Cycling has exploded in popularity throughout Victoria and other areas of Australia. Many people take to their bikes not only for exercise and recreation but for daily commutes as well.
Unfortunately, the rising popularity of cycling has also resulted in an increased number of bicycle accidents. Injured cyclists are often unaware of the benefits they may be entitled to through a Transport Accident Commission (TAC) claim, as well as the compensation available through a common law claim.
If you have been injured by a motor vehicle while riding your bike, the road accident lawyers at Henry Carus + Associates are here to help. Please call 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation review of your case in Melbourne and other areas of VIC.
Eligibility for TAC Benefits After a Bicycle Accident
In the event of a transport accident, cyclists have access to the same TAC benefits as pedestrians and the drivers and passengers of motor vehicles. This includes injuries sustained in collisions with moving cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and trams, as well as crashes with stationary vehicles and open car doors.
To be eligible for benefits, you must lodge a claim within 1 year of the accident or when your injury becomes apparent. (The TAC may accept claims filed up to 3 years after the accident if reasonable circumstances caused the delay.)
Surviving dependent family members of a cyclist who is killed in a transport accident are also eligible for TAC benefits.
Filing a TAC Claim After a Bicycle Accident
To receive benefits, you must lodge a claim with the TAC. In some cases, however, you may not have to originate the claim at all. If you received hospital treatment for your injuries, the hospital may be the first to file a claim with the TAC to be reimbursed for the care provided to you.
If you make the claim yourself after a bicycle accident, the TAC requires the following information:
- Where the accident occurred
- The injuries you sustained
- Details about the accident
- Registration numbers for the vehicle(s) involved
- Names and contact information for drivers and passengers of the involved vehicle(s)
- Names and contact information for any witnesses
- Information for police officers who arrive at the scene
- The name of your doctor or other healthcare provider who has treated your injuries
- Employment information, including wages you have lost due to the accident
- Your banking information
It can be overwhelming to gather all of this information on your own after a bicycle accident, especially if you were seriously injured and taken directly to hospital. You may want to contact a lawyer for assistance with your TAC claim.
What Happens After I File My TAC Claim for the Bike Accident?
Once the TAC reviews your claim, you will receive notification of whether it is accepted or denied. If your claim is accepted, you will receive a Claim for Compensation Summary that outlines your benefits.
If your claim is denied or your benefits are lower than the expenses and losses you are facing, it is important to hire a lawyer with experience handling TAC accident claims. An experienced lawyer can provide guidance on how to request a review of the TAC’s decision, how to attain a serious injury certificate, and more.
When Do Bicyclists Have a Common Law Claim?
TAC benefits for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost earnings, and home assistance are provided on an ongoing basis as you recover for your injuries. However, if you suffer what is legally termed a serious injury in an accident where someone is at fault, you may be able to recover common law compensation in a lump sum.
When you pursue a common law claim, the TAC represents the at-fault driver. It will try to minimise the amount you are paid for any permanent impairment, so it is important to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side.
You may also be able to file a common law claim if your bicycle accident is the result of a dangerous or defective road. Public liability claims strive to hold the parties charged with responsibility for the safety of a property (including roads) accountable for negligence that results in injuries.
In the case of a bicycle accident, the authority that manages the road may be liable for negligent maintenance. Alternatively, the contractor or subcontractor that built the road may be liable if your accident resulted from negligent construction.
Defective products are another possible grounds for a common law claim after a bike accident. If you were injured because of a faulty part on your bicycle, such as the brakes, the chain, the tyres, the handlebars, etc., you may be able to pursue compensation from the manufacturer.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
At Henry Carus + Associates, we believe that You Deserve More. Not only does this mean that we are committed to attaining the best outcome for your claim, but delivering superior legal service and guidance as well.
We have extensive experience in TAC accident claims involving a wide range of vehicles, including bicycles. What’s more, our principal and founder, Henry Carus, is an avid cyclist who understands the dangers riders face on roads throughout Victoria.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, please call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 or contact us online today. Our team serves clients in Melbourne and other areas of VIC.