Cycling Accident Claims Guide.
For lots of people, cycling isn’t just an every now and then activity that kills a few hours on a lazy Sunday; it’s an important way to travel from A to B, a passion, a hobby, and something that they do every day. Cycling accident claims are the last thing on their mind.
But unfortunately, cyclists are also some of Australia’s most vulnerable road users. In 2015-16, 19.1% of transport-related injuries involved cyclists, and cycling-related injuries are steadily on the rise. Even a small accident or fall can cause life-changing injuries for a cyclist.
Can I claim compensation if I have a bicycle accident?
If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident with a car or any other vehicle then yes, you may be able to make a cycling accident claim.
The NSW CTP scheme provides personal injury benefits and lump sums to injured cyclists under the at-fault driver’s CTP insurance policy.
How can I make a bike accident claim for compensation?
You can make a claim under the CTP scheme by filling out the required paperwork and submitting any evidence via the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) online portal. This is an official website managed by the NSW government.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you could be eligible for bike accident compensation for:
- Lost income through time off work
- Treatment expenses
- Care expenses
- Lump sum for future lost wages
- Lump sum for pain and suffering
So it’s a good idea to submit your claim sooner rather than later.
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Who will pay my bike accident compensation?
In NSW, it’s a legal requirement for all registered vehicles to have third party (CTP) insurance. If you’re injured in an accident with a vehicle, it’s the CTP insurer of the vehicle that will be liable for paying your bicycle accident compensation arising from your bicycle accident claim.
How much cycle accident compensation will I get?
The amount of bike accident compensation you receive for your cycling accident claim depends on the circumstances of your accident. Some claims can go as high as six or seven figures, but your compensation will depend on factors like:
- Your age
- Whether you’re responsible (fully or partly) for the accident
- The severity of your injuries
- Any financial losses (medical bills, wages, etc.)
- Any care or help you have needed at home
What injuries can I claim bicycle accident compensation for?
Cyclists are inherently at more risk when using the road because they aren’t as physically protected as drivers. This means that when an accident happens, the injuries can be very serious and can include:
- Serious head trauma
- Serious fractures and broken bones that require long-term treatment
- Falls that lead to paralysis or permanent/long-term limited mobility
- Permanent scarring to the skin
- Serious psychological trauma
Although serious injuries can happen, there are plenty of examples of more minor injuries that you can still claim cycle accident compensation for. These can include:
- Soft tissue damage, cuts, and bruises
- Minor fractures and dislocations
The takeaway here is that you don’t need grave injuries to make a claim. Even if you don’t have any visible injuries, you could still make a bike accident compensation claim.
Who’s at fault if a car hits a bicycle?
Accident statistics show that the majority of cycle accidents with a car are the fault of the driver, however this isn’t always the case. As any good cyclist will know, there are some mavericks on the road who put themselves at risk.
Assessing who’s at fault and how much their actions contributed to the accident (known as ‘contributory negligence’) is something that’s assessed on a case-by-case basis. But some common examples of cycle accidents where the driver is typically at fault include:
- Drivers failing to give way
- Cyclists being hit from behind
- Having a car door opened onto you as you ride by (“dooring”)
- A car speeding past you or passing too close, causing you to crash
If your accident sounds similar to any of these, you may have a strong claim.
Do I need a lawyer?
No, you can make a CTP claim yourself. There’s no need to involve a lawyer if you don’t want to and you can find plenty of helpful information on the CTP Claim Advice website.
However, it’s important to understand that the biggest mistake people make in claiming benefits is missing details that seem small, and assuming they’ll automatically receive everything they’re entitled to. If you don’t understand your entitlements and you simply accept the insurer’s decision, you risk being under-paid. Here’s a short article that explains how to make sure you don’t miss out on entitlements.