Can I claim against a reckless cyclist

I was riding along the Finchley 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 take him out but lost control and came off myself. I ended up crushing my ankle and am still on crutches. Although the cyclist did not stop (!) a witness caught up with him and called the police.  He was apparently arrested for failing to stop at the scene and the police have provided me with his details for a civil claim. The problem is what if he has no money as I think cyclists, unlike motorists, don’t need insurance?
Liam Barnes, London

Answer

You are correct that it is compulsory for motorists to have insurance, at the very least third party liability cover. However it is not compulsory for cyclists to have insurance although there is a growing argument for such mandatory insurance. Some bodies do offer insurance for cyclists such as British Cycling which has 150,000 members and part of the membership is third party liability insurance cover. Therefore you should make enquiries as to whether your opponent is a member of such a body. 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, as you have identified, he may not have the means to pay your claim and legal costs. An asset search could give you a better idea in this regard. 

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