If the driver of a motor vehicle sustains injuries, or their car becomes damaged because of an accident caused by another driver, they will likely be safeguarded by insurance cover, either from their own cover or from the cover of the other driver.
A cyclist is not going to receive the same kind of legal protection after an accident on the road where he/she has sustained injuries, damage or loss of the bike, and medical treatment is required.
You might be entitled to make a bike accident* claim in cases where a second party is responsible for causing your accident and injuries were sustained.
A favourable decision of the Injuries Board or a Court in these types of cases might assist you in recovering the financial loss, such as, loss of wages and medical expenses.
Injured parties of these types of accidents only have a certain period of time to file a cycling accident claim*, and therefore it is very important to be decisive with your intention and either seek advice, or proceed with the matter on your own if you wish to do so. The earlier is the better for the gathering and organising of evidence in cases.
Steps to take in a Bike Accident Claim*:
Some of these are obvious but sometimes when we are in pain our focus is redirected towards a primary need and other tasks get put to one side.
Ensure you get the correct Medical Attention and tests
After an accident, give some time to evaluate yourself for figuring out whether you have sustained an injury or not and what are All of the areas of pain are. A.&E. units are busy places and it is important to furnish the hospital carers with clear instructions in terms of all of the symptoms.
If you have suffered an injury make sure you ring, or request someone at the scene to call an ambulance if appropriate. The most important thing is to ensure you have medical attention. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and adrenaline can be very powerful which evidently can mask pain for periods of time.
For any minor injury, you ought to bear in mind that minor injuries should also be checked by a doctor, however, minor as prevention is better than cure. In such situations, it will always be a sensible idea to visit your closest A&E (Accident and Emergency) or G.P. to get examined properly to rule things out.
Report the case to the Gardai and wait for their arrival
Your subsequent course of action should be to report the case to the Gardai. The Gardai might not attend the scene depending on the accident, but they should be made aware of what happened as soon as you are able.
In case they do not attend the accident location, it will be your responsibility to record all the particulars of the cycling accident, and following this, you should visit the local Garda station as soon as possible to ensure to notify the Gardai of same.
Record your version of events
It cannot be overstated how important it is to record all the details of the accident. If you do not wish to take a case, then you can at least have the necessary details should you change your mind, and your case then won’t be devoid of some essential details.
• Almost everyone has a smartphone now, make sure to utilize it for taking pictures of any injury you may have sustained.
• Capture photographs of the scene. You’ll be asked a lot of questions if the gardai are investigating the incident. Images are a great way of reflecting on the incident and describing it to parties who were not present at the scene.
• After getting visual proof of the cycling accident, get the details of the other individual involved in the accident such as phone number, full name, vehicle restriction number, address, insurance details etc. Request a picture of their driving licence as proof they are the person standing beside you. It is very important to establish if the other driver actually has insurance in place.
• In circumstances where there had been a witness or witnesses to this particular event, you should ask them whether you’ll be able to take their contact details (name, email address, phone number) and also their consent to make use of these details as a witness to the accident if required in the future.
• In case there is any CCTV recording of the incident, such as a nearby shop, request them to give you a recording of the incident.
One should note there is a legal time frame in which one can take a cycling or bike accident claim* legal action, which is within two years of the date of the cause of action.
Cyclist & Bike Accident claim* Process
The details of the accident are going to be the first thing required by a solicitor from you. In case you have documented the particulars of that incident, then you’re going to be all set when you begin the claims procedure.
In case you didn’t attain all the information required for the claim, your solicitor will assist you in gathering information, such as, by obtaining medical records, issuing information access requests, obtaining a statement of damage regarding the bike from any garage, CCTV, and so forth. Your solicitor will focus on doing these tasks for you.
After gathering information, the subsequent step will be to make an application to the Injuries Board with an accompanying medical report, and this can be done by you, or on your behalf by a solicitor.
