Since the start of the Pandemic, and the gradual ease back to the 'new normal', the number of people cycling in Great Britain is ever increasing. A National Travel Survey recently reported that around 8% of the population cycle at least three or more times a week. This equates to around 5.1 million people regularly cycling on British roads.
Whilst this is certainly great for the environment, and indeed for our mental health and well-being, unfortunately cyclists in this country are becoming ever more vulnerable to road accidents. In 2019 alone nearly 100 pedal cyclists were killed, over 4,000 seriously injured and 13,000 slightly injured in Great Britain.
Experiencing a collision while on your bicycle can be shocking and scary to say the least. If you have been knocked from your bike by a moving vehicle, the chances are that you will have suffered significant injuries and require immediate medical attention and rehabilitation. Cycling accident claims can be complex and it will not always be initially obvious who is at fault. It's important therefore to know what to do immediately following an accident, especially if you wish to make a compensation claim in the future.
Post-Cycling Accident Checklist
- Immediately report the incident to the police. Even if the police don't attend the scene of the accident, call them anyway or attend the station in person to make a formal statement. Even if you don't have a description of the driver or a licence plate number, the police may still be able to investigate whatever information you can provide to support your personal injury claim.
- Obtain witness details and take photographs. The driver may flee the scene, but if other people are there and may have witnessed the incident, obtain their names, numbers and addresses. Their independent accounts can be very useful to support the police investigation and/or a later claim for compensation. Be sure to get their contact information and statements while the events are still fresh in their minds.
- Seek Medical attention. You will need to be examined by a medical professional and have your injuries documented in medical records (either GP or Hospital) to support your injuries for a compensation claim. Seek professional medical assistance as soon as you can, and certainly within 1 week of the accident.
- Obtain Quotes for Repairs. If your bike or its accessories are damaged take them to your local bike shop and get written quotes for repairs. If the bike is a write-off, get a quote for a like-for-like replacement. If you incur any additional costs, for example, if you have to use public transport during the time you are unable to cycle, or have to pay for prescriptions or medical care, keep all your receipts. The burden of collecting evidence for a civil claim will fall upon you to prove. If you cannot prove it, you will not be able to claim it back.
- Replace your helmet. Even if you did not hit your head with any real force in the accident, your helmet may no longer be considered to be up to safety standards to protect you next time, and should be replaced. If you need to purchase a replacement, keep the receipt.
- Seek Legal Advice. Get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss whether you have grounds to proceed with a case. You should provide your lawyer with as much information as possible. This will allow them to determine whether you are entitled to bicycle accident compensation. You should do this sooner rather than later, you only have a period of 3 years to issue proceedings in relation to a personal injury, after which time your claim will be statute barred and you will be precluded from doing so.
Forbes Solicitors have an experienced Personal Injury Claims Team dealing with all aspects of road traffic and bicyle accident claims on a no win, no fee basis. For a free consultation, or to receive further information relating to any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Lisa Atkinson, Associate at Forbes Solicitors in Accrington direct on 01254 222 448 or another member of the Claims team on 01254 872 111. You can also contact the team via the online contact form.