Get yourself out of the road and to a footpath or kerbside or somewhere safe if you can. If you're unable to move, ensure you're visible and try to attract help from passers-by.
Call the police and ambulance
Always contact the police and call an ambulance if you are injured. The police can help with exchange of details and their reports could prove crucial. Get the details of the attending police officer and an incident reference number.
You must exchange personal and insurance details after a collision. You may not have insurance cover but all motor vehicles on a public road should do. Get names and addresses, vehicle registration number as well as make, model and colour.
Get details of any independent witnesses as well as the driver of the vehicle that hit you. If you can’t do this yourself ask a passer-by for help. If the vehicle that hit you didn’t stop, still get witness statements as you can claim via the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) who will pay out if the accident was a ‘hit and run’ or the driver cannot be traced.
Get photographic evidence
Take photos (ideally time and date stamped) on your phone of the vehicles and the scene (distances from junctions, road markings or signs) precisely as the accident happened. Don’t let the driver that hit you move their vehicle before you take those photos. Ask the police to find out if CCTV footage showing your accident is available, but insist that they do so quickly. Public CCTV and private CCTV footage tends to get erased or degraded on a daily basis.
CCTV owners and operators need to be contacted immediately to preserve this evidence. Helmet cam footage may also be used as evidence. For the purpose of making a bike accident claim it is best to transfer to a medium like DVD or flash memory rather than posting on public social media platforms like YouTube or Facebook.
Put everything down on paper
When you can, write a full account of the accident and draw a sketch plan. It’s always worth asking for a copy of the police reports too.
Get checked out by your GP
No matter how minor your injuries may seem, always visit your GP and get checked over at the earliest possible opportunity.
Keep all receipts
Keep receipts/bills/estimates for the cost of repair/replacement to your bike, clothing, helmet and accessories and the damaged bits of your bike. Keep records of costs you’ve incurred for treatment, travel to medical appointments or lost earnings.
Choose a solicitor
It’s advisable to get early legal advice from lawyers who are preferably both members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and also specialise in bicycle accident claims. You are not obliged to use the solicitors your insurance company or cycling organisation stipulates.
There may of course be financial incentives (for you or the provider) to use particular bike accident solicitors, but if you feel you could be getting better advice and a better service elsewhere you are perfectly entitled to appoint another solicitor. Even if you started with one firm, the law says you can still change and are free to appoint any other solicitor you like at any stage, without risk or penalty.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2023