Following any accident, it is possible for the person that was injured and was not at fault for the accident to submit a compensation claim against the other party. In the case of cycling accidents, this means that the cyclist can claim money from the driver of the car that hit them. The compensation can then be used to pay for medical care, can be used to pay for repairs to your bike, and it can be used to cover a loss of earnings that you suffer as a direct result of the accident.
As such, compensation is extremely important to most accident victims, but most of us have read horror stories regarding how long cases can take to complete, while some potential claimants worry about taking on an insurance company in the courts. However, the courts do not automatically favour either party, and they will judge according to the facts. As long as it can be shown that the driver was liable for the accident and that you have indeed suffered loss as a result, then you should find that your compensation claim is a successful one.
If there were fatalities during the accident, if your injuries were serious, if the driver left the scene of the accident without reporting it, or if there were any other extenuating circumstances, then the process can take longer. The police will usually complete their own investigation, and if a fatality did occur then an inquest will be heard in order to determine the facts. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a cycling accident involving a car, then you may still be able to seek compensation from the driver.
Following less serious accidents, the police may only hold a very basic investigation or may not investigate at all. This will not impact your case, and it may mean that you are able to gain access to your compensation sooner because you won’t have to wait for criminal proceedings to finish before you can start civil proceedings. An inquest, for example, can take several months to really get going and may take more than a year before findings are released.
Some insurers will attempt to settle a case out of court. If you have heard from the other party’s insurer then you should instruct a solicitor as soon as possible. They will determine whether the settlement is fair, and they will explain the process and the benefits and pitfalls of accepting an early settlement offer to you. The insurers hope to avoid the potentially high costs of a court case by settling out of court, but you may lose the right to seek further damages even if you later find out that you need more time to recover from your injuries.
By ensuring that you have experienced legal representation, you can increase the chances of a successful compensation claim. Your solicitor will inform you of what they believe to be a fair compensation figure, and they will then help to ensure that you receive this amount.
Carry On Cycling can help build a case, represent you in inquest hearings, and ensure that you are able to get back to full health as soon as possible while also submitting your compensation claim to the courts.