The claim will be presented to the Injuries Board and if the Respondent(driver allegedly culpable) consents to the Injuries Board assessment, the Board will make an assessment which is a figure of compensation to be paid to you by the individual responsible for causing the accident or his/her insurer. At this point, if both of you agree to the amount of compensation, your case is concluded and the responsible party will be directed to pay the sum awarded to you.
Drivers pay compulsory insurance cover for this reason ie for when accidents happen. Guidance in terms of what compensation can be granted by the Injuries Board derives from what is called the Book of Quantum.
Your solicitor, if they are experienced in this area, will be able to advise you appropriately in terms of the award directed by the Injuries Board and the next steps.
If either of the parties do not agree to the compensation amount suggested by the Board, the case can move forward to the subsequent phase of the claims procedure which is to be dealt with by a court.
Three ways to conclude a Cyclist or Bike Accident Claim*
It is important to note here that there are 3 ways in which a claim for personal injuries* after a cycling accident can be successfully concluded:
• By both of the parties agreeing to the suggested compensation assessment deemed appropriate by Injuries Board.
• By dealing with the insurance company directly and the compensation amount being agreed before reaching the court.
• By means of court proceedings and obtaining a favourable court decision.
Having a final diagnosis of the injuries from a physician and the final statements of any damage caused to your bicycle or bike is essential in making sure that your best interests are being represented prior to concluding a case.
Medical care is generally of an ongoing nature and one should ensure that they are getting all the medical care requirements during the course of a case, and any costs that arise to facilitate the medical care are included in the case.
Concluding a case before having a final diagnosis/prognosis of the injury caused to you or the final quotation of the damage caused should not be done. Guidance from a persons doctor and their solicitor can assist the person return to their pre-accident condition and circumstances, or it could mean getting to a better situation than one is currently in.
Any award reached due of the cycling or bike accident where another is negligent for causing, is going to vary according to the situation, since every single case is going to be unique. This is not to be evasive with an answer, but each persons injury can vary with degrees of seriousness and each persons financial loss after an accident is different. If one individual is out of work for one day, and another individual is out of work for one year due to an accident, the resulting financial loss will evidently be different.
Sitting down with a solicitor to go through the facts and requirements of each person assists the person getting individual attention to their needs.
When assessing a case, the Injuries Board is going to rely upon their Book of Quantum which details a ‘quantum’ as per an injury depending on the severity of the injury.
The following questions will be taken into account if you sit down with your advisor in terms of potential case result outcomes:
• How the injury has impacted your life ?.
• Earnings lost by you in case you had been absent from work ?.
• Any future earnings lost because of the injury ?.
• Medical expenses for the treatments of the injury ?.
• Future medical expenses ?.
• Out-of-pocket expenditures which vary in different cases ?.
• Any psychological injuries ?.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will a Personal Injury Claim* Take ?
Before we answer this we would like to explain the timeframe one has to take such a claim.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another and wish to pursue an action to recover damages, you must begin this action within 2 years of the accident date in question. This is a strict legislative rule which has some exceptions for exceptional circumstances.
One must submit their application within the statutory permitted time frame or it can be deemed statute barred.
There is no one singular answer that can be given which works for everybody in terms of how long a bike accident claim* will take.
It depends on the individual case for many reasons, but we will give a general guide here.
Personal Injury Claims* must be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. On average, claims made to PIAB are assessed within 9 months from the date the Board notifies the party who the claim is taken against.
If the case is dealt with and concluded at this point to the satisfaction of the parties, the entire timeframe could be 9 months to one year. If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board, the injured party may have the option of proceeding to court to seek a Judgement from the court.
Some factors that may affect how long a case takes include:
- Once an application has been made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, it usually takes between 9 months to 1 year before it is concluded.
- If one of the parties does not agree to the Injuries Board making an assessment, the matter can proceed to court.
- If an assessment sum is not agreed to by one party, the matter can proceed to court.
