Hit by a car

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Hit by a car

Postby Scott1rhf » 13 Jan 2019, 10:13pm

Good evening,

I was recently hit head on by a car whilst I was out on my road bike, the accident seen me completely smash the windscreen of the car that hit me before travelling down the road minus my bike. The driver admitted liability straight away and was subsequently charged with dangerous driving at the scene of the accident.

I suffered cuts and bruises over my whole body including two broken ribs and damage to a disc in my lower back. I have been unable to return to cycling after the accident as I am genuinely terrified of the same thing happening again, after a couple of near misses last year then to have a head on collision with a driver that simply “didn’t see me” has brought an end to my cycling days.

The lawyers have been involved but I have no idea what I should be considering when they start coming back to my with information from the drivers insurance company. I am look8ng for any advice from fellow cyclist that may have had a similar experience.

The accident happened 24 hours before I was due to fly out on my honeymoon, I had to cancel the holiday as I couldn’t walk but I had my own insurance which covered the cost of the holiday(£6000). I also had £3063 worth of equipment absolutely destroyed in the accident, I have submitted pictures and recent receipts for all of my kit, including a report from a cycling shop declaring the bike a total right off.

I have been in the army for 20 years so I have not suffered loss of earnings or had to pay for physio as I have recovered. I still have regular physio appointments which include acupuncture to address nerve damage in my elbow. I am due to see orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow regarding my ongoing back issues.

I apologise for such a long post but I could really do with some advice

Kind regards


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Re: Hit by a car

Postby Oldjohnw » 14 Jan 2019, 7:08am

I am truly sorry for your misfortunes and my best wishes in sorting this out and for the future. I have no advice, I'm afraid save that the best help you will get is from a specialist lawyer. Are you a member of Cycling UK?

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby eileithyia » 14 Jan 2019, 8:36am

Hello, welcome and sorry to hear of your accident.

Firstly you already have lawyers involved so take their advice.
You have supplied the necessary documentation etc., for expenses. You should have been advised to include out of pocket expenses, travel to and from / hospital parking etc.....
I hear what you say about loss of earnings but you may be required to claim back what you were paid while off sick on behalf of your employer within the claim for compensation. I work for the NHS and while I have been paid during time off the solicitors contacted the finance department to estimate what the cost was to my employer and this was added on to the claim.. and re-paid. Armed forces might be different but it will be best to have your solicitor check before they submit your final claim or you could find they try to claim some of your personal injury money back off you.

Other than that expect it to take up to 2 years to settle. You should have an independant medical assessment at some stage to support your claim.. usually arranged via your solicitor.

Also check with travel insurance, they too might expect to be compensated if a compensation claim is going through..... and may expect the cost of the holiday cancellation etc to be included in your claim as above....
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby bobbyg » 14 Jan 2019, 9:07am

Scott, sorry to hear of your accident , I'm at work just now so just a few bullet point.

May 2017 - I was hit by a car on a roundabout, injuries not as bad as yours, just cuts and bruises.
Driver was charged with careless driving, yours is a more serious charge,
I am in British Cycling who directed me to a Scottish claims company (Digby Brown)
keep a diary of everything, daily, even if it seems irrelevant eg in a years time you may be asked at what day did you feel pain free?
I was referred to psychiatric counselling which was 11 sessions and at end of it I was able to get back on my bike.
I work for a charity and receive sick pay, I tried to claim this back from the insurer but as there is nothing in my personnel policy saying we should do this, then we weren't able to.
My bike had very little damage, just new handlebar tape in reality needed and a paid check up at the indie shop.
I had a settlement of £4500 received a year after, almost to the day.
I got back on the saddle last summer and was very wary, especially at roundabouts understandably.
Still semi thinking of getting a hybrid as I feel the more upright position may help visibility to other drivers
Dont worry that things may seem to be going slow - at the other end of the line, the compensation will be based on whether you are fully recovered, both mentally and physically so until that is the case (and take all the help you are asked about), make that your focus!

Good luck!

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Jan 2019, 9:29am

" ... The lawyers have been involved .... "

If that's your own lawyer, they should be your source of advice and information. If not, consult a specialist firm of solicitors pdq.

