Legal advice from Howard Porter, Litigation Executive, based at FDR Law’s office in Warrington on Cycling Accidents
Q: I am an active cyclist during commuter periods which has made me more conscious of other road users. What are the guidelines around accidents involving bikes?
A: The number of cyclists on the road has increased as we have become more conscious of our health and the environment, but bikes are not just for leisure and sport; they are used by many as a mode of transport.
In the main motorists do appear to be adapting their driving to take account of cyclists, though with so many factors involved; distractions, poor visibility, weather, and busy roads, near misses and collisions do happen.
If you do have the misfortune of being involved in an accident, our recommendations are:
- If injured seek medical attention at the earliest opportunity
- Take a note of the vehicle registration number and make and model of the car
- Request the full name, address and insurance information from the driver
- If the driver is uninsured or declines to give you details, call the Police. It is possible to claim against an untraced or uninsured driver however failure to report it to the authorities may have an effect on compensation entitlement.
- Get two estimates for the cost of repairing your bicycle.
If it is proven that the other party is to blame, you will able to claim compensation for personal injuries and financial losses (cost of repair and for example loss of earnings if you are unable to work). The insurance company may approach the injured party directly with an early settlement offer. It is recommended that you take professional advice from a specialist lawyer as this may be significantly less than your true entitlement.