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Cycling Accident Claims Guide.

If you’ve been injured on your bike through being hit from behind, a driver failing to give way, a close pass, or dooring, it’s likely you can make a cycling accident claim for compensation. 

However, many injured cyclists risk missing out on compensation entitlements. Benefits or treatment can be denied by CTP insurers, and lump sum entitlements are not paid automatically.

This article brings together the collective experience of our compensation lawyers to explain the unique nature of cycling accident claims. It explains why injured cyclists may miss out, and how to make sure you receive your full compensation and lump sums if you’ve been knocked off your bike. 

Cyclist accident on the road.

Cycling accident claims – what you need to know. 

When cyclists come to us for help with their accident claims, we generally find they’re in one of the following situations:

You should submit a claim for personal injury benefits as soon as you can, however, your full benefits won’t be paid to you automatically. For example, you have to apply separately for any lump sum entitlements. So it makes sense to get advice before you lodge your claim.

Many clients come to us because they’ve had treatment, surgery, or part of their injury benefits denied or cut off. But there are several ways you can dispute an insurer’s decisions, and we have a strong track record of success with these disputes.

This is a very common question from injured cyclists. If you weren’t at fault for the accident and your injuries are assessed as ‘above threshold’, it’s likely you can claim additional lump sums on top of your personal injury benefits. Read on to learn more about claiming lump sums. 

If you’ve been knocked off your bike in a hit-and-run accident in NSW, where the driver failed to stop and can’t be traced, you may still be able to claim bike accident compensation. The NSW CTP scheme allows you to apply for compensation from the ‘Nominal Defendant’ where the at-fault vehicle can’t be identified.

If you fall into one of these four categories, read on to learn more about how to claim your full entitlements.

I was knocked off my bike – can I claim compensation?

In NSW, it’s likely you can claim compensation under the CTP insurance scheme if you meet the following two conditions:

You don’t need to be a resident of NSW to make a claim, and even if you were at fault or partly at fault, you may still be able to claim compensation.

Expert tip: when you make a cycling accident claim, the insurer might try to reduce your compensation based on ‘contributory negligence’ – by claiming that you were partly at fault in the accident. Our lawyers have extensive experience negotiating with insurers on this point, and we often get insurers’ decisions overturned. 

Does my cycling accident injury qualify for a compensation claim?

Any injury that causes you to incur losses may qualify for compensation. Losses can include lost wages through time off work, and hospital, treatment, and rehabilitation costs.

In our experience, the most common cycling accident injuries that qualify for a compensation claim include:

Your injuries will be classified as ‘threshold’ or ‘above threshold’, and this classification will determine how much compensation you can claim. 

How do I claim my full cycling accident compensation entitlements?

Here are the steps recommended by our lawyers to claim your full entitlements:

  1. Report the accident to the police. This is important, as you’ll need a police event number to claim your entitlements.
  2. You’ll need details of the vehicle involved to identify the CTP insurer.
  3. Keep records of any witnesses and photos of the accident scene. Helmet or bike camera footage can be especially helpful with cycling accident claims.
  4. See your GP and get a full medical assessment*. Even if you don’t need to go to hospital, it’s important to get a medical assessment as some injuries can worsen over time, and if your injuries do worsen you might need time off work or further treatment.
  5. If you need any time off work or treatment, submit an ‘application for personal injury benefits’.
  6. It’s important to submit your claim within 28 days of the accident to be eligible for your lost wages to be backdated to the date of the accident. The final date for lodgement is three months from the date of the accident.

*Expert tip: Your medical assessment must cover all your injuries, including any bruising, pain, or inflammation that might seem minor at the time. It’s important to have a record of all your injuries for your cycling accident claim as this will determine the amount of compensation you receive.

If you have more serious injuries, you might be entitled to lump sum payments in addition to weekly payments. So before you lodge any bike accident claim, it’s a good idea to get legal advice on what you’re entitled to claim, to make sure you don’t miss out. You can get free legal advice from one of our bicycle accident lawyers by calling 13 15 15.

How much bike accident compensation can I claim?

According to SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority), in the 12 months to January 2024, there were 12,398 motor accident injury claims reported in NSW and $1.35 billion was paid out in benefits and lump sums. That’s $108,889 paid out for every new claim reported.*

For serious injuries, bike accident compensation payouts can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The amount you can claim as a cyclist hit by a car is determined by:

*Based on SIRA Open Data, January 2024

Expert tip: Your bike accident injuries will need to be assessed by a GP, and your injury classification will determine what you’re entitled to claim. However, not all GPs are familiar with the cycling accident claim process, and they might not document details that seem minor at the time but are critical to your overall assessment.  Our specialist lawyers can refer you to doctors who are familiar with these claims, to make sure all relevant injuries are documented and you don’t miss out on anything you’re entitled to. 

Can I make a lump sum cycling accident claim?

For cycling accident claims where your injuries have been assessed as above threshold and you weren’t at fault in the accident, you’re entitled to claim an additional lump sum on top of your weekly payments. A lump sum claim is the only way to get support beyond 24 months after your bike accident, and these lump sum payments can be substantial. For an estimate of your bike accident injury entitlements, you can use this CTP compensation calculator.

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How do I claim compensation for my bike accident injury?

You can claim under the NSW CTP scheme by completing an online application and submitting your supporting evidence via the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) online portal. This is an official website managed by the NSW government.

However, it’s important to understand that bike accident compensation claims can be significant, and even if you’re not using a lawyer, the insurer will have lawyers on its side. Their lawyers may challenge your claim – for example, by disagreeing with your injury classification or arguing that you’re partly at fault for the accident.  Your best chance of making a successful compensation claim is to seek advice from one of our lawyers with experience in bicycle accident claims. We can make sure your injuries are properly assessed through our network of doctors, to make sure you receive your full entitlements.

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.

If you’ve been injured from hitting a pothole, and you can successfully prove that the council responsible was negligent, then it would be the council’s public liability insurer that pays your bike accident compensation.

Accident statistics show that most bike accidents with cars are the fault of the driver of the car. However, assessing who’s at fault and how much their actions contributed to the accident is something that’s assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Some common examples of cycling 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.

How can I get help with my cycling accident claim?

You can call us on 13 15 15 and get free legal advice on what you can claim. And if you choose Law Partners to handle your claim, we’ll work for you on a no win, no fee basis. We win over 99% of our cases, and we pride ourselves on winning more compensation for our clients. 

To find out how much you can claim or to get free legal advice, speak to a bicycle accident lawyer at Law Partners today.

Tanja Maksimovic

Managing Solicitor

An accredited specialist in personal injury law, backed by over 10 years’ experience in assisting injured Australians receive everything they’re entitled to with their motor accident claim.

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