Cycling Accident Claims
Cyclists are often involved in accidents which are not their fault. Accidents can result from poor judgement from a motorist, pedestrian, or even a local authority that has been negligent in its road and cycle path maintenance.
Cyclists can take all possible preventative measures, ride safely and be considerate towards other road users, yet still find themselves involved in accidents. Cyclists rely upon other road users to be as considerate and safety-conscious as they are however, this is not always the case.
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, we offer a free and no-strings-attached consultation where we can advise what your prospects are if you are considering making a compensation claim following an accident.
In addition to pursuing a claim on your behalf, our team can also smooth your rehabilitation by arranging any aftercare required like physiotherapy and counselling. We have arrangements in place with top medical experts all over Scotland who can provide treatment while we look after the legal side of things.
What is Liability and Quantum
Whilst every claim is different, all cycling claims involve two key elements – liability and quantum.
Establishing liability means investigating who or what caused the accident. In some cases, this is fairly straightforward but in others less so. If your accident was caused by a motorist we will pursue a claim for compensation through their insurer.
If the driver or vehicle were uninsured or untraced we will present your claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) which will fully investigate the accident. The MIB operates a funding scheme to compensate cyclists who have been injured in an accident involving an insured driver or vehicle.
If your accident was the result of a defective road surface, cycle track or path you may be able to recover compensation from the local authority or landowner. If your accident was caused by a pedestrian or pet you may be able to seek compensation from the household insurers.
We may request a police report of the incident, pursue independent witness evidence and, if necessary, instruct an independent liability investigator to take your statement and inspect the accident location. We will fully investigate your accident and ensure that your rights as a cyclist are protected.
Once liability has been established we will assess the various components that make up your claim and gather evidence to support your losses. Quantum is the legal term for the amount of money payable to a claimant in damages and this will be determined by the extent of the losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.
Common Accident Scenarios
Common accident scenarios can include:
- Motorists failing to give way and pulling out of junctions in front of a cyclist
- Motorists turning across the path of a cyclist
- Motorists failing to give way to a cyclist at a roundabout
- Motorists overtaking or changing lanes into the path of a cyclist
- Motorists or passengers opening car doors into the path of a cyclist
Factors which contribute to these accidents include:
- Failure to look properly before commencing a manoeuvre
- Failure to check mirrors and blind spots before commencing a turn or manoeuvre
- Poor judgement when attempting turns or manoeuvres
- Travelling too fast for the conditions
- Failing to correctly judge the speed or path of a cyclist
- Overtaking too close to cyclists, known as close passing
- Driving carelessly
- Alcohol or drug impairment
Commonly, cyclists can also be involved in incidents when;
- The road surface is defective or in a state of disrepair
- Pedestrians enter the road and walk into the path of cyclists
- Owners fail to properly control their dog causing them to obstruct cyclists
- Other cyclists fail to ride safely
Having a better understanding of the circumstances and behaviours that lead to accidents can help you anticipate what might happen in a situation but cyclists don’t always have the option of taking evasive action and accidents can be unavoidable.
With decades of experience handling cyclist accident claims, our team has the know-how that means we can get the best possible settlement for our clients.
According to a 2017 study, cyclists are 28 times more exposed to potential injury than motorists. Cyclists tend to wear bright, reflective ‘be seen’ clothing which unfortunately offers little protection in the event of a collision or fall.
Cycling accidents can lead to a variety of injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to far more serious, life-changing and even fatal injuries.
Some minor injuries will heal on their own within a few weeks. Other injuries can take months or years to heal and require the assistance of doctors and physiotherapists. In some cases, surgery will lead to a lengthy period of rehabilitation and absence from work or education.
Common cycling injuries include:
- Road rash – relatively minor yet painful injury sustained when the skin comes into contact with the road surface.
- Soft tissue injuries – falling from a bicycle can often lead to muscular, tissue and ligament injuries, most likely to the back, shoulders and arms.
- Fractures – a serious fall can result in broken bones. Fractures to collarbones, arms and hands are common among cyclists who have been in an accident.
