I’ve been injured while cycling – what should I do next? (Witness statements)
Answer 1 – gathering witness details
If you have sustained a personal injury in a cycling accident and there are witnesses, it is extremely important that you collect their contact details. A witness could be another cyclist, motorist, a passenger in a car or a passing pedestrian. This information will be crucial if you need to make a personal injury claim.
When you speak to a witness who saw how you were injured write down their:
1. full name
2. postal address
3. phone number
4. email address
Once you’ve done this read the information back to the witness to your accident. This might seem un-necessary at the time but people often make minor mistakes when gathering information like this. One incorrect number in a phone number or an misplaced letter in an email could mean it’s impossible to contact witnesses at a later date.
If you collect this information do not hand it over to the police if they attend the scene! Instead, ask them to make their own copies of the information. For example, if your accident is in the London area, the police will send these contact details to the Criminal Justice Unit in Sidcup. At this point, data protection legislation comes into force and it almost impossible to get these details again until a police report has been requested (and paid for). This will only happens once a case is closed. For example, this will be when the police have investigated the case and decided not to prosecute. Or, if they do decide the prosecute the other driver, you will not be allowed access to the police report until court proceedings are finished. This may be many months after the accident.
If you hand over the witness details to the police, you’re effectively handing them your case. So again, please ask them to make copies of any information you might have collected.
If you have been in a cycling accident and would like to discuss your personal injury claim on a no-obligation consultation then please get in touch with me. I will be happy to discuss all aspects of your personal injury claim to decide the best way to proceed.
I am a London-based solicitor at Goodge Law and an expert in securing compensation for people who have been injured in accidents that were not their fault. I work on a no win-no fee basis so you will never have to fund any part of your personal injury claim.