What To Do When You’ve Been In A Bicycle Accident.............................................. 2
Things You Should Do Immediately After The Accident............................................ 4
Can I make a bike claim?........................................................................................... 4
Just like the Hit and Run situation, don’t despair. You can still claim ..................................... 7
How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Bicycle Accident?............................... 7
What evidence do I need to support my cycle claim?............................................... 9
How will my bike claim be funded?........................................................................... 9
What is the general procedure for a bike claim?..................................................... 9
How long does a claim usually take?....................................................................... 10
Most common types of bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles;...................... 11
Typical Cyclist Injuries from the above accident types........................................... 11
What to do if you are injured in a cycling accident................................................ 11
Other Types of Personal Injuries............................................................................. 12
Sample Demand Letter for Bicyclist Hit by a Car.................................................... 12
Helpful Contacts....................................................................................................... 14
If you are a cyclist and concerned about being involved in a cycle accident then there are a number of things you should be aware of following an accident.
If your injuries are not too serious then exchange details with the driver if you’ve been hit by a vehicle, making note of the vehicle registration, the driver’s name and address and telephone number and name of their insurer if possible.
If you are worried about the validity of the details then ask for their mobile number and call it while you’re with them so they have your number and you know they have provided the correct contact details. You should also try and get details of any potential independent witnesses who may have seen the accident occur; this is in case the third party disputes liability later on.
If you’ve been seriously injured then try to remain calm, get yourself to a safe location if you can, and call the emergency services. In this type of situation the police would also usually be called and they will collect all the necessary contact information of the third party and any witnesses.
When you make a claim with us we can recover compensation for your injuries, damage to your possessions, and loss of earnings if you’ve been unable to work, and any other out of pocket expenses as a result of the accident or injuries.
Our five-point process in the event of an accident:
● Get to a safe place if possible
● Get details of the third party
● Notify the police if necessary
● Get medical attention
● Keep a record of all costs following the accident
Sharing the roads with motor vehicles can be dangerous, even as an experienced cyclist you still rely on the skill and awareness of drivers of cars and vans who might not be used to the increasing number of cyclists on the roads these days. Some of the most common cycle accidents are caused by:
● Drivers turning across the path of a cyclist
● Drivers emerging from a minor road into a cyclist
● Hitting potholes or raised ironworks and being thrown from the bike
● Being hit by a vehicle when turning into a minor road
We’ve seen all types of cycle accidents and as cyclists ourselves, our experienced legal teams will understand the situation and help you through the claim process while making sure we recover the best possible payout for your claim.
To increase your chances at filing a successful compensation claim, there are certain things you will need to do but even before that, you need to first make sure that your injuries are not worse than they look.
• Immediately after the bicycle accident, if possible you should get off the road and out of danger. Evaluate your injuries and call an ambulance, or ask for somebody to call an ambulance if you are badly injured. Meanwhile, ask people around you if they saw what happened and if they would be willing to come forward as witnesses. Get their contact details.
• Also get the contact and other details of anyone else involved in the accident. Write down the number plate details if a vehicle was involved as well as the other party’s name, address and insurance details.
• Get pictures of the scene and of the bike and vehicle damage with your camera phone if you have one with you.
• Keep a copy of the police report as well as all medical and ambulance reports. All of these will act as supporting documentation when you file a claim for compensation.
Things You Should Not Do
Along with all of the do’s, there are a few things you should not do.
• Do not admit liability as this can be held against you.
• Do not get angry and curse and swear. It will not help you or anybody else. Stay calm, and look around you to see if there is anything you may have missed the first time around that can be used as evidence.
• Do not get on your bike and ride away. For one thing, you are likely to be more shaken up than you realise and you could be putting yourself in even more danger by riding on the roads immediately after the accident. Instead, call a taxi or get a ride home.
If you have been involved in a bike accident, or have been injured because of road disrepair whilst cycling, you can make a claim for injury and financial losses as long as the incident happened within the past three years. Unfortunately, if the incident happened over three years ago, it is not likely to be possible to make a claim.
If you only want to make a claim for the damage to your bicycle, this can be done if the incident in which the damage was sustained happened within the past six years.
What you can claim for?
What you can claim for falls under three main headings: personal injury, damage to your property and loss of earnings.
You can claim for the costs of:
● Private medical or dental treatment
● Physiotherapy or other therapy designed to improve your medical condition
● Cosmetic surgery or other cosmetic treatment
● Care and support services whilst you are in recovery or incapacitated
● Out of pocket expenses involved in your medical treatment
Damage to your property
● Replacement of your bicycle
● Replacement of your cycling kit (or any other goods or property) damaged as a result of the accident
Loss of earnings
Loss of income or opportunities from being unable to work.
