Pedal cyclists are considered vulnerable road users and it’s not hard to understand why. Anyone who is riding a bike, whether it’s a road bike, a mountain bike, or e-bike/hybrid bike, is vulnerable on the road because they’re prone to injury in an accident.
Commuting to work by bike is popular in countries such as the U.K. The Brits are more likely to cycle than get in the car. Why? Besides saving money, they get a good workout and avoid traffic jams. With an ever-increasing number of cyclists on the road, we should prevent fatalities from increasing too. There is room for improvement.
It’s safer than ever to drive a car, but more dangerous than ever to ride a bike. Because of poor or non-existent cycle paths, time and again, bike riders are forced to share the road with vehicles. Agreeing to allow cyclists to make use of a system that’s mapped out exclusively for cars is no means of making bike riding safe.
Many argue that cities should invest in an infrastructure that caters to their unique needs. This way, bikes and vehicles don’t have to come together. The most common cause of a cycling accident is being hit by a car. A bicycle is so much smaller than a car, so the driver doesn’t see the cyclist at all.
The chances of being involved in a cycling accident are relatively high. When the inevitable event happens, make sure you don’t have major injuries. If all of your limbs are attached and intact, move to a safe place to get out of the way of other drivers.
Take your time getting up and moving around. Simply put, take a few moments to evaluate the situation and determine if you can pedal off or wait for help. Knowing what to do next can make the world of a difference in how well you protect your rights. The following checklist will help you maintain control.
Wait For the Police to Arrive at the Scene
All parties involved have a legal and moral obligation to remain at the scene of the accident. Therefore, you and the motorist involved in the crash should stay at the scene until a police officer allows you to leave. It doesn’t matter if you’re injured or not.
It’s not a good idea to flee the scene of the accident. Failure to report the incident represents a criminal offence and the penalties are significant. If the police don’t come to the scene, make sure to file an incident report at a police station. Ask for the police incident number and the name of the person you speak to.
Understand Who’s at Fault in the Cycling Accident
If you’ve been involved in a cycling accident, it’s crucial to know who was at fault. The vehicle driver who hit you could be negligent and, therefore, liable for the injuries you’ve sustained. Their insurance company ought to pay you damages for the harm caused in the crash.
If the insurer refuses to offer compensation, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. According to Accident Claims, it’s strongly recommended to find a personal injury solicitor to help you attain compensation. Besides claiming compensation for your injuries, you can claim for the cost of repairing your bicycle, loss of earnings, and other damages (medical care and prescriptions, physiotherapy, household help).
Get the name and address of the person who caused the incident. If possible, obtain relevant car registration details, such as driver’s licence number, licence plate number, etc. You’ll also want to know the colour or make of the vehicle. Even if the vehicle driver recognizes fault and accepts blame for what happened, don’t negotiate with them.
You’re not aware of the full extent of your injuries and damage to your bicycle. What is more, the motorist might change their mind later on and deny anything happened. Position yourself to get the best settlement from the insurance company. With a do-it-yourself settlement, you might end up losing a lot of money.
Take Plenty of Photos to Document the Accident Scene
Comprehensively document the scene of the accident. Immortalise every detail of the cycling accident – when, where, and how it happened. Take pictures from various angles using your phone. Photograph the driver’s licence plate if they refuse to exchange information. Document the scene, the vehicle involved, and, most importantly, your injuries.
It’s the best way to paint a picture of what happened and preserve visual evidence for your personal injury lawsuit. A cycling accident can be chaotic, so you might not have noticed striking details about. By taking photos, you can preserve important information for further analysis. The photos will be used during witness testimony.
Write down the names and phone numbers of the people who saw what happened and are willing to come testify in court. They’ll confirm your side of the story. Thus, it won’t be your word against that of the motorist. The witnesses will testify what happened before, during, and after the cycling accident. They don’t need expertise to be reliable or helpful.
You may need to testify yourself as the injured party. Give an honest account of what happened and highlight the ongoing effects of your injury. Facing questioning and examination on the witness stand is the last thing you want. Unfortunately, you can be forced to assist in certain circumstances.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
People who get struck while riding the bike are likely to suffer anything from bumps and bruises to life-altering disabilities. Even if you don’t have broken bones, you should still seek medical attention. No injury should be taken lightly.
Issues often present themselves weeks after the accident. Don’t just swallow painkillers and move on. Keep in mind that minor injuries become major injuries, which translates into future medical bills, long-term care costs, not to mention financial distress. Treat your injuries and get evidence that you were hurt.
Finally, yet importantly, seek legal advice from a professional. The solicitor will file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent person. They’ll work tirelessly to make sure that your case is best represented and you’ll be victorious.