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Bicycle Accident

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Cyclist suffers traumatic brain injury

Despite her being in her early 70s our client was an active and avid cyclist and generally lived a full life of activity and stimulation. Our client was riding her bicycle down a hill on the Lower North Shore when a car failed to give way at an intersection. The car collided with our client’s bicycle from which she was thrown and landed on the roadway. As a result of the accident our client suffered a traumatic brain injury which, whilst being described as ‘mild’, had a negative and significant impact on our client’s level of cognitive functioning and the enjoyment of her pre-accident lifestyle. The insurance company argued that our client was not entitled to be compensated by way of a lump sum payment for her pain and suffering despite the serious nature of her injuries. Our client attended an independent assessment at the Personal Injury Commission which assessed her whole person impairment at greater than 10% entitling her to be compensated for her pain and suffering. Our client’s claim was successfully settled at a settlement conference with the insurer’s lawyers.


Our client, L, was cycling on a footpath alongside a busy section of road. The footpath was designated as a shared footpath and there were signs confirming that fact.
As our client approached one of the driveways leading to an adjacent property, a vehicle sped out of the property across the footpath, which left our client no choice but to brake suddenly and steer to avoid a collision.

Whilst our client successfully avoided a collision, the evasive manoeuvre performed by our client threw her over the handlebars of her bicycle and caused her to sustain severe injury to her face and her wrists.
L’s case was complex and raised the following questions:

  1. Was L entitled to cycle on the footpath?
  2. Was the driver responsible in circumstances where there was no collision between the vehicle and the bicycle?
  3. Was L cycling too fast in the circumstances?

The insurance company vehemently denied that it’s insured driver was in any way responsible for the accident, asserting that the accident was entirely L’s fault. For three years, our client’s attempts to negotiate a settlement amicably were rejected.

This left our client with no choice but to commence court proceedings against the driver of the vehicle. A short time later, the case was settled out of court.


In 2013 our client, who was a dynamic figure in Australian tourism, suffered head and other injuries when the insured’s car collided with her bicycle. Our client suffered Post Concussional Syndrome and developed symptoms akin to a traumatic brain injury. This injury has had a lasting adverse impact on our client’s cognition, her ability to concentrate and to recall information, and to cope with stress. The consequences of her injury included a loss of drive, motivation and self-confidence.

In order to prove that the accident caused adverse changes in our client’s personality and intellectual ability we interviewed as many of her work colleagues, friends and family members as possible. This provided us with a comprehensive “before and after” picture of our client.

Armed with these extremely helpful statements, which were all supportive, we mounted a successful claim and established that our client had suffered a traumatic brain injury which has, and will always have a negative impact on her ability to work at her pre-accident dynamic level.

Importantly we were able to establish that our client’s whole person impairment, because of her injuries, was greater than 10%. This entitled our client to receive a significant sum for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, in addition to her economic losses. The claim was successfully settled for a significant sum.


Our client, FM, was a young man minding his own business and enjoying a cycle to work in Sydney, when a garbage truck turned directly across his path without warning.

FM had no chance to take evasive action, slammed into the side of the garbage truck, and was dragged underneath. His partner, who was cycling behind him, could only watch in horror, thinking that FM had been killed.

To add insult to our client’s serious injuries (which included a dislocated hip and shoulder), police blamed our client for the accident and fined him for allegedly riding his bicycle negligently. The insurance company denied our client’s claim, stating that the accident was entirely his fault.

FM’s injuries place him at risk of developing a nasty condition called avascular necrosis, which could necessitate multiple hip replacements over the course of his life.

FM made the wise decision to get Stacks Goudkamp on his side. Our expert compensation lawyers visited the scene of the accident for ourselves, so that we could develop a detailed understanding of what happened on that fateful day. We took the fight to the insurance company and ultimately settled FM’s claim without the need to resort to litigation.


BN, a high powered business-man was out for a leisurely weekend bicycle ride when a car pulled out from a driveway across his path. Our client couldn’t stop in time and hit the car and was thrown off his bicycle, landing on the road. He broke his lower spine, rendering him a paraplegic for life. He became a permanent participant in Life Time Care and Support which will pay all his medical, equipment and care expenses for the remainder of his life.

We brought a claim for the fault-based common law damages for pain and suffering and loss of earnings. The insurer played ‘hard ball’ from the outset, denying liability by the car driver and sheeting home the entire blame for the accident on our client.

The liability issue went to a Supreme Court hearing where the judge found the driver 75% at fault and our client 25% to blame ( for not keeping a better lookout).

The claim was subsequently settled for a large, tax free lump sum.


DZ was knocked off his bicycle and badly fractured his left wrist, destroying his ability to continue working as a chiropractor. Our client had to retrained in some other area where he does not have to constantly use his left hand.

His claim went as far as a CARS Assessment where it was settled for a very large sums.

Our client tragically lost her husband in a bicycle accident on a main road in New South Wales.
As well as the anguish, heartache and grief usually associated with such a terrible loss, our client unfortunately developed major depression, which has required targeted medical treatment and prevented our client from exercising her full earning potential.
Additionally, our client’s depression was made worse by the fact that her children also suffered from severe psychological disorders following the loss of their father.
Stacks Goudkamp had already assisted our client and her family to obtain significant compensation from the insurance company for the loss of financial dependency on their husband/father, who was a high achiever during his lifetime.
After further careful negotiations with the insurance company, our client received additional compensation for her lost opportunity to pursue a career in beauty, and for her medical expenses.

Our client was cycling enthusiast and was part of a cycling club that would meet three or four times a week and cycle long distances.

Whilst on an early morning cycle in her local area with her cycling club, she was at the rear of the group some distance away when a vehicle unexpectedly exited a car spot without indicating.  Our client endeavoured to stop however, she was unable to brake and realised that she would have to take evasive action to avoid colliding with the rear of the vehicle.  In doing so, our client lost control of her bike and she came crashing down on the side of the road and into the gutter.

She sustained serious facial injuries and other orthopaedic injuries.  Sadly, the driver of the vehicle did not stop and left our client lying injured in the gutter. Fortunately members of her cycling club found her.

After a long period in hospital and various surgeries, she was discharged from hospital but was left with ongoing problems including permanent blurred vision and scarring.

She made a claim against the nominal defendant, but it was a very difficult case as the driver of the vehicle did not remain at the scene of the accident and there was in fact no collision between the two vehicles.

The insurance company representing the nominal defendant denied liability and alleged that our client was not keeping a safe distance from the vehicle.

After lengthy negotiations the case was settled out of court for a substantial sum. Our client was delighted with the outcome.


Our client was knocked off his bicycle and badly fractured his left risk, destroying his ability to continue working as a chiropractor. Our client has to retrained in some other area where he does not have to constantly use his left hand.

His claim went as far as a CARS Assessment where it was settled for a very large sum


As part of her exercise regime our client would cycle most mornings in her local area in the Eastern Suburbs.  She was a very cautious rider and was very mindful of ensuring that she followed the road rules and she always appreciated a collision with a vehicle would be a no contest and she would come out second best.

Unfortunately whilst on one of her regular cycling days she was confronted with a dangerous situation with a motor vehicle and she was struck and knocked to the ground and suffered a very serious injury to her back.

As a result of her level of fitness, despite the very serious injuries, she ultimately made a very good recovery.  However she will continue to experience difficulties and her major concern is when she gets to an age when she will be unable to exercise regularly the injury to her back will come back to haunt her.

After obtaining all the necessary evidence she was able to receive a significant amount by way of compensation for the injuries she sustained without any compromise.  She was completely overwhelmed by the excellent result achieved.


MM on a fitness regime and as a part of his fitness he decided to ride his pushbike to and from work.  He was on his way home from work in September 2013.  As he was riding his pushbike in Coogee a vehicle came out of a side street and completely failed to see him and turned in his path.  Despite his best efforts to avoid the vehicle there was a collision between his bike and the vehicle.  Unfortunately, MM came off his bike.  Following the accident he was taken by ambulance to Prince of Wales Hospital where he was reviewed and fortunately did not sustain any fractures or serious injury.

