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Your Rights if You are Knocked off Your Bicycle

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 7 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Knocking Over A Cyclist Knocking Someone

With many more people choosing to take the environmentally friendly approach of using a bicycle rather than a car, it’s inevitable that the number of road accidents involving cyclists is also increasing. If you are a cyclist, you should be aware of what your rights are when it comes to road traffic accidents in the off chance that you may be knocked off your bike at some stage in the future.

Hopefully that will never happen, but following the correct procedures if it does can save you a lot of stress and at times money. It’s good to know the laws from the perspective of the cyclist and the driver and both are outlined below.

Your Rights as a Driver if you Knock a Cyclist Over

As a responsible driver, you should always be on the look out for cyclists. As you’re in a far more powerful vehicle, the danger that you pose to cyclists is immense and therefore the majority of cases, it’s very difficult to prove that the cyclist is at fault if they’ve been hurt in a road accident.

Cyclists don’t have to have any insurance to cover their bike, themselves or other vehicles. They may have cover through their home contents policy or through their work policy if the accident happens on the way to work or the way from work. If you decide to pursue a claim against a cyclist and they have inadequate insurance, then it could be a difficult and lengthy process. You should seek the advice of a solicitor in this case.

Always remember that you should never drive away from the scene of an accident. Even if the cyclist seems fine at first, you should seeks witnesses and get all their details.

Your Rights as a Cyclist if You’re Knocked Off Your Bike

Cyclists don’t have the safety of car roll bars and cages around them if they’re in an accident so are extremely vulnerable. Even if you consider yourself to be a very experienced and safe cyclist, you must be fully aware at all times of the traffic around you and any threats it poses. For your own safety you should wear a cycle helmet, reflective clothing and have a full understanding of the Highway Code.

Should you ever have the misfortune of being involved in a minor accident, make sure that you get all the details you need from the other person involved. There are some very important steps that you should follow if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Report the accident to the police within 24 hours. If you’re injured you’re legally required to do this.
  • Get medical treatment if you feel that you require it. If you only have minor injuries, it is worth having them checked
  • Obtain all the details of the other party involved in the accident and look for witnesses who are willing to comment also
  • If there are no other parties involved and you have hit a stationary car due to your own error, leave a note on the car with your full details
  • If you have an accident because of the road conditions, get as many witness details as possible and if you have a camera, get a photo of the road defect.

Using a Solicitor to Represent You

If you decide to raise a claim against another drive, you will have three years from the date of the accident to do so. It’s always better to do it sooner rather than later because it’s easier for your solicitor to hunt down witnesses. You may still be receiving medical attention also, so it’ll be more prevalent to the case should you proceed. Be fully aware of the situation under which the accident occurred as even small details, such as you being slightly outside the cycle lane, could result in you losing the claim.

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Hurt cyclist - Your Question:
Hi, advice required please. I was cycling down a bay of a car park and as I was approaching the end where cars can go back and too had a collision with a car going across my path. I saw the car and hit my breaks but unfortunately went over the handlebar and hit the front wing of the car causing slight damage. I was very shaken and sore as I thought I was going to go under the vehicle due to the angle we met. I had my cycle helmet on and my head hit the car, thank goodness I wear a helmet. I also had my high visibility jacket on too. My wife took me to the doctors who sent me to a&e for an X-ray on both of my shoulders. Luckily no broken bones however my whole body feels very sore today.The advice required is because the driver is expecting me to pay for the damage to his car. I have also suffered injuries and bike needs repairing so why should it be me that foots the bill. Driver has left a voicemail whilst I was in A&E concerned about me but also saying that if I don't get in contact he will call his insurance and go that route. Am I in the wrong or was the driver?

