Cycling has many benefits, not only is it a great form of exercise and a way of saving money on fuel, it is also a cunning way of avoiding traffic especially in big cities, and as such it has become an increasingly popular way to travel.
Unfortunately, with the growth in cycle users has come a rise in the number of cycling accidents. Unlike car users, who benefit from the added protection of seatbelts, airbags and steel frames, cyclists are considerably less protected.
What to do if you are involved in an accident
The first thing to remember, if you are knocked from your bicycle, is to remove yourself from the danger. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you should try and exit to a safe clearing or path.
The other person involved should not drive away. If you have been hit by another road user then they have a duty to stop under the Road Traffic Act (1988) and provide you with their details. However, if you happen to become involved in an accident with a hit and run driver or an uninsured driver then there are different ways of claiming compensation and your solicitor will be able to advise you about your options.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, the next thing you should do is ask the other person involved for their insurance details, name, address and take note of the make, model and registration of their vehicle. They are legally obliged to provide this information.
You should also be aware when speaking to them that apologising unnecessarily could be used against you when it comes to determining blame for the accident.
The next stage is to begin gathering evidence. See if there are any witnesses nearby who may have seen the incident and ask them for their contact details, so that they can be contacted at a later date in order to back-up your version of events.
These days, most people have smart phones with cameras, so if you can take photographs of the scene, including any damage to your cycle, number plates on vehicles involved, skid marks and anything else that you think might be important, such as lighting, weather conditions, road markings and signs.
Regardless of how bad you deem your injuries to be you should visit a doctor or accident and emergency department. You should take photographs of your injuries and also consider keeping a ‘pain diary’ to record your symptoms and pain in the weeks after the accident and the effect they are having upon you.
When it comes to making a settlement it is important that you can demonstrate what effect the accident has had on you, this could mean loss of earnings, time off work, physical injuries and also any financial losses – for example repairs to your cycle, so make sure you keep receipts and other items that can help to document this.
If you are looking to be awarded compensation, then you should seek legal advice to help you pursue your case. Our recent article, ‘A guide to Road Traffic Accident claims’ can provide you with further reading on pursuing a claim, or you can speak with one of our experienced Personal Injury team by calling 020 7611 4848.