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Cycling is usually good for us. That’s undeniable But what do you do if you’ve had a bike accident? Imagine you suffer an injury; it can be an inconvenience at the very least. At the worst, it can be life changing. The good news is however, our Personal Injury solicitors in Plymouth can help you.
The popularity of cycling has soared over lockdown. People have taken to cycling as a great way of exercising and getting around. But as more people start driving again, the chances of cycling accidents increases.
So, what do you do if you’ve had a bike accident, especially if you’re considering making an accident claim?
Preserve and gather the evidence
How you did your accident happened? This is one of the first things you’ll be asked if you enquire about an accident claim.
If you’ve had a bike accident, then evidence is key. So, as soon as you can, write down how you think the accident happened or dictate it on to your phone. It’s surprising how much you can forget as time goes on. An account taken at the time of the accident is usually more accurate than one taken weeks or months later. Think about what the weather and visibility was like, what were you wearing, who else was involved? Include as much detail as possible.
Everyone has a camera in their pocket or bag these days, gather any photographs that you or others may have taken. Head cam or dash cam footage can show exactly how the accident happened. If you have any footage, store it somewhere safe and keep a back-up copy.
Your bike may have suffered damage. Take lots of photographs of it, especially if you’re going to get rid of it or repair it. Also, keep any damaged clothing or equipment, especially your cycle helmet.
Your injuries are also part of your evidence. Ask someone to take photos of any visible injuries and keep a diary of photos as your injuries change and heal. Keep details of any costs associated with your injury such as receipts for medication, prescription charges or therapy costs. If you’re making trips to the GP, the hospital, or physiotherapist etc. keep a record of these. Keep them together in one place, as you can claim for mileage and parking charges.
Was your bike accident caused by a pothole?
Was your accident caused by the condition of the road surface, such as a pothole? If you plan to report it to the Council or Local Authority, try and get a photograph of the pothole first. Getting measurements of the size and depth can also help as this might determine if your claim succeeds or not. Often, potholes will be repaired after an accident, so get the evidence before reporting it.
Get the details of any other vehicles involved
Identifying a potential opponent is very important. If you were hit by a vehicle, hopefully they stopped and gave you or the police their details.
If they didn’t it’s not the end of a potential claim. We can contact the police and they may be able to trace the driver. If the driver is found but not insured or if they aren’t traced, you may still be able to get help through the Motor Insurers Bureau.
Don’t delay in getting some advice
Have you had an accident in the last 3 years? We often hear this asked on TV and radio adverts. But what does that mean? It doesn’t mean you have 3 years to contact a lawyer. It means you have 3 years to start the court process to make a civil claim for compensation. You don’t want to be doing this on the 3-year anniversary of your accident.
The best advice is to contact a specialist injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. There’s more to the claim than just the court process. We can do a lot in the early stages after an accident.
We work on getting your opponent to admit responsibility for your accident as quickly as possible. This is important because if responsibility is admitted, it offers you reassurance about the prospects of your claim. It also means that we can request help with any rehabilitation that you need. This means that we can help you to recover as quickly as possible. It also means that we can request any interim payments of compensation that you may be entitled to. This can really help if you’re struggling financially and are worried about paying the bills.
How do I know if I’ve got a claim that will succeed?
Simply put, to be successful someone (other than you) must be found to be responsible for your accident. Also, you only receive compensation for injuries that are caused by the accident.
You don’t need to make that assessment for yourself. That’s how we can help. If you get in touch with us, we can typically tell you in an initial first chat if your claim is likely to succeed or not. We can do this because we’ve had years of experience running personal injury claims and we know the right questions to ask.
Will making a claim cost me money?
If we think that you have a claim worth pursuing, we’ll act for you under a no win no fee agreement. This means that if your claim isn’t a success, you don’t pay us a penny. We also protect you against your opponent’s costs and the costs of any other fees incurred from running your claim. We do this by taking out an insurance policy on your behalf.
This insurance policy protects itself if your claim is unsuccessful. It also allows you to make a claim without having to pay a penny upfront.
If your claim is successful we will recover some fees from your opponent and some from your compensation.
We will discuss all of this with you in advance or taking on your claim and in much more detail. We’ll make sure that you are fully informed from the start.
I’ve had a bike accident and want to make a claim. What do I do now?
Have you looked through our Guide to Claiming Compensation for Cycling Injuries? We have packed this with answers to our most commonly asked questions.
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* The information contained on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, if you notice anything that you know to be incorrect or misleading, please contact us.