He did however sustain an injury to his lower back but this was not serious although it caused him pain from time to time.  He lost approximately 2 weeks off work and then returned to work on a full-time basis and had no further time off work.

He was successful in negotiating an out of court settlement with the CTP insurer of the vehicle that caused the accident to the extent of achieving an excellent settlement


When our client was only 8 year old he suffered a traumatic brain injury when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car. Our client was admitted into Lifetime Care and Support which will cover all his medical, rehabilitation and care costs for the rest of his life. Our client, on instructions from his mother, made a claim against the CTP insurer of the car for common law damages including “pain and suffering”, loss of income earning opportunity and the costs of Funds Management.

The insurer admitted liability but alleged 50% contributory negligence by our infant client, arguing that had our client been wearing a bicycle helmet the brain damage would not have been as severe.

The claim was settled at a settlement conference with the insurer’s lawyer, with very little discount for contributory negligence. The settlement was subsequently approved by the District Court.


Our client’s husband was riding his bicycle in a breakdown lane of the M4 Motorway in western Sydney when he was killed by a four-wheel drive vehicle which had swerved when the driver attempted to swat an insect which was annoying him.

Our client’s late husband was the sole breadwinner for our client and her two teenage children. He had also provided significant domestic services. The family was extremely close and did everything together.

Our client brought a loss of dependency claim for herself and her two teenage children. As part of our preparation we interviewed her late husband’s employer and established that he would have had a very promising career in IT, had the tragic accident not occurred.

After lengthy settlement negotiations the claim was finally settled for our client and her two children. This settlement was approved by the court.


Whilst riding her bicycle in a quiet area of Newcastle our client was preparing to make a right hand turn at a T-intersection when she was cut off by a car travelling in the same direction, which turned left. Whilst there was no collision the fright of the car manoeuvre caused our client to lose her balance and as a result she suffered a broken ankle. The car did not stop and could not be identified.

A claim was made against the Nominal Defendant and liability was denied.

The claim was complicated by the fact that our client had suffered from pre-accident psychiatric problems, had received social security benefits and was only able to work part-time.

The claim was successfully settled “out of court”.


Our client was an elite athlete and was training for triathlons.

During a bicycle training session, when she and a group of other riders were riding in the breakdown lane of the M4, a truck veered into the breakdown lane and struck a number of the cyclists, including our client.  Our client’s coach and mentor tragically was killed in the accident.

Our client suffered a number of orthopaedic injuries.  However her main injury was a mild insult to her brain, which has affected her memory, concentration and ability to learn.  She has also suffered adverse psychological consequences because of the trauma.

The insurer admitted liability.  After settlement negotiations with the insurer our client’s claim was settled for a significant sum.


Our client, a young lady, who was an enthusiastic and careful bicycle rider, was on an early morning, solo ride from Randwick to La Perouse when she was knocked flying by a car whose driver had failed to give way to her at a round-a-bout.

Our client was knocked unconscious and suffered bleeding in her brain, leaving her with permanent cognitive deficits.

The insurer admitted that the driver was at fault but alleged that our client was 50% to blame for going too fast and not keeping a proper look-out and not taking more care for her own safety.

After our client’s injuries had stabilised, her whole person impairment was assessed to be greater than 10%, thus entitling her to a large lump sum payment for ‘pain and suffering’. We held a settlement conference with the insurer and settled her claim for a large sum.

There was no discount for any contributory negligence by our client.


Our client was riding his bicycle in the countryside near Canberra on a quiet and sunny Sunday morning with a group of friends when he was knocked off his bicycle by a car which had roared up behind him.

The driver said it was our client’s fault for having suddenly swerved across the middle of the narrow road.

Our client, who suffered serious injuries, had no memory of the accident. The police action against the driver was unsuccessful. The insurer denied liability.

