Cycling is becoming more and more popular here in the United Kingdom, which is a very positive thing in many respects, however this increase in popularity also means that more people are now suffering from bicycle accidents. Although some accidents are completely unavoidable, many of these accidents happen because of negligence or inappropriate behaviour by another party. Before you make a bicycle accident claim, you may want to consider the answers to some of the following questions:
Can I make a claim?
If you have been injured whilst out on your bike recently, then you may be able to make a claim. The first thing that you should consider is whether the accident was your fault? If any part of the accident was down to another party, then you may be able to make a claim. This can include road traffic accidents, injuries which were caused by the road being in a state of disrepair, or accidents which were caused by technical faults with your bicycle. If you want to make a claim for material damages (to your bicycle), then you may make a claim up to 6 years after the incident took place.
What will my claim cover?
After an accident you can make a claim for any health issues that you suffered as a result, whether they are physical injuries or psychological problems. In addition to this, you may be able to claim for the damages that happened to your bicycle, your helmet or any of the clothing that you were wearing at the time of the incident. If you rely on your bicycle to get to work, you may also be able to make a claim for any additional transport costs which you were forced to spend because you were not able to cycle.
If your injuries are so severe that you are no longer able to work, you should ask your bicycle accident claims advisor to help you to put in a claim for loss of earnings. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may also be able to make a claim for private healthcare costs and any care, aids or adaptations that you were forced to access.
Will the defendant have to buy me a new bike?
The defendant’s responsibilities in relation to your bicycle will depend on the circumstances of the accident. If the bicycle is still in good enough condition to be repaired, they may be expected to pay for your repairs, rather than purchasing you a new bicycle. If your bicycle cannot be fixed, then they may be required to pay the full pre-accident value of your bicycle. This means that if your bicycle was purchased a few years ago, it may have decreased significantly in value from the amount that you paid when you bought it.
Do I need evidence to support my claim?
Yes, you will need to be able to prove that you have not just picked a random claim value out of thin air. Your solicitor will consider all of the problems that they accident has caused you, and then use this information to come up with a reasonable amount to claim. To support this figure and support your claim as a whole, you will need to gather some evidence. This evidence may include receipts from a cycle shop to show the cost of your repairs, medical reports which show the extent of your injuries or photos/recordings from the scene of the incident. If you record your journeys on a GoPro or other type of helmet cam, then you should give this recording to your solicitor so that they can see recorded evidence of the accident.
There is no guarantee that you will win or that you will be offered compensation. The answer to whether you will win will depend on the strength of your case and the skills of the solicitor that you are using. Most solicitors or lawyers will be able to tell you whether you have a strong claim or not after your very first meeting. If you are not likely to win, then many “no win, no fee” solicitors will not take on your claim.