What to do if You’re Involved in a Cycling AccidentJuly 6, 2015
What to do if You’re Involved in a Cycling Accident
More and more of us are choosing to take up cycling. It’s a great, green way of
getting around and keeping fit. But it does bring its risks and cyclists usually come
off worse if they are involved in a collision involving another vehicle.
If the worst does happen, Macks Solicitors have the experience and expertise
to help. Personal Injury specialist James Pritchard explains what you should do
if you’re involved in an accident on your bike…
If you’re able to pick yourself up without causing yourself further injury, get off the road
“Looking after your own safety comes first, so don’t put yourself in
any further danger,” says James.
Has the Driver Stopped?
If the driver has stopped, speak to them and get their details
If the driver hasn’t stopped or if there are any injuries, call the police as soon as you can
“The most important thing is to
take a note of their registration
number,” says James. “If possible,
also write down their name,
contact details and make a note
of the vehicle make and model.”
“The police might be able to track
the driver down if they haven’t
got too far away,” says James.
“Accidents should always be
reported to the police if injuries
are involved. Remember to note
the officers’ names and an
Take the names of any witnesses
“Establishing exactly what happened and proving fault can be
difficult in these cases,” says James. “If there are people around who
saw what happened, take down their names, phone numbers, emails
and any other relevant details.”
Write down details of where and when the accident happened
“Don’t wait until it’s no longer fresh in your memory,” says James. “Record
the time, date and location, including city, street and approximate
address. Also make a note of the weather and road conditions.”
Gather as much photographic evidence as you can
James advises: “It’s really important to do this at the scene, because once
everyone’s left, that’s it. If you have your phone with you, take photos of
the vehicle involved, preferably while it’s still in position.
“If the vehicle is blocking the road, the driver will normally be keen to
move it, but if you ask them to wait until you’ve taken photos first, most
people are reasonable about that. If the car has been moved, you can still
photograph any damage.
“If you’ve been injured and can’t take photos yourself, perhaps you could
ask a relative or friend to take pictures for you.”
“You need expert help on your side,” said James. “One of the biggest mistakes
we see is cyclists contacting the driver’s insurance company directly.
“I’d strongly recommended not doing that. They might offer you a couple of
hundreds pounds for injuries that could be worth several thousand.
“Some cyclists are just interested in the bike damage and might be tempted
to contact the driver’s insurance first.
“Understandably, they want the money quickly and sometimes
insurers will pay up and get them to sign a form to say the case is
settled. We’ve sometimes been able to get around that later, but it
causes lots of problems.
“Even if you don’t want compensation for injuries but just for the damage
to your bike, we might still be able to help.”
Tips: Don’t get involved in any arguments
James says: “If the driver accepts that he or she was at fault, write
that down. If not, it’s not worth getting into an argument about. It
can get very heated and people can become aggressive.
“Cyclists are allowed to make certain manoeuvres that motorists will
sometimes criticise. For example, they can filter through stationery
traffic, but drivers often don’t know that. If motorists don’t check
their passenger-side mirror and hit a cycle, they’ll blame the cyclist.
“The same can happen when people open car doors and hit a bike.
The driver is at fault, but often won’t accept that ands say the cyclist
shouldn’t have been there. I’ve seen so many examples of that
leading to arguments.”