You can be as cautious and as careful as you like out on the road but sometimes, there will be an idiot who just catches you unawares. It’s a nightmare situation and as much as you might (if your injuries permit) want to knock his or her head off, here’s our helpful guide as to what to do and what not to do.
Do – Try and stay calm;
This applies particularly in the immediate aftermath. Shock can kick in and cloud your judgment either as to what has happened or what you feel you need to do. Take stock of what’s happened. Take a deep breath and lots more of them.
Do – Assess your injuries;
If you’ve been injured, be careful before you try and move. If it is serious, you could do yourself even more harm by trying to get up or walk. Check yourself over. Slowly. It will also give you time to think.
Do – Assess what happened;
It may not be easier if you have someone yelling in your face – let’s face it, the car driver isn’t going to admit that he or she was in the wrong. Try and remember what happened, who was where, who moved where and who was in the wrong. Bear in mind that if you have had a head injury, your mind may play tricks on you.
Do – Exchange details;
Once you are able to do so, take the other person’s details and give them yours. It’s a criminal offence not to do so. Make sure you get the number plate. Ask for ID of the driver if possible – there are a lot of illegal drivers out there so it is worthwhile making a check.
Do – Check for witnesses;
Again, if you are able to do so, obtain the details of any witnesses nearby If you don’t have a pen or you are struggling physically, ask them to call your mobile so that you have an easily found way of contacting them later.
Do – Contact the Police;
Tell them calmly what has happened, who was involved and who is injured. Tell them if you think any ambulances are needed.
Do – Inform your insurers;
Once home, let your insurers know. They will need a lot of information from you so make sure you have it all to hand and that you have half an hour or so to go through what happened.
Don’t – Get angry;
As tempting as it is, it will solve nothing and may get you into hot water, particularly if the Police attend. Focus on what has happened, what caused it, what the damages is (to bikes/cars/people) and don’t get into any arguments.
Don’t – Ride off;
You may be committing an offence if you leave the scene of an accident. It may be a pain to wait for the Police but you know it makes sense. You may also have suffered a head injury – and what’s worse is that you may not even know it. If there is any risk that you have banged your head, you should get yourself checked out before riding your bike again.
Don’t – Automatically accept your insurer’s recommended solicitors;
Your insurers will want to make money out of you by selling your claim to solicitors. They won’t be specialists and normally, they won’t even be solicitors. They are likely to be barely trained, unqualified staff working in a call-centre style environment with hundreds and hundreds of cases, keen to settle them off as quickly as possible.
You don’t have to use them – whatever they say. Look around. Find someone who specialises in bike claims. Someone who is a biker themselves. Chat to them. Then make your decision – do not be rushed. It’s an important decision and choosing the wrong one can literally cost you many thousands of pounds.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation chat. What have you got to lose?