Potholes and other road defects can cause serious, and, in some cases, fatal injuries to cyclists on the roads.
According to the Department for Transport, 397 people have been killed or seriously injured while cycling due to a pothole or other road defect since 2007. This figure is based on accidents reported to the police, but it's likely to actually be much higher as many accidents don't get reported.
What to do if you are involved in a cycling accident
If you experience a cycling accident caused by a pothole or other road defect, there are five steps to follow to ensure you have the best chance of securing compensation for any injuries. Read this and keep it in mind so you are prepared should the worst happen.
If you suspect you have sustained a serious injury you should stay as still as possible and wait for the emergency services to arrive. If you are able to move, depending on your location, you should make your way to the nearest safe place and call the emergency services. Some minor injuries can have long term implications, so it is important to consult a medical professional no matter what your injury and follow their advice.
If there are witnesses to the accident, get their contact details as this information may come in handy at a later date. If they are locals they may well have complained about the state of the road in the past.
Keep a written record of the time of the accident, exact location and weather conditions. As soon as possible after the accident, take photographs of the scene. Where safe to do so take a photo of the pothole with a tape measure or an everyday object like a pen to show its depth and spread.
Photograph your damaged property and any visible injuries as soon as you can. Get a written estimate for repairing or replacing your bike and any other damaged equipment.
Report the pothole or road defect to the local authority with your photographic evidence. If you sustain a serious injury and the police do not attend the scene, report the accident to them.
5. Choose the right solicitor
Choosing the right solicitor to deal with your personal injury claim is key. Lots of lawyers offer to run injury cases but experience and specialism really count to bring a successful claim and maximise the amount of compensation. Local authorities have a duty of care to maintain the roads and whether your claim succeeds will depend upon asking the right questions of the local authority - they should have some system of inspection and repair but they actually do what they safe they do? How the information obtained from the local authority in response to the questions, including their road inspection records, is used is also important and you need experienced specialists on your side.
At Thompsons Solicitors, we will always strive to obtain the maximum amount of compensation in the shortest amount of time.