Bicycle accident – What should I do?

An accident between two bicycles is a type of accident which, although it is less common than others, does still happen. In fact, the increase in the use of bicycles as a means of transport in our cities has meant that cyclists themselves are more likely to collide. It is more likely for this type of accident to occur where cyclists congregate or on group journeys. The accidents happen both on the road, where it is less common, and in places that have been designed for cycling in towns and cities, where it is easier to collide with another bicycle.

The advice of a bicycle accident lawyer assures the victim their claim is processed correctly.

Riding a bicycle involves a series of obligations, rights and responsibilities that each rider assumes.

If the cyclist causes damage to a third party (other cyclists, pedestrians, etc.), he or she will have to pay compensation to pay for the damage caused, whether material or personal, such as injuries. It is interesting in these cases to check if we have insurance to cover the claim. Occasionally, our home or auto policy has this type of coverage which may have gone unnoticed by us. It is a good idea to review the policy. Another option is to take out a specific policy to insure your bike, although it is not required by law. If so, the policy will cover your liability and the compensation you must pay.

If the cyclist suffers damage as a result of the accident, usually as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle, which is the most frequent situation, he may claim compensation from the vehicle’s insurance company for the damage he has caused, both for the injuries you suffer and for those caused to the material or equipment you carry.

BICYCLE ACCIDENT, WHAT TO DO?

Bicycle accidents are considered accidents, and it is easy for a bicycle accident to result in significant injuries, due to the special exposure of the cyclist who is physically unprotected from any vehicle that collides with him.

The accident rate also increased in parallel, and this has also been helped by the implementation in many Spanish cities of bicycle lanes, which are not always used correctly, both by cyclists themselves and by pedestrians, who often invade them, endangering their physical integrity, and any other vehicle that does not respect the signage or the priority of cyclists.

Any user, both regular and occasional, of the bike as a means of transport, should know what to do in the event of an accident. Many insurance companies have already launched specific insurance policies for bicycles. It is highly recommended that you have insurance for them. That will make things much easier for the cyclist, especially if he or she is the one who causes an accident.

When two bicycles collide, it should be taken into account whether one has insurance, on the one hand, and on the other hand, to clearly demonstrate how the accident occurred. Remember that if the cyclists involved do not have insurance, the culprit in the accident will be personally liable for the damage caused and if the injuries are serious, the compensation may be large, so it is always advisable to have the help of a lawyer specialising in traffic accidents to advise the injured party from the outset.

THE FIRST STEPS TO TAKE

If you are in a bicycle accident, the first thing to do is to remain calm and notify both law enforcement and emergency services immediately. The first few moments are usually marked by nerves and confusion, so the participants should try to be calm.

If there are injured, they should not be moved in case of serious injuries, and emergency services should provide the first medical assistance at the scene of the accident.

Sometimes, the police will come to the scene of the accident to collect all the information on the incident in order to be able to draw up the corresponding report. In such cases, eyewitness accounts of the event are essential and can go a long way toward helping reconstruct the accident. It is therefore important for the cyclist who did not cause the accident to ensure that the personal details of the witnesses are available in case he has to claim damages from the other cyclist responsible for the accident in due course.

If both cyclists involved have insurance, the procedures for handling the claim are the same as in any other type of accident. If only one of them has an insurance policy and is at fault, that insurance company will be liable for the damages suffered by the other cyclist.

However, if the person responsible for the accident does not have insurance, he or she will be liable for the damage with his or her own property and, if the damage is large, may face a real problem in meeting the costs.

In the event that the accident is caused by a cyclist using a bike rental system, the bicycle company’s liability insurance will cover the compensation of the other injured cyclist. It is important that you read the terms and conditions of the insurance policy before using a rental bike.

DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED TO CLAIM

In order to claim compensation for bicycle accidents, we have already seen that the first thing we must have well established is the liability in the accident, either with the attestation, sworn statements from eyewitnesses and even, although not very common, a friendly report, provided it is correctly filled out.

In the case of a bicycle accident, claims may be made for material damage to the bicycle, helmet, clothing and objects damaged in the accident, as well as personal damage or injuries.

Any concept that is going to be claimed from the person responsible for the accident must be perfectly documented, and the causal link between the accident and the damage must be proven, since it is possible that a claim for compensation for this type of accident may end up in a legal action, so it is not possible to request financial compensation for any item that cannot be proven.

In the case of injuries, all the medical documentation that accompanies them will be necessary in the claim process, from the first aid report, or the Hospital emergency report, to the rehabilitation report, as well as sick leave and discharge reports, diagnostic tests, reports from the family doctor, etc.

BICYCLE ACCIDENT INJURY COMPENSATION

Personal injuries or damages resulting from a bicycle accident will be assessed in accordance with the so-called Traffic Scale, and for this purpose it is necessary for the injured party to always have the legal assistance of a lawyer specialising in bicycle accidents.

Within this compensation, the time it took for the injured person to recover from the accident to his or her medical discharge is assessed first. It will be calculated as basic personal injury or particular personal injury (which may be serious, moderate, etc.) depending on whether we have been hospitalized, on sick leave, immobilized, or undergoing rehabilitation.

On the other hand, the consequences that may have remained, both functional and aesthetic, after being discharged by the traumatologist, and any disability resulting from these injuries, whether partial, total, absolute or severe disability, will be assessed.

The victim will need, in any case, the help of a specialist lawyer, given the complexity of the scale and the multitude of concepts that can be claimed in compensation depending on the type of damage suffered.

MARKET VALUE OF A BICYCLE

Material damage to the bicycle can also be claimed, which is not always easy, because in many cases the purchase invoice for the bicycle is not kept.

If the bike can be repaired, the claim will be made with a quotation or an invoice. However, if the bicycle is damaged in such a way that it cannot be repaired or exceeds its value, the claim for damages will be based on its market value, i.e. the market value of the bicycle at the time of the accident.

Normally if the claim is made to an insurance company, the offer will normally be below what is appropriate, so if the cycling victim has a private lawyer, it will be the cycling victim who defends the victim’s interest against the insurance company and who will indicate the necessary documentation to be able to claim.

At Avrek, as lawyers specialized in claiming compensation for bicycle accidents, we always recommend that you wait for legal and technical help from independent professionals with experience in this type of accident.