More people every year are taking up cycling. This year another 150,000 more. This brings the total to over 2m cyclists a week on the road. There are on average a 1000 cyclists involved in an accident every week in the UK.
A claim will take into account the severity of the injury, the time for rehabilitation, any reasonable medical costs and loss of earnings. Consideration will also be given to cover damage to the bicycle, whether it is possible to repair it, or if it is a write-off, as well as damage to clothing.
Cyclists are vunerable road users as they are not as visible as others. Accidents may cause various forms of injury from bruises to broken bones. Unfortunately they can result in serious head trauma and sometimes fatalities. The claim may be as a result of a motorist pulling out of a juction and not seeing you. A car cutting across your path, or an HGV driver failing to see you whilst overtaking.
If the third party admit liability and the claim is less than £15,000 then their insurance company are normally obliged to settle. However, this is not always the case and they may only want to share part of the blame or none at all. This is where a good law firm is necessary to establish who is at fault and determine the share of liability.
Claims are made for General Damages which covers the actual physical and psychological injury taking account of any disabilities or limitations. There is also a claim for Special Damages that include all financial losses. These may include any special needs, such as increased travel costs or care and assistance.
In support of your claim it may be necessary to provide a police report. Witness statements of those at the incident may prove essential. Photographs of the damage to the bicycle and clothing may be useful, as well as estimates for costs of repair. When an accident has resulted in injury a medical examination is normally required. It may be necessary to instruct a medical expert to produce a report.
A medical expert's report can effect the level of compensation awarded. Questions may need to be answered by the expert from both sides as to the reasonableness of their findings. This will include time off work and time for rehabilitation, as well as any long term effects caused by the injuries.
A settlement proposal may be made from either side. This may result in an unacceptable offer that has to be negotiated and a counter offer made. In the unlikely event of court proceedings if an offer is rejected and the level of compensation awarded is no more than the original offer figure, there is a risk that the court may decide that the other side's legal costs have to be paid.