Welcome to our guide on claiming compensation for cycling without a bike helmet. Cycling can be an enjoyable way to get around while staying active, so it’s no surprise that 3 billion miles were covered by cyclists in Great Britain in 2019. Unfortunately, however safely we ride, the actions of another road user could cause an accident.
You may be asking yourself, “What can I do if I was injured by another road user whilst not wearing protective headgear?” “Do I have grounds for a claim, or is it considered my fault for not wearing a helmet?”. We’ll answer these questions and many more in our guide below on claiming compensation for injuries sustained in a bike accident in which you weren’t wearing a helmet.
In this article, we will look at the law around a bike accident with no helmet and what the requirements are for making a claim. Our advisors can offer free legal advice to assist you in your compensation claim and explain how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help if you decide to seek damages from another road user.
Our team of personal injury advisors are available right now to discuss your case, and you can:
- Call on 0161 696 9685
- Email or write at Advice.co.uk
- Speak to one of our advisers using the ‘live chat’ option at the bottom right of this screen to start a claim.
Whatever the circumstances around your cycling accident, if you feel it was caused by the negligence of another road user, speak to us for help. Or read on to find out more about making a claim for compensation if you were cycling without a helmet.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation For Cycling Without A Bike Helmet
- What Are Bike Injuries Without A Helmet?
- Do Bike Helmets Really Protect Heads?
- Do You Have To Wear A Helmet Whilst Cycling On The Road
- What Impact Could Not Wearing A Bike Helmet Have?
- What Head And Brain Injuries Could Be Caused By Not Wearing A Helmet?
- Split Liability And Contributory Negligence In Bike Accident Claims
- Calculating Compensation For Cycling Without A Bike Helmet
- Special Damages Awarded For Head And Brain Injuries
- No Win No Fee Claims For Cycling Accidents Without A Helmet
- Talk To Our Advisors About Claiming Compensation For A Cycling Injury Without A Helmet
- Essential References
- Cycling Safety Statistics
- Cycling Accident FAQs
Cyclists are vulnerable road users. Unprotected by a vehicle in unlike motorists and often without the padded protective gear of motorcyclists, people on bikes can be at risk of injury when involved in accidents on the road.
As it currently stands, there is no legal requirement for cyclists to wear helmets. However, rule 59 of the Highway Code advises that a properly sized and secured helmet that meets current safety recommendations should be worn to protect against head injury. However, even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, you may still be able to claim.
In this guide, we will look at the process of starting a compensation claim for bike injuries without a helmet. We will examine the impact that not wearing a helmet could have on your claim for compensation.
Furthermore, we will look at what a typical claim for compensation might include. Through a compensation table, we will examine the kinds of injuries that might be sustained in a cycling accident.
We will finish our guide by looking at the benefits that a No Win No Fee agreement can offer you when funding a solicitor for a claim for compensation. To summarise, we will look at some frequently asked questions relating to cycle accidents without a helmet.
Head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident can be devastating and life-altering for the cyclist, even if the accident itself is relatively minor. Some typical examples of accidents involving cyclists might include:
- Head-on collisions where the front of the bike collides with the bonnet of a vehicle
- Side impacts – where a bike collides with the side of another vehicle. It can also apply where a car or other vehicle hits the side of a bike.
- Rear-end collisions – where a car hits the back of a bicycle, or vice versa.
- Merging accidents- where a car changes lanes and collides with a cyclist or vice versa.
It is still possible for you to claim compensation following an accident in which you weren’t wearing a cycle helmet. However, the accident will need to have been the fault of a third party that owed you a duty of care. Your injury will be connected to the accident. That said if it is a head injury and you weren’t wearing a helmet the third party may say you contributed to your own injury. To find out more about the process of claiming, please get in touch with our team for a free, no-obligation consultation.
As we have already touched on, there is no legal obligation presently to wear a helmet while cycling. This is despite the guidance offered in the Highway Code, which recommends the use of a well-fitting, secure helmet that complies with current safety regulations. There have been several campaigns calling for helmet use to become compulsory for UK cyclists.
Those who support cycling helmets becoming compulsory point out the protection that they offer to the head when it’s impacted. They hold that there will always be risks present while cycling. According to them, safety measures such as helmets and protective gear reduce the risk of serious injury when accidents occur.
However, there are some who believe that making cycling helmets compulsory will have a detrimental effect on public health. Some people feel that making cycling helmets and safety equipment compulsory will present cycling as a “high risk” activity. This could put people off what may otherwise be seen as a healthy and accessible mode of transport.
