Bicycle Network: Members
Riders' rights case study: Michelle
Bicycle Network member Michelle found that getting over her physical injuries was just the first hurdle she had to face in recovering from her crash with a motor vehicle.
In July 2011 Michelle was cycling with a friend in Frankston South when without any warning whatsoever she was hit by a vehicle from behind.
In addition to suffering personal injuries, Michelle also incurred out of pocket expenses relating to the replacement of her bicycle and accessories.
Not being able to recover any costs from the offending motorist only added to the physical pain and inconvenience the crash caused her.
Fortunately, Michelle is a Bicycle Network member which means she has crash cover and support. This benefit includes legal advice through Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who were able to pursue the matter, ultimately recovering the full amount of her out of pocket expenses relating to the damage of her property.
“Being very shaken after spending time in hospital and suffering quite a few injuries, I had no idea of the next steps to take. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first contacted Bicycle Network, however after just one phone call I felt supported and confident in the next steps to take,” said Michelle.
“Bicycle Network were with me every step of the way. From assisting me with a template for my first letter of demand, to putting me in contact with Maurice Blackburn, and then calling to check in to see how everything was going.
Michelle’s case was one in which the insurer of the driver who hit her initially denied liability for the crash, forcing Michelle to issue court proceedings to recover her expenses.
“At the time of the crash the driver admitted fault and advised that they were sorry as they tried to squeeze through, however later denied fault causing the process to commence of my property damage claim.
Bicycle Network and Maurice Blackburn were able to prove that the driver was negligent in causing the crash, and in doing so, ensured that Michelle’s case was settled out of court.
Bicycle Network and Maurice Blackburn are still involved in helping Michelle on the road to recovery, now acting on her behalf with regard to her Transport Accident Commission claim for personal injuries sustained in the crash.
Not all cyclists are aware that they are covered by TAC for road crashes.
Michelle’s case demonstrates that it is worth fighting back when a negligent driver and their insurer initially refuse to accept financial responsibility for the damage to your property caused by the negligent driving of another.
“The monetary value of the property damage claim was two thousand dollars – this may not sound like a lot to spend two years pursuing, however I did this on principle as I knew I was not at fault and wanted show the driver who hit me and others that they can’t hit cyclists and get away with it so easily.
Bicycle Network and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers will continue to support Michelle to ensure that she receives appropriate benefits from the TAC, enabling her to make the best possible recovery from the crash and get back on her bike.
“With crash cover insurance and support provided for Bicycle Network members I would highly recommend all cyclists to join. I don’t believe I would’ve pursued my property damage case without the support of Bicycle Network.
“As a commuter and road cyclist, I am also happy to support Bicycle Network, a charity that encourages bike riding and helps to improve riding conditions.