Claiming for Cycling Accident

by admin on August 13, 2010

Cyclists are frequently demonised by pedestrians and motorists because of the behaviour of a few, who ride as though there are no legal restrictions upon them. Because of this it seems that motorists give little regard to the safety of cyclists and it is rare for the courts to decide that an accident wasn’t partially or entirely the fault of the motorist. This is good news for cyclists as the injuries suffered are often severe with even the most minor of falls leading to painful and disabling injuries 

If you are knocked from your bike there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of bringing a successful claim.

The first thing to do is to make sure that you have all the details of the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident; this includes their name, address and telephone number. At the very least get their vehicle registration number as their insurers can be traced through their VRN. 
Get yourself medically examined; this can mean going to see your doctor or more often than not you will be better off going to your local A&E or medical walk-in centre. You should do this for two reasons:  To make sure that you have not sustained any serious injuries
So that there is a record of the fact that you sustained injury in the accident; it won’t kill your claim if you don’t get checked-out but it is always easier to obtain medical evidence if you have been examined. 

Start to keep a list of all expenses you may incur as a result of the accident. This can include medication and treatment costs, the cost of the repair of your bike, if any property such as clothes/helmet or spectacles were damaged get quotes for their replacement or repair (don’t throw the damaged item away as the other side’s insurers may want proof of their damage). If you are off work make sure that you obtain sick notes if appropriate. 
If you need to get a taxi or a bus to go for medical examination or treatment or for any reason get a receipt or keep your ticket; the more you can prove the more you can claim. 
Likewise if you use your car for such purposes then keep a note of any mileage incurred, this can be claimed a set rate per mile. 
If your injuries are such that your spouse/partner/family or friends have to help you out with everyday activities again, keep a record. You can claim for their help even if that help was given without you paying for it. 
If you are likely to have some time off work then try and get together payslips for the 13 weeks before the accident; your solicitor will be able to get this information from your employers but it will speed things up if you have them to hand; some employers don’t regard helping you as a priority and their failure to respond can cause problems.

 The above points will help you claim what are known as ‘special damages’ that is financial losses that can be calculated to the penny.

 In addition you will be able to claim for what are known as ‘general damages‘. General damages are sums that can not be specifically calculated and, in the main, relate to compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of the accident.

 The valuation of your general damages will be based upon a medical report following an examination by a consultant appointed by your solicitor. The consultant will, as well as examining you, review your medical records which is why it is important that you seek medical assistance for as long as you need it; don’t just grin and bear it. If there are no records of medical treatment or attendance at your doctor or hospital it will be harder for the consultant to give a full account of your injuries and symptoms.

 There has been a growing trend for the insurers of the offending vehicle to contact injured parties and offer a quick settlement saying that they, the injured party, will have to pay high fees if they instruct a solicitor. This is not true, if you have a good case a solicitor will act for you on a no win- no fee basis whereby all your costs will be paid by the other side without any deduction for your damages and, if you instruct a solicitor chances are you will receive a higher award.

 To ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation and all that you deserve speak to a solicitor who knows what they are doing and who specialises in cycle claims. This way you will ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.

About the Author:
Mike Massen is a practising solicitor with Gartons Solicitors Leeds – 0113 2310766, Gartons provide quality legal service in the following areas: accident claims, buying and selling property,wills and probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, criminal injury claims, sexual abuse claims. Gartons have particular expertise when dealing with cycling and vehicle accidents.
If you have found this article of interest please feel free to forward to other sites etc however I would ask that you give full credit to Gartons Solicitors for such, thank you.
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