We were recently asked by the team from Pedal Power ACT to talk about legal cases that have come to Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers from the cycling community. Richard Faulks, Managing Director, took up the challenge. The first thing to know is that the names have been changed to protect our clients. The second thing to remember is that bike riders are in an especially vulnerable position, so it won’t surprise you to learn that in most cases, our relationship with a bike rider commenced as the result of a cycling accident! Here are a few examples of how we have helped bike riders by protecting and accessing their legal rights.
Although drivers can act like they own the footpath that crosses their driveways, it is incumbent on them to ensure that they safely cross these pathways. A bike rider, Max, was struck by a car that quickly reversed from the driveway that crossed the footpath that Max was riding on and, as a result of the collision, Max suffered injuries. In coming to us, we could see that Max was entitled to compensation and we were able to enforce Max’s legal rights and negotiate a fair and just settlement.
Negligent drivers are not always perfectly honest when they describe an accident. This can result in messy he-said-she-said arguments that can cause further distress. To avoid this, many bike riders have taken the initiative and mounted a camera on their helmet, leaving these drivers a little red-faced when confronted by their insurers. Whilst riding, Jess was struck by a car that failed to give way when turning into a carpark. As a result of the collision, Jess suffered soft tissue injuries. Jess was able to provide us with the footage of the accident from Jess’ helmet camera, which then allowed us to enjoy a much smoother process in establishing liability. In this instance, we were able to negotiate a settlement for Jess.
During a public cycling event, one bike rider, Alex, struck a traffic separator that had not been properly removed for the event. As a result of the accident, Alex suffered dental and other physical injuries. On this occasion, the claim was against the ACT government. We conducted successful negotiations with the government and Alex received compensation.
In each of these examples, we assisted riders to obtain fair and just compensation during a difficult and painful period. However, many cycling clients have sought legal advice in other legal areas. These include estate planning, employment advice and business ventures.
Of course, for Pedal Power ACT members we provide additional benefits, including a free initial telephone consultation in relation to their matter.
Snedden Hall & Gallop can assist you
Snedden Hall & Gallop has a close association with Pedal Power ACT and other sporting groups and we are well informed on bike riders’ rights. We can also assist with cycling accident compensation on a no-win, no-fee basis and can provide initial information obligation-free so that an injured person immediately knows what they can do and how to do it. No matter what, we start with listening to you – our client. We’ll help solve your legal problems, minimise risks, and strive for a solution that best matches your needs. Please contact us on (02) 6285 8000 or by email.
Richard thanks Paralegal Daniel Low for his contribution to this blog post