brought to you in association with
Guidelines about what to do in the event of an accident may be somewhat artificial in many cases: if you are injured or even mildly dazed, you may not be in any fit state to follow them. However, if you are able to think clearly, here are a few things you should take care to do ? or ask someone to do them for you:
If you?ve been knocked off by another vehicle, or you think another vehicle driver is to blame:
1. Get the name and address of the driver of any other vehicle involved. A ?phone number may not be sufficient. Try to take details of the car (registration, type, colour etc.). Getting the car details might be important if you have trouble tracing the driver later. You must also give them your name and address if asked.
2. Try to get the names and telephone no./address of any witnesses. Ask witnesses to note their names and addresses down for you if you?re not up to it. If you give these details to the police make sure you keep a copy ? some police forces refuse to release these details later if you need them for a compensation claim, or will charge a fee for doing so!!
3. Ask people who have stopped to make a note of the position of your bike any other vehicles on the road ? a small sketch can be very helpful later, as you may find it difficult to remember all the details.
4. There are various reasons why you should report an accident to the police, even if they do not come out to the scene. You may find many forces are reluctant to take a report, as they see it as unnecessary paperwork. You have the right to report an accident ? if necessary, insist on a making a formal report.
However, in some cases it is vital that you report it ? e.g. if the driver you think is to blame leaves the scene, or you think you may have been given false details. You can still make a claim for compensation in most cases where you have been the victim of a uninsured or untraced driver (against the Motor Insurers Bureau), but only if the accident has been reported to the police.
If you?ve come off due to hitting a pothole or a defect or debris in the road:
1. Get photographs of whatever caused your accident as soon as possible. If you can?t make it, get a friend or member of your family to do it for you. Try to use something to show measurements ? ideally a metal or plastic ruler in the photographs.
2. Take a detailed note of the location ? include the road name and number, landmarks such as lamppost numbers, house names or numbers or street furniture.
In either case, keep any of your damaged equipment (including clothing). These will be needed to help with any compensation claim, and can also help determine how/where you were hit if liability is disputed.
To make a claim it is important that you contact a solicitor specialising in accident work. This area of law has become quite specialised in recent years. The Law Society?s Personal Injury Panel contains solicitors who have passed specialist tests to become accredited in this field.