Our Response:
Unfortunately we can't comment on individual incidents where we only have one version of events.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 8-May-17 @ 10:43 AM
Had an accident on my bike today. I was at a junction on the road and looked right couldn't see any traffic coming but there was a car parked on the double yellows on the corner of the junction. I edged a little bit past the parked car to see what was coming and was instantly hit on my bike which knocked me off and has bent my forks and my wheel of my new £1000 bike. I didn't just ride out of the junction as my view was obstructed. Wondering who's fault you think this is and what I can do about it? I have insurance details.
Ash - 7-May-17 @ 7:36 PM
Hi, advice required please. I was cycling down a bay of a car park and as I was approaching the end where cars can go back and too had a collision with a car going across my path.I saw the car and hit my breaks but unfortunately went over the handlebar and hit the front wing of the car causing slight damage.I was very shaken and sore as I thought I was going to go under the vehicle due to the angle we met.I had my cycle helmet on and my head hit the car, thank goodness I wear a helmet.I also had my high visibility jacket on too.My wife took me to the doctors who sent me to a&e for an X-ray on both of my shoulders.Luckily no broken bones however my whole body feels very sore today. The advice required is because the driver is expecting me to pay for the damage to his car.I have also suffered injuries and bike needs repairing so why should it be me that foots the bill.Driver has left a voicemail whilst I was in A&E concerned about me but also saying that if I don't get in contact he will call his insurance and go that route.Am I in the wrong or was the driver?
Hurt cyclist - 6-May-17 @ 8:57 AM
My son has been knocked off his bike the afternoon by a car turning across the road in from of him.A second bike also hit the vehicle and the rider was thrown across the bonnet.This was a female Police Officer.The driver claimed the car next to them flashed to let her go.Do drivers not realise they are still fully responsible for their driving if another vehicle flashes? My sons bike is ruined, the car he hit has a massive dent where he hit.I've just heard from hospital he has a broken clavical - a bone at the rear of your collar bone.Police have been informed.Are damages for a cyclist in line with those of an innocent driver?
Sallybrowndog - 24-Mar-17 @ 7:04 PM
Husband knocked off bike and was taken to hospital. Given sick line for 4 weeks and bike is a right off. What rights does he have
Poppy - 4-Mar-17 @ 2:24 PM
Hi I was on my bicycle on the bike lane and a car was at a petroleum station waiting to come out. I've carried on traveling down the bike lane (traffic was stationery) and at the last second he's pulled out blocked the bike lane making me swerve hit the curb and come off my bike, I hit my head and shoulder and I have been to the doctors and they say I've torn my muscles and jarred them. Jut wondering if I can claim? Injury
Cam2017 - 5-Feb-17 @ 6:03 PM
My hubby had to break as van pulled out and he went over handlebars. Luckily no broken bones but bike damaged. Can he claim against the driver
San - 2-Feb-17 @ 9:20 PM
A car pulled in front of me.i had to brake hard.went over the handle bars.i thought I was badly bruised but ten days later I went to hospital in severe pain.i had a ruptured spleen, blood clots an blood around my stomach.i had spleen removed and spent 6 days in hospital with two months off work.the driver never stopped.
easty - 18-Jan-17 @ 7:16 PM
Hello, Please can I have some advice. I have been cycling today and a car door swung open less than a meter away from me, I was able to brake as hard as I could but unfortunately, I slammed my bike right into the inside of the man's door. I fell off the seat of my bike and sustained some aches on my left shoulder - my boyfriend who was cycling behind me fortunately manage to swerve out of the way and took down the car's license plate. The driver claimed that it was not his fault as his right wing mirror was broken. Thinking that the ache will fade, it has begun to get worse as my left shoulder blade is stiffening and every once in a while, the left side of my head stings. As I was in shock, I didn't realise that I should have taken his insurance details, etc. I have been advised by NHS Direct that it was an impact injury and to go into A&E but the closest minors that I can go to will only be opened tomorrow morning. I have not reported this case but it is the first time that this has happened to me... so I will greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you.
Cyclist - 14-Jan-17 @ 10:29 PM
Hello, Please can I have some advice. I have been cycling today and a car door swung open less than a meter away from me, I was able to brake as hard as I could but unfortunately, I slammed my bike right into the inside of the man's door. I fell off the seat of my bike and sustained some aches on my left shoulder - my boyfriend who was cycling behind me fortunately manage to swerve out of the way and took down the car's license plate. The driver claimed that it was not his fault as his right wing mirror was broken. Thinking that the ache will fade, it has begun to get worse as my left shoulder blade is stiffening and every once in a while, the left side of my head stings. As I was in shock, I didn't realise that I should have taken his insurance details, etc. I have been advised by NHS Direct that it was an impact injury and to go into A&E but the closest minors that I can go to will only be opened tomorrow morning. I have not reported this case but it is the first time that this has happened to me... so I will greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you.
Cyclist - 14-Jan-17 @ 10:18 PM
Iv been so lucky Realy cycling my bike iv had a lot of near misses more of a thing when there's a junction were cars on left turn left and so on on the right so car on right edges out so car on left don't see cyclists so good is so much worse when it rains and dark I don't blame car drivers it's such a bad design for cyclists got 2 lights on my bike so what is best
Cass - 13-Dec-16 @ 5:27 PM
I was cycling down a main road and about 200m from lights. The cars were in a queue and all of a sudden a car indicated and turned left. I ended up hitting her car (head hit side and shoulder the floor). Her son got out and a driver from another car helped me up. It all seemed ok and she went off and I walked my bike. Rather coincidentally, she parked where I needed to lock my bike and they offered to replace my helmet and then gave me her mobile number. I have suffered whiplash etc but really just want her to replace the helmet and my high vis jacket which I text her about. She hasn't replied and I'm not sure what to do. I'm trying to be decent, so should I ask again or go through proper channels?
Jay - 25-Nov-16 @ 7:35 PM
pedalopaul - Your Question:
I was walking out of a gateway onto a path and a cyclist ran straight into me knocking me over. She said she was sorry and that she was in a hurry so didn't see me as her head was down.I was badly winded. She asked me if I was alright and I just gestured to her that I needed help off the pavement. She helped me sit up then rushed off. After the pain in my ribs wouldn't go away and hurt badly when I lifted something I went to the doctors and was told I had cracked at least 2 ribs. I. Couldn't do anything physical for two weeks which hit me hard as I am self employed. I went back down the street but never traced her. Should she have given me her name and address?

