Bicycle Accident Claims
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in any way, there may be grounds for compensation by making a bicycle accident claim. Whether you have been hit by a car on the road while cycling, hit by a cyclist as a pedestrian, or a vehicle caused you to hit something by the road, you may be entitled to claim if it can be established that you were not at fault for the accident.
What You Should Do to Strengthen Your Cycling Accident Claim *
There are several things you can or should do to make a solid bike accident claim. Ideally, the reason behind making a claim is to get compensated for injuries and losses directly caused by the accident. It makes sense to ensure that your injuries are well managed before you can even think of pursuing your case; after all, your well being comes first.
- Immediately after the accident, evacuate yourself to a safe place off the road if you can. Self-assess how many injuries you have sustained and call an ambulance. If you are not in a position to call, ask anyone around you to do it on your behalf. Alternatively, you may reach out to other road users to help you to the nearest health facility for further assessment. If there were witnesses during the bike accident, enquire if they would be willing to present themselves as witnesses. It would help a lot if you can get their contact details.
- Obtain contacts and other relevant details of the other party involved in the accident, regardless of whether you think they were at fault or not. If it was a motor vehicle or a motorbike, write down the plate details, driver or rider’s name and physical address, and, if possible, their insurance details as well.
- If you are not badly injured, take pictures of the accident scene, capturing your bike and the vehicle or motorbike that caused the accident. If possible, pictures should clearly show the damage done. Better still, record any conversations going around the scene from witnesses or even confrontations between you and the other party if you can.
- Ensure that you maintain your own copy of the ambulance and police reports, as well as all medical records from your very first after the cycle accident. These reports, among others that you will obtain along the way, will be used as supporting documents for a successful bicycle accident claim.
What You Should NOT Do After a Cycle Accident *
Similarly, you can do things after the bike accident that can weaken your accident compensation claim.
- Never admit liability, as that would be the first thing the other party uses against you.
- Do not confront the other party, no matter how strongly you feel they are responsible for your personal injury. Stay calm and concentrate on things that can be used to validate your claim.
- Do not be quick to get your bike away from the scene of the accident. Chances are, you could be too shaken to think straight, and by cycling away hurriedly, you could be putting yourself into more danger. Also, moving away from the scene establishes stronger grounds for the defence because of missing details.
- If you are unsure about your injury’s magnitude, do not get back on your bike with limb injuries. Instead, take a cab to the nearest hospital for professionalized assessment and care. Cycling could agitate your injuries, causing more damage.
What Can Be Compensated in Cycle Accident Claims * ?
When you are involved in a bike accident, your cycling accident claim could see you compensated for the following:
Personal Injuries Personal injury could mean all visible injuries, from broken bones, skin bruises, severe burns to invisible psychological injuries such as trauma, provided it can be proven to be a result of the bike accident.
Bike Damage If the bike involved in the road traffic accident can be repaired, and the repairing cost is less than the bike’s value at the time of the accident, you are entitled to compensation for the cost of repair. If the bike is damaged beyond repair or the bike’s value is less than the cost of repair, you can claim to be compensated with an amount equal to its worth before the accident. In such a scenario, written estimates and all the necessary paperwork from bicycle dealers will be needed if you are to receive much compensation.
Loss of Income/Earnings If a personal injury caused by the bike accident renders you unable to continue working, or you end up incurring a loss of earnings, you have a strong compensation claim. You will need to serve the court with evidence of the amount of money you would have earned had the accident not happened. It should not matter whether you are self-employed or working under someone.
Property Damage If any of your personal belongings were damaged during the accident, you could claim compensation. Items you can indicate for compensation include a helmet, clothing, or any other items that can be attached to the bike, so long as you can provide receipts.
Travel Costs If you have been forced to resort to using alternative transport means following the accident, you can make a claim to be compensated for additional travel costs. This could be true if you normally use your bike as a means of transport to work and back, or to do your business.
Conclusion There is a strong need to back your claims with valid documentation and receipts where need be in the above scenarios. Personal injury claims can be sophisticated, and you’ll need a strong representation from a professional law firm if you want to receive reasonable compensation.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin