Cycling Accident Guide

If you’ve been involved in a cycling accident and have sustained injuries as a result, you could be entitled to compensation. To help you determine whether you’re eligible to make a claim, we’ve created the following Cycling Accident Guide. Packed with useful information, you can learn more about what you need to do to make a claim.

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Helping you claim compensation for your injuries

Cycling is a popular form of exercise, recreation or commute for many people. Since lockdown in March 2020, we’ve seen a significantly higher number of people take to the roads on bikes. Sadly, cyclists can be vulnerable on the roads, and we’ve seen the number of cycling accidents increase too.

At Nash & Co Solicitors, we want to support all cyclists whether you’re a novice or a seasoned cyclist. And the good news is, that we can do this on a No Win, No Fee basis.

To help you, our Personal Injury lawyers have put together this comprehensive guide about the law surrounding cycling.  We also answer the common questions that arise should you be unfortunate to be involved in a cycling accident. We’ll cover everything that you need to know about making a claim for compensation.

If you still have questions after reading our guide, please pick up the phone and give us a call on 01752 827085. You can also email us or ask us to call you back.

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Contents

Key Points

  • Get advice as soon as possible after your accident, valuable evidence can be lost as time goes on and there are time limits to bringing a claim.
  • Early intervention with your treatment can also help speed up your recovery, another reason to not delay with getting in touch.
  • If we think that you have a claim, we will work on a no win no fee basis so you can feel reassured that you won’t be out of pocket.
  • We may be able to secure an early interim payment of compensation for you to help ease any immediate financial worries.  We want you to be able to focus on recovering from your injuries.
  • Keep any receipts for any expenses that you are incurring due to your accident.  Keep a record of any trips you or family members are making due to your accident.  This evidence can help further along in your claim with working out what compensation you may be entitled to.

Why choose Nash & Co Solicitors?

  • We have fully qualified personal injury lawyers with a wealth of experience in cycling accident injuries and claims
  • We’re independent of any insurance companies and will always act in your best interests
  • We’ll ensure we do all we can to achieve the best possible settlement for you
  • We do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it
  • There will always be someone available to discuss your claim with you
  • We pride ourselves on our exceptional client service standards

Can I still claim compensation after an accident if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?

Wearing a helmet is not a legal requirement in the UK but The Highway Code suggests that all cyclists should wear a safe and well-fitting helmet regardless of the law.  If you are involved in a cycling accident whilst not wearing a helmet, you can still claim for compensation.  However, it could be taken into account when looking at how much compensation you may be entitled to.  This very much depends on whether wearing a helmet would have prevented or reduced the severity of the injury that you suffered.  For instance, if you suffer a broken leg, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet would not be relevant to the injury.

If I didn’t have any lights on my bike, can I still claim compensation after an accident?

It is a legal requirement to have lights and reflectors on your bike.  You must have front white and rear red lights which are switched on when it’s dark.  You also need a red rear reflector and if the bike was made after the 1 October 1985, it must also have amber pedal reflectors.

If you do not have the correct lights and reflectors it can reduce the visibility of your bike in the dark or in poor weather.  If your accident occurs at night or in low visibility conditions and you did not have your lights on, then this might reduce the amount of compensation that you receive, it depends on the facts in your particular case.   In these circumstances, it’s always worth speaking to an expert in cycling accident claims.

Should I be wearing hi-visibility clothing whilst cycling?

Lights and reflectors are the legal requirement that you need on your bicycle to ensure that you are visible at night or in low light conditions.  Hi-visibility clothing is not a legal requirement but is it certainly very useful in making you more visible to other road users.  If you have the required lighting on your bike, the fact that you are not wearing hi-visibility should not typically affect your compensation as your lights/reflectors should make you visible to a motorist who is driving with reasonable care.  However, the more you do to make yourself seen by other road users the better as this might help to prevent you being injured.

Am I able to use footage from a helmet camera be used to support my claim?

