How long will my cycling injury claim take?
If you are bringing a compensation claim for an injury sustained in a cycling accident, like many claimants, you may wonder how long it will take to complete the claim.
Although you may be able to obtain a rough estimate for some types of claim, where claims are more complex it is difficult to give a definitive answer.
Some of the key factors that may affect the length of time your claim may take include:
- The type and seriousness of the injuries you have sustained and how long it takes to gather the medical evidence
- The circumstances in which you were injured
- Whether or not the identity of the Defendant is known and if he accepts responsibility for the accident
Why does the type and seriousness of your injuries affect the length of time a claim takes?
Injuries sustained by cyclists may vary from minor - such as bumps, bruises and lacerations - to major life-changing traumas - including serious head injuries or limb amputations.
A key part of your claim's process is providing medical evidence to support your claim. To do so a local medical professional - nominated by your solicitor - will carry out an assessment of your injuries.
As it may not be possible to immediately assess the full impact that these injuries may have on your future - for example if epilepsy later develops as a cause of your head injury - several examinations may be required over a period of time.
Therefore to ensure you receive maximum compensation, a solicitor may recommend a delay in settling your claim until the full extent of the injuries are fully understood. This may be for a few months or even years if your case is complex.
How do the circumstances in which I was injured affect the length of time for my cycling claim to be settled?
Most cycling injuries occur as a result of road traffic collisions or through accidents in public places - such as falling from a cycle after hitting a pothole or skidding on a slippery surface. In such cases (and where the claim for damages is less than £25,000) your solicitor will use the online Claims Portal to process the claim.
This service was introduced to help speed the transfer of information between parties to reduce the time to reach settlements. It means that your claim should take around 4-9 months - assuming you accept any settlement offer.
Claims for more than £25,000 are likely to be those that are more complicated and may take longer.
If your cycling accident was sustained whilst abroad, your claim may be completed relatively quickly. Travel companies offering cycling holidays are bound by the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, which enable people who have been injured abroad to make a claim against UK-based holiday companies through the Courts in England and Wales.
If your cycling accident abroad did not occur on a package holiday your solicitor will be able to advise you in pursuing a claim.
Why might my cycling claim be delayed if the Defendant does not accept responsibility?
Where the Defendant is not known or where he denies responsibility for your accident your solicitor may need to take Court action on your behalf to establish that your injuries are due to a Defendant's negligence. Although this may take longer, it could be necessary to win the case.
If the Defendant can successfully claim that you have contributed to the accident through your own actions - for example if you were cycling at night without adequate lights and were hit by a vehicle who could not see you properly - the Court may decide to reduce your compensation.
Where the Defendant accepts responsibility the claim can be processed more quickly.
Can my cycling claim be settled more quickly?
Any Claimant is entitled to settle and end his claim when he wishes. Solicitors give advice to enable Claimants to make better-informed choices - and this may be to accept a first offer to settle as soon as it is made - especially where your injuries are unlikely to have a lasting effect on your life.
If you decide to ask your solicitor to negotiate for a higher sum, you should be aware that further evidence may come to light that causes the Defendant to reduce his offer.
If you would like a no-obligation consultation with a solicitor to discuss your claim in more detail please call 0800 612 2874