Cycling is a great way to stay fit, enjoy the outdoors, and commute in an eco-friendly way. However, although millions of people cycle safely every day for fun, fitness and as a cost-effective means of transport, riding a bicycle can still be a risky occupation.

According to Department for Transport statistics, in 2022 4,056 cyclists were seriously injured in road traffic accidents in the United Kingdom, while 91 were killed. At Injury Lawyers 4U, we understand how quickly a cycle ride can turn tragic. If you or someone close has been affected by a cycling accident, you could be eligible to receive compensation. Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know.

Why Are Cyclists So Vulnerable On Our Roads?

Cyclists are without doubt one of the most vulnerable groups of road users. This is because:

  • Cyclists can be difficult to see, especially when next to larger vehicles at junctions, such as lorries.
  • They cannot manoeuvre as quickly as other vehicles
  • A cyclists body (and head if a helmet is not worn) is exposed to terrible impact injuries
  • They are vulnerable to parked cars opening their doors suddenly or pulling out onto the road without checking their ‘blind spot’

The most common causes of cycling accidents

Even with more cycle lanes and bike-friendly initiatives in UK cities than ever before, accidents are still a serious concern. Though over two thirds of all British cycling traffic is in built-up areas, a significant number of accidents take place on rural roads and country lanes too. Here are some of the most frequent causes of cycling-related accidents:

  • Vehicles cutting off cyclists: This happens when drivers overtake cyclists and turn right across their path too closely.
  • Changing lanes without checking: Drivers switching lanes without spotting a cyclist beside them or misjudging the cyclist’s speed.
  • Opening car doors carelessly: Opening car doors without checking for cyclists, causing them to crash into the vehicle.
  • Poor road maintenance: Bikes are particularly vulnerable to accidents caused by potholes, cracks and other road damage due to their lighter build and thinner tyres.
  • Driving aggressively or under the influence: Both drinking and speeding can impair a driver’s judgement and reaction time, endangering other road users.

When to claim compensation for a cycling related injury

If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident due to another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. This includes accidents caused by careless driving, unsafe road conditions, or faulty cycling equipment. You can still pursue compensation even if the accident was partially your own fault.

Common causes of cycling accidents that might entitle you to compensation include:

  • Collisions with vehicles.
  • Hazards due to poorly maintained roads and cycle paths, like potholes and uneven surfaces.
  • Issues with defective cycling gear or equipment.

Even if you were involved in an incident with a hit-and-run or an uninsured driver, or if you were partially responsible for the accident, it’s still important to explore your legal options as you still may be eligible to claim compensation.

At Injury Lawyers 4U, we have a strong track record of identifying negligence in cycling accidents. Our experienced legal team has consistently secured compensation for cyclists by proving liability in a host of scenarios. Contact us today to discuss your case and find out if you’re eligible to claim. We’re committed to helping you receive the compensation you need to aid in your recovery.

The evidence you’ll need to make a cycling accident claim

The evidence you’re able to provide will be crucial in building a strong case that the accident was another party’s fault. Ideally, your evidence will include:

  • The exact date, time, and place where the accident occurred.
  • A detailed account of the incident, including your perspective on how it unfolded and who may be at fault.
  • Photos taken at the scene to document the environment and any immediate damages.
  • Video footage from a helmet camera, CCTV systems, or dash cams that captured the event.
  • Names and contact information of witnesses who saw the accident and can corroborate your story.
  • Records of medical assessments and treatments you received following the accident, either at the scene, at the hospital, or at your GP.

If you’re unable to gather all this information on your own, don’t worry. At Injury Lawyers 4U, our experienced legal team can assist you in collecting and organising the evidence needed to support your claim.

Lion lawyer analysing tyre marks at an accident scene

Time limit to make a cycling related injury claim

In most bicycle accident compensation claims, you’ll either have three years from the date of the accident or the date your injuries are diagnosed by a medical professional to begin the process. 

However, there are exceptions. For example, if you’re claiming on behalf of a child, you will have up until their 21st birthday to submit a claim. Or, if you’re claiming on behalf of someone that is mentally unable to make a claim for themselves, or their injuries have prevented them from doing so, the time limit will not apply. 

In any personal injury situation where you’ve been injured as a result of an accident that is someone else’s fault, we recommend starting the claim process as soon as possible. This will give your legal team the best chance to build the strongest possible case. 

What you can claim for a cycling related accident

The amount of compensation you could receive for your injuries in a cycling accident will vary, depending largely on which part of your body is injured, the severity of your injuries, and their long-term impact on your life. Whether the long-term impact is a loss of wages while you recover, or a total change in lifestyle that requires adaptations to be made to your home, these factors are taken into consideration.

Compensation for cycling incidents might range from smaller amounts for less severe injuries, to substantial figures reaching up to £350,000 for critical head injuries.

