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VIC Parked bike, pavement collapsed, bike topples, liability?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by T_terror, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Hoping for a bit of advise here re my bike falling over and whether I have a claim.

    So a few months ago, I park my bike as normal at RMIT on Queensberry St near Lygon out the front where all the bikes usually park.

    When I returned after classes the bike had toppled over onto the road and had a fair bit of damage.
    At first I thought someone had pushed it but I then noticed the fresh gouge on the pavement where the stand had been resting.
    The bitumen had collapsed a good inch which was enough to lean the bike past its balance point (TL1000R).
    After closer inspection it looks like not long ago the council got fresh bitumen re-layed on a small footpath section out the front of the building, and it was done too quickly as its far too soft (there are about 50 marks similar to mine).

    So long story short I contacted the council and made a claim for them to cover the cost of my repairs (about $6000).
    They knocked it back citing the Vicroads motorcycle guidelines which advise not to park on anything but bluestone which is ridiculous.
    Ive spoken to a solicitor but cant find anyone who has experience with a case like this to advise whether its worth proceeding and bearing the risk that ill lose.
    Ive been involved to some degree in situations where a driver has damaged a wheel from a major pothole and made a successful claim with the relevant council for repairs, so this seems to be a similar scenario.

    Thanks for the help.

    CLIFFS: Bitumen collapsed where I parked and bike fell over, is council liable for repairs?
  2. I go to the exact same Uni as you, same building, park my bike in the front, and so far so good. I have seen the patch of bitumen that you're talking about, its full with little side stand dents. Is there were you parking? Where you parking closer Lygon Street, or the other street, I think its Peel?
  3. Miks, you're really not helping his cause ;)
  4. Probably best to speak to a solicitor and see what they think.

    I'm not sure on VIC, but one of the states is such that the council's generally only liable for issues they've been made aware of prior to the event.

    Was it a really really really really warm day? It's sorta winter right now, so it seems unlikely that the bitumen should be all squishy-soft and collapsy unless there's something up.

    But again, in at least one state the Council is typically only "targettable" if they've been made aware of the defect so that they have a chance to rectify it. If they haven't rectified it and an incident occurs, then that's no good.

    Speak to a solicitor.
  5. Generally the law with road faults is that they don't have any liability unless they've been notified of the problem, chosen not to act and that choice was not due to a lack of funds....stretching my knowledge a long way, wish I had the time to answer this comprehensively for you buddy!
  6. I have spoken to legal aid and small claims, they said to speak to a solicitor, I cant find any solicitors that have specific experience with this kind of thing, but the ones ive spoken to have said that its cheaper to do the leg work now and find out whether im right, rather than go to court, lose and have to pay 5-10g in legal fees.

    What bike do you ride Miks, ill say hello at lunch or something. I have the red TL1000 with loud pipes.
  7. I live in the same area, and last time they were laying the footpaths, I commented to the black stuff team-leader I was communicating with (about where to park my bike on different occassions, so they could do the job) on my sense that the asphalt seemed to be diminishing in quality, that it was becoming easier to gouge, and he confirmed that they were using cheaper crap - less of something or another that mattered. Can't remember much, sorry; t'won't help your cause. I always worried about pushing such a cause, in terms of the possible effects on footpath parking....
  8. I have a similar but not same experience but in a car just as your self but not a pothole

    I pulled up next to a council gutter ( NSW ) - and did not see it had collapsed and that the steel re-enforcement bars were protruding out of the decayed concrete

    Suffice to say that it cut my tire and scratched the alloy wheel

    I had a witness come outside and have a look from one of the stores along that stretch - got their name etc

    I then went home got a camera and came back to photograph it

    I wrote to the council - explained what happened gave them the photos and the name of the witness and they replaced the rim and tire with a brand new one - no questions asked - the only thing they wanted was the damaged rim and tire after it had been replaced -( they also organised the replacement for me ).

    Most councils will always deny any liability - its just like you or I in a accident - you never say "it was my fault" as that is for the legal system to decide

    Try and look up some local state laws and councils by laws - do your research collect the evidence and then make a claim with them again - see how it goes - they do have insurance for this type of event occurring - but do it all in writing and start a file on it all

    should that not work check with you insurance company ( I assume you have insurance ) - give them a copy of the file with evidence etc

    But do some research of your own concerning laws - I can not stress this enough

    for example ( in short ) my mother had a compo case that the lawyer/barrister said they could do nothing about as there was no pre-cident and something to do with laws - suffice to say i did some research found some laws directly applicable to the case - gave this to them and then all of a sudden she had a case again.

    good luck in your endeavour
  9. I seem to remember a similar thread on here several years ago and most back then suggested you never rely on just the side stand and have a crushed soft drink can or similar between it and the road to increase the surface area the bike was leaning on.

    This is probably more an issue with the design of the side stand than the footpath after all it is a footpath and not a parking lot.
  10. The guidelines recommend bluestone or concrete because on a hot day the asphalt surface can become soft.

    It was most emphatically NOT a hot day that day and it may be that you could reasonably have expected the surface to hold.
  11. It "may" be worth your while contacting someone like Slater and Gordon. This is a negligence type claim and they are the experts.
  12. I have a black Ninja 250R with loudish pipes aswell.
  13. This happened to me. I sent the council a letter of demand with pictures of road and damage and they paid.