Cycling Accident Compensatiion Claims
In NSW, you can make a claim under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 if you have sustained an injury as a result of the fault of a driver of a motor vehicle. This means that cyclists and pedestrians can claim compensation for injuries sustained by the fault of the driver of a motor vehicle.
Fault based claim for pedestrian or cycling accidents
If you have an injury that is caused by the fault of the owner or driver of a motor vehicle in the use or operation of the vehicle and is caused (whether or not as a result of a defect in the vehicle) during:
- the driving of the vehicle, or
- a collision, or action taken to avoid a collision, with the vehicle, or
- the vehicle’s running out of control, or
- a dangerous situation caused by the driving of the vehicle, a collision or action taken to avoid a collision with the vehicle, or the vehicle’s running out of control
You have an entitlement to make a claim.
The Act is a fault based scheme, that is, the injured person must prove the driver was “at fault”.
Usually we can prove that the driver was “at fault” as the police documents and other records or witness statements confirm the driver to be at fault.
If this is the case, a pedestrian or cyclist can make a CTP claim without any worry the claim may be declined.
Sometimes however, with pedestrian and cycling accidents this isn’t always easy. Often after a car accident a pedestrian might not be able to remember what happened, it may be a hit and run or there is conflicting evidence from witnesses.
Luckily for pedestrians and cyclists, the law in NSW allows cyclists and pedestrians to make a claim even if they cannot prove the driver or owner of the car was at fault; this is known as a blameless accident.
A “blameless motor vehicle accident” is one not caused by the fault of the owner or driver or by the fault of any other person (this does not include the pedestrian or cyclist).
For example, we acted for a client who was severely injured in a hit and run car accident. There were no witnesses and our client could not recall what had occurred other than he was crossing a road. We could not prove the driver was at fault as we had no idea how the accident occurred. The client was successful however under the blameless accident provisions as no other person could possibly be responsible.
This provision allows almost all pedestrians and cyclists to make a claim for compensation in most circumstances even where the accident may partially be the fault of the pedestrian or cyclist.
How to make a claim for a pedestrian or cyclist accident
If you are a cyclist or a pedestrian and you are injured by a car you need to:
- Obtain the contact details of the driver who injured you
- Obtain the registration number of the vehicle who injured you
- Record the contact details of any witnesses
- Take photographs of the accident scene, including:
- The vehicle that injured you
- Yourself, and any visible injuries
- The damage to your possessions (E.g. bike, computer, helmet)
- Report the accident to police (within 28 days) and obtain an event number
- See your doctor immediately for your injuries
- You will need to make sure the doctor records that you have been involved in a car accident and takes a detailed recording of the injuries you have sustained
- Complete an Accident Notification Form (ANF) within 28 days and send it to the CTP insurer of the vehicle you consider at fault. This covers you for up to $5000.00 worth of initial treatment and lost income.
- If you have not recovered from your injuries within three months from the date of accident, or you have incurred more than $5000.00 in treatment expenses or lost income then you will need to complete a Motor Accidents Personal Injury Claim Form.
To make a claim under the Motor Accidents Act for more than $5000 you must complete the Motor Accidents Personal Injury Claim Form within six months from the date of your accident. This is crucial and the date should be diarised.
For details on what compensation is payable in such a claim please see our blog HERE.
If you need further assistance as a result of your pedestrian or cyclist accident, please do not hesitate to contact us as follows;