- Head injuries – head injuries, ranging from fatal skull fractures and brain damage to minor concussions and cuts, are a very real risk for cyclists involved in serious accidents.
- Other serious injuries – neurological damage, spinal cord injury, disc bulge or ruptured discs can occur and require intensive rehabilitative care and treatment.
- Psychological injuries – the psychological effects of an accident can have a serious impact on quality of life. Issues range from having anxiety about returning to riding a bike to more serious cases involving depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What can I claim for?
If we pursue a claim on your behalf following an accident, the settlement will be determined by the extent of the losses you have suffered. We have put together a summary of the various elements that you may be able to claim for if we represent you following an accident:
Personal injury damages
We may require medical records and arrange for you to be examined by medical professionals who will prepare a report. This evidence will be the basis upon which we calculate the compensation that you are entitled to. Be wary of any firms or cold callers who tell you what your case is worth without medical evidence as there is no other way to make an accurate assessment of personal injury compensation.
The valuation placed on your injuries will be based on the medical evidence which will be reviewed in conjunction with the Judicial College Guidelines for personal injury compensation, the industry benchmark for compensation awards, and cases which have previously settled in the Scottish courts.
If your injuries are minor and did not require medical treatment there is a good chance we will be able to settle your claim without the need for a medical examination.
Rehabilitation and treatment
Getting back to normality after an accident is of paramount importance. With this in mind, we can arrange a rehabilitation assessment and provide you with physiotherapy to assist with your recovery.
We know how important your bicycle is to you. If it is damaged in an accident we can arrange for it to be assessed by an independent bicycle mechanic who will prepare a report on the estimated repair cost. If it is beyond repair, as is often the case with carbon-framed bikes, they will provide a pre-accident valuation. Most cyclists have a local dealership that they know well and trust. If you prefer, we can ask your local dealership to prepare this report.
Helmet, clothing and gear
It is common knowledge that the foam part of a cycling helmet is single-use only and if it is impacted in an accident it is no longer as protective as it was. It is recommended that you replace your helmet under those circumstances. We will ask you to provide us with images of your damaged helmet, clothing and items along with replacement estimates in support of your claim. You should always retain the damaged items until your case has settled.
Loss of earnings
If you are off work due to the physical or emotional effects of an accident, we can assist you in recovering any lost earnings. We will liaise with your employer to acquire the information necessary to support your claim. If you are eligible for sick pay we will assist your employer in recovering any funds that they pay to you. If you are self-employed we can assist with the recovery of any lost profits.
If you use your bike for the commute to and from work you may be able to claim additional travel expenses associated with using your car or public transport whilst your bicycle is off the road. We can assist with the recovery of fuel costs, bus, train and taxi expenses. We may also be able to seek a general payment for the loss of use of your bicycle following an accident.
General out-of-pocket expenses
You should keep a record of all expenses and retain receipts where possible. This will make it easier to quantify your losses.
Why Choose Gildeas?
Many of our team are cyclists and as cyclists ourselves we understand the need for additional protection, not only on the road but also when dealing with the aftermath of an accident.
Our passion to support cyclists comes from years of experience handling and settling claims, but also the very personal experience of having suffered serious injuries in cycling accidents. No matter how small or large your claim, whether you are a leisure cyclist, commuter or serious roadie we are here to help.
If you decide to go ahead with a compensation claim we can pursue this on your behalf and provide support throughout your rehabilitation, arranging any aftercare required such as physiotherapy and counselling. Our clients advise us that they appreciate this additional support during what can be a difficult and stressful time.
To summarise, if you have been in a cycling accident where another party is to blame, or partly to blame, we will:
- Fight your corner, regardless of whether your accident involved a motorist, pothole, pedestrian or dog
- Provide a dedicated one-to-one service
- Fully investigate your accident
- Arrange a full rehabilitation assessment along with physiotherapy if required
- Pursue a compensation claim for any injuries you have suffered
- Seek an interim payment for you if necessary to help with bills and costs
- Have your bicycle assessed by a mechanic to arrange repairs or prepare a pre-accident value
- Secure offers for your helmet, clothing and any other damaged property
- Deal with your lost earnings, travel expenses and all other losses
Get in touch
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