Bicycle Accident Compensation Claims

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If you've been involved in a cycling accident on Queensland's roads and have suffered injuries as a result, you may be eligible to lodge a personal injury claim.

During these challenging times, you might feel uncertain about your rights and need advice on your next steps. It's important to know about your rights and get professional advice on your next steps.

Smith's Lawyers team of bike accident compensation lawyers offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in hospital, in-office or via phone. All claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. We operate Queensland-wide.

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Understanding Your Rights After a Bicycle Accident in Queensland

Being involved in a bicycle accident can lead to a range of injuries, from grazes and broken bones to brain or spinal damage. It can cost between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to receive adequate care after attaining serious debilitating injuries; the financial weight on victims and their families can be substantial. 

If you've suffered an injury due to someone else's negligence within Queensland, you have several rights concerning injury compensation. Specifically: 

  • For accidents that occur on the road, including those involving cars and bicycles, you may be entitled to make a claim under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Claims Scheme. This scheme covers the costs of injuries resulting from the negligent actions of a third party.
  • Work accidents are covered under statutory claims that involve WorkCover Queensland or a self-employer. These claims can occur regardless of who is at fault and cover injuries sustained at work or during work activities. If your employer was negligent, you could approach your claim under common law.
  • For bike accidents that occur in a public place, such as a park or a shopping centre, you may be able to make a common law claim against the public liability insurer. This includes instances where the custodian of the public place failed to provide safe conditions, resulting in your injury.

Navigating these schemes can be complex, so it's crucial to seek legal advice from expert bicycle accident lawyers. Remember, Smith's Lawyers operate with a No Win. No Fee. No Catch® promise, ensuring your claim process is risk-free.

What Is a Bicycle Accident Injury?

A bicycle accident injury refers to any harm cyclists in Queensland suffer as a result of accidental encounters with vehicles while cycling. Around 36 cyclists are killed on Australian roads each year, and 7,000 are hospitalised with cycling injuries. These injuries aren’t limited to physical harm; they can also encompass emotional or psychological strain. 

Often, the cause of these accidents can be traced back to motorists' negligence, poorly maintained roads, or even a cyclist’s lack of safety awareness. The consequences can be life-altering as injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe ones such as brain trauma, spinal injuries, fractures, or fatalities.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents Involving Vehicles

While only 7% of serious bicycle injuries involve collisions with other vehicles, understanding the common causes of bicycle accidents involving cars or other motor vehicles is key to ensuring your safety on the road. This knowledge can also be useful in establishing fault when seeking cyclist injury compensation

Most bike accidents with other vehicles occur in the following situations: 

  • Car Dooring: This is when a car door is opened into the path of an oncoming cyclist. Cyclists can suffer significant injury if they collide with the open door or swerve to avoid it and collide with other road users or objects.
  • Left Turn Accidents: Common at traffic lights, these occur when a vehicle turns left across the path of a cyclist travelling straight. The driver may not see the cyclist or misjudge their speed, leading to a collision.
  • Right Hook Accidents: This happens when a vehicle overtakes a cyclist and then turns right, cutting across the cyclist's path and causing a collision.
  • Rear-End Collisions: Cyclists can be hit from behind by vehicles, often due to driver distraction, speed, or failure to keep a safe distance.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, or poorly maintained cycling lanes can cause cyclists to lose control and collide with vehicles.

In all these accidents, even when wearing protective gear, cyclists are at a high risk of severe injuries due to the sheer size and weight difference between bicycles and motor vehicles.

Common Types of Injuries from Cycling Accidents

In the event of an accident involving a bicycle and a vehicle, the cyclist often bears the brunt of the impact, resulting in a variety of injuries. Here's an overview of the most common injuries sustained by cyclists in Queensland:

  • Head and Brain Injuries: These can range from minor concussions to serious traumatic brain injuries. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk, but it cannot totally prevent these injuries.
  • Fractures and Broken Bones: Cyclists can suffer broken bones in their arms, legs, or ribs due to the force of the collision or from being thrown off the bike.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These can lead to temporary or permanent disability, depending on the severity of the injury.
  • Internal Injuries: The force of the crash can lead to injuries to internal organs, such as the lungs or liver, which can be life-threatening.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: This can include bruises, sprains, and tears to muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
  • Lacerations and Abrasions: Often referred to as 'road rash', these types of injuries are caused by sliding across the pavement after a collision.

It is critical to seek immediate medical attention following a cycling accident, even if you feel your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not be obvious immediately after the accident but can become serious if not treated promptly.

Workers Most At Risk of Bicycle Accident Injuries

If you are a cyclist travelling to and from work or your job involves cycling, certain professions can expose you to greater risk. Here's a quick overview of some jobs where cyclists might face increased vulnerability: 

  • Delivery Drivers: People in this profession, such as food delivery or courier services, spend much of their time on the road, increasing the chance of a collision with a vehicle. Busy streets, time pressures, and poor visibility can further elevate the risk.
  • Postal Workers: Postal workers often use bicycles for their rounds. The requirement to constantly stop and start again contributes to the risk, especially when vehicles might not expect such movements on the road.
  • Police and Security Patrols: Bike patrol officers can be vulnerable as they navigate through traffic and respond quickly to situations, sometimes with less protective gear than drivers of larger vehicles.
  • Bike Couriers: These workers are exposed to risk due to the high-speed nature of their jobs and constant navigation through congested traffic. Due to this, they may face a higher chance of colliding with a car door or vehicle.
  • Bicycle Tour Guides: While leading groups of cyclists on the road, tour guides could encounter risk as they focus not only on their own safety but also the safety of the group they are guiding.

