The small size of a bicycle compared to the average car can make it difficult for drivers to spot cyclists before it is too late. This means that a cyclist has to take many precautions to ensure that they are likely to be seen: fluorescent clothing, lights and reflective strips. Sadly this is not always enough to avoid a collision. When an accident happens, it isn’t just the injuries that will inconvenience the victim. There’s also loss of earnings for time spent off work, the clothing and safety equipment damaged during the collision as well as the bicycle itself.
We represented a client who was knocked from his bicycle by a driver who simply didn’t take the time to ‘think bike’ before following other traffic into a side road. Our client was riding his bike in Crawley, correctly proceeding behind the vehicle in front of him. He had his reflective clothing on and had fitted his bike with 2 front lights. The car in front turned left into a side road and a car travelling in the opposite direction then decided to immediately follow the first into the side road. While rushing to turn the driver failed to spot our client (despite his clothing and lights) and collided with him, causing him to be thrown onto the bonnet of the car and smash the windscreen before falling off on to the road.
An ambulance was called and the paramedics inspected our client. He had suffered injuries to his neck and back as a result of the impact with the car and the road. There were also a number of lacerations and a head injury, which was thankfully prevented from being more serious due to his helmet. Our client’s bike had been wrecked in the accident. We got in touch with the driver’s insurers who admitted that their insured was to blame for the accident, as he had cut in front of our client without looking.
Cyclist claims back value of bicycle
We began negotiations with the driver’s insurer and insisted that they pay the value of our client’s bicycle so that he could replace it. Although they were reluctant to do this we persisted, resulting in the insurers eventually offering to pay the pre-accident value of the bicycle (£850) in addition to his personal injury compensation. Our client was very grateful for this as it allowed him to go out and purchase another bike to get back on to the road as soon as possible!