a car with damaged rear right

What Happens if a Cyclist Hits My Car?

November 21, 2023

It's a scenario that might not immediately come to mind when thinking about road accidents, but it's an important one: what happens if a cyclist hits your car? Whether you're a regular driver in the city or you prefer zoning around country lanes, understanding how to handle such a situation is important, especially when it comes to the question of eventual compensation, whether it be for you or the cyclist. Let's take a look.

Ensuring Safety at the Accident Scene

Like with any accident, the first thing to do is ensure everyone's safety. If the accident is causing a hazard and blocking the road, and it's safe to do so, move your car to a safer spot, and put on your hazard lights to alert other road users.

Steps to Take When a Cyclist Hits Your Car

  • Check for Injuries: First, make sure the cyclist is okay. Call an ambulance if there are any serious injuries, or if the cyclist appears unwell or seems to be struggling to maintain their consciousness.
  • Document the Scene: You’ll also want to take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your car and the bicycle.
  • Exchange Information: Get the cyclist's contact and insurance details, if they have any.

Assessing Injuries and Damage

Checking for Injuries to the Cyclist

Even if the cyclist insists they are fine, it's good practice to encourage them to seek medical attention, as some injuries - most commonly concussions - may not be immediately apparent.

Examining Vehicle Damage

Assess any damage to your vehicle, and take photos and videos of any damage. Documenting this is important for insurance purposes, especially if you need non fault claim help.

The Legal Obligation to Report

In the UK, you're required to report certain types of road accidents to the police, and this includes accidents where someone is injured or if there’s significant property damage. It's best to report the incident even if it seems minor; this keeps you in-line with the law and also reflects well on you as a driver.

Communicating with the Cyclist

You’ll also want to ensure that you communicate calmly and politely with the cyclist, so avoid admitting fault or making accusatory statements; this could complicate matters, especially legally and with insurance claims.

Documenting the Accident

a bicycle laying on the side of the road

When you're in an accident with a cyclist, the way you document the incident can significantly impact any subsequent claims or legal processes; after all, it’s going to be your word against theirs. Start by taking clear and comprehensive photos of the accident scene, capturing both your vehicle and the bicycle, along with any visible injuries. Write down everything you can remember about the incident, including the time, date, location, and specific circumstances like road conditions. You’ll also not want to forget to collect contact details and statements from any witnesses on the scene, as their objective perspective can be invaluable in piecing together what happened.

Claiming Insurance Compensation

Claiming insurance compensation can be a bit tricky in these situations, so here's what you should consider:

Contact Your Insurer

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible, and provide them with all the documented evidence that you gathered at the scene.

Understand Your Policy

Review your insurance policy to understand what is covered, especially in cases involving cyclists.

Cyclist’s Liability Insurance

If the cyclist is at fault and they have liability insurance, you may be able to claim compensation through their insurance.

Above all, it's important to handle insurance claims professionally and promptly. If the accident wasn't your fault and your vehicle is damaged (either from the impact or due to you swerving due to the cyclist’s negligence), seeking professional help with your claim can guide you through the process and ensure you receive the compensation you're entitled to.


How can I prove that the cyclist was at fault?

Proving fault involves collecting evidence such as photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and any available CCTV footage. If the cyclist violated traffic laws, such as running a red light, this could also be used to establish fault.

Should I contact the police after an accident with a cyclist?

Yes, it's advisable to contact the police, especially if there are injuries or significant damage. They can document the scene and provide an official report, which can be helpful for insurance claims.

Can I claim insurance if the cyclist doesn't have any?

Yes, you can still file a claim with your insurance company. If you have coverage for accidents with uninsured or underinsured individuals, this can help cover the damages.

What if the cyclist and I disagree about who was at fault?

In case of a disagreement about fault, it's important to rely on collected evidence and witness statements. Your insurance company and legal advisors can help in determining fault based on the evidence.

What information should I collect from the cyclist after an accident?

Collect the cyclist's full name, contact details, and insurance information if available. It's also useful to note down a description of the bicycle and any distinguishing features.