Whenever there is an accident involving a bicycle rider, there is potential for legal action seeking compensation. Seeking legal help is the best way to get compensation for the accident.
Any costs associated with the road traffic accident in question can be a part of the claim. That includes medical and other related expenses.
There are several different types of accidents that can cause injuries to bicycle riders:
- Turning without checking: The most common type of accidents comes from motorists that try to turn without checking their rear-view mirror, so they turn in front of a moving bicycle.
- Aggressive driving: Drivers that change their lanes too frequently and don’t check for bicycle riders can cause accidents.
- Blocking the bicycle path with car doors: The last common type of accidents comes from the fact that drivers don’t respect the rules surrounding bicycle paths. A collision is imminent if the driver opens the door while the bicycle rider is passing by.
In any of these cases, the bicycle rider has the option to seek compensation for their injuries.
Bicycle collisions that involve motor vehicles can be very dangerous. There are numerous types of injuries the bicycle rider can suffer from after the impact. These are the most common injuries and the types of accidents that cause them:
- Head Injuries: While wearing a helmet can help, it doesn’t offer total protection from head injuries. And these injuries tend to bring in higher numbers for compensation claims. Any fall from a bike can lead to a serious head injury.
- Whiplash Injuries: The violent movement after a powerful impact can cause injuries to the neck and the back area. Whiplash injuries can go unnoticed at the moment of a collision. These injuries can also happen if the rider manages to avoid or minimise the collision force.
- Arm / Collarbone Injuries: It is not uncommon for bicycle riders to fly over the handlebars. That can usually happen in accidents that include drivers opening their doors recklessly. The fall can lead to injuries to the arm and the collarbone. Fractures and other injuries can also happen during collisions with the hood of the car.
- Leg Injuries: Cyclists can seriously hurt their legs during falls. Also, their legs might be injured by the vehicles running over them or simply hitting them.
These injury examples are the most common injuries. However, it is not uncommon for other injuries to occur as well. The severity of the injury also varies on a case-to-case basis.
How to Handle a Bicycle Accident
Seeking Medical Assistance
First the bicycle driver should get medical attention. The well-being and health of the victim of the accident should be a priority. It is recommended to visit a nearby Accident and Emergency or seek other forms of medical help.
Once the urgent medical assistance has been provided, the victim of the crash should gather medical evidence. The sooner they collect the documentation, the stronger their case can be.
Getting the Details of the Liable Party
In order to claim for compensation, the victim will have to be able to identify the liable party. Similarly to other types of road accidents, it is important to record any relevant details. Those details include the driver’s name, address, insurance details and registration number.
The liable party is the party that is responsible for the accident. It is very important to avoid admitting liability in these situations. Instead, the cyclist should follow the procedures and contact an attorney for help, even if he/she might have contributed to the accident.
Gathering Witness Details and Other Evidence at the Scene
Gather any and all pieces of evidence you can. Ask anyone that had witnessed the accident to give you their name and contact information. Furthermore, take pictures of the scene to solidify your claim.
Naturally, there are cases in which gathering evidence is essential. For example, hit-and-run accidents do happen, and collecting evidence is very difficult after those. However, merely having the proof of the accident itself can be useful.
Contacting the Gardaí
Reporting the accident to law enforcement agencies is always important. They won’t always attend to the scene immediately. However, filing the report will greatly help your case.
Contacting a Solicitor
As soon as it is practicably possible, a victim of an accident should contact a good solicitor that specialises in injuries. They will be able to determine whether or not there is a case to be made and they can help take that case further. A good solicitor can explain exactly what the victim can expect and what they are entitled to. The insurance company of the other party might offer settlement almost immediately. We would always recommend contacting and consulting with a solicitor before settling.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.