Life with children can be stressful at times. They don’t fear danger. Most parents will have experienced the horror moment when their child has fallen off their bike. In most cases, they will get off with a scraped and bruised knee. It seems to be an inevitability of learning to ride a bike. But what do you do if your child has hurt themselves on their bike and it wasn’t their fault?
Maybe they were injured because a car knocked into them? Or perhaps another pedestrian ran across the path where your child was cycling, and this caused them to panic and lose their balance on their bike? If such a scenario has happened, read on to discover the important steps that you should take.
Take your child to see a doctor
There is only one place to begin, and this is by making sure that your child is okay. It is always better to see a doctor so you can be safe rather than sorry! Even if your child has a small cut, a doctor will be able to clean it so that it does not get infected and they will put your child’s mind at ease. Plus, depending on the type of accident that has taken place, some symptoms may not reveal themselves until a few hours later, which is why it is a good idea to see a medical professional.
Start building up a case for compensation
Once your child’s health has been assessed, you can start thinking about making a claim for compensation. You are able to make a claim on your child’s behalf. If you decide not to do this, your child will have three years to claim themselves from the date of their 18th birthday. However, it is better to claim now yourself, as it will be much easier to do so. In most cases, the payout will be put in a trust fund for your child to access once they are old enough, although some money can be taken out for the likes of education.
You will need to get quality legal support after a cycling accident. Find a law firm that specialises in cycling incidents specifically, rather than choosing a general personal injury firm. Although your solicitor is going to have your claim’s success in their hands, it is a good idea to take some steps to build up a strong case. This includes the following…
- Take photographs of the scene and of your child’s injuries – In most cycling incidents, there will be damage at the scene. It is a good idea to take a few photographs on your smartphone to serve as proof. Also, if your child’s injuries are visible, you should take some photos of these too.
- Make a note of what happened – After the incident, talk to your child to find out what happened. Write down everything that your child says. They may forget something important later down the line.
- Keep financial records – When making a claim for the cycling accident, you will be able to claim for all of the costs that you have encountered because of the incident. For example, you may have had to pay for counselling to help your child get over the trauma. Or, perhaps you have had to take time off work yourself to look after your little one, and this has resulted in a loss of income? You can claim for any expenses like this. However, you are going to need proof, so hold onto receipts and any other documents.
- Get contact information – You should get the contact details of the person that caused the accident. If a car was involved, write down the make, model, and the registration plate. If the person who caused the accident fled the scene, you can still claim, although the process is slightly different. You should also get the contact details of anyone that witnessed the incident too. Witness statements can help to build a stronger case, so you will want to get witnesses’ names, telephone numbers, and addresses.
Address any fears or concerns your child has
It is likely that your child will be worried about getting back onto their bike again after what has happened. This is only natural. However, it is important for you to build up your child’s confidence and get them back onto the bike as soon as you can. This doesn’t mean you should push them, though. It will take baby steps. Yet you don’t want your child to live in fear the rest of their life. You should explain to your child that what happened was an accident and that it won’t happen again.
Get them to ride their bike around your garden until they feel comfortable going back onto the street. It’s likely that once they see their friends on their bike they will want to do the same, so this is a sort of scenario you could engineer yourself. But don’t do this straight away; one step at a time!
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared regarding the actions to take if your child has been injured while riding their bicycle and it was not their fault. Needless to say, the first step is to always make sure your child is okay. Once they have received medical attention, you can then start to gather evidence so that you can build up a case for compensation. After all, why should your child have to suffer because of someone else’s carelessness? Once you have done this, you can try to build up your child’s confidence again so that they can ride their bike without fear of the same thing happening.