How common are bicycle accidents?
As a bike rider, you are one of Australia’s most vulnerable road users. In 2015-16 alone, 12,000 Australians were hospitalised for a bicycle related injury. This was 1 in 5 overall road crash hospitalisations, with many of these cyclists experiencing debilitating fractures due to a lack of collision protection.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation. GC Law is here to help you understand your eligibility and entitlements to help minimise personal and professional damages.
How to know if you are eligible for compensation?
Just like motorists and other road users, you have the right to make a compensation claim after a cycling accident. Your eligibility for compensation is largely dependent on the bicycle accident’s circumstances. This can include factors such as how the incident occurred, the seriousness of your injuries and how those injuries have impacted your lifestyle.
In Queensland, you can generally make a claim as long as you are not entirely at fault for the accident. This can include:
- Being hit by a car door (known as being “car-doored”)
- Colliding with a vehicle, pedestrian or property
- Experiencing accidents due to faulty design and/or ergonomic problems
Bicycle Accident Requirements for getting compensation
If you have been injured by a motor vehicle, your claim is governed by a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer. The steps to getting compensation are as follows:
Seek medical attention
After your accident, it is important to get medical attention for any injuries you have sustained. This documents your claim for future medical records. You should seek medical help even if you do not notice any injuries on the day of your accident. These injuries can emerge over time.
Report your crash to the police
In Queensland, it is required by law to report any accidents that result in injury to the police. You can do this by taking a completed Report of Traffic Incident to Police Form to your local police station. Make sure to note down the reference number (QP number) for your claim form. This should be done within 28 days of the accident, or you will need to justify the delay when making your claim.
Get the other party’s information
Your claim will require the other party’s vehicle registration number (known as the ‘at-fault’ vehicle). You can use this number to find their CPT insurer.
If you were unable to get the at-fault vehicle’s details either from the driver, witnesses, or the police, you can still lodge your claim against the Nominal Defendant. This includes unregistered vehicles.
Collect supporting evidence
The compensation claim allows you to add documents that support your claim. This can include a medical certificate, claimant certificate, proof or identity and law practice certification if you are engaged GC Law.
Lodge your accident notification and personal injury claim
Your accident notification and/ or personal injury claims should be lodged with the CPT insurers of the driver at fault within 28 days and 6 months respectively. The accident notification claim is for receiving up to $5000 compensation for expenses incurred after the accident. Alternatively, the personal injury claim is used for expenses that are more than $5000 or for anyone whose recovery exceeds 6 months.
What can you get compensated for?
Your compensation after a bicycle accident depends on your situation’s circumstances. This is on a case-by-care, considering factors such as the extent of your injuries and how they impact your lifestyle.
Some possible areas that you could get compensation for include:
- Replacement/repair of any damaged property or belongings
- Medical compensation
- Home modification & care expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Compensation for pain, suffering or loss of enjoyment
To know what you could be compensated for, is best to speak to a compensation lawyers about your case for individualised advice.
Are there time limits for making a bike accident claim?
Yes, strict time limits do apply for making a bike accident claim in Queensland.
For motor-vehicle accidents governed by the Queensland CTP insurance scheme, a Notice of Accident Claim (NOAC) must be given within one month of your first consultation with GC Law. Alternatively, it must be given within 3 months for unidentified vehicles or within 9 months of the incident for all other vehicles.
However, these times can be extended in certain circumstances. Generally, there is a three-year cut-off from the day the accident occurs. Different time limits may apply to children.
If you have experienced a bicycle accident, it is best practice to make a claim & reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible.
How long will the process take?
The length of your claims process is dependent on individual circumstances, such as the case’s complexity. Generally, a settlement can happen when:
- Your insurer has assigned accountability to a party
- Any injuries you have gained from the accident become stable
- The impact of your injuries becomes known
Extra time may also be added because of difficulties in the negational process between your lawyer and insurer. From reporting the incident to settling the claim, it can take around 12 to 18 months to complete.
Do I need a lawyer?
Our team at GC Law can provide you with a free consultation today to discuss your bicycle injury compensation claim. Get in touch with our team today for a free consultation and speak with a qualified lawyer who can explain your options.