Rule changes mean you can now claim for damage to your bike

Another in a regular series of guest posts from national law firm Access Legal from Shoosmiths covering legal issues associated with cycling and cycle accidents. Lawyers in the Access Legal specialist cycle accident claims team are not only personal injury experts, they're also cyclists themselves who whole-heartedly agree with the aims and ambitions of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.

If you were injured following a cycling accident involving a hit and run driver who could not be identified and had to pursue compensation through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB – no, not the ones with the flashy memory wiping gizmos) it used to be the case that no bike damage or repair costs or the value of any damaged clothing or accessories could be recovered.

For a club rider (or anyone else really) with a bike of a significant value this used to be a real kick in the teeth as the MIB would pay only the value of the injury and financial losses flowing from the accident, but not property damage.

The rules changed a while ago but unfortunately a lot of solicitors acting for injured cyclists appointed by claims management companies still appear to be unaware of this or if they are, they have not informed their clients of the change.

Amendments made to the Untraced Driver’s Agreement between the Department of Transport and the Motor Insurer’s Bureau more than a year ago mean that if you had an accident caused by an unidentified vehicle (i.e. a hit and run) after 15th April 2011 and suffered a significant personal injury (which they define as having to receive four days of consecutive inpatient treatment in hospital) then property damages should now be paid subject to an excess of £300.00. That means that a rider with a £2,500 bike would be able to recover £2,200.00 subject to documentary evidence of the bike being written off or the repair costs if repairable.

However, the even better news is that the MIB have quietly and without much fanfare been retrospectively applying this right of redress to similar accidents that happened on or after 11th June 2007 up until 15th April 2011.

So if you were involved in a hit and run accident between those dates, no matter which solicitor you may have used to make a successful personal injury claim at the time, you should now make a retrospective claim in respect of the damage to your bike, clothing or accessories that were unable to recover at the time. If the hit and run happened after 15 th April 2011 you should be able to recover property damages as a matter of course.

About the author

Rob Aylott is a qualified solicitor working for Access Legal from Shoosmiths and has a particular interest in cycling accident claims. He’s been a keen cyclist for many years and has won large damages awards for numerous seriously injured cyclists, whether their accident was a ‘hit and run’ or involved an identified vehicle and driver. Feel free to call our helpline 0808 159 5215 and just ask to speak to Rob to discuss your accident on a free of charge basis.