At Osbornes Law we persure cycling accident claims for clients who have suffered serious and life changing injuries and for the families of those killed whilst cycling in London and around the UK.
We have a dedicated cycling accident claims team staffed by experienced lawyers who are themselves cyclists and who are committed members of the London cycling community.
We understand that every case is different and we understand the issues that arise in cycling accident claims. From dooring and flooring, potholing, hooking and filtering, close passing and helmet wearing, to lorry vision regulations and infrastructure standards; we understand the types of injury that cyclists suffer and the short and long term effects that follow; and we understand the often subtle losses and expenses that arise in any given case.
Osbornes Law Cycling Injury Team
Our cycle injury claims team is headed up by Stuart Kightley who has been representing cyclists and their families for over 25 years. He still commutes by bike into the firm’s Camden office every day. He is an elected member of the Trustee Board of the London Cycling Campaign.
The team also features catastrophic injury specialist and cycling enthusiast Rob Aylott and experienced cycling lawyers Nikki Hall, Laura Swaine and Andrew Middlehurst.
We regularly blog, vlog and post on cycling and the law. Follow us on Twitter @OsbornesCycling
Read Cycling Blogs
London Cycling Campaign
We are proud to be the legal partner of the London Cycling Campaign.
London Cycling Campaign is a charity supported by over 12,000 members. Their aim is to make sure everyone who cycles, or wants to cycle, has a voice in Greater London.
Our cycling accident claims team provide free Helpline assistance to any LCC member who has been injured or involved in a collision.
Our cycling injury team and individual solicitors are regularly ranked in the leading independent legal directories ‘Chambers UK’ and The Legal 500′ for offering ‘niche expertise in cycling related injury claims.’
Osbornes Law is featured in the ‘Best Law Firm’ guide 2019 and 2020, published by The Times, and also won the ‘Law Firm of the Year’ award at the 2018 Modern Law Awards.
Typical Situations Resulting in Cycling Accident Claims
Commuter cycling in London is not for the faint hearted, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. Watch out for the following situations that commonly give rise to accidents whilst cycling:
- A vehicle approaching from opposite carriageway, turns right across your path without giving way to you and you collide with its nearside
- A vehicle emerges from a side road to your left into your path without giving way to you and you collide with its offside
- You are overtaking or undertaking stationary traffic when a vehicle turns into your path without looking
- A lorry turning left at a junction fails to see you in the nearside lane
- A pothole or other defect in the road makes you lose control of the bike
- A vehicle door is opened into your path as you pass and causes a collision
- Vehicles, particularly lorries, vans and buses, fail to leave enough room as they pass on the offside
Shock and pain can make it difficult to react immediately and properly to an accident 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;
- Take legal advice on your rights and obligations.
How our cycling lawyers can help
Contact our cycling solicitors to discuss your case. We are always happy to advise by telephone and will not charge for an initial consultation.
If we are able to help with a legal claim, what happens next will depend on the particular circumstances of your cycling accident and the seriousness of any injuries, but in summary:
- Funding. We 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 but the amount we charge is less than other competitor firms.
- Liability investigation. We will assess what is needed to prove your case and will obtain the police, witness, CCTV, accident investigation and other evidence necessary to win the arguments on liability; we will pursue the claim with the opponent’s insurers and seek an early admission of liability;
Medical investigation and rehabilitation. We will explore with you what your immediate needs are. That may involve you having an Immediate Needs Assessment with an independent Occupational Therapist and then treatment and/or medical investigations; we will also request your medical records and once the injuries have settled commission expert prognostic reports from independent specialists.
- Interim payments. If liability is accepted then we can access funds to give you financial support whilst you recover from your injuries
- Negotiation and settlement. Most cases are settled by negotiations and an out of court settlement although some, in particular the most serious injury cases, require court proceedings. Our job is to get you the best possible settlement. In relation to liability that means using our expertise and experience to secure 100% liability, or as close to it as possible on the facts of the case. On damages (quantum) it means understanding which heads of loss to claim, obtaining the evidence necessary to prove the loss and negotiating the best deal.
We acted for Dom, a 40 year old media executive, living in East London. He and his wife owned their own home; she was expecting their first child and he spent his spare time renovating the house and landscaping the garden. Dom was an experienced cyclist who used his bike for work and leisure.
Dom was cycling straight ahead at a roundabout in broad daylight when a car entered the roundabout from his left and drove into collision with him. He was thrown into the road, landing on his back and sustaining stable fractures to two lower lumbar vertebrae. Dom was admitted to hospital for three days but did not require surgery and he was discharged home. He was off work for a week and then worked from home for the next 6 weeks, after which he commuted to work by public transport for 10 weeks and then returned to cycling.
Dom was unable to resume the home DIY, renovations and gardening; he struggled to lift his baby son out of his cot. Dom required extensive investigation and therapies, which were arranged through his private health insurers.
Liability was admitted and the insurers agreed interim payments to cover the immediate losses. We commissioned reports from an experienced spinal surgeon and established that despite a good and rapid recovery, Dom would be advised to refrain from heavy gardening and renovation work for the foreseeable future.
We presented a claim for pain & suffering, past loss and future loss. Valuation of the pain and suffering element relied on judicial guidelines and was not the subject of any real argument.
Past losses comprised £5000 of private medical bills, £500 of care from his wife, £800 of travel expenses (including public transport for 10 weeks), £500 for his damaged bike and cycling kit, £250 for medical equipment and therapies, £100 for phone and internet bills, £200 for a new baby cot and £3500 to pay contractors to finish the home and garden works.
