2 August 2012


Cycling can be a fun, healthy and economical way to travel around London; however it can also be dangerous, especially on the capital’s busy streets. Nobody wants to expect the worst, however if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, here are some key tips for ensuring your claim has the best possible chance of success:

ü      Ensure you are safe:
 Your safety is the most important thing. If you are in danger following a collision, get out of harm’s way as soon as possible. If you are unable to move due to injury or shock, then attempt to attract the attention of others who can assist you.

ü      Call 999:
Always call the police (and an ambulance if you or anybody else involved are injured) following an accident. Even minor accidents will be recorded and this data can be used to make London’s roads safer for cyclists in the future. The police can also assist you with gathering vital evidence of the scene, which can help your claim later on. Ensure that the police officer taking your statement has written what you intended. If they have interviewed the motorist first, their perception of the event could have been distorted, so always ask them to read your statement back to you to make sure your version of events is recorded properly. Check the police officers have made a note of any CCTV cameras near the scene, and note their locations yourself.

ü      Never admit liability:
Accidents can be emotional and frightening, but always be aware of what you are saying. Even if you feel that it is polite to apologise, this can be used against your claim later as an admission of responsibility. Also try to avoid casual conversations with the driver involved – wait for the police to take your statements as the things they say may affect your perception of events.

ü      Gather details:
Most drivers will stop after an incident, so make sure you exchange names, contact details and registration numbers. It is important to note that even if a driver does not stop, you may still be able to make a claim. It is also essential that you gather details from any independent witnesses at the scene, as their evidence can be vital to your claim. If you are unable to do this due to injury, ask the police, or anybody who is helping you to do this for you.

ü      Gather Evidence:
Visual evidence can really assist you when making a claim. If you have a camera (even on your mobile phone) then use it to take as many photographs as you can of the scene. For example, images of number plates, witnesses, parked cars, road markings, skid marks, your direction of travel etc can all be useful. If there are any temporary road works or signs, photograph these in particular. Try to time and date any images. Beware that the driver may attempt to move their vehicle “out of the way”. Be sure to ask them not to do so until the police have noted its position. Again, if you are unable to do any of this yourself, enlist the help of somebody at the scene.

ü      Seek Medical Assistance:
If your injuries are serious and an ambulance is called to the scene, you will probably be taken to a hospital. Try and get somebody at the hospital, or a family member or friend to take photographs of your injuries. Even if your injuries do not appear to be serious, if you are hurt then you should insist on a full hospital check up. Keep a pain diary and a record of all expenses such as prescriptions, travel fares, parking charges, and painkillers.

ü      Remember Property Damage:
Note that you may also be able to claim for damage to your personal property, so make sure that you make a note of and photograph any damage to clothing or your bike and gather receipts for their repair or replacement. If a repair will cost more than £100, get two quotes to show this.

ü      Instruct a Specialist Solicitor:
If you decide you want to make a claim, it is important that you seek suitable legal advice. Many of the claims management companies advertised on television do not offer the specialist advice necessary for a cycling accident claim. Finding a solicitor who is experienced in both personal injury and cycling accident claims will help your chance of getting compensation.

  At Dowse & Co, our Cycling Accident Service offers bespoke legal advice to those seeking to claim compensation after a cycling accident. Please either call Patrick Spence on 020 7254 6205 or e-mail ps@dowse.co.uk if you have any further queries about cycling accident claims, or if you need assistance in pursuing such a claim.

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