How To Claim Compensation After A Cycling Accident

Cyclists are more at risk of being injured in an accident because they are vulnerable road users. Being involved in a road traffic accident as a cyclist can often result in serious injury more especially if knocked down or hit by a vehicle. Should you have been involved in a road traffic accident when you were on a bike and you suffered any sort of injury whether minor or more severe, you could be entitled to seek compensation against a party who could be deemed responsible.

To find out more on how to claim compensation after a cycling accident, where to seek the best advice and support, and what sort of evidence you would need to provide to support a claim against a responsible party, and how a personal injury solicitor may be able to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, please read on.

When Could I Claim Compensation for a Cycling Accident?

If you were hit by a vehicle or knocked off your bike, you could have the right to claim compensation for any injuries and damage you sustained in the incident. It would be fair to say that in most cycling accidents involving vehicles, a motorist could be deemed partly responsible.

However, if you were injured in a cycling accident because of a pothole or badly maintained road surfaces, or because your bike was defective in some way, you may also be able to seek compensation. In short, you may be able to claim compensation for injuries and damage sustained because of the following:

  • When another car/vehicle caused the accident
  • A road surface or cycle lane is badly maintained
  • When your bike is defective

With this said, the majority of cycling accidents involve some sort of vehicle. This could be because of the following manoeuvres:

  • Pulling out across the path of a cyclist
  • Pulling out from a junction
  • Changing lanes when using a roundabout

Many accidents involving cyclists happen at T-junctions because a driver fails to check whether it is clear to pull out. Other reasons for cycling accidents include the following:

  • Lorries not leaving enough room
  • Cars and other vehicles pulling out from side streets/roads
  • Vehicles turning in front of a cyclist

With this said, you can have a cycling accident where you do not necessarily come into contact with a vehicle. Should this have happened to you, it does not mean you may not be able to claim compensation. One example being you had to take evasive action to avoid being hit by a vehicle and as a consequence sustained injuries. To find out whether you would have a valid compensation claim or not, you should get in touch with a solicitor who has the necessary legal expertise to determine this for you.

What Sort of Evidence Would I Need to Support a Cycling Accident Claim?

The more evidence you can provide if you are injured as a cyclist on the road, the stronger your claim against a responsible party would be. One of the main pieces of evidence would be a medical report detailing the injuries you sustained. If you get in touch with a solicitor following a cycling accident, they can arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical professional who would produce the report on the extent of the injuries you suffered. This would be used to determine the level of compensation you could be awarded in a successful cycling accident claim against a responsible party.

Other evidence that would help strengthen a cyclist injury claim would include the following:

  • Helmet cam footage (if available)
  • Dashcam footage (if available)
  • Witness statements and their contact details
  • Police report
  • Ambulance report (if you were taken to hospital by ambulance)
  • Photos of your injuries, the damage to your bike and where the incident occurred
  • CCTV footage (if available)

As previously mentioned, the more evidence you can provide, the stronger a claim for compensation for injuries sustained in a cycling accident would be. If you are unsure what evidence would be acceptable, it is best to seek legal advice from a solicitor who takes on this type of personal injury claim.

What is the Process of Claiming for a Cyclist Accident?

When you make a cyclist accident claim for compensation, the process would typically involve the following:

  • Contacting a personal injury solicitor who would determine whether you have a valid claim and who could be deemed liable for the injuries you sustained in the incident
  • The solicitor would then begin their investigations once they are satisfied your case is valid and stands a good chance of winning compensation
  • A medical assessment of your injuries would be organised which would be done by an independent medical professional
  • An investigation into your losses would be carried out
  • A valuation of your claim would be provided by the solicitor representing you
  • The solicitor would begin negotiating with the party responsible (their representatives)
  • A settlement would be reached, or your claim for cycling accident compensation would proceed to court
  • A settlement is reached if your claim for compensation goes to court

It is worth noting that should a car driver not accept responsibility for the accident that left you suffering from injuries, having a solicitor work on your claim could mean that once their insurers receive a letter of ‘intent’, the car driver may change their minds, or their insurers would attribute the accident to both parties which is known as contributory negligence.

In short, a solicitor would then work out your level of responsibility for the injuries you suffered in the cycling accident, and that of the drivers’. As such, the level of compensation you would receive in a successful cycling accident claim would reflect the level of responsibility you are deemed to have had.

For more information regarding contributory negligence, please click here.

What Level of Compensation Could I Claim if Knocked Off My Bike?