Don't expect things to move quickly here: apart from anything else, you need to be absolutely sure about the longer-term effects of injuries eg will you have any disability? The civil - compo - side, will also be delayed while the criminal - prosecution - case is dealt with. Collect and preserve evidence like bills and correspondence and a diary of events will probably help you with the chronology etc., when you are asked questions months or even years down the line. My understanding of your post is that you are doing this sort of good housekeeping already. Good luck with a speedy recovery and a decent settlement which will almost certainly won't be speedy. They do say patience is a virtue; you will need it.

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby slowster » 14 Jan 2019, 9:58am

What happened to you was awful. I think the key thing is that you should feel that you are in the hands of a good solicitor, and they are on top of your case and guiding you/holding your hand at each stage of what is a lengthy process. I am probably reading too much into it, but your post does give me a little concern, because I would have expected that during the last couple of years your solicitors would have discussed with you at length the ins and outs of your claim against the driver, e.g. all the things could be claimed for, the evidence/justification/medical proof that would be required etc., the various procedures and stages of the process and any likely difficulties that you would encounter along the way, i.e. so that you knew what to expect at each stage and to manage your expectations.

A few other things occur to me:

- Although you say you have recovered physically, the fact that you have been forced to give up cycling because you would be terrified to go out riding again indicates that even if you are now physically OK, you have been forced to give up an activity which was presumably important to you and gave you pleasure and exercise. That is something for which you solicitor should also be seeking damages.

- I hope that that is the limit of the mental impact of the accident on you, but I suggest that you make sure that your fear of cycling again is not indicative of - or a symptom of - anything more severe, such as post traumatic shock disorder. Since you are in the army you are probably much more aware than me of PTSD, its impacts and how it manifests itself, but I also suspect that the culture in the military of soldiering on when things get tough may cause some individuals to ignore symptoms and warning signs that they need specialist diagnosis and help.

- Although you focus on the cost of your cancelled honeymoon trip and of your bike, I suspect that the financial compensation you should be able to claim for missing out on the experience of going on your honeymoon and the loss of the pleasure and benefit of cycling as an activity may exceed, possibly very significantly, the holiday and bike costs.

- As eileithyia indicates, this sort of legal claim is a slow process. That is especially the case where serious injury is involved because it is often necessary to wait until a person has either recovered fully or the extent to which they are likely to be permanantly affected becomes clear.

On a more trivial note, with regard to cycling, I hope you can find some other activity or activities to take its place. I've never been in a serious accident like you have, but I find I cannot relax and enjoy my cycling while there are vehicles on the road I am using. My solution has partly been largely to stop cycling in towns and stick to quiet country roads, but even more so it has been to ride off-road instead, and you might want to consider trying that. There are plenty of off-road cyclists who put their bike in the car and drive to the start of their ride, and avoid riding on the road, and maybe that is something that you might enjoy.

Whatever you do, I hope you continue to get better and are able to put the accident behind you and get on with enjoying your life.
Last edited by slowster on 14 Jan 2019, 10:08am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Jan 2019, 10:08am


You have left me confused about whether you are advising the OP (cancelled honeymoon) or bobbyg (two year delay.) :?

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby slowster » 14 Jan 2019, 10:16am

thirdcrank wrote:slowster

You have left me confused about whether you are advising the OP (cancelled honeymoon) or bobbyg (two year delay.) :?

The OP (I was still writing my post when bobbyg posted). I mixed up in my mind the OP's post, mention of previous near misses last year and the mention of 2 years in eileithyia's post.

Even though the accident was recent, it still sounds to me like it's somewhat overdue for the OP to have been briefed thoroughly by his solicitor on what to expect and what to claim for.

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby gbnz » 14 Jan 2019, 2:02pm

Scott1rhf wrote:I have been unable to return to cycling after the accident as I am genuinely terrified of the same thing happening again

If you enjoyed cycling beforehand, is it worth tacking your fears?

I drowned in October last year following a brain seizure, an estimated 60-90 seconds away from death,no choice given about being sentenced to the acute medical ward.

I forced my discharge halfway through my sentence (It'd been threatened that I would be detained, so had to play the system), walked the first 13 miles of the 29 miles home and went for a 60 minute swim the next day (Nb. Medical advice is that I should no longer swim, cycle, run, walk the only element I've had to comply with is not driving, which as a cyclist hasn't been that much of an issue :lol: ).

