Cycling is a popular sport and pastime for many Australians, both young and old. However, as more people are cycling on busy roads, the risk of an accident is rising.
Due to the vulnerable nature of cyclists in comparison to a small vehicle, even a small collision can result in major injuries. In these situations, the cyclist is may be entitled to injury compensation when the accident is not their fault.
A bicycle accident can result in serious injuries.
Are cycling accidents increasing?
According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), 3 per cent of road fatalities involves cyclists and a further 15 per cent of all road hospitalisations. BITRE notes that these proportions have risen in the last decade.
There are many environmental and health benefits to cycling, however, there are also significant safety concerns. While a slight error may not result in a serious incident for a car, cyclists are much more vulnerable.
Due to the high likelihood for serious injuries, there are many instances where accidents result in a compensation for cyclists. A decision from earlier this year highlights the importance of contacting an injury lawyer in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Cyclist receives over $1.1 million in compensation
The cross-appellant was awarded the total injuries compensation of $1,160,000.
The respondent was cycling on a public road in San Souci, Sydney when he was seriously injured after crashing into a boom barrier. The appellant, the local City Council had set up the gate to enclose a stretch of road that was connected to the nearby Sailing Club’s carpark.
While the City Council maintained legal authority and control over the boom barrier, the road and the car park, the Sailing Club had an informal agreement that allowed it to open and close the gate at its discretion.
Initially, the primary Judge concluded that the City Council was responsible, not the Sailing Club. The Court determined the injuries sustained by the cyclist deserved $1,160,000 but reduced the amount as the cyclist bore some responsibility. Due to finding the respondent guilty of contributory negligence, the total was reduced by 20 per cent.
However, on appeal, the Court did not find the cyclist responsible, stating that he was not able to detect the boom barrier nor was he able to avoid collision. As such, the cross-appellant was awarded the total injuries compensation of $1,160,000 (plus interest from September 27 2013).
In these situations, it is important that you contact an accident lawyer to ensure the matter can be settled as quickly as possible. Furthermore, contacting compensation lawyers who understand this area well can help guide you through the process.
If you’ve been involved in an accident that resulted in serious injuries, contact the lawyers at PK Simpson for advice on the compensation process.