Can I claim compensation for a cycling accident in the ACT?

Published 18 Oct 2018

Author: Nassir Bechara

A survey from Austroads suggests that 15.5 per cent of Australians ride a bicycle in a typical week.

Despite the health benefits and convenience associated with cycling, accidents do happen – and sometimes they involve fatalities. In the 12 months to August 2018 there was a 48 per cent increase in cycling deaths on Australian roads, according to the Australian Government.

But are cyclists involved in accidents eligible for compensation?

Yes – depending on the circumstances

Cyclists involved in accidents may be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances of the incident:

Injuries obtained from commuting to or from work

Many workers in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) may cycle to and from work. If an accident of any sorts occurs whilst cycling to or from a place of employment, this constitutes a work-related injury under the Act – giving cyclists the chance for compensation.

However, cyclists involved in an accident must consult a medical professional right away and collect all relevant documentation to ensure a higher chance of success.

Injuries caused by other cyclists

Sometimes, cycling accidents involve another bike rider. This happened in a 2016 Canberra case involving two cyclists. After hitting an obstacle in a bike lane, the first cyclist veered into the second cyclist causing him to fall off his bike and into the path of an oncoming car.

The victim suffered a range of permanent injuries and launched a civil negligence case against the first cyclist who denied liability and having any form of duty of care towards the victim. The judge disagreed and ordered the defendant to pay nearly $1.7 million in compensation after taking into account loss of future earnings and medical expenses. Had the defendant possessed home and contents insurance he would have been protected for acts of negligence which includes actions outside the home (anywhere in Australia).

Injuries caused by motor vehicles

If a cyclist is injured due to the negligent actions of the driver of a motor vehicle, they may be entitled to claim damages as part of the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance policy of that vehicle owner. Under recent ATP amendments, the injured party no longer has to prove who’s at fault in order to receive compensation – making it easier for all injured parties to get the compensation they deserve.

If you’ve been involved in a collision, whether a car was involved or not, you may be entitled to some form of compensation. Get in touch with the team at Gerard Malouf & Partners today to submit a claim for damages.