I was knocked off my bike - what shall I do next?

I was knocked off my bike - what shall I do next?

I’ve been knocked off by a driver, escaping with grazed knee and bruised shoulder. The driver pulled out in front of me, then tried a U-turn. I hit the rear car door and came off. I managed to hobble off the road to safety. I was shaken and didn’t take the driver’s insurance or ring the police. I left the scene after being helped to my feet by the apologetic driver. There was a witness, who has the driver’s registration. So to clarify: I have the driver’s registration but didn’t call the police; I have a witness; I visited the doctor today and he recorded my injuries. Can I pursue this?

Jamezy, via the Cycling UK Forum

I am glad that you have managed to escape the incident with what seem from your description to be relatively minor injuries. You are allowed to pursue a civil personal injury claim against the driver up until the third anniversary of the incident. In order to pursue a successful claim against the driver in this situation, you would need to establish that the other party was at fault or was negligent
in their actions, and that you suffered injury/loss as a result.

The fact that you have a witness who can support the circumstances of the incident, and the fact that the driver seems to have acknowledged he was at fault, bodes well in terms of your position.

Other evidence will then be required to determine the extent of your injuries and loss. This is usually in the form of a medical report from a suitable medical expert, dealing with the extent of your injuries, how they have affected you and may affect you into the future. One would also look to recover any expenses, such as damage to your bike, any loss of earnings, treatment costs, etc.

The other matter in most people’s minds is how they will afford to pursue a claim. The usual rule in the courts is that the loser is responsible for the winner’s costs, including most of your legal costs (some costs are not recoverable). However, lower value claims (under £1,000) dealt with in the Small Claims Court will not permit you to recover any solicitor’s fees. If you were to instruct a solicitor in such a situation, it is likely that the costs of so doing would outweigh the value of the claim. For higher value claims (above £1,000), legal fees are recoverable, and it is advisable to use a specialist personal injury solicitor to ensure that you receive the most out of your claim.

Cycling UK members have the benefit of no-cost personal injury support and a 100% compensation pledge, backed by Slater and Gordon, to support their personal injury claims. Contact the Cycling UK Incident Line on 0844 736 8452 or visit our website, slatergordon.co.uk, for further information.

Richard Gaffney

Principal Lawyer, Slater + Gordon Lawyers

This Q&A was published in 'Cycle' the magazine for members of Cycling UK. To contact the experts, email your technical, health, legal or policy questions to editor@cyclinguk.org or write to Cycle Q&A, PO Box 313, Scarborough, YO12 6WZ

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