Bicycle Accident Claims *
If a driver of a motor vehicle is injured, or their vehicle has been damaged in an accident on the roads, they are protected by the insurance companies.
A Cyclist, on the other hand, may rarely receive the same legal protection, & may often be left to fend for themselves, following an accident on the road that has left them with an injury & in need of medical attention/treatment.
In cases where another party may have been responsible for your accident & resulting injuries, you may be eligible to make a bicycle claim *.
Compensation that is awarded in such cases could help you to cover the cost of medical fees & repairs to your bike, as well as any potential loss of earnings from time spent out of work.
Accident victims only have a certain amount of time to file a compensation claim, so it is important to file as quickly as possible, and where necessary, to consult a solicitor.
What to do if involved in a bicycle accident *
If you were involved in a bicycle accident * it can be very stressful, knock your confidence and can have some long-lasting injuries if you do not take the correct steps immediately afterwards to seek medical attention.
If you have been involved in a bike accident, taking the following steps can help to prevent stress in the future while also ensuring that, if you proceed with a bicycle accident claim, the claims process can run as smoothly as possible for you;
1. Seek Medical Attention
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after a bicycle accident *, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene and treat you. For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress into a more serious injury in the future. In this case is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
2. Report the incident to the Gardaí and wait for them to arrive
Reporting the incident to the Gardaí should be your next port of call. Depending on the seriousness of the accident, they Gardaí may not attend the scene. In cases where they don’t, it will be up to you to record the details of the accident and then you must go to your local Garda station as soon as possible after the accident to make a statement and report the accident.
3. Get your version of events recorded
In order to make a details statement to the Gardaí about the accident, you must take the time to record the details of the incident.
- We all have a camera in our pockets, make sure to use it and take pictures of any injuries you sustained in the accident
- Take pictures of the scene of the incident
- Once you have visual evidence of the accident, obtain the detail of the other person involved in the accident such as; full name, phone number, email address, address, and vehicle registration number (in cases of car/bicycle accidents).
- If there were any witnesses to the event ask them if you can take their contact details (Name, phone number, email address) and their consent to use them as a witness to the accident if needed in the future.
- If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident, like a camera nearby shop, for example, ask for a recording of the footage.
4. Seek Advice from a Solicitor
Many accidents between bikes and cars involve complex legalities that a professional might be able to best advise you on how to. While there are routes that a person can take themselves if processing with an accident or personal injury claim *, there are some hurdles along the way that may delay your case – a solicitor will be aware of these hurdles and overcome them quickly for you. Remember, there is a certain amount of time you have to move forward with a claim before it is too late. These legal time limits are referred to as the statute of limitations.
5. Proceed with the claim correctly
The first thing a solicitor will need from you are the details of the accident. If you have documented the details of the incident, then you will be very well prepared when you start the bicycle accident claims * process. If you haven’t been successful in gathering all information needed for your claim, your solicitor can help you gather information, such as CCTV, by issuing a data access requests, obtain medical records, a statement of damage to your bike from a garage etc.
Engaging a solicitor to help you make a claim will mean that you can focus on your recovery while your solicitor will focus on gathering all the information needed to determine liability at an early stage so that your case can progress quickly and smoothly.
Once the information has been gathered, the next step is to apply to the Injuries Board for assessment and a solicitor can do this on your behalf. The Injuries Board will assess the claim and then suggest an amount of compensation be paid to you from the person at fault for the accident. At this stage, if you both agree to the compensation amount then your case is settled and the person at fault is then ordered to pay compensation to you.
In cases where you or the person at fault do not agree to the amount of compensation suggested by the Injuries Board, then the case will move forward to the next stage of the bicycle accident claims * process and court proceedings will be issued.
6. Negotiate with the insurance companies
Negotiating with an insurance company for compensation can be done by you personally or in some cases by a personal injury solicitor*. In negotiating with an insurance company is important that you have the full details of the accident, i.e. damage to the bike, the cost of repairs and a final prognosis of any injuries sustained.
