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Accident in Richmond Park

wilistewwilistew Posts: 55
edited June 2009 in Commuting chat
Hello everyone

I had a serious accident in Richmond Park last night. Coming down the steep hill going anti-clockwise towards Rohampton gate, a car veared across onto my side of the road and i collided head on. I was taken in an abulance to Kingston Hospital and i have had 6 stiches in my forehead and have numerous scrapes and bruises on my body.

I am ok, a bit shaken up, but my main concern now is trying to resolve the issue with the car driver and the damage to me and my bike. The accident was attended by paramedics, the Parks Police and then the ambulence that took me to hospital. I have the details of the officer and i am going in to give a statement this afternoon. He took brief statements from a cyclist witness that was following me and the car driver, but in the shock of the moment, i didn't get the details of the cyclist myself.

The officer suggested that they pass the information to trafic division and then they decide whether to procecute the driver. Obviously i am keen that the driver is forced to explain why he was on the wrong side of the road coming up the hill.

Sorry for the long winded message. I posted on here because i have seen simlar posts before and i would be greatful for any advise that will help me to get this resolved. Do i approach the driver myself of will the police do that? Not sure what to do.

I was in the park doing a bit of training for the Marmotte which i supposed to be doing a week on Saturday. Obviously i'd be keen to get the bike fixed up as soon as possible and was wondering whether anyone had a bike friendly solicitor i might contact.

Thanks very much. Sorry for the ramble.

Wil

Posts

  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Police will investigate a criminal allegation

    You need to pursue the other driver yourself for damages- that is a civil matter, not something the police pursue
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  • Soul BoySoul Boy Posts: 359
    Sorry, no advice, but had to jump on to wish you a speedy recovery. Sounds terrible.

    Hope you're back on the road for the Marmotte.

    And good luck getting this all sorted.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    The police should be able to give you the driver's details (if you don't have them) and probably the witness' details (not 100% sure there - witness may have to consent to be contacted?). Spen should know.

    You should then write to the driver setting out your view on what happened, listing the damage caused (to your bike and to you - but make it clear that you are still assessing injuries to you as aches / pains can come on after a few days). Tell driver you intend to pursue a claim against him and that he should notify his insurers (hopefully he's insured!) and provide you with their contact details. You should then end up dealing direct with his insurers.

    If you want to use a lawyer (which is probably a good idea), I've heard Russell Jones & Walker have expertise in handling claims on behalf of cyclists, although I have no personal experience. If you do want to use a lawyer, get their advice before you make contact with the driver.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Fooking hell, bad luck fella, that sounds nasty. I can't offer any advice I'm afraid, but I hope you heal well.

    I'll never understand why cars are allowed in the park in the first place.
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  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    :( That is awful - sorry to hear. I hope you mend (and can get the bike sorted) in time for Marmotte!
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Will

    Firstly, glad to hear that you're not more seriously hurt.

    Secondly, before you post any further details of the circumstances of the accident on here or write to the other driver, then, as Mat says, see a solicitor who can instruct you on the best way forward. +1 for contacting RJW too, although I too (fortunately) have no personal experience of them.

    Get your bike thoroughly checked over by a good LBS. Forks, steerer etc checked. If you've got a carbon frame, I've heard that the frame can be x-rayed for cracks which are not visible to the naked eye (check this with the LBS).

    As regards the Marmotte, how does th head injury affect that doctor's certificate or whatever it is you need to enter? Does you think it's wise to do it (given the descents) if you've got head injuries? (Sorry for being the boring Cautious George :oops: ).
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  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    I would have thought you have the right to obtain his insurance details.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    cjcp wrote:

    As regards the Marmotte, how does th head injury affect that doctor's certificate or whatever it is you need to enter? Does you think it's wise to do it (given the descents) if you've got head injuries? (Sorry for being the boring Cautious George :oops: ).

    + 1. It'd be a total sod to miss it but you don't want anything to happen on those descents.
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  • SteveJ7SteveJ7 Posts: 2
    Get in touch with a solicitor ASAP, they would take your case on as a no win no fee given the accident circumstances, and then recover their costs from the drivers insurance company (if he's not insured don't worry, as the Motor Insurers Bureau are in place to deal with such situations). Your solicitors will then do the work for you such as getting the drivers details from the police, and leave you to concentrate on recovering as soon as possible.

