Cycling is an emerging phenomenon in Ireland. With more cyclists on the road, it is vitally important for drivers to be wary of the risks to cyclists. Accidents can happen as a result of car or truck drivers failing to check blind sports and use their mirrors properly. They also occur commonly due to the failure of drivers to leave adequate space when passing a cyclist on the road.
Accidents can happen as a result of potholes in the road as well, which may seem innocuous to ordinary drivers but can pose a serious risk of injury to cyclists. The fact that cyclists are quite exposed should an accident take place means that the potential for serious injury is heightened.
If you are involved in an accident with a vehicle you should first check is anyone hurt and seek medical help if necessary. You should then report the incident to the police, take details from the third-party including name and car registration. You should try to find out the other drivers insurance details as well as whether they are the registered owner of the vehicle as it could be a company car for example.
If there are any witnesses to the accident you should also take their details and if possible, you should take pictures of the location of the accident including the position of the vehicle and bike following the collision.
If you have been involved in an accident as a result of a defect in the road you should take pictures of the defect and measurements if possible. You should check for any witnesses and get their information.
Cycling accidents can be very serious, given the lack of protection for cyclists and the speed that can often be involved in collisions. Our personal injury* solicitors are very experienced in dealing with claims of this nature. While the claims process can vary it will generally take the format adopted below;
1. Initial consultation – If you have been involved in a cycling accident you can arrange an appointment with one of our personal injury solicitors. Your solicitor will take your instructions on the circumstances of the accident and ask you to provide any additional details you may have including photographs and the third-party insurance information.
2. Letter of Claim- Your solicitor will then send a letter of claim to the third party’s insurance company outlining the allegations of negligence made against the at fault driver.
3. Engineers report – Your solicitor will then instruct an expert engineer to examine the accident locus as well as the vehicles/bicycle involved in the accident. The engineer will then provide a report on the cause of the accident as well as an estimation of repair costs. This will then be sent to the third party insurance company for their consideration.
4. Medical Evidence – If you have been to your GP or the hospital after the accident your solicitor will obtain those notes and arrange an appointment with a specialist medical Consultant who will examine you and provide a report on the extent of your injuries.
5. Decision on liability – The third-party insurance company is obligated to complete their investigation and provide a decision on liability within three months from the letter of claim being sent. If liability is admitted then your solicitor will enter in to settlement negotiations with the third party insurance company with a view to recovering damages in respect of any injury or loss you have suffered.
6. Court proceedings – If liability is denied your solicitor will consult with you and come to a decision on whether to issue court proceedings as this will be the only available option to recover compensation. When Court proceedings are issued your solicitor will instruct a specialist barrister to help prepare your case for Hearing. Court proceedings can also be issued in a case where liability has been admitted if we feel the compensation being offered by the insurance company is not sufficient. Our expert solicitors will advise clients on their options, but the final decision will always be made by the client and we will ensure that their wishes are carried out.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.