This brief guide on compensation for cycling accidents has been brought to you by the motorcycle solicitors, experts in dealing with injury claims in the UK www.motorbikeclaims.org.uk The author is Ronnie James Hutcheon specialist cycling injury solicitor 0151 724 7121.
CYCLING ACCIDENTS AND SCARRING
are common place. It happens because what law calls ‘negligence’ (blame) on behalf of one or more parties to a road collision. All road users have a duty of care to each other. If you breach that duty and cause injury to another you will be deemed to be negligent and liable to pay compensation to the person you injured. That is why it is compulsory in the UK to have motor insurance.
A complete assessment to personal injury claims can be found on motorbike compensation calculator guide 2018. A significant number of motorbike accident claims or accidents to pedal cyclists result in significant scarring tissue as there is no protection for cyclist as opposed to the driver of a motor vehicle where he/she is surrounded by a metal cage, that is the motor car. Whilst this article relates to cyclist injuries resulting in scarring, it can apply to any time of personal injury.
Many types of injuries to a cyclist can lead to the formation of permanent scaring tissue. These scars will affect the overall appearance of the person, their character and confidence. The claims for scar injuries are different from claims for personal injuries in many ways. Often they do not often affect their physical ability, it is the psychological impact that causes the problem.
Generally permanent scarring to visible parts of the body such as the face, neck, arms and legs will often result in a higher amount of compensation. Moreover, female cyclists will be paid more than their male counter-parts. But this is a generalisation as each individual case will be decided on its own particular facts. For example, a young male model who sustained facial disfigurement in a motorcycle accident may be awarded more compensation than a middle/old aged mother or labourer on a building site. A younger person may be entitled to more compensation than an older person as they have to live with the impact of the permanent scarring for longer. But again caution has to be applied as it depends on how the disfigurement affects the victim from a physical and psychological point of view. The test is subjective.
TYPES OF SCAR INJURIES
The most common types of scars motorbike accident claims solicitors see are from friction burns when the cyclist slides across the road surface or by an impact injury where the legs or arms take the brunt of the impact with the motor vehicle, motorcycle, the road, or some other road furniture.
The lacerations sustained by or on the roadside causing the injury will have the secondary impact of causing the scaring. The scar tissue can be as a direct result of the cycle accident and or following necessary surgery from the surgeon to treat the injury.
COMPENSATION FOR SCAR INJURIES
When a Claimant consults a personal injury solicitor, they will begin the investigations necessary to make a claim for your injury and scarring.
The Solicitor will:
- Take instructions of the nature of the road collision and who is to blame.
- Calculate your losses such as damage to the bike, loss of earnings, expenses etc.
- Assess your injuries and instruct specialist doctors to advise on the nature of your injures. Often more than one medical expert will be required. For instance, for fractures and broken bones, the solicitors will instruct an orthopedic surgeon; scarring, a plastic surgeon and for post-traumatic stress disorder/shock and a consultant psychiatrist.
- Once all the evidence has been obtained, the solicitor will then assess the amount of compensation for all your injuries and losses and obtain a lump sum award.
SCAR INJURIES ASSESSMENT
The main issues that will take into account at court is the severity of the scarring, the mental and psychological anguish/embarrassment. If the scarring has had a huge impact on a person’s confidence and quality of life the Judge overseeing the case will award compensation towards the higher end of the maximum bracket that can be awarded.
Of course, as indicated previously, facial disfigurement will attract the highest quantum award. Therefore it is not just the seriousness of the scarring tissue that the court will take into account but also the area of the body. If the scarring tissue cannot be hidden under clothing or camouflaged with makeup or concealment, there are chances that a higher award of compensation will be made.
COMPENSATIONS PAYOUTS FOR SCARRING INJURIES
It is always notoriously difficult to value compensation for a scarring injury following a motorbike accident claim or any type of claim no matter how the injury was sustained. Many compensation awards for physical injury include an element of scarring or disfigurement.
One common element is that if the scarring is not to the face or can be covered up or camouflaged easily, the compensation will be towards the lower end of the scale. The court will pay attention to the area of the body impacted and depth of the injury. Authorities pay attention to the fact that whether there is a psychological injury because of the scar as well as the treatment required to reduce the impact of the scar. Where skin camouflage is recommended, the cost of camouflage over the claimant’s lifetime can be factored into the total amount of compensation awarded.
Guidance to specialist solicitors can be obtained from the Judicial College Guidelines as well as individual case law that has been decided by Judges in the past. Some general guidance is cited below:
GUIDE FOR GENERAL DAMAGES FOR SCARRING TISSUE
Here is a guideline for personal injury non-facial scarring:
- £1,800 to £6,000 compensation for the scars that are visible but unnoticeable. It can be a single scar or multiple small scars. It can be on the torso or limbs.
- Compensation of £6,000 to £17,000 is given in case there are more noticeable scars on legs, chest, arms, and back.
- Compensation can exceed £79,000 in there is scarring because of severe burns, disfigurement that might need treatment like plastic surgery.
The amount of compensation between £17,000 and £79,000 is very much dependent upon various factors that we have touched upon but summarised below:
- the percentage body area affected by the scar;
- whether the scar are full thickness, partial thickness or superficial;
- the cosmetic impact of the injuries and the injured person’s reactions to them;
- the need for (and extent of) surgery;
- any resulting physical disability;
- the psychological impact.
COMPENSATION FOR FACIAL SCARRING
The compensation guideline for facial scarring can be summarised:
- £1,300 to £2,675 compensation for minor facial scars.
- The facial scarring that is not visible or the one that is visible from a short distance will have a compensation for women £3,000 – £22,875 and for men it will be £3,000 – £13,650.
- In case of severe scarring on the face an award of can be in the region of £74,000 for women and for men, £50,000.