There may be other things you can claim for and our experts will advise you once we’ve assessed your claim.
You will qualify to make a bicycle accident claim if:
The accident happened in the last three years
It was not your fault
You can show that you were injured as a result of the accident and/or your bicycle and/or clothing was damaged
Types of Cycle Accident Claims
You hardly need us to tell that cycling is great fun, a fantastic way to commute and healthy too.
Sadly though it’s all too easy to have a bicycle accident that isn’t your fault. And let’s face it, if you get knocked off your bike there’s only going to be one loser – your body and your bike.
The types of cycle accident claims we generally make are from:
● Being knocked off your bicycle by a car, van, lorry or bus.
● A cycle accident due to a pedestrian.
● A cycle accident due potholes, broken drain covers or damaged roads.
● A cycle accident involving a motorbike or another bicycle.
● A hit and run accident. (where the driver leaves without stopping)
● Accidents caused by uninsured drivers or foreign vehicles.
As you can imagine, we have dealt with all sorts of cycle accident claims, from simple cases to very complex cases, You name it and the chances are that we’ve seen it and claimed the compensation too.
Below are the most common types of cycle accidents our clients are involved in. But it’s not exhaustive so if you have been involved in a bike accident and want to find out if you can make a claim just give us a quick call and one of our friendly, expert team will let you know straight away.
This is the most common situation. It seems some drivers are just blind when it comes to cyclists or maybe they are too busy trying to text and drive, talk on the phone or deal with kids screaming in the back. If it wasn’t your fault (and as we both know, it usually isn’t) you can claim for your injuries, lost earnings and damage to your bike and kit.
Almost every cyclist has had to swerve to avoid a pedestrian who has walked straight into the road without looking. It happens more and more, especially as most people seem incapable of walking down the street without looking at their phone to send messages or check their Facebook updates. Just because you have been in a cycle accident caused by a pedestrian rather than a vehicle, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a claim. If you can, try to get the pedestrian’s name, address and contact details.
Potholes, damaged roads and drains can be lethal. One minute you are happily cycling along and the next minute you’ve slammed into a pothole or drain cover and are face down on the tarmac. The cold weather last winter has made the roads worse than ever and most Councils can’t keep up with the repairs. You can often make a cycle claim against the Council if the road is in disrepair even if there aren’t any witnesses.
This is the disgraceful situation where you are knocked off your bike and the guilty car driver (or van, taxi, lorry or bus driver or motorbike rider) leaves you lying in the road without stopping. That means you can’t get the driver’s details BUT it doesn’t mean you can’t make a claim.
Almost as bad as a Hit and Run is when the driver who knocked you off your bike is uninsured or driving a foreign registered vehicle. So, even though you know who did it, because they are uninsured or driving a foreign registered vehicle you can’t claim against an insurance company.
What can I claim for?
Claims are usually separated into two categories:
General Damages – This covers your injury (physical and psychological) and also takes into account any limitations your injury has placed on you, for example inability to compete in races, or carry out usual household chores.
Special Damages – These are your financial losses. Some typical losses would be:
Our legal team will also negotiate a settlement for any loss of earnings if the injuries you suffered led to time off work or missed bonuses. The compensation for anything other than the injury is known as special damages and includes:
● Loss of earnings or bonus
● Medical bills
● Travel costs
● Physiotherapy and rehabilitation
● Psychological injuries as a result of an accident (where physical injury is also present)
● Costs for help with household chores
● Care and assistance
It is important that you keep receipts for any out of pocket expenses as we can add these into your claim. We will even arrange for interim payments to you while the case is on-going if you need help covering expenses.
Please also note that the other side’s insurer is not obliged to make any payments for financial losses which have no evidence to support them.
● For damage to the bicycle, you will need:
● Estimate for the repair costs/pre-accident value. This will usually be from a cycle shop.
● Photographs of the bicycle
● Original purchase receipt, if available.
● For damage to clothing photographs, estimates and original purchase receipts (if available) will be needed.
● Receipts for all other losses will be required (e.g. physiotherapy invoices and taxi fare receipts).
Regarding loss of earnings, the evidence needed will differ depending on whether you are self-employed or not. We will discuss the necessary evidence needed with you.
There are also a number of other types of funding available i.e. legal expenses insurance, trade union funding, private funding or a Conditional Fee Agreement (essentially a no win, no fee agreement). To discuss which funding option is best for you, please contact us and we will be happy to to discuss this with you.
In a road traffic accident, the claim will be submitted to the insurer of the other driver. This will usually be done via an online portal.
If liability is admitted, the process of the claim should be fairly straight forward. It is simply a case of taking evidence of your injury and financial losses and agreeing the value of the claim with the other side’s insurer.
