What should you do if you are involved in an accident with a cyclist?
If you have been involved in an accident with a cyclist, first of all let’s hope they survived. Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users in the UK. Wearing protection, such as a well fitting, good quality helmet can help, but it is basically a person’s body against a travelling motor vehicle, and the results can be dire. Accidents involving bicycles are quite often not the fault of the rider or the car driver, but due to a pothole or a bad road surface. Consequently, cyclists can be thrown from their cycle into the path of oncoming traffic. There’s not a lot anyone can do in this situation. However, the council that should have repaired that road may find they are facing more than one personal injury compensation claim.
With the experience that comes with being the number 1 accident claims helpline, we know that how you and others act around the injured cyclist could be crucial to their prognosis if their injuries are bad.
Firstly, turn off your engine and get out of your vehicle. Try to stay calm; panicking will only make the rider fell worse and the last thing they need is more stress on top of the trauma they are already experiencing. If you are able to, talk to them and reassure them that help is on the way.
Hopefully, other traffic will see what has happened and have the sense to steer clear until the situation has been resolved, but it might be a good idea to put your hazard lights on and if you have an emergency triangle, put that in the road.
Call the emergency services as soon as you can. A paramedic will normally turn up fairly quickly and assess the cyclist’s injuries, and yours of course if you have sustained any. If the rider is seriously injured, they may well ask an Air Ambulance to attend.
There are 18 Air Ambulance charities in England and Wales, all relying on donations and fundraising – amazing that for such a vital service they are not government funded as they are in Scotland. It costs millions of pounds each year for each charity, and they all thank the generosity of inhabitants of the various areas they cover.
Each Air Ambulance carries staff that have been specially trained to deal with serious injuries before hospitalisation, and at least one of those will be a doctor. They will administer whatever treatment they feel necessary at the roadside before whisking the victim off to the nearest hospital.
The police will automatically arrive after a road traffic accident where medical assistance has been requested. They will want to talk to everyone involved and any witnesses. From information supplied to them they will compile an accident report and apportion blame if they are able to. In this instance, no one would have been at fault except the authority that should have maintained the road, and it is them that will have to be accountable for what has happened. As the number one accident claims helpline, we have encountered many cases just like this.
Now we have looked at what you should do if you are involved in an accident with a cyclist, we need to consider what happens next.
The bike rider has been taken to hospital and will be taken care of by the dedicated doctors and nurses who will do their best to repair the damage. But what about you? Were you injured in anyway? Were you thrown forward as you slammed the brakes on, perhaps banging you head? Or were you being thrown forward by the force of the collision as the airbag opened, which then threw you just as suddenly backwards?
If this did happen, you might feel fine at the moment, but in a few hours you may start to develop all sorts of aches and pains, your neck and back might start to become stiff and then you will realise that perhaps you are not as fine as you first thought. These signs are typical of a whiplash injury, which the sudden jolting of your head could well have caused.
Whiplash can be very painful and debilitating and can take weeks of rest, painkillers and icepacks for even the mildest cases to heal. In more serious cases, it can take many months before any improvement is felt and some victims never fully recover. There have been cases where the condition has caused other problems, complex chronic pain disorder being just one example. This is a complaint where the whiplash itself heals, but it has affected the central nervous system making it hypersensitive. In this case the sufferer will be in daily discomfort for the rest of their lives.
Whiplash is damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck and it is important that you see a medical practitioner with the injury. They will assess the severity of the injury and arrange for X-rays, CT scans and possibly an MRI scan if they think there may also be broken bones.
Just like the cyclist, you would have a personal injury compensation claim against the authority that should have maintained the road, because if he had not been thrown from his bicycle, he would not have hit your car and you would not be injured.
The next thing you need to do is find yourself a reliable, dependable and accountable law firm that will act with integrity with your personal injury compensation claim. As the no. 1 accident claims helpline, we know that there are plenty of reputable companies out there, most of which operate on a No Win No fee basis.
You need to know that their frontline staff will be friendly and helpful, that their solicitors are experienced and knowledgeable about personal injury compensation claims and that your needs will be put first. As the number one accident claims helpline, we also believe it is important that their phone lines are open all day, every day. This ensures you are not constricted by time limits if ever you feel the need to call them.