    Try to pick a national firm of solicitors who know how the system works, rather than a local one that doesn't have the experience of dealing with big Insurer's. You also want a reputable one that will get you the compensation you are entitled to, and not one that is going to try and get you more than you are entitled to and potentially get you less (or nothing) if the Insurer's can proove the claim is inflated...
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  • mzm70mzm70 Posts: 123
    Glad you are OK,

    On the solicitor front, if you have legal cover on your house or car insurance check to see if you may have cover through that. I had an employment dispute and I could have used my car insurance legar cover to fight it (I didn't).
  • Christophe3967Christophe3967 Posts: 1,200
    Will

    Sorry to hear about this - I've lost count of the number of times I've been descending that hill to find a car on my side of the road. Glad to hear you're relatively OK, though bad luck on the Marmotte :cry:

    +1 for all the recommendations here. British Cycling use Leigh Day & Co and IME they are excellent. If you're a member, its a free service, so it may be worth looking into this angle. Let me know if you need contact details.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    Glad that you are OK - sounds like it could have been an awful lot worse. I once came down that hill to find a black merc overtaking another car. Still not sure how I squeezed by and it makes my palms sweaty to think about it now.

    Good luck pursuing your claim.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    So sorry to hear that, and wish you a speedy recovery.

    Not much to add to the advice above but for the fact that you should be able to (and indeed should) contact the witness through the police. If they took a statement they should also have taken details.

    Their details will definitely help for any civil case against the driver...
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    censored ! Glad you're reasonably ok anyway.

    Get the professionals onto it ASAP - and take pics of ALL of your injuries/Damage.

    Pals of mine have used these people http://www.bikeline.co.uk/ with good success and Alyson herself is a cyclist and sponsors the local 2 Day.

    Good luck !
  • hooliohoolio Posts: 139
    I was hit by a car last year in at the beginning of May. I received my payout last month. It took forever!
    I got paid a miserly amount for the bike which had a bent frame and was totalled, but I did get a fair wedge for injuries which were mainly gravel rash, endless bruising, whiplash etc.
    I used my house insurance legal cover, but they didn't seem at all familiar with cycle accidents. It shouldn't make a difference, and I doubt it effected my final settlement, but having to explain why a bent frame can't be repaired is a bit annoying.
    My accident was attended by the police and I got a ride in an ambulance too. The woman who took me out (I just didn't see you!) was interviewed under caution etc and admitted liability.
    The police provided me with her insurance details (I asked for them). I then got onto my solicitor and let them do the rest. I've read elsewhere that you should get witness details as soon as possible if there's any dispute as the police have been known to lose them!

    Good luck. I hope you're wait isn't as long as mine, but don't be suprised if it is.
  • WOW ! glad to here your ok. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and good luck with your claim
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  • benno68benno68 Posts: 1,689
    WOW ! glad to here your ok. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and good luck with your claim

    +1

    As previous posts have suggested, find a good solicitor and leave it all to them, but expect it to take some time to conclude :( .
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  • wilistewwilistew Posts: 55
    Thanks for all your help. It has been very useful and has calmed me down a bit!

    The bike is in with Condor (they built it up) being checked over and hopfully the frame will be ok (it's a Roberts 953, so hopefully strong enough). The forks, stem, bars and shifters are a write off.

    I think i will take up the suggestions of solicitors on here.

    Many thanks again.
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Your solicitors get most of the information.

    Leigh Day and Co work for British Cycling, so if you don't have BC or CTC cover, see if they will help you - they are on my case but I am a BC member. Expect it to take a long time - mine was 7 months ago, but we are still trying to find out what my injuries are - suspected nerve damage in neck spine, and a damaged AC joint in my shoulder.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    cjcp wrote:
    I've heard that the frame can be x-rayed for cracks which are not visible to the naked eye (check this with the LBS).
    Otherwise a good Metallurgy/NDT firm should be able to spray it with a leak detector fluid that glows under UV. We use the stuff to check things like turbine blades for fatigue cracks. Let me know if you need help pursuing this.

    ps. Just posted (under Ride Reports) about an incident I had today that suddenly reminded me of this - so easily could have been much the same accident :(.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Roastie wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    I've heard that the frame can be x-rayed for cracks which are not visible to the naked eye (check this with the LBS).
    Otherwise a good Metallurgy/NDT firm should be able to spray it with a leak detector fluid that glows under UV. We use the stuff to check things like turbine blades for fatigue cracks. Let me know if you need help pursuing this.

    .

    Can they also use alternating current crack detection tests (or something like that)?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    cjcp wrote:
    Roastie wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    I've heard that the frame can be x-rayed for cracks which are not visible to the naked eye (check this with the LBS).
    Otherwise a good Metallurgy/NDT firm should be able to spray it with a leak detector fluid that glows under UV. We use the stuff to check things like turbine blades for fatigue cracks. Let me know if you need help pursuing this.

    .

    Can they also use alternating current crack detection tests (or something like that)?
    I've heard of that, but never seen it in action. I don't think it would work for carbon fibre composite as it isn't homogenously conductive (but then again, I'm no NDT expert...).
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