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Road Safey Week - #BikeSmart

Simon Bransby, a keen cyclist and specialist personal injury/clinical lawyer at Morgan Jones Pett talks about accidents involving those on two wheels.

At times you can feel very vulnerable on two wheels and although there are great many more cycle paths available to use these days, invariably it is not always possible to use one on every trip.  There are some areas where cyclists share a cycle path with pedestrians which takes care from both parties and Norwich City centre have adopted some signs which say “share with care” with a love heart on the sign to encourage good harmony between cyclist and pedestrians.  

Norwich already has a notorious NDR with many accidents and near misses reported especially on the roundabouts.  I have already acted for an accountant, who was cycling near one of these, when a car pulled out from a slip road colliding with his bike.  As is often the case it was dark, but my client had cycle lights and high visibility clothing on.  He came off his bike, which ended up under the car, fortunately he did not, although his bike was a mess. He required removal from the accident location in an ambulance, wearing a neck collar with a back board in place and splints on his leg/pelvis.  At hospital he was pleased to learn, there were no broken bones, but he was very sore. 

The majority of road traffic accident claims are dealt with through the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal.  It is a relatively quick process to have the case uploaded on to the Portal and the insurer only has a very short period of time (15 working days) to confirm their views on liability in order for the case to stay within the Portal process. This has added benefits for them in as much they pay the solicitor much less for their fees in that event.  A medical expert will be instructed to provide a basic report, and this would usually be a GP for a soft tissue injury, and no medical records will normally be seen.  A GP expert can normally provide a report with in a few weeks and if the injuries are those which will need to wait until they settle down before settlement can be made, the case can often be concluded. 

Insurers will invariably require proof of the damaged clothing and the advent of mobile phones with cameras on makes this quite easy to take a picture and email it through and upload on to the Portal.  Receipts for replacement items will be required and the repairs and replacement clothing items. My client recovered the cost of his bicycle, clothing and such like and recovered an award for his injuries agreed at £3,300. 

If you have been the victim of an accident and think you may have a claim, contact Simon Bransby on 01603 877000.

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