Brain injury arising from cycle accidents
The UK has become a nation of cyclists. Whether you are a weekend warrior, taking part in races or enjoy cycling to work, more and more of us are using bikes. Cycling provides a fantastic low impact way to get fit, lose weight, save money, save the planet, and for many, the opportunity to get away from the pressures of everyday life.
Many cyclists are acutely aware of the risks they are taking by riding on our roads. In 2016, according to Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 102 people were killed while cycling (eight of which were children), and over 3,000 were seriously injured.
IBB are renowned across the UK for their success in bringing claims for those who have suffered a brain injury as a result of a serious road accidents due to the negligence of another person. Prompt action is absolutely essential to ensure a comprehensive rehabilitation programme is in place, and money made available for additional medical care, or any other losses arising from the accident and injury. Many of our team are passionate cyclists themselves and understand as well as anyone the anger and anguish that such accidents and related injuries can cause.
What causes cycling accidents?
The overwhelming majority of serious injuries and deaths occur on or close to road junctions, especially T-junctions and roundabouts[PM1] . However, half of all deaths occur on rural roads, where speeds are often higher, and the roads are much narrower (thereby not allowing as much clearance for cars when overtaking a bike).
Typically, vehicle and bike collisions occur when either motorists cross the path of a cyclist or turn across their path, or when cyclists ride directly into the path of a motor vehicle.
When it comes to examining the cause of cycling accidents, in nearly three-quarters of cases, the problem is the human behind the wheel or handlebars – in other words, rider, or driver error is the biggest reason accidents occur.
Beyond the simple failure to look, other factors which contribute to bike/vehicle collisions include poorly turning or manoeuvring, being careless, reckless, or in a hurry, speeding, driving too fast for the prevailing weather conditions, and impairment due to alcohol.
In most road traffic accidents involving bikes and vehicles, it is cars that are involved. However, in London, there is a significant danger due to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) – the cause of 20% of cycling fatalities in the capital.
There are two other hazards which cyclists must endure – firstly, ‘car-dooring’ remains a common scourge for cyclists; this occurs when parked motorists open their car door without looking to see if a cyclist is coming, resulting in a direct collision. Secondly, potholes, which are an increasingly prevalent and serious risk, can lead to being thrown from a bike, resulting in serious injuries.
Regardless of the cause, IBB Solicitors are here to provide the best legal guidance and to support you during what will undoubtedly be a worrying time for all concerned. As we have handled cases such as this many times before, we know how to win the maximum compensation possible and ensure you receive the rehabilitation needed to recover.
What types of head injuries are caused by a cycling accident?
Cycling accident-related head injuries can vary enormously, depending on the speed in which you or the other vehicle was travelling at, whether a helmet is worn, the object hit, and many other factors.
Head injuries caused by cycling accidents can range from minor to catastrophic. A minor injury may result in a concussion and temporary amnesia, whereas a more moderate or serious brain injury can leave the victim in a coma and lead to personality changes, depression, anxiety, long-term amnesia, and loss of cognitive functions.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to lifelong disability or even death. Victims may require intensive rehabilitation, and perhaps even 24-hour care for the rest of their life. Acquiring adequate accommodation to fund this will be crucial.
Can I claim compensation for a brain injury caused by a cycling accident?
Making a claim for a head injury following a serious cycling accident is possible if you can show the accident was caused by the negligent actions of another person or organisation. Examples include:
- if a motorist drove directly into your path without looking,
- if a local authority failed to fill a large pothole they were aware posed a serious risk to road users.
- Your cycling equipment failed, despite proper and safe use, causing you to suffer an accident.
Crucially, in most cases, you only have three years from either the date of the accident or the date you became aware of your brain injury resulting from the accident in which to make a claim for compensation. In some cases, a brain injury may not be immediately obvious due to lack of symptoms, but becomes apparent weeks, or months later. This is why it is imperative to seek medical advice following a cycling accident, even if you believe you are not seriously injured. An X-ray or another diagnostic method may reveal you are more injured than you think.
How do I make a claim for a head injury suffered while I was riding my bike?
To bring a compensation claim, it is vital that you seek the advice of a specialist cycling accident personal injury solicitor. At IBB Claims, we will first listen to the details of your case and, based on our considerable experience of similar cases, we will advise if you have a valid claim for compensation. Any evidence you have, including witness information and photographs, will help us to build a picture of what happened, and who was liable. We may also, with your written consent, retrieve a copy of your medical records if needed, to help build the most robust case possible.
If we are confident you have a strong claim, we may offer to take on your case on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, explaining in detail what this means.
Our personal injury team at IBB Solicitors have acquired a reputation for our expertise in accident injury claims and for ensuring a professional, empathetic and friendly approach to all of the cases we handle.
If you would like further information on making a compensation claim for a cycling accident injury, please call our office on 0333 123 9099.