Our Response:
Was she riding on a cycle path or pavement? In general if someone is injured in an accident, you must provide contact details.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 23-Nov-16 @ 11:21 AM
I was walking out of a gateway onto a path and a cyclist ran straight into me knocking me over . She said she was sorry and that she was in a hurry so didn't see me as her head was down.I was badly winded . She asked me if I was alright and I just gestured to her that I needed help off the pavement . She helped me sit up then rushed off. After the pain in my ribs wouldn't go away and hurt badly when I lifted something I went to the doctors and was told I had cracked at least 2 ribs . I. Couldn't do anything physical for two weeks which hit me hard as I am self employed. I went back down the street but never traced her. Should she have given me her name and address?
pedalopaul - 22-Nov-16 @ 5:58 PM
Cookie - Your Question:
Hi there I was knocked off my bicycle whilst cycle round a roundabout. The driver admitted that she didn't look and so just drove into me. A bus was at the scene and has it all on camera. Unfortunately due to being so shaken up I stupidly didn't get the drivers details or reg number. The driver has been in contact but is refusing to give me her reg number. The police have been informed of the incident. I'm unfortunately going to need a whole new bike and I've had to take time off work due to injuries. How do I go about making a claim against the driver? Thanks!

Our Response:
Do you have household insurance? Check to see if that covers your bicycle/incidents outside the home - they might follow it up with the police or the bus company. If not, then you should still try and contact the bus company which might be able to release the film footage. The driver should have given you her details. If she didn't leave her details at the scene of the accident, then she would be required to report the incident either to a police officer or in person at a police station within 24 hours of the accident.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 1-Nov-16 @ 2:17 PM
Hi there I was knocked off my bicycle whilst cycle round a roundabout. The driver admitted that she didn't look and so just drove into me. A bus was at the scene and has it all on camera. Unfortunately due to being so shaken up I stupidly didn't get the drivers details or reg number. The driver has been in contact but is refusing to give me her reg number. The police have been informed of the incident. I'm unfortunately going to need a whole new bike and I've had to take time off work due to injuries. How do I go about making a claim against the driver? Thanks!
Cookie - 31-Oct-16 @ 12:38 PM
My dad (82) was knocked off his bike by a car. He was relatively ok, no broken bones. However his bike frame has a kink and is bent and is not repairable.It is a Colnago Master 1996 frame which he custom built with top of the range components in 1997. It cost him £3500. The car insurance company have offered £1200 saying they have seen second hand models on the internet for that amount. I dont think it is possible to get the same bike in the same condition in the same size with the same top of the range components. Where do we stand? Cheers Gary
Gazza - 7-Oct-16 @ 6:16 PM
Police have closed their investigation into an accident where I wasknocked off my bike. I have very little memory of the collision. I have asked the police SATfor information to enable me to pursue a claim against the driver's insurance company but have been told that I will have to pay £144 to receive a copy of the report of their investigation. I remember cycling past a bus that was stationary or slow moving in the inside lane (on my left). I was knocked off the bike by a car that suddenly appeared in front of me. I was told by the paramedic who was called to the scene that a witness told him that a car was in the inside lane or bus layby facing the opposite direction to the flow of traffic. Thebus driver indicated to the car driverthat it was clearto pull out in front of the bus ( and me) across two lanesto join the traffic going in the opposite direction. I am convinced I was not at fault. Why should I have to pay to find out what happened.
Grrrrrr - 3-Oct-16 @ 9:46 PM
Thelimit - Your Question:
I was pulled up at a zebra crossing,I was there for about 20 seconds a cyclist ran into the back of me I would say he was in his mid twenties. I asked him if he was alright which he replied yes. I asked him why he didn't stop had he been in a car he would have propelled me forward injuring pedestrians. He apologised and said he was looking at a on coming car as he was going to cut across the crossing taking a right turn just passed the crossing. I pointed out that even cyclists have to stop for pedestrians. He offered to pay I took his name and number he rode off, the manufacturer would want to replace the bumper but I managed to get a cheaper quote for repair although it will never be the same. He text back saying he was having a driving lesson and would contact me he didn't. I'm a cyclist myself,have been for years there are good cyclists and bad going through red lights jumping onto pedestrians high ways it's gets us all a bad name. What now?

