Posted by Mark Hambleton, Partner
Top tips for cycling injury compensation success
According to the Department of Transport, the number of cyclists who get injured or killed in traffic accidents in the UK every year is as high as 19,000. Out of these, a few will have a viable claim for compensation. The other party in their case may be another motorist, the Highway Authority or even manufacturers or suppliers of defective equipment. What makes a claim successful? If you wish to claim compensation for a cycling injury, we suggest you keep the following top tips in mind.
Timing is crucial
In the vast majority of cycling compensation claims a statutory time limit of three years applies. Generally this means that if a claim is not settled or Court proceedings are not issued within three years of the accident then you will be out of time to pursue the claim. However, we strongly believe that you should contact a specialist solicitor as soon as possible for advice at the outset, for a number of reasons apart from the time limit. You may be unable to work following an accident, or incur a number of expenses (e.g. damaged bike) which a specialist lawyer may be able to recover on your behalf at an early stage as an interim payment against your final award of compensation.
Get the evidence as soon as you can
Over time, memories fade and documents become harder to find. Depending on the nature of the compensation claim your solicitors may need to review the police report, or to see the photographs of the scene at the time of the accident. It is also important to speak to the witnesses while the incident is fresh in their memory and they are more inclined to be of assistance. This evidence often forms an important part of a case. It is also important to keep a diary of events as soon as you are able to. This should include your comments on the accident, the likely cause, weather conditions, your symptoms, your financial expenses and any other factors that are particularly relevant to your situation at the time.
Don’t ignore the Highway Code
The Highway Code should not be overlooked, particularly in a road traffic collision involving a cyclist. The Code contains lots of rules and guidance for motorists to follow to help prevent a cycling accident. The Code highlights the vulnerability of cyclists compared to other road users and can be quite persuasive when the question of fault and liability is dealt with.
Don’t be put off if you contact a solicitor who refuses to act on your behalf. If you believe that you are justified in making a compensation claim following your cycling accident you shouldn’t give up on it. There could be a number of reasons why your claim is rejected. We have acted for clients who have been advised to drop their matter or to accept an apportionment of liability by another solicitor only for us to achieve a 100% liability admission on their behalf. The net result is that our injured cycling clients receive more compensation than they would have done if they had taken the advice they were given by another firm.
Instruct a specialist
No doubt you would prefer to be represented by a solicitor who is as passionate about cycling as he is about the law. There is nothing more frustrating than discussing your matter with somebody who doesn’t understand the terminology or the everyday situations that cyclists come across. Our team have specialist cycling injury lawyers who deal with compensation claims day in and day out.
About Mark Hambleton
Mark Hambleton is a specialist personal injury lawyer and a keen cyclist – in his own words, “solicitor and cyclist in equal measure.” Last year alone, he cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End (963 miles) in 9 days in aid of the Bath Rugby Foundation and completed the Bike Bath challenge as part of the Withy King team. In preparation for Bike Bath 2014, Mark cycled to Gloucester and back just last week-end. Not to mention that he also cycles to work every day – 29 miles round trip! Mark is a keen advocate of cyclists’ safety and regularly speaks up on safety-related matters.
Contact Mark now for specialist advice on your cycling injury claim. Call 01225 730 214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking action by bringing a personal injury compensation claim can help ease a stressful situation