Cyclist on a road
Automatic compensation may encourage more cyclists

Cycle lawyers campaign for compensation changes

Cycle Law Scotland, a firm that deals with cyclists' injury claims, has launched a Road Share campaign to change the law relating to compensation.

If the campaign is successful, cyclists and pedestrians would receive compensation automatically and promptly for injuries/damage sustained in a crash with a motor vehicle.

At present, because injured cyclists or pedestrians are not compensated automatically, they are all too often forced to fight for it  – a process that is often protracted, expensive and particularly difficult for those who need financial help with treatment and care. It is also burdensome for the courts.

Based on a hierarchical structure, the new system would hold drivers liable in the event of such collisions, although compensation would be reduced if they could  prove that the cyclist or pedestrian was partly to blame. This would be a change to civil, not to criminal law, so the legal principle that people are innocent until proven guilty would not be affected.

Cycle Law Scotland says that the UK is lagging behind most of the rest of the EU because it doesn’t operate this system (often called ‘stricter' or 'presumed' liability), and calls for its introduction to help promote cycling and cycle safety. They say it would send out a clear message to drivers that they must look out for cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

CTC Scotland is supporting the campaign.

Cherry Allan