Cycle courier compensation advice
Over the last few years we have seen an increase in the number of bicycle couriers across the UK. With congestion as it is, deliveries by bike are very popular in big cities, and particularly in London. Unfortunately, it is likely we will see an increase in the number of road traffic accidents involving bicycle couriers.
Bicycle couriers are, of course, appreciative of the risk of being injured in the course of their work. Many cycle couriers who are injured and unable to work will suffer a loss of income.
Losses due to injury can have the greatest effect on self-employed couriers; after all cycling is their livelihood. It is often a question of fact as to whether a courier is an employee or self-employed as defined in law.
This area of law is currently a hot topic of discussion, as recently an employment tribunal found that a bicycle courier should be classed as a worker and receive entitlements to basic ‘employee’ rights such as sick pay and holiday.
Whilst this area of law continues to develop, here are some tips for bicycle couriers who are injured and unable to work as a result of an accident caused by another party.
It is important to understand that every compensation claim is different; however it is always worth thinking about the following:
1 – Document your expenses e.g. loss of earnings or treatment costs etc.
Once you have instructed a specialist solicitor you are happy with, you might consider requesting a voluntary interim payment. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on this, along with liability and tactics for progressing the claim.
It is important that you provide your solicitor with evidence in support of these losses. Useful evidence will include:
- details of earnings for 13 weeks/3 months prior to the accident
- any evidence of any work you would have undertaken had you not been injured
- treatment invoices/receipts.
To help you get back on the road, you can also request an interim payment to cover rehabilitation treatment costs such as physiotherapy. It is important to seek medical advice before commencing private treatment to ensure that it is likely to be of benefit to you.
2 – Getting your bike back on the road
More often than not, bicycles and bicycle equipment are damaged or written off as a result of an accident. This may be another barrier to you getting back to work.
If you are involved in an accident and find that your bicycle has been damaged or written off, obtain a written quotation from a specialist bicycle shop for the repair or like-for-like replacement of your bicycle and equipment, clothing etc.
Again, once you have obtained this written quotation, your solicitor might be able to request an interim payment to cover the repair or replacements costs of your bicycle and equipment at an early stage.
3 – Liaise with your employer/company that hires you
It’s worth keeping an open line of communication with your employer about your injury. However, if you are experiencing issues as a result, speak to your solicitor dealing with your compensation claim who may be able to help or suggest it may be worth speaking to an employment solicitor to determine what your rights are
4 – Find a specialist solicitor
Finally you should take advice from a solicitor who specialises in cycling accident claims. You can tell a specialist cycling solicitor by asking them about the following:
- How many cycling cases do they have/what proportion of their work is cycling related? – Some may not be dedicated to this area of personal injury work, or it could be a small proportion of their caseload
- Why they became interested in cycling and what they enjoy about it in their spare time? – Some solicitors are cycling advocates in a legal sense only, whereas a specialist cycling solicitor will likely be a keen cyclist themselves
- What are the most common areas of dispute in cycling cases? – There are a number of common areas that you can find out more about here
- What have they learnt from their recent cases? – The answer to this question will depend on the solicitor, but will help you understand their approach to cycling accidents
- Do they advise or write for other organisations or publications? – as an example, our own solicitor Mark Hambleton has taken the time to write for cycling publications such as BikeRadar and roadcc.
At Royds Withy King we will review your situation for free and let you know on the best approach for you to take.
In addition to our free consultation, we also endeavour to offer a ‘no win, no fee’ service for injured cyclists.
“What the team is known for: Somerset-based practice that comes recommended for its focus on spinal cord and brain injuries. Also offers niche expertise in areas such as fatal accidents and animal cases. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They are all very approachable and friendly, and I think that’s the culture that exists throughout the firm. They are a close-knit team.” “They have that mentality of looking after the client first as opposed to their own interests. They always do what’s best for the client.” Notable practitioners: Stuart Brazington (Band 1) offers particular expertise in serious spinal cord and brain injury cases. According to one interviewee, he “knows his cases extremely well” and “has good judgement about which points are likely to be important.” Mark Hambleton (Associate to watch) covers a broad range of personal injury matters, including animal cases, sports injuries and motorcycle accidents. Sources describe him as “always very impressive” and note that he’s “very good with clients.”” Chambers 2017 Somerset
“What the team is known for: Outstanding personal injury practice adept at handling an impressive breadth of claims, including equine matters, industrial disease cases and cycling accidents. Notable expertise in chronic pain and fatal accident cases, as well as offering significant experience in catastrophic injury claims. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They were all empathetic but businesslike, and this formed absolutely the right mixture. Their advice was delivered to me in exactly the right way.” “They were brilliant and supportive.” Work highlights Acted for a professional jockey in a claim arising from a racing accident in Australia that resulted in complete paraplegia. The case was partially tried at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Advised the widow of a man killed by a bullock, bringing precedent-setting liability claims under the Animals Act. Notable practitioners: Ian Carrier (Band 1) offers extensive expertise in catastrophic injuries, with a particular focus on spinal and brain claims. Impressed clients describe him as “very experienced and knowledgeable,” and note that he “has a genuine interest in you as a person.” He is also praised for his creative approach to complex cases. Tracy Norris-Evans (Band 1) draws on a wealth of experience in severe injury claims, including paediatric cases and those involving complex neurological issues. She frequently acts as a trustee in high-value settlements. According to one impressed source, Helen Childs (Band 2) was “absolutely superb from the outset” and had “phenomenal attention to detail.” She is held in high regard for her focus on major asbestos-related claims.” Chambers 2017 Oxford and Surrounds
“Royds Withy King sits on the panels for the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum and Headway. Department head Louise Hart handles amputation, orthopaedic injuries, chronic pain, PTSD and facial injury matters. Stuart Brazington is also recommended.” Legal 500 2016 South West
“Royds Withy King, Tracy Norris-Evans is renowned for brain injury and paediatric work, and ‘shrewd lawyer and tactician’ Richard Brooks specialises in claims involving animals. Also recommended are Ian Carrier, who is adept in spinal injury claims; and Helen Childs, who leads the industrial diseases practice.” Legal 500 2016 South East