On your bike!

I spent Sunday getting my Bike out of the garage and giving it the once over before I start cycling again for the 1st time this year. With the weather becoming warmer and dryer and the evenings becoming lighter, more and more of us so called “fair weather” riders are getting back on our bikes and back on the roads. Many will start riding to and from work as well as taking the family out on the roads for a day out.

But recent events have highlighted the risks to cyclists on our roads. Yes we have cycle lanes but not everyone sticks to “their” lanes, cyclists and drivers alike.

I am an advocate for dashcams and I see many cyclists now with headcams. They are a great weapon in the war against dangerous drivers and if you are on your bike, and are hit by a vehicle, a headcam can make all the difference between being able to make a claim for injury, or not. For as little as £40 you can monitor your journey to and from work, and monitor those around you.

At the beginning of the year there were 13 cyclists deaths on UK roads, with 4 being in London City Centre alone. In 2013 (the latest information available) 109 cyclists were killed, including 6 children. 3,143 cyclists were seriously injured and 16,186 slight injuries, making a total of 19,438 casualties, including 1,958 children.

Cycling itself has increased with approximately 10% more people taking to the roads on their bikes.

I have dealt with hundreds of claims for cyclists over the years and whilst they are getting easier to do, with more recognition of the cyclists rights on the road, the injuries suffered are not getting any less severe.

I have dealt with brain injuries, spinal injuries, loss of limbs, crushing injuries, leg braces, pins in limbs and loss of senses. All presenting their own difficulties to my clients. As a fellow cyclist each case makes me that little bit more mindful of cycling on the roads, particularly in rush hour traffic.

What many of the cyclists I deal with don’t know is what exactly they can claim for following an accident. The list is vast but as an example I had a client who cycled every day to and from work, as well as for pleasure at the weekends. Following his accident he suffered a severe back injury and could no longer cycle because of the angle you sit at. As a result he couldn’t get to work. Public Transport wasn’t viable in his area, and with his injuries, and so I claimed for driving lessons and a car (albeit a very modest car). But this meant that he could still get out and about. His bike had cost him in excess of £10,000 and I successfully recovered the full cost of the bike, having got a specialist report. My clients injuries were not life changing but they would have an impact on him for several years to come.

Assessing a client’s injuries from the outset of a claim is vital. It can be the difference between a claim that is worth £5,000 and a claim worth £25,000. Not all Solicitors remember, or even know, all the losses to claim after an accident. From claiming for Loss of earnings, pension loss, loss of enjoyment of a hobby, to claiming for a specialist piece of equipment. Getting the right Solicitor is the most important decision you will make, after making the decision to claim.

So if you have an accident you need to call Alisha Butler-Ward on 0151 639 8273 and quote “bike” for free initial advice on making a claim.