There are many reasons why you might have a cycle accident on a roundabout. The number of incidents that take place when road users negotiate roundabouts remains high no matter how careful drivers and cyclists are on the approach and when driving around a roundabout. You may have wondered who is at fault when a cycle accident on a roundabout happens and the answer is that it depends on the circumstances that led up to the incident happening.
To find out more on what to do if involved in a cycle accident on a roundabout, who could be at fault, what evidence would be required if you decide to file for compensation, and how a personal injury solicitor may be able to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, please read on.
- What Are the Rules When Negotiating a Roundabout?
- Common Reasons for Cyclist Accidents on Roundabouts?
- What To Do If Involved in a Cycling Accident on a Roundabout
- Can I Claim Damages and Losses in a Cycling Accident Claim?
- How Much Compensation Could I Get for Injuries Sustained in a Roundabout Accident as a Cyclist?
- How Much Would It Cost to Make a Cycle Claim if Injured on a Roundabout?
- Is It Worth Contacting a Solicitor if Injured in an Accident on a Roundabout?
- What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?
- Informative Websites
Roundabouts are known to be accident hotspots and if you are a cyclist, being aware of everything that is going on around you is essential. The THINK! Cycling Campaign reported the number of cyclists who are seriously injured on the road has increased over recent years. With this said, it is important that you are also aware of the Highway Code for cyclists guidelines to using a roundabout whether it is full size or a mini roundabout.
- Cyclists should wear appropriate clothing when on a public road so that other drivers and road users can see them which in turn, reduces the risk of being injured in a collision (section 59 of the Highway Code)
- Cyclists must have front (white) and rear lights (red) when on a public highway (section 60 of the Highway Code)
- Cyclists should use cycle lanes when available and should always take notice of advanced stop lines, zebra crossings and cycle boxes providing it is safe for them to do so (section 61 of the Highway Code)
- Cyclists should use cycle tracks when available to reduce the risk of being injured in an accident involving other road users (section 62 of the Highway Code)
- Cyclists should make proper and safe use of cycle lanes which are marked with white lines which are often broken and which typically run alongside a carriageway. Cyclists should always make sure it is safe for them to leave a cycle lane and to ensure they signal correctly so that other road users are aware of their intentions (section 63 of the Highway Code)
- Cyclists should never ride a cycle on a pavement (Laws HA 835 section 72 and RSA 1984, section 129) – (section 64 of the Highway Code)
- Cyclists may use bus lanes when road signs permit them to and to only overtake a bus when it is safe to do so. Cyclists must not pass between a bus and the kerb when it is at a bus stop (section 65 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must keep both hands on a cycle’s handlebars with the exception of when changing gear or signalling (section 66 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should keep both feet on both pedals (section 66 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should be considerate towards other road users, pedestrians and to signal by using the cycle’s bell so that people are aware of their presence (section 66 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should ride in single file on busy or narrow roads and when they are going around a bend (section 66 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should not ride more than two abreast (section 66 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should never ride too close behind other vehicles (section 66 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should never carry items that affect their balance or which could end up getting tangled in a cycle’s wheels or the chain (section 66 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must always look around to make sure it is safe for them to move off from a kerb, when they turn corners or when they manoeuvre their cycles (section 67 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must always make sure their signals are clear enough for other road users to understand their intentions (section 67 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must also be aware of any obstructions in the road to reduce the risk of having to swerve (section 67 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should always leave lots of room when passing vehicles that are parked and to keep a watchful eye out for pedestrians who may be stepping into the road (section 67 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should always be aware of any traffic approaching from behind (section 67 Highway Code)
- Cyclists should always take care when approaching road humps and other traffic calming elements in a road (section 67 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must always take care when overtaking (section 67 Highway Code)
- Cyclist should not have a passenger on their cycles unless it is designed to do so and they must not ride a cycle in a careless, inconsiderate, or dangerous way (section 68 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must not ride their cycles when under the influence of drink or drugs (section 68 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must always respect traffic signals just like all other road users (section 69 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must respect parking laws (section 70 Highway Code)
- Cyclists must respect red traffic lights (section 71 Highway Code)
If you think you could have been at fault and you were involved in a roundabout accident, you may not have a claim, but you should still discuss your case with a solicitor because you may find that contributory negligence may be a factor and as such, the other party could be held partly responsible for the injury and damage you sustained.
Cyclists are particularly at risk when negotiating a roundabout and there is a higher chance of them suffering serious injuries because of the lack of protection a cycle offers them. Some of the more common reasons why an incident may occur on a roundabout include the following:
- Drivers and other road users scanning to see if it is clear for them to make a manoeuvre and to do so too quickly
- Other road users are in the wrong lane before taking an exit
- Other road users negotiate a roundabout without paying care and attention to other users
Should you have been involved in a cycle roundabout accident and it can be shown that another road user did not abide by the rules of the Highway Code or they ignored road markings on an approach or while using a roundabout, they could be deemed liable for injuries you suffered and damage you incurred to your equipment. However, if as a cyclist you did not abide by the Highway Code that applies to cyclists who use a public road, then you could be held fully or partly liable for any injuries and damage you sustained in the incident with another road user.