If your job falls into any of the above categories, being vigilant in maintaining road safety measures can play a key role in mitigating the risk of an accident.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Legal Process

Securing compensation after a bicycle accident often entails a series of stages guided by professional legal counsel. It's crucial to seek medical attention immediately following the accident to ensure your injuries are officially diagnosed and documented. 

Here's a quick run-through of the cycling accident claims process in Queensland: 

1. Open a Cycling Accident Claim

Start by discussing your situation with a lawyer. They will enlighten you about your rights, assess your eligibility for compensation and ensure your claim is correctly lodged. To assess the potential of your claim, Smith's Lawyers offers a free case review.

2. Information Gathering

If your claim is considered viable after the case review, the next step involves gathering evidence which includes medical bills, reports about the accident, witness accounts and any other documents that exhibit the severity of your injury and its impact on your life.

3. Claim Submission

The relevant evidence collated is then utilised to lodge the formal cycling accident compensation claim. For instance, if your bike accident was a result of another vehicle's negligence, the claim would be against the CTP insurer of the at-fault driver.

4. Negotiations

The next phase commences once the claim is submitted – negotiations. Both parties aim to agree on a fair settlement amount to cover the damages and losses caused by your injury. Most settlements are achieved at a 'compulsory conference', thus, eliminating the need for court proceedings. Here, your legal team will liaise with the at-fault party’s insurer's representatives. 

5. Settlement

After reaching an agreement, the legal fees are subtracted. Then, the final bike accident compensation claims payout is translated into a tax-free lump sum, which is deposited into the victim’s account. If negotiations fail to produce a fair result, you may need to go to court, although this is rare.

By following these steps with the assistance of a skilled and experienced bicycle accident lawyer, you can navigate the legal maze with confidence and advocacy for your rights. Remember, each case is unique, and the course of action may vary based on the specifics of your accident.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Bicycle Injury Claim?

To ensure the success of your cycling accident injury claim, there are some key pieces of evidence that will help validate the case:

  • Medical Documentation: Your initial diagnosis and continuing treatments, as well as prognostications. Any health-related documents that demonstrate your injury's gravity and its effect on your day-to-day living will be required.
  • Accident Evidence: This can range from a police report for road accidents, an incident report for work-related injuries, to CCTV recordings, if there are any.
  • Eyewitness Accounts: If there were any eyewitnesses to the cycling accident, their testimonies could lend potent support to your application.
  • Expense Details: The financial repercussions of the injury can be highlighted by receipts for medical treatment, medication costs, physiotherapy bills, home modification expenditures, or care expenses.
  • Lost Income Verification: If you've missed out on earnings due to your injury, items such as wage slips or a corroborating letter from your employer could be useful.

This evidence will help you claim cycling accident compensation by showing who was at fault, the damages, and what you’re entitled to. 

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

Calculating your compensation amount may sometimes seem like a complexity, but we aim to make it as straightforward as possible. It is crucial to know that various factors directly impact the final compensation amount you may be entitled to. 

Here are some key determinants: 

  • Severity of injuries: The severity and extent of your injuries following a cycling accident play a key role in determining the compensation amount. More severe injuries typically result in higher compensation due to increased costs of medical treatment and long-term care.
  • Loss of earnings: If the injury prevents you from working or impacts your capacity to earn, the lost wages component becomes a significant factor in the compensation calculation.
  • Medical expenses: Any costs related to medical treatment, whether present or future, are considered. This could include everything from doctor visits to rehabilitation services.
  • Impact on lifestyle: Sometimes, an injury can drastically change one's lifestyle. The more significant the impact, the higher the compensation to offset the consequences.
  • Age: Your age at the time of the accident also matters, as it can affect both your recovery period and potential loss of future earnings.

Naturally, two individuals with the same injury may not receive the same lump sum payments. 

Example: For instance, let's consider two cyclists who have both suffered a broken leg in a cycling accident. 

While one is a 25-year-old professional footballer, the other is a 65-year-old retired person. Both their occupations and age would be factored into their settlements. The footballer may likely receive a higher compensation value, considering his loss of income while being unable to play and the potential impact on his professional career. 

Contrarily, the impact on the retired person might be less severe, financially speaking. However, his age may prolong his recovery period, which would also be factored into the compensation. Unique elements of a person's situation can significantly impact the claim's amount.

Time Limits for Bicycle Accident Injuries

Strict time limits apply, 3 years from the date of incident is the typical timeframe to lodge a bicycle accident injury claim from incidents on the road, at the workplace, or due to public liabilities. However, this may differ according to the specifics of your claim.

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment. 
  • You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

For motor vehicle-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have 9 months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the 9 months but must be within 3 years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the 3-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after a bike accident injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What evidence do I need to support my bicycle accident claim?

To support your cycling accident claim, you'll need to present a collection of evidence, such as copies of medical reports and receipts for treatment costs. Witness testimonies can also be beneficial. Your lawyer will help to collate all of the necessary evidence.

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Can I claim if the accident was partially my fault?

Yes, you can. Queensland operates under a comparative negligence system meaning that even if you were partially at fault, you could still pursue a claim. However, your compensation might be reduced to reflect your contribution to the accident. 

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith's Lawyers means there are no upfront costs and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with 'no win, no fee' agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court, and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs – so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to Bicycle Injury claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 19, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.