As it currently stands, wearing a bicycle safety helmet is not compulsory in the UK. Rule 59 of the Highway Code says, “you should wear a cycle helmet of the correct size, which conforms to regulations and is securely fastened”.
This is still only a recommendation. However, there have been attempts in the past to have it made compulsory. In sections 59 to 82 of the Highway Code, the following guidelines are laid out:
- You should wear a helmet that conforms to current regulations
- Appropriate clothing should be worn, such as light-coloured or fluorescent items, which can help other motorists see you
- Reflective clothing should be used when cycling at night or in low visibility
Section 60 states that at night your cycle must be fitted with red rear lights, a white front light. It must also be equipped with a red rear reflector and pedal reflectors. It should have a steady front lamp in street-lit areas or flashing in other locations.
Some rules of the Highway Code denote legal requirements, such as the ones which say that you “must” or “must not” carry out a certain action. However, some rules of the Highway Code are advisory in nature, such as the rule around wearing helmets. These will use advisory phrasing such as “should” or “should not”.
It is important to note that, although failure to abide by the advisory rules of the Highway Code will not result in a person being prosecuted, the Code can be used to establish liability in court.
Not wearing a helmet could leave you susceptible to more serious head injuries than you might sustain if you were hit while wearing one. Accidents do occur, and cyclists aren’t always able to predict the actions or level of skill of other road users. For this reason, it’s important to take all reasonable steps to ensure our own safety, as well as the safety of others, while on the road.
However, this does not mean that you’re unable to claim if you’ve been injured in a cycle accident in which you weren’t wearing a helmet. Read on to find out more about the process of claiming, or get in touch with our team today to get your claim started.
The injuries that you can sustain after being involved in a collision can range from relatively minor to very severe and potentially:
- Broken nose or cheekbone
- Cuts and grazes
- Fractured skull
- Facial injuries/forehead damage
- Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Given the delicate nature of the brain, it can be difficult to fully assess and predict the extent of an injury. In severe cases, head injuries can cause potentially life-changing brain damage.
If it’s determined that your actions contributed to the injuries you sustained, then the compensation amount awarded to you may be reduced. The reduction will be appropriate for the amount you were deemed to have contributed to your injuries.
This means that if you suffered head injuries following an accident in which you weren’t wearing a cycle helmet, you may only receive a portion of the compensation award that your injuries would otherwise attract. This is referred to as contributory negligence. Split liability describes a situation in which you and the other driver are said to have both contributed to your injuries and will result in your compensation being adjusted accordingly.
If you’ve been injured in an accident because you weren’t wearing a cycle helmet, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. You may still be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Get in touch with our team today for free legal advice.
General damages are the part of your claim which acknowledges the effects of the injury itself. It will look at the ways that the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused you.
In order to calculate the general damages associated with your injuries, your solicitor will arrange a medical appointment where an independent expert will assess the extent of your injuries. They’ll then detail their findings and prognosis in a medical report. This will then be sent to your lawyer in order for them to value your claim.
The table below gives an example of the compensation brackets that can be awarded for certain injuries. No deductions have been made for claimants not wearing a helmet. It’s important to remember that these are guidelines suggested by the Judicial College and not guaranteed.
Injury Compensation amount Injury notes
Very severe brain damage £264,650 to £379,100 Cases at the top end of this bracket will involve little or no meaningful response to environment, little to no language function and the need for full time nursing care.
Moderately severe brain injury £205,580 to £264,650 This bracket will cover cases where the injured person is seriously disabled and has a substantial dependence on others. Disabilities may be physical or cognitive.
Minor head injuries £2,070 to £11,980 In cases in this bracket, there will be minimal brain damage, if any at all.
Significant facial scarring £8,550 to £28,240 In these cases, the worst effects of the scarring will have been or will be reduced by plastic surgery, leaving some cosmetic disability.
Multiple fractures of facial bones £13,970 to £22,470 Injuries of this nature will leave some permanent facial disfigurement.
Minor back injuries Up to £11,730 For injuries which recovery fully or to nuisance level without surgery within two months to five years.
Moderate back injuries £11,730 to £26,050 Injuries of this bracket can include disturbance of ligaments and muscles which lead to back ache and the exacerbation or acceleration of pre-existing back injuries.
Severe back injuries £36,390 to £65,440 In these cases, the injured person will suffer from, for example, disc lesions or fractures or soft tissue damage, leading to permanent disabilities.
Moderate ankle injuries £12,900 to £24,950 This bracket may include injuries such as fractures and ligamentous tears which lead to disabilities such as difficulty walking on uneven ground or standing or walking for long periods of time.
Severe ankle injuries £29,380 to £46,980 In these cases, the injury will require an extensive period of treatment and the injured person will be left with a severely limited ability to walk and ankle instability.
As well as general damages, a claim for compensation can also include special damages. Special damages compensate you for any out-of-pocket expenses that your injuries have caused you.
For instance, if you’re unable to work because of your injuries, then the special damages head of your claim could compensate you for the loss of earnings this caused you. You may also have lost out on pension contributions or an attendance bonus, which can also be taken into consideration.
Furthermore, you may find that your recovery requires treatment or medication that isn’t available on the NHS. An example of this could be if you require physiotherapy to aid in your recovery and need at least 10 sessions to see the positive effects on your condition. If the NHS only provides 5 sessions, you could claim for the cost of the remaining 5.
In cases where you’ve been seriously injured, you may require changes to be made to your home, such as stairlifts or handrails. You may also require long term in-home care. The costs of these can also be included in the special damages head of your claim.
In order for expenses to be included in your compensation, you need to be able to provide evidence that you actually suffered these losses. Bills, receipts and invoices can all provide the proof required for these expenses to be taken into consideration.
A No Win No Fee agreement, sometimes referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), is a way of using the services of a personal injury lawyer that doesn’t require you to pay any money upfront. You also won’t be asked to pay your solicitor any fees while your claim is ongoing.
In the event that your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be asked to pay anything to your solicitor at all. If you’re awarded compensation, then they will deduct their fee from your payment in a success fee. Don’t worry; this is legally capped, so you will always receive the majority of the compensation that is awarded to you.
Thank you for reading our guide. You may still have questions related to claiming compensation for a bike accident without a helmet. If so, our team of advisers are happy to help you. Get in touch with us by:
- Calling on 0161 696 9685
- Emailing or writing to us at Advice.co.uk
- Speaking to someone on our team using the ‘live chat’ option at the bottom right of this screen
There is a personal injury claims time limit of three years, which runs from the date the accident occurred. There are exceptions. However, it’s important to act promptly. Let us look at your case and see how we can help.
Thank you for reading our guide. Below, we have included some further resources that you may find useful.
Car accident claims guide– If you were involved in a no-fault road traffic accident, this guide could be useful to you.
Zebra crossing claims– Have you been involved in an accident at a zebra crossing? If so, this guide could help you in making a claim.
Nerve damage injury claims– If you’ve suffered a nerve injury following an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation. Read our guide for more information on claiming.
Brake– a road safety charity that offers lots of helpful advice and statistics that can empower your search for compensation.
Headway- Headway is a charity that offers help and support with life after a head injury.
RoSPA Advice for cyclists– The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents offers help and advice to cyclists and motorcyclists in relation to road safety.
In 2019, there were 100 cyclist deaths on roads in Britain according to the Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2019 annual report. Cyclist fatalities accounted for 6% of all road deaths, which was an increase of 1% from the previous year. However, the overall rate of cyclist casualties dropped 4% between 2018 and 2019.
The casualty rate for cyclists per billion passenger miles is 4,891. This is similar to the rate for motorcycles at 5,051. However, the fatality rate per billion passenger miles for cyclists is just 29, much lower than the rate of 104.6 for motorcyclists.
What happens if a car hits a bicycle?
If a car hits a bicycle, the cyclist is not offered the same protection as they would be if they were also in a vehicle. Because of this, there could be a risk of serious injury to the cyclist.
What should you do after a cycling accident?
If you’re in a cycling accident with a driver and are injured always seek medical attention. Also, you should get their details at the scene of the accident if possible.
How do you relieve pain after a cycling accident?
We are not medical experts, so cannot provide advice on pain management. However, we can provide free legal advice if you are considering making a cyclist accident claim.
Can a pedestrian cause a serious cycle accident?
Yes. All road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, have a duty of care to one another. A breach in this duty of care by any road user or pedestrian has the potential to cause an accident in which someone is injured.
Compensation for cycling without a bike helmet – how easy is it to claim?
With a No Win No Fee agreement, a lawyer could start working on your claim right away with nothing for you to pay upfront. Speak to our team now to get the claims process started today.
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming compensation for cycling without a bike helmet.
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