04 Dec What happens if you’re injured while on a bicycle?
Cycling has grown in popularity in Australia in recent years. It’s a fantastic, eco-friendly option for transportation, recreation and sport for the whole family, and there’s a wide variety of dedicated cycling trails across South Australia.
However, just as when operating a motor vehicle, there are important rules to follow when you’re cycling on roadways in Australia – and these rules sometimes vary by state. Plus, if you’re injured in motor vehicle accident while cycling, you’re more likely to sustain an injury.
Making a claim for a bike accident
If you’ve been in a cycling accident, there are several things that determine whether or not you can make a claim for compensation, such as the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of the event. There are also strict time limits on filing a claim, so if you’ve been injured, you should seek legal help as soon as possible.
In general, it’s best to sit down with a legal professional right away to discuss your situation. If, after an initial consultation, a lawyer determines that you have a solid case, he or she can gather evidence, file a case, handle settlement negotiations and/or go to court with you.
Rules and tips
Of course, whenever possible, it’s best to avoid accidents in the first place. It’s also important to know and follow the state cycling laws. If it’s been a while since you were out on your bike – or if you’re just getting into cycling – check out this guide from the South Australian government.
Cyclists in South Australia are obligated to follow the same basic road rules as drivers – in other words, you must stop at all stop signs and traffic lights, ride on the left side of the road and yield to pedestrians at intersections and crossings. There are other things you can and should do, however, to avoid an accident:
• Always wear brightly coloured clothing when cycling, not just at night. Make sure you can be seen.
• Use lights on the front and back of your bicycle – white on the front and red on the back.
• Make sure you have a bike that fits you and keep it maintained; check the chain, gears, tires and brakes regularly and get it tuned up when needed.
• Always wear a safely helmet that fits you properly.
• Cyclists are allowed to ride on designated footpaths. However, keep an eye out for pedestrians and either stop or give them the right-of-way.
• Watch out for drivers’ blind spots. If you’ve stopped at an intersection or pulling out in front of or next to a car, make eye contact and ensure that the driver sees you. When in doubt, assume that the driver can’t see you and wait before starting.
• Maintain a safe distance from parked cars to avoid the chance of having a door opened in your path.
• Use the proper hand signals for turning right or left, slowing or stopping.
For more road rules for cyclists, visit this South Australia state government website and this brochure on cycling laws.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident or have questions about a motor vehicle incident involving a bicycle, please contact us to speak with a member of our experienced legal team.