Helmet camera footage and dash cam footage can be very valuable in proving how your accident happened.  When responsibility for an accident is disputed, having clear recorded footage of the actual accident is invaluable.  Camera footage is also helpful when no one else is involved in your accident.  If come off your bike and are injured due to defects in the road surface, such as potholes, you might be the only witness to your own accident.  Helmet camera footage in this case could mean the difference between responsibility being admitted for your injuries or denied.

The National Dash Cam Safety Portal (NDSP) was set up in July 2018 in response to the increasing use of footage by members of the public.  The aim is to reduce road accidents and make UK roads safer.  You can submit any type of footage, if it relates to the case that you are submitting it for.  It enables you to upload your footage directly to the local police service where your accident happened.  You can find out more about this service and submit your footage here: https://www.nextbase.com/dashcamportal

Can I still bring a claim for compensation if my accident involves an uninsured or untraceable driver?

In these circumstances, if the driver was at fault, you may be able to seek compensation under a specialist insurance scheme operated by the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB)

If my accident was caused by a pothole, can I make a claim?

To claim compensation from the council you need to prove your accident happened due to the council’s negligence.

A pothole on a road is considered unsafe when it has a depth of more than 40mm. In areas where there are more vulnerable road users (like near schools and care homes) there should be a higher standard of maintenance. This means you may be able to claim regardless of the measurement. 

In cases involving potholes, it’s particularly important to make your claim as soon as possible after your accident as repair work is often undertaken on the pothole after an accident is reported.

It is very helpful to take photographs of the pothole showing its size and depth and take a photograph showing the exact location of where the injury took place. Take measurements of the pothole (if it’s safe to do so) and ideally get the details of any witnesses of your accident.  It can also be helpful to get the details of local residents who are aware of the pothole.  It helps if they can say how long it had been there before the accident and if anyone reported it or if any other accidents had be caused by it.

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My bike is badly damaged.  It cost a lot of money to buy, can I recover the cost of replacing or repairing it?

We appreciate that bikes can cost more than some cars and are a significant investment.  If someone else is to blame for your cycling accident, you can seek to recover the cost of replacing or repairing your bike as part of your injury claim.  We can help to get repair or replacement estimates for you. We can also claim for damaged helmets, cycle shoes and clothing as these costs can also add up.

If responsibility for your accident is admitted, we can look to getting you an interim payment of compensation to cover the cost of your damaged bike and accessories.  This means that you can get back to cycling as soon as you are able to without having to wait until the conclusion of your claim.

I want to get back on my bike as soon as possible, can I get any help with my rehabilitation?

Our aim is to get you back to the position that you were in before your accident or as close to it as we can.  In the early stages of your claim, we’ll identify any rehabilitation needs that you may have.  We recognise, and so do many insurers, that early intervention with good quality rehabilitation can dramatically improve your long-term recovery.

We can arrange for private physiotherapy, counselling, surgery, occupational therapy and even adaptations to your home or vehicle to make life easier.   Many insurers are now keen to work with injury lawyers and fund rehabilitation early on to help you get life as back to normal as possible as soon as possible.

How much compensation can I expect to receive after a cycling accident?

The amount of compensation that you recover after an injury depends on the severity of your injuries and what your direct financial losses are as a result of your accident.

Our Personal Injury team can usually give you a broad idea of the likely range of compensation that you might expect to recover in the early stages of your claim.  In order to more accurately assess the claim value, we consider a number of factors which include the following:

  • The severity of your injuries – assessed by a medical expert/s
  • The cost of any past and/or future medical care that you require
  • Any loss of earnings that you have incurred or may incur in the future
  • Damage to your bike, helmet, clothes, phone and other personal items
  • The cost of any adaptations needed to your home or vehicle
  • The cost of medication or travel expenses that you have incurred

Does it take long to receive compensation for a cycling accident?

The length of time it takes to conclude your claim will vary from case to case. This is dependent on the circumstances.

