Since bike accidents are so common and often cause serious injuries, it’s advisable to know what you need to do when you, a family member, or friend wants to make bike accident claims.
This article discusses:
- What to do immediately following a bike accident
- Things you should not do after a bike accident
- When you are entitled to compensation after a bike accident
Many bike accident victims suffer from a complete lack of information and are at loss about what to do after an accident. By doing certain things, you can greatly increase the chances of successfully filing a bike accident compensation claim, and get your life back on track. Getting the right kind of information can also help you have a clear understanding of the many different circumstances where you are entitled for compensation.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
Immediately after a bike accident, you should immediately get off the road if you can still move. Evaluate your injuries then call an ambulance. Get the contact details of anyone else involved in the accident. Write down the number plate details of the vehicle that was involved. If you have a phone camera, take pictures of the accident scene.
Once you get your police and medical reports, keep them safely since you will need them as supporting documents when you file for compensation.
What Not To Do
Do not admit liability after the accident since this can be used against you. According to ROSPA, the vehicle driver is usually in the wrong more than 50% of the time in a bike accident. Even if you suspect that you might be the one at fault, it’s best to let a third party assess the situation first. Avoid getting worked up or swearing. Stay as calm as you can.
Sometimes you might realize that you are not baldy injured and might decide to get on your bike and ride off. This is strongly advised against. Shock has a way of numbing pain and you might only realize later that your injuries are worse than you initially suspected, by which time the evidence will mostly have been destroyed. Moreover, you are usually not in a good state of mind to ride even after a minor accident. Taking a taxi or taking a ride home is a much better idea.
When Can You Claim Compensation?
If you are a victim of a bike accident, you might be entitled to compensation for the following reasons:
If you have suffered physical injuries such as bruises or broken bones, you can claim for bicycle accident compensation. You can also claim for compensation for psychological injuries such as severe depression if it can be proved in a court of law that your psychological condition is the direct result of the accident. Any pain resulting from the accident, as well as conditions such as reduced mobility, are all valid grounds that can be used to claim compensation.
If your bicycle has undergone minor damages and can be repaired for less than its value before the accident, you can claim for the cost of its repairs. If your bicycle has been badly damaged and is a write-off, you can claim compensation equal to the bicycle’s value before the accident.
To claim compensation for your bicycle, you need:
- Proof of purchase such as bank statement, receipt, credit card bill.
- An invoice of the repair charges, or estimates of the repair cost from one or several bicycle shops. The estimate should take into account the make and model of the bicycle, the details of the damage, and estimate of the bike’s value before the accident.
- Take pictures of the bike before it’s repaired.
Diminution of Value
You can claim compensation for diminution of value if your bike’s value after repairs is less than its value before the accident. The amount for the appropriate compensation is determined by the difference in the value of your bike before the accident and its value after the accident.
To file for this type of compensation, you will need sufficient evidence that there is no way the bike could be repaired to attain its earlier condition. This kind of evidence would probably have to come from a bike expert.
You can claim compensation for damages to your property such as your cycling helmet, bike attachments, and your clothing.
You will need evidence to show that these items were damaged. A photo of the damaged items is usually enough. You will also need proof of purchase of the items such as credit card bills, bank statements, or receipts.
Loss of Earnings
Serious bike injuries usually mean that you have to keep off work for several weeks or even months. This means loss of income, for which you can file for compensation. You will be required to provide evidence of how much you would have earned during the period that you stayed at home or in the hospital recuperating. The evidence required depends on whether you are self-employed or an employee.
Employees on PAYE usually receive weekly or monthly pay slips. Any losses can be easily proved by comparing pay slips received before and after the accident. For self-employed people, a good place to look is their tax return. Loss of earnings include things like basic pay, bonuses, overtime, or loss of profit in the case of a self-employed person.
It’s also possible to claim for compensation for loss of earnings even if you were not working but were looking for a job by showing that the accident delayed you getting work. You will, however, be required to prove that you really were looking for a job by showing things like your job applications. An expert can prove to the court how the accident delayed you getting work.
You can also claim compensation if the accident has made it impossible for you to work again, or might force you to take less enjoyable or less well-paying jobs. The court will require the evidence of an independent expert to assess such a situation.
Extra Travel Costs
If you use your bicycle for transport but it gets badly damaged in an accident, you may have to make alternative transport arrangements such as taking public transport to and from work. You can claim compensation for the extra travelling costs you are likely to incur. If you claim for the cost of taking a taxi, the court might turn down your request if there were other cheaper means of travel at your disposal.
To make this type of claim, you need receipts or tickets for travel and the destination(s). For mileage claims, you will require an additional note showing when each journey was made and the amount of mileage.
Loss of Use
During the period when you are unable to use your bike due to damage or during the time when it is undergoing repairs, you can claim compensation for loss of its use. Once you receive compensation for your bike, or your bicycle gets repaired and you can use it, this claim ceases to be valid.
The courts will require evidence from the bike repair shop showing that the bike is not safe to ride. It will also help if you make an estimate of the amount of traveling you would have made during the time when you are not able to use your bike.
Although the NHS provides treatment for injured bikers, quite often the victim also foots part of the bill. This is often the case when there is a waiting list before you can receive treatment. For instance, you might find it necessary to pay for private physiotherapy. You can claim compensation for these costs.
In theory, it’s possible for the defendant’s lawyer or their insurance company to challenge such bike accident claims if they can prove that you would not ordinarily seek private treatment. In practice, however, most insurers do agree to pay for treatment, though in most cases they prefer it when the victim is treated by a general practitioner of their choice.
It’s usually best to get a doctor’s recommendation before seeking such treatment. If you seek treatment without any doctor recommending it, or seek a type of treatment considered ”unconventional,” you might run into problems recovering the cost of treatment.
To claim compensation for medical treatment, you will be required to produce evidence about the cost of treatment and evidence that the treatment was necessary.
When seeking compensation for a bike accident, it’s usually strongly recommended to seek the services of a no win no fee lawyer. With such a lawyer, you only get to pay if and when you win your case, and you are required to pay nothing if you lose the case.