Cycling Accident Compensation
Can I claim cycling accident compensation even though I was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident? A car collided with my bicycle and I broke my arm and suffered serious bruising.
Cycling accident compensation claims follow the same tenet as any other type of road accident: if you have suffered an injury that was caused – or partially caused – by the fault of a third party, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim for compensation. The fact that you admit to “contributory negligence” – by not wearing your helmet at the time of the accident – will not automatically disqualify you from making your claim; however, the amount you receive is likely to be reduced because you were partly responsible for the injuries sustained.
It is vital that you speak with a personal injury solicitor about this matter before you begin to pursue a cycling accident compensation claim. Your solicitor will be able to assess your case in the initial consultation that most solicitors offer free of charge to determine whether you have a claim worth pursuing. In the instance that you proceed with the claim, aided by a solicitor, it may be decided by the court, or indeed agreed between the two parties involved, that both you and the car driver should share the blame for your injury and the principle of contributory negligence will come into play.
When the aspect of your contribution to your injuries through your own lack of care is compared with the negligence of the defendant, the extent of contributory negligence will potentially reduce the amount of compensation being awarded – or it may even defeat the plaintiff’s case. For example, it may be decided that you must bear 25 per cent of the responsibility for your injuries because you were not wearing a protective helmet whereas the defendant is responsible for the remaining 75 per cent because of his or her driving speed. In this case, your compensation amount would be reduced by 25 per cent.
That said, it is essential that you speak with a solicitor as soon as practically possible, who can evaluate the degree of responsibility to which you should accept and can compile all other aspects of your case into a comprehensive file. Each case is unique and it is impossible to speculate how much your compensation may be reduced by due to contributory negligence without a thorough examination by a legal professional.