A guide to making a No Win No Fee cycling accident claim
The number of cyclists on Britain's roads has grown significantly in recent years. The National Cycling Charity has published research that shows that 43% of the population now either own a bike or have access to one.
Cycling accidents have risen broadly in line with the number of cyclists. According to figures supplied by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) 19,329 people were injured in bicycle accidents that were reported to the police in the UK in 2013. Of these, over 3,000 people were seriously injured. A further 109 people were killed.
It is thought that most cycle accidents are not reported to the police, so these figures may represent only a fraction of the actual number of people injured each year.
How Quittance help people injured in cycling accidents
Every year Quittance's network of solicitors help cyclists seek financial compensation and rehabilitation support when injured through no fault of their own.
Our network of expert personal injury solicitors have advised clients who have suffered injuries as a result of:
- drivers turning across the paths of cyclists
- drivers failing to spot cyclists on roundabouts
- cyclist falls caused by potholes and poorly maintained roads
- cyclists hurt by pedestrians stepping out in front of them
Quittance offer expert legal advice and assist clients in achieving maximum compensation awards for their injuries and other losses.
Our clients include cycle commuters, mountain bikers and other sport and recreational cyclists.
Making a risk free No Win No Fee cycling injury compensation claim with Quittance
A no win no fee contract ( referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is agreed between the claimant and a personal injury solicitor.
A Conditional Fee Agreement is in essence the terms and conditions under which the solicitor represents their client.
The CFA documents what the solicitor will do as well as how he or she is paid if your compensation claim is successful.
If you decide to choose Quittance Personal Injury for your cycling injury claim there will be no sneaky hidden costs in the terms and conditions , nothing to pay up-front and the complete peace of mind that you will not be out of pocket.
How likely are you to win your cycling claim?
Are you eligible to make a claim?
If a cyclist was injured in the last three years in an accident that was not his or her fault, he or she may be eligible to claim compensation.
To win a claim, the cyclist's solicitor will need to establish 'causation', meaning that their client's injuries result from the accident.
The solicitor will also need to establish that the Defendant (the driver or other party who caused the accident) was legally responsible for the cycling accident.
Cycling accidents involving children are not constrained by the three-year limitation. A claim may be made on behalf of the child at any point up to their 18th birthday, or by the child themselves between their 18th and 21st birthdays. Read more about making an injury claim on behalf of a child.
Who can you make a claim against?
Quittance's panel of solicitors have handled claims made against Defendants that include drivers, pedestrians, other cyclists and local authorities and councils.
Typically it is the Defendant's insurance company who would pay compensation. If the Defendant is uninsured or untraceable, a claim may be submitted to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB). The MIB was set up in 1946 to "compensate victims of uninsured and untraced drivers fairly and promptly".
What if the other party is uninsured or untraceable?
If the other vehicle involved in a cycling accident is uninsured or untraceable it should still be possible to submit a claim directly to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).
The MIB was set up to ensure that people who have sustained injuries as a result of uninsured or untraceable drivers can still be compensated.
How much can you claim for a cycling accident?
When choosing a suitable personal injury solicitor, people understandably focus on the amount of compensation they are likely to receive.
The severity of injuries sustained in cycling accidents varies significantly as can the level of financial loss. It is therefore be misleading to talk about cycle accident compensation awards in terms of average payouts.
Compensation claim awards, or ?damages', are broken down into two categories; ?general damages' and ?special damages'. General damages often comprise the larger part of the award and are paid to compensate the Claimant for their injuries.
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards. These awards are calculated in relation to the nature and severity of an injury and are set out in the form of minimum and maximum amounts for a given injury.
Quittance work hard to obtain the maximum payout within JSB guidelines.
It may be possible to claim for existing injuries or medical conditions that have worsened as a result of the accident. Read more about making a claim for an existing condition.
What can you claim for?
Compensation can be claimed for losses including:
- loss of earnings
- the cost of medical treatment (past and potential future treatment)
- damage to property including cycle repairs
- any other costs or expenses resulting from the accident, such as travel expenses to and from hospital
Claimants are advised to keep any receipts for expenses incurred together with estimates for bike repairs or replacement bicycle parts. These documents can assist in making a claim for suitable compensation.
The burden is on the Claimant to make reasonable endeavours to reduce costs associated with the accident. To facilitate the calculation of reasonable compensation, Claimants should get multiple estimates from suitable retailers or repairers. Unreasonably high expenses will not be included in the calculation of compensation awards.
If a bike is replaced, it is advisable to retain the original bicycle involved in the accident, even if it is severely damaged. The bike could be requested for inspection at any time. Likewise, keep any damaged items such as helmets, gloves or other protective outerwear. These items may also need to be inspected at a later date.
At the very least, photographs of the damaged items should be taken. These photos may help support medical evidence when making the claim, for example, by indicating the severity and direction of the impact.
How soon after an accident must a claim be made?
Anyone injured in a cycling accident that happened in the last three years may be entitled to claim for personal injury compensation.
If an out-of-Court settlement has not been accepted by both sides within three years of the date of the accident, and Court proceedings have not started, the claim becomes 'statute-barred'. This means that a Claimant can no longer commence legal action through the Courts to settle their claim.
By starting a claim as early as possible, the Claimant's solicitor has more time to negotiate a better settlement amount from the other side or start Court proceedings if agreement cannot be reached.
What can be done to maximise the chances of a successful claim?
There are a number of things that can be done to help support a personal injury claim. Ideally, the following steps will have been carried out immediately after the accident, but are still worth doing even if some time has passed:
- obtain full details of the other driver including the car registration number and insurance company
- obtain details (name and phone number) of any witnesses to the accident
- take photos of the aftermath especially vehicle position and any road markings
- report the accident to the police
A Compensation Claims Report has the answers
Quittance have developed the 'Compensation Claim Report' or 'CCR' which assesses your accident and gives you a detailed insight into:
- the value of your claim
- the chances that your claim will be successful
- how long the case could take
Obtaining a report is free and only takes a few minutes to complete.
Quittance's network of solicitors have helped clients claim for impact injuries leading to minor fractures to the hands and feet, collar bone fractures, wrist and ankle pain or cuts and bruises. Quittance's solicitors have also assisted with claims for back pain, whiplash and head injuries.
Get a free Compensation Claim Report or call us free phone on 0800 612 7456 for a free no obligation discussion about your cycling accident.
We are aware that potential Claimants will have specific questions when considering whether they should start a claim for compensation.
For more detailed answers to your questions concerning how personal injury compensation claims work, see our FAQ page.
What to do next
Your free Compensation Claim Report (CCR) considers a detailed assessment of the chance your claim will succeed, the compensation you could receive and how long the claims process should take.
If you would like to get your claim under way you can call us on 0800 612 7456 or start your claim here.
Alternatively you can arrange a call back at time that is convenient for you.