The level of compensation you may be awarded when injured due to being knocked of your bike, would depend on several factors. However, the courts, solicitors and insurance providers use the Judicial College Guidelines which sets out the level of compensation injured parties could be awarded for various injuries they sustain. As such, the amount you could be awarded may vary greatly as each claim is treated as unique.

On top of this, the Judicial College Guidelines only sets out the amount you could be awarded in General Damages. You could also be entitled to seek Special Damages which are awarded to compensate injured parties for any out of pocket expenses they incurred as a result of the injuries they suffered.

In short, General Damages would be awarded for the injuries you suffered in a cycling accident whereas Special Damages would cover the following:

  • Loss of earnings – this includes bonuses
  • Medical expenses which are not covered by the NHS
  • Travel expenses linked directly to the injuries you sustained
  • Physiotherapy costs not paid for by the NHS
  • Rehabilitation costs if you have to go private
  • Psychological damage
  • Care costs
  • Damage caused to your bike
  • Damage caused to any equipment and property
  • Home adaptations should these be necessary

Because special damages are based on ‘actual’ expenses and costs incurred, you must provide evidence in the form of receipts for any that you wish to include in a cycle accident claim.

It is worth noting that should you have suffered serious life-changing injuries in a cycling accident, a personal injury solicitor would ensure that you receive interim payments until a final settlement can be agreed. This is particularly important if your injuries are such that a compensation amount takes longer to be reached.

Is There a Time Limit to Making a Cycling Accident Claim for Compensation?

There is a time limit in the UK to making a cycling accident claim for compensation which is set at 3 years from the date the incident occurred. However, if you were only made aware of an injury at a later date, the time limit of 3 years would begin from the date you were diagnosed as suffering from an injury/illness linked to the incident.

If you were under 18 years of age when the cycling accident happened, you would be able to make a claim any time before you turn 21. However, it is far better to start a claim for compensation as soon as you can while all the details of the incident are fresh in everyone’s mind.

Should you be claiming compensation on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to do so on their own, it is worth noting that there is no specific deadline for doing so.

Should a loved one or family member have been fatally injured in a cycling accident, you would have three years from the date of their death, or the date of their post mortem report to seek compensation.

Compensation claims involving cycling accidents can be especially challenging because some drivers or other parties who could be deemed liable for the injuries you sustained and damages you suffered, will often deny responsibility on the advice of their insurance providers. An experienced personal injury solicitor has the necessary legal expertise required to enter into successful negotiations with the responsible parties representatives. This can make a difference when it comes to them admitting liability for injuries sustained in a cycle accident or not.

Is It Worth Having a Solicitor Represent Me if I Make a Cycling Accident Claim for Compensation?

If you were injured in a cycling accident, it is always worth seeking legal advice as soon as you can. The reason being that personal injury claims of this nature can be complex and proving liability can be challenging. On top of this, insurance providers often try to limit the amount of compensation they pay out to injured parties if the person responsible accepts liability for the injuries you sustained in a cycling accident.

You may find that you are offered an initial settlement very quickly but you should never accept anything from an insurer without first having discussed the amount offered with a solicitor. The reason being that initial offers of settlements are typically very low and you may find that you are entitled to a much higher amount.

A solicitor would ensure that you have sufficient evidence to support a claim and would work hard to ensure that you are awarded an acceptable level of compensation to suit the injuries you suffered in a cycling accident.

What About the Cost of Legal Representation When Making a Cycling Accident Claim?

Many cyclist worry that the cost of legal representation makes seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a cycling accident would be too much. However, many solicitors work with claimants on a No Win No Fee basis taking all the worry of finding the funds to pay for legal representation off the table. However, a No Win No Fee solicitor would first need to assess your claim which they would do in a no obligation, initial consultation which is typically free of charge.

Once a solicitor has determined you have a strong case against a responsible party, they would offer you No Win No Fee terms. This would involve signing a Conditional Fee Agreement with the solicitor which is a legally binding contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the agreement together with the percentage that would only be payable when you are awarded the compensation you seek for injuries sustained in a cycling accident. This is referred to as a ‘success fee’ and the amount is taken directly from the amount of compensation you receive with the balance being paid to you.

Informative Links

For more information on the statistics on accidents involving cyclists in the United Kingdom, please click on the link provided below:

Statistics on cycling accidents on UK roads

To find out more about the law relating to cyclists in the UK, the following link takes you to the cycling UK website which offers information on what is legal and what is not:

More information on the law relating to cyclists in the UK

If you were knocked of your cycle by a motorist opening a car door (dooring), and would like more information on the law in the UK, please follow the link provided below:

More information regarding dooring and cyclist in the UK