There has been a dramatic rise in serious injuries to cyclists from road accidents but a government plan threatens to take away their right to compensation, writes TGB's Barney Gask.
There has been a dramatic rise in serious injuries to cyclists from road accidents but a government plan threatens to take away their right to compensation, writes TGB’s Barney Gask.
I was interested to read statistics published on the South Australian Police website that reveal a 28% increase in motor accidents involving cyclists that result in serious injury (year to date as at 31-10-12).
It is a statistic that stands out when across the board road accidents have generally decreased. When cyclists are involved in accidents they inevitably result in injuries as there is little protection against the impact of motor vehicles.
Under current laws, cyclists are entitled to be compensated for injuries sustained in an accident which is not their fault and if they have their enjoyment of life significantly impaired for more than seven days.
But proposed changes to the current Compulsory Third Party (CTP) compensation system, canvassed by SA treasurer Jack Snelling in a Green Paper produced late last year, have major implications for cyclists and cycling groups.
It is very likely that greater thresholds will be introduced, restricting the ability of most cyclists involved in accidents to claim compensation. Accordingly, cyclists will not be covered for their injuries and the losses associated with those injuries (for example, medical expenses and time off work). This would not be a fair system when a large percentage of injuries sustained by cyclists result from accidents that are not their fault.
Essentially, cyclists in this state will be hitting the roads without any legal protection if injuries are sustained.
UPDATE: Many of these proposed changes become law from July 1, 2013 and you can click here for more information. If you have been injured in an accident, it is now more important than ever to seek legal advice. Contact us on (08) 8212 1077 for a free initial interview.
TGB is South Australia’s largest injury law firm. Barney specialises in cyclist compensation claims. Contact (08) 8212 1077.