INFORM THE POLICE
- As soon as possible or at least within 24 hours.
- Exchange details at the scene, for example, your names and addresses and insurance particulars. Failing to report an accident or failing to stop after an accident is a criminal offence.
- If the Police are called to the scene their duties are:
a) To investigate any criminal offence that may have been committed
b) To record any facts material to the prosecution of the person responsible. i.e. the preparation of a sketch plan, recording of vehicle details and interviewing of witnesses This information gathered by the police will be incorporated into a report and is available once any Police proceedings are concluded.
KEEP YOUR OWN PERSONAL RECORDS
- Even if the Police have taken details it is advisable to keep your own record of information such as:
- Witness details, where possible. Remember that a witness may leave the scene after a short period, whereas the other party will remain.
- Name, address and brief description of other parties involved
- The registered number, make, model and colour of other vehicles involved.
- Whether that vehicle was displaying any lights and any intention to manoeuvre (indicators) or whether any warning noise (horn) had been made.
- The identity of attending Police Officers and their Police Station
NOTE ANY INFORMATION NECESSARY TO PROVE A CLAIM IN COURT
- The description of the road by name or number
- Identity of all parties involved
- The direction of travel of those involved prior to collision
- The weather conditions
- A summary of the allegations to be made against the allegedly negligent party i.e. what was done or omitted.
- Full details of injuries sustained or loss suffered.
PREPARE A SKETCH PLAN AND/OR TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS
- Prepare a sketch plan including location of the accident by reference to road name or numbers
- Points of reference i.e. street lights, bus stops, gates, posts or telephone boxes, bus shelters, width of the road
- Any marks upon the road surface, i.e. tyre marks, gouge or scrape marks • Any debris, dried mud, glass, rusty metal that may tend to indicate the point of contact
- The position of the vehicles BEFORE AND AFTER IMPACT
- Any potholes should be measured for length, width and depth. A photograph of a pothole next to a box of matches for comparison purposes is extremely useful
- The immediate compilation of evidence is one of the most important factors in the success of the claim. If, through injury, a cyclist cannot undertake such work, a friend or relative ought to do so without delay. In case of serious injury or doubt over reliability, solicitors who specialise in personal injury work should be able to arrange an investigation within 48 hours.
STATEMENTS TO THE POLICE
- Most statements will be taken at the scene. In the case of an injured cyclist the Police may visit at home or hospital a short while later. It is sensible for a cyclist to take some legal advice during that period.