Can I claim against a cyclist?

I was riding along the Old Kent Road in London when a cyclist came out of a side road to my left without stopping at the junction. I did my best to not crash into him out but lost control and came off myself. I ended up with lower leg injuries and am still on crutches. Although the cyclist did not stop a witness caught up with him and called the police.  He is being prosecuted for failing to stop and the police have provided me with his details for a compensation claim. The problem is what if he has no money as I think cyclists, unlike motorists, don’t need insurance?
Scott King, London

Answer

While motorists must have (at the very least) third party liability cover, it is not compulsory for cyclists to have insurance. Some cyclist organisations do offer insurance for cyclists such as British Cycling which has over 150,000 members and part of the membership is third party liability insurance cover.

You should therefore make enquiries as to whether your opponent is a member of such an organisation. Alternatively, many home contents insurance policies have legal expenses insurance attached which would include cover for negligent actions of the policy holder away from the home.

Finally, you could pursue the cyclist personally but you are correct that he may not have the means to pay your claim and legal costs. An asset search could give you a better idea of his ability to pay compensation and costs.

Download

Ask the expert (MCN Column pdf)