Your Pedal Power membership gives you peace of mind, knowing you’re covered by our third party insurance. Here’s why that matters.
Back in June 2009, two mates were riding together around Canberra when one of those riders, David, hit a piece of wood that was lying on the road. His bike was thrown off balance, and David swerved into his mate, Michael. Michael was thrown from his bike and landed on the road where he was then run over by a car.
Michael spent 28 days in hospital with a fractured pelvis and vertebra as well as considerable internal bleeding. For many years afterwards he would be in and out of rehab for his injuries, he wasn’t able to work full time, and pain was a near-constant companion.
According to court documents, Michael “assumed that he would be ‘covered for personal injury’ as the accident involved a motor vehicle.” A solicitor advised Michael that the driver’s insurance would only cover him if it could be proven the driver had been negligent.
Michael went on to bring a civil negligence case against his mate, claiming David failed to keep a proper lookout for dangers on the road and that he had not been riding safely. In his defence, David alleged “contributory negligence” — that Michael’s own negligence had contributed to the accident — saying that Michael failed to “keep a proper lookout” and failed to “take proper care for his own safety”.
Justice John Burns found in favour of Michael. “I am satisfied that the defendant breached his duty of care to the plaintiff,” he said, “and that the plaintiff’s injuries as a consequence of falling from his bike and being struck by a car directly flow from the defendant’s negligence.”
The court ordered David to pay more than $1.65 million to Michael, covering damages, past and future lost earnings, and more. David appealed the decision but the original finding was upheld. Reports suggest David’s insurance covered the full amount.
That case sent shockwaves through the Australian cycling community. It showed that you can be sued while out riding for something as simple as not pointing out a road hazard to your mate. It also had many riders wondering whether they could afford not to be insured while riding.
Thankfully, Pedal Power members are covered by third party insurance in case they are involved in an accident and another person takes action against them to pay for the cost of injuries or damage to property.
You can join or renew your membership with Pedal Power online today – www.pedalpower.org.au/membership/join-renew/
Article c/o Cyclingtips.com