We brought our client’s compensation claim to the District Court in Sydney. After a four day hearing the judge found that the driver was 90% to blame for the accident and our client’s injuries, and awarded our client a large amount of money as compensation.


Our client was injured whilst riding with a group of cyclists when he and others were hit by a truck which had crossed into their lane. Tragically one of the elite riders in the group was killed.

Our client made a reasonable recovery from his physical and psychological injuries and returned to his pre accident employment but he missed some opportunities for promotion. As a result it was argued he will always be lagging behind what he would have achieved had he not been injured.

His case was settled at an informal settlement conference


We acted for Robert, a 40 year old father of two. Robert was a keen cyclist and cycled to and from work each day. One day he was hit by a vehicle that turned across his path, throwing him up into the air and as a result he suffered injury to his ribs, neck and right great toe.

Robert has made a good recovery but remains with stiffness in the neck and finds he needs to get up and stretch when working at a desk for prolonged periods.

We settled Robert’s case without having to go to a CARS assessment and Robert was very happy with the result.


Ben was riding his bicycle in a southerly direction along King Street when a van travelling in the opposite direction decided to make a right hand turn without any notice and at the very last minute. Ben did his best to avoid a collision with the van by swerving to the left, but unfortunately came off his bike and sustained a fracture to his left shoulder.

The CTP insurer denied liability, but despite the denial of liability we successfully negotiated a six figure settlement of Ben’s claim.


Jason, then aged 10 years, was riding his bicycle with some friends near his local shops. He and his friends were riding their bicycles across the main road when unfortunately Jason was hit by an oncoming car. The CTP insurer of the ‘P-Plate’ driver denied responsibility for the accident.

Jason, who was not wearing a helmet, sustained severe head injuries, resulting in traumatic brain injury. As a result of his injuries, Jason developed exceptionally severe cognitive, social and behavioural deficits.

Prior to the accident, Jason had struggled at school, which lead to the CTP insurer alleging that his impaired memory, concentration and learning were not related to his brain injury.

We were able to produce evidence from a leading psychiatrist who commented that the head injury sustained by Jason had severely aggravated his underlying intellectual and behavioural impairments.

Despite the denial of liability and dispute as to the full extent of his injury, we managed to successfully negotiate a sizeable out of court settlement for Jason.


Craig was in year 11 and was destined to become an architect or some other high earning professional when his hopes were dashed when he suffered a traumatic brain injury when the bicycle he was riding was hit by a car.

The insurer alleged he was 50% to blame for not wearing a helmet and for suddenly swerving into the path of the car.

Craig made a remarkable recovery, finished his HSC and was accepted into university.

Unfortunately he could no longer undertake the extremely intellectually challenging architecture degree because of his ongoing and permanent intellectual deficits. Rather he opted to study to be a teacher.

His claim was settled for a considerable sum with a slight discount for his own negligence for not wearing a bicycle helmet.


Yvonne was a high achiever and enrolled in university studies when she suffered severe physical injuries when her bicycle was struck by a car accident at a roundabout in Sydney.

The insurer of the vehicle admitted liability.

The claim was settled for a large sum taking into account her pain and suffering and the need for ongoing domestic assistance and medical treatment.


George suffered a broken leg and suffered when his bicycle was hit by a car which made an unexpected U turn in front of him. The insurer admitted liability.

George made a reasonable recovery however there was the possibility of future deterioration due to George’s age.

This was taken into account when his claim was settled following lengthy negotiations with the insurer of the vehicle.

If you are looking for Bicycle Compensation Lawyers for legal advice or representation to assist you with your compensation matter, contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 251 800 or contact us today.


I could write a book as to how the last 4 years would have been different if not for Tom and his team.
The support, assistance, advice from the first conversation till even after the settlement was second to none from the team at Stacks Goudkamp.
Four years on and after many downs, my children and I have our lives back.
We are unable to THANK YOU enough, but know that you have changed our lives for the better in so many ways since the accident.



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