What risk does a pothole impose on a cyclist?
As with defective accidents, a pothole can cause serious injuries to a cyclist. When colliding with a pothole, there is a huge risk that the cyclist will lose control of their pedal bike and either hit another vehicle, solid object or even a pedestrian. There is not much protection available to weaken the impact unlike with a motor vehicle. Cyclists are by far the most vulnerable road users to this type of accident due to their reduced protection and likelihood of losing control, particularly when light and weather conditions are poor.
So what is a pothole? It is a defective surface in the road caused by adverse weather conditions. Rain water weakens the road and long-lasting damage is caused as traffic passes by. As a result, this type of accident is more of a threat to cyclists during the winter months than any other time of the year. There is currently a pothole crisis in the UK which could cost around £9bn to fix over the next decade.
The actions to take when your bike hits a pothole
1) Photograph the pothole in question
When it is safe to do so, you should record photographic evidence of the pothole that you collided with. Capture different angles and ensure that the picture’s quality is as best as possible. You will want to be able to show how deep and wide the pothole is. Time is of the essence as the pothole may be fixed soon after your accident.
2) Document your injuries
Document all the injuries you have sustained and be sure take high-quality pictures which can be used as evidence to mount a strong claim. Showing how serious your injuries are is important both in terms of winning your case and determining the amount of compensation you will receive. Again, time is of the essence in capturing how serious your cycle injuries are before they heal.
3) Note nearby addresses
You may not have thought of this point, but it’s an important one to consider. Take a note of the addresses within the vicinity of your accident. If required, you will be able to gather evidence showing when the road was last inspected and can also identify local residents who may know how long the pothole has existed. It is possible that the local council will suggest that the pothole appeared suddenly after a recent inspection.
4) Identify witnesses
If any witnesses are present, ask for their contact details. Having witnesses who support your claim can be the massive difference between winning and losing.
5) Be careful what you say when receiving treatment
Immediately after an accident it’s understandable that you may be in shock and feel dazed, but be careful what you say at the hospital and to your GP at follow-up appointments. What you say will be kept on record and may be used against you. For instant, saying that you fell off your bike may be a slip of the tongue or seem like an innocent comment at the time, but could dispute the idea that you hit a pothole. Your immediate dialogue after an accident is considered an extremely important measurement of your reliability.
6) Hire the right solicitors
When you are ready to begin your claim, it’s important to find the right solicitors for you. You want solicitors who will be able to offer impartial advice and won’t take away from the compensation you’re deserved. As specialist solicitors, we are experienced in pothole claims and will only charge you should you win – you keep the full amount of compensation for your cycle accident.