Being involved in a bicycle crash is a scary and oftentimes traumatising experience. In most cases, riders are left with severe injuries given their lack of protection. The situation can be made worse by uncertain circumstances, paperwork, determining fault levels and alternating blame.
More often than not, cyclists are the ones who sustain more severe damages than anyone else when involved in an accident. Gerard Malouf & Partners is here to make sure that justice is served and that you’re compensated fairly for damages.
Determining who is at fault for a car vs. bicycle accident
If you’ve been affected by a serious accident involving a bicycle and car, the first thing you should do is reach out for medical assistance.
Afterwards, understanding who is at fault, your rights regarding the situation and cycling accident compensation eligibility can be stressful. On top of an already difficult situation, beginning to work through some of the legal obligations can be a lot of extra work. Involving experienced personal injury lawyers can take some of the edge off and help you get paid for your hardship as a result of a cyclist car accident.
First things first, it needs to be understood who is at fault; who caused the accident? After you’ve taken care of any serious injury by calling for emergency medical attention, try to remember or write down as many details as possible about the situation — especially about the driver of the motor vehicle that was involved.
Depending on where you live, laws determining where and how cyclists are allowed to ride on a road vary. The same variation applies to drivers of motorised vehicles and how they’re legally allowed to pass riders. This will be an important observation to make or remember while gearing up for your claim.
Cyclists require adequate space between them and other vehicles when on the road. A minimum distance — dependent on the posted speed — is compulsory to pass them in a motor vehicle. This rule applies to all types of vehicles including cars, motorbikes, trucks and buses. In New South Wales (NSW), for example, the law for passing a bicyclist on a road is as follows:
- 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less.
- 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h.
On the other hand, in NSW, a bike is considered a vehicle. In turn, cyclists must follow the same NSW road rules as drivers of other vehicles. If riders are found to be in violation of any road laws, that may have an effect on the amount of compensation that they’re entitled to, even if injured in a bike accident as a result.
Because there are so many variables to consider, contacting a personal injury lawyer is the best way to understand your situation from a holistic and informed point of view. A compensation lawyer can guide you through the entirety of the claims process, from gathering sufficient evidence to dealing with insurance and lodging the proper documentation and forms to ensure accuracy.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that, whoever would be considered less vulnerable to injury, holds more responsibility for being cognisant of their surroundings. For bicycles vs. cars, that means the individuals in the cars; and for bicycles vs. pedestrians, that means the rider of the bicycle.
However, it should be noted that this does not grant any sort of immunity to involved parties. Fault still must be determined, which is why seeking legal counsel can be extremely helpful.
Understanding your rights after a bicycle accident
- As a cyclist that has been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, you are able to claim damages.
- The accident must be reported to police within 28 days or else you risk losing out on some compensation.
- Your Personal Injury Claims form must be submitted no later than six months following the accident to avoid any substantial effects on your claim.
Requirements for making a bicycle accident compensation claim
While there are no specific requirements — other than being involved in a bicycle car accident — to file a claim, there are some best practices. For your best chance at a favourable result, here are a few steps to follow after being injured in a bicycle vs. car accident.
1. Seek medical attention for your injuries (if applicable)
If you’ve been injured, call for emergency medical treatment. The sooner you call and get help, the better chance you may have of fully recovering from your injuries.
2. Contact your insurance
Next, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Your insurer will be the source of truth for your claim and will ultimately decide how much compensation you’re entitled to.
3. Involve a personal injury lawyer
A personal injury lawyer will help you understand the entirety of your situation, file documents and assist you through the claims process. The lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners know the details and nuances of cycling accident claims and can guide you through the process. That way, you’ll be able to spend your energy recovering, not worrying about paperwork.
What type of compensation you’re entitled to after a bicycle accident
The amount of compensation that you’re entitled to after a bicycle car accident depends on the severity of the situation, the extent of your injuries and your level of fault. If you’re eligible to file a claim, there are two categories of damages that you could pursue: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include, but are not limited to:
- Lost wages.
- Medical expenses.
- Repair or replacement for damaged property.
- Job loss or loss of job capacity that has affected earning ability.
Non-economic damages include, but are not limited to:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional anguish.
- Damaged reputation.
For more severe cases and for persons who have sustained life-altering injuries, it’s not uncommon to see monetary compensation into six and even seven figures.
A client of ours, Reg, who was involved in such a road accident was only initially offered $15,000 in economic compensation by the at-fault party’s insurer. However, through our legal counsel, Reg was able to claim expenses for future medical bills and treatment in excess of $40,000, for just those items alone. At the end of the claim our client received over $650,000 in compensation. If you’re interested in the full story to gain a better understanding of what you may be eligible for, visit our website.
How Gerard Malouf & Partners can help
No matter how your case looks, it’s always a good idea to involve experienced personal injury lawyers. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle car accident, reach out to the qualified and professional lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners. The sooner you initiate your claim, the better chance we — and you — have at securing the maximum amount of benefits and compensation. We offer a No-win, No-fee policy ensures that we don’t get paid until you get paid, as well as no obligation, free legal advice.
Alternatively, if you’ve been involved in a hit and run or motor car accident, we have resources for those, too. Our lawyers deal with all kinds of personal injury cases and will be happy to advise you on next steps — just give us a call.