When can you claim in a cycling accident

I’ve had a few questions from people who’ve been in a cycling accident (official term: incident) and to help clarify when you can and can’t make a claim, I’ve asked Ben Davis from CAMS to help out with explanations of common scenarios.

If your question isn’t answered, feel free to use the form below and Ben will give you a call back to discuss your situation.

I was knocked off and the driver drove off without stopping? Could I still claim losses?

In this instance, it is very difficult to put a case together. Somebody has to be liable for costs. In the event of an injury, and so long as the accident and injuries have been reported to the police, sometimes the case can be taken on by going through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

I hit a big pot hole and damaged my bike. Will the council pay up?

This is again a tricky one. Councils are liable for maintaining roads, however, we have to be realistic here as to how much we can expect councils to be on top of this – especially over winter, where pot holes are springing up all over the place. 

If there is a serious injury, and the pothole has been there for sometime and is over a certain depth, it may be worth pursuing a claim for damages.

A pedestrian stepped out on me, causing me to fall, is he liable?

Again, this isn’t really feasible. The pedestrian could well by liable, but if it was just an accident, and the pedestrian has no insurance. The same goes for cyclists taking each other out, if the offending rider does not have insurance, you are already on the back foot. 

Personally, I would prefer it stays this way, I like not having to pay insurance to ride my bike, or walk to the shops! 

I need my bike to get to work, I was in a non-fault accident, my bike is unrideable, and the driver has refused to acknowledge this and pay up. What can I do?

So long as the drivers details, and registration number were obtained, we can help you out. We will pay for the repairs to your bike upfront, and provide a hire bike for you to use in the mean time. It can be delivered whenever most convenient.  All costs will eventually be covered by the third party insurance company. 

Will I be compensated for my injuries and loss of earnings?

If you decide to claim through a company such as CAMS then yes, this is all covered as part of the legal process. No costs will be required of you at any point.

Can I deal with the third part insurance company directly?

Presuming the driver has admitted liability, this is certainly an option. They will sometimes settle quickly and without fuss, however, this is often not the case. 

Will my bike be repaired at a dealer of my choice?

CAMS work with most independent bike shops within central London. This is all part of our service, your bike will remain at the shop, and you deal with your local guy/girl with respect to any repairs undertaken. 

I don’t have the means to get my bike to a repairer…

A few of our dealers provide a London wide courier service. 

I am not sure who was at fault?

Fill in the form at the end of this post to discuss, it is impossible to say without knowing all the details, each case is individual. 

How much compensation will I receive?

The amount of compensation will depend on the severity of the cycling incident, the effects, long and short term it has had on the individual, and many other variables. It would be unprofessional to give a guideline costs, as it can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds. 

How long will it take?

The cycling accident claim process from start to finish can be done in a few months, or could take years it all depends again on the severity of the incident. Usually, the more serious the incident, the more complicated it is, and e longer it will take. Rest assured, your bike will be sorted straight away, and we won’t leave you hanging to get back on the road. 

I can’t afford public transport, but I need to get to work…

CAMS will provide you a hire bike, if you are fit to ride. This won’t cost you anything, and you can have it as long as you need, or until the case is settled or your bike has been repaired.

Fill out the claims form to get advice on your accident from CAMS.

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22 Responses to When can you claim in a cycling accident

  1. Alan Moore 14/03/2013 at 9:55 am #

    Advert disguised as editorial 🙁

    • Andreas 14/03/2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Hey Alan – apologies if my relationship with CAMS wasn’t made clear enough. We do occasionally promote products and services on London Cyclist. It allows the site content to remain free and frees up my time to keep providing free content that I hope is useful to people. There’s a trade off there but we try to stick to the rule that we’d never promote anything we wouldn’t feel comfortable using ourselves. Happy to discuss further with you if you’d like and I’m available always via the contact page.

    • rsk 15/03/2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Currently in hospital, and shall be for a few months. Finding articles like this useful and interesting, and would fully expect it to be written by a professional rather than an amateur. Keep up the good work and ignore the nay-sayers.

      • Andreas 16/03/2013 at 12:49 am #

        Thanks RSK appreciate your feedback. Good to hear both sides.

  2. Ben Brown 14/03/2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I am a cyclist but my friend had a cyclist plough into the back of his new car, his bike was fine, he was fine but he bent part of his new car. He had accelerated, then stopped suddenly for a red. The cyclist presumed he would go through yellow and accelerated into him. Is there anything the driver could do to get financial compensation. He got the cyclists details.

    • Andreas 14/03/2013 at 4:03 pm #

      Good question Ben – I’d imagine it would be easy to do if the cyclist was insured but tougher if they weren’t.

  3. Goodwheel 14/03/2013 at 11:39 pm #

    It is worth noting that if you have an accident whilst riding a Boris bike that you are automatically insured.

