In 2015 18,844 cyclists were injured including 3,339 who were killed or seriously injured (ROSPA). These figures only include cyclists killed or injured in road accidents that were reported to the police. Many cyclist casualties are not reported to the police, even when the cyclist is injured badly enough to require hospital treatment.
Cyclists are vulnerable on the road and following an accident this vulnerability heightens, especially if a driver is claiming that they are at fault. Cyclists often hobble away from an accident without doing anything about it. It is important for cyclists to know exactly what to do following an accident in order to ensure they can obtain any compensation to which they may be entitled.
After an Accident
- Move to a safe position
- Call the police and an ambulance if you are injured
- When the police arrive, make sure you tell them exactly what happened. Make a note of the police officer involved and ask for the Police Reference Number
- Even if your injuries are only minor go to hospital or visit you GP
- It is vital that you get the other driver’s vehicle registration number
- Keep all items of property that are damaged beyond repair such as your bicycle, helmet and clothing
- Keep a record of all losses you incur including travelling expenses and keep receipts where possible
- Make a record of the unpaid assistance you receive from others including dates when you were helped, the type of assistance you received and how many hours it lasted. An example might be, “On 5.7.17, my Dad spent 5 hours taking me to A and E” or “On 6.7.17 my friend Sharron spent 2 hours shopping for me at the local supermarket” or “On 7.7.17 my partner James spend 1.5 hours helping me dress, shower and dress my wounds”
- Instruct a Solicitor. It is important to choose a firm of Solicitors which has lawyers who specialise in Personal Injury claims and have experience of dealing with cycling cases in particular, as indeed our specialist team do
- Keep a diary of your expenses, losses, medical appointments and how your life is affected by the accident to give to your solicitor
If you can:
- If possible obtain the driver’s name, address and insurance details
- Take photos of the vehicle including its registration plate and its position in relation to your bike
- Take photos of you injuries as soon as possible after the accident
- Also take photos of any damage to your property, eg bike, clothing etc (keep hold of any receipts you may have in relation to the cost of these items)
- Get the contact details of any witnesses to the accident. If they have mobile phones, put their numbers in your phone
- Find the receipts from when you purchased the items
- Do not get involved in a discussion about whose fault the accident was
- Do not accept any offers of money from the other party as that may be seen as settling your claim
- Do not deal directly with their insurance company
What else may assist my claim?
Helmet Camera Footage
Cycle cameras are being used more and more and footage from these cameras is admissible as evidence. It may make the difference between winning and losing a case so it is important to keep hold of the footage. If you have it – keep it.
Look for any CCTV cameras in the area of your accident and tell the police to call the local authority CCTV office to make sure the footage is preserved as soon as possible. With regard to private CCTV you or the police would need to contact the relevant business or private individual immediately to ensure the footage is not deleted. If possible, take pictures of the CCTV cameras and their positions in relation to the scene of the accident.
Hit and Run Accidents
If a driver does not stop at the scene of an incident you may still be able to obtain compensation through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. This is a fund which compensates victims who are injured by hit and run drivers and also by uninsured drivers. All motor insurance policies contribute to this fund.
Accident due to a defect in the Road
If you are involved in an accident caused by a pothole or other defect in the road it is essential to take photographs of the defect as soon as possible, before it gets repaired. It is extremely helpful to record the size and depth of the defect using a ruler or tape measure. Claims for accidents caused by defects in the road are difficult to win. Even if you can show that the defect was a dangerous hazard, the highway authority may be able to establish that they had a reasonable system of inspection and repair in place they may well avoid liability.