Can I claim for a bicycle injury?

cycling injuries

This year the Highway Code introduced a Hierarchy of Road Users. Pedestrians are at the top of the hierarchy, so they will have right of way. But cyclists are second on the hierarchy, meaning they have right of way over other vehicles such as cars and lorries. 

The new Highway Code rules say that drivers must leave a space of 1.5 metres between themselves and a cyclist. On quieter roads, cyclists should ride in the middle of the road.

However, it’s a good idea to remember that when using cycle paths shared with pedestrians, cyclists shouldn’t pass people or horse riders at a high speed. Always remember to ring your bell to let other people know you’re approaching. Pedestrians should also bear in mind not to obstruct a cyclist or endanger them in any way. 

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than the cure when it comes to road traffic collisions. Preparation is key! Here’s a fantastic article covering some of the best cycling tips for the road.

However, you may have been involved in a cycling incident that wasn’t your fault. If you suspect this may be the case, we hope you’ll find some useful information in this blog about why, how, when and what you can claim for a bicycle injury. 

Cycling claim examples

Claims for cycling injuries vary from case to case. Some examples of cycling incidents might include:

Dangerous driving: Where a driver is speeding or drink/drug driving

Driver misjudgment: Pulling out of a junction and hitting a cyclist, knocking a cyclist off when overtaking and so on. 

Car doors: When the cyclist is hit by a driver or passenger opening their car door. The Highway Code was recently updated to include the Dutch Reach method

Children and pets: A young child or pet who isn’t being supervised by the person responsible for them obstructing your path and knocking you from your bike

Types of cycling injuries can include:

  • Head and brain injuries
  • Back and spinal injuries
  • Broken limbs
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Dental injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Musculoskeletal trauma (for example: torn ligaments, sprains, whiplash)

Tragically, some cycling injuries can be fatal. You can claim on behalf of a loved one – please visit our fatal incidents page for more information. 

How do I know if I’m eligible to claim compensation for a cycling injury? 

There isn’t a strict eligibility criteria when claiming compensation for a cycling injury, though there are a few age limits to bear in mind:

  • If you’re over 18 years old you must apply within three years of the incident occurring (though usually we recommend putting in a claim as soon as possible)
  • If you’re under 18 you can get someone to claim on your behalf
  • If you’re under 18 but you would like to make your own claim, you can wait until you’re 18. The usual three-year time limit applies as soon as you turn 18, rather than within three years of the incident. 

Ultimately, anyone can apply for compensation if they were a victim of an incident that wasn’t their fault and they sustained injuries during the incident. 

What evidence do I need to provide for a cycling injury?

Fortunately, we live in a time where tech can help prove you were injured through no fault of your own in a cycling incident. You can use footage from an action camera, such as a GoPro, as proof. If possible, without further injuring yourself, try to take photos and videos at the scene of the injury. This is so we can see the road layout and where your bike and other vehicles ended up. Nearby homes and businesses may have CCTV, so it’s worth asking them if they have any footage of the incident. If you can, get someone to take photos and videos of your injuries too. 

If the incident happened because of suspected dangerous or aggressive driving, you should report it to the police. It’s also a good idea to swap contact information and number plate information with any other road users involved in the incident or any witnesses. 

Gathering evidence shouldn’t just stop at the scene of the incident. It’s wise to keep copies of all your medical records, rehabilitation costs, treatment costs and prescriptions relating to your injuries. You may have to adapt your home to suit your needs as a result of your injuries (for example: wheelchair ramps, an accessible bathroom, etc). Not only can they be used as proof, we can secure interim payments to help you cover any potential costs incurred or loss of income directly caused by the incident. 

For more information check out further details a solicitor may need for your personal injury claim. 

How much compensation will I get for a cycling accident?

The compensation you receive for your injuries is called “general damages.” There is no set amount for cycling compensation claims. However, the amount you could get is based on several factors such as the severity of your injuries (physical and psychological), type of medical treatment required, how liable the other party is and so on.

You can also claim “special damages” for your injuries. This is where you’re compensated for the financial consequences of your injuries. If you had to take time off from work, you could be missing out on loss of income and loss of earnings. This also accounts for any future loss of salary if your employer reduces your hours or gives you a role with a lower salary/wage. 

Special damages can also include:

Medical treatment: Hospital charges, consultation fees, prescriptions, rehabilitation treatment (e.g. physiotherapy, counselling)

Cost of care: If you require long-term care as a result of your injuries, you can claim for financial help to cover the costs.

Travel costs: Costs incurred travelling to and from hospital appointments, therapy appointments and so on. 

Adapting your house or vehicle: You can claim special damages if you need to adapt your home or car as a result of your injuries. This might include accessible bathrooms, wheelchair access, an adapted car/new car. 

Replacing or repairing damaged property: If your bicycle is damaged, you can claim money for its repair or you can buy a replacement. You can also claim for damaged property involved in the incident such as mobile phones, camera equipment, safety equipment and more. 

Here are a few examples of bicycle accident settlement amounts in the UK: 

A cyclist in Leeds received a payout of £7,000 after he was hit by a car coming out of a side street. He broke his collarbone, injured his knee and ankle, as well as sustaining multiple cuts and scrapes. The cyclist had to take two weeks off work and, after this, he had to work part time for a while due to his injuries. As you can see, the payout covered his loss of earnings and helped him in general day-to-day life. 

In London, a cyclist was knocked from his bike by another person’s dog. The man suffered brain injuries affecting his concentration, memory, hearing and sense of taste and smell. He received £50,000 in compensation. 

If you’re a cyclist who has been involved in an incident that you suspect wasn’t your fault, please call our Serious Injury team on 0161 238 4373 or email seriousinjury@birchallblackburn.co.uk

Proud supporters of: