We all love being out on our bikes. But there’s always the risk of an accident, either from your losing control or from your being hit by another cyclist or a vehicle. As with any outdoor activity, you should always let someone know your route and when you expect to be back. You may want to consider setting up live tracking or turning on your location settings just in case. However, it’s important to know what to do if you are involved in an accident whilst out riding. In this blog, we cover the do’s and don’ts after a cycling accident.
Make Sure You are Safe
Look after your safety and get yourself out of further harm. Unless you are injured and do not feel it is safe to do so, it is important to get both you and
your bike out of the road or trail to somewhere safe.
If you or anyone else is injured, you should call an ambulance. Do not be afraid to ask for help from those around you, it will often be offered spontaneously.
Get the Other Party’s Details
Where possible, ask for the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the other party in the accident, including the vehicle registration (if one was involved).
Try to stay calm and don’t get involved in an argument, begin to assign blame or admit fault.
You should take photos to record the scene of the accident. If it is caused by a road defect, photograph this with an item like a water bottle in the shot to indicate its size. If the scene is covered by CCTV, you should take immediate steps to obtain a copy of the footage.
If you have it, helmet camera footage is useful too, particularly if you might need to make a claim against the other party or defend yourself against any allegations of fault, so make sure that it’s saved and not subsequently overwritten. The more detail you keep, the easier it will be to deal with any resultant insurance or legal claim.
If there are witnesses, ask them for their names, email addresses and a telephone number as you might need to contact them later to ask them to provide you with their account of the accident.
Report the Incident to the Police
If someone is injured (including you), you have an obligation to report the accident to the Police “as soon as reasonably practicable” but, in any event, within 24 hours.
Visit Your Doctor
It’s a good idea to get checked up at a hospital or by your doctor even if you feel okay immediately after the accident. There may be longer-term effects that you didn’t spot when the accident happened and concussion is always a risk, even if you didn’t hit your head.
Keep Damaged Items
You need to keep anything that was damaged in the accident as they might be needed as evidence in an insurance claim. That includes not just your bike, but your riding kit like a helmet and clothing, and any accessories. Make sure you’ve picked everything up from the scene.
Don’t try to repair or replace your bike until you have permission from either your insurer or the insurer of the other party (if the accident was their fault).
What you should do afterwards – what your insurer needs to know. Once you’ve dealt with the immediate aftermath of the incident, you’ll want to get your bike
and other kit repaired or replaced.
What You Shouldn’t do after a Cycling Accident
There are a few things you shouldn’t do, either at the scene of an accident or afterwards.
Don’t Agree to Pay Any Financial Compensation
Don’t agree to pay any form of settlement or compensation to the other party without the permission of your insurance company; it may affect your insurance policy if you do.
Similarly, if the insurer for the other party, or someone acting on their behalf such as a solicitor or claims management company makes you an offer of settlement for the damage to your bike you should tell your insurer about it first before considering whether to accept it or not.
Don’t Admit Any Fault
Don’t agree that you were responsible; you may feel an emotional or moral responsibility for the accident, but it does not mean that you are legally liable for it; that is for your insurer to decide if there is a claim from the other party against you for their property damage or injury.
Get in touch with us today to get compensation for your biking accident. Our personal injury attorneys will fight for your rights and get you the compensation that you or a loved one deserves. You can get in touch with us by filling out the contact form on our website.