If you have been injured in a bicycle accident where you may have been hit by a car or knocked off your bike by a car while cycling on the road, if the accident was not your fault you may be entitled to make a bicycle accident claim for compensation.
Things You Should Do Immediately After The Bicycle Accident
To increase your chances at filing a successful bicycle compensation claim, there are certain things you will need to do but even before that, you need to first make sure that your injuries are not worse than they look.
• Immediately after the bicycle accident, if possible you should get off the road and out of danger. Evaluate your injuries and call an ambulance, or ask for somebody to call an ambulance if you are badly injured. Meanwhile, ask people around you if they saw what happened and if they would be willing to come forward as witnesses. Get their contact details.
• Also get the contact and other details of anyone else involved in the accident. Write down the number plate details if a vehicle was involved as well as the other party’s name, address and insurance details.
• Get pictures of the scene and of the bike and vehicle damage with your camera phone if you have one with you.
• Keep a copy of the police report as well as all medical and ambulance reports. All of these will act as supporting documentation when you file a claim for compensation.
Things You Should Not Do
Along with all of the do’s, there are a few things you should not do.
• Do not admit liability as this can be held against you.
• Do not get angry and curse and swear. It will not help you or anybody else. Stay calm, and look around you to see if there is anything you may have missed the first time around that can be used as evidence.
• Do not get on your bike and ride away. For one thing, you are likely to be more shaken up than you realise and you could be putting yourself in even more danger by riding on the roads immediately after the accident. Instead, call a taxi or get a ride home.
After a bicycle accident you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
This includes all visible physical injuries from severe bruising to broken bones as well as invisible psychological injuries such as depression, as long as they can be shown to be caused as a direct result of the accident.
If the bike can be repaired and the cost of repairing it is less than what the bike was worth prior to the accident, you can claim the repair costs. If your bike is damaged beyond repair or the cost of repair is higher than the value of the bike, then you can claim compensation that is equal to its value prior to the accident.
You will need to provide the necessary paperwork and written estimates from bicycle shops to claim for bike damage.
You are entitled to claim compensation if any of your personal items were damaged in the accident. This would include any item of clothing, your cycling helmet or any additional attachments on your bike.
Loss of earnings:
If you are forced to stay away from work because of injuries sustained in the accident, you can claim for loss of earnings.
You will need to provide evidence of how much you would have earned if you had not been forced to miss work. If you are a paid employee, loss of earnings covers all possible sources of income from basic pay to bonuses.
If you are self-employed, your potential loss of profits can be taken into consideration.
If you were unemployed and looking for work at the time of the accident, you can still claim compensation for potential loss of earnings if the accident kept you from getting work.
Additional travel costs:
If your bicycle was your chief means of transport and post the accident you are forced to take public transportation or make other arrangements, you can claim compensation based on the mileage travelled.
In all of the above scenarios, you will need to produce receipts and other documentation to substantiate any bicycle accident claims. It is not an easy or straightforward process and it is always better to contact a personal injury solicitor than to try and file a compensation claim by yourself.