With the perils encountered by regular cyclists on the roads of England and Wales only increasing, it is now more important than ever to know the importance of obtaining a highly qualified cycling lawyer, should you unfortunately need it.
As someone with more than 20 years’ experience pursuing cycling claims, who has also been commuting on both country and city roads during this time, I can vouch for this on a personal level.
The erratic and, at times, even wild behaviour of some motorists has become more evident and extreme over time. In addition, there has been an ever increasing volume of traffic on the roads.
The state of the roads has been steadily deteriorating across various governments for quite some time, with cash-strapped councils not having the funds for basic road repair or cycle lane maintenance. We have now hit crisis point in many parts of the country.
It is true that there has been a greater political acceptance of cyclists, largely inspired by the events of 2012 with Bradley Wiggins’ Tour De France victory, as well as high profile wins in the Olympics and other successful Tours by British cyclists since then.
Still, apart from some high profile projects in London, cycling infrastructure remains woeful compared to the rest of Europe.
When a cyclist comes off his or her bike due to the alleged negligence of a motorist or a poorly maintained road, a lawyer who is also a cyclist can often more easily identify with and appreciate the particular circumstances of the incident.
I recently settled a case for a cyclists who sustained a brain injury serious enough to cause partial blindness after coming off his bike when a motorist at a complex road junction failed to see him.
The junction is very similar to one I have to go through every day myself, and for the past 2 years since dealing with the case, I have been thinking about my client at that point of the journey every day.
We managed to achieve a commercial settlement resulting in a 6 figure pay-out, and I like to think that putting myself into the mind-set of my client has contributed to achieving this successful outcome.
Without having been in the situation, it is difficult for people to truly understand the precarious skill and ongoing dangers that exist when filtering on the inside of slow moving traffic via bicycle. The risks are constant and largely involve motorists who neglect to check their mirrors when they’re supposed to.
Many of my clients are the victims of accidents happening due to this and are entirely innocent in the process, but when the claim is instigated, the claim will often be met by a denial of liability at least initially.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many motorists remain ignorant of some of the basic rules of the Highway Code.
If you are a regular commuting cyclist, on the other hand, you cannot escape unharmed without knowing these rules… Something that is not necessarily the case for motorists.
Sadly, cyclists remain invisible to some motorists because those motorists only look out for cars.
A lawyer cyclist will often better understand the cyclist’s thought process and identify and empathise with his or her predicament.
Sadly too if a case does have to go all the way to trial there are some judges who have never cycled and/or are hostile to cyclists and this is something beyond the control of even the best lawyer cyclist.
However, instructing an experienced personal injury lawyer in the first place who is a cyclist will give you the best chance of victory.
Source: Jan Canter.