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I wonder if I could pick your collective brains please?

I was knocked off a year ago, entirely the driver's fault, and developed what the medics call a phobia, which has prevented me cycling on the road since.  Treatment, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, is proposed but will take at least six months.  I had spent the previous year looking after father, brother and partner, all of whom died in 2017, and getting back on the bike was going to be my self selected treatment to help with the depression I was suffering, as I'm sure you all know, cycling is great for mental health.

Not being able to ride on the road has severely impacted my physical and mental health, and has taken away a significant part of my life, so what value should the damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity be realistically valued at?

10 comments

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mike the bike [1164 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

 

You need to talk to a specialist lawyer.  Best of luck.

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Dr_Lex [493 posts] 2 months ago
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^

Mike pretty much nails it - what you are asking depends on so many things, and you should consult a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims. Best wishes for getting a satisfactory settlement or award in time.

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HoarseMann [196 posts] 2 months ago
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Crikey Burt you’ve been through a really rough time. You need some proper legal advice for the compensation question.

As for the phobia issue, I had something similar after a nasty incident. It’s been over a year for me and I’m back on the bike, but still nervous. I’ve helped my confidence by getting cameras front and back, a mirror to keep an eye on what’s behind and a change to my working hours resulted in commuting when the roads are quieter, oh, and some counselling and pills from the doc too. It’s been difficult not to get upset about the weight I’ve gained or the fitness I’ve lost, through no fault of my own.

Good luck with your recovery.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2830 posts] 2 months ago
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I was asked about the mental aspect when I was offed over 10 years ago, for me I was actually straight back on refusing to be taken to hosp but it did make me feel significantly more weary for a time after but not fearful fortunately. I only suffered a fractured elbow and my payout was 1750 net of costs.

Loss of enjoyment, worrying about doing an everyday activity to such a degree you feel you can't and are 'trapped' is no small matter. As above, you need to ask someone who has experience in the field and previous payouts for same/similar. maybe £1500-£2000 as a total guess as it's likely to be 18 months off..

 non bike related scenario meant I was off the bike for over 2 months due to a 40 day holiday in hospital (losing 2/5 my bodyweight) so I have a little understanding but not completely.

Good luck and hope you get back on soon,

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ktache [1126 posts] 2 months ago
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Have you been riding off road Burt?

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burtthebike [2557 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

Crikey Burt you’ve been through a really rough time. You need some proper legal advice for the compensation question. As for the phobia issue, I had something similar after a nasty incident. It’s been over a year for me and I’m back on the bike, but still nervous. I’ve helped my confidence by getting cameras front and back, a mirror to keep an eye on what’s behind and a change to my working hours resulted in commuting when the roads are quieter, oh, and some counselling and pills from the doc too. It’s been difficult not to get upset about the weight I’ve gained or the fitness I’ve lost, through no fault of my own. Good luck with your recovery.

Thanks HoarseMann, it is both a comfort and sadness that others have been through pretty much the same thing.  Cameras and mirror are good ideas, and you're so right about the weight gained and fitness lost, the plan was to be doing a Super Randonneur series this year, but that ain't gonna happen.

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burtthebike [2557 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
ktache wrote:

Have you been riding off road Burt?

Yes, there's a 2m local route I ride a couple of times a week, but I need to be out every day on the road.

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Rapha Nadal [1011 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Just to echo comments already made: a solicitor is your best source of info here.

I took a trip over the bonnet a few years ago, face first into the curb on the other side of the car, knocked out (helmet took the brunt thankfully), nice ride in an ambulance, scarring, anguish etc.

That payout, in addition to the £7,700 for my bike/kit, was just in excess of £10,000.  However, you will need to be extremely patient and jump through quite a few hoops, trips to other specialists as required by insurers - and assuming you have the details, it's been reported etc.

Best of luck, mate.

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OldRidgeback [3085 posts] 2 months ago
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Jeez, you've had a tough time of things so you've got my sympathies. I lost my parents last year and that has been very hard, but what you've been through is worse.

Getting back on the bike will help you with your mental as well as your physical health as you know. If riding on the road still presents a challenge, why not focus on off-road riding for a while first? MTB trails or BMX tracks would give you the opportunity to get back on two wheels and rebuild your phsyical health. It might help rebuild your confidence about being on two wheels with regard to your riding skills, although obviously you would still face dealing with traffic once you go back on-road.

There's a lot of research saying how exercise helps with mental health as you may know. Since I lost my parents I've been running a lot and doing a lot of BMX sessions. It helps.

You most probably know this anyway, but be extra careful with alcohol when you're already feeling fragile.

Ditto what the others said about the legal aspects. I'm not sure what counselling options you have in your area. Some authorities are good on this, some not. 

Stay well.

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Southy83 [6 posts] 2 months ago
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Speaking from personal experience, I was subject of a hit and run a few days short of two years ago. Thankfully, I only had three weeks off the bike with rib fracture/tissue damage which was alleviated by painkillers and managed to get back on the bike quite quickly (initially the day after on another bike). Although the junction that I got hit on always messes with my head a bit.

As a British Cycling member, I was referred to Leigh Day under a no-win, no-fee arrangement (LD basically subsidise the BC annual pissup in exchange for people like me). They took on the case and I agreed compensation in December which I should hopefully receive soon.

https://www.leighday.co.uk/Personal-Injury-and-industrial-disease/Cycling

The only reason for the delay is the process of getting the driver to admit liability (he stopped briefly while I was on the ground, so I got his number plate). Thankfully, the magistrates convicted him and banned him six months (he defended himself and thought there was only a partial numberplate, I will never forget seeing his face drop when I pulled out my phone with the numberplate on a Evernote time stamped within two minutes of the collision), but because he is so unresponsive, the whole process has dragged on far too long.

I really hope you get the support you need to get on the bike, especially with everything you have gone through over the last couple of years. Where abouts do you live? Is there anyone you could go out riding with to help get your confidence back?