A guide to making a No Win No Fee bicycle courier accident claim
Bicycle couriers operating in central London cover an average of 60-80 miles a day, 5 days a week.
With around 75% of fatal or serious cycling accidents occurring in urban areas, and of these 75% at or near road junctions and 80% in daylight (according to RoSPA), the conditions that cycle couriers work in mean even the most experienced cyclists are vulnerable to serious road accidents.
NHS data suggests that more than 40% of cyclists involved in an accident sustained head injuries - from serious skull fractures to minor concussion and cuts.
The Courts recognise the serious, and potentially long-term, impact that head and brain injuries including concussion can have, and compensation awards and settlements consequently can be high.
Injuries to limbs are also common; over 40% incurred some injury to their arms, and 25% to their legs. Although chest and abdomen injuries are less frequent they can be serious and often accompanied by head injuries.
The main causes
Road traffic accidents
Many accidents are caused by collisions with motor vehicles. With little protection a cyclist may be seriously injured from a relatively small incident such as a car door being opened in his path.
The most common collisions are with cars or taxis where the rider is usually hit by the front of the vehicle. HGVs also present a particular danger, especially when turning left at junctions, or passing too close to the rider.
Almost 60% of the accidents at junctions were caused by drivers failing to look properly.
Dangerous road surfaces
A hazard to all road users, potholes, raised drain covers, fuel spillages and excess gravel may all cause serious injury to cycle couriers.
Local authorities or the Highways Agency may be held responsible for any injuries sustained when accidents have occurred where they have failed to maintain the roads in a safe condition.
If the accident was caused by a spillage it is necessary to identify which organisation was responsible in order to bring a claim.
Slips and trips
During their work couriers visit many different premises and may be injured if they trip or slip. Accidents may occur in public places, a depot , or at a customers property. Potholes and damaged paving stones or raised drain covers are the main cause of outdoor accidents, with spillages, trailing wires, cluttered walkways and poor floor coverings presenting hazards indoors.
Lifting and handling
Manual handling injuries may be sustained if a courier is required to deliver a large item, although heavy and large items are often considered unsafe for transporting by cycle.
Employers have a duty to ensure that the size and weight of parcels being delivered are not too large, and to organise training on the safe lifting of heavy objects.
Accidents may be caused by a fault with the couriers cycle. If defective equipment is provided by his employer then the employer is responsible for its maintenance and repair.
The employer should also provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a properly fitting safety helmet to reduce the risk of injury.
The legal process following the accident
If a courier's injury was sustained through an accident that was not his or her fault, it may be possible to claim compensation from the third party if it can be established that they were responsible for the accident and that they owed the cyclist a duty of care.
Property owners owe a duty of those visiting the property, and drivers owe a duty of care to all other road users, so for courier injuries establishing this duty and therefore liability is often straightforward.
Self-employed bike couriers
An injured cycle courier may be unable to work for an extended period, and therefore may claim for loss of earnings. Lost wages can be claimed in addition to other special damages, such as a replacement bicycle or treatment costs and physiotherapy.
Self-employed couriers are treated as though they were employed by a larger organisation for many aspects of a claim, but calculating lost earnings can be more complex. It is often not a simple matter of presenting wage slips, but your solicitor will be able to help you prove earnings and calculate potential future earnings. Read more about injury claims for self-employed workers.
Guaranteed No Win, No Fee
A no win no fee agreement (also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between the claimant and lawyer.
A no win no fee agreement is basically the terms and conditions under which the solicitor is instructed by their client.
The agreement sets out what the lawyer will do and how the solicitor is paid if your legal case is won.
If you instruct a Quittance solicitor for your cycle courier accident compensation claim there are absolutely no extra costs , nothing to pay up-front and the comfort that you will not be out of pocket.
Comparing injury solicitors
Many injury lawyers will act for you on a No Win, No Fee basis. But what will they charge if you win?
Get a compensation claim quote for more information on how much more of your compensation you could retain with Quittance's injury solicitors, compared to most other injury solicitors.
Ready to start?
Call a specialist solicitor on 0800 612 7456 to commence your claim for compensation, or you can begin a compensation claim online.
If you have further questions before starting, request a callback at a time that suits you or phone on 0800 612 7456.