What's fair compensation?

Marli

Regular
Last year a car knocked me off my bike and the driver and the insurance company accepted fault. I didn't accept the compensation from the insurance company - which was 325GDP. My bike was damaged and I had bumps and bruises, most lasting (3-4 months) was what my doctor described as ulna nerve injury, where I landed on my elbow causing numbness and tingling in my lower arm/hand. That has now gone, although I do get an achy elbow at times. I didn't receive any treatment for my injuries - in fact the GP said there wasn't any and that time was the antidote. The insurance company made me feel like a fraud because I couldn't produce the receipts for my 3 year old bike or the coat I was wearing (the insurance 'customer care' representative told me she kept all her receipts)! I don't think my injuries, which to be fair did not affect my work, were considered at all. It was more about not doing things that I usually do like pilates - and I haven't yet wanted/had the courage to get back on my bike. I did contact a few solicitors initially, but now think I might just try the small claims court. The thing is, apart from the repair of my bike, what's a fair claim?
 

Joffey

Guru
Location
Yorkshire
Have they just not offered another amount? Or was it take the £325 or nothing?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
You need a solicitor for any injury claim, you can’t do it through small claims as you’ll need medical reports etc.
Note a no win no fee company will take a percentage.
The good news is you have 3 years to submit a claim
Do you have legal cover through your home insurance? Presuming you’re not a member of British Cycling or Cycling UK so you’ll need to contact a specialist PI firm that has experience on cycling injuries. Bott & Co are one such company.
https://www.bottonline.co.uk/road-t...-much-compensation-claim-for-bicycle-accident

There’s no guarantee they’ll take your case as there’s not much financial incentive as any sum will be small. Worth a few phone calls though.

there’s info here
https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/accident-advice.226114/
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
Years ago I was awarded £3000 after being knocked off my bike. No damage to the bike or clothing but I had damage to the tendon which runs across the palm from the base of the thumb. Took about six months to heal and allow me to grip properly.

The personal injury legal costs were covered by the other party.
 

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
I did contact a few solicitors initially, but now think I might just try the small claims court. The thing is, apart from the repair of my bike, what's a fair claim?
As Vickster said, you will need to go through a Solicitor. The sum you were offered by the insurance company is a "go away" sum. The minimum they think you might take to go away and not instruct a solicitor. Personal Injury claims can be very slow, but as fault has already been admitted, it's just a matter of pursuing the compensation. You don't need receipts for your coat or bike. It would be perfectly acceptable to find the cost of buying the same coat and bike online to demonstrate the value of the products.

The compensation falls into two parts - compensation for injury and compensation for losses. The injury amount won't be huge, but a GP report will demonstrate that there was an injury. It could still however be a reasonable amount. A website I just clicked on suggested up to £3000 for a minor elbow injury (I think that is probably a little optimistic though).

The second part is losses. This will include the damage to the bike, the coat, and associated costs that you might have incurred. These can be all sorts and solicitors are very good at adding things in. For example, for the first few days if you couldnt' cook due to the elbow you might have had some takeouts which would have been more expensive than your regular meals. Missed work. Costs of physiotherapy, loss of amenity - couldn't ride bike for 6 weeks so had to pay for bus / taxi etc.

The solicitor will tot it all up and send it off to the other side. There will then be a series of offers to avoid having to go to court. Your solicitor will advise you if they think that you should take the offer. If you end up in court and the court decides to give you less than you were previously offered, that's tough luck.

You shouldn't need to go No Win No Fee, as you already have liability (therefore have won). It should just be a matter of a god solicitor getting your compensation and their costs from the insurers. You might have to pay for the GP report up front, that's about all.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
13 years after an ulnar comrpession injury my fingers are still numb. Get a decent solicitor, one who can advise having injuries professionally assessed because it may take weeks, months or years to recover...or, as in my case, it may never.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
If you have been affected psychologically, you can also discuss with the solicitor about getting a psychologist consult and report.

It really is crucial that you keep every receipt, as without it, you're unlikely to get a payout - if not, eg for the jacket you could produce a webpage showing the cost as well as taking pictures of your damaged jacket (but don't dispose of it). You are unlikely to get the full amount of a new one, unless it was new and you can prove that but might get something towards it.
Plus of course the receipt for any repairs to the bike. Unfortunately, they won't just take your word on any expenses incurred, you need proof
 

chris-suffolk

Well-Known Member
I was knocked of a few years back. Damage to bike was paid within a week, just needed a couple of quotes from shops. Damage to me went via the legal assistance on my home insurance, and needed Dr's checks and reports etc. They initially offered £1500, which I rejected, and after a couple more Dr reports it was upped to £8500, which I settled on.

Get a solicitor involved, and get them to instruct medical people, and keep persuing.

Good luck,
 

Dave Davenport

Legendary Member
Location
Hampshire
I got knocked off a few years ago, bike totalled but was very lucky to get away with bruises and scrapes. Told the driver if he gave me £500 for the bike I'd leave it at that but he wanted to go through insurance so I got a legal firm that advertised in the cycling mags involved. Ended up with £800 for the bike (new replacement) and £1600 for injuries which I think was the minimum for just soft tissue damage. It actually cost his insurance company about eight grand once all the costs were added in, if they'd offered me a grand first off I'd have taken it.
 

pjd57

Veteran
Location
Glasgow
My own experience....
Knocked off, stitches to elbow.
Cracked rib and a lot of bruises.
I was ok to cycle to A&E for treatment.
Cycle Law Scotland looked after everything for me and I received £5500
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
...just needed a couple of quotes from shops.
As a point of order, if they try and insist on making you run around getting quotes from hither and thither, make sure you bill them for your time.

Ive had this (when someone hit my parked car, not bicycle) and Mrs Myopia's insurers tried this with me. "Fine", I said, but once I told them that I'd be billing them for my time running round getting quotes, and my normal paid rate for rest day working was a smidge under £50 and hour, they soon changed their mind on that one.
 
I was ran into the back by a driver that saw me apparently :wacko: Its was my cheap viking fixie. I felt sorry for the old lady and asked for £200 to replace it. A few days later the cops called her and what ever they said plus the fact I had an "awfully expensive bike" according to her husband made her elect to go through her insurance. The insurance company eventually came back with an offer just more than the OPs offer I haggled for a wee bit more and it was agreed to.

6 months later I was knocked off in London but on a more expensive bike but apart from a toggled wheel, cracked helmet and some minor damage to my jacket I escaped well. But the attitude of the driver and I was unsure about the damage had me elect to go straight down the insurance route. I replaced the wheel and cycled 100miles home the next day. But I had started the ball rolling. Their first claim was that they weren't even there. When I sent the police report they dropped that argument. It then spun on for a year until I saw a physio at the request of my lawyer. I told him about cycling home the next day so I couldn't have been too badly hurt but not surprisingly I did have a bruised hip and shoulder which lasted a few days. He must've have only reported the latter and within a week I had a cheque for 4 times as much as my first claim. The helmet wheel were more expensive but not 4 times more and the minor injuries were the same as before but that's the difference the lawyer
route makes.
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
You should have a receipt for the repairs to the bike and any damaged clothing. This is the minimum you should be compensated for. If your injuries did not need medical treatment, then you can claim for pain and inconvenience.

A couple of years ago I was sideswiped and ended up with a sore bum, which caused me to miss a club ride and a golf tie that week-end. I was compensated for the replacement saddle - asked to replace the nearly new one, which was slightly scuffed. I asked for, and received, £500 compensation for the sore bum, which seemed reasonable to me and the insurance company did not quibble - probably because they got off very lightly. Had the injuries been any worse, or had the insurance company been difficult, I would have gone to a solicitor.

With ongoing pain and not being willing to cycle again, I think you should engage a specialist solicitor to pursue your claim - possibly after advising the insurer that you will do so if they don't substantially improve their offer.
 
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