YOU MAY HAVE A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION
If you have suffered a personal injury caused by a cycling accident that was not your fault, you may be able to claim compensation. Your case will be reviewed by our panel of legal firms who will be able to tell you how much you could be owed.
An overview of cycling accidents
Cycling accidents are one of the most dangerous types of road accidents. As a cyclist you have minimal external protection and are more unstable compared to being a passenger in a car or truck. When a cyclist is involved in an accident, usually with a motor vehicle, the aftermaths can be grievous.
This is because cyclists are more likely to sustain severe injuries that sometimes require long-term treatments, time off work, medical bills, etc.
So, given the frequency and severity of cycling accidents, educating yourself about the many causes of these collisions is essential. You must also understand your legal rights, average settlement, and how much compensation you can get.
Usually, the first thing attorneys will do is establish which party’s negligence caused the accident. They do this by determining the cause of the cycling accident. This article covers all you need to know about cycling accidents and Claims Bible’s role when seeking compensation.
What causes cycling accidents?
One of the major causes and reasons for cycling accidents is cyclists getting struck by an automobile. The cyclist or motor vehicle driver could be at fault when a cycling accident occurs. However, it is mostly the person in the car that takes direct responsibility.
Here are some causes of cycling accidents:
As a driver, when driving, you must have all your attention focused on the road. But unfortunately, drivers often have their attention fixated on something other than the road.
Even glancing at your phone or having a conversation with a passenger can pose a serious risk to other road users. Also, a distracted driver will not notice a cyclist sharing the road. As a result, they might get into a head-on or rear-end collision with the cyclist.
Dooring accidents occur when a driver parks and leaves the car door open along the road. Most times, cyclists travelling at full speed may not have time to react before crashing into the open car door.
For this kind of accident, the fault is not automatic, and getting compensated can be challenging. This is because the other party may argue that you could have watched out and taken necessary precautions to prevent the crash.
Road hazards such as cobblestone streets, sewer grates, and potholes may be harmless to vehicles but very dangerous to cyclists. This is because bicycles have thin tires and lesser stability compared to automobiles which make it easier for cyclists to lose control and get involved in an accident.
Suing for damages when involved in an accident caused by road hazards can be challenging. You must first identify the proper party to sue; if it is a government agency, it gets more tricky. Our panel of legal experts at Claims Bible can help you in such a situation.
UK laws prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle when impaired by any intoxicating substance or alcohol. Yet, thousands of road users die every year as a result of drunk driving . In addition, an intoxicated or drunk driver is slow to react and will also make poor decisions on the road, creating dangerous risks to both themselves and other road users.
Right Turn Without Looking
This type of accident happens at junctions and driveways, where a driver may attempt to make a right turn without looking out for any oncoming cyclist. This action is dangerous as it gives cyclists little to no time to respond, eventually leading to an accident.
Aggressive driving is when a driver’s careless actions endanger others on the roadway. For example, an impatient driver who fails to yield to a cyclist can cause an accident. Under UK traffic rules, aggressive driving is an offence .
Most times, drivers ignore their blind spots, especially when making a turn or changing lanes. Since bicycles are smaller than vehicles, they are easier to miss, which could also lead to accidents.
The majority of claims involved emergency medicine, followed closely by orthopaedic surgery, obstetrics, general surgery, and finally gynaecology. The most costly area of medical negligence claims was within obstetrics which made up 12% of all claims.
Another important statistic outlined by the latest NHS Resolution Annual Report was that 77% of claims were able to be settled without court proceedings, something the NHS is keen to build upon with tactful dispute resolution approaches.
Injuries sustained in cycling accidents
Aside from the above, cycling accidents sometimes happen when cyclists swerve into objects or animals, fall, or hit something on the road. However, whatever the cause of the crash, you will likely suffer an injury. The severity of the wound depends on the place of impact, force, and speed.
Where the injury is very severe, the cyclist could have paralysis, requiring life-long medical care. In other cases, the person might die.
Here are some common injuries associated with cycling accidents:
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Bruises, cuts, and abrasions
- Fractures of the knees, feet, hands, or legs
- Dental and facial injuries
- Herniated discs
- Sprains, dislocations, scrapes, and minor cuts
Who is liable in a cycling accident?
All road users, including cyclists, are obligated to obey every rule of the road. In addition, they must exercise a duty of care, meaning they must not create events that would lead to a crash.
When a person fails to uphold the duty of care and an accident occurs, they will be held liable. However, the breach of the duty of care is not enough to prove liability. Under the negligence rules, you must establish how the breached duty caused the crash.
This means that even if there was a breach of duty, you can’t claim the other party is liable if it was not the proximate cause of the accident. You must also show that the accident resulted in damages for which you deserve compensation. This follows the equity doctrine that there must be a wrong for an aggrieved party to receive a remedy.
Did you know?
The number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents increased 44% in the last 10 years.
What are you claiming for?
The compensation available after a cycling accident is classified as economic and non-economic damages. Economic or special damages cover financial losses and expenses from the accident, while non-economic or general damages compensate for losses without a monetary value.
When broken down, you get the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Physical disability
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish/emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
There are different avenues for recovering compensation; you can file your claim against more than one party. The following are those who can write you a settlement cheque after a cycling accident:
Your Health Insurer
Do you have health insurance? If you do and are involved in a cycling accident, your health insurance should pay your medical bills.
Although, your health insurer will not cover other losses, such as lost wages. So, if you are pursuing a claim and want to recover additional damages from the at-fault party, your health insurer can also try to recover the money spent on your medical treatment.
The At-Fault Party’s Employer
If the driver that caused your accident was working at that time, a legal doctrine called vicarious liability allows you to file a claim against the driver’s employer. Under this doctrine, employees are termed ‘agents’ of their employers, especially while on their official work duties. Therefore, the employer can be held responsible if the employee causes any harm while working due to negligence.
The At-Fault Driver
If another person was responsible for your accident, you could file a claim for financial compensation. Most times, you would be dealing with the other party’s insurance company.
The insurer might offer to settle outside the court, but you must ensure they are not offering a lowball settlement. You can also file a lawsuit and receive the compensation the court feels is appropriate.
It doesn’t matter if your case gets settled or goes to trial; the insurer will pay the compensation according to the amount of the at-fault party’s policy. However, if your losses exceed the policy limit, you may try to collect directly from the at-fault party, which can be difficult.
If there is a problem with the traffic signals or road designs that led to the cycling accident, the government body responsible for the traffic light or road can also be held liable.
The Bicycle Manufacturer
Suppose a cycling accident occurs and it was due to a problem with the bicycle. In that case, you can file a claim for compensation from the bike’s distributor, seller, or manufacturer of its parts.
For example, if an accident occurred as a result of faulty brakes and you got hurt, you can file a defective product claim. Finally, if there is a fatal cycling accident, the surviving loved ones of the victim can file a claim for wrongful death damages.
Don’t Delay. Check Now.
Don’t miss out on £100’s or even £1,000’s in compensation you could be entitled to. Starting a claim only takes 5 minutes, so why not do it now?