Guide to Bicycle Accident Settlement Amounts

12 Dec 2023 | Sam Collard
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Table of Contents

Understanding Bicycle Accident Compensation

More people are taking to their bikes in the UK, both as a form of exercise and as a mode of transport. But as the popularity of cycling rises, so do the number of bicycle accidents. Data from the Department for Transport shows that 91 cyclists were killed on Britain’s roads in 2022 and more than 15,600 were injured—4,056 of them seriously so.

One question that invariably arises in the aftermath of an accident is that of potential settlement amounts. There isn’t a blanket answer, as each case is unique. The amount can vary greatly depending on the severity of your injuries, the financial impact on your life and other factors.

Road users owe each other a duty of care to try to keep each other safe on the roads. Accidents commonly occur when drivers fail to pay attention to cyclists, especially at busy junctions and roundabouts or when there are no designated cycle lanes.

Common Incidents Leading to Compensation Claims include:

In all these types of accident, you may suffer a range of injuries, such as:

  • Bruises, cuts, lacerations and road rash. The majority of cycling accident injuries are relatively minor, although they can leave scarring and emotional impacts.
  • Strains and sprainsWhiplash, back pain, neck pain and other muscle and soft-tissue injuries are common in bicycle accidents.
  • Broken bones. Fractures, especially to arms, legs, collarbones and the pelvis may require considerable medical care and can affect day-to-day functioning, at least temporarily.
  • Brain and head injuries. Cyclists have little more than a helmet to protect them in the event of a collision and may suffer concussions, skull fractures or traumatic brain injuries. Head injuries can be severe and life-altering.
  • Spinal cord injuries. These can lead to paralysis, loss of feeling, or other serious complications that require long-term care.
  • Fatal injuries. Alongside pedestrians, cyclists are the most vulnerable road users and may suffer fatal injuries in more serious accidents. If your loved one has lost their life in a road accident, contact us to see how we can help you.

Factors influencing compensation

The purpose of compensation is to put you back in the position you were in before the accident occurred. The amount is calculated on a case-by-case basis by combining the amount of general damages and special damages you may be able to claim for.

General damages cover the actual injuries and medical conditions arising out of the accident, and special damages cover your financial losses.

Severity of Injuries

General damages are awarded for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity (ability to do everyday tasks) caused by your injuries. The more severe the injury, the higher the payout you are likely to receive. For example, a cleanly broken leg that heals within six months will receive a smaller settlement than more serious fractures that require surgery and leave you with long-term disability.

Guidelines for general damages are found in the Judicial College Guidelines, a reference book that solicitors and judges refer to when valuing a claim.

As part of claiming with us, we may ask you to visit an independent medical expert. Their assessment will help us calculate a fair amount of compensation for your injuries.

Long-term impacts and loss of earnings

Special damages cover financial losses or expenses you’ve incurred as a consequence of the accident. These could include:

  • Repairing the damage to your bike
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earnings if you’re unable to work
  • Cost of care and medication
  • State-of-the-art prosthetic limbs
  • Travel expenses related to your injury
  • Home adaptations

Both general and special damages take the long-term impact of your injuries into account. If your recovery is such that you are unable to work for a long term, or you must adjust the way you work by reducing your hours or taking a lower-paying job, your settlement amount will reflect this.

For people of working age, loss of earnings can be the most significant element of a settlement claim. In some cases, we may be able to organise interim payments to cover urgent costs throughout the process of your claim.

Liability and negligence

Liability and negligence play a crucial role in determining your settlement. If the other party is entirely at fault for the accident, you should receive the full amount of compensation that is available for your type of injury. However, if you’re found to be partially at fault for your injuries (for example, you weren’t wearing a helmet or were riding at night without lights), it may reduce your settlement.

Average bicycle accident settlement amounts

For us to provide a specific idea of how much compensation you are entitled to, we will need to assess your case in detail. However, the following figures from the Judicial College Guidelines should give you a rough guide to the general damages provided by law, from minor to severe. The compensation bands are deliberately wide to allow for individual circumstances to be taken into account:

  • Head injury: £1,880 – £379,100
  • Severe neck injury: £38,800 – £139,210
  • Brain injury: £36,740 – £205,580
  • Broken wrist: £2,300 – £39,300
  • Fractured femur: £7,780 – £13,210
  • Fractured pelvis: £3,370 – £122,860
  • Spinal cord damage: £77,700 – £151,070

Read our case studies to find out how much we have helped our clients claim.

How Osbornes Law Can Help

  • Contact our specialist bicycle accident lawyers. In this meeting, we’ll advise you whether you have a valid claim, estimate a potential settlement range, and talk you through the process.

The personal injury team at Osbornes Law are cycling accident specialists. Many of our staff are keen cyclists themselves understand the road from a cyclist’s perspective. This insight makes our team unique in how we advocate for you if you’ve been in a cycling accident.

Our team has successfully recovered millions of pounds for people whose lives have been devastated by serious cycling injuries and we can do the same for you.

Our No Win No Fee promise means you are at no financial risk if you decide to seek compensation.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Making mistakes after a bicycle accident can reduce your chances of receiving the maximum payout. Hiring the experienced team at Osbornes is an obvious way to avoid mistakes, but there are also some pitfalls to watch out for in the days and weeks after the accident.

Not seeking immediate medical attention. After an accident, it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention, even if injuries seem minor. Delaying medical treatment could give the impression that your injuries are not severe, which may affect your compensation.

Not reporting the accident. For incidents involving other road users, it is likely that an insurance company will be involved in the claim. Obtaining a police report can help establish fault in the accident and provides valuable evidence supporting your bicycle accident claim.

Failing to collect evidence at the scene. If possible, collect evidence at the accident scene. This could include photographs of injuries, your bicycle and the accident scene. Gather contact details from other road users involved in the accident, and witness contact details if you can. Write down what happened as soon as possible. This will help you remember the details of the event.

Admitting fault. Saying that you are partly to blame for the accident can hurt your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.

Not keeping proper records. It’s crucial to keep track of your out-of-pocket expenses, including travel, bike repair and lost wages. We will need proof of these expenses to use in your claim.

Settling too early. It can be tempting to accept the first settlement offer from the other party’s insurance company, but it may not fully cover your losses. Always consult with your solicitor before accepting an offer.

Waiting too long. The time limit for making a claim is three years in most cases. This may sound like a long time, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be to gather evidence, and crucial witnesses may be harder to track down. It’s best to start the claims process as soon as possible after the accident.

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