In the past few years, cycling has really taken off in the United Kingdom, as more and more people have taken up cycling as a hobby, a sport or as a method of commuting. However, the conditions associated with cycling on roads in Britain have not improved enough to ensure the safety of cyclists. Every day, cyclists get injured on British roads, and many of these cyclists were not at fault. If you have been injured in a cycling accident which was not your fault, then you may be eligible to try to make a claim for compensation.
A lot of the time, cyclists can feel isolated and reluctant to attempt to make a claim after an accident, because they are in a minority on the roads compared to car owners. However, compensation claims are perfectly legitimate if you feel as though the accident which you were involved in was not your fault.
What should I do if I am involved in a cycling accident?
If you are involved in a cycling accident, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible, so that you can attempt to minimise the effects of your injuries. In the event that your injuries are serious, it is highly likely that the emergency services will become involved. If you are taken straight to hospital from the scene of the accident, then it is likely that the police will take witness statements and the details of any other drivers involved, and these details may help your claim.
If you are well enough after your accident, you should attempt to gather as much information as you can from the scene of the accident. Take the make, model and registration details of any vehicles involved, as well as the contact details, insurer’s name and the policy numbers of any other parties involved in the accident. If anyone witnesses the accident who was not directly involved, they may offer to give you their details – feel free to note these details down, and ask for the details of any other people who witnessed the incident, as they will be able to help you to corroborate your version of events.
Why should I make a claim?
The injuries which you may sustain in a cycling accident can have life-altering consequences. Whilst some injuries may leave you unable to perform everyday tasks for a few weeks, other injuries could actually leave you completely incapacitated for the rest of your life. As well as reducing your quality of life, these injuries could also cause you serious financial losses, as they affect your ability to work. Common injuries after bicycle accidents include arm injuries, leg injuries, back injuries, head injuries and neck injuries. It is also possible for people to experience serious psychological injuries from your accident, which can make it difficult to sleep or do your job properly. If your claim for compensation is successful, then you may be awarded enough money to cover any private medical bills, physiotherapy sessions, loss of earnings, and money for the inconvenience of the injury. Some claims firms will even be able to help you to claim money to repair and replace your bicycle.
How do I make a claim?
In order to make a claim, you will need to get in contact with a claims solicitor or claims advisor. Many advisors are able to offer their clients a free consultation session, to help them to see whether they have a valid and viable case. Some advisors are also able to organise home or hospital visits for people who are not able to get to the legal office. During this session, you will need to recount details of your accident, giving details of any witnesses and any other relevant information which you may have collected.
If your advisors believe that you have a claim, they may need you to submit to an independent medical examination, which they can help to arrange. This examination can form part of the evidence you need to make a successful claim. Your advisor will take your evidence to the legal representatives of the other party and then begin the negotiation process, offering you updates and advice at every step of the way.