7. Settling your personal injury case *
Important to note is that a claim for compensation following a bicycle accident can be settled in one of three ways:
- By both parties agreeing to the suggested amount of compensation by Injuries Board
- By dealing directly with the insurance company and compensation being agreed before it reaches court
- Through court proceedings
Having a final prognosis of your injuries from a doctor and final statements of the damage to your vehicle is imperative in ensuring that your best interests are represented when it comes to settling your case. Settling your case before you have a final prognosis of your injury or final quote of the damage to your bike, may mean that compensation will be agreed will not meet the severity of your injuries or bicycle repairs.
8. Issuing court proceedings and negotiating a settlement
In many cases, once court proceedings are issued, you will attend a settlement meeting with your solicitor who will help you negotiate a settlement amount. Your solicitor will guide you through each step of the court proceedings and settlement meeting. More often than not personal injury cases * are settled outside of court and compensation awarded before you have to step foot into a courtroom.
Bicycle Safety Tips.
Cycling has become a common-mode of transport for people in Dublin. Safe cycling and adhering to the rules of the road becomes even more important. With more than 38% of all road traffic accidents in Ireland relating to cyclist injuries and other vulnerable road users, taking measures to ensure your safety on the road as a cyclist is very important.
There are certain measures you can take to help reduce your risk of being involved in a road traffic accident *. To help you stay safe while cycling in Dublin, we have put together the top tips to both understand your own safety on a bicycle, as well as several tips to increase your road safety awareness and decrease your risk of a cycling accident *.
Questions to Ask when buying your bike
Before buying your new bike, it is important that you are fully informed of the specs and type of bike you are buying. Some good questions to ask before buying your bike are:
- Do you offer a test drive? This way you can get a feel for the bike and make sure it is the right bike for you.
- Do you offer a fitting service? This will ensure that you are fitted to the bike that you buy, which will translate to a safer cycling experience for you.
- Do you offer bike servicing? It is important to have your bike serviced regularly, buying a bike that includes services could save you money in the long run.
- Tell me more about this bike? This is important as you can really get a feel for how informed the sales person is and this will have an impact on your willingness to buy the bike.
- How do I take care of this particular bike? Maintenance of bikes will differ from bike to bike, it is important that you know how to take care of the one you buy.
- Can you do me a deal? Why not ask this question, you have nothing to lose and you never know, you might just get some money knocked off the cost of your bike.
If you are buying a used bicycle, on the other hand, get an expert to check it carefully before you buy.
Before setting off on your bicycle journey
- Adjust the saddle to suit your height and ensure you can put your feet on the ground.
- Check that the bike is functioning correctly; check the tires, brakes, lighting and any reflectors on your bike.
- Ensure you are wearing reflective cycling gear and a helmet.
- Take note of the weather conditions and adjust your speed accordingly.
While on your journey
- Ensure you adhere to the rules of the road, always stay to the left, obey traffic lights and road markings.
- Keep a safe distance between you and any cyclist/vehicles in front of you.
- Be aware of vehicles opening their doors out onto the road.
- Truck, buses and other heavy vehicles can have limited visibility at times, always be careful of heavy vehicles while they are turning as sometimes they may need to swing right before turning left.
- Always be alert to what’s happening around you, it is not advisable to wear earphone when cycling and this may serve as a distraction.
- Ensure that you look out for pedestrians, especially at traffic light or crossings
- When signalling a turn, use your arm to indicate.
- In the event of an emergency stop, ensure that you keep your weight on the saddle to avoid being thrown off your bike and make sure that you pull the front and back brakes evenly.
- If cycling on across a Luas line, be aware of the tracks to avoid getting your wheel caught in the tracks.
- Do not carry passengers on your bicycle as this may increase your risk of an accident.
How to avoid a cycling accident *
To avoid a cycling accident *, you need to be aware that you are travelling with many other vehicles on the road. Most of the time, you are smaller and slower than the other vehicles putting you in a vulnerable position on the road as a cyclist. Follow these tips to avoid a bicycle accident *;
- Wear a Helmet
- Avoid listening to music while cycling
- Be careful of cars turning left at intersections
- Don’t ride between cars in traffic
- Avoid speeding through junctions or turns
- Don’t cycle under the influence of alcohol