Should Cyclists Take More Responsibility for the Accidents they Cause?

The laws regarding cyclists involved in accidents have come under question after a man broke his wrist, after being knocked over by an oncoming cyclist. As it stands accidents involving just bicycles are not classed as a crime under the Road Traffic Accident Act.

Last week, Jason Bevan from Salford was hit by a passing cyclist as he walked home from Manchester city centre. The cyclist, who also fell from her bike, did not stop for long. Two kind passers-by rushed to their aid but when Jason alerted the cyclist that he believed he had serious injury to his wrist, she returned to her bike and rode away.

Unfortunately for Jason the police could not get involved in the accident, because it was not technically classed as a crime. For poor Jason left shocked and in pain, he had no hope for justice or financial compensation.

The injury Jason sustained turned out to be serious, he required surgery whereby he had metal pins inserted into his wrist. The metal pins will remain there for the rest of his life, and he faces yearly trips to hospital and is at risk of developing arthritis.

An unrelated case in June 2014, involved an 81 year old lady from Oldham who was killed after being run down by a cyclist. The cyclist left the accident, and the woman died a week later in hospital. Her family, were not entitled to any kind of compensation because the cyclist was not required to have any sort of insurance.

At Express Solicitors we feel that both accidents highlight a fatal flaw in the laws regarding cyclists. It seems wrong that someone on a bicycle can hit an unassuming pedestrian, and not have to take responsibility for the injuries they unintentionally cause. Perhaps the solution is that cyclists should be required to hold modest third party insurance, or the MIB (motor insurance bureau) should be liable to cover any claims by victims of accidents involving bicycles.

Improving these laws would ensure that future victims would have the option of claiming for compensation, if they felt it was necessary. Receiving compensation does not make up for sustaining a traumatic injury, but it does lesson financial burdens that such an injury can bring.  It is likely that Jason Bevan would have had to take significant time off work, which would have caused financial losses. It seems unfair that he should not be entitled to any sort of compensation for an accident that was not his fault, which is why we feel it is the time for change.

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