Cycling is on the increase in the UK, with more and more people opting to jump on their bikes to avoid getting stuck in ridiculous traffic jams or paying huge fuel bills for their cars.
As well as this, of course, cycling is a good form of exercise in a world where people are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
While the practice is both environmentally friendly and cost effective, it can also be dangerous as drivers often fail to see cyclists on the road.
This is the reason why cycle lanes have been introduced to numerous towns up and down the country, but this still doesn’t stop all accidents from occurring even on routes specifically designed for those on two wheels.
The biggest problem which arises with regards to cycle lane accidents is that the cyclist has to seek compensation from the local council responsible for the area in which the injury was sustained.
When cycle lanes are not designed well or maintained to good standards and an accident occurs, the injured party might find it difficult to pursue a no win no fee claim. This is because the evidence they need to prove their case and demonstrate some negligence occurred to cause it, and this information will often be held by the local authority itself.
Cyclists can take a number of measures to protect themselves when they are out and about on the roads, to lower the risk of them being involved in an accident or crash.
The most important thing is for bicycle riders to make themselves as visible as possible – wearing fluorescent or high-vis reflective clothing is one way of doing this.
Bikes need to also be fitted with lights and reflectors, particularly when people are out cycling at night, so other road users are aware of their existence.
Ensure, to avoid you, the cyclist, being negligent, you follow the rules of the Highway Code and give way to pedestrians and other road users in the correct manner, as well as using cycle lanes where possible to make sure you stay as safe as possible.
If you are involved in an accident which is not your fault, you should seek medical advice immediately if you require it. It is important to note down the vehicle registration number if another road user is to blame for your crash and collect name and address details from the driver, as well as any witnesses to the accident.
Photographic evidence is important if the accident occurs as a result of an obstruction or a defect on the road within a cycle lane.
It is also vital to document any damage to your bicycle before you leave the scene of the accident and have your bike repaired – again, taking photographs could be useful.
Speaking to a solicitor while details of the accident are still fresh in your mind is important as a detailed description of events will be vital to pursuing a compensation claim should you choose to do so.
If you do decide to claim for accident compensation caused by an incident occurring in a cycle lane or on the road, the amount you receive will be entirely dependent on the level of blame involved in the incident, as well as the losses you are deemed to have incurred.