Experiencing a collision while on your bicycle can be shocking and scary. It can be even more confusing when the other vehicle flees the scene. If you’re a cyclist involved in a hit and run, it’s important to know what to do following the accident, especially if you wish to make a cycling accident compensation claim.
By following these steps after your incident, you can improve your chances of having a successful outcome and achieving the compensation you deserve.
Immediately report the incident to the police
The best way to find the person responsible for your accident is reporting it to the police. If the police don’t attend the scene of the accident, call up or go to a station and make a statement. Even if you don’t have a description of the driver or a licence plate number, the police have resources that can investigate this information to support your personal injury claim.
Even if the driver can’t be located by the police, you will almost always need a police report to present to your insurance providers.
While it’s best to report your accident to the police as soon as possible, it’s never too late to initiate an investigation with the police if you’ve overlooked this step.
Inform your insurance providers as soon as possible
Get in contact with your vehicle and health insurance providers as soon as you can. Depending on where you live and what insurance company you’re with, you may be legally required to report the accident within a certain timeframe. This could be within 24 hours or a week, so be sure you don’t leave it too late.
If you’re unsuccessful in your personal injury compensation claim, pursuing a claim against your vehicle insurance policy could be the only source of compensation for your accident. Your insurance policy rates shouldn’t go up if you’ve been involved in a hit and run where you’re not at fault, so don’t let increased rates deter you from informing your insurance providers.
Gather witness statements
The driver may have fled the scene, but if other people were there to witness the incident, their support can be very useful for the police investigation. Be sure to get their contact information and statements while the events are still fresh in their minds.
Hit and run witnesses are generally cooperative and want to help the victim. Get as many witness statements as possible to support your case.
Visit your doctor, even if you’re not in pain
Even if you’re not experiencing any immediate pain, you need to be examined by a medical professional. After an accident, your body will most likely be experiencing shock and adrenaline. It may take a day or two to feel the symptoms of injuries. It’s even better to have an ambulance on the scene to check you out, but if not, get to your doctor as soon as possible.
You will need your injuries documented by a doctor to support your compensation claim. Seek professional medical assistance as soon as you can to get the treatment and documentation you need.
And remember: if your doctor advises you to avoid riding your bike for a while, don’t hit the pedals before you’ve given yourself time to heal.
Get your bike checked out
Once you’ve taken care of yourself, take your bike to be inspected before you hop back on. Even if it looks like it hasn’t taken much of a hit, your bike could have a hairline crack that’s naked to your eye. This could lead to dangerous consequences and more injuries down the track if it doesn’t get fixed or replaced.
Make sure your bike is in top condition and safe to ride again by taking it to the manufacturer or a bicycle repair shop. It’s important to remember that you need to replace your helmet every time it takes an impact, even if there is no obvious damage. If you hit your head in your accident, your helmet is no longer considered up to safety standards to protect you next time.
Seek advice from an experienced cycling accident compensation lawyer
You’ll need to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to discuss whether you have grounds to proceed with a case. You should provide your lawyer with as much information as possible. This will allow them to determine whether you are entitled to compensation and even estimate an amount you could receive if your claim is successful.
When it comes to seeking legal advice after your accident, choose the personal injury specialists who are experienced in claims dealing with cycling accidents.
Car Accident Helpline can give you access to personal injury lawyers who specialise in bicycle accident claims on a no win no fee basis.