Claiming for Bicycle Accident Injury Compensation in Ireland
Guide by Dublin solicitor Roddy Tyrrell, principal of Lawyer.ie and himself a keen cyclist.
CYCLE INJURY CLAIMS SOLICITOR
*To enquire first about whether you might have a valid claim contact Roddy Tyrrell, publisher of Lawyer.ie & Principal of Tyrrell Solicitors.
To arrange a consultation by phone or in person, contact him using the enquiry form or call (01)6671476.
If you have been injured or a family member died as a result of a road traffic collision while cycling you may have grounds to take legal action for compensation*.
Solicitors are often involved with ‘picking up the pieces’ for clients who have had cycling accidents and have been injured by a motorist or even another cyclist.
Many, bicycle accident victims do not realise that they are as entitled to compensation for injury (including medical expenses and out-of-pocket expenses) as other categories of victim be it a lorry driver or pedestrian.
Most common types of bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles;
- Drivers turning right in front of a bicycle coming towards it
- Motorists hitting a bicycle when changing lanes or overtaking often resulting in ‘side-swiping’
- Car doors being opened in front of cyclists as they approach
- Drivers hitting cyclists when turning left where the cyclist is on the inside
Typical Cyclist Injuries from the above accident types
Head Injury – this can be very serious and can occur even when the cyclist is wearing a helmet. Depending on its nature the compensation claims for this injury type tend to be at the higher end of the scale.
Back/Neck/Whiplash Injury – This usually occurs when the cyclist accident victim is struck with some force causing a violent arching of the neck and/or striking of the head off the ground or vehicle.
Collarbone / Arm Injury – These are very often caused when a vehicle door is opened suddenly or when a cyclist is catapulted forward over the handlebars and strikes a car bonnet or windscreen.
Leg Injury – Often caused by cyclists falling on one leg or in the more serious scenario getting a leg crushed under a motor vehicle including lorries or heavy goods vehicles in many instances.
The above are just a snapshot of cyclist injury examples and these can range from the minor (which notwithstanding you may still be compensated for) to the severe catastrophic injuries where loss of earnings, livelihood or even life may occur.
What to do if you are injured in a cycling accident
Get Medical Attention
Your health and well-being are more important than any personal injury claim for compensation. You should therefore seek medical attention by going to Accident and Emergency or at least your GP – each are also able to diagnose your injury properly and as well as ensuring you get best care, it will help provide documented medical evidence of the injuries you have suffered.
Record the details of the liable party*
This is standard procedure in any road traffic accident scenario. You should record (where appropriate) the registration number of the vehicle, the other party’s name and address and the insurance details of the driver.
*The liable party is the person(s) or entity which is responsible for the injury or damage. Even if you are not certain as to who is at fault for the accident, do not admit liability yourself but follow the procedures notwithstanding. In some cases you still may be entitled to partial compensation even if contributory negligence is apportioned on your part – for example where you were not wearing a safety helmet or you did not have a light on you bike.
Record names of witnesses and take photographs of the scene
It is important to gather all and any evidence* you can as this may assist you with your injury claim later on and may even have a bearing on the size of compensation for the accident.
*In the case of hit-and-run cycling accidents or any circumstance where the other party leaves the scene early, you may still be able to make a claim provided there is evidence of some sort that the cycle accident did happen and that injuries were incurred. Claims cases can also be taken against the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland if the offending party was driving without insurance.
Report the accident to the Gardaí
This is an important step to take if you are injured in a road traffic cycling accident. In some cases the Gardaí may not attend to the scene right away but you should still report the incident to the local Garda station as soon as you are able to do so.
Finally, consult with a reputable injury claims solicitor
Contacting a good injury lawyer as soon as practicable will hold you in good stead in the long run. The solicitor will be able to determine if you have a case and will be able to advise on how to proceed with a claim including bring your case to the Injuries Board if applicable. It is usually a good idea not to settle your claim immediately with the other party’s insurance company, until your claim has been properly evaluated by your own lawyer.