The future loss claim comprised the estimated commercial cost of the DIY and heavy gardening that Dom was advised not to do (claimed at £1500 pa for life). The injuries had no long term impact on his ability to work.
Once the reports and other evidence was obtained we opened negotiations with an offer of £74,000. The defendants countered with an offer of £50,000. After protracted further negotiations (which coincided with a change in the law on future losses which improved the value of that part of the claim) the case settled for £70,000.
Dom received the final settlement less his costs contribution of £2600 about 20 months from the date of the cycling accident.
Osbornes Law recent cases
- A cyclist was knocked off her bike by an Uber driver whose insurers admitted liability and made a very early settlement offer of just over £1,300. They put pressure on the cyclist by sending the offer directly to their home address. Andrew Middlehurst, specialist cycling solicitor, advised the cyclist that it was likely that they could beat this offer if they obtained medical evidence. Medical reports were obtained following ultrasound investigations and physiotherapy treatment. The medical reports were then disclosed and the claim settled for over £7000.
- An IT worker was hit whilst on his commute by a car turning right across his path while he was cycling straight ahead in a cycle lane. He suffered injuries to his shoulder, elbow and wrist. He would experience long term problems as a result. The case settled for £40,000.
- A cyclist was travelling near to Blackheath on his way to work when he was struck on a roundabout by a car that failed to give way to him. He suffered multiple dental injuries and a fractured toe. The case settled for £25,000.
- A music teacher was cycling in traffic on his way to work. A bus changed lanes and drove into the back of his bike. The client suffered a fractured hip. Initially the case was rejected by another law firm and he contacted Osbornes Law. His case settled for £20,000.
Our client had been cycling along a main road when a van pulled straight out of a side road colliding into her.
As a result of the accident, our client suffered a significant fracture to her ankle, fractured toes and psychological injuries. The fracture to her ankle required surgery within the same week of the accident and an extensive course of physiotherapy thereafter, the costs of which were included as part of the claim and funded by the defendant’s insurer.
Liability was originally denied by the defendant’s insurer as the driver claimed he had been stationary for 3-4 minutes before being struck by our client. Rebekah Watson, personal injury solicitor was clear, following her investigations, that her client would not have sustained the injuries she did if she had ridden into the van. After further investigation and discussions with the insurer, they agreed to handle the claim on a Without Prejudice Basis – this means the defendant has not admitted that they are liable to pay anything and if the matter proceeded to Court, the Judge must not know about the offer. It does mean, however, they were willing to settle the claim and pay compensation.
Although the defendant’s insurer made an outright denial of liability, settlement was achieved with negotiation.
Damages awarded: £30,000
London Cycling Campaign, Spring 2020 Edition: Stuart Kightley explains why liability insurance can provide peace of mind for every cyclist. Download document here to read article.
Our commitment to you:
- Free and fast initial consultation: we will assess your case and advise whether we can assist you within 24 hours;
- Cycling specialists to deal with your claim: a member of our cycling injury team will run your case;
- No financial risk: we run cases on a ‘No Win-No Fee’ basis so you will not end up out of pocket (absent fraud);
- Compensation: as well as maximising your compensation claim we will obtain interim payments and rehabilitation funding where possible.
For an initial discussion call our specialist cycling team on 020 7485 8811 or submit your enquiry online and we will contact you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your claim would be brought against the other individual involved in the collision. However, in practice your claim will be dealt with by an insurance company on your behalf.
Yes. We will be able to advise you on how much blame is likely to be attributed to you. In practice we can usually reach an agreement with the insurance company on a percentage basis.
You should take the name and contact details of the pedestrian and any witnesses. If you have insurance you should report the accident to your insurer straight away. You may face a claim against you by the pedestrian if they are injured. If you are also injured and the pedestrian was partly responsible for the collision then you may have a counterclaim against you.
There is no requirement for you to hold third party insurance cover in order to cycle in the UK. We do, however, encourage insurance cover to protect you in the event you are involved in a collision and it is alleged you are responsible. London Cycling Campaign members automatically get insurance cover as part of their membership. Consider signing up or look for an alternative policy online, there are quite a few companies who provide cover.
If you have been involved in a cycling accident, it is likely that your bicycle will have sustained damage or be a complete write off. Take your bicycle to a repair shop where they will then determine the extent of the damage and advise on whether it can be repaired or not. They will provide a written quote for the repairs or alternatively if the bicycle is beyond repair advise on the replacement cost. You will need to retain copies of the estimates if you intend on making a claim for bike damage.
Always ensure that the Police are called to the scene of the accident. The police will then take a statement from you as well as the other party, and witnesses. Ensure that you report any injuries you have sustained. Take photographs of the bicycle and retain evidence including clothing and possessions as it may need to be inspected. If your accident has involved a pothole, then take photos of the length, depth and width. Obtain details of the driver and any witnesses, including a full name, contact telephone number, address and vehicle registration plate as well as details of their insurer. Attend a GP surgery or hospital for medical attention and ensure that your inquiries are recorded. Seek legal advice from a solicitor specialising in cycling accident claims who has good knowledge of road accidents.
After an accident, you are entitled to recover compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for your injuries. In addition, you may incur travel expenses, loss of earnings (if you have had to take time off work as a result of your injuries), medical and prescription costs, care and assistance received from family members or friends as well as treatment including physiotherapy or counselling and damage to possessions. You may also be entitled to recover future losses. This list is not exhaustive so if you have incurred a loss and are unsure whether you can recover it then just ask your solicitor. Do ensure that you retain copies of receipts and invoices for proof of payment.