Slater and Gordon Lawyers handle more cycling accident injury claims than most other UK law firms because we represent members of the public and members of Cycling UK.
The following information should help set out what steps ought to be taken in order to pursue a claim for compensation in the unfortunate event of having a cycling accident.
1. Gathering Evidence
The burden of proving fault on the part of a third party rests with you as the Claimant. You should take the following steps to maximise your prospects of pursuing a successful claim.
- Witnesses. Obtain names and telephone numbers of witnesses as soon as possible.
- Identifying who caused the crash – it is vitally important that you obtain the registration number of the Defendant’s vehicle (and if possible the colour, make and model of the car). Obtain the driver’s contact details including insurance particulars. If the driver gives you false particulars (and this unfortunately is a common event) the driver’s true identity can be verified by checking the registration number of the vehicle on a motor insurer’s database which we has access to.
- Photographic evidence. If possible obtain photographic evidence of the scene of the accident. If the accident was caused by a pothole it is important that very good photographic evidence is obtained before the council are notified of the incident. The danger is that if the incident is reported to the council before photographic evidence is obtained then the council could repair the pothole and there could then later be arguments about the dimensions of the defect. Photographs of potholes should clearly indicate the length, depth and width of the pothole. There should also be photographs indicating where the defect is in relation to landmarks e.g. street furniture.
- Report the incident to the police – if you were knocked off your bicycle by a motor vehicle you should always report the accident to the police. This should be done as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event within 5 days of the incident. If your claim needs to be pursued against the Motor Insurers Bureau under the “Untraced Drivers Agreement” the MIB will reject the claim if it was not promptly reported to the Police. It is important that you obtain evidence that the incident has been reported to the Police and you should therefore obtain a reference number and the name of the person that you reported the incident to.
- CCTV footage – it is possible that the incident might have been caught on CCTV film. If so it is important that this evidence is preserved before it is wiped or destroyed.
2. Call our No Win, No Fee Solicitors for a free consultation on 0800 916 9046 or claim online.
Tell us where & how the accident happened & about your personal injuries so we can determine how successful your claim is likely to be.
3. Beware of Unscrupulous Insurance Companies
It is increasingly commonplace for motor insurers to make direct contact with potential Claimants at the earliest opportunity and make early settlement offers. The offers that are made are usually low and if they are accepted they are accepted on a full and final settlement basis. It is important that you always obtain legal advice before accepting an offer in settlement of your personal injury claim. Insurers will often take advantage of a Claimant who has not obtained legal advice.
4. Retain Damaged Property
It is important that you do not dispose of any damaged property e.g. your bicycle or equipment. The reason for this is that it may be potentially important evidence and secondly, there may later be arguments with the Defendant’s insurance company as to the pre-accident value of the property.
You should obtain a quote for the cost of any damage to your bicycle from a reputable cycle shop. If the bicycle is deemed a ‘write off’ do obtain confirmation in writing from the cycle shop and confirmation of the cost of a ‘like for like’ bicycle.
If you can, provide original receipts for your damaged clothing (including helmet).
5. Seek Medical Attention for your Injuries
You should never shrug off your injuries. It is always advisable to seek medical attention, even for minor injuries. If you attend the local A&E Department or your General Practitioner this is evidence that you actually sustained injuries in the crash.
6. Maintain a Record of your Expenses
It is important that you maintain a record of your ongoing expenses to that these are all included in your claim.
Call Slater and Gordon for a free consultation on 0800 916 9046 or start your claim online.
Slater and Gordon can provide immediate legal representation and rehabilitation support anywhere in the UK. We have offices in London, Manchester, Watford, Liverpool, Chester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Preston and Wrexham.
Solicitors at Slater and Gordon are members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) & the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).