Recovering after cycling accidents: pro v pleasure riders

1 May 2018 | Comment


When Geraint Thomas crashed out in stage nine of the Giro in 2017, courtesy, in his view, of the actions of Rafal Majka, he was able to get back on his bike and ready for Le Tour in a relatively short period but what happens if the guilty party is a motorist and the innocent party a pleasure cyclist?

Read on to find out.

I’m going to be optimistic and assume that last weekend wasn’t the extent of the great British summer, especially as I had to spend all weekend indoors.

Still, come rain or shine a great summer of sport is about to start, not least of which for me will be this year’s Giro D’Italia in May, which, with its start in Israel, will be the first Grand Tour to start outside of Europe. This will be followed by a very open Le Tour De France in July.

With eight summit finishes and two individual time trials in the Giro and a return of Alpe d’Huez and the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix in the Grand Tour I’m sure that we are likely to see our fair share of crashes and injuries, though hopefully nothing as serious as that which required Bernhard Eisel to undergo major brain surgery this week.

These riders though are supported by team medics and support staff and although I’m sure this doesn’t make the injuries hurt any less, it does mean that treatment begins right away and that they will receive the best support for their recovery which many pleasure cyclists don’t receive.

In the case of pleasure cyclists, one has to wonder who picks up the pieces and puts them back together?

Fortunately, there are firms out there that specialise not only in dealing with personal injury in general but also with cycling accidents in particular.

As a cycling fan, and a personal injury lawyer, I’m lucky enough to work for one such firm.

With a three tier classification to injuries at Hugh James there is a team dedicated to each level of injury from the broken clavicles and fractured wrists to the fractured pelvis and the catastrophic brain injuries.

The smaller cases are dealt with in the portal team, it’s called Fast Track and it is. It deals with the lower value cases and once liability is established, and we have cycling experts to help with that, the case is quantified and presented to the defendant insurer, bringing a swift resolution to the claim.

When things are more serious, and here we are talking about long bone fractures, pelvic injuries and those injuries which require short to medium term care there is a Multi-Track team. This team has expertise in dealing with more severe injuries and also the aspect of future losses. After all if you used to cycle to work and now you won’t be able to again somebody needs to pay your train fare. They can also help if your injury means you have to change your job or if you find yourself unable to enjoy the pastimes you did before your accident.

Then there are those, thankfully rare, cases that result in catastrophic injuries that require lifelong care and change the lives not only of the individual who has had the accident, but also those around them, who suddenly find themselves in the role of carer rather than partner or parent.

In these cases our Neuro (Brain Injury) Law team will become involved. They are experts in catastrophic injuries, orthopaedic and spinal as well as neurological, as you would expect but they also have expertise in the fields of care, the Court of Protection and fund management. They don’t just deal with the injury in isolation but the injured party and their family as a whole as these injuries cause ripples that affect everybody in the vicinity.

So if you are out an about on your cycle over the summer, whether you are a fair weather commuter or a weekend warrior, just remember that should the worst happen there is a firm who can help.

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