Too nervy to ride. Can I claim the cost of a car?

I had an off in May and have been too nervous to get back on a bike and don’t see that changing in the future. In my compensation claim my solicitor told me I can’t claim for the future use of a car as rather than a bike. If I didn’t have the accident, I would have continued to use my bike most of the time, not the car. The car is much more expensive to run than my bike was.  Over the next 10 years of commuting this will be a lot of money. Why can’t I claim this?
Mark Griffiths, Scunthorpe  

Answer

It sounds like it is psychological reasons keeping you from getting back on a bike. I see this a lot and it is usually due to something called a “phobic anxiety disorder”, the phobia being riding a bike. Psychologists usually recommend a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and in my experience it works most of the time. However, if that treatment doesn’t work it is generally accepted that there is a valid claim for the increased cost of running a car as compared to a bike. You are correct to say that over the years this head of claim can really add up. I would suggest your solicitor arranges to send you to a psychologist for an opinion. You will then know if you have a phobic anxiety disorder and if so you can have treatment and take it from there.

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