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Cycling and bike accident claims in Scotland

A car pulled out in front of you at Partick in Glasgow. A vehicle door swung open on Leith Walk in Edinburgh. An impatient driver knocked you off your bike after a dangerously close pass on the A915 in Fife.

They didn’t slow down approaching a roundabout. They didn’t see you at the junction. They overtook you too close and too fast.

Whether day or night… dry or wet… an urban commute, a solo day ride or a family pootle in the sunshine… If a cyclist is hit by a car it’s almost a certainty that the rider will come off worse and a bicycle accident can be truly life-changing.

We understand what it means to be vulnerable. We know what it feels like to do everything right – invest in the right clothing, lights and ride with courtesy – only to have everything turned upside down because a motorist was careless or selfish.

We are solicitors with years of experience helping cyclists who have been injured when it wasn’t their fault. Our job is to help you recover physically, financially and emotionally – so you can get back to doing something you love.

Can I make a claim for my cycling accident?

If someone is “negligent” and as result causes harm to either person and/or possessions then it is your legal right to claim compensation for the pain and suffering caused, loss of earnings incurred, if applicable, and cost to repair and restore the bike, clothing and equipment. Sadly, in most cases surrounding cycling accidents, the cause is a vehicle, car, bus, van or lorry and it simply isn’t a fair fight. Injuries can be severe and the road to recovery can be long, but we can help.

Can I make a “no win no fee” claim if I am injured whilst cycling?

The expression “No Win – No Fee” is often used in personal injury cases and refers to a way of funding a compensation claim when the cycling accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated and employ the best experts concerning the circumstances of the cycling accident. If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing.* Insurers understand that we won’t just settle for less and if necessary, will go all the way to court to ensure rightful damages are achieved.

If you are not a current member of British Cycling, we will charge you a percentage of the damages you attain (no greater than 20% including VAT) if we achieve a successful outcome.

No win, no fee personal injury solicitors

The expression “No win, no fee” is often used in personal injury cases.  It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful. 

In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.

Compensate 'no win, no fee' funding

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.

If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing

On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer

Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.

In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website.

Beware of compensation offers which may be too good

We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.

  • How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
  • If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
  • Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
  • If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
  • It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
  • These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.

We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value. 

Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.

Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown

Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.

Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.

Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about no win, no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.

What if I am a member of British Cycling?

In Scotland, we work with Scottish Cycling which is the Scottish arm of British Cycling membership. In fact, we have acted as the official legal representation of British/Scottish Cycling members for over 15 years and have recovered more than £20 million for thousands of injured cyclists. A huge benefit of membership means that these cyclists do not pay a percentage of their damages when the case is successful. 

In recent years, we have worked closely with Scottish Cycling to both raise awareness of the issues surrounding cycling on the roads as well as sponsoring their Role of Honour which celebrates the success of the myriad of cycling sports that now exist across all age groups.  If the sport’s governing body thinks we are the best legal option for a cyclist who has been injured then you should know you are in good legal hands.

Is there a time limit for making a claim after a cycling crash?

A cycling accident is treated no differently by the laws in Scotland than any other personal injury matter and to that extent, you have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim.

A note of caution, however. This is a general rule and should not be used as a reason to not make a claim now.  If your accident happened abroad the time limits may vary, your age might be a factor if you are a minor or even where the accident occurred could all be a factor.  The most important reason why there should be some urgency to start the process quickly is evidence.  Without good evidence, a lot of cases will fall and the longer you leave it the more likely witnesses or reports will be lost, and the evidence simply fades away.

How long does it take to make a claim?

This is almost impossible to give a strict timescale on. In general, cases take between six and 12 months to conclude however the circumstances, the insurer and the ability to gather the evidence can mean some cases can take a lot longer. The injured party is usually the main factor here, as the injuries suffered need to get to a point where a medical assessment can be made of the long-term effects of the damage the crash caused. This in turn determines what level of financial remuneration we deem as fair as compensation.

How much compensation could I or should receive if I’m hit on my bike?

We know a lot of other firms use calculators to give you an idea of what level of compensation you should receive if you hurt your leg or scar your face. Digby Brown just don’t do that.  We do have a lot of case studies on the website from other cyclists who have successfully claimed compensation after someone else’s negligence. Compensation depends on a number of factors specific to you and no two people are the same, therefore no two damages amounts will be comparable. The process we undertake properly values what the claim is worth.

My bike was broken, can I claim for it too?

Yes, you can make a compensation claim if your bike was damaged. You can also make a claim for your clothes, your phone and of course the pain and suffering.  Compensation is made up of firstly something called solatium – pain and suffering, loss of earnings, cost of medical treatment, expenses and cost of anything else ruined by the crash.

