Cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable type of road users – apart from pedestrians. Because a bicycle offers little protection, a helmet is often the only protection that you have available to you. Another troubling component is that cyclists are often overlooked by drivers, which means that these vehicles hit cyclists at higher speeds.
Because you do not need to have an insurance company that acts on your behalf in the event of a cycling accident claim, you should always speak to an experienced personal injury solicitor immediately after you are involved in an accident. This is going to allow you to get the compensation that you need, and quite frankly, are entitled to.
Understanding The Law
It is important to note that a bicycle rider in Ireland is classified as “traffic” rather than as a pedestrian with wheels. This means that they have the same obligations and rights as other road users.
Is Your Claim Worth Pursuing?
There are several factors that go into determining whether you should pursue a bicycle accident injury claim. You will need to have sustained some form of injury as a result of the accident, be it psychological or physical. Even if the driver was negligent, you can only bring forth a claim if you have in fact suffered some form of injury. If you were not injured, you can still attempt to recover the cost of your bicycle (which counts as your personal property) if there is physical damage.
The second factor is negligence from the driver (or road authority if you have a problem with a ‘pothole). The claim is going to fail if the driver can prove that he or she was not driving in a negligent fashion at the time of the accident.
You also need to consider contributory negligence. Sometimes several factors together were the cause of the bicycle accident. Perhaps the driver was negligent, but you were cycling at night without lights or came out onto the road without looking. It is always a good idea to speak to your solicitor beforehand to determine the possibility of contributory negligence. This would mean that both parties are partially at fault.
How Much Is A Cycling Accident Claim Worth?
Assuming that liability is not the issue, the value of your claim is going to depend on the severity of your injuries and how long your injuries will affect your personal, recreational, family, and working life in the short, medium, and long term.
Some injuries take a long time before they are fully transparent, and a doctor could need a great deal of time before they can diagnose a long-term condition or discuss your expected recovery period. A claim may also include ‘special damages’, which might be loss of earnings (potentially including future earnings as well).
The value of an accident claim will vary enormously. The “Book of Quantum” sets guidelines for the amount for “General Damages”. However, this does not include loss of earnings and medical costs. That is why you always need to speak to a solicitor who can help you get through the process.
Always Speak To A Solicitor
We understand that there is a temptation to quickly settle with an insurance company to get some money without any issue. However, you will never know just how much your cycling accident claim is worth if you do not actually pursue it. The only reason that an insurance company is willing to settle early on is to save money. We highly recommend that you speak to a specialized solicitor as early as you can to discuss your claims. Call Mcsweeney Solicitors today.