What to Do if You Are Knocked Off Your Bike, and Can You Claim For the Accident?
If you are knocked off a bike, compensation could be available to for the harm you suffered. On this page, we are going to look at how these kinds of bicycle accidents occur, and how in certain circumstances you might be in a position to claim damages for your injuries.
Cycling is a popular sport in the UK, as well as fast becoming a critical form of commuter transport. This means the number of bicycle riders is increasing, leading to a greater volume of accidents. Keep reading to find out how to deal with a cycling accident safely, and in a way that prepares for making a claim in the future.
- What Should You Do if You Are Knocked off Your Bike?
- The Main Causes of Knocked Off a Bike Accidents
- What Kinds of Injuries are Common in Bike Accidents?
- Bicycle Accident Statistics
- Things to Do After Being Knocked Off a Bike
- Who Could be Liable if You Are Knocked off Your Bike?
- Do You Need to Make a Claim?
- Bicycle Accidents – Some Final Thoughts
- Further Information
What Should You Do if You Are Knocked off Your Bike?
If you are knocked off a bike, you will likely not be thinking about the types of steps you should take in preparation for claiming damages. You are more likely to be worried about your injuries, and the injuries of others. However, there are some things that you will need to do both to ensure you have fulfilled your legal duties, and in preparation for legal proceedings at a later stage. This guide covers them, we will look at:
- Some of the main causes of road traffic accidents involving cycles in the UK, that could result in somebody being knocked off a bike.
- A number of injuries that could be caused by a person being knocked off their bike in a road traffic accident.
- A presentation of some of the key statistics that relate to traffic accidents involving bicycles.
- A list of some of the things you should do if you have been knocked off your bike in an accident. These cover things you need to do to ensure you are kept safe, have fulfilled your legal obligations, and have prepared well for making a claim in the future.
- A discussion of liability, and the kinds of legal entities that could be responsible for causing a road traffic accident. As well as the criteria for being eligible to make a compensation claim.
- Some advice on the legal process of making a claim, and the kind of legal help you will need to do so. We also cover how to find an accident and injury solicitor to process your claim for you, and what a No Win, No Fee claim is.
- Lastly, a final summary and recap of the advice we have given in this guide, and some final considerations if you intend to attempt making a compensation claim for being knocked off your bike.
The Main Causes of Knocked of a Bike Accidents
There are many road hazards that can result in a cyclist being cyclist knocked off their bike. A bicycle and its rider weigh very little, so is easily affected by wind and weather. A cyclist also has a very small visual footprint, making them very hard to see in some circumstances. Some of the most common kinds of road hazards that could result in a traffic accident including a cyclist, are:
- Driver’s who turn left or right in front of a cyclist because they did not see them.
- Driver’s who fail to see a cyclist in front of them until too late, and collide with them.
- A driver changing lanes and colliding with a cyclist because they did not check their blind spot properly.
- Vehicles, especially lorries, not leaving enough room when they pass a cyclist, forcing them off the road due to impact or the wind caused by passing at high speed.
- Car drivers or their passengers opening a car door in front of a cyclist that is approaching, causing the cyclist to collide with the door.
- Bad road conditions such as potholes and damaged road surfaces causing a cyclist to fall off of their bicycle.
These are just a handful of some of the road hazards that can cause a cyclist to be knocked off or fall of their bike, and sustain an injury. No matter the kind of hazard that causes such an accident, if it can be proven that a third party was the cause, a compensation claim could be possible.
What Kinds of Injuries are Common in Bike Accidents?
If you are knocked off your bike by a car, compensation could be available if you are eligible to make a claim (more on this in a later section). Cyclists are at risk of dire injuries, as they have no protection from their vehicle. Many cyclists wear lightweight clothing and a fairly ineffective helmet if they wear one at all. Some of the types of injuries that a cyclist being knocked off their bike can suffer, are:
- In a serious bike accident, head injuries are always a possibility. More serious injuries could result in brain damage due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) leaving the victim disabled for the rest of their lives. Extreme cases could result in death.
- Fractured bones are common in high-speed accidents involving a cyclist. Legs, arms, collarbone, etc. are all frequently broken.
