Financial Implications: What will the real cost of a claim be to a cyclist?

For the first 25 years helping cyclists we were able to reassure the clients that they would receive the full amount of their award without any deductions because the compensator would also cover the legal costs. The polluter pays is the direct analogy. That all changed is 2013.

Unless you are sufficiently fortunate to belong to a Cycling organization such as Cycling UK which offers a special deal to its members, expect to see anywhere between 25% and 33% (plus VAT) of the award go towards legal costs plus (possibly) a premium for something called After The Event (ATE) insurance.

Or you may have some form of legal expense insurance (LEI) either as a bolt-on to a Home and Contents Policy or as part of a Policy of Cycle Insurance which has been purchased as a stand alone item. While the insurance may be branded as cycle-specific, the likelihood is that the law firms on the Insurer’s panel will not be cycle law and claims specialists. This leads to problems, more of which appears in ‘How to appoint a representative’.

Why the deductions? It’s a long story which we’ll save for a dedicated page but the blame lies in part with politicians interfering in something about which they knew very little and parts of the legal profession which exploited a set of rules designed to assist the accident victims.

Cycle-Aid: The Original Helpline for Injured (or disgruntled) Cyclists

We’ve been around for a long time, since 1989 to be exact. Back in the day we pursued claims, recovering millions of pounds for thousands of cyclists, but with a proliferation of organizations offering their services we thought it time to offer an impartial overview and try to help cyclists through the maze so they get the best outcome.

It’s quite possible we’ve met many visitors to this site after a decade attending the Cycle Show, or at Le Depart of Le Tour in Hyde Park, at countless cycle conferences and courses, at events we have sponsored and of course, as clients or over the Helpline. If so, we hope the contact was helpful.

You’ll be able to find information on cyclists’ rights and the obligations of other road users, Highway Authorities and the Cycle industry in a couple of clicks, but most importantly what to do right now if you’re just home and wondering.

Highway defect evidence.

If the index defect is a depression, bridge it, add a ruler or tape perpendicular to the ‘bridge’, measure down, record and image. 40 mm is the rule of thumb. Same goes for any differential in level, lateral or transverse to the highway.

If the defect is standing proud of the surface, balance a spirit level across and support one end when the bubble is dead centre; then measure down from the other and record.

In the spilt concrete case of Thomas v Warwickshire CC the Court decided a 20 mm protruberance was sufficiently dangerous to have merited the Council’s attention.

Bike as a comparator

This a channel running parallel to the direction of travel on the A590 in Cumbria just outside the entrance to Lakeside and Haverthwaite steam railway.

It is a design and construction issue, not a Highways Act failure to maintain. Unsurprisingly the bike stopped dead, the rider sustained a comminuted fracture to his clavicle and Highways England paid for the surgery, consequential losses and damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

The bike in the pic belonged to the Cycle-Aid investigator. Always good to have one handy.