You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

Cyclists Melbourne ridetowork blog resize

More people are cycling to work than ever before and Ride to Work Day is coming up on Wednesday 16 October.

Having more cyclists on the road increases the demand for better bike infrastructure to keep riders safe, and will lead to a safer commute for everyone.

We all have a shared responsibility to keep each other safe on our roads, but cyclists are particularly vulnerable road-users. Workplaces and government want to make it as easy as possible for people to ride to and from work, but many are hesitant to try riding to work because of safety concerns.

As a Motor Vehicle Accident lawyer, I see the devastating impacts that even a moment’s inattention can cause, and I have assisted many cyclists who’ve suffered serious injuries as the result of a transport accident.

Many cyclists who are injured in transport accidents aren’t aware that in some cases, they may be able to access entitlements under the TAC scheme. Common scenarios include cyclists being car-doored, or struck by drivers who have failed to see them and give way. In these scenarios cyclists may have entitlements under the TAC scheme. This may be the case even in circumstances where a car isn’t directly involved. For example, cyclists who are injured while trying to avoid a collision.

Under the TAC scheme, injured people can access a broad range of entitlements including payment of their medical and similar expenses, income payments and in some circumstances, lump-sum compensation. A person’s entitlements will depend on their particular circumstances, so I would encourage injured cyclists to seek legal advice about their rights so that they know what they may be entitled to.

In recent years there’s been a considerable effort to improve safety for cyclists, with increases in bicycle lanes, infrastructure and safety awareness, but more needs to be done.

Recent changes to TAC legislation allow for cyclists to be covered to receive TAC benefits if they collide with a stationary or parked car. This change applies to cyclists injured in accidents on or after 9 July 2014. Available benefits include medical and like expenses, income payments and potentially lump-sum compensation, even if they were at fault for the accident.

Slater and Gordon worked with TAC and the State Government and advocated for the legislative changes introduced last year after Drysdale man Rory Wilson rode his bicycle through torrential rain into a stationary truck in Portarlington, resulting in serious life-changing injuries, including paraplegia.

In some cases, cyclists will not be able to access benefits through TAC, but may have other legal entitlements if their injury is due to the fault of another party. For example, if a cyclist comes off their bike after hitting a pot hole in the road or is injured due to an issue with road or bike path maintenance, they may still have entitlements to bring a legal claim and should be encouraged to seek advice from a lawyer.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and all road users need to be aware and do what they can to keep each other safe.

If we want to encourage more people to cycle, cyclists need to know their rights and what they are entitled to, if they are injured while on the road.

Accessing good legal advice can help you to navigate the system and get your claim processed. If cyclists are unsure as to whether they have entitlements under the TAC scheme, I would encourage them to seek advice as soon as possible, as strict time limits apply to accessing their rights.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our Motor Vehicle Accident team

Related blog posts

Motor Vehicle Accidents
What to do if you’ve been in a car accident and the other party has left the scene

Being in a car accident can be a stressful situation. If you ever find yourself in one, the first thing you should do is to make sure everyone is OK and to call 000 if emergency assistance is required, such as the police, ambulance or fire services. It’s very important to remember to collect the other party’s details after a motor vehicle accident, this will help the police if they need to investigate, help you claim on your car insurance or if you need to make a claim with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). It’s required by law to exchange relevant contact and insurance details in the event of a road accident. However, if the driver of the other car involved in the accident...

Two cars in a minor vehicle accident
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Pedestrians make up a large number of road injuries

In April 2019, Juanita Carroll was on her way home from work in Seaford. She was trying to cross the road at traffic lights on Dandenong Road when she was struck by a car that failed to give way to her. After the collision, Juanita had to undergo major surgery and had a metal plate, eight screws and metal rod inserted through her ankle to hold it together. Her wrists were injured when she landed on the ground. She still has bruising and experiences pain every day. The collision aggravated a previous lower back condition and possible nerve damage is being investigated. Juanita is now on the road to recovery but is still anxious and careful going anywhere near the road. According to TAC...

Slater and Gordon client Juanita Carroll was injured as a pedestrian
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Teddy Nguyen is just a regular guy

It was just a regular September night. Teddy who was 25 then, was having dinner at a friend’s house, where they made plans to see a movie. Before the movie, Teddy decided to drive his motorbike home first, so they could all travel together to the cinema. The trip home was less than two kilometres and it was a drive he’d done a thousand times before, but on his trip that night, he was struck by an L-plater on a night drive with her mum. Three years since his collision, Teddy now has a prosthetic left leg from his knee down. It was a hard choice deciding to amputate, but between the three options his doctors had presented, this was the one that best ensured him mobility in the future,...

Teddy Nguyen Slater and Gordon client2