When can you make a cycle accident claim

This week we’re covering cycling accidents on London Cyclist.

Our first post shared the results of our survey where we found that nearly 60% of cyclists have at one stage been involved in an accident.

Today, I wanted to cover some of the scenarios where you may seek to make a claim for damage to your bike, any medical expenses or for any inconvenience caused. The main message of this week is that cyclists shouldn’t just think “Oh I’m fine, no problem” they should take the time to get people’s insurance details, much like a car driver would.

Accidents with other vehicles

This is the most common scenario. Whether a vehicle bumps in to you, or you fall off your bike avoiding a vehicle, you may wish to get the details off the driver. A typical scenario is a dooring incident or one I’ve more commonly experienced is a car coming out of a side road.

The important message here is that even if the driver fails to stop or they are not insured, you can make a cycle accident claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau.

Essentially if the driver is negligent in their driving, you have grounds for action. It’s common to hear of cyclists being knocked off their bike, getting up and thinking “no harm done” and then when they arrive home they discover serious damage to their bike and injuries.

“Car turned right in front of me. I somersaulted over the bonnet. I was lucky, I was wearing a rucksack and it cushioned my fall. My bike was quite badly damaged. I didn’t claim, I was in shock, it was wet and I was cold. I cycled home as best as I could.”

Accidents involving pedestrians

If a pedestrian walks in to your path and you have to swerve to avoid them and you end up coming off your bike or damaging it, then you have a cycle accident claim. However, this isn’t quite as clear cut as an accident with a vehicle.

Potholes or bad road surfaces

Another common area is when there’s a pothole in the road and you come off your bike. However, it’s not just limited to this. It could apply to other defects in the road such as something sticking up from the surface. This claim would be against the local council, and they have been known to cause big delays to claims procedures. The best thing to do is to get a picture of the pothole or defect as the council may claim it was never there. Ideally in the picture you should include some kind of object that shows the size of the defect.

I rode through a water filled pothole and flew over the handlebars. As you can imagine I landed on my face, thank god I was wearing a helmet but I lost three front teeth they had to be replaced.

When you don’t have a cycle accident claim

There are obviously many scenarios when you can’t claim. For example, if you come off your bike due to frost on the road or black ice then there isn’t a claim. Obviously the council can’t protect against this in all scenarios.

Either way, it’s worth always talking to a specialist and see if it’s worth taking things further. The best thing to do is to get details and pictures no matter what the accident is at the time, as it’s easier to assess things when you get home.

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


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5 Responses to When can you make a cycle accident claim

  1. Konstantinos 07/02/2013 at 10:17 am #

    How about if a cyclist runs into a car?

    Last year I had a cyclist riding a fixie bike with NO brakes and it was obvious that she couldn’t make an emergency stop with her bike. The result? A broken mirror, a dented door and £700 worth of damage…

    I didn’t get any of her details as she had no insurance…


  2. Marianne 07/02/2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Today I was nearly run down on a cobbled side road in Fulham by a cyclist who also clearly had no brakes. He yelled obscenities as he continued riding unsteadily past me. Unfortunately, I encountered this same cyclist again outside Fulham Broadway station, while on the phone to my husband. He was screaming abuse, had a bright purple face and stank of vodka. I’m pretty sure this man will end up badly injuring someone. This has made me realise that more cyclists need to be breathalysed. Can I report this person before something terrible happens?

    • Matt P 08/02/2013 at 11:46 am #

      Pretty sure that wasn’t a real Cyclist. Just a bloke on a bike who had too much to drink. You can always call the Policy non-emergency hotline on 101.

  3. Dan 16/02/2013 at 9:43 am #

    My proudest and happiest moment in the motor insurance industry – phoning up a third party rider who’d been rear ended by one of our policyholders, and starting the process of repairing/replacing her bike, and organising payout for – thankfully – minor injuries.

    Naturally, the policyholder claimed that the rider wasn’t wearing hi-vis and didn’t have lights on. It was daytime. No dice. We paid 😀

    Do consider talking to the insurance company, they may be willing to settle directly, if only to settle the claim quickly and reduce legal costs.

  4. Kenny 18/02/2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I clipped a piece of broken kerb on a cycle path near London City Airport last June. Maybe I should have seen it but was too intent on watching traffic at junction I was about to cross. One trip over the handlebars and £125 for a new wheel later – and I’m still waiting on my claim being dealt with by Newham Council. That’s 8 months…

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