Cycling accident? Here are 7 things you should do straight away Cycling may be one of the healthiest and most enjoyable ways to travel but sharing the road with other road users brings danger too. In recognition of this, a recent public consultation by the government strongly encourages the wearing of cycle helmets while considering how best to change the Highway Code so that vulnerable road users are protected. When a cycling accident does happen, the likely outcome is injury to the rider and damage to the bike. This is when some level headed thinking is required – and yet a clear head is the last thing you’re likely to have if you’ve just been involved in an accident. However, if there’s even the slightest chance that you might be able to bring a compensation claim relating to your cycling accident, collecting the right evidence is key. Here are 7 questions that should prompt you to take action right away. 1. Are there any witnesses? Look around to see if anyone witnessed what happened. If so, get their names and contact details including telephone numbers as soon as you can, in case they need to be contacted by the police or a solicitor at a later date. 2. Who caused the accident? Make a record of the names and addresses of the drivers of any vehicles involved in the accident. Get their insurance particulars too. And just in case the driver gives you false information (yes, this does happen), not down the vehicle registration number, along with the colour and make. If a commercial vehicle is involved, get a note and a description of the driver too. That way, the driver’s identity can be verified by checking on the motor insurer’s database. 3. Can you get photo/video evidence? Wherever possible, obtain photographic evidence of the scene of the accident. For instance, if you are going to claim that a pothole caused you to have an accident, it’s important to have strong evidence before the council is notified. Pothole images should clearly show their length, depth and width. Reference the exact location of the pothole by way of road signs, street furniture and other landmarks. Is it possible that the incident might have been captured on CCTV? If so, make sure that the evidence is preserved. If you are using a head cam, or any vehicle involved has a dash came, get details so that footage can be obtained. 4. Have you spoken to the police? If you were knocked off your bike by a motor vehicle, the accident should always be reported to the police as soon as possible, and no later than 5 days after the event. If the accident caused personal injury or damage to the bicycle, the Road Traffic Act says that you must notify the police within 24 hours and ideally straight away. Make sure that you obtain a reference number and name of the person that you reported the incident to, so that it can be referred to in any investigation of personal injury claim later on. What’s more, if your claim is against an untraced driver via the Motor Insurers Bureau, prompt reporting of the incident to the police is a key requirement. 5. Have you been approached by insurers? Worryingly, it is becoming more commonplace for motor insurance companies to make direct contact with potential claimants and offer an early settlement with a low offer. It is highly recommended that you don’t discuss the accident with the other party’s insurers, much less accept any financial offer, until you have obtained independent legal advice. 6. Have you kept all accident damaged property? Where possible, you should keep damaged items in case they are required for inspection. This includes the bicycle, helmet and damaged clothing. They may be needed as evidence, and to assess the pre-accident value of the property. List all the damaged items, along with pictures and original purchase receipts. Obtain a quote for the cost of repairing your bike from a reputable cycle shop. If the bike is a total write-off, then get the cycle shop to provide written conformation and state the cost of a ‘like for like’ bike. 7. Have you seen a doctor? Whether or not you think you’ve sustained injuries as a result of the accident, it’s always advisable to seek medical advice. Go straight to A&E for a check-up or see your GP – don’t’ ever shrug off an accident with “I’m fine”. Some conditions including whiplash , internal bleeding and head injuries may not manifest themselves until a few days later. Not only will you need the medical evidence for any claim you may wish to bring, but the sooner you are treated the better your chances of a quick recovery. About the Author: Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and English Literature graduate. Annie likes to share her experiences and knowledge through her blog posts and has written for various online and print publications. When she’s not writing Annie likes cooking healthy new recipes and relaxing with a good book'. Twitter: Annie Button