You may be able to make a cycling accident claim for compensation if you have suffered injuries in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
As a cyclist, you are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed than anyone else involved in a road traffic accident. Despite this, many accidents involving cyclists go unreported. When an accident between a cyclist and a motor vehicle occurs, the cyclist very often sustains substantial injuries, which can result in physical and financial problems long term.
No matter whether you commute by bicycle, cycle simply as a hobby, or do mountain biking, if you were injured through somebody else’s carelessness or negligence you could make a cycling accident claim for compensation.
A bicycle and cycling equipment can be very expensive so it is only right that you are also compensated for damage to your bike as well as for your injuries and loss of earnings, if applicable.
How to claim compensation for a cycling accident
As most injury victims don’t know how to go about making a cycling accident claim you might like to consider using the services of a personal injury claims solicitor. Insurance companies will potentially look to limit the amount of money they pay out in compensation so it is advisable to choose a solicitor that has experience in bicycle accident claims.
When you choose a solicitor to deal with the claim, you should, in our opinion, make sure that they are completely independent of the driver’s insurance company (if there’s a vehicle involved) otherwise your interests might not be best served.
A good solicitor will take all the time necessary to organise and conclude the claim. Quite often, insurance companies will try to settle claims as soon as possible and before any medical evidence becomes available. Choose a solicitor that has experience with this as they will be able to advise you how to proceed tactfully to get the best possible outcome.
Making a cycling accident claim as strong as possible
To have the best chances of a successful bike accident compensation claim, you’ll need to ensure you take care of certain things.
- If your bicycle accident was from a road traffic collision, make sure that you get off the road if possible so you are not in any danger of being struck by a vehicle.
- Assess your injuries and seek medical attention by asking someone to call an ambulance or by calling one yourself if necessary. You should get your injuries checked by a medical professional to find out whether the injuries you received are not worse than how they might look.
- If you are able, it is important that you ask other people nearby if they witnessed the accident. Witnesses might be crucial to your cycle accident claim so try to get their contact details before they leave the scene. If there are drivers with dashcam footage, ask them to keep it and send you a copy when they get home. Most people are keen to help injury victims in these situations.
- You will also need to get details from the other party or parties involved in your cycle accident. Ask for their driver’s licence, name, and address as well as their insurance details and number plate.
- If you have a smartphone or camera with you, take photographs of the scene, visible injuries, and any bike and vehicle damage.
- Be sure to keep copies of the police report and reference numbers if there are any.
- You should also ask for all medical reports and ambulance reports too for your records.
All of this documentation can be key to claiming compensation for the accident.
Things you shouldn’t do when you have had a bicycle accident
As well as all of the things you should do when you’ve had a bike accident, there are many things that you shouldn’t do because they might weaken any cycling accident claim you decide to make.
- Firstly, don’t admit fault. If you admit liability at the scene even by saying ‘sorry’ (a very British thing that we tend to say automatically even when it’s not our fault!), this can go against you in a compensation claim.
- Don’t get angry or swear and curse. This doesn’t help anyone and won’t do you any favours when it comes to claiming compensation. It’s important to stay calm. To help you stay calm, look around you to see if you have missed anything that can be used for evidence in a cycle accident compensation claim.
- Finally, don’t simply get back on your bicycle and ride off afterwards. This is important because you will probably be running on adrenaline and will be shaken up, perhaps more than you actually realise. You could, therefore, be putting yourself in more danger this way as you might not be as focused as you should be.
If you do have an accident on your bicycle, it is always advisable to get a lift home from a friend or family member, or even calling a taxi.
Compensation for cycle accidents – what you can claim for
When you’ve had an accident on your bicycle where you’ve suffered an injury, you might be entitled to compensation for many different things:
Personal injury compensation includes compensation for all physical injuries such as broken bones and bruising. It also includes invisible injuries that are caused directly because of the accident. These include psychological injuries like depression and anxiety so long as they occurred as a direct result of your accident.
Bicycle damage claim
If any damage to the bike can be repaired without it costing more than the bike was worth before the accident took place, you will be able to claim compensation for the cost of its repair.
If the bike is severely damaged and can’t be repaired or if the repair cost is higher than the bike’s value prior to the accident then you will be able to claim for the value of the bike before the accident. For this, you might need to provide paperwork and estimates from cycle shops so that the value of the bike can be proven.
Damage to your property
You can claim compensation if your personal items have been damaged during the cycle accident. This includes damage to your clothes, your cycle helmet or bike attachments such as drinks holders, water bottles and bags. If you use an onboard GPS device or a cycling watch that becomes damaged in the accident, this can be claimed for too.
Loss of earnings
If you need to take time off work because of your injuries, you will be able to claim compensation for your loss of earnings. To claim this, you will need to prove how much you would have earned if the bicycle accident hadn’t happened and you were able to work.
If you are an employee on payroll, your loss of earnings compensation can cover all sources of income from basic pay, bonuses and pension contributions. Self-employed workers will have their loss of profits taken into account.
Unemployed people who were looking for work when the accident occurred can still claim compensation under the guise of a potential loss of earnings. This is awarded if the cycling accident meant you weren’t able to look for work afterwards.
Compensation for travel costs
If you used your bike as your main method of travelling and are then forced to use other methods of transport like buses or trains, you will be able to claim based on how far you travelled.
All scenarios above will require you to provide evidence and receipts to substantiate the cycling accident claim. The process is not always straight forward or easy so it is a very good idea to find a specialist solicitor to make your claim instead of trying to file the claim for compensation by yourself.
Getting back on your bike following a cycling accident
When a person suffers injuries from being knocked off their bicycle, it is quite understandable for them to have many concerns – and these won’t just be about personal injuries. They’ll be concerned about the bike itself, other equipment, and the act of getting back onto their bike after a fall.
Just as each individual accident is different, so are the needs and concerns of the cyclist involved following on from an accident. An experienced personal injury solicitor can provide more than injury compensation in RTA claims, they should be able to tailor everything to your individual needs and requirements.