We are often asked to advise whether cyclists who have been involved in an accident can make a claim. The numbers are shocking: of accidents that have been reported to the police each year around three thousand cyclists are either seriously injured or killed, and nearly twenty thousand are injured sufficiently to require medical treatment. Even more worryingly, around one in seven of these victims are children.
Cyclists can also cause accidents. We have experience of having been instructed in such circumstances. At the same time there are cases where a cyclist has made a claim after being injured by the actions of a pedestrian (maybe walking out into the road without paying attention, or whilst listening to an iPod). All these areas can be the subject of a personal injury claim.
How to assess whether it’s possible to claim
Like any other area of personal injury law, the key is to ascertain whether another party was at fault, either wholly or in part. This might be fairly simple if, for example, a cyclist is knocked off their bike by a car which failed to stop at a red light. If a claim involves poor road conditions – perhaps a lack of treatment in bad weather, repairs not undertaken, or road works not being adequately signed – the circumstances might require more careful examination.
In situations where there may be fault on both sides because, for example, the cyclist was on the wrong side of the road or cycled through a red light, then the degree of blame would be apportioned. If the cyclist’s injuries are more severe because no helmet was worn a court could award reduced compensation.
It’s also important to start any claim as quickly as possible. Although we must begin court proceedings within three years of an incident, the sooner you contact us the better. Your memory, and that of any witnesses to the accident, will be clearer. There also needs to be evidence of injury. If you are injured, it’s vital to be assessed by a medical professional. If you did not attend Accident and Emergency, you should, as a minimum, make a swift appointment with your own GP.
Don’t suffer in silence
Victims sometimes feel that their injuries were so slight that any claim is not worth making. Do remember that with some conditions, such as whiplash or spinal damage, it is possible that the full extent of your injuries won’t be clear until some time after the event.
You might have to undergo a variety of treatments if you are the victim of a cycling accident. In serious cases this could involve surgery, physiotherapy, counselling and a wide range of other treatments, all of which might form part of a claim. Finally, it is also possible that if it was only your bicycle that was damaged claims can still be considered in such cases, just as when a car is damaged during a collision.
Is this you?
If you have been injured in an incident as, or involving, a cyclist, please call us now to speak to one of our personal injury specialists.Contact Our Personal Injury Specialists Today