With the number of cyclists being killed or injured on our roads continuing to rise, personal injury lawyers say it’s vital to do everything you can to stay safe on two wheels.

Although no amount of preparation can ever guarantee your safety, there are some very simple steps personal injury lawyers recommend you can take to reduce the risks of being involved in an accident.

“There’s been a huge increase in people using bikes in recent years and in another five years there will be even more,” says Paul Henderson, a compensation claims’ specialist at Macks in Darlington and also a keen cyclist.

“Regretfully, that means there are likely to be more accidents, and when you’re dealing with compensation claims from cyclists every day, you start to realise how vulnerable you are and that even through no fault of your own, you can end up being injured.”

Paul, one of the team of personal injury lawyers at Macks Solicitors in Darlington, blew the cobwebs off his own bike a few years ago and began cycling to work and last year he completed a gruelling coast-to-coast charity ride. But first he invested in safety equipment and ensured his bike was roadworthy.

“I renewed my old helmet and went out and bought padded clothed and reflective jackets,” he says. “I also made sure I got my bike serviced. Some people who will get on a bike without thinking about what they’re wearing or whether the brakes are working properly, or they’ll take a risk and not wear a helmet. But generally, people are becoming wiser and realise it’s not expensive to take some sensible precautions.”

If you are involved in an accident, Paul says it’s essential to get the right kind of advice from expert personal injury lawyers or you risk missing out on the compensation you deserve.

“Compensation claims companies might try to get the case finished quickly, because the costs are often capped now,” he explains. “But we would rather spend a little bit more time to make sure the client has got the right settlement and cover all the bases.

“It’s important to get your bike properly checked over to make sure there isn’t any damage you can’t see.

“Loss of amenity is also part of the make-up of compensation claims and not being able to do your favourite things is important to you. There’s a tendency for some firms to ignore that and not ask those extra questions, such as what activities you enjoy at a weekend.”

Visit www.cycleclaims.co.uk for information about what to do if you’re involved in an accident while on your bike, or contact Paul direct on 01325 389800 or by email at paul.henderson@macks.co.uk.

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