Our bike accident lawyers can help you obtain benefits and other compensation if you were injured while cycling. Bicycle accidents can lead to serious and long-term, even permanent impairment.
How long it takes to resolve a bike accident claim depends on a number of factors. The bicycle accident lawyers at Henry Carus + Associates will strive to resolve your claim expeditiously without leaving any money you are owed on the table.
Please call 03 9001 1318 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Our bike accident lawyers serve clients in Melbourne and throughout VIC.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Bike Accident Claim?
Before knowing how much time might be required to bring the matter to a close, it is important to know how long you have to lodge a claim after a bike accident. One of the following time limits will apply:
You have up to 1 year (12 months) from the date of the accident to lodge a claim with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). Unless you can demonstrate a reasonable reason for the delay, and then you are allowed up to 3 years to make a claim.
These are hard time limits where there are no extensions under any other legislation (where such extensions are available in all other personal injury claims).
To make a claim, your injuries must have been caused by the driving of a motor vehicle (e.g., a car, a truck, a motorcycle or a bus) or a train or tram, or by reason of a number of extensions that have been provided to cyclists.
Read More: When Do Cyclists Have a Road Accident Claim?
For bike accidents where a motor vehicle is not involved, the limitation period is generally 3 years from the date of the injury (see Limitation of Actions Act S. 27D). This limitation period may apply to several different types of personal injury claims involving cyclists:
- Bike accidents caused by unsafe conditions in a public place (public liability claim)
- Road accidents caused by the negligence of a party other than a motorist (such as pedestrians, e-scooter riders and other cyclists)
- Bike accidents caused by defective products
- Cycling accidents caused by the negligence of a local Council
Read More: What Are the Biggest Dangers for Bicyclists?
Resolving Your Bike Accident Claim
Depending on the circumstances, a bicycle accident claim could be resolved in as little as 10 months or take a number of years to complete. The duration of the matter depends in large part on the type of claim(s) you have.
TAC Claims After a Bike Accident
Once an accident claim is lodged, the TAC has up to 21 days to decide whether to accept or deny your claim. (Unless additional information is requested, in which case a decision must be made within 14 days of receiving the information.)
If the TAC accepts your claim, you will be entitled to all the no-fault benefits given to those injured in a transport accident, such as payment for your medical and related expenses, income support and the opportunity to obtain a small lump payment based on how serious your injuries are after they have reached a point of stability.
In addition, there is the opportunity to seek more generous compensation if you establish that someone else, in whole or in part, was responsible for the accident and you have suffered a ‘serious injury’.
In our experience, cyclists are extremely vulnerable in the event of an accident. As a result, the victims of bicycle accidents often suffer serious injuries.
If you have suffered a ‘serious injury’, there is a process that allows TAC to so acknowledge the injury or injuries. If that fails, there is a process to have a County Court Judge make the final determination.
Once you have been accepted to have suffered a ‘serious injury’, there is a process of seeking an early favourable settlement of your claim for compensation by way of an informal settlement conference. Many matters resolve in this way, without the need for any court litigation.
Personal Injury Claims After a Bike Accident
Bicycle accidents where the driving of a motor vehicle is not a factor are handled according to the Wrongs Act 1958 (Victoria’s personal injury legislation). In a Wrongs Act claim, you need to prove that the negligence of another party (such as the owner of a public space, another bicyclist, an e-scooter rider, a pedestrian, etc.) caused your injuries.
Personal injury compensation is generally recovered via a claim against the at-fault individual or their insurance company. (For example, public liability insurance pays for injuries and damages sustained in public spaces.) Negotiating a fair personal injury settlement takes time, especially if the insurer disputes liability or refuses to pay what your case is worth.
As with other personal injury matters, it is not uncommon for bicycle accident claims to take more than a year to resolve. If your claim does not settle, it is important to speak to a bike accident lawyer about filing a lawsuit before the 3-year limitation period expires.
Contact Our Bike Accident Lawyers Today
Patience is essential after any accident. Just as it takes time to recover from an injury, obtaining the benefits and other compensation you deserve after a bicycle accident also takes time.
Henry Carus + Associates have unparalleled knowledge of TAC legislation and personal injury law in Victoria. Our bike accident lawyers will explore all options for recovering compensation on your behalf.
If your accident brings you into the world of the TAC, we offer a unique Medical + Like Services Support Service. If the TAC refuses to pay medical expenses, our team will work towards the resolution of any disputes and get you the benefits you deserve at no cost to you.
Such support is there for you even years after we resolve your common law claim for compensation.
Henry Carus + Associates also have unparalleled experience handling a wide range of personal injury claims. If you were seriously injured while riding your bicycle due to the negligence of another, we will fight to maximise compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.