As you may know, our State’s bike laws changed last October allowing cyclists the freedom to ride on footpaths as well as roads.
From the outset, we have been worried about this as it seemed to be “an accident waiting to happen”.
Sure enough, that has been the case with two women badly injured during collisions with bike riders.
One suffered fractured ribs and internal bleeding, the other was knocked to the ground.
Both times, the cyclist simply rode off and this is where the real problem lies.
If you are hit by a bike you have very limited opportunity for any compensation.
You don’t know who has hit you, you don’t have any contact details, no photos and probably no witnesses.
Victims have not been considered.
Compare this to an accident involving a car. If you’re injured, you are covered by third party insurance for the negligence of the driver even if they didn’t stop or can’t be identified. There’s also a lifetime support scheme if the injuries you suffer are deemed to be severe and catastrophic.
But if you’re hit by a bike, you’re virtually on your own, especially if the cyclist is not insured or has no financial ability to pay damages.
So what do you do?
Try to get the cyclist to stop, help and provide contact details – however don’t put yourself in danger if the cyclist is aggressive.
If there were witnesses ask for their contact details. If you were a witness give the injured person your contact details and a note of what you saw.
Attend a hospital (if required) or your doctor for treatment.
Contact us by phone or email to discuss your options which while limited, may still be available through Victims of Crime compensation.
We will also be able to advise you of any upcoming changes to the laws which may help your chance for compensation.
Changes could include registration of bikes and/or riders as well as speed limits on footpaths.
And of course, if you have been hurt since the new laws came into effect, get in touch with us straight away.
Please contact the DBH Personal Injury team today via our contact page.
Partner Patrick Boylen was featured on ABC 891 Radio this month discussing what people can do when involved in this situation.
Click the link below to listen to the full interview.