A Guide to Claiming Cycling Accident Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a cycling accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a cycling accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
Britain's roads are becoming gradually more 'cycle-friendly', and there has been a slight reduction in the number of fatalities over the past five years.
Serious and less serious injuries have increased in absolute terms, although the numbers of cyclists have increased in the same period.
If you have been injured in a cycling accident that was not your fault, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.
You may also be able to claim for any treatment costs, damage to your bicycle, loss of earnings and any other financial losses.
What are the statistics?
The number of cyclists on Britain's roads has grown significantly in recent years. The National Cycling Charity publishes the latest data available in 2019. The charity's research shows that 43% of the population now own a bike or have access to one.
Cycling accidents have risen broadly in line with the number of cyclists. According to the most recent 2019 figures supplied by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 18,375 people were injured in bicycle accidents that were reported to the police in the UK in 2016.
Of these, 3,397 people were seriously injured, and a further 102 people were killed.
It is thought that most cycle accidents are not reported to the police. These figures may represent only a fraction of the actual number of people injured each year.
What to do after a cycling accident
You should compile as much evidence of the costs and losses you have incurred as a result of the accident:
- Obtain full details of the driver including the vehicle 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
- Keep any receipts for expenses incurred together with estimates for bike repairs or replacement bicycle parts.
- Get multiple estimates from suitable retailers or repairers. (Unreasonably high expenses may not be recoverable)
- If you have to replace your bike, it is advisable to retain the original bicycle involved in the accident, even if it is severely damaged.
- Keep any damaged items such as helmets, gloves or other protective outerwear. These items may need to be inspected at a later date.
- At the very least, you should take photographs of the damaged items. These photos may help support medical evidence when you make a claim, for example, by indicating the severity and direction of the impact.
Do I have a cycling accident claim?
A cycling accident injury claim should be possible if your injury happened:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker:
What are the exceptions?
However, if these two points don't apply, a claim may still be possible.
To confirm whether you are eligible to claim you can speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. We will not put you under any pressure to pursue a claim.
What if the road accident was my fault?
If you think you were partly responsible for the road accident or for your injury, it should still be possible to make a claim.
In these cases, claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.
For example, if you were 50% responsible for your injuries, you would receive 50% less compensation.
What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?
If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).
The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a cycling accident claim on their own behalf.
Can I claim if the cycling accident made an existing injury worse?
Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult than proving a straightforward cycling accident injury, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.
The amount of money you could claim for your cycling accident will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your cycling accident has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a cycling accident? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a life-threatening internal injury can be £52,000
For a less severe arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.
However, if you have a life-threatening internal injury and a less severe arm injury, you would typically receive £52,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.Read more about multiple injury claims
What is the average injury compensation for a cycling accident claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a cycling accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your cycling accident compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Will a road accident claim affect my benefits?
It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Cycling accident compensation calculator
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a cycling accident injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your cycling accident claim could be worth now:
How long does a cycling injury claim take?
How long it can take to secure compensation for a cycling accident can vary considerably.
For example, a simple uncontested road accident claim could be settled in a month or two. However, if liability is denied the process might take substantially longer. Normally a road accident claim takes between 4 and 9 months. Read more:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a cycling accident after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your cycling accident claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I get financial advice?
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your cycling accident claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.
Expert cycling accident solicitors
Quittance offer specialist legal advice and assist clients in achieving maximum compensation awards for their injuries and other losses.
Our cycling accident team focus on cycling claims and have years of experience in recovering the best possible compensation awards through insurance companies and the courts.
Our clients include:
- cycle commuters
- mountain bikers
- sport and recreational cyclists.
Serious injury experience
NHS data suggests that more than 40% of cyclists involved in an accident sustained head injuries - from severe 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 frequent; 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.
Our specialist solicitors have successfully recovered compensation for cyclist injuries from the following:
- drivers turning across the paths of cyclists
- drivers changing lanes without looking
- drivers failing to spot cyclists on roundabouts
- 'dooring' incidents involving a person exiting a parked car
- cyclist falls caused by potholes and poorly maintained roads
- cyclists hurt by pedestrians stepping out in front of them
- cycle couriers injured during a delivery
How likely am I to win a cycling claim?
If you were injured on your bike in the last three years in an accident that was not their fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
To win a claim, your solicitor will need to establish 'causation', meaning that your injuries must have resulted 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.
Can I claim if I am a bike courier?
Bicycle couriers operating in central London cover an average of 60-80 miles a day, five days a week.
Around 75% of severe or fatal cycling accidents occurring in urban areas. 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.
If your injury was sustained through an accident that was not your fault, it might be possible to claim compensation from the third party who caused the accident.
It may also be possible to claim against the courier's employer if they were fully or partly responsible.
Quittance can help couriers recover much-needed compensation from employers, property owners and other road users.
We have experience in assisting couriers injured in various circumstances, including:
- Road accidents
- Slips, trips and other injuries while on foot, making a delivery
- Lifting and manual handling injuries, caused by large, heavy or unsuitable packages
- Injuries arising from faulty equipment, or where adequate protective equipment (PPE) was not provided
What if I am a self-employed bike courier?
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.
As a self-employed courier, you will be treated as though a company employed you when making a claim. However, calculating lost earnings can be more complicated.
It is often not a simple matter of presenting wage slips. However, your solicitor will be able to help you quantify and prove lost earnings as well as calculating potential lost future earnings.
Read more about injury claims for self-employed workers.
No win, no fee
Under a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a cycling accident claim without needing to worry about upfront legal fees. If your cycling accident claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making a cycling accident claim, even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my cycling accident claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my cycling accident claim?
If your cycling accident claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Cycling accident FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a cycling accident claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the cycling accident to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your cycling accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a cycling accident after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim cycling accident compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a car accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert