Despite changes to South Australia’s road rules in 2015 to make bicycle riding safer, cyclist injuries and deaths continue to rise. According to 2021 SAPOL data, there were 5 fatalities and a further 101 serious injuries, caused by accidents involving cyclists and motorists on SA roads. These statistics represent significant increases over the previous year. It’s a worrying trend that has seen SA record the second highest cycling deaths per capita last year, of any state or territory.
Cyclist injuries and fatalities can be attributed to a number of factors including: driver speed or distraction; cyclist speed or poor judgement; roads not designed to be shared between motorists and cyclists; and the growing popularity of cycling.
In South Australia, most crash victims are male, with an average age of 44 years. Older cyclists who have been involved in a crash are more likely to have life-threatening injuries.
Generally, injured cyclists are unaware of their rights to make a compensation claim under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme. For example, if a cyclist is injured in a motor vehicle accident where the driver is at fault, the driver’s insurer will pay the cyclist’s reasonable and necessary expenses over the course of the claim. These expenses may include: past and future medical costs; general damages; wage loss; out of pocket expenses; and ongoing care and assistance costs. Legal fees incurred by the injured cyclist are usually covered as well.
If the cyclist is killed in the accident, the victim’s family members may also be entitled to make a ‘dependency’ compensation claim. The losses a family member may claim for include:
- Solatium (compensation for suffering and grief);
- Loss of financial dependency (lost income);
- Loss of services (help around the home and garden);
- Loss of nurturing and support given to any remaining children; and
- Funeral and other medical expenses incurred.
It is important to note there is a three-year time limit from the date of the accident in which to finalise a claim or, if the court permits, file court proceedings to protect the claim from expiring. Scammell & Co. offers ‘no win – no fee’ arrangements for injury matters. Our injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience to assist their clients in getting fair compensation after suffering a debilitating injury or tragic loss.
For further information on Motor Vehicle Accident claims click here