  • Lost earnings: If you are injured, you might be off work for a period of time. You might not be able to immediately go back to doing the job you did. Sometimes it will be impossible to return to your previous job and, in the worst case, you may never work again. Compensation isn’t about getting something for nothing, it is about trying to assess what you would’ve had if the accident hadn’t happened.
  • Medical treatment: We think it is unfair for cyclists to be left out-of-pocket if there is a need to pay for specialist care or services that would never have been needed had it not been for the crash.
  • Your bike and equipment: “Is my bike okay?” is probably the first thing most cyclists think after an accident. And we understand why – our bikes are not just expensive tools for commuting or recreation, they can carry a sentimental value as well. If your bike, clothing or equipment is damaged in a crash, we will seek to repair or replace them.
  • Additional support: If your case is linked to an ongoing criminal case we will provide advice at all stages of your civil claim. This may be especially helpful for those affected by more serious injuries, or if a loved one passed away as a result of the cycling accident.

Contact our specialist solicitors today

We never cold call. So when you are ready to discuss your next steps on your bicycle accident claim then call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in an enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time of your choice.

Diane Cooper, Partner at Digby Brown Solicitors, talks about the key steps you should take after a cycling accident if you have been injured

I was in a cycling accident but was not wearing a helmet - can I still claim compensation?

If your injury was to your arm or leg then yes a claim is still possible as wearing a helmet, or not wearing one, would not have made any difference to your injury.

A driver hit me at night and I was not using reflective clothing/lights - can I still claim?

Yes, it is still possible to claim because the law still expects other road users to be vigilant.

The driver who hit me was not charged by the police - how will this affect my case?

You do not need the other person to be convicted in order to make a cycling injury claim. Our solicitors rely on civil law, not criminal law, to fight your case – this means we just have to prove negligence, not criminal conduct.

I was injured in a hit-and-run and the driver was never traced - can I still make a claim?

It is possible for cyclists to make claims against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau when a driver cannot be traced so yes, it is still possible.

How long have I got to make a claim?

The law says you cannot claim for compensation if the accident happened more than three years ago so as long as you are within this time frame you should be fine.

David secures damages after being hit by careless driver whilst commuting to work on his bike.

Why Choose Digby Brown, to deal with the aftermath of a cycling accident?

There are many good reasons why we think Digby Brown is the best law firm in Scotland to help you after you’ve been injured in a cycling accident. Specifically to cycling, we have a tested and trusted track record. For over 15 years Digby Brown has been the legal provider in Scotland to British Cycling members (Scottish Cycling).  Alongside our counterparts in England, Leigh Day, they trust our knowledge and legal expertise to achieve the best outcome for their members.  It is as simple as that. 

Our job is simple – get you back to where before you were hit on that bike

We are here to help you. We are here to talk to you about what happened. We are here to explain the process involved and ensure you understand what is happening. We are here to communicate in plain English. We are here to ensure your case is funded correctly and that you are not exposed to any financial risk. We won’t ever ask you to pay for anything. We will pay all the expenses incurred in your case. We will ensure that you get access to absolute expertise whether it is legal, medical, technical or forensic to ensure we fully understand what happened and how it has affected you today and in the future.  

We are here to ensure you receive fair compensation and know what the actual level of compensation should be – not what the insurer is prepared to offer… trust us that can be many multiples lower than it should be.

Our track record speaks for itself

Digby Brown Solicitors is a law firm based in Scotland which specialises in personal injury. We don’t sell houses or work in crime. We are dedicated specialists in this field, partly because it is a complicated ever-changing area of law and partly because it allows us to focus on what really matters to the clients we help. And in turn, this has allowed us to grow and expand our services to truly say we are experts in our field.

Additional support

If your case is linked to an ongoing criminal case we will provide advice at all stages of your civil claim. This may be especially helpful for those affected by more serious injuries, or if a loved one passed away as a result of the accident.

One client who benefited from our help was David. He received more than £4,500 in damages after he was hit by a car at a roundabout in Fife.

In terms of recognition

Digby Brown has been top ranked in Chambers for the last eighteen years and top ranked by Legal 500 for the last fourteen. . These publications are the who’s who of law in the world. They are there as a guide to anyone seeking legal representation, to ensure the law firm you are considering is credible in their chosen field of knowledge.

Closer to home, we have been awarded Law Firm of the Year in Scotland for five out of the last seven years (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2022).. Although it's nice to achieve the awards, for a prospective client, this should help more with reassurance on service levels, communication policies and the results that we achieve on your behalf.

We are passionate about giving back. Our Corporate Social Responsibility team has also received many awards and Spinal Injuries Scotland alongside a multitude of brain injury and related charities benefit from our fundraising every year. For cyclists, this is almost too close for comfort, as many injuries (helmet or not) involve brain and spinal injuries.

We are big. Seven offices across Scotland. This allows us to be more local. We have a dedicated cycling solicitor in each office who will work with anyone injured in a cycling accident.

We have strength in depth. As we've already mentioned, we have a dedicated Serious Injury Department with a 40 year track record in helping seriously injured clients. We also have a Foreign and Travel Department, who understand all the vagaries of being injured on your bike whilst abroad - Europe, America or beyond.

Funding: the key to ensuring equality of arms when dealing with insurance companies as most cases will be run against the driver’s motor insurance policy. Funding through our unique product Compensate allows us to fully investigate the circumstances of the accident and prepare the case fully. This is the only way to really establish what level of compensation is fair. Insurers understand that we won’t just settle for less and if necessary, will go all the way to court to ensure rightful damages are achieved.

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