Bicycle accidents from potholes
Bicycle accidents caused by potholes is a serious cause for concern for cyclists as poorly maintained road and paths can cause serious injury to the cyclist.
Bicycle accidents caused by a pothole can injure the cyclist as a result of being dismounted as a result of breaking suddenly to avoid a pothole or hit by another vehicle when suddenly swerving around a pothole.
If you have had a bicycle accident and have been injured as a result of a pothole, you may be entitled to compensation.
Unlike bicycle accidents that involve a motor vehicle, pothole accidents are not covered by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and instead by the other parties public liability insurance.
To be successful in a claim for public liability, you must prove that your injury, loss or damage was caused by the fault or wrong-doing of another party.
This can be a complex area of law as the other parties’ negligence must be proved so it is important that you seek independent legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
The payment you receive could cover you for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future loss of income
- Damages for pain, suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life
- Personal, domestic or nursing assistance provided by agencies or sometimes without charge by family or friends
- Miscellaneous out of pocket expenses, including home modifications.
If, however, you struck the pothole as a result of swerving to avoid a motor vehicle you may have a Transport Accident (TAC) claim.
If you do suffer an injury as a result of a bicycle accident caused by a pothole you should:
- Note the dimensions of the hole and its location
- Take photographs of the accident location (both before and after and repairs)
- Obtain the contact details for any witnesses
- Consult a doctor about your injury
- Keep copies of medical records relating to your injury
- Keep x-rays and scans of your injury
- Keep copies of any correspondence between yourself and the other party
- Keep a record of your out of pocket expenses and receipts.
Councils and road traffic authorities are not obligated to know of and fix every defect in the road or path. Instead, they are expected to undertake a sufficient level of inspection and maintenance. This means that they may not be liable for your accident if they had no prior knowledge of the pothole. Therefore if you encounter a pothole in a road or footpath it is crucial for you to report it, even if you were not involved in an accident.