To help you estimate potential compensation, try using our personal injury compensation calculator. This handy tool estimates the general damages you could receive for different injury types based on their severity and the specific body parts affected, drawing on guidelines set by the Judicial College.

Each case is unique, so while our calculator provides a useful starting point, discussing your specific circumstances with one of our experienced no win, no fee solicitors will give you a clearer picture of what compensation you might expect. Reach out today to explore your options after a cycling accident. 

As well as this, you can also claim for special damages. This is to cover the expenses that you have paid for the injury, such as medical treatment and damage to cycling equipment, and the expenses that will be necessary in the future, such as ongoing rehabilitation. Here is a quick list of what could count as general damages in a cycling related accident:

  • Coverage for any medical treatments and ongoing rehabilitation needs, such as physiotherapy or counselling.
  • Compensation for loss of income or potential pension due to the accident.
  • Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by you or those caring for you.
  • A like for like replacement or repair of your bicycle.
  • Replacement of any damaged cycling gear, including helmets and clothing.
  • Any necessary care costs, whether provided by professionals or support from family and friends.

Claiming for a hit-and-run cycling related accident

Even if you’ve been knocked off your bicycle and injured by a driver that fails to stop, you’re still eligible to pursue a claim for compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 170, drivers that are involved in road traffic collisions must stop to give their information or report the accident to the police within 24 hours. If they fail to do this, they are breaking the law. 

At Injury Lawyers 4U, we have over 20 years experience in handling road traffic accident claims at every level of complexity . We are here to support you along your claim journey, so you can focus on your recovery without any additional stress.

Claiming for an accident with an uninsured driver

Just as with hit-and-run accidents, if you’re injured while cycling by a driver that doesn’t have a current vehicle insurance policy, you still have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. These cases are also managed through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

The process involves submitting any available information about the incident to the MIB, including details like the time and location of the accident. The MIB will also seek additional supporting evidence, such as CCTV footage, to help validate your claim.

Claiming for an accident due to poor road conditions

If a poorly maintained road contributed to your cycling accident, you might have grounds for a claim against the responsible local authority. This includes scenarios where the accident was triggered by issues such as degraded road surfaces, obscured or missing road markings, absent road signs, or malfunctioning traffic lights.

Claiming for a cycling accident where a bike helmet wasn’t worn

Though cyclists are always recommended to wear protective equipment such as helmets while on the road, it isn’t a legal requirement. That means if you’re in an accident and aren’t wearing one, it doesn’t automatically exclude you from pursuing a claim. However, when your claim is evaluated, the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet might still be considered, especially in cases where there are head injuries. The final settlement amount you receive could be impacted by this.

Claiming for a cycling accident when your bicycle doesn’t have lights

Unlike with bicycle helmets, there are laws for bicycle lighting and reflectors in the UK. Between sunset and sunrise, cyclists must equip their bikes with a white front light and a red rear light. As well as this, bikes require a red rear reflector at all times, while all bikes produced after 1st October 1985 must also have amber reflectors on the pedals. Without these, it is much more difficult to spot cyclists in low light or bad weather conditions. 

If you’ve been involved in a cycling accident and your bike didn’t have lights, you may still be able to claim. However, if poor lighting or lack of lighting is found to be a contributing factor to the accident, the amount of compensation you receive will be adjusted accordingly. 

How long do cycling accident claims take?

Every bicycle accident is different, and the time it takes to reach a settlement with the other party can vary greatly. In straightforward cases where the injuries are minor and the other party admits fault immediately, a resolution may be reached in a matter of months. However, if you’re dealing with more serious injuries or there’s a dispute about which party is at fault, this can cause the duration of the claim process to be longer. 

When you get in contact with our experienced team at Injury Lawyers 4U, we will listen to your story and can give you a clearer idea of how long your claim may take. 

Let the Experts Handle your Claim

For cyclists who have been injured on the road as a result of an accident that wasn’t their fault, help is at hand in the form of personal injury compensation. At InjuryLawyers4U our injury lawyers are committed to obtaining justice for cyclists and other road users.

The amount you will be able to claim for your accident will depend on its exact nature, the extent of your injuries and their impact upon your life. As well as compensation for your physical injury, you may also be able to claim for damage to your bicycle and loss of use of the bike (particularly if you use it as a primary means of transport to and from work).

Next Steps

From the outset of the claim process, our injury lawyers will be open and honest with you about your chances of success and the approximate amount of compensation you can hope to achieve. We offer a no win, no fee arrangement to all of our clients, so you will not need to be concerned about risking your savings in order to pay legal fees.

To get a better idea of how much compensation you could be eligible for and your chances of success, contact InjuryLawyers4U on 0333 400 4445. Or, if you prefer, fill in this contact form to arrange a call back at a time that suits you.