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Cycling accident compensation claims - bicycle injury solicitors
If you have been injured in a cycling accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation and support, speak to our specialist claims solicitors on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.
With rising fuel costs and increasing environmental concerns, cycling is becoming a more popular mode of transport. This does however mean the number of accidents involving cyclists is increasing. Another important factor are that the nation’s roads are falling into increasing levels of disrepair with potholes, which can be the cause of accidents.
Cyclists are vulnerable road users and have less protection on the road than motorists. Claims pursued by cyclists are often vigorously defended on such grounds as failing to wear appropriate protective clothing or a cycle helmet which is particularly an issue if a head injury has been sustained when compensation for a head injury can be reduced.
When cyclists are involved in accidents, all too often we see significant injuries being sustained which requires the involvement of a specialist team to pursue your claim on your behalf to assist with organising rehabilitation, having knowledge of superior models of bicycle to assist with recovery of financial losses. Members of our team are cyclists themselves, so have a breadth of knowledge and cycling experience to assist in the unfortunate event you are involved in an accident as a cyclist.
Types of cyclist accident claims
- If you have been hit by a driver and have been injured, you may be entitled to compensation
- Hit and run accidents where the driver has not stopped after the accident – these can be the most serious types of claims
- If you have had an accident as a result of poorly maintained roads (potholes and uneven surfaces) you may be able to make a claim against the person/organisation who is responsible for maintaining the road
- You may also be able to claim for the use of a suitable replacement bike and helmet as a result of being deprived of your own bike and helmet due to the actions of another
What to do if you are in a cycling accident
The first thing you should do is make sure you are in a safe place and are ok - you should get checked over by a paramedic if it is a serious injury.
If you are well enough after the accident it is important to make sure you gain as much detail as you can of the people involved. For example: the drivers name, vehicle registration number, model of the vehicle, address, phone number, insurance company and a policy number. If there are any witnesses try to get at least their name, address and phone number.
If you are taken straight to hospital the police will do this and as soon as you feel well enough you should get in contact with a solicitor.
Why make a claim for compensation?
Being in an accident can hugely affect your life. If like a lot of our clients you have been badly injured, gaining the compensation you deserve can make a big difference. Making a claim can help to restore some of the damage caused by the accident: you could use the money to repair your bike or replace it, you can make up for money you have lost whilst being unable to work or it can help you to pay for any medication/ treatment you may need after the accident. Either way, you are equally as entitled as motorists to make a claim, if you are injured whilst cycling through no fault of your own.
How can we help?
Our expert solicitors will guide you through every stage of your accident to make sure you gain the compensation you deserve. Cycling accidents can be complicated and we aim to provide you with the quickest and most effective service whilst still achieving the maximum amount of compensation.
At Stephensons our solicitors are always happy to help and will make sure you are kept informed at all times. We understand that this can be a stressful process so we advise you come to a solicitor you can trust to get the job done.
You could be entitled to compensation for a bicycle accident that was not your fault. It all starts with one conversation, so if you have been injured in a cycle accident and you are not sure if you have grounds for a claim, call us on 01616 966 229.
Our client was cycling on his road bike when he was hit by a car which failed to give way whilst turning into a side street. Our client was knocked from his bike, onto the bonnet of the car, and onto the road, causing him to suffer multiple fractures to his ribs and a closed clavicle fracture, as well as other soft tissue injuries. He required ten weeks off work due to his symptoms and physiotherapy treatment. The total settlement agreed was £14,000.
Common causes of cycling accidents
According to studies undertaken by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, cycling accidents mainly occur in built up and urban areas, with most accidents (over 80%) happening in daylight. Over 90% of cycling accidents involving children and child cyclists happen during daylight hours with the study stating that peak commuting hours are the most dangerous for cyclists in general.
In a study carried out by the Department of Transport it was found that only a small proportion of accidents are the result of cyclists running red lights and missing stop signs. Contrary to popular belief, failure to wear high-visibility clothing and installing lights on a bike only contribute to a tiny proportion of accidents also.
In fact only 2% of accidents involving cyclists and other road users were attributed to running red lights, with 2.5% of accidents caused by cyclists failing to wear bright clothing.
A study taken by the City of Westminster Council found that 68% of collisions involving cyclists were caused by vehicle drivers. The same study also showed that 21% of all collisions were the result of drivers failing to look out for bikes.