- Soft tissue injuries such as strains or sprains can be the result of cycle accidents where the cyclist has got a limb stuck in the frame or pedals.
- Lacerations, cuts and bruises. Even if a cyclist gets knocked off their bike at low speed, serious tissue damage can be caused.
- A server accident can cause a cyclist to suffer psychological damage, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
These are just some of the types of injuries a cyclist can suffer if knocked off their bike. There are, of course, many more. If you can prove that injuries such as these were the result of a cycling accident that a third party caused, you may have a valid basis for a compensation claim.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
This section looks at some bicycle accident statistics for 2017 to 2018 in the UK. All of this data comes from a cycling accident factsheet that was published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Statistics include:
- For this period, there were a total of 102 cyclists killed on the roads in the UK, as well as 3,397 serious injuries and 14,978 slight injuries.
- Of these total 18.477 fatalities and injuries, 8 children died, 309 were seriously injured and 3,397 slightly injured.
- Adults made of for 94 fatalities, 14,978 serious injuries and 14,978 slight injuries.
- The most at-risk age group are children 10 to 15 years old.
- Males are predominantly involved in cycling accidents, making up 81% of the dead or injured in this time period. Making it more probable that it is a man knocked off a bike than a woman.
- The most dangerous time to be riding a bicycle on the roads in the UK are from 8am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
- ¾ of all cycling accidents happen un urban roads.
- Are ¾ of all fatal cyclist accidents list some form of head injury as the cause of death.
These statistics quite clearly show how dangerous it can be to ride a bicycle in the UK. We can see that males are most at risk, and that most accidents take place in a town or city on trips to or from work.
Things to Do After Being Knocked Off a Bike
If you are involved in a road traffic accident as a cyclist, then there are some things you need to do to a) get the help you need on the scene, b) disburse your legal obligations, and c) prepare for claiming compensation for being knocked off a bike. These steps include:
Secure the Scene of the Accident
If it was only yourself that has been injured, then move your bicycle to the side of the road and ensure that you are safe from further accidents while you wait for the police and/or ambulance. If other people have also been injured, ensure that they are safe from further harm, mobbing them if necessary. However, don’t move people who are seriously injured, leave this for medical professionals when the emergency services arrive.
Let the Police Know There Has Been an Accident
In some kinds of accidents, you are legally obliged to report a road traffic accident to the police. Failure to do so could result in the police charging you. You must report an accident to the police if:
- Somebody has been hurt or killed.
- An animal has been hurt or killed.
- Private property has been damaged.
- One of the drivers/riders involved is suspected of being drunk or under the influence of drugs.
- A driver involved refuses to give their driver details.
- A driver/rider involved drives/rides away without stopping.
In reality, it may be preferable to inform the police of any accident, not just those which you are legally obligated to report. This is because when you do report an accident, the police will fill out and keep an accident report. A copy of this accident report could be used as evidence in support of a compensation claim, to prove how an accident happened and who was liable.
Get the Details of All Drivers and Other Kinds of Evidence
If you are involved in an accident as a cyclist, then, of course, you don’t have to hand over any documentation such as a driving license or insurance details. You do have to provide your contact details though, when asked. You will need to gather the driver details of anyone else involved, as well as their contact details.
At this time, it might be a good idea to gather other kinds of evidence to support your claim. This could include taking photographs of the scene of the accident, and also asking any witnesses to the accident for their contacted details, in case you need them to act as witnesses in the future.
Get Your Injuries Treated
Even if you don’t think your injuries warrant it, make sure that you visit a hospital to have your injuries looked at, and to get the medical treatment that you need. This fulfils two roles. Firstly, of course, you will have your injuries treated and get the medical help you need. Secondly, the hospital will keep a record of your visit, which will have a description of your injuries. This report could be useful as evidence at a later stage, to support your compensation claim.
Contact the Insurer if Appropriate
If the driver of another vehicle was responsible for causing the accident in which you were injured, you could be able to claim against the firm that they have their vehicle insurance policy with. You will already have the contact details of the driver, as you will have collected them in a previous step.
