Personal injury solicitors Coles Miller are forecasting a rise in cycle accident claims as Britain’s overburdened roads become ever busier.
Rising congestion, potholed roads and increasing stress among motorists are all combining to make commuting by bike more dangerous, warn the lawyers.
Their warning follows news that Bournemouth - where the firm has two of its five offices - has been named the second most dangerous place to cycle outside London.
Coles Miller personal injury expert Peter Graves said: “I cycle 50 to 100 miles every week and I’ve had a number of near misses - one of the main issues is drivers not giving bikes enough space.
“It is becoming more of a problem. Some drivers pull out in front of cyclists without looking or they suddenly cut across your path without indicating.
“Accidents are becoming more likely because there are now more commuters on the roads at rush hour.
“There are not enough cycle lanes. The local authorities are not making suitable arrangements to separate cycles from other traffic and more needs to be done,” he added.
Coles Miller’s specialist personal injury team regularly helps cyclists involved in accidents to claim compensation for their injuries and for damage to their bikes.
Cyclists involved in road accidents frequently suffer broken bones because they are vulnerable on their bikes and lack protection.
Their injuries often involve time off work for hospital treatment and recuperation, increasing the need for compensation to cover loss of earnings.
Coles Miller reports the most common causes of accidents involving cyclists are:
- drivers pulling out from side roads into a main road - straight into the path of a cyclist
- drivers suddenly turning left without indicating (often to avoid impending congestion) and hitting a cyclist on the inside lane
- drivers or passengers in a parked vehicle opening a door without warning - the cyclist has no time to brake or swerve to avoid the hazard
- drivers not paying proper attention to other road users, losing concentration, driving too quickly for the conditions.
Coles Miller has been working on a number of safety initiatives to help make cycling safer and more enjoyable for all the family.
They include sponsoring Bournemouth’s LV=Streetwise interactive safety centre and also the new Cycle Hub at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy estate near Wimborne, Dorset.
Coles Miller is based in Dorset but helps clients from all over the country following accidents on the roads, at work or in public places. Most personal injury cases are handled on a no win no fee basis.
The personal injury team is led by Adrian Cormack, a Partner at the firm and a Legal 500 recommended lawyer.
Coles Miller’s lawyers include members of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
The firm is one of the largest in Dorset with five offices in Bournemouth, Poole, Broadstone, Charminster and Wimborne.
For more information about claiming compensation for personal injury, please contact Coles Miller Solicitors Partner Adrian Cormack, 01202 673011.