If a cycling injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
A cycling accident can have a sudden and profound affect on your life. Beyond the physical injuries, the unexpected trauma can leave lasting emotional scars.
If you've been injured in a cycling accident that was caused by another driver, cyclist, pedestrian or any other road user, you may be entitled to claim financial compensation for your injuries, losses and expenses.
You can make a road injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone, over 16,000 cyclists are injured every year
The number of cyclists on Britain's roads has grown significantly in recent years. The pandemic saw people taking to two wheels in ever-growing numbers.
According to Cycling UK, 43% of the population now own or have access to a bike.
Cycling accidents have risen in line with the number of cyclists. According to the latest (2023) data from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 16,294 cyclists were injured, 4,356 of which were killed or seriously injured in 2022.
Accident rates are likely to be substantially higher, however, as these figures are compiled from accidents that were reported to the police.
Am I eligible to claim compensation for a cycling injury claim?
As a general rule, you can make a claim if you were injured:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
However, even if you think you were partly responsible for your road accident, you may still have a claim.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Can I claim for a child or another person?
Yes. 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 for them.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
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 an injury claim on their own behalf.
How much compensation can I claim for a cycling accident injury?
The amount of money you could claim for a cycling injury will depend on:
- the severity 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
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 awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include lost earnings, a replacement bike or repairs, cycling safety equipment, or any other out of pocket expenses.
Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your cycling injury, including pain medication and physical therapy.
Cycling accident injury
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
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Road accidents and psychiatric health
Some degree of psychological trauma following a road accident is normal. Where symptoms are long-lasting or having a debilitating affect on your life, additional help and support is available.
Our 2023 Road Injury Claimant Survey highlights how common psychiatric injuries are, with 32.47% of road accident claims involving psychological harm. 78.53% of these were also associated with a physical injury.
Claiming general damages for mental and emotional distress can help provide access to mental health care and therapies, some of which might not be available through the NHS.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
What should I do after a cycling accident?
If you are injured in a cycling accident, following the checklist below will help support a future compensation claim:
- Get to safety and seek immediate medical attention if needed
- Get the driver's registration and insurance details.
- Gather witnesses contact information
- Photograph the accident scene, vehicle positions, road markings, your clothing (proving you were visible could help your claim) and your injuries.
- Report the accident to the police.
- Document any medical attention you receive.
- Save all repair or replacement receipts and get several quotes for your bike.
- Get multiple estimates from suitable retailers or repairers. (Unreasonably high expenses may not be recoverable).
- Keep your damaged bike, even if it's beyond repair.
- Keep all damaged gear, like helmets and clothing
- Take pictures of damaged equipment, which could illustrate the force of impact.
Helmet camera footage
Cycle helmet mounted camera footage is admissible in both civil and criminal courts. To be of use, the footage must be of sufficient quality to support your claims The footage must also show the cause of the accident e.g. if hit from behind, it is unlikely that a forward mounted camera will capture any usable footage.
Lees than 2% of claims go to court, but insurance companies more likely to admit liability in when presented with video footage.
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.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
Your solicitor will ask you about how your cycling injury happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
By law, all drivers must have insurance to cover the cost of injury compensation claims. Even if you were injured by an uninsured or untraceable driver, a claim may still be possible.
We can help you make a road accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
You will not need to 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.
Serious cycling injury experience
Our panel of solicitors specialise in securing maximum compensation for cycling injuries, working with insurance companies and the courts.
NHS data suggests that more than 40% of cyclists involved in an accident sustained head injuries - from severe skull fractures to minor concussions 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.
Limb injuries are also common. Over 40% of cycling injuries involved arms, and over 25% involve legs. Although chest and abdomen injuries are less frequent they can be serious and often accompanied by head injuries.
Our experts have recovered compensation for cycle commuters, cycle couriers, road and mountain bikers, and sport and recreational cyclists injured:
- drivers turning across their path, changing lanes or failing to spot them.
- in 'dooring' incidents
- by potholes
- in collisions with pedestrians
I was injured cycling for work
If you were injured when cycling as part of your job, an injury claim may be possible.
Bicycle couriers in particular are exposed to daily risk, with a typical courier riding an average of 60-80 miles a day, five days a week.
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 your employer if they were fully or partly responsible.
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'm 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.
I was the victim of road rage
Cyclists are often the victims of road rage. Some motorists react aggressively to cyclists on the road. Road rage can be more dangerous for cyclists than motorists, as they cannot keep out of harm's way by staying inside their vehicle.
If the aggressive driver drives dangerously with a cyclist in the vicinity, the cyclist could be seriously harmed. There have been road rage incidents where drivers have purposefully driven directly into cyclists.
Cyclists can claim for the same damages as motorists when it comes to road rage compensation claims, but cyclists may experience more severe psychological effects as a result. Cyclists may develop phobias of cycling or being on the road, and may need rehabilitation and psychological therapy to help overcome these fears.
I feel I was partly, or fully responsible
You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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.
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.
I have specialist cycle insurance
Although it is not a legal requirement to hold cycle insurance, an estimated 5% of regular cyclists have taken out a policy.
Cycle insurance tends to be marketed to more serious cyclists. Policies typically cover damage to property, public liability and personal accident cover.
Depending on your policy, you may be covered for immediate cash payments if hospitalised and additional payments, depending on the severity of your injuries. Most policies have a ceiling (typically £10,000 to £20,000) on what they will pay out in the event of an injury.
Personal injury awards typically run into £10,000’s for cyclists - but can be much higher depending on the severity of the injury. As a cyclist you are classed as a vulnerable road user and compensation awards are typically higher as a result.
If you are injured and have insurance, we still recommend that you speak to one of our legally trained cycling accident advisors who will explain your options and advise on how best to proceed.
I was cycling at night without lights
There are fewer cycling accidents in the day than at night.
According to Section 60 of the Highway Code Rule 60, it is illegal to cycle on a public road after dark without lights and reflectors. Although this does not necessarily preclude making a cycling injury claim - it can affect the amount of compensation awarded.
If the accident occurred between sunset and sunrise and the cyclist was not displaying lights (as defined by RVLR) the courts may consider you to have been entirely or partially at fault by not making other road users aware of your presence. This is described as 'contributory negligence'.
The judge may also decide that if you had complied with the regulations and were therefore visible, the injury may have been avoided or less severe.
In the event of contributory negligence, any compensatory award would be subject to a 'split liability' agreement where compensation is apportioned in accordance with blame.
I was cycling on the pavement
According to the Highways Act 1835 , cycling on the pavement is illegal in England and Wales. But if you were injured cycling on the pavement you may still be able you claim compensation.
I need the money now
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
How we can help you with your road accident claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims.
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If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee road accident claim, we are open:
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Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
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Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.