Finished my 60 minute swim 30 minutes ago, off on the bike in ten minutes.

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby TrevA » 14 Jan 2019, 2:42pm

My son got knocked off in a hit and run and we claimed off the Motor Insurance Bureau, as he could not be traced. It addition to the damage to your bike, you are allowed to claim for pain and suffering as if you suffer any permanent loss of ability, then you should be compensated for that too.

There was a famous case in the 1980s of one of the Webster brothers was involved in an accident where the driver was at fault - Alex Webster. He was a promising young rider who may well have followed his old brother to become a continental pro cyclist, and he was compensated on that basis for the loss of his potential career as a pro. He got several hundred thousand pounds.

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby philvantwo » 14 Jan 2019, 6:12pm

The Motor insurance bureau do not pay out for damage to your bike, I got hit from behind 4 years ago this month, 5 weeks off work (got paid), several visits to private Doctors and an MRI scan. Two years later I received a cheque for £12,300. Cost me £120 to fix my bike. I didn't have a solicitor though.

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby slowster » 14 Jan 2019, 6:33pm

philvantwo wrote:The Motor insurance bureau do not pay out for damage to your bike, I got hit from behind 4 years ago this month, 5 weeks off work (got paid), several visits to private Doctors and an MRI scan. Two years later I received a cheque for £12,300. Cost me £120 to fix my bike. I didn't have a solicitor though.

There are/used to be excesses applying to some claims for property damage dealt with by the Motor Insurers' Bureau. It sounds like this was the case for your claim, i.e. a £300 excess for property damage where the driver was untraced as opposed to identified and uninsured and there was also 'Serious Personal Injury' (https://www.mib.org.uk/making-a-claim/faqs/).

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby Scott1rhf » 23 Jan 2019, 7:48pm

Thank you to everyone that took the time to post and offer some much needed advice.

I will let you know how everything pans out.

Kind regards


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Re: Hit by a car

Postby rmurphy195 » 24 Jan 2019, 6:41pm

Had a similar accident and similar injuries - though not quite as severe - on Mother's day 2015. A phone call from the police to say I'd been knocked off my bike by a tipper truck was NOT what my wife wanted to hear (it was only a small tipper truck!)

Took a year to settle - during which time Slater and Gordon replaced the solicitor that was on the case for me (Via Cycling UK), and the police back-office lost the attending officer's accident report so the prosecutions didn't happen!

So the various complaints kept me busy.

On a practical note I found the following useful

1) A copy of the accident report to send to my solicitor to get around the driver's assertion that it was my fault (gained via the police complaints dept!)

2) Receipts for everything - including such trivialities as the walking stick my wife bought me, her hospital car park receipts, receipts for recorded delivery letters, receipts for paracetamol etc. - I claimed every penny I could.

3) Photos of destroyed clothing (even the shirt that the A&E nurse cut off!), the bike and equipment

4) Receipts for the bike

5) A clear head - in my case photos of the scene taken later to disprove the driver's claims and so on.

6) Sheer bloody-mindedness that crept in when his insurer claimed it was my fault!

I also visited my GP a week or so after the accident for a checkup - she promptly changed the painkillers for something less likely to give me stomach problems later.

On a psychological note - my solicitor sent me to a specialist to assess injuries, recovery etc. - he asked at the time how I was getting on mentally. So I told him. Not quite OK, but improving. BUT I'm now very nervous and aware of close passes (by every sort of vehicle including cyclists who should know better), find it difficult even to drive past that junction, and do cycle path and pavement cycling where I didn't before. And I have got off and walked on occasion when its got too much, thankfully less often now.

In terms of refuting the perpetrators assertions I can, if you PM me, send (redacted - I don't want to identify anyone!) copies of certain letters as illustrations if required.

Good luck - Richard
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

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Re: Hit by a car

Postby Scott1rhf » 26 Jan 2019, 5:10pm


The lady that hit me admitted full responsibility straight away, there were also a number of witnesses that gave statements to the police. I think that is why the police charged the driver with dangerous driving at the scene of the accident.

Thank you all the same for offering your help

Kind regards