Reckless drivers, obstacles, potholes. Sometimes there’s no avoiding the bad stuff. If you’re involved in an accident and it’s not your fault, you could be owed cycle accident compensation.
Read on to find out how you can apply and how long you can expect to wait for your claim to be processed.
How do I claim cycle accident compensation?
Before you can receive compensation, you need to make a claim. Here’s what you need to do before you contact us about claiming cycle accident compensation:
At the scene
- Write down the car registration number, make and color of the vehicle or take a picture. If you’re in an accident with an HGV then note the livery. Get the driver’s personal and insurance details if possible but don’t accept any offers of payment.
- Identify witnesses and ask for their name, address, and phone number.
- Take photos that show the vehicle’s location and where the accident occurred – street names or notable landmarks.
- If you hit a pothole, take photos that show the length, width, and depth.
- Secure access to any dashboard cam footage and don’t delete any footage from your own headcam.
- Make a list of any damaged items and keep track of any expenses – for example, you should replace your helmet if you hit your head.
Police and medical
- Report the incident to the police as soon as possible – within 24 hours if you can.
- Seek medical advice, even if your injuries seem minor. Visit A&E, your own doctor, or a drop-in center for a check-up.
Don’t accept any payment or admit liability at the scene – the defendant could later use this against you. And never ride away on your bike – always get a taxi or a ride home.
What can I claim as a result of a cycling accident?
If the accident wasn’t your fault, then you’ll typically be able to claim for injuries, financial loss, and damage to your bike:
Physical and psychological injury: Broken bones, head injuries, spinal injuries, eye damage, and internal organ trauma are some of the injuries you could include in your claim. You can also claim if you suffer psychological trauma as a direct result of the accident.
Financial loss: You can also claim for loss of earnings due to an accident that has left you unable to work in the short or long term. If you regularly commute by bike and cannot do so, you can also claim travel costs.
Damage: You could be able to claim for the damage incurred by your bike and other personal items such as your laptop, phone, or helmet.
Special damages: You may also be able to claim for physiotherapy, rehabilitation, the adaption of your home, and personal care.
How much compensation could I receive?
In 2010 Commonwealth Games cyclist Manny Helmet was awarded £14m for injuries sustained due to a training accident. The amount was based on the severity of his injuries which included permanent loss of the use of his right arm, mental health issues, double vision, and brain damage leaving him dependent on 24-hour care.
However, it can be difficult to estimate just how much you could receive in compensation. Each accident has a unique set of circumstances that depend on the pain, trauma, and loss of income that you experience.
A solicitor will work with you to go over every detail of your accident before putting together your claim. It is possible to estimate the level of compensation you could receive based on the average settlements awarded at trial. But those figures should only ever be used as a guide.
When working out your potential compensation solicitors will look at:
- The severity of your injuries
- Any income you may have lost
- Damage to your bike and personal items
- Costs of current and future care
- Costs of home and vehicle adaption
How long does a cycle accident compensation claim take?
Because each case is unique, the length of time it takes to receive your compensation can be very different. A good solicitor’s experience and expertise will allow them to assess your case and let you know your chances of success.
If you decide to proceed, then several factors can affect the length of time it takes to settle your claim.
- How long it takes to prove exactly who was responsible for the accident
- The length of time it takes for the third party to accept liability
- How long it takes for you to make a full recovery from your injuries and whether an assessment is needed for your long term care
As a rule, once the process starts, a straightforward claim takes six months to process. However, there are no guarantees that this will be the case. We should be able to advise you on timeframes once all investigations have been concluded and liability is admitted.
If the case is going to take a while to settle, you may be able to secure early interim payments – these will be deducted from the final settlement. Interim payments can help you with medical, transport, and other costs while you’re recovering and getting back on your feet.
In the majority of cases, a settlement will be made out of court. This process is usually faster than claims that go to court, and you could receive your compensation within 14 days of an order being made.
Is there a time limit for making a claim?
If you feel you could be owed cycle accident compensation, you need to act as fast as possible.
Claims are covered by UK limitation law which means you currently have 3 years in which to make a claim. This is measured from the date of the accident or the date when you discovered injuries related to the accident.
If you’re under 18, you can make a claim at any time up until your 21st birthday. If you’re claiming on behalf of another person who doesn’t have the mental capacity to do it themselves, there’s no time limit.
However, to make processing your claim as smooth as possible, you need to start the process as quickly as possible. Contact a solicitor as soon as you’ve been involved in an accident, and you’ll have the best possible chance of success.