Been hit by a car or knocked off your bike? Worried about what to do in the event of a bike accident? Our guide will tell you everything you need to know and what to do next.
Bike Accident Compensation Experts
Our specialist bike accident team of solicitors not only have over a combined 100 years experience helping cyclists, but we are all cyclists ourselves. So you’ll struggle to find someone who’s more knowledgable than us.
We have a long history of success recovering over £101m against insurers, drawing on all our expertise to recover the maximum possible compensation and provide the best possible support to get you back on the saddle.
Speak with our specialist cycle legal team today to find out more about what your legal rights might be.
Why Choose Bott and Co
- We are 100% No Win No Fee meaning you are at no financial risk if you decide to make a claim.
- For successful claims, we are happy to negotiate our fees based on the specific details of your injuries.
- You will always keep 100% of the amount of compensation we recover for your bike and equipment.
- We will arrange immediate physiotherapy where required and will request an immediate rehabilitation assessment by a specialised Case Manager.
- We’ll secure an interim payment for you wherever possible to help with bills and costs.
- We provide a dedicated one to one service with lawyers who are also cyclists with all cases overseen by Tony Tierney, Legal Manager and cyclist.
This guide walks you through the steps you should take if you’ve been unfortunate enough to get involved in an accident on your bike.
Almost every cyclist has a hit or a near-miss story or knows someone who’s been knocked off their bike.
We’ll explain the preparations you should take before setting off on a ride, give you a checklist of what to do in the event of an accident, detail some of the more common accident types for cyclists and how to claim compensation if you’ve been knocked off your bike.
Planning For The Dangers Of The Road
The Highway Code refers to cyclists as vulnerable road users, so it’s no surprise that roads can be dangerous for cyclists for many reasons, whether it’s poor surfaces and potholes, other road users, or weather conditions.
Many cyclists may think that they have fewer rights than other road users when it comes to accidents. This is not accurate and you should be aware that you have just as many rights afforded to other road users.
Preparations Before You Set Out
It’s rarely a good idea to just jump on your bike without running through a number of preparations before you set out.
1. Plan Your Cycle Route
Deciding on the route you’re going to take before you leave is important for several reasons. You can check for any road problems, traffic congestion, or other events that may be taking place. Being familiar with the route also makes it easier to let any emergency services know where you are should an accident occur.
You may well be using a dedicated app such as Strava which will track your route as you go – this can also come in useful in the event of a compensation claim as important evidence.
2. Add Emergency Contact Details
ICE (in case of emergency) information can be stored in your phone and in some cases can be accessed even from a locked phone so emergency services can make contact with your designated friend or family member.
There are various ways to add this information in. Some people store the contact details under the initials ICE but if the phone is locked and you are not able to unlock it, the paramedics won’t be able to access the contacts list.
On iPhones you can include ICE and medical information within the Apple Health app which is a preloaded default app. There is an option in there to allow the ICE details to be accessed even when the phone is locked. Android users have a similar option to download.
3. Check The Weather Conditions
If you’re going far, or heading out into the countryside, checking out the weather forecasts can be even more important before you set off.
Weather can be highly changeable at altitude and in remote areas, so you should make sure you have adequate clothing, lights, and puncture repair equipment, to deal with the conditions.
In the winter months when there are dangers of snow or ice, be wary of black ice and being out in remote countryside.
Think about which directions you’ll be riding when the sun is setting – prolonged cycling into the sun can make visibility difficult for you and for motorists who might struggle to see you as easily.
What To Do If You’re Knocked Off Your Bike
You can take as many precautions as possible when out on the roads but you can’t control what other road users do, and unfortunately, sometimes bad things happen.
Should you be involved in an accident, our SWEEPS checklist should help you remember what to do.
SWEEPS stands for Safety, Witnesses, Etiquette, Evidence, Police, Solicitor and is your easy-to-remember quick guide.
Use Our SWEEPS Checklist If You've Been In An Accident
- Safety – Get out of immediate danger
- Witnesses – Check is there anyone nearby that can help
- Etiquette – Exchange details with driver but do not discuss the accident circumstances.
- Evidence – Take photos and video footage of damage and injuries
- Police – Call to register incident even if no obvious injuries
- Solicitor – Get represented by specialists who know cycling
If you are knocked off your bike, you might still be on the road surface and in danger of further vehicles colliding with you. Make your way to the side of the road if possible, or get some assistance to either help you move or to warn oncoming cars to slow down or stop. Call for an ambulance or have someone call on your behalf if you need one.
Check if there are any passers-by or other road users that saw the accident and ask for their full contact details. These people may come in very helpful when making a compensation claim if the driver’s insurance company denies responsibility for the accident.
British culture can sometimes be too polite and you should resist any temptation to apologise and say sorry or admit any fault on your part. Anything you say on those lines could be used against you when making a claim.
The most important pieces of information for you to get is the license plate number of the car that hit you.
It might be difficult to keep a clear head when you’ve just been knocked off your bike, or your injuries might prevent you from taking photos and videos. In this case ask a witness to help – get images of the damage, the surroundings, and the injuries you sustained. Videos are even better.
