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Bike accident claims – frequently asked questions

Can I make a bike claim? What can I claim for? What evidence do I need to support my cycle claim? How will my bike claim be funded? What is the general procedure for a bike claim? How long does a claim usually take?

Can I make a bike claim?

If you have been involved in a bike accident, or have been injured because of road disrepair whilst cycling, you can make a claim for injury and financial losses as long as the incident happened within the past three years. Unfortunately, if the incident happened over three years ago, it is not likely to be possible to make a claim.

If you only want to make a claim for the damage to your bicycle, this can be done if the incident in which the damage was sustained happened within the past six years.

What can I claim for?

Claims are usually separated into two categories:

General Damages – This covers your injury (physical and psychological) and also takes into account any limitations your injury has placed on you, for example inability to compete in races, or carry out usual household chores.

Special Damages – These are your financial losses. Some typical losses would be:
  • Bicycle repair,
  • Increased travel costs because of not being able to cycle after being injured
  • Loss of earnings,
  • Reasonable private treatment costs,
  • Damaged clothing
  • Care and assistance

Remember  that when claiming for damage to your bicycle, the other side’s insurer are liable to pay for repair costs (if economical), or the pre-accident value of the bicycle (if the bicycle is a ‘write-off’). This is not necessarily the amount that you originally paid for your bicycle.

Unless your damaged cycling clothing is brand new, they are usually subject to a reduction for 'wear and tear’.

Please also note that the other side’s insurer is not obliged to make any payments for financial losses which have no evidence to support them.

What evidence do I need to support my cycle claim?

For damage to the bicycle, you will need:
  • Estimate for the repair costs/pre-accident value. This will usually be from a cycle shop.
  • Photographs of the bicycle
  • Original purchase receipt, if available.
  • For damage to clothing photographs, estimates and original purchase receipts (if available) will be needed.
Receipts for all other losses will be required (e.g. physiotherapy invoices and taxi fare receipts).

Regarding loss of earnings, the evidence needed will differ depending on whether you are self-employed or not. We will discuss the necessary evidence needed with you.

How will my bike claim be funded?

Legal costs for British Cycling, British Triathlon and Condor members are usually covered by the member organisation. There are also a number of other types of funding available i.e. legal expenses insurance, trade union funding, private funding or a Conditional Fee Agreement (essentially a no win, no fee agreement). To discuss which funding option is best for you, please contact us and we will be happy to to discuss this with you.

What is the general procedure for a bike claim?

In a road traffic accident, the claim will be submitted to the insurer of the other driver. This will usually be done via an online portal.

If liability is admitted, the process of the claim should be fairly straight forward. It is simply a case of taking evidence of your injury and financial losses and agreeing the value of the claim with the other side’s insurer.

Evidence for financial losses is listed above. If you have been injured you will usually be examined by an independent medical expert. The type of expert we instruct will depend on the nature of the injury. Sometimes it is necessary for more than one examination to take place. The expert will produce a report, and the value of your claims will be based on this report.

Once we have sufficient evidence to value your injury and support your financial losses, an offer will be made to the other side’s insurer. If no reasonable response is received within the allocated time frame, we can issue legal proceedings.

To discuss specific time frames further, please contact us on 020 7650 1200 or email on cycling@leighday.co.uk

If liability is not admitted, liability investigations will need to be made. This is likely to include:
  • Obtaining a police report
  • Contacting witnesses for statements
  • Obtaining further vehicle damage documents
  • Obtaining a locus report/images

Once we are happy that all available liability documents have been collated and disclosed to the other side’s insurer, along with an offer based on the medical report and financial losses, if liability is still not admitted, we can consider issuing legal proceedings.

Issuing legal proceedings does add a significant length of time to the claim. We will only be able to proceed to Court if we are of the opinion that the claim will succeed.

There are cases where liability will be divided between both parties. We will discuss this with you if this is likely to happen with your claim.

Please note that if the other vehicle is a foreign vehicle, all usual time frames are doubled.

In claims relating to highways it is likely that we will first need to undertake liability investigations to prove that the road was not adequately maintained. This is likely to include a locus report. With claims of this nature, the liability investigations will differ depending on the defect that caused the incident which we will discuss with you. The actual process of the claim is the same as for a road traffic accident as described above.

How long does a claim usually take?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to say how long a claim will take. There are a number of factors which will affect the length of a claim. These are most notably the seriousness of the injury, the nature of the liability investigations and other associated parties’ co-operation (eg police and medical experts).

We can, however, assure you that at Leigh Day we take a pro-active approach to ensure claims are dealt with as efficiently as possible, and that our clients achieve the maximum amount of damages to which they are entitled.

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