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Cycling is usually good for us, offering a cleaner, healthier lifestyle whether as a means of travel or enjoyment. However, cycling can carry a risk, especially for those who cycle frequently on main roads. Cyclists are identified as vulnerable road users.

What do you do if you’ve had a bike accident?

If you suffer an injury, it can be at the very least, be an inconvenience. At worst, it can be life changing. In either instance, it is important to know your rights for claiming compensation to help you though these difficult times.

Aston Knight Case Study:

Aston Knight Solicitors recently secured £22,000 for an injured cyclist who was knocked off his bicycle when a car pulled out without looking and collided with him. He landed heavily on his wrist, suffering a broken bone.

Aston Knight Solicitors obtained an admission of liability and then a series of medical reports from an orthopaedic surgeon. After commencing court proceedings a settlement was reached at £22,000.

The Claimant was very pleased with the work done by Aston Knight Solicitors on his behalf and commented:

“I am more than pleased with you for the way you have done everything for me. I will tell my family and friends about the service you have [provided] me”.- Mr S

Here is a checklist of things you should do if you have been involved in a cycling accident.

Preserve and gather the evidence

The first thing you will be asked is how your accident happened. Evidence is key so as soon as you can, write down how you think the accident happened.

Our experience of dealing with personal injury claims, including cycling claims, has demonstrated to us how an account taken at the time of the accident is usually more accurate than one taken weeks or months later. It is important to describe the weather conditions and visibility, what you were wearing and who else was involved. Include as much detail as possible.

Identify who caused the incident

Collect the names and addresses and if relevant car registration details as well as the colour or make of the vehicle. Take a description of the driver.

If another vehicle is involved ask the driver for his or her insurance details but never get involved in discussing the accident with them or accept any financial offer from them until you have taken legal advice.

If you’re knocked off your bike by someone’s animal, try to get the owner’s name and address.

Identify any witnesses

Did anyone witness the accident? If so take the names, addresses or phone numbers of the witnesses’ as soon as possible. This could be crucial if a case goes to court.

Obtain photograph & video evidence

Everyone has a camera in their pocket or bag these days; gather any photographs that you or others may have taken.  Headcam or dashcam footage can show exactly how the accident happened.  If you have any footage, store it somewhere safe and keep a back-up copy.

Take pictures of vehicles in position or any pot holes if they caused the accident. Photographs of potholes should clearly show their length, depth and width. Try and reference their exact location by road signs or other fixed landmarks.

Your bike may have suffered damage.  Take lots of photographs of it, especially if you’re going to dispose of it or repair it.  Also, keep any damaged clothing or equipment, especially your cycle helmet.

Your injuries are also part of your evidence.  Ask someone to take photos of any visible injuries and keep a diary of photos as your injuries change and heal.  Keep details of any costs associated with your injury such as receipts for medication, prescription charges or therapy costs.  If you’re making trips to the GP, the hospital, or physiotherapist etc. keep a record of these. Keep them together in one place, as you can claim for mileage and parking charges.

Report the Incident

If there is an injury to you or damage to the bike, always report the matter to the police straight away or within 24 hours. Ask for the police incident number and the name of the person you speak to.
If a pothole caused your cycling accident, or another problem with the road, you will usually need to contact your local council – either directly or via FillThatHole. The local council will deal with mud on the road or other obstructions too. However as mentioned above, ensure to take any photographs of the pothole/obstruction.

Keep damaged items for inspection

Take photographs of damaged items and try to provide receipts for the purchase. List all the damaged items and keep details of your out of pocket expenses. Remember if you hit your head your helmet should always be replaced.

Seek medical attention

If you have been involved in an incident it is recommended that you should always seek medical advice, even for minor injuries. Visit your GP, walk in centre or A&E department for professional advice and to evidence your injury.

Don’t delay in getting some advice.

Seek advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor as soon as possible.

You may have heard this asked on TV or radio, “Have you had an accident in the last 3 years?”  What does this mean? It doesn’t mean you have 3 years to contact a lawyer.  It means you have 3 years to start the court process to make a civil claim for compensation. You don’t want to be doing this on the 3-year anniversary of your accident.

The best advice is to contact a specialist injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.  There’s more to the claim than just the court process.  We can do a lot in the early stages after an accident.

We work on getting your opponent to admit responsibility for your accident as quickly as possible.  This is important because if responsibility is admitted, it offers you reassurance about the prospects of your claim. It also means that we can request help with any rehabilitation that you need.  This means that we can help you to recover as quickly as possible.  It also means that we can request any interim payments of compensation that you may be entitled to.  This can really help if you’re struggling financially and are worried about paying the bills.

If you have been involved in an accident and need legal advice please contact us to speak with one of our specialist lawyers on 0161 399 1231.

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