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Bike Riders and Accidents

Car AccidentSPECIAL NOTE - This blog relates to motor vehicle accident compensation where your accident occurred prior to 1 July 2013.  Significant legislative change came into effect in South Australia for compensation as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident after 1 July 2013.  And now, back to the article...

The reason we are seeing more bicycles being ridden on city and suburban streets is, we think a combination of:

  • Bike riding being used for fitness purposes; and
  • Bike riding becoming a more popular pass time due to the profile given to Australian professional bike riders and to national and international bike riding events.

We believe the downside for bike riders is that a simple equation exists; with more bike riders on the road, we have more accidents involving bike riders.

When can a Bike Rider Claim Compensation?

Laws relating to bike riders are the same as for car drivers.  The law of negligence applies.  A bike rider can claim damages (compensation through the Motor Accident Commission) providing that he or she was involved in an accident which can be entirely or partially blamed on another party.

Quite often it is the bike rider who will come off second best in an accident.  The compulsory wearing of helmets has assisted in preventing many head injuries but we see wrist fractures and leg injuries being very commonly incurred.

In addition we often see psychological reactions to accidents.  Some bike riders, once they have had an accident, refuse to resume the activity of bike riding.  This is unfortunate and may lead to additional compensation.

Riders should realise that they do not in fact need to be involved in a collision to be able to claim.  Many riders suffer injuries in trying to avoid collisions.  Such people may still be entitled to claim compensation.

In all of this, what should not be lost is that the bike rider may have sustained quite significant damage to his or her bike.  If that is the case, then steps need to be taken to try and recover that property loss as well.

What we think is most important is that if you have had an accident and have suffered any injury or loss that you seek legal advice immediately.  Notice should be given to the compulsory insurer at an early time and it is important that you receive early advice on what you can and cannot claim, how claims are assessed and what you should or shouldn't do along the process of a claim.

In large part, your legal costs are covered by the insurer so you should not feel that the issue of legal costs is one that should stand in your way or prevent you getting early and appropriate advice.

For highly experienced advice and assistance in relation to a pushbike accident, contact Andersons Solicitors or get in touch directly with the writer of this blog, Partner in Civil Litigation, Dion McCaffrie.

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia. It relates to South Australian legislation.

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