Evidence for financial losses is listed above. If you have been injured you will usually be examined by an independent medical expert. The type of expert we instruct will depend on the nature of the injury. Sometimes it is necessary for more than one examination to take place. The expert will produce a report, and the value of your claims will be based on this report.
Once we have sufficient evidence to value your injury and support your financial losses, an offer will be made to the other side’s insurer. If no reasonable response is received within the allocated time frame, we can issue legal proceedings.
If liability is not admitted, liability investigations will need to be made. This is likely to include:
● Obtaining a police report
● Contacting witnesses for statements
● Obtaining further vehicle damage documents
● Obtaining a locus report/images
Once we are happy that all available liability documents have been collated and disclosed to the other side’s insurer, along with an offer based on the medical report and financial losses, if liability is still not admitted, we can consider issuing legal proceedings.
Issuing legal proceedings does add a significant length of time to the claim. We will only be able to proceed to Court if we are of the opinion that the claim will succeed.
There are cases where liability will be divided between both parties. We will discuss this with you if this is likely to happen with your personal injury claim.
Please note that if the other vehicle is a foreign vehicle, all usual time frames are doubled.
In claims relating to highways it is likely that we will first need to undertake liability investigations to prove that the road was not adequately maintained. This is likely to include a locus report. With claims of this nature, the liability investigations will differ depending on the defect that caused the incident which we will discuss with you. The actual process of the claim is the same as for a road traffic accident as described above.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to say how long a claim will take. There are a number of factors which will affect the length of a claim. These are most notably the seriousness of the injury, the nature of the liability investigations and other associated parties’ co-operation (eg police and medical experts).
Many, bicycle accident victims do not realize that they are as entitled to compensation for injury (including medical expenses and out-of-pocket expenses) as other class of victim be it a lorry driver or pedestrian.
Drivers turning right in front of a bicycle coming towards it
Motorists hitting a bicycle when changing lanes or overtaking often resulting in ‘side-swiping’
Car doors being opened in front of cyclists as they approach
Drivers hitting cyclists when turning left where the cyclist is on the inside
Head Injury - this can be very serious and can occur even when the cyclist is wearing a helmet. Depending on its nature the compensation claims for this injury type tend to be at the higher end of the scale.
Back/Neck/Whiplash Injury - This usually occurs when the cyclist accident victim is struck with some force causing a violent arching of the neck and/or striking of the head off the ground or vehicle.
Collarbone / Arm Injury - These are very often caused when a vehicle door is opened suddenly or when a cyclist is catapulted forward over the handlebars and strikes a car bonnet or windscreen.
Leg Injury - Often caused by cyclists falling on one leg or in the more serious scenario getting a leg crushed under a motor vehicle including lorries or heavy goods vehicles in many instances.
The above are just a snapshot of cyclist injury examples and these can range from the minor (which notwithstanding you may still be compensated for) to the severe catastrophic injuries where loss of earnings, livelihood or even life may occur.
Get Medical Attention
Your health and well-being are more important than any personal injury claim for compensation. You should therefore seek medical attention by going to Accident and Emergency or at least your GP - each are also able to diagnose your injury properly and as well as ensuring you get best care, it will help provide documented medical evidence of the injuries you have suffered.
Record the details of the liable* party
This is standard procedure in any road traffic accident scenario. You should record (where appropriate) the registration number of the vehicle, the other party’s name and address and the insurance details of the driver.
Record names of witnesses and take photographs of the scene
It is important to gather all and any evidence* you can as this may assist you with your injury claim later on and may even have a bearing on the size of compensation for the accident.
Finally, consult with a reputable bicycle accident attorney
Contacting a good personal injury lawyer as soon as practicable will hold you in good stead in the long run. The solicitor will be able to determine if you have a case and will be able to advise on how to proceed with a claim including bring your case to the Injuries Board if applicable. It is usually a good idea not to settle your claim immediately with the other party’s insurance company, until your claim has been properly evaluated by your own lawyer.
There are several common types of personal injuries:
● Car Accidents
● Motorcycle Accidents
● Truck Accidents
● Defective Roadway Accidents
● Bus Accidents
● Bicycle Accidents
● Police Car Accidents
● Hit and Run Collisions
● Pedestrian Accidents
● Motor Vehicle Accidents
● SUV Rollover Accident
Most personal injuries fall into the category of law known as torts. Torts are a type of civil, not criminal, law. It is a way to hold someone else legally responsible for your injuries.
January 19, 20xx
Mr. Arthur Enders
West Texas Insurance
P.O. Box 1200
El Paso, TX
Re: Your insured: Frank Jones
Date of injury: March 3, 20xx
Your file number: NH-88665 [NOTE: Always use the insurer’s file number on all correspondence.]
