A quad bike or 'quad' is basically a motorbike with four wheels. The rider straddles the seat and controls the vehicle with handlebars. Quad bikes are also known as "all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs", though that description has been criticised, given the high incidence of quad bike accidents on rugged or sloping terrain.
Quad bikes are commonly used on private property, though they can be ridden on public roads. A quad can be used recreationally and as a work vehicle on a farm or in rural workplaces.
Unfortunately, these vehicles are well known for rolling over while being ridden, particularly when on a slope, resulting in serious, life-threatening injury or death. Quad bike safety is therefore paramount, and measures such as rollover protection, wearing a helmet, training and using the right bike for the land being ridden on are essential to managing the risk associated with using this type of vehicle. Safety recommendations are also extremely clear that children should not be allowed to ride a quad designed for an adult.
Someone who has been injured, or the family of someone killed, in a quad bike accident may be entitled to seek compensation.
Find out more about making a motor vehicle compensation claim.
The level and type of injury suffered in a quad bike accident often depend on the way the accident happened and the safety measures that have been utilised.
Some common injury types include:
Tragically, quad bike fatalities are not uncommon in Australia. The ACCC''s Product Safety Australia outlines that there have been at least 136 quad-bike related deaths in the period 2011 to 2019.
In 2015, the Queensland Coroner's Court investigated and provided findings on nine quad bike-related deaths. In analysing statistics related to quad bike fatalities as part of the Inquest findings, the Coroner reported that there are about 15 to 20 quad bike deaths per year in Australia and a quarter occur in Queensland.
A fatality from a quad bike accident can be in a number of ways, including:
If you have suffered an injury in a quad bike crash you will potentially be able to seek compensation for:
If the accident was work-related, WorkCover or a self-insurers will usually pay for the same things, other than general damages. However, if you have suffered permanent impairment, you may be eligible to receive a lump-sum payment.
Family members of someone killed in a quad bike accident can potentially receive:
Often a worker seeking compensation for injuries suffered at work will first apply to WorkCover Queensland. You will usually be entitled to worker's compensation if your accident occurred at work, or travelling to or from work, or in the course of performing your work duties.
A claim must be made to WorkCover or a self-insurer within 6 months from when the injury occurred or when it is first linked to your workplace duties by a doctor.
There is a specific claims process, including:
Often, you can start receiving payments while your claim is being processed. The second way to seek worker's compensation is through the courts - continue reading for more detail. This can be pursued instead of WorkCover, or as well as, in some circumstances.
If you are injured outside of an employment context, you will probably need to consider making a compensation claim in court against whoever caused the injury. This can be an individual or an organisation, and could be:
You will usually be seeking to prove that the other person was negligent.
Generally speaking, in negligence claims you are required to commence a claim with the court within 3 years of the injury occurring. Before lodging a court claim there may be certain steps you must take under the law to notify the person you are claiming against that you intend to make a claim.
If you have suffered a quad bike injury at work, a statutory claim to WorkCover or a self-insurer can be relatively straightforward. However, many people find they appreciate having lawyers to help them as they navigate the claims process.
Where an injury occurs somewhere other than work, for example, while riding a quad bike recreationally, you would need to seek compensation through the courts.
Bringing a case in court can be stressful and many people find it daunting as they are not accustomed to it. Personal injury law can be complex and the legal process is often challenging.
Our lawyers can:
If your case is going to court:
In either case, if you suffer a total permanent disability, our lawyers can help you make a claim to your TPD insurer, which will often be your superannuation provider.
If you suffer injuries whilst at work, and you are looking for further information in terms of making a claim. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer a free consultation for injured people looking to seek compensation. As mentioned before, we also have a "No Win. No Fee. No Catch." policy, which means you will never be out of pocket.
Get in touch with us today to give yourself the best opportunity to understand your rights.
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