Being involved in a bicycle accident can be a traumatic and difficult experience, but in some circumstances the ability to make a claim for compensation will help you to get the treatment and time off work you need without being out of pocket financially. The ability to make a claim and the extent of that claim will depend on the circumstances of the specific accident.
What to do in the aftermath of a bicycle accident?
In the period immediately following a bicycle accident it is essential that you consider your own safety. If possible, ensure that you are in a safe area to avoid suffering any secondary injuries. If you are unable to move, stay calm and call out for help. If you have access to a mobile telephone then ring for assistance. Your first priority must be to avoid suffering further harm.
If the accident was caused (wholly or partly) by a motor vehicle (be it car, truck, bus or motorcycle) it will be very helpful to obtain the details of the other person involved in the accident as well as any witnesses.
It is important to get immediate medical assistance either by calling for an ambulance or visiting your General Practitioner. It may also be helpful to your bicycle injury claim if you take photographs of your injuries (e.g. lacerations or bruising) and damage to your bicycle.
If the accident involves a registered vehicle (i.e. a car, truck, bus or motorcycle) and causes injuries then you must advise the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) and the WA Police of the details of the accident. This can be done online using a single form at Crash Report.
What types of claims for compensation can be made?
There are a different types of legal claims that can result from bicycle accidents including:
1. Property damage claim – a claim made against the person who caused (wholly or partly) the accident for the damage done to your bike, helmet, clothing or other goods;
2. Injury claim against a registered vehicle – a claim made against the car, truck, bus or motor cycle driver for the injuries that you sustained;
3. Wider negligence injury claim – a claim made against any person or entity that contributed to or caused the accident which could potentially include other cyclists, pedestrians or even the people in charge of the roads or footpaths.
The worst and most traumatic bicycle accidents are usually those involving another vehicle such as a car, truck, bus or motor cycle. The nature of riding a bicycle means that cyclists are particularly exposed to serious injuries when larger and more powerful vehicles are involved. This is one of the reasons why injuries caused by drivers of registered vehicles in Western Australia are covered by their third party insurer the Insurance Commission of WA (ICWA).
What if I’ve already made an injury claim against the driver of another vehicle?
If you have already made a claim for injuries from an accident that was partly or wholly caused by the driver of a registered vehicle then you may want to consider obtaining legal advice. A firm who specialises in motor vehicle accident claims will be able to make sure that you get the best possible outcome from your claim.
If you’ve made a claim for this type of injury you will already know that the claim is primarily dealt with by the third party insurer, the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA).
What can I claim for if I’ve made a bicycle injury claim against a registered vehicle?
If you’ve made a bicycle injury claim against the driver of a registered vehicle then your claim may include compensation for any of the following:
1. Pain and Suffering
2. Loss of earnings
• This can include time off work or time away from your business.
• You can also claim for future loss of earnings such as if you can’t return to full time work or if you will need time off work to attend medical treatment in the future.
3. Medical treatment
• Often the Insurance Commission of WA (ICWA) will pay for treatment as you need it so that you are not out of pocket.
• You can also claim for medical treatment that the doctors say you will need in the future.
• This may include paid assistance such as hiring a cleaner or gardener.
• It may also include unpaid assistance such as that provided by a family member.
5. Out of pocket expenses
• This may include medications or items recommended by your treating medical practitioners.
• You might also have paid for some medical treatment or incurred travel expenses.
Seek Legal Advice from a Professional
If you’ve made a claim for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident against a registered vehicle we recommend that you get advice from an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer. A specialist in bicycle injury claims will be able to advise you on the merits of your claim as well as help you get the best outcome.
Kakulas Legal specialise in representing people who have been injured in a bicycle accidents against registered vehicles. If you need legal advice for your bicycle accident claim, call us to book in a free initial consultation with our experienced accident lawyers.