We are told to be green, live healthier and leave less of a carbon footprint. Many of us choose to cycle, myself included, and in this sense we leave less of a carbon footprint. Cycling is better for the environment and takes cars off the road. At the same time, cyclists are perceived as menaces of the road, jumping through red lights, cycling on the pavement when they shouldn’t and shouting at pedestrians.
I am a cyclist and experience distain from drivers on the road, to impatience from train commuters when I take my bike on the train. These are all minor quibbles compared to the amount of cyclists you see hit on the road.
I started working with Barnes and Partners Solicitors in September of this year having moved to work in London from where I previously worked in Cambridge. I have seen numerous post-accident scenes where paramedics are treating injured cyclist on the road. Today (30th October 2017), I was in the presence of an accident where a cyclist got hit by a van pulling out from a junction in-between a line of cars queuing in traffic. The cyclist did not suffer any immediate damage but his bike did. This is the reality many cyclists in London face each day.
So what can we do?
The cyclist who was hit was wearing a helmet and other safety gear. This must be partially the reason why he suffered no damage. The cyclist will no doubt have to sort out getting a new bike and explain to his boss why he is late and suffer any consequences. As this collision was not the cyclist’s fault, the motorist is responsible for the cyclist’s loss and therefore the cyclist could take legal action. If you are a cyclist and are ever hit on the road you should make sure:
1) You are safe. After the incident you will have a lot of adrenaline running through your body, possibly masking any pain. It is best you go see a doctor to make sure you are fine.
2) You report the incident to the police. If you were hit it may be the driver was dangerous driving and this is a criminal offence.
3) Deal with any losses you have suffered. Whether it is the cost of a new bike, loss of earnings or anything else like missing a holiday, you should be able to reclaim this from the driver.
At Barnes and Partners we will be able to assist with the legal side of being involved in an incident as a cyclist. London has issued a clear signal that London is a cycling city with the Santander Cycles rental scheme. If you have been hit by a vehicle, take charge and contact us, where we will be able to assist you on getting back on your feet.