What to do if you are knocked off your bike by a motor vehicle

What to do if you are knocked off your bike by a motor vehicle

Given Geraint Thomas’s recent success at the 2018 Tour de France and the celebrity that such a big win brings, it is all too easy to forget his unsuccessful campaign at the 2017 Giro d’Italia. 

Brought down in a nasty incident involving a police motorbike on stage 9 of the 100th Giro d’Italia, Geraint struggled on for three more stages before retiring from the race citing his unwillingness to survive each day rather than race each day.

According to BBC Sport’s Daffyd Pritchard “first there was anger, then a determination to recover, but the overriding emotion for Thomas was one of frustration”. (link to resource)

While most of us cyclists aren’t competing at the highest level, one of the wonderful things about cycling is that it can be enjoyed by absolutely anyone. That does however mean that from time to time unfortunate incidents like that involving G and the motorbike do occur. 

At Breakaway Digital we are no strangers to these incidents. Two of the team have been involved in traffic collisions, and in each case were not responsible for the incident. 

We know the feeling of dusting yourself off, checking and hoping you haven’t broken any bones before turning your dazed attention to the driver of the vehicle who just hit you. That is if they were kind enough to stop!

What to do next in this scenario is where my analogy of Geraint Thomas and the amateur cyclist differs. 

Where in his case he would have tried to re-mount his steed as soon as possible and carry on racing we would advise against doing this if you have been knocked off your bike by a motor vehicle. 

It didn’t stop me from trying it in a race where I was knocked off my bike by a car turning into a car park, but thankfully the bike was unrideable and so I stopped and got the drivers details.
In an ideal scenario I would have followed the London Cyclist’s advice and taken all the relevant information, of which is handily explained in their blog post found here

However being in a race I had absolutely no way of recording the drivers name or insurance details. Thankfully I had a witness, a fellow racer who had just pulled out of the race we had both been in. 

So, once you have recovered from the shock of the incident and assessed whether or not you need to go to A&E you can start the legal process. 

This was totally new to me having not only never been involved in a road traffic accident I had also never claimed anything through insurance so was totally lost. Speaking to some friends after the incident they informed me of the relevant procedure for pursuing an insurance claim.

It was news to me but some solicitors can help you access treatment, therapy and rehabilitation and in cases of financial hardship, will help to secure an early payment of interim compensation to help you. 

This proved invaluable to me as it meant I received compensation for damage to my bike and also some much-needed physiotherapy, to get me back riding and training again. Which for me was the most important thing. 

For Geraint, pulling out of the 100th Giro would have been a bitter pill to swallow, but as we all know he has bounced back and shown what he can do by winning the best sporting event on the planet, the Tour de France. 
What you shouldn’t do is struggle on like Geraint did until it was too much to continue. Instead think about seeking professional advice, from a law firm who want to help you get back on your bike.

Geraint didn’t have time to stop and get the drivers details but you do!

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