Bicycle riders are the most vulnerable road users according to road traffic accident statistics published annually by the Road Safety Authority. These figures show that 5% of all road traffic fatalities involve a bicycle accident – a huge percentage when you consider that less than 2% of the population actually ride a bicycle. With 30% of all bicycle accidents involving a collision with a heavy goods vehicle, the injuries sustained when a rider is involved in a bicycle accident can often be very serious.
The serious injuries that can be sustained in a bicycle accident have lead to a major fall in bike usage in Ireland in the past twenty years – a fact highlighted in “First National Cycle Policy”, which states in its introduction that the number of primary school children who use their bicycles to travel to and from school has declined by 83% since 1986. Yet for many, riding a bicycle to and from work is a financial necessity regardless of the risk of sustaining a serious injury in a bicycle accident.
Despite this decline in bicycle users, the number of serious bicycle accidents continues to increase each year. Most serious casualties occur around the rush hour times of day and involve men with an average age of 35 – an age at which it may be considered that the victim has acquired sufficient road sense to avoid potentially serious manoeuvres. The number of children involved in bicycle accidents represents less than 10% of the total number of reported casualties.
Free Advice about Your Claim
We have a free telephone advice service which will enable you to speak with a specialised personal injury* claims solicitor and discuss your bicycle accident with them. Our helpline is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
How a Bicycle Accident Occurs
The major contributing factor to a bicycle accident is driver error on the part of another road user. Almost 90% of all serious injuries that occur in a bicycle accident happen when another driver has not seen you at a junction, has opened their car door in your path or has manoeuvred out from a parking space or across a turning without looking carefully enough. Heavy goods vehicle drivers are the worst culprits, with more than 30% of fatalities and serious injuries in a bicycle accident due to their lack of observation.
The condition of the street on which you are cycling may also be a contributing factor to a bicycle accident – not only because of raised manhole covers and potholes that appear in many streets, but because avoiding them can lead you into the path of an oncoming vehicle or result in you being rear-ended by a car or goods vehicle that had not anticipated your manoeuvre. Even dedicated cycle paths can be notorious surfaces on which to ride when they are allowed to deteriorate in condition.
Treating Bicycle Accident Injuries
In the most serious type of bicycle accident, an ambulance will be summoned and medical treatment given at the scene. However, if you have been involved in a bicycle accident of any nature, it is essential that you go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital as soon as possible – this is often better done with the assistance of a friend and not on your bicycle. Many people are badly shaken after a bicycle accident and the level of your road sense may well be diminished. Also, your injuries – or damage to your bicycle – may prevent you from being in full control of your vehicle, and you may risk a further bicycle accident.
Knocks to the head and spine are the most prevalent types of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, so it is in your best interests to have a precautionary examination even when you believe that you have walked away from your bicycle accident relatively unscathed. There is no amount of compensation that can ever make up for a long term disability that could have been prevented by timely medical treatment, you should make it a priority to consult a doctor about any injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.
If your bicycle accident was due to the negligence of another road user, or poorly maintained road surface, once you have eliminated any risks to your health, you should speak with a solicitor about claiming compensation for injuries sustained in your bicycle accident.
Bicycle Accident Compensation
Compensation payments for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident are paid out by the negligent driver´s insurance company or by the public liability insurance policy held by the council, depending on who is responsible for your injuries. Either party can be sued for damages through the procedures of the Injuries Board Ireland. Because of the often serious nature of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, making your claim for compensation is best done with the assistance of a specialised personal injury* claims solicitor.
One of the most important elements of making a claim for compensation after a bicycle accident is the comprehensive completion of the Injury Board Ireland´s application form. This has to be done thoroughly, and claims made in the form must be supported by the relevant documentation to support your application. It is a complicated enough procedure, and at a time when you may still be recovering from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, you are wise to utilise the services of a legal professional who is familiar with the complexity of claiming bicycle accident compensation.
A solicitor will also be able to advise you on what course of action you should take if the negligent party denies responsibility for your injuries, if they claim that you contributed to your injuries by your own actions or if their insurance company disputes the amount of bicycle accident compensation as assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland. They will be able to help you if your claim has to go to litigation for any reason, and will also represent you in cases involving children – where an award of compensation has to be approved by a court before payment can be made.
Free Advice about Your Potential Compensation
Compensation payments for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can be quite high because of the often severe nature of those injuries. It is not advisable for anybody to attempt to go through the compensation procedure without legal advice. So we have established a free telephone advice service where you can discuss your bicycle accident directly with a specialised personal injury* claims solicitor.
Our helpline is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
If it is not a convenient time to call right now, please leave your contact details in the call-back box on the left and one of our team will get in touch with you. As well as being completely free of charge, our service is completely confidential and you are under no obligation to proceed with a claim for bicycle accident compensation once you have spoken with us.