- How long will the court case process take depends on various factors, such as, is the case straightforward for complex ?.
- Is there one injury or multiple injuries ?.
- What is the attitude of the defendant to the case ?.
- Has liability been admitted or is it contested ?.
- Has the injury stabilised ?.
- Has the treatment concluded ?. Has the injured parties doctors recommended further treatment ?. Detail of the further treatment is then required.
- What number of experts reports are required ?.
- Is it easy or difficult to obtain expert reports ?.
- Is it easy or difficult to obtain medical records ?.
- Have the legal pleadings concluded. In the High Court the defence must be provided to the injured parties solicitor within 8 weeks from the time the summons is served. This is not a long time, and in personal injury* cases one must proceed step by step in conjunction with the guidance of the doctor(s) assisting the injured party. Medical care can take time, recovery can take time, and guidance from the doctor and the patients thoughts on their own rehabilitation are important considerations in terms of assessing controlling the speed of a case.
How much will a cyclist or motorbike accident personal injury* case cost me for the Injuries Board ?
To understand what costs you may have, you should firstly understand the process of such cases, and then you will understand cost bases in addition to legal services cost.
Such cases must be referred to the Personal Injury Assessment Board which is a statutory body that provides an independent assessment of personal injury* claims and for people who suffer injuries from their workplace, public liability, and motor accidents.
The Applicant will likely have to pay the application administration fee for the Injuries Board which is €45.00 or €90.00 depending on if you submit the application online or via post. You must accompany with the Application Form for the Injuries Board the medical report, the fee for this can vary and is dependant on the report cost from the doctor, but a G.P. report can be three or four hundred euros at an approximate figure.
You should discuss legal fees with your solicitor for the Injuries Board application which may vary and is solely dependant on the service provider you have instructed to bring the application on your behalf, and any court costs should be discussed with the service provider you have chosen.
Will my bike accident claim* go to Court ?
Claims of this nature are submitted to the Personal Injury Assessment Board who are tasked with providing an independent assessment of personal injury* claims.
The Injuries Board is not a court, has no judicial function, and you are not required to attend at the Board, for example, to give evidence as part of your claim.
If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board then the applicant can proceed to bring the matter before the Court. If the party allegedly responsible for the accident rejects the Injuries Board assessing the application, or rejects the Injuries Board assessment, the injured parties path forward to resolve the claim may be court.
If the injured party does not want to go to court or bring the matter to court, then obviously the matter won’t go to court.
It will only go to court if it is necessary to do so, and if the person wants it to. If a person has a concern whether they have a good case or not, this should be discussed with the persons solicitor after they review the case specific facts.
What is the first step in proceeding with a bike accident claim* ?
Under S.8 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 this is called a ‘Letter of Claim’. A person pursuing an action should serve notice in writing to the other person within 1 month of the date of the accident of their intention to pursue this course of action.
If its possible in the circumstances, do obtain the details of the other driver in relation to a car accident or a cycling accident and take note of the registration of the car.
Its more difficult for the Gardai to investigate an accident if they don’t have the necessary information particulars.
If the letter of claim is not sent to the offending party, a court can draw inferences from the injured party’s failure to do so.
If this arises and/or material damage is done to the drivers car, or if it occurred a driver or passenger was injured as a result of an accident, the injured party may decide to commence a personal injury* claim against the party allegedly responsible.
The burden of proof regarding proving negligence arose is on the person who takes the case and is named the balance of probabilities.
In terms of proving pain and suffering, a medical report is obtained along with any hospital and medical care records, which should indicate the nature of the personal injuries, and if they are a consequence of the accident in question. Doctors evidence in Court may be required.
If a cyclist is injured or if their bike is damaged by another vehicle they may have the option to claim for the damage caused. If the cyclist is injured is wondering if negligence arises, it would be helpful to obtain a case review from their solicitor.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.
Personal Injuries * In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.