It’s a topic many of us don’t want to think about, dwell upon or put the mockers on ourselves by even discussing, but unfortunately it happens daily.
The brutal reality of our sport – particularly for those who commute or ride in urban or built up areas – is this. Bike riders are vulnerable and accidents and incidents do occur on the roads, in public spaces, cycleways … anywhere.
So what happens after you have been injured while cycling? We spoke to lawyer Rick Christie, a passionate rider and specialist in the law surrounding compensation, particularly in cases involving cyclists.
“Riders may be eligible to be compensated for a range of expenses such as medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and future care costs,” he told us.
“In NSW, under a new scheme introduced on 1 December, 2017, it is now no longer always necessary to prove fault on the part of the driver of a motor vehicle to successfully claim some types of compensation.”
‘In many cases cyclists are unaware of their rights’
Mr Christie told us the claims process involves completing and lodging a number of forms.
“Talking to a lawyer as soon as possible following an accident is crucial to ensure that strict time limits in the claims process are met,” he said.
“In many cases cyclists are unaware of their rights and are at risk of losing those rights due to inaction.”
Asked about recent cases, examples included a settlement containing an award of $175,000 for a client knocked off the bike by a hit-and-run taxi. There was also a case that awarded $300,000 to a client who collided with a car at a set of traffic lights.
Mr Christie said claims can cover –
- recovering treatment and care costs.
- assessing their loss including non-economic loss such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life such as being unable to ride.
- utilising experts to assess loss of income for the self-employed cyclist.
- navigating the Dispute Resolution Service system and if applicable pursuing claims in court.
“We can arrange finance to cover the cost of medico legal reports that may be required to substantiate a claim.” he said.
“We have a good working relationship with the top barristers in this field. We act in a professional manner and subject to certain conditions on a no win no fee basis.”
For enquiries and assistance contact Christie Law on 02 9232 2264 or send a web enquiry via www.christielaw.com.au