Cycling Accident - Is my bike ok?
In a cycling accident, it’s not only one’s body that takes the knocks– the bicycle often comes off the worst.
Although this is preferable to most people it doesn’t remove the fact that cyclists are often very fond of their bikes and concerned about any potential damage to their bikes in an accident.
Digby Brown’s cycling accident solicitors often hear from witnesses’ phrases like – “the funny thing was, when he came to, the first thing he asked about was his bike”.
Costs of a bike have risen over the years
It appears that the average cost of quality bicycles used on the road has risen over the last decade.
Carbon frame road bikes, fitted with expensive parts, regularly exceed £5,000 and some bicycles are wheeling towards £10,000.
Compensation for damaged bicycles after an accident
The case law on compensating individuals for property loss is well established but has in part been built around damaged and written off cars after a road accident.
There is in an established second hand market and an established method of dealing with a damaged car or motorbike.
What happens if a vehicle is unrepairable after an accident?
Using the example above, in most circumstances, if repairs cannot be carried out economically to your car after an accident you would be entitled to the pre-accident value of the vehicle (PAV in the insurance trade).
In the motor trade generally speaking that means if the cost of repairs is 80% or more than the estimated resale value of the vehicle before the accident.
What happens if a bicycle is unrepairable after an accident?
In contrast, determining the amount of damage down to a bicycle after an accident is often not easy: some in the trade will point out that carbon framed bicycles are more prone to invisible internal damage.
Assessing damage to bike can be costly
Scans to investigate possible internal damage can be arranged but are prohibitively costly. It may be the case that carbon framed bicycles generate particular problems, - it is difficult to assess both the extent of the damage and the pre-accident value (PAV).
Replacing a bike after a cycling accident is not enough
Further, losing a good bicycle can be an emotional affair. Replacing the bike via recovering of an assumed PAV is arguably artificial and leaves the claimant not ‘made whole’ which is the obligation the at fault party has after an accident.
Solicitor’s responsible for helping cycling accident victims get back to ‘pre-accident’ position
The basic premise in law is that one is put back into position they were in before the accident as much as possible. It is the job of a personal injury solicitor to try and find a way to facilitate that.
Previous case law on property loss helpful for cyclists recovering compensation
In legal terms, ironically, the sinking of a Dredger named Liesbosch in 1933 and Mr William Pomphrey’s mishap with his Fordson motor car in 1950, may be of help for cyclists to achieve recovery.
These cases mean that a court can assesses a property loss that an individual has suffered without adhering strictly to the now long established protocols that are generally applied to car accidents.
Specialist solicitor in cycling claims a must for recovering losses
As we have explored above, cycling claims can be different from car accident claims.
Expert legal advice from a specialist solicitor in cycling claims who understand these complexities is essential for those seeking to recover losses after a cycling accident.
Best thing to do after a cycling accident
Regardless of the circumstances of your own cycling accident, and the peculiarities of your feelings about that and the cost of your bicycle, the best thing to do is take the bike to the shop or dealer that you either bought it from or have a relationship with.
They will often assess the bicycle and provide you with a quote for repair.
That is a good start. Digby Brown’s specialist cycling accident solicitors can take it from there.
If you need expert advice having suffered injury and other losses when riding your bike, contact our cycling accident solicitors at Digby Brown who will be happy to help you. Call us on 0333 200 5925, text help to 83310 or fill in our brief enquiry form and someone will contact you.
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