The main areas that affect the length of time that the claim takes are:

  • Identifying who is responsible for your accident
  • Whether the responsible party accept responsibility for your accident
  • The severity of your injuries and your likely recovery time or treatment needs

We typically settle claims without the need to go to Court. This often means that your claim will settle quicker.

Whilst we appreciate that your physical recovery is your priority after an accident, an injury can also lead to financial pressures if you are unable to return to work or if you need to pay for additional care or specialist equipment. We can investigate the possibility of an early interim payment on your claim to help ease those financial pressures and enable you to focus on your recovery. We can also look at requesting future interim payments during the claim if your recovery is expected to last for a prolonged period.

How long do I have to bring a claim for a cycling accident?

Typically, you need to make a claim within three years of your cycling accident. This is unless you’re claiming on behalf of a child or loved one who lacks mental capacity to claim themselves:

  • You can claim for a child any time before they reach their 18th birthday. After this point, they have three years to claim
  • There is no time limit if you’re claiming on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim
  • If you’re claiming for a loved one who died as a result of their accident, you need to claim within three years of their passing or from receiving their post-mortem results.

We advise that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident. Any delay can cause problems with gathering useful evidence to support your claim.

What will it cost to make a claim?

It won’t cost you a penny to pick up the phone and give us a call to talk through the circumstances of your accident.  We offer a free initial discussion to discuss your potential claim and provide our initial advice.

If we think that you do have a claim worth pursuing and you are keen to proceed, we will act for you under a no win no fee agreement (formally called a Conditional Fee Agreement).  Making a no win no fee claim typically involves us taking out an insurance policy on your behalf.

The insurance policy protects you if your claim is unsuccessful.  It also allows you to make a claim for compensation without having to pay a penny upfront.

You will only ever pay anything if your no win no fee claim is a success and even then, your opponent will pay most of your costs.  Any remaining costs are then deducted from your compensation payment.  We will talk you through all of this in advance and in more detail so that you are fully informed from the outset.

If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us a penny!

Starting a claim for a cycling accident

The first step is for you to speak to one of our team. You can call us on 01752 827025 or email us at [email protected]. You can also ask us to give you a call back.

We’re happy to offer you a free, no obligation interview to discuss the accident circumstances. At the same time, we can advise you of the chances of your claim succeeding. If you’re happy for us to take on your case, we’ll begin to gather the evidence needed.

We’ll also look to instruct a medical expert to seek their opinion on your injuries.  In appropriate cases, we will also prioritise getting you the rehabilitation that you need to speed your recovery from you physical and/or mental injuries.

Once we’ve got enough evidence to proceed, we’ll invite the person responsible for the accident to accept fault for your injuries and ask them to pay you the appropriate compensation.

What happens if reponsibility for my accident is denied or disputed?

When we first discuss the circumstances of your accident, we will tell you if we think that your claim is likely to be successful. We therefore only proceed with claims which we think have a good chance of succeeding.  However, there are cases where responsibility for the accident can be disputed.

If responsibility is disputed, it is not necessarily the end of your claim.  If we consider that your case continues to have reasonable prospects of succeeding, you will continue to be protected from potential legal costs by the insurance that we will take out on your behalf. You can therefore feel confident that, even if your opponent is disputing your claim, we can continue to pursue your claim without any risk of you being responsible for any legal costs.  Even if liability is denied for your accident, your claim can still settle because there is a risk to your opponent if they are later found to be responsible.  Ultimately, your claim may end up going to Court for a Judge to decide the outcome.  This only happens in a small number of claims as the majority settle out of Court. 

We will continue to assess the prospects of your claim succeeding at all stages and we will advise you every step of the way.

What now?

If you have any questions after reading this guide, we’d be very happy to speak to you. 

Give one of our team members a call on 01752 827085.  You can also email us at [email protected] or ask us to call you back by filling out our Call Back form. There’s absolutely no cost and no obligation. We’re here to listen and help you where we can.

Request a callback from Nash & Co Solicitors