It’s a horrible thought, but it is far better to be aware of the steps needed if you are in an accident or indeed if you witness an accident with a cyclist and need to help.
When we tweeted about this it got a lot more clicks than expected so understandably this is something people want to be aware of. To produce this guide we’ve worked with CAMS who have a ton of experience in this area. We also followed the ever helpful guide on the LFGSS forum. Here are the list of steps you should take following an accident.
Get yourself out of danger. This should largely go without saying. If you are unable to move then make yourself visible in any way you can.
If injured seek medical attention or get someone to call an ambulance for you.
If possible look for witnesses. Or if you are injured get someone to find witnesses for you. People may move on quickly so it is important to do this early on. It is really useful to have at least 2 independent witnesses who can vouch for what happened. Ideally get their business card and make a note of their details including where they work. This makes it easier to track them down. Witness statements are crucial in a court and for the police.
Exchange details. You should make a note of vehicle registration plates, make, colour and model. You should also have full insurance details as well as names and addresses.
Gather evidence. Look around for CCTV cameras and make a note of these passing them on to police (and always keep a note for yourself as the police have been known to lose them). Use your camera phone or ask someone to take pictures of the scene. This should be done before the vehicle and your bike is moved. Be as thorough as you can with your picture taking including the damage caused. Ideally also grab a picture of the driver to prove that he was the driver at the time.
Keep copies of everything. You should ask for copies of police reports, ambulance reports and also tell the police to keep in contact with you regarding any progress of the case. You should also make notes of attending officers names and details.
Compensation. Bicycles need replacing and medical care needs paying for. The best thing you can do is keep detailed receipts and the damaged items. If medical care is needed then get detailed notes from the doctors to be used as evidence. Ideally find yourself a good solicitor who has experience in bicycle accidents.
Tip: Don’t ride the bicycle away from the scene. If you want the police to follow up the report and take it seriously then riding the bike away doesn’t help.
Tip: Don’t get angry! It is important not to lose your temper as it will act against you.