The major reasons for cycling accidents
Cycling accidents can happen any time and for a myriad of reasons but the major causes we see at Stephensons regard the following issues:
- Drivers not seeing/not looking for cyclists
- Reckless or careless drivers
- Drivers speeding
- Drivers overtaking too close to cyclists
- Drivers failing to judge a cyclists speed
Some of the most dangerous types of collisions involving cyclists happen on or near a T-Junction, as well as roundabouts and traffic lights with data from the Department of Transport stating that over a quarter of deaths involving cyclists in 2005-07 were caused by vehicles running into the rear of a bike. This is a major issue in rural roads as this figure then rose to over a third according to research documenting rural accidents and as much as 40% away from junctions.
Police studies have shown that drivers are solely responsible in around 60-75% of all cases whereas riders were completely to blame in around 17-25%.
The expert solicitors at Stephensons handle many compensation claims involving cyclists, including those where an unobservant driver is at fault. The most typical cycle accident compensation claims we deal with also include:
- Cyclists injured due to drivers pulling out in front of cyclists
- Drivers cutting across the path of cyclists
- Drivers running into the back of cyclists
- Drivers opening their car doors into the path of cyclists
- HGV and lorry drivers turning into the path of cyclists
- Drivers blocking bike lines forcing cyclists to turn into traffic
- Drivers failing to give way to cyclists
- Left turning lorry drivers failing to see cyclists
If you have been injured in a cycle accident and you are not sure if you have grounds for a claim, call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.
Cycling accidents - what to do
If you have been injured in a cycling accident, there are a few very important things to remember. Our expert cycling accident solicitors have compiled a list of tips to ensure your safety and your chance of a successful compensation claim.
Tips to help you before an accident
- It’s always a good idea to save your local police station number in your phone especially the non-emergency number. Of course if your accident is severe dial 999.
- Make sure you know your route well, this way, if you have to call an ambulance or the police you can give them accurate directions to where you are.
- Make sure you have someone labelled as ‘ICE’ in your phone. This means 'In Case Of Emergency' and will tell the emergency services who to contact should you be involved in an accident and are unconscious. This of course will not work if your phone is password protected.
If you are involved in an cycling accident
- If you are able to, move to a safe position off the road.
- If you have been injured or feel you may be in shock call the police as well as an ambulance. If you were unable to call the police straight away, you usually only have 5 days to report a cycling accident.
- If you have not been injured and you feel the other party involved in the accident is giving you incorrect or false contact details, call the police.
- If you have been hit by a motor vehicle, the most important piece of information you can get is the registration number as the driver can usually be traced with this. Try at all times to get the name, address and insurance details as well.
- Don’t try and discuss whose fault the accident was as things may be said in the heat of the moment and may damage your chances of a successful claim.
- Take photographs of the accident including damage to your bike and any vehicles involved.
- When the police arrive, co-operate with them as much as possible. Take the officers name and the police case reference number.
- If applicable, get details of any witnesses, including names addresses and telephone numbers and hand a copy of this to the police, making sure you keep a copy for yourself. Courts rely heavily on witness testimonies.
- Take a look around to see if there are any CCTV cameras and call the local CCTV office to make sure any relevant footage is kept.
- Even if you feel like you haven’t been injured, go to a hospital or a GP as soon as you can and have your doctor take detailed notes.
- Take pictures of your injuries as well, this is to make sure there is evidence of any cuts or bruises that may heal by the time it comes to claiming.
- Do not accept money from the other person involved in the accident as this can be seen as settling your case there and then.
Keep any damaged property and keep a note of any costs incurred
- If your bike or any clothes are ruined or damaged, resist the urge to throw them away or wash them as these items can and will be used as evidence to support your claim.
- Keep a note of any costs to you including loss of earnings and have your bike examined by a reputable bike shop. The bike shop may deem your bike as a ‘write off’ and can tell you how much it would be to replace or fix it. Get all this information in writing as well as the cost of a new bike similar or the same as yours.
Seek legal advice
If you are injured in a cycling accident, insurers may try and contact you to settle your case at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately these offers usually do not accurately reflect the damages sustained. Your bike may have been completely ruined and you may have been unable to work due to your injuries – your compensation claim should reflect this but insurers will usually offer a considerably lower settlement claim than they would should you seek legal advice.
Remember if you do accept your first offer from opportunist insurance companies this is regarded as a full and final settlement. To see if you have grounds for a claim call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.
Cycling injury - pothole compensation claims
If you have been injured whilst riding your bike due to a pothole, you have an opportunity to make a claim for compensation.
Often a combination of vehicle override, water seepage followed by freezing conditions and thereafter thawing can make our roads hazardous for cyclists as potholes develop. Our solicitors understand that injuries of this nature can really disrupt a person’s life and bring uncertainty as to how to make a claim.
