Knocked off your bike by a car

Cyclist Hit By a Car

Find out how to claim if you are a cyclist who has been knocked off your bike by a car

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Cycling Accidents Involving A Car

Cycling is incredibly good for your physical and mental health; but despite substantial investments in cycle lanes and safety measures, many cyclists fear being knocked off their bike by a car.

The fact is, however careful you are when cycling on UK roads – there are drivers who fail to be alert to cyclists. A vehicle turns left without checking their wing mirror; a car cuts across you on a cycle lane or a roundabout; or pulls out of a side road and collides with a bicycle.

Unfortunately, any cyclist hit by a car may suffer serious, potentially life-changing injuries. And with the number of cyclists on the road increasing – so are accidents. In 2022, 4,056 cyclists were seriously injured (91 fatally) and at least 11,500 were slightly injured – and that’s just those that were reported.

What causes collisions between cyclists and cars?

A motorist who fails to drive to the standards expected of a reasonably competent driver puts vulnerable road users, such as pedal cyclists, in serious danger. The figures show the scale of the problem: between 2018 and 2022, there were a reported 64,022 cyclist casualties (including 248 fatalities) where another car was involved.

The most common causes of collisions between cars and cyclists include:

  • Failure on the part of a motorist to look properly
  • Failure to judge a cyclist’s path speed
  • Failure to give a cyclist priority
  • Careless or reckless car drivers
  • Motorist executing a poor manoeuvre or turn
  • Failure to check wing mirrors
  • Opening car doors without checking for approaching cyclists
  • Fatigued motorists
  • Speeding or travelling too fast for the road or weather conditions
  • Driver under the ‘influence’
  • Car not have its lights on when dark or in poor visibility

A motorist is not always at fault (or 100% to blame). Occasionally, a cyclist may be partly responsible for what happened, for example in these scenarios:

  • Failing to look properly or failing to judge a car’s speed
  • Being in a hurry
  • Carelessly entering the road from the pavement
  • Wearing dark clothing
  • Losing control of the bicycle
  • Not having lights
  • Cycling while being impaired by drugs of alcohol

Even if you believe you were partly to blame, you should still seek legal advice as you could still claim compensation.

Common injuries caused by cyclists being hit by a car

Cyclists are classed as vulnerable road users because of the high risk of injury it they are involved in an accident. They have next to no physical protection – and it’s not hard to imagine how a cyclist can be seriously injured if they are hit by a motor vehicle. A head on collision, for example, could prove fatal.

While lucky cyclists may walk away with little more than a few cuts and bruises, serious cycling injuries caused by collisions with a car include:

Some of these cycling injuries are life-changing, having a profound and devastating impact on your life and that of your family. Our cycling experts are passionate about supporting injured cyclists and ensuring they recover maximum compensation.

As a cyclist, what are my rights on the road?

Cyclists have the right to expect motorists to drive with due care to avoid the risk of injury to them. Reassuringly, cyclists’ rights have increased in recent years in response to the significant rise in the numbers of cyclists on Britain’s roads.

The Highway Code was updated in 2022 to better protect cyclists by making driver’s responsibilities more robust.

Driver responsibilities

Car drivers have a legal duty of care to minimise the risk to other road users. They also have specific responsibilities to protect vulnerable road users, such as pedal cyclists.

The Highway Code makes clear what additional precautions car drivers ‘must’ or ‘should’ take to protect cyclists. These include:

Overtaking – Leaving at least 1.5 metres room when overtaking a cyclist at a speed of up to 30mph (and a wider gap if travelling faster than 30mph)

At junctions – Motorists must give way to cyclists at junctions – whether they are travelling straight ahead, or turning into or out of a junction. This applies even if the cyclist is using a cycle lane.

Opening car doors – Motorists must not open car doors or allow them to be opened without first checking to see if any cyclists are approaching. This can cause ‘dooring’ injuries and may be a criminal offence. For more information on dooring, read here

At roundabouts – Cars must give way to cyclists who are travelling on a roundabout and allow cyclists to move across lanes ahead of them. They must not overtake a cyclist on the lane they are in. For more information on cycling accidents on roundabouts, read here

Any motorist who fails to adhere to the rules risks (at the very least) a financial penalty.

Immediate steps to take after being knocked off your bike by a car

If you are involved in a collision with a car, we know you are likely to be injured and unable to take any immediate action. In our experience – as keen cyclists  – we know that witnesses and other members of the public are exceptionally helpful and concerned, and will do what’s necessary to get emergency help.

But if you are able to (and if it’s safe to do so) it is important to take a few initial steps, such as getting the driver’s details. Read more about what to do here.

How much can I claim?

If you’ve been hit by a car, you should be able to claim compensation for your injuries and the wider impact on your life. We will hold the motorist (via their insurance company ) legally responsible for what happened to you.

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on several factors such as the severity of your injuries and the extent of the impact on your life. We know that cyclists involved in car accidents are sometimes seriously injured, sometimes catastrophically.

We will claim maximum compensation for your injuries, as well as loss of earnings, medical costs and other financial costs stemming from the accident. In serious cases, compensation payouts can be substantial: if you’ve been left unable to work; requiring carers; adaptations at home; and so on – we will take into account the full financial impact of the accident on your life.

Clients we have helped who have been hit by a car while cycling

The specialist team here at Osbornes Law has a formidable track record of recovering substantial damages for cyclists injured in collisions with cars.

£335,000 for fatal hit and run

A particularly distressing case Osbornes settled was that of a newly-wed who was cycling home in the early hours when she was killed by a hit and run driver. The driver was travelling at 50mph in a 20mph zone, tried to overtake another car and hit our client head-on. Her bike was broken in two and he left her dying from multiple injuries. The driver was eventually jailed for 6 years; and we negotiated a £335,000 payout for her family.

£50,000 for cyclist hit by Porsche

In 2023, our team negotiated a £50,000 settlement for a cyclist who was hit by a Porsche sports car at a London junction. The car undertook a lorry and collided with our client’s bike, throwing him to the ground. He was left with a brain injury and serious fractures to the face, collarbone and skull.

£40,000 for IT worker

An IT worker cycling to work straight ahead on a London cycle lane was hit by a car that turned right, crossing his path. He suffered chronic injuries to his shoulder, elbow and wrist and was left with long-term problems. Our team negotiated a settlement of £40,000 to reflect the longer term consequences for our client.

You can read more injured cycling compensation wins here.

Contact Osbornes Law

We understand that making the first step to getting legal advice can be difficult. Our specialist team are able to provide a free initial assessment to help you start your cycle lane injury claim.

A specialist will make an initial evaluation of whether you have a good chance of winning compensation. Assuming you have a case, we will explain what happens next and what we need from you get your claim started.

Get in touch with the team at Osbornes Law on 020 7485 8811. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and we will be pleased to call you when convenient.

Additional Resources

Links to safety guidelines and preventive measures for cyclists

Contact us about a Cycling Accidents Involving A Car

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you

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