Cycling accident claims and compensation
If you’ve had an accident on your bike, you might be able to make a claim.
At Leigh Day, we’re passionate about cycling and cyclists. We are the exclusive providers of legal services to members of British Cycling and the British Triathlon Federation, but beyond our work, we also believe in the bike’s potential to transform our towns and cities into cleaner, safer and better places to live.
That’s why we’re proud of our work campaigning for safer conditions for cycling. However, there’s still a long road ahead and sadly cycling incidents and injuries remain common on our roads.
If you’ve had a crash, you need clear advice and support throughout the legal process to get you back in the saddle.
Our dedicated cycling lawyers – part of our personal injury team – specialise in providing legal advice to all types of people injured on their bikes. This includes those:
- Commuting to work
- Simply getting from A to B on a bike
Whatever injuries you suffer – from road rash and broken bones to life-changing brain and spinal damage – our team are experts in the laws around cycling incidents and their consequences. We will deal with insurance companies and the police to support you through the legal process, while also focusing on your physical and mental rehabilitation to get you back to health as soon as possible.
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Types of cycling crashes
In 2018, 17,451 cyclists were injured in Great Britain, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Cyclists accounted for 14.5% of all serious injuries and 10.3% of all slight injuries among road users in the same period – despite cycling making up less than 1% of road traffic.
Incidents can happen due to a wide range of circumstances, many of which can lead to a successful cycling incident claim. These include:
- Collisions – Vehicles pulling out of a junction, onto a roundabout or into the path of a cyclist when turning or changing lanes, as the driver fails to look.
- Bike failure – Faulty parts or negligent fitting of components can lead to a sudden failure of brakes or loss of balance. This can cause serious injury, whether you collide with a vehicle, wall or the ground.
- Poor roads – No matter how careful you are, hitting a pothole, water or oil spillage on the roads can be unavoidable and result in falling and sustaining injuries.
- Car door opening – Even parked cars can cause injuries when drivers or passengers fail to check behind them. Opening a door can knock cyclists off their bikes or cause them to swerve into the road.
- Sports – Specific training, touring and racing crashes can occur due to problems with the equipment, track or negligence.
The nature and severity of your cycling incident will directly affect your injuries. Common cycling injuries resulting from any kind of collision include:
- Road rash – Surface injuries commonly caused by minor skids and falls. Road rash heals quickly and can be treated with antiseptic and certain creams, but can leave scarring.
- Soft tissue injuries – More serious than road rash, bruising to soft tissue areas usually takes longer to heal.
- Fractures and broken bones – Broken collarbones, wrists, ankles, ribs and skull fractures are common for cyclists involved in serious collisions.
- Brain and head injuries – Serious, life-changing injuries can include brain damage and head injuries after being knocked off your bike.
- Spinal injuries – Damage to your spine can cause paralysis and serious injuries that require specialist rehabilitation treatment.
- Death – Sadly sometimes serious incidents can be fatal.
Leigh Day’s cycling claims team
The impact of an injury can disrupt your normal life and even change it forever. If you have suffered an injury while cycling, our aim is to get you the rehabilitation and compensation you need to return to the saddle and normal life as soon as you can.
Our specialist cycling claims team helps you achieve your goals – from the speedy replacement of your bike, to providing advice on employer obligations when returning to work with a disability.
We know taking legal action can be a leap into the unknown. Our role is to be your experienced guide, giving you the benefit of years of experience. We work to get you the best possible outcome for your cycling accident claim, as swiftly and professionally as possible.
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Cycling accident solicitors
Our cycling claims team has focused on cycling law and claims for more than 20 years. Since 1999, it has been exclusively retained by British Cycling and the British Triathlon Federation – providing a first class legal service for their members.
The team is made up of experienced personal injury lawyers with a strong expertise and interest in cycling law and related areas – such as road traffic collisions, and brain and spinal injuries. We are accredited as expert advisers in cases of serious head, spinal cord and brain injury claims by the:
- Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
- Child Brain Injury Trust
- UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF)
- Spinal Injuries Association
Four of our team are accredited as personal injury specialists by the Law Society as well.
Our cycling campaigns
Our passion for cycling and cyclists is evident through the various campaigns we work on. We’re also members of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and support various campaigns, including More Than a Cyclist.
Cycling claims FAQs
If you’ve had a crash or sustained injuries in another type of cycling collision that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to bring a claim.
Normally, the claim is brought by the injured person personally. However, you can also make a claim on behalf of:
- Your child (under the age of 18) injured in a cycling crash.
- A loved one who lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themselves (as a litigation friend).
- A loved one who died from their injuries related to a cycling incident.
Who your claim is against will depend on the specifics of your case. For example, if your injuries were sustained due to poor road conditions then it may be brought against the local council, whereas for a road traffic collision the claim could be made against the driver of the vehicle responsible for the crash.
We work with insurance companies and the police, helping you through the steps that you need to take. If your injury was caused by an uninsured or untraced driver, we will deal with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau on your behalf.
There are specific time limits on making claims arising from cycling incidents and if you miss this time limit you may not be able to make a claim. Typically, the limit is three years from the date of the incident, but this is not always the case. Exceptions may apply where the injured party is under 18 or does not have mental capacity.
We recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible after the incident to avoid any risks. Ensuring early rehabilitation can also lead to a better physical and mental recovery in the longer term.
Contact our specialist team of cycling solicitors for a free initial consultation. Explain the details of your case and they will advise on whether you have a claim and what to do next to progress your case.
You may be asked to gather as much supporting evidence as possible to help prove your case and responsibility for your injuries, and it would be helpful if you could start to collate this as early as possible. This can include:
- Details of the other party – name, address, vehicle registration number, insurer and insurance policy number – if there has been a collision;
- Details of any witnesses on the scene;
- Details of the attending police officer and the crime reference number;
- Photographs and/or videos of the collision – such as dash cam, helmet cam or mobile phone footage;
- Images and maps of the location where it happened;
- Photographs and measurements of the pothole / defect if this is the cause of the incident;
- Documents related to your bike, helmet and any other protective gear;
- Financial records.
The amount of compensation you could be awarded will depend on the seriousness of your injuries, their impact on your life and professional cycling career (where relevant).
We focus on securing compensation so you can return to your pre-crash quality of life where possible. This can include securing early interim payments to help with your rehabilitation, treatment and purchase of specialist equipment.
Cycling incident compensation will include compensation for the injuries you have suffered, as well as any financial losses you have incurred during your recovery, or may incur in the future. These can include aspects such as:
- Loss of earnings
- Treatment and therapy costs
- Travel expenses to rehabilitation sessions
- Specialist equipment and care
- Replacing your bicycle and any other equipment damaged
Cycle claims can be complex and we have done thousands of them. We are also all very keen cyclists, some have raced internationally, others have toured the world and the UK, everyone on our team understands cycling. So, we know what we are talking about when we take on a cycling claim.
At Leigh Day, our teams of specialist cycling lawyers will care for you whilst fighting to get you back on the bike as soon as possible and avoid you suffering financial hardship. For those people seriously injured we will fight for interim payments and rehabilitation at the earliest opportunity, whilst seeking compensation to provide for your care.
We have been consistently rated in the top tier by the independent legal directories The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for our reputation as specialists with significant experience in this field.
For more than 35 years, our firm has specialised in the more complex areas of personal injury law, focusing our efforts on achieving justice for our clients.
For more information on our cycling team download our cycling brochure
What our clients say
An amazing company ... As a BCF member I been covered and represented by Leigh Day on several cases, on all of those cases the professionalism of Leigh Day solicitors were above my expectations.
Edgar on Trustpilot
What our clients say
Leigh Day responded quickly to my need for compensation, after a very serious cycling accident in September 2021. I can't express fully how grateful I am to the Leigh Day team for such professional and caring approach.
Dave Rogers via Trustpilot