With reports that local authorities will need £12 billion pounds and 12 years to repair the current state of the roads it is not difficult to understand how incidents involving potholes account for an estimated 10 to 15% of all cycling accidents.
It is therefore important that cyclists take care to look ahead for any upcoming defects on the road and take avoidance measures whilst still maintaining awareness of surrounding motorists. The use of high visibility products and bike lights during the winter months is essential to staying safe on the roads.
Whilst local authorities may often suggest that they have met their duty to inspect and maintain the roads where you may have been injured, with recent cuts to public spending, this may not necessarily be the case in the eyes of the law. At Stephensons we have expert solicitors who are able to fully assess the merits of pothole accident claims.
If you have been injured as a result of a pothole on the road whilst cycling, there are a few things you will need to remember to increase your chances of a successful claim:
- Note the location of the accident - take a measurement of the pothole, including depth and its position in the road in relation to the kerb, also make a note of any other road defects in the surrounding area
- Take a photograph as soon as possible to show the measurement a sense of scale, also take other pictures to try to give a sense of its position in the road
- Take photographs of the damage to your bike and any injuries you have sustained
- Report the pothole to the local highways authority, usually the council. If you're not sure which council is responsible for that road, you can find out by typing in the road or town name at the Gov.uk website
- Check if the pothole has been in state of disrepair for any length of time on FillThatHole.org.uk
Cyclist compensation claims involving potholes are extremely complex, our specialist solicitors have the relevant experience in this field and can get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you have been injured in a cycle accident call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.
It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.
Tips for safe cycling
We handle many cycling accident compensation claims here at Stephensons and understand how dangerous cycling in traffic can be. Thousands of cyclists are killed or injured on our roads each and every year, a sobering fact indeed. Yet if everyone, cyclists and vehicle users alike, followed some simple road safety rules, this figure could potentially be brought down dramatically.
Many people enjoy cycling and these figures are by no means meant to scare people away from enjoying a day out or their commute to work on a bike as thousands of cyclists traverse our roads every day without incident.
In the hope of reducing cycling accidents, the specialist road and cycling accident solicitors at Stephensons have created a list of helpful tips for cyclists.
Wear a helmet - although wearing a helmet is not mandatory, it does help save lives.
Make sure you stop at red lights - traffic lights are there for your safety. Make sure you stop or you could risk a fine, not to mention serious injury.
Always stay central whilst on narrow roads - by staying clear of the gutter and riding away from the side of the road you reduce the risk of being overtaken by surprise or at speed by other drivers. It’s a good idea to ride towards the middle of the lane.
Be careful when riding past parked cars - try and keep at least a doors width between yourself and any parked cars as you never know when a door might fly open.
Don’t dodge in and out of parked or slowly moving cars - try and travel in a straight line, you’re more visible to passengers and drivers this way.
Keep your distance from HGVs and Lorries - large trucks may have trouble seeing you if you are too close so keep well back.
Focus - make sure you focus on the road at all times and try to anticipate what other drivers might do.
Try and make eye contact with drivers - by making eye contact you make sure a driver has seen you and vice versa.
Don’t ride on pavements - unless this is a dedicated cycle path, don’t cycle on pavements. These should be clearly marked for cyclists.
Wear high visibility clothing - hi-vis jackets, vests and luminous strips all help draw attention to yourself and make it easier for drivers to see you in lowlight.
Signal - always use hand signals, don’t just pull out or turn unannounced. Signal whether you’re turning left or right.
Use night lights - you risk a fine if you don’t have night lights. They are invaluable safety measures that drivers can see easily.
Don’t use your phone - don’t text whilst riding as it is just as dangerous as when you are driving a car. Don’t listen to MP3 players either as they drown out background noise. You need to hear everything around you whether it’s someone shouting, a car horn or a speeding vehicle.
Cycle training - whether you’re a veteran on two wheels or looking to educate little ones about road safety whilst cycling, cycle training is a great idea. It helps to train you to keep alert and provides you with some great commuter skills.
Keep your bike roadworthy - by looking after your bike and making sure the handlebars are tight and brakes are working correctly you reduce the risk of something going wrong.
Use a bell - not all pedestrians can see you, so make sure you have a bell to signal to people that you are approaching.
Never undertake a vehicle - a car may not be signalling that they are turning, but they may turn without looking.
Riding a bike to work or cycling through a city centre can be a great way to get around, so stay aware and stay safe.
If you have been injured whilst cycling and you believe someone else is to blame, contact the expert road accident solicitors at Stephensons. We have a dedicated team of personal injury solicitors ready to help you make a claim and have the expertise you need to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Claims are handled on a no win, no fee basis, call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form for expert legal advice and get your compensation claim underway.
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