Our Response:
Ask him to text his address so you can send him two quotes that he can see (so he knows you're being honest). If this does not produce the desired result, pass it to your insurance company to deal with.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 30-Sep-16 @ 11:06 AM
I was pulled up at a zebra crossing,I was there for about 20 seconds a cyclist ran into the back of me I would say he was in his mid twenties. I asked him if he was alright which he replied yes. I asked him why he didn't stop had he been in a car he would have propelled me forward injuring pedestrians. He apologised and said he was looking at a on coming car as he was going to cut across the crossing taking a right turn just passed the crossing. I pointed out that even cyclists have to stop for pedestrians. He offered to pay I took his name and number he rode off, the manufacturer would want to replace the bumper but I managed to get a cheaper quote for repair although it will never be the same. He text back saying he was having a driving lesson and would contact me he didn't. I'm a cyclist myself,have been for years there are good cyclists and bad going through red lights jumping onto pedestrians high ways it's gets us all a bad name. What now?
Thelimit - 29-Sep-16 @ 8:38 AM
cor - Your Question:
I was riding my bike in a cycle lane on the road alongside another car. It was a dual carriage way and there was another car indicating to turn in. The car next to me drove across , as it did so the car indicating excel rated into my bike knocking me off. The driver didn't check if I was OK and drove away. Fortunately the police were behind and witnessed as did another witness. The drive eventually came back to the scene of the crime and admitted she didn't see me. I had to have hospital treatment and 10 days off work. Do I have a claim here please. This was very recent.

Our Response:
You will need to seek individual (professional) legal advice in order to pursue this.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 26-Sep-16 @ 1:52 PM
I was riding my bike in a cycle lane on the road alongside another car. It was a dual carriage way and there was another car indicating to turn in. The car next to me drove across , as it did so the car indicating excel rated into my bike knocking me off.The driver didn't check if I was OK and drove away.Fortunately the police were behind and witnessed as did another witness. The drive eventually came back to the scene of the crime and admitted she didn't see me. I had to have hospital treatment and 10 days off work. Do I have a claim here please.This was very recent.
cor - 24-Sep-16 @ 1:40 PM
Hi, I'd really welcome some advice please. My story is that I was taken off my bike by the neck and mouth by a retractable dog lead. I was on a shared cycle/footpath but on footpath side as walker on cycle path. I didn't see a dog and until I passed the person and felt the cord on my neck and ultimately mouth I hadn't realised I was about to be clotheslined- awful! Fortunately for me I wear a helmet because I hit the floor with a thud to the back of my head. The problem...., the person on cycle path side had the dog in the bushes across the footpath at the end of a corded retractable lead. I pulled myself up and at thisthe person was complaining about their wrist. They hadn't let go of the lead when I was caught in it and fell and broke their opposite wrist/arm. I was shaken but calm and kind, I asked that the lead was binned in future and rang the partner to collect the person and the dog, then I assisted the person to their partners car and off to hospital they went. I then cried like a baby and wheeled myself to my friends to examine my face which felt pretty bad, essentially I had rope burns on around my mouth and inside my lips. That night I rang the person to see they were ok (it was broken), I felt a little deflated that at no point was asked of my wellbeing but hey ho! The partner did say thanks for helping out, BUT shock horror I recently received a solicitor letter suing me for person injury and consequential losses. I am gobsmacked for the second time! What do I do, how can that even be a case when the invisibility of the dog lead and the fact that it was spread across my path was the causal factor for the incident and subsequent injuries that occurred. I did not call the police because I didn't realise I'd need to, but I have spread the word of the dangers of retractable dog leads until I've turned blue in the face. I called citizens advice already and will need attend a face to face. Does this person really have a legal case against me? I'm very disheartened with human kind today. Thank you for reading.
Gobsmacked - 22-Sep-16 @ 11:30 PM
Hi, I'd really welcome some advice please. My story is that I was taken off my bike by the neck and mouth by a retractable dog lead. I was on a shared cycle/footpath but on footpath side as walker on cycle path. I didn't see a dog and until I passed the person and felt the cord on my neck and ultimately mouth I hadn't realised I was about to be clotheslined- awful! Fortunately for me I wear a helmet because I hit the floor with a thud to the back of my head. The problem...., the person on cycle path side had the dog in the bushes across the footpath at the end of a corded retractable lead. I pulled myself up and at thisthe person was complaining about their wrist. They hadn't let go of the lead when I was caught in it and fell and broke their opposite wrist/arm. I was shaken but calm and kind, I asked that the lead was binned in future and rang the partner to collect the person and the dog, then I assisted the person to their partners car and off to hospital they went. I then cried like a baby and wheeled myself to my friends to examine my face which felt pretty bad, essentially I had rope burns on around my mouth and inside my lips. That night I rang the person to see they were ok (it was broken), I felt a little deflated that at no point was asked of my wellbeing but hey ho! The partner did say thanks for helping out, BUT shock horror I recently received a solicitor letter suing me for person injury and consequential losses. I am gobsmacked for the second time! What do I do, how can that even be a case when the invisibility of the dog lead and the fact that it was spread across my path was the causal factor for the incident and subsequent injuries that occurred. I did not call the police because I didn't realise I'd need to, but I have spread the word of the dangers of retractable dog leads until I've turned blue in the face. I called citizens advice already and will need attend a face to face. Does this person really have a legal case against me? I'm very disheartened with human kind today. Thank you for reading.
Gobsmacked - 22-Sep-16 @ 9:28 PM
Km - Your Question:
HiI was cycling along a footpath as there was no cycling lane. I looked & didnt see a car coming before the lights. I turned the bike at the lights crossing & got hit by a car who did not do an emergency stop. Do I have a claim?