If you’ve been hit by a car, one of the most important pieces of information for you to get is the license plate number of the car.
When the accident is due to a defect in the road such as a pothole, take pictures and use a tape measure or another object to provide some context to the size and height of the defect.
Take as many photos and or videos as you can of the scene of the accident. Images of the roadway, your injuries at that point in time and the damage to your bike and equipment can make a compelling case.
Look to see if there are any cameras such as CCTV cameras that may have recorded the accident. The police may be able to help you obtain footage if the CCTV is publicly available.
Don’t be afraid to call the police even if the accident was minor and your injuries appear insignificant.
It can sometimes take a couple of days for muscle injuries to develop so always call the police to log the incident, it’s important they record cycle accidents and you might need this information later in making a claim.
Once the police arrive, write down the name of the officer in charge and ask for the police case reference number.
Cycle accident claims can be complicated and insurers don’t always understand the value of your bike and equipment in the same way specialist solicitors do. Make sure you choose a no-win no-fee service and don’t just go with whoever your insurance company suggest – they might not be the best choice.
Examples Of Common Cycle Accidents
Accidents can occur in a range of situations and can be grouped into collisions with a moving vehicle (most often with cyclists being hit by cars), potholes and uneven road surfaces, losing control of the bike, and ‘dooring’ where a stationery car opens its door into your path.
The number of fatalities has dropped by over 25% since 2007 according to government statistics. While this is welcome news, there were still more than 100 fatal accidents and over 18,000 casualties in 2017 that were reported to the police.
Men are four times more likely to be involved in a cycle accident – but this is due to the higher numbers of male cyclists on the road based on data compiled by ROSPA.
Two fifths of these casualties occurred in London and the South East of England and the most common times of day for being injured in an accident were the commuting times of 7-9am and 3-7pm during the week.
If you’ve been in an accident in London or a near miss, you can contact Transport for London to make a complaint about a bus and the Public Carriage Office to complain about a black cab. Elsewhere in the UK the Fill That Hole website lets you report potholes on the roads.
The majority of accidents involve a moving vehicle, usually a car or taxi, but busses and LGVs in cities can also cause problems for cyclists where the larger vehicle turns left or right in front of a cyclist or fails to leave sufficient room when overtaking.
Accidents at junctions and roundabouts are most common, resulting from ‘human error’ with police recording a ‘failure to look properly’ as the cause of the collision.
Common Cycling Accidents
- When a motorist emerges into the path of a cyclist (at road junctions)
- A motorist turns across the path of a cyclist
- The cyclist rides into the path of a motor vehicle, often from a pavement
- A motor vehicle fails to provide sufficient room whilst carrying out an overtaking material.
- When vehicles turn right from a major road into a minor road, when there is insufficient space in traffic to do so.
- A stationery car door is opened into the path of a cyclist (dooring)
- Cyclist hits a pothole or defective road surface
- Collision at a roundabout between cyclist and car
How To Claim Cycle Compensation
If you’ve been unfortunate to be involved in a cycle accident or knocked off your bike, you are entitled to make a claim for injury and financial losses, in order that the responsible party puts you back in the same position as you were before the incident.
What To Consider
You should find a reputable solicitors with a specialist cycle claims department as these claims are very different to a typical road accident claim involving two vehicles.
Make sure that you choose a No Win/No Fee service, as if your claim is unsuccessful, you should have nothing to pay in terms of adverse costs.
Check out the reviews of the law firms you are considering and speak to the person who would be handling your claim – if you are not given the opportunity to do that, then you need to consider if that’s the right law firm for you.
What You Can Claim For
There can be many costs and losses resulting from a bike accident aside from the injuries themselves. If you’ve missed work as a result of injuries then any wages and bonuses you might have earned can be recovered in a compensation claim.
You may also be able to claim for rehabilitation and physiotherapy costs plus any medical expenses including parking at hospital visits, travel to physio and hospital appointments and medication you’re prescribed.
Any damage to your bike and clothing or equipment can be included in a claim as well.
How Much You May Be Able To Claim
It’s impossible to provide a full accurate list of how much you could claim in compensation as each accident, injuries, and circumstances are unique.
As a general rule, the more serious the injuries and the greater the loss of things like salary, equipment, and bike repairs or replacement, the higher the compensation amount.
We have a full injury calculator you can use to get an idea of the amount your injuries have been valued at based on previous case law and guidelines.
To get a more accurate idea of the value of your claim you will need to speak to our cycle claims department who can advise you once they have a full picture of the circumstances.
In the more serious cases, your solicitor will advise you about claims you may be able to make in the future too. Claims such as future medical expenses, future care and future loss of earnings claims.
Calculate how much you could claim
How to Choose Cycle Accident Solicitors
Choosing Bott and Co to help you is an excellent decision given our track record in recovering the maximum compensation possible for hundreds of thousands of people.
While we are among the biggest consumer law firms in the country, our specialist cycle claims department give a first class service in each and every situation and all cycle claims are managed by Legal Manager and cyclist Tony Tierney. Tony is the most senior road accident lawyer in the business and has won millions of pounds for injured people over the last 25 years.
Find out more about our cycling accident claims department or contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.