Dear Mr. Enders:
I have finished treating and so I am enclosing all of my medical records and bills on this case.
[NOTE: The adjuster will not consider your demand until he/she has your entire medical file.]
As you know, I was bicycling down Mountain Rd. in El Paso, approaching 6th Street, when your insured, Mr. Jones, who was parked, opened his driver’s side car door in my path when I was about 5 feet from the door. I had no ability to stop, and so was “doored.” I hit his door and was knocked down. I was bicycling at the right side of the lane of travel. I had an absolute right to be where I was. Mr. Jones simply did not look behind him when he opened his door. If he did, he wasn’t paying attention to the road. Given these facts, I believe that your insured was negligent and is liable for my injuries.
[NOTE: If liability is relatively obvious, you don’t need to get into too much detail. Learn more about Proving Fault in an Injury Case.]
As a result of this collision, I separated my right shoulder when I hit the door and then the ground. My bike was also totaled. Mr. Jones called the police, and they called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I was treated and released at the hospital. They told me to see my primary care physician and to ask for a referral to an orthopedist. I did get a referral to an orthopedist, Dr. Davis, and he saw me for this injury. I saw him every other week for a month and a half, and then he sent me to physical therapy to strengthen my shoulder and get my range of motion and flexibility back. I went to physical therapy three times a week for six weeks, and did exercises at home every day.[NOTE: Summarize your medical treatment. You don’t need to give all of the details. You want to describe the main points.]
My shoulder was extremely painful for a week, then the pain diminished. I took prescription strength pain medications for that week. After that, I took Tylenol once or twice a day for the next couple of weeks. My arm was in a sling for a month. I am right handed, and so only had limited use of my dominant arm for that time. It was difficult to do just about anything, such as bathing, drying myself after a shower, using the toilet, cleaning the house, cooking, writing, using the computer, etc. Obviously, I could not ride my bike or exercise during that time.
[NOTE: You want to explain clearly and concisely your injuries and your pain and suffering. Don’t exaggerate, especially when you had more inconvenience than pain. Just explain what your injuries were and how they affected your life.]
My medical bills total $9,000. I paid $600 in co-pays. My health insurance paid the remainder of the bills, but they recently sent a letter claiming a lien of $4,000 on any settlement that I may get in this case. [NOTE: If you have to repay your health insurance (and you almost always have to), make sure that you tell the adjuster.]
My medical bills were as follows:
● Dr. Acton (primary care physician) 500.00
● Dr. Davis (orthopedist) 1,000.00
● El Paso Ambulance 1,000.00
● El Paso General Hospital 3,500.00
● El Paso Physical Therapy 2,500.00
● TOTAL $9,000.00 [NOTE: Don’t make the adjuster read through your bills to figure out how much they are.]
I am a teacher in the El Paso public schools. I earn $1,000 per week and missed four weeks of work because I could not do basic things like write on the blackboard with my arm in a sling. I have attached a letter from the orthopedist saying that I could not use my arm for that time. Accordingly, my lost earnings claim is $4,000. I received short term disability through the school district in the amount of $600 per week ($2,400 total). They have informed me that I will have to repay them from any settlement that I may get. [NOTE: If you get short and/or long term disability benefits, you will have to disclose that to the adjuster. You will almost always have to repay these benefits if you get a settlement, so make sure to disclose that as well.]
[NOTE: State your lost earnings claim briefly and clearly. Make sure that you have a doctor’s note saying that you needed to miss work for the entire time that you were out, or else the insurer is not going to consider your lost earnings claim.] I also claim damages for my totaled bike. My bike cost $800 and was six months old at the time of the accident. Based on seeing similar bikes on Craigslist, I estimate that it was worth $600 at the time of the accident.
[NOTE: You are only entitled to claim the actual value of damaged property as of the time of the accident. You can’t claim the original purchase price.] My total special damages are thus $9,600.00.
Taking into account your insured’s absolute liability and my damages in this case, I demand $50,000.00 to settle this case. Would you please advise as to your thoughts on this matter.
Very truly yours,
Below, you will find a number of links to the websites of other organizations which may be of further help.
DOWNLOAD – Sample Personal Injury Demand Letter (PDF)
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 "What to Do When You're Hit By a Car - CityLab." 2015. 10 Jun. 2015 <http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2015/05/what-to-do-when-youre-hit-by-a-car/393809/>
 "How to File a Claim - Workers' Compensation Board." 2011. 10 Jun. 2015 <http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/onthejob/howto.jsp>
 "3 Steps to a Bicycle Accident Claim." 2014. 10 Jun. 2015 <http://www.injuryclaimcoach.com/bicycle-accident-claims.html>