Cyclists remain high on Dept of Transport’s most vulnerable

May 2, 2013

You can’t do right for doing wrong, can you? By looking to do your bit for the environment and to appease your doctor’s anxiety over your health and cycling to work, you’re potentially narrowing the odds of you being the next in the compensation claims court.

Please, don’t take this article as a get-out clause and all start jumping back behind the wheel of one of your two jags. Cycling is indeed beneficial to your health and to the environment.

And the Department of Transport, inadvertently with the affable Boris Johnson as the Mayor of London as a figurehead, is trying to reduce the amount of cycling injuries by increasing the number of cycle paths.

Video: Boris Johnson on the future of cycling in London

In and around major cities where the dual carriages and motorways reign supreme, is not so easy to dampen the risk of potential cycling injury claims.

Priority is given to the overbearing motorised transport for the local economy and no amount of lobbying by the greens or cycling activist groups is going to change that any time soon.

Preventing your cycle injury is better than curing one

Rather than jump straight into what compensation you can claim for a cycling injury in this article, it’s perhaps more prudent to look at how cyclists can avoid injury in the first instance.

If you’re riding your bike to work, especially in the winter months, make sure that you can be seen.

Check your lights regularly and that includes carrying spare batteries if you don’t have dynamo-powered lights.

Be seen. I know there have been many marketing campaigns to reduce cycling injuries by the Government, but the message cannot be spouted often enough.

In winter, the temptation is to add extra layers, understandable when it’s minus five at a quarter to six on a freezing January morning.

However, this bulk can make wearing hi-vis clothing more difficult than usual and the temptation is not to wear it.

It’s easy to say, but relying on your legwork to generate body heat, simultaneously not impeding your ability to wear your neon clothing, is preferable to a cycling accident because you couldn’t fit your hi-vis vest over your thick jacket.

Even with visible outerwear, remember that the slim profile of a bicycle can still be difficult to spot, especially on dark mornings.

Around busy ring roads, drivers can be more concerned about the artic bearing down on them in the rear-view mirror than the cyclist twenty yards ahead of them.

Be very aware of your position in the road and stay in the cycle lanes, even if it means dismounting to follow a course around large islands.

And of course, never mount up without your helmet up top.  It could be the difference between a little concussion and something much more serious.

With 19,000+ annual accidents, cycling injury claims are inevitable

To give you some idea, there were over 19,000 reported cycling injuries in the UK last year. Of that figure, there were over 100 fatalities and 3,000 serious injuries.

If you do fall foul of an erroneous driver, you can make injury claims for cycling accidents. The level of compensation will, inevitably, vary depending upon blame and severity.

But it’s worth knowing what is covered in a cycling injury claim so that you get just recompense for being on the wrong end of a bicycle accident.

The award will compensate for your physical injuries, but the inconvenience during recovery or of repair should also betaken into consideration.

If you have to use public transport or another method of getting to and from work, that should contribute to your cycling claim. These can be claimed whilst your bike’s being repaired, which you can also be compensated for.

If the injuries suffered result in time off work to which you’re not entitled to full pay, make sure that’s documented, too. It will form part of the compensation for your cycling injury.

If your treatment requires services outside of normal NHS parameters, you can also claim for the cost of specialist treatment. This could include physiotherapy or osteotherapy or similar specialised courses of treatment administered often in private practise.

If your injury or circumstance isn’t mentioned above but you think you may have a case for a cycling personal injury claim, request a call back and one our specialist injury lawyers will appraise your unique situation accordingly.