Our Response:
We really can't give any idea of who is to blame in incidents like these as we have only one party's version of events.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 12-Sep-16 @ 11:41 AM
My 19 year old son, whilst on his road bike, was involved in a collision with a car. The car suffered scratches to the passenger door and a damaged/broken wing mirror. My son came away with a few cuts/bruises and 2 dislocated fingers, resulting in hospital treatment. My son says that the car clipped him as he was stationary in the middle of the road, about to turn right. The driver claims that my son was at fault, as he was about to turn right and turned into her car. The driver was alone in the car and there were no witnesses. The driver contacted us the following day claiming that the car suffered over £4,000 damages and was deemed a right off. The driver is now claiming for a minimum of £150 (insurance policy excess), with possible further claims for replacement vehicle hire etc. Failure to pay, as stated in the solicitor’s letter, will result in court action. Our legal cover through our home insurance does not cover us for claims relating to “defending our legal rights through claims against us”. Should we ignore the letters or seek other legal advice?
cookie - 10-Sep-16 @ 1:44 PM
Hi I was cycling along a footpath as there was no cycling lane. I looked & didnt see a car coming before the lights. I turned the bike at the lights crossing & got hit by a car who did not do an emergency stop. Do i have a claim?
Km - 9-Sep-16 @ 3:59 PM
Sean - Your Question:
I was static at a roundabout awaiting a gap in the traffic before moving. As I was about to come out I was hit from the rear by a car and knocled onto the 2nd lane.I thought everything was ok and exchanged details with the driver (whom admitted fault).Whe I got home I had to go to the hospital which resulted in a fractured elbow.I then had to report it to police who have now charged the driver with careless driving. Now his insurance company have told me they cant deal with me direct becyof my injuries and that I have to appoint myself a solicitor.Whats my best course of action?

Our Response:
Call your own insurance company and ask them for advice. You should not have to appoint a solicitor if you don't want to.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 9-Sep-16 @ 11:45 AM
I was static at a roundabout awaiting a gap in the traffic before moving. As i was about to come out i was hit from the rear by a car and knocled onto the 2nd lane. I thought everything was ok and exchanged details with the driver (whom admitted fault). Whe i got home i had to go to the hospital which resulted in a fractured elbow. I then had to report it to police who have now charged the driver with careless driving. Now his insurance company have told me they cant deal with me direct becyof my injuries and that i have to appoint myself a solicitor. Whats my best course of action?
Sean - 8-Sep-16 @ 11:33 AM
Hi my son was knocked off his bike by a woman driving out of her driveway on the phone and not paying attention. She didn't get out of the car to check he was ok and just shooed him out of the way with arm gestures whilst still sitting in her car on the phone. Does this need reporting?
007 - 5-Sep-16 @ 12:04 PM
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