Bicycle Network: Bicycle Network Victoria Membership
Riders wins Court challenge for damages
Members of Bicycle Network Victoria stand up for their rights on a bike
Cameron's good news
5 September 2012
More good news today, this time from our member, Cameron.
Cameron was involved in a crash in April, he was banged up pretty well and his bike required repairs. As a member, Cameron rang us to see what he was covered for.
First thing we took a report of the incident. From this we established that Cameron had been injured and his bike was damaged.
The injuries, fortunately are covered by the members personal injury insurance* and/or the TAC. Claims forms were sent off and this was dealt with quickly.
Property damage is seldom as simple to settle. What we did was to advise Cameron to get a few quotes (from reputable bike shops) for his property damage. As his bike was his main form of transport for commuting, he had the damage repaired immediately.
At the scene of the incident, the driver of the vehicle was initially very upset and agreed to pay for the damage they had done to Cameron's bike. However as is often the case, this attitude had done a reversal in a few days: the driver refused to accept the costs and they decided that they were not at fault for the incident.
At this point, Cameron took the matter to the Police. (Please note, dear members, we would strongly advise you to contact the Police at the scene of the accident and request they attend). The Police took a report of the incident and were able to contact the driver and charge them with an offence.**
Cameron then sent the driver a quote for the damage to his bike. The driver ignored this letter, so Cameron contacted us again. We were able to put him in touch with our lawyers, for their advice and a consultation. The lawyers at Maurice Blackburn prepared and sent a letter. Within a few days, the driver contacted the lawyers to arrange payment.
We are thrilled for Cameron; he has full payment for the damages done to his bike, plus he is riding to work again.
Riders' Rights Officer
*subject to the policy wording
**Always contact the Police if you are involved with an incident with a motor vehicle.
The pen is mightier than the sword
26 July 2012.
We received great news today from our member, Marcus. Marcus has had a long, drawn out battle with a transport company for property damage to his bicycle equipment (trailer). Today we heard that Marcus has finally been paid out in full and we wanted to share his thoughts and winning strategy with our members.
How to get that winning strategy
According to Marcus, the following factors were the most important in his success:
- Being polite from the beginning to end. Keep emotions in check and gather all the details especially witnesses and photos of the driver. Although the process from incident to receipt of payment took over six months, Marcus believes remaining polite ultimately helped achieve the desired outcome.
- Be persistent. Never, give up. Don't harass but also don't stop communicating. Don't let a perceived lack of interest from the other party deter you from pursuing your claim.
- Marcus found the support from the Riders' Rights Officer & team at Bicycle Network Victoria plus advice from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers gave welcome guidance on his approach and added weight to the substance of his claim.
If you know a rider who needs assistance, please contact Bicycle Network today and let us stand up for your rights.
Riders wins Court challenge for damages
4 October 2011.
A woman who was knocked off her bike on a popular riding route on the Surf Coast has won damages after taking the rare legal step of seeking compensation in the courts.
The victory came as Bicycle Network Victoria brings increasing legal muscle to bear to bring to account drivers who try and dodge their responsibilities.
On May 15 last year, Barbara Britten was riding along Bluestone School Road, Connewarre when a female motorist ran Ms Britten off the road.
Ms Britten, of South Gippsland, said it was clear day and she was riding from Torquay to Ocean Grove along a straight section of the road.
“I was about a foot in from the side of the road, there was no oncoming traffic. One minute I was on my bike and the next minute I was gone,” Ms Britten said.
“I suffered severe bruising along the right side of my body. If I had been further in from the side of the road, I would have gone under or over her car.”
The female motorist was issued a fine by police but claimed that she was not liable for the damage to Ms Britten’s bicycle and cycling clothes.
“I was the victim in this case. I am a safe rider and I know the road rules. This was about justice,” Ms Britten said.
Maurice Blackburn lawyer Melissa Knapic said the claim for damages was clear.
“Our client was wearing the correct safety equipment and is an experienced rider and it is very lucky that Ms Britten did not suffer any more catastrophic or permanent injuries as a result of the motorist’s negligent actions,” Ms Knapic said.
“We filed for damages in the Geelong Magistrates Court in July and the matter was settled at a pre-hearing conference and Ms Britten received damages of $3,300.00.
“Cyclists are legitimate road users and all motorists need to pay attention on the roads, particularly along popular cycling routes.
“Ms Britten was clearly the victim and she should be applauded for taking this step to get justice and compensation.”
Bicycle Network Victoria chief executive Harry Barber said riders often walk away from incidents such as this, not aware of who is liable and what their rights are.
“Ms Britten, a member of Bicycle Network Victoria, came to us in this situation. It is important to leave road users in no doubt that we all have responsibilities on the road to look after each other, for that reason we thought this was the perfect case to take on an represent not only Ms Britten but the whole riding community.
“Ms Britten’s victory is a positive step in reminding all road users that they have a responsibility to look out for and after each other. As bike riding becomes more common for health and transport reasons we expect to see more bikes more often.”
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers represents Bicycle Network Victoria members in compensation matters.
For more details on asserting your legal rights following a crash see here.