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VIC Rider survives TAC appeal - Maurice Blackburn/VMC Press Release

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Maurice Blackburn, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Though not a Maurice Blackburn case we and the Victorian Motorcycle Council feel compelled to comment on it given it is yet another example of the anti-rider attitude TAC continues to display.


    Motorcycle rider survives TAC appeal on trailer smash

    A man who was knocked from his motorcycle by a wayward trailer whilst riding along the Great Alpine Road has survived a TAC appeal against a Supreme Court finding that the vehicle with the trailer was at fault in the crash.

    Road safety lawyer and rider activist John Voyage from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, says the appeal against the County Court’s original findings was breathtakingly audacious by the TAC, reinforcing the organisation’s negative views of motorcyclists.

    Anthony Cuthbertson was knocked off his motorcycle when the trailer being towed swept on to the wrong side of the road as the two vehicles passed from opposite directions on a bend.

    “The court heard that Mr Cuthbertson was travelling slowly on the correct side of the road when the trailer crossed the dividing line, impeded on his legal road space and knocked the rider from his bike, causing him significant injuries as he hit the road,” Mr Voyage said.

    “The TAC refused to accept the Court’s verdict, despite the fact the rider had clearly been impacted by