If you were injured in a cycle accident on a roundabout, and you believe you were not in the wrong, there are specific things you should do as soon as you can which includes the following:
- Get witness details and statements – this is crucial when it comes to seeking compensation from a party who could be deemed responsible for causing the accident and your injuries
- Take photos of where the incident occurred and of the injuries and damage you suffered
- Get a medical report of your injuries – this is crucial because the report would be used to base the amount of cycle accident compensation you may receive in a successful case against a responsible party
- Keep receipts of all your expenses – these would be required to prove any expenditure you paid as a result of the incident. This could include things like the cost of prescriptions, travel expenses, the cost of counselling and therapy as well as all other expenses you had to pay as a direct result of your injuries. You could also claim travel expenses all of which could be claimed in special damages
- Should there have been more than one person involved in the incident, get all the third party details of those concerned
- Make a note of everything that happened as soon as you can so that you do not forget any minor details that may have a bearing on your claim
- Make sure you report the incident to the Police and to get a reference number
If you were involved in a roundabout accident while cycling, you should get in touch with a lawyer who specialises in cyclist claims before signing or agreeing that you may have been at fault for the incident occurring. A solicitor would establish whether contributory negligence could be a factor and if so, your degree of liability would be determined which would be reflected in the level of compensation you may be awarded.
As previously touched upon, you could claim both damages and losses if you choose to file a claim for compensation following an cycle accident on a roundabout that left you injured providing another party could be deemed liable. Damages would be awarded by way of General Damages whereas your losses would be compensated by way of Special Damages.
It is worth noting that General Damages are based on the extent and severity of the injuries sustained, with courts, insurers and solicitors using the Judicial College Guidelines to work out how much compensation an injury could be worth.
Special damages, however, are calculated on your ‘actual expenses’ which you incurred because you were injured in a cycle accident on a roundabout. As such, you must be able to prove your expenditure by providing relevant receipts. You could claim the following in Special Damages:
- Medical expenses which includes the cost of prescriptions, private treatment and therapy, rehabilitation
- Travel costs you incurred which could include parking fees, the cost of going for treatment whether by car, taxi, train or bus
- Care costs should you need help during your recovery
- Loss of income and projected income
- All other expenditure linked to the injury you suffered
A solicitor with the necessary experience would offer essential advice on what you may be able to include in a compensation claim both in General Damages and Special Damages.
The amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim against a party who could be held liable for any injuries and damage you suffered, would depend on several things which include the following:
- The extent of the injuries and damage you suffered – compensated by way of General Damages which are based on the Judicial College Guidelines
- Your out of pocket expenses – compensated by way of Special Damages
If you need a clearer idea of what level of compensation you could be entitled to, a solicitor would assess the circumstances that led up to the incident, the extent of your injuries and damage to your equipment before offering a better idea of how much you could receive in a successful claim against a party who could be deemed liable.
Many solicitors are happy to represent claimants on No Win No Fee terms providing they believe that a claim is valid and it stands a good chance of being successful. This means that when making a claim for compensation for injuries sustained in a cycle accident on a roundabout, you would not have to pay a No Win No Fee solicitor any fees for them to begin their investigations. You only pay the success fee that is set out in the Conditional Fee Agreement you signed when you are awarded compensation and the amount is deducted from the money you receive.
Should your claim not be successful, you would not have to pay the ‘success fee’. In short, you would not have to worry about the cost of seeking legal representation from a solicitor when you make a claim for compensation against a responsible party for injuries you suffered in a cycle accident on a roundabout.
Because proving liability can be challenging in accidents that involve cyclists and other road users on a roundabout, it is always wiser to seek advice from a solicitor prior to going forward with a personal injury claim. A solicitor has the necessary expertise when it comes to proving who may have been responsible for the incident and have years of experience when it comes to negotiating with a third party’s insurance providers.
A Conditional Fee Agreement is also known as a No Win No Fee agreement and it is a legally binding contract that is drawn up between a solicitor and a claimant. The contract sets out the percentage known as the ‘success fee’ that would only be payable on a successful claim for compensation against a responsible party. The agreement also lays out what you can expect of the solicitor who represents you on a No Win No Fee basis
If you were hit by a vehicle while cycling on a roundabout and you would like more information regarding Highway Code guidelines for cyclists, please follow the link provided below:
For more information on contributory negligence and how it could affect a claim if injured while cycling, please click on the link provided below: