Unfortunately, many motorcyclists are subject to poor treatment on our roads. Many other road users perceive motorcyclists to be a nuisance, and often do not take the necessary care around them, despite their vulnerable state.
As they are less visible on our roads, and have less protection against other road users, there is a greater chance of a motorcyclist being injured in a road accident, and to suffer injuries of a more serious nature. However, motorcyclists are entitled to compensation just as much as any other road user. If you are a motorcyclist who has been involved in a road accident, read on to find out more about how to claim compensation in a motorcycle accident and what you are legally entitled to.
Am I eligible for motorcycle accident compensation?
If you have sustained an injury from a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled for motorcycle accident compensation.
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can occur in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to):
- Sudden opening of car doors (car-dooring)
- Vehicles who cut off or fail to give way to motorcyclists
- Vehicles who hit motorcyclists from behind
What is required for making a motorcycle accident claim?
- Seek medical attention
It is important to ensure that any injuries sustained from an accident receive immediate medical treatment. This is not only for health reasons, but also because medical records and receipts are required as evidence for any future claims. Even if you feel as though you have not suffered any injury, sometimes injuries take time to appear and seeking medical attention helps determine if any future medical treatment or ongoing care required, for compensation purposes.
- Obtain the registration number of the car that caused the accident, and their CTP insurer.
In circumstances where you are unable to find the registration number or insurance details of the car, you should ask the police or any witnesses for details. If the driver’s details are still unable to be obtained, such as during a hit and run, then you are still eligible to claim for compensation under the Nominal Defendant Scheme.
- Report the accident to the police as soon as possible.
If you have failed to report the accident within 28 days, you will be required to justify this delay when making a claims. Ensure that once you have reported the accident, you receive an event number from the police as this will be required for future claims.
- Lodge an accident notification claim
This claim must be lodged with the CTP insurer of the negligent driver, within 28 days of the accident. For this claim, you can receive up to $5000 in compensation for expenses incurred up to 6 months after the accident occurred.
- Lodge a personal injury claim
This claim must be also be lodged with the CTP insurer of the negligent driver, and within 6 months of the accident. This claim is for when the victim expects their expenses to amount more than $5000, or that their recovery time will exceed 6 months.
What can I receive compensation for?
- Replacement or repair of damaged property (including the motorcycle, helmet, clothing, gps, ipod or other personal items)
- Medical, rehabilitation and hospital expenses
- Home modification and attendant care expenses
- Loss of earnings or earning capacity
- Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life (if the motorcyclist has suffered a whole person impairment over the 10% threshold)
What precautions should motorcyclists should take?
A motorcyclist should ensure they have taken all the necessary precautions, such as:
- Wearing a helmet
- Wearing the appropriate gear, such as clothing with little exposure and sturdy shoes
- Leaving an appropriate gap between the motorcycle and other road vehicles
- Checking the condition of the motorcycle often
Not only do these precautions better ensure the safety of the motorcyclist, but it helps to claim the fullest compensation available. If the motorcyclist has not taken the necessary precautions, a driver may argue the defence of contributory negligence against any claims made. For example, a driver may claim that the motorcyclist failed to wear the appropriate gear, and therefore the motorcyclist was partly responsible for their injuries. Where the motorcyclist is deemed partially or fully at fault, the amount of compensation available will be smaller in value.
Who pays out the compensation?
Under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme, all car owners in Australia are required to have CTP insurance. Therefore motorcyclists injured by a car driver are covered by the scheme, and compensation claims can be made against the insurer of the negligent driver or car owner.
Are there time limits in making a compensation claim?
Yes, strict time limits do apply. Therefore, is important to ensure you make a claim as soon as possible to secure your best chance at receiving motorcycle accident compensation for your injuries.
For more information about road accident compensation, contact Schreuder Partners today.