QLD CTP: I’m a cyclist that’s been struck by a car. Can I claim compensation

Cycling is a great way to stay fit and get around town. However, it is not a recreational pursuit devoid of risk. According to the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, in 2014 cyclists comprised three per cent of all road fatalities, and fifteen per cent of all road hospitalisations. Unfortunately, these rates of injury and death continue to rise over time. The nature of injuries sustained by cyclists in motor vehicle accidents are often more severe than incidents involving two or more cars, given the comparative vulnerability of cyclists. Is a cyclist entitled to claim compensation in the event that they’re involved in a not-at-fault incident, and what may they be entitled to?  

Relevant legislation

The Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (QLD) (‘the MAIA Act’) governs the operation of Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme.

Entitlement to make a claim for damages

An individual’s entitlement to participate in the Compulsory Third Party insurance scheme is governed by s 5 of the Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld). An individual will be entitled to make a claim for damages in circumstances in which personal injury is caused by a wrongful act or omission in respect of a motor vehicle by a person other than the insured person. This may occur in relation to the driving of the motor vehicle, a collision, or action to avoid a collision with a motor vehicle, a motor vehicle running out of control, or a defect in a motor vehicle causing loss of control of the vehicle while it is being driven. Accordingly, a cyclist or pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle, in circumstances in which the cyclist or pedestrian was not at fault, will be entitled to claim compensation.

Potential Entitlements

In the event that you are involved in a cycling accident caused by a motor vehicle that was not your fault, and you elect to pursue a claim for damages, that claim is made against the CTP insurer of the at-fault vehicle. A cyclist pursuing a claim for damages has the same entitlements as an individual involved in an incident that involved two or more motor vehicles.  

Treatment  

A stated object of the MAIA Act is to promote and encourage, as far as practicable, the rehabilitation of claimants who sustain personal injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident. Pursuant to Section 51 of the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (QLD), the CTP insurer may make rehabilitation services available to you on the insurer’s own initiative, or at the request of you or your legal representatives. Once liability has been admitted by a CTP insurer, or the insurer has agreed to fund rehabilitation services without making an admission of liability, stronger rehabilitation obligations apply, with the CTP insurer required to ensure that reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation services are made available to you.   

Lump Sum Compensation  

In addition to reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation expenses, you may be entitled to lump sum compensation. The types of compensation for which you may be entitled to claim for are referred to as ‘heads of damage’. Such heads of damage may include, but may not be limited to, both past and future economic loss, pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life, gratuitous services, and future treatment expenses.   

Please note, however, that your entitlement to the above depends significantly on your personal circumstances. Littles Lawyers offers a free Claim Checker, along with a Free Initial Consultation, should you wish to seek advice on your potential entitlements.

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