    Apparently, this hardly ever happens – or maybe this is just propoganda put out by Boris bikes. At any rate I have heard that drivers tend to give these bikes a wide berth.

    Not sure exactly what the reason is other than the possibility that with the current recession we can’t afford having Barclays crash.

    • Andreas 16/03/2013 at 12:50 am #

      Thanks Goodwheel – that’s a great thing to take note of – I never realised you were automatically covered. Where did you hear about this?

    • Kenny 18/03/2013 at 4:17 pm #

      There are probably very few incidents with Boris bikes and motor vehicles as people on Boris bikes ride mostly on the pavement!

  4. Chris 15/03/2013 at 3:20 pm #

    >>”A pedestrian stepped out on me, causing me to fall, is he liable?”

    >>”Again, this isn’t really feasible. The pedestrian could well by liable, but if it was just an accident, and the pedestrian has no insurance.”

    If the pedestrian steps out into the road without looking, it can hardly be classed as an accident. You are quite at rights to pursue it through small claims court to recover damages.

    >>”Personally, I would prefer it stays this way, I like not having to pay insurance to ride my bike, or walk to the shops! ”

    Joining any cycling organisation you will get insurance cover as part of the membership package. CTC & British Cycling both offer £10 million liability, whereas with London Cycling Campaign you get £5 million.

    I’m all for insurance not being compulsory but I’m also against this continued attitude that people should not be liable for causing collisions (they are not accidents when they are avoidable). I have been knocked off my bike three times in as many years by pedestrians walking into the road and not looking, have sustained injury and/or damage to my bikes and they have walked away scot free. (1st was a tourist on TCR who didnt look, 2nd was a woman at Bank who crossed the road despite a red man displayed at the lights and the 3rd was a man at Cannon Street engrossed with his phone).

    • Andreas 16/03/2013 at 12:51 am #

      Fair comment Chris – there’s a trade off between a “blame culture” and not having to pay for the damages yourself if it’s someone else’s fault.

  5. Sue 15/03/2013 at 5:20 pm #

    I hit a pothole on my bike and ended up with a mangled bike and a broken wrist. I tried to claim from the council but they wormed their way out of it by saying that they had carried out cyclical maintenance within the prescribed time period (presumably if a hole appears in between times you’re on your own).

  6. JMH 15/03/2013 at 7:31 pm #

    Knocked off last week by a car turning R from main road into side street. However, I was cycling (quite slowly) up the inside of stationary traffic queued at a pelican crossing just ahead. Bike is damaged as am I. Driver says my fault, I say theirs as didn’t check it was clear before manoeuvring. Could I make a claim? Police were called but not seen anything from them yet.

    • Andreas 16/03/2013 at 12:52 am #

      If you’ve got their details you can claim, if not then you’d probably be able to claim via the motor insurers bureau. If you want CAMS to take a look just plonk your details in that box in the post.

  7. Goodwheel 19/03/2013 at 12:43 am #

    There is a very interesting article here regarding the reduced likelihood of being involved in an accident when riding a bike from a bike-sharing scheme. It appears to hold true accross various countries.


  8. Mikey 24/03/2013 at 12:42 pm #

    I’ve dealt with CAMS in the past and can honestly recommend them. From start to finish they helped my customer get his bike repaired and back on the road, it did take 6 weeks to get payment but I guess that’s insurance compabies for you!

  9. john 08/07/2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Hi there

    My door was open o a public parking space but was open into the cycle lane, the door was open for some time before a cyclist drove into it and broke my door,who is at fault here?



  10. André 26/07/2013 at 1:19 pm #

    This is probably the wrong site for this question but I try anyway:
    Last week I was on a holiday in London and went to Vue Cinema. There I saw a terrefic and sad commercial about a cycle accident. A man is laying on the ground, been hit and talks about seeing his kids or something, that he was just going home. And there is blood coming from his backhead and then he stops talking and in slow motion they try to get him back to life. Do someone know where I can find the commercial, wanna show it to my students? Thanks!

  11. T 03/09/2014 at 5:41 am #

    We want to start up bike maintenance day. We want to help people fix or maintain their bikes for free. However, we want to make a disclaimer whereby we wont be liable if we fix the bike and then someone has an accident. Can we do this?

  12. Marc 04/05/2015 at 5:31 pm #

    I hit a large pot hole on a grass verge next to a path. I received a fractured radial head in my right arm and mangled my front tire. Can I make a claim?

  13. Dan 03/08/2017 at 10:50 pm #

    A car stopped suddenly and unexpectedly in the road, to allow a car waiting behind a parked car on the other side of the road to move out. The cyclist then road straight into the back of the car. Damage was done to both the car and the bike. Who is responsible? Who’s fault is it?

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