What Happens If A Cyclist Causes An Accident Or Damage To A Car?

Bike on the floor near cars
We've all had our share of near misses

Last updated: 8 April 2024

Riding on the roads can be risky business and we’ve all had our fair share of near misses with other road users. However, sometimes we, the cyclist, can be the ones to blame and even be sued as a result of an accident. That's where the 'public liability' part of a specialist cycling insurance policy can be so important.

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Accidents and damage occur usually due to negligence. It can be negligence of the driver, the rider, the local council and road maintenance office, or even negligence of the car or bike manufacturers. We will be focusing on cyclist-on-car incidents here.

Ultimately, it’s important to make sure that in the event of an accident, you were not cycling in a way that could be deemed negligent. This could involve skipping a red light, riding against traffic, not giving way or even riding without lights in the dark.

For a refresher on what’s legal and what’s not as a cyclist riding on the road, refamiliarise yourself with the Highway Code, including our list of the 10 rules of the Highway Code you should be aware of.

For more background on what could constitute negligence on the part of a cyclist and whether you could be sued, check out Can A Cyclist Be Sued If They Cause An Accident?

Cycling accident checklist

Here's a handy checklist of the steps you should take if you experience an accident while cycling.

Cycling accident checklist
What to do in the event of a cycling accident

What to do

In the event of any crash or accident involving a driver and a cyclist – even if it is the cyclist’s fault – a car is a big metal box so the rider will more than likely come off worse. So medical attention should always be sought first.

Crashes are scary things and result in tremendous amounts of shock for all parties. This will naturally result in behavioural changes that may include anger or silence, so it’s important to remain calm and not be drawn into potential arguments.

Like any accident on the road that causes injury or damage, it is recommended that you stop and swap insurance details.

This is a potentially volatile part of the process, so it’s important to stay calm, talk through what you’re doing and be sure to obtain vital information like the location of the incident, names and email addresses, then exchange things like the car’s number plate, your bike’s serial number and details of any other witnesses to the accident.

These details are important evidence for both the insurance company and police in the event of an accident report. You should not discuss with the other party with respect to liability and who’s at fault.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have caused damage when on your bicycle and you have third-party liability cover with us, make sure to contact us on 0800 888 6745. We will then help you through the process.

These sorts of incidents can either be settled quickly and in relatively good faith or they can begin to stack and eventually lead to settlements within a small claims court. Either way, Pedalsure will be with you.

Third-party liability insurance

You can add our third-party liability cover to your policy before you take it out. It provides cover against damage to persons or property when you are the one at fault.

As part of our policies, we offer our customers the choice of up to £1 million in liability cover.

The question of whether a cyclist needs this type of insurance is an age old one, but we’ve made it easier for you to understand in our article Do Cyclists Need To Have Third-Party Liability Insurance?

In the event that an accident is proved to be a result of your negligence, it’s good to know that someone is fighting in your corner. Our specialist cycling insurance is here to keep you enjoying every moment on your bike with peace of mind.


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