Cyclists Injured by Motorists

Our firm regularly handles claims on behalf of cyclists injured in collisions with motorists. The typical injuries which cyclists sustain when hit by cars and other vehicles are outlined below. Apart from the physical injury itself, compensation will also cover private healthcare treatment, physiotherapy, psychological therapy, expenses (such as the cost of travel to hospital appointments), loss of income and household adaptations.

Facial Injuries – Cyclists often hit their face when they fall from their bike, sustaining injuries including broken and fractured noses, jaws and eye sockets. Teeth may also be damaged, while abrasions caused by scapes (road rash) can leave long-term or permanent scarring.

Head Injuries – Head injuries from cycling accidents vary widely in severity, from minor cuts and scrapes to skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Cyclists often develop concussion from a blow to the head even if they were wearing a helmet, and this needs to be closely monitored to make sure the head injury is not more serious than it appears.

Broken and Dislocated Bones – The blunt trauma from the impact on landing when a cyclist is thrown from their bike can cause broken ribs, legs, and more severe broken back and neck injuries, which can result in spinal cord damage and paralysis. More commonly, a rider will attempt to break their fall with their hands and arms, resulting in broken and dislocated shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers.

Soft Tissue Injuries – Most cycling accidents on the roads thankfully only cause minor injuries like cuts, scrapes and bruises. However, strains and sprains are also common, including torn ligaments, while whiplash is another possibility, particularly when a cyclist is struck from behind by a motorist’s vehicle.

Bartletts is a law firm with expertise and experience in cycling accident compensation claims. In one recent case we successfully claimed £60,000 in compensation for a cyclist who seriously injured his back after being knocked off his bike by a car that pulled out in front of him from a side street. If you are a cyclist and have been involved in a collision with a motorist, contact our firm for free, expert and reliable legal advice:

Pothole Claims Against Local Authorities

The main piece of legislation relating to potholes and responsibility for road maintenance is the Highways Act 1980, which obliges local councils, highway authorities and any other road owner to ensure that roads are in a safe state. This duty of care means that anyone using a road should be able to do so safely without risking an accident, including when a person walks into a pothole, trips, falls and gets injured.  

However, local authorities often refuse to accept responsibility for accidents of this kind under Section 58 of the Highways Act, on the basis that they had taken all reasonable measures to identify and quickly deal with potholes on the road in question. Local authorities have a system of inspection and repair, and as long as they have regularly inspected a road, and a pothole has not been reported to them, they may seek to deny legal liability.

The success of a claim will therefore depend in large part on whether the local authority has implemented and followed an acceptable system of road maintenance. A claimant is legally entitled to access information about a local authority’s system of inspection, and also whether it was aware of a pothole, which can prove that it failed to properly maintain a road and was therefore responsible for the claimant’s injuries. 

Further important evidence in support of a claim includes photographs showing the location, width and depth of a pothole, with a depth of at least one inch (2.54cm) necessary to show that it posed a significant injury risk. Poor street lighting may also be influential in proving that a road was dangerous to walk down at the time of an accident. These factors, in addition to a local authority having no defence under Section 58, will determine the ultimate success or failure of a pothole injury claim.

Find out more about claiming compensation for falls in the street: