Can I claim for a cycling accident caused by a bicycle repair error?
If you have been injured in a cycling accident that happened as a result of a faulty repair, you may be entitled to claim compensation. You will need to be able to prove that your cycling injury was caused as a direct result of the bike repair error in order to claim against the person or bike repair company responsible.
Bicycle maintenance and servicing
Cyclists rely on their bicycles for commuting and getting around, to keep fit, and as a hobby. Bike parts will inevitably need replacing from time to time due to wear and tear. While some people feel comfortable maintaining their own bikes, others choose to pay an expert to do it for them. Professional bicycle mechanics can fit, adjust and repair bicycle components.
Cyclists are advised to have their bikes professionally serviced every so often, to ensure that they are running smoothly and safely. A full bike service should inspect the various components of the bike, including:
- Alignment of forks
- Gears and brakes adjusted if required
- Chain check and lubrication
- Wheel hubs and rims checked for damage and wear
- Bearings checked for free movement
- Wheels trued and spokes tensioned
- Drive train cleaned and checked for wear and tear
- Bottom bracket checked and adjusted
Bicycle maintenance errors - the risks
Cyclists expect professional bicycle maintenance and repair shops to provide a reliable service, ensuring that their bicycle is safe to ride. They should be pick up on any defects in the bicycle, and adjust or repair any parts if required. If an error is made during a bicycle repair or maintenance check, the consequences could be severe for the cyclist.
Regular bike users travel at high speeds over long distances, on busy roads, over rough terrain, and in hazardous weather conditions. If a faulty bike service or repair causes the bicycle to malfunction, or a part of the bike to break, injury is a likely outcome.
How to claim for an injury from a bicycle repair error
To make a personal injury claim against a bicycle repair shop or an individual bike mechanic, you will need to prove that they were responsible for your injury. In failing to correctly repair or service your bike, the repairer is likely to have failed in their duty of care to you as a customer. This failure may constitute negligence for the purposes of making an injury claim.
Evidence that the bicycle service or repair had taken place shortly before you were injured will be very beneficial to your claim. Documented proof that your bicycle was repaired or serviced by them, such as a report of the service, emails confirming an appointment or receipts of payment will help your case.
It will also benefit your case if you can gather evidence from around the time of the accident. Video evidence of the accident will be very useful if you cycle with a video device, as will photographic evidence of the faulty or broken bike parts after the injury.
It may also be beneficial to make a note of how far you had cycled since the repair took place. Sports recording apps such as Strava will be very advantageous in this instance.
The Defendant may try to argue that the broken or damaged bike part was damaged after the repair or service, so it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to back up your claim.
What if the faulty repair caused me to have an accident with another person?
If you were cycling in a group or in a busy public place when the repair error resulted in a malfunction, there may be other people involved in your claim. If another person was injured - perhaps if you crashed into them due to faulty brakes - then they might also be able to make a claim against the Defendant.
What can I claim for?
Your claim will include damages for the pain and suffering caused by the accident, and may also include special damages specific to your injury, such as:
- Cost of bicycle repair or replacement
- Cost of clothing and accessories damaged in the accident, including GPS devices, video recording equipment and specialist cycling clothing
- Cost of treatment required as a result of the injury
- Cost of modification to your home if you are severely injured
- Loss of income due to incapacitation
- Care and assistance provided by family or friends while recovering