While people are being encouraged to look at more environmentally friendly ways to travel it is imperative that other road users make allowances for cyclists. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as cyclists are often an afterthought to other motorists. As the roads get busier day by day, riding a bicycle is becoming a much more hazardous pastime and the number of accidents involving cyclists is rising.
Knowing what steps to take immediately after a bicycle accident is crucial for your safety, well-being, and potential compensation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at how to make bicycle accident claims, focusing on what to do straight after the accident, the information you need to get, why you should always visit a doctor, how to get your claim underway, and the benefits of using a personal injury solicitor to navigate the complexities of the process.
Table of Contents
- What to Do Immediately Following the Accident
- Should You Visit a Doctor After the Accident?
- What Sort of Things Can You Claim for?
- The Benefits of Using a Personal Injury Solicitor
- Negotiating a Settlement
- Legal Proceedings
- Reducing Stress and Focusing on Recovery
What to Do Immediately Following the Accident
Make Sure You are Safe
The first thing you should do after any bicycle accident is to make sure you are safe. Get yourself out of the road to a safe area well away from the traffic ensuring there is no chance of you suffering further injury.
Call Emergency Services
Call the emergency services immediately to report the accident, especially if there are injuries or significant damage. Try and give accurate details to the operator and then make sure you follow any advice or instructions given to you.
Make Sure you Get all Necessary Information
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved. Include names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance details, and vehicle registration numbers.
Document the Scene
Make sure you take photos and if possible videos of the accident scene, including any damage to your bicycle, the details of the other vehicle involved, the state of the road, weather conditions, and the surrounding environment. Also, take note of any other relevant details such as road signs and traffic signals. You should also get copies of any police reports.
Get Information from any Witnesses
If there are witnesses, obtain their names and contact information. Their statements may prove valuable when it comes to apportioning blame. Having good strong witnesses will further enhance the validity of any claim for bicycle accident compensation.
It is Important to Not Admit Fault
Refrain from admitting fault or making statements that could be construed as an admission of guilt. Stick to factual information when discussing the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide accurate details, but avoid making assumptions or statements that may jeopardise your claim.
Should You Visit a Doctor After the Accident?
Absolutely, even if you don’t immediately think you are injured, it’s crucial to seek medical attention. Some injuries, especially internal or soft tissue injuries, may not manifest symptoms immediately. Visiting a doctor serves a number of different purposes which include:
- Early Detection: Identifying injuries early allows for timely treatment and prevents potential complications.
- Highlighting The Cause of Your Injuries: Medical records provide crucial documentation for your personal injury claim, establishing a link between the accident and your injuries.
- Legal Considerations: Delayed medical attention may be used by insurance companies to dispute the severity or cause of your injuries.
What Sort of Things Can You Claim for After a Bicycle Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault?
If the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation for various damages, including:
- Medical Expenses: Costs associated with hospitalisation, surgeries, medications, and ongoing medical treatment.
- Property Damage: Repair or replacement costs for your bicycle and other personal property damaged in the accident.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to time off work for medical treatment and recovery.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages for physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
- Future Medical Expenses: Anticipated costs for ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation.
- Diminished Earning Capacity: Compensation for reduced earning capacity due to long-term injuries.
The Benefits of Using a Personal Injury Solicitor
Enlisting the services of a personal injury attorney can significantly enhance your ability to navigate the complexities of the aftermath:
- Legal Expertise: Personal injury solicitors specialise in personal injury law, providing invaluable expertise to guide your claim.
- Maximising Compensation: A good personal injury solicitor can assess the full extent of your damages and work to secure the maximum compensation possible.
- Handling Insurance Companies: Personal injury solicitors will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring you are not taken advantage of during settlement discussions.
- Negotiating a Settlement: The majority of personal injury claims never see the inside of a courtroom because both sides will usually prefer to come to an agreement over a what is considered a fair settlement figure. For this reason having someone well versed in the art of negotiation is essential.
- Legal Proceedings: If necessary, a qualified personal injury solicitor can initiate legal proceedings and represent you during the court proceedings.
- Reducing Stress: Delegating the legal aspects to a professional allows you to focus on your recovery and well-being.
Experiencing a bicycle accident can be a traumatic and life-altering event. Understanding your rights and taking proactive steps in the aftermath is vital to securing the compensation you deserve. From immediate actions at the accident scene to gathering evidence, seeking legal advice, and prioritising medical attention, each step plays a crucial role in the claims process. By staying informed and seeking professional assistance, you can navigate the complexities of a bicycle accident claim and focus on your recovery with the confidence that your rights are being protected. To start your bicycle accident compensation claim or for more information, contact Tylers Solicitors on 0800 699 0079 or via our contact form and we’ll be happy to assist.