Cycling Accident Claims
Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Learn more about the cycling team at Osbornes, including what experience we have helping cyclists who have had a bicycle accident and how we specialise in representing those who have suffered the most serious of injuries. You will hear from some of our clients and how we have been able to help.
Sophie Davies Partner
“A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.”
Cycling Accident Compensation
As cyclists ourselves, we know that every case is different and we understand the issues that arise in cycling accident claims. From dooring, flooring and hooking to lorry vision standards and infrastructure, we know the various road accident scenarios and the types of injury that cyclists suffer as well as the short and long-term effects and losses that follow.
We are proud to be the exclusive legal partner of the London Cycling Campaign, a 12,000-member strong charity that gives cyclists a voice in Greater London. Our head of cycling claims also takes an active role in campaigning for safer cycling as an LCC trustee.
Experts in bike accident claims
The cycling team at Osbornes is made up of approachable London lawyers, with over 40 years of experience in litigating the most complex and serious accident cases and representing cyclists across the full range of claims.
Our personal injury lawyers have successfully recovered millions of pounds for people whose lives have been devastated by serious and life-changing cycling injuries and for the families of those tragically killed whilst cycling.
Our main focus is on giving you all the support you need throughout your recovery: getting you the best rehabilitation and financial package for your needs, including interim payments throughout the course of your case, and where possible getting you back on your bike.
Cycling Accident Claims FAQs
I’ve been involved in a cycling accident - what should I do at the scene of the crash?
Shock and pain can make it difficult to react immediately and properly to a crash involving injury, but here is our advice on what to do:
- Be safe – get out of danger and get others to help secure the scene.
- Ring 999 – ambulance paramedics will assess your injuries and the police will investigate the cycling accident.
- Exchange details with the other party – this is a legal requirement unless the accident has been reported to the police.
- Evidence – use your phone: photograph the other vehicle, driver and the scene; check for CCTV cameras, speak to witnesses and obtain their contact details.
- Get legal advice – Following a crash which has resulted in injury to you, it is always worth speaking to a specialist lawyer who will be able to advice you on your rights, obligations and what your next steps may be.
How do I start a cycling accident claim?
Speak to a cycle accident solicitor, who should offer you a free initial assessment. The first consideration will be whether a claim for compensation is likely to succeed. That will depend on the facts of the particular case, but if it can be proved – on the balance of probabilities – that another party was at fault and their fault caused the accident then the claim will succeed. If the lawyer believes the claim has little or no chance of success they will decline to take the case on a No Win No Fee basis. You are then at liberty to consult one or more other lawyers, because other firms may take a different view on liability or have a different appetite for risk.
It may well be that it is too early at the outset for the lawyer to have a clear idea on liability. It may be that you are unable for various reasons to recount the accident circumstances and it can take time to gather the liability evidence together. The solicitor should then obtain the police, witness, CCTV, accident investigation and other evidence necessary to review the case on liability, pursuing the claim with the opponent’s insurers and seeking an early admission of liability.
There is a protocol that your lawyer and the third party insurers will follow, which has short time limits to deal with the exchange of initial information and which is designed to resolve issues on liability in the initial weeks after the claim is brought.
Rehabilitation is also an early consideration, and in many cases an early independent rehab assessment is carried out so that funding can be sought from the opponent to cover the cost of medical investigations, therapies and treatment.
Issues around medical assessment, prognosis and compensation assessment should wait until the injuries have stabilised, and so they tend to follow liability investigations.
I was involved in a crash, but the other party did not remain at the scene. Can I still make a claim?
Yes! If you are the victim of a ‘hit and run’ or the other party is an uninsured driver you will still be able to seek a compensation award. This is done through a third-party organisation called The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB). The MIB’s job is to step into the shoes of the insurer and to compensate for all genuine claims made against a negligent – but uninsured or unknown – driver. Your solicitor will fully represent your interests throughout this process.
Can you claim against a cyclist?
In relation to liability, we will use our expertise and experience to secure 100% liability, or as close to it as possible on the facts of the case. If the opponent was at fault but alleges that it was also your fault, then they are making a claim for ‘contributory negligence’. Just as it is for the claimant to prove their primary claim by evidence, it up to the defendant to put forward evidence to show that you are partially to blame. If they succeed, the final amount of compensation is reduced by a percentage to reflect your contribution of blame.
Some accidents are genuinely six of one and half a dozen of another, so for example if two vehicles collide head on at a bend in the road because they both took it too fast and strayed over into the opposite carriageway they could both be 50% to blame and so would be liable to meet 50% of each other’s claim. If one party was a cyclist and the other a lorry driver then the former may have a large loss claim and the latter a negligible one and so the lorry driver’s insurers would have to meet 50% of the cyclist’s claim.
It is common for contributory negligence to be raised against claims brought by cyclists. Examples would be running a red light, being unlit in the dark, and turning without indicating.
Where a claimant sustained head or facial injuries and was not wearing a helmet, insurers and their lawyers will usually claim up to 25% for contributory negligence, but they will not often succeed in this evolving area of the law.
It should be remembered that the hierarchy of responsibility principle is likely to be written into the Highway Code soon, and is already generally applied as a common law principle. It means that those with the potential to do the most harm must bear the greatest responsibility to avoid the danger they pose, and in practice means that the negligence of a motor vehicle driver will be considered more serious and significant than that of the injured vulnerable road user, and so findings of contributory negligence against cyclists are often relatively low, around the 20% – 30% range.
It is also the case that allegations of contributory negligence can be thrown in to discussions for the purposes of negotiation and may not always have merit on close inspection.
We acted for a claimant who suffered a serious head injury in a bicycle accident claim. The defendant’s lawyers contended for a 25% reduction in damage because he was not wearing a helmet, but to succeed with that claim they had to show firstly that he owed a legal duty to wear a helmet and secondly that a helmet would have prevented the injury. There is currently no good legal precedent that a cyclist is mandated to wear a helmet (although it is encouraged as good and safe practice), and secondly the impact was to the front of the head – an area where a helmet offers little protection – and so the defendant was not able to show that a cycling helmet would have made a difference.
Can I claim for any damage to my bike, travel expenses and any loss of earnings?
The heads of loss in a cycling accident claim are broad, and cover past losses and expenses as well as rehabilitation and the cost of meeting future needs, including:
- Loss of earnings and prejudice on the labour market
- Bike repairs and equipment damage
- Travel expenses and loss of use of bike
- Treatment, rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Specialist equipment and care
- Adaptations to vehicle and home
Osbornes Law recently acted for a client who was thrown off her bike in a collision at a roundabout and suffered a lumbar spine fracture. During her period of recovery she had to work reduced hours as a hospital consultant and required therapy for the psychological effects of the accident and her injuries. Interim payments were claimed from the opponent to meet these costs. Longer term, she was restricted in terms of the physical aspects of her job, and the eventual financial settlement included the value of continued reduced hours, up to retirement, as well as compensation for the lost opportunity to gain further promotion.
We acted for another client who sustained a lower back injury when he was knocked off his bike. He made a good recovery but would always have a vulnerability to episodes of back pain if he over exerted physically. We were able to recover damages to allow him to pay contractors to complete the home DIY and garden renovation work he had started, and secured an allowance every year to cover the cost of heavier DIY and gardening in the future, beyond retirement age.
The insurers for the other party have made me an offer to settle the case – do I need to accept?
Our advice is to contact a specialist firm of solicitors before accepting any offer made, as in our experience such offers can be very low and do not take in account the longer lasting impact of any injuries sustained. Osbornes Law represented a cyclist who suffered severe facial injuries following a collision. In this case the driver’s insurance made an early offer of £15,000, which we rejected on behalf of our client. By instructing medical experts we were able to build up a much better picture of clients’ long-term prognosis and the final award we achieved was £70,000.
I’ve been injured in an accident and no other road user was involved. Is it possible to bring a claim?
Depending on the facts of your case, if the accident was caused by another party (such as a local authority) not properly discharging their duty of care and causing a highway defect or hazard, it is possible to seek damages from them for injury. Osbornes is representing a client who was thrown of his bike when a large stone became lodged in his front wheel whilst riding on a cycle path, sustaining very serious injuries. The claim was pursued against the public authority, who had failed to properly maintain the track, and a seven figure award secured.
We represented another client who suffered severe shoulder and wrist injuries after his bike slipped from underneath him. On gathering witness statements, it was revealed that a local authority road sweeper vehicle leaking an oily substance had passed the area shortly before the cyclist. We approached the insurers for the Local Authority and alleged fault. Liability was admitted and substantial damages awarded.
How do I fund my case?
These cases are most commonly instructed on a no win no fee basis. Osbornes will offer you a No Win No Fee funding agreement so that you will not have to meet the legal costs and expenses as the case proceeds. In the unlikely event that the case is not successful, you will not be left out of pocket. If you win you pay us a small success fee from your recovered damages.
What you should do following a cycling accident
Contact our Bicycle Accident Lawyers today.
For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811
Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you
Cycle Accident Client StoriesVIEW ALL
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Case Summary: London Fatality Cycling Claim
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The group is noted for its expertise in matters relating to cycling injuries, and is the official legal partner of the London Cycling Campaign charity.
"Offers specialist expertise in cycling-related injury claims."
"Osbornes often handles claims valued at over £1m, particularly relating to severe brain and spinal cord injuries and niche areas such as cauda equina syndrome and cycling accidents."
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Find a Bicycle Accident Solicitor View the whole team
Rob Aylott Partner
Stuart Kightley Partner
Nicola Hall Associate Solicitor
Andrew Middlehurst Associate Solicitor
Laura Swaine Associate Solicitor
Elma Tavares Solicitor