If you do any amount of cycling, you will probably have had a near miss or two.
Cyclists are vulnerable road users and the risk is always there of an accident or collision with a car, lorry or even another cyclist.
Moray has a few designated cycle paths, notably the tracks between Elgin and RAF Lossiemouth and between Forres and Findhorn.
However, on numerous minor roads in Moray, the national speed limit is combined with narrow carriageways and restricted visibility. Add to this the ever-increasing volume of traffic on our roads and you can see why an increasing number of cyclists are falling victim to injury as the result of a bicycle accident in Moray.
If you are a cyclist unlucky enough to be injured in an accident, you may choose to make a personal injury claim so you can receive compensation for your injuries and other losses. It is likely that your bike will be damaged, possibly beyond economic repair, and you will want any compensation to include an element to pay for its repair or replacement.
Provided you can establish that someone else was to blame for your injuries, you are perfectly entitled to claim compensation for your loss. It makes no difference whether your injuries are superficial or substantial; you are still entitled to make a claim.
Which solicitor to instruct?
You will have to consider which solicitor to instruct. The choice is wide – as anyone who listens to local radio or watches daytime television will know.
Your main criterion should be that they have accredited specialist expertise in personal injury claims generally and have experience in bicycle claims.
The issues involved in bicycle claims can be complicated and, if the particular solicitor is not a specialist, they may not even be aware of potential problems.
How to fund the claim?
Once you have selected a solicitor, you will have to consider how to meet the cost of any legal action. As a cyclist, it is unlikely you will have any insurance in place – which you would have, say, if you were a car driver.
It should be possible to find a way to run the claim in such a way that you will defer any legal fees until the conclusion of the claim. There should be a guarantee that you will not have anything to pay if you lose. Where your claim succeeds, at worst, most of your legal costs should be paid for by the person (or their insurers) who was negligent in causing the accident. Under some arrangements, all your fees will be covered and you will receive 100% of your compensation, without deduction.
The help your solicitor will need from you
It is a team effort between your solicitor and you and the assistance you can provide is in information about the accident circumstances, as well as details about your losses – to include receipts for your bike and any damaged clothing or other personal possessions.
In one case we dealt with, a large pot of yoghurt in the cyclist’s rucksack “exploded” when he was knocked off his bicycle and the whole contents of the rucksack (and the rucksack itself) were ruined.
Your solicitor will also need information about any loss of earnings due to time off work resulting from your injuries. This will include any overtime or bonuses you would have expected to receive. Where you are self-employed, your solicitor will need access to copies of your accounts.
You will need to assist your solicitor by attending any medical appointment arranged for you. The consultant’s opinion will cover your injuries and prognosis. It is an essential element in valuing your claim for your injuries and, from there, all other parts of the claim (e.g. wage loss) flow.
Though no legal claim is a quick process, assuming your injuries are modest and you make a swift and complete recovery, your claim may be concluded within a few months.
How we can help you
We will be glad to help you in any way we can.
There is no charge for initial telephone discussions or email correspondence.