The number of cycling accidents has risen significantly since the lockdowns, with car insurer More Than reporting that claims by vulnerable road users are up by 10 per cent. With gyms closed, restrictions on group sports and people working from home, it was no surprise that cycling has risen in popularity. The Bicycle Association has reported that retail sales of bicycles grew by an astonishing 60 per cent since March 2020, with e-bike sales more than doubling.
The corollary of more cyclists on the road is that the number of accidents has also been increasing. Unfortunately, cyclists are more likely to be killed or seriously injured in an accident on the road than anyone driving a motor vehicle, and in September 2020 one police force reported that of the last five fatal traffic accidents in their region, four involved cyclists.
Chloe Radford, a personal injury Litigation Executive with Lawcomm Solicitors in Whiteley is experienced in helping cyclists recover compensation for their injuries. 'We have dealt with a range of cycling accidents. This includes accidents on the road involving cars, as well as other vehicles such as HGVs or tractors. We have also found that accidents on cycle paths involving pedestrians and other cyclists are becoming more frequent.’
Common causes of cycling accidents on the road
The most serious accidents involving cyclists result from collisions with vehicles. The law expects motorists to drive with due care and attention, and recognises the fact that cyclists are more vulnerable in an accident.
However, drivers often fail to consider cyclists and are sometimes unaware of their presence on the road. Accidents are particularly common where drivers:
• become distracted;
• cut corners;
• do not pay attention at bends;
• fail to look properly at junctions; or
• overtake dangerously.
Other causes of accidents involving a cyclist can include potholes, pedestrians failing to look before stepping out and people in parked cars opening a door in the path of a cyclist.
What to do immediately after an accident
If you are able, it is important to try to stay calm and collect as much evidence as possible at the time of the accident.
When someone is injured the police should always be called. This will ensure there is a formal record of what happened.
Witnesses should be asked for their details so that your solicitor can contact them later.
Dashboard cameras and GoPro devices are increasingly popular, so it is worth finding out if anyone has captured images of the incident.
Always make sure you obtain the name, address and insurance details of any other parties involved, along with the registration number of their vehicle.
Take photographs of the position of the bike and any vehicles involved in the accident, damage sustained, skid marks and any road debris.
Making a compensation claim
The sooner you speak to a specialist solicitor the easier it will be to gather the evidence required to negotiate appropriate compensation. We will obtain the police report and prepare witness statements to support your claim.
Insurance companies often attempt to avoid paying compensation to cyclists, with allegations that a helmet was not worn, or the cyclist was not wearing high-visibility clothing. Our solicitors are also experienced in countering these arguments.
What can you claim compensation for?
We will tell you exactly what you can claim for. In addition to compensation for your injuries, this could include the repair or replacement of your bike, along with any clothing or personal items damaged in the accident. If you need time off work as a result of your injuries, then we can recover your lost earnings.
We can also arrange for you to receive private medical treatment or rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy, and include those costs within the claim. In addition, we are able to recover the value of any help or care that has been provided to you by your friends and family.
No win, no fee funding
Although no amount of money can take away the traumatic experience you have been through, compensation can make life easier. So, if you have been injured as a result of a cycling accident within the last three years then let us help you make a claim. We are able to work on a no win, no fee basis, so you should not let worries about funding legal costs put you off seeking justice.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.