repair your bicycle, amongst other things. There are two types of damages that make up your final compensation award: general damages and special damages.
What General Damages Can Be Claimed Following a Bike Accident?
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.
The most common injuries caused by cycling accidents include:
- 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 the legs, ankles or feet
- Concussion and/or head injury
- Anxiety and other associated psychological injuries
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 using our compensation calculator.
What are Special Damages in a Cycling Accident Compensation Claim?
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 bicycle - 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.
Causes of Cycling Accidents
Cyclists have to share the road with many other vehicles, and even the most experienced rider is still, to an extent, reliant on other road users’ skills and awareness to remain safe. However, not all cycling accidents are caused by collision with vehicles. As solicitors and avid cyclists, we have seen many types of accident, but the most common causes include:
- Drivers turning into the path of a cyclist
- Drivers failing to see cyclists when turning or changing lanes
- Drivers pulling out a road into a cyclist
- Vehicle doors opening in front of an oncoming cyclist
- Careless, reckless or speeding vehicles
- Potholes and other road defects
If you have been injured while out and about on your bike, whatever the nature of your accident, 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.
Bicycle Repair Assessment Form
When your bike is damaged in an accident, getting it assessed for repair or replacement will no doubt be a top priority. At JMW, we understand the importance of getting back on the road after a cycling accident and we want to help you get your bike repaired as quickly as possible.
In order to assist you, we have created a useful template for you to download and take along to your local bike technician.
Please download and print the form below and take it along to your bike repair shop, or email to your bicycle technician. They will be able to use this to help provide you with a written assessment report and their opinion on whether the bike can be repaired, or if it is a write-off.
Am I entitled to make a cycling accident 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 cycling accident claim?
Put simply, there are no hard and fast rules as to what evidence you need to make a claim. However, there is certain evidence that you should keep 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 show on how much repairs will cost
- Photographs of the damage to the bicycle
To help you assess your bike’s damage, we have created a Bicycle Repair Assessment Form, which you can take to a repair shop for an estimated cost.
If any cycling accessories, such as helmets and clothing, have also been damaged, you must provide cost estimates (including original receipts where possible) and photographic evidence of damage.
You should also try to keep the receipts for any other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
Additionally, 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 a cycling accident?
If you have been involved in a cycling accident, once you have ensured you are not in immediate danger, you should seek medical attention - 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.
1. Move to safety and report the incident
If you are able to, move to a safe position and call the police and an ambulance if you think the incident is serious enough to warrant it. Once the police arrive, share your side of the story with them, including what happened, how it happened, when it happened and what the weather, road and traffic conditions were like. This will be documented in an official police report.
Ask for the officer’s name and the case reference number for your own records.
If you were involved in a collision with a driver and they did not stop at the scene of the accident, you should still report the incident to the police as they may be able to use CCTV to track down the responsible party. Claims can also be made through the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) if the driver of the vehicle cannot be traced, or is uninsured.
2. Collect the details of any witnesses
Asking any witnesses to the accident for their name and contact information will be useful if statements need to be requested to support your claim. If you are too badly injured, ask for help from a bystander.
If the cycling accident was caused by a vehicle, obtain the driver’s details, including the registration number and specifics about the vehicle (colour, make and model). If the driver is not willing to discuss the matter with you, try to take a photo of their licence plate, so that an identification of the vehicle can be made.
3. Get medical attention
No matter how minor your injury, ensure you have it looked over as it is often not immediately clear how badly injured you are. Be sure to take photographs of your injury at its worst, so that you can highlight how badly the incident has left you.
4. Preserve any evidence
As soon as you are able to (ideally straight away if you are not too badly injured), take photographs of the incident and any factors that may have contributed to your accident. For example, if a pothole or other road defect forced you off your bicycle, take a photograph that clearly shows the width and depth.
If your bicycle, helmet or cycling gear were damaged in the accident, leave them in the same condition and do not dispose of them. The cost to repair or replace these items can be included in your compensation claim; however, we generally need to be able to provide evidence that you were making use of these items at the time of your accident.
You should also get a quote for the cost of repairing or replacing your bike from a reputable bike shop.
How long does it take to make a claim?
There is no set time for how long a claim will take. 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 by the person responsible for the 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:
- Obtaining a police report
- Collecting statements from witnesses of the incident
- Considering images of the scene of the accident
- Reviewing helmet or dashcam footage
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 settle 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 what the next stages are.
Unhappy With How A Solicitor Has Handled Your Claim? Switch to JMW Solicitors
If you have approached another solicitor regarding your claim and are dissatisfied with the legal advice you have been given, or the lack of communication about your case, we are happy to take on your claim and provide you with the high-quality service you deserve.
We have helped several clients who have experienced poor quality service and inadequate advice from other solicitors. Those who have switched their case to JMW have commented on our personable approach and our willingness to communicate on a regular basis.
Our team is here to discuss your case and the options available to you. We can advise you on what to do next and will handle any necessary arrangements with your current solicitor.