Tell the Truth All the Time
When you are reporting the accident to the police, or describing it to a doctor at the hospital, don’t exaggerate things. It is tempting to exaggerate, to make your case more compelling. However, the legal system in the UK is fully equipped to uncover such tricks. If you are found to have overstated your suffering or financial loss, you could find that your claim becomes void.
Don’t Sign Any Legal Documents
It is possible that the insurance firm the driver that caused the accident uses, will send the victims of the accident a letter. This might happen very quickly after the accident, and will likely offer the victim some form of free legal assistance to make a compensation claim. However, generally, the small print when accepting such help will mean that the liability of the insurer has been limited in some way. So, don’t sign any documents until a lawyer has checked them over to make sure they won’t affect your ability to make a claim in full.
Be Prepared to Wait
The process of making an accident and injury claim can be quite complicated. Even the simplest claim can take weeks to process, and more complex claims could take months or even years in extreme examples.
Even if your own solicitor is on the ball and working quickly, they could be left waiting for a response from the defendant’s legal team. This might happen several times during a single claim. So, be patient and don’t be afraid to give your solicitor a call to get an update on the status of your claim.
Who Could be Liable if You Are Knocked Off Your Bike
If you have been knocked off your bike, compensation could be available, but only in some specific circumstances. One of the criteria that are used to help decide whether a claim is potentially valid or not, is whether some form of definable legal entity was responsible, even partially, for the accident happened. These legal entities could include:
- The driver of another vehicle. This could be a car, van, lorry, bus, motorcycle, or any other form of vehicle that is allowed to use public roads in the UK.
- A firm that operates a vehicle that was involved in the accident. For example, a bus company or taxi firm.
- The owner of an animal that has caused an accident on a public road. Such as a horse, dog, sheep, cow, etc.
- A privately operated company that has caused a traffic hazard that has resulted in a cyclist being knocked off their bike.
- A government-run organisation such as the local council or highways authority, that have caused a hazard that results in a road traffic accident involving a cyclist.
- A pedestrian using public roads or footpaths that cause a traffic accident hazard that injures a cyclist.
Each of these is a separate legal entity, and there are others as well, which could be liable for causing a cyclist to be knocked off their bike in an accident. A solicitor could be able to pursue a claim against such third parties.
Do You Need to Make a Claim?
Part of the answer to the question, I was knocked off a bike what to do? Is that you may, eventually, want to make a personal injury claim for the harm (both physical and psychological) harm you have suffered. In order to be eligible to claim you will have to be able to show that the accident was at least partially the fault of a third party such as those mentioned above. If you were partially responsible for your own accident you may still be able to claim, but the defendant will be pursed for damages at a lower level of liability.
You might like to consider using the services of a No Win, No Fee solicitor. When you do this, you are securing the legal expertise you need to have the best chance of winning your claim, and you are also mitigating some of the financial risk attached to making a compensation claim.
Your legal firm won’t ask you to pay any fee at all for them to begin working on your claim. They also will not expect you to pay any ongoing legal fees during the tie it takes them to process your claim for you. If the claim fails and the solicitor is unable to win you any compensation at all, then they also won’t expect to be paid their fees.
If win your claim though, then the solicitor will expect for their fees to be paid. This success fee will be deducted from any compensation payment that the legal team has received on your behalf, and then you will receive the remainder. So, as you can clearly see, you don’t pay any solicitors fees at all until such time as your claim has been a success.
Bicycle Accidents – Some Final Thoughts
As cycling becomes more and more popular, both as a sport and a form of transport, then the number of cycling accidents will likely go up. The range of types of claims will also widen, due to the nature of this form of transport, which can go places other vehicles cannot. Complex claims for example, such as a man gets knocked off a bike by antelope at a safari park due to the animal breaking out of its enclosure.
The simple takeaway of this page should be that no matter how your accident came about, or what the hazard was that caused it, you need to ensure you follow most if not all of the steps we have covered in this guide. To make sure you have got the help you needed after the accident, covered all of your legal responsibilities and also done all you can to pave the way for making some form of compensation claim further down the line if you are eligible too.
We have included these external links, and all of these sites have some useful information you might like to check out: