Bicycle Crashes & Accident Advice
The dangers of cycling on British roads
There are many ways in which using a bicycle as your mode of transport is a wholly positive thing. It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s good for the environment and it keeps you fit as you travel around. Indeed, many people throughout the UK choose to cycle as much for pleasure as necessity, and seek to introduce the habit to their children at the earliest opportunity. Setting all of that aside, however, there’s no way of getting round the fact that cycling on the same roads used by a host of motor vehicles can be a dangerous proposition. The risk is heightened by other road users’ often reckless attitude towards cyclists, by cyclists’ occasional lack of visibility and by the vulnerability of a cyclist in the event of any kind of accident.
The statistics back this up, with figures from 2016 indicating that 18,375 cyclists were injured in reported accidents during the year, with 3,397 being seriously injured whilst 102 were sadly killed.
Whilst the upsides of riding a bike are clear and to be applauded, the risks inherent in the activity are such that the Department for Transport commissioned a report triggered by concern over the rising number of killed or seriously injured whilst riding a bicycle on the road. The report sought to establish the causes of such incidents, and the findings firmly established that most of the danger facing cyclists can be traced to the behaviour of other road users:
- A large proportion of collisions took place at road junctions, and, where another vehicle was involved, the drivers ‘failure to look properly’ was reported as being a key factor in almost 60% of serious collisions.
- Cyclists are at a greater risk of being killed whilst riding on rural roads, and the higher the speed limit, the greater the injury sustained was likely to be.
- HGVs pose a particular risk for cyclists, being involved in 18% of fatal accidents.
- The police felt that the key factor in collisions involving HGVs included the ‘vehicle blind spot’ and ‘driving too close to the cyclist’. In many cases the collision involved an HGV turning left whilst the cyclist was travelling straight ahead.
The risk to cyclists posed by the negligent behaviour of other vehicles is something which doesn’t look set to reduce any time in the immediate future. According to the latest figures, there are now 37.5 million licensed vehicles on British roads, an increase of 2.5 million since the end of 2013.
Injuries suffered in bicycle accidents
The fact that cycling can be dangerous thanks to the attitude of other road users is compounded by the nature of the injuries often inflicted upon those involved in accidents. According to figures collected by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 40% of cyclists involved in road accidents suffer injuries to their arms, and 25% to their legs. Chest and abdomen injuries are rare, at 5%, but often serious, whilst, according to hospital data, 40% of cyclists and 45% of child cyclists suffer head injuries.
The serious nature of such injuries can be life changing, and compensation may well be required not only in recognition of the personal injuries you’ve suffered but also to fund the cost of ongoing care, medical treatment and lost earnings.
Claiming compensation for a bicycle accident injury
If you’re a cyclist (or the relative of a cyclist) who’s unlucky enough to be involved in an accident of this kind then you may well be in a position to make a claim for compensation. If you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault, then it’s deeply unfair to expect you to have to carry the burden of this injury entirely on your own. Even a relatively ‘minor’ accident can result in long term pain, distress and expense, both direct and indirect.
If this accident was brought about by the negligence of another party – if a driver failed to spot your bike at a junction, for example, or a lorry turns left in front of you without looking – then it’s wrong that you should be left to get on with recovering entirely under your own steam, and a successful compensation claim can go some way towards mitigating this unfairness.
Why start a claim
Making a claim for compensation isn’t about cashing in on your accident, or punishing the other party, it’s about fairness and ensuring that, having suffered as a result of the original incident, you don’t have to carry on suffering into the future. The key to a successful claim lies in demonstrating that the bicycle accident in question wasn’t your fault, and that it resulted in you suffering a personal injury.
If you feel you’re in this position, submit our online claim form, or call us on 0800 234 6438 and speak to one of our trained advisers. They’ll take the details of your accident and give you an honest and clear appraisal as to whether you’re in a position to make a claim. As our bicycle injury solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, we only take on cases which we’re confident of winning, meaning you can trust us to be utterly honest in our assessment of your claim.
How much compensation will be awarded
If you do claim for compensation, then any payment you’re seeking will be based on several factors. The first and most obvious of these is the pain and distress, both physical and psychological, that the accident has put you through. Any compensation awarded for this will be calculated on the basis of the type and severity of your injuries. On top of this, you’ll be able to claim for expenses directly arising from the accident. Expenses of this kind might include travel costs, medical bills, the costs of repairing or replacing your bike and other equipment and any other money which you would not have had to spend if the accident hadn’t happened. In order to maximise your chances of success it’s vital to keep any receipts for such expenses.
If you’ve been injured whilst out riding your bike because someone else didn’t take sufficient care then you’ve every right to seek compensation to minimise the negative ramifications of this event. Call us now with as many details as you can and we’ll set to work on your behalf.