With over 19,000 cyclists injured every year on Britain’s roads, it is perhaps little wonder that the number of accident claims continues to increase. What’s more, with a 22% increase in the number of cyclists on our roads (with over two million of Britons participating in some form of cycling from statistics taken in 2015), there can be little doubt that more accidents and injuries are naturally inevitable.
Bicycle Accident Claim Process
Generally speaking, there are two types of bicycle accident:
- An accident involving a collision with a vehicle and
- An accident caused by a road surface.
In each scenario it is important to obtain as much evidence as possible – particularly if you have sustained a personal injury and/or there is damage to your bike, which of course is highly likely in the event of an impact.
In the event that there is a third party involved (for example, the driver of the vehicle with whom you may have collided) then it perhaps goes without saying that you are well advised to contact the police whilst still at the scene and at the very least obtain driver information, including driver name and vehicle registration number since it naturally follows that you’ll be claiming a claim against them.
Where possible (in either event), it is always a good idea to obtain photographic evidence (ideally at the time of the incident but if that is not possible, as soon as possible thereafter) and of course, any Go-Pro footage you might have. This can subsequently be used to substantiate your claim and also evidence any other contributing factors such as the weather conditions or road surface issues.
What Can I Claim For?
Generally speaking – as with any other claim scenario – you will be able to claim for any loss sustained including (but not limited to):
- Compensation (as defined by the Judicial Studies Board)
- Out-of-pocket expenses (such as travel to medical appointments, prescription costs or assistance costs during any period of rehabilitation)
- Loss of earnings (including any missed bonuses as a result of you not being able to work)
- Medical expenses (such as consultancy fees, physiotherapy and rehabilitation)
- Psychological injuries (where physical injury is also present)
Making Your Accident Claim
If you are intending to make a claim then it is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Whilst each claim will naturally proceed on its own merit the standard method of dealing with a claim is as follows:
- Your legal representative will initiate your claim following the process for the appropriate track. For claims which are likely to be valued between £1,000 and £25,000 this will be the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal;
- Where necessary, your solicitor will also start to collate vital evidence which may include (but is not limited to) a full medical report, details from your employer about any earnings or bonuses you may have lost as a result of you being off work together with details of any specific damages – such as damage to your bike and clothing.
- In the event that the third party insurers fail to offer a reasonable amount by way of settlement then your solicitor will most likely recommend that court proceedings be issued.
Always remember that throughout the claims process the third party may also cite ‘contributory negligence’. Popular examples of this include your alleged failure to predict or foresee the accident (for example, coasting alongside a parked car when it might be reasonable to expect the passenger door being opened) or even failure to wear a cycle helmet. The latter still remains a very grey area in terms of contributory negligence – particularly in cases where head injuries are sustained.
That said, with the right legal advice and sufficient evidence to prove your claim then there is absolutely no reason why you should not be able to recover what is rightfully yours so don’t be afraid to ask questions and ultimately, get results. For more information on bicycle accident claims go to https://smithjonessolicitors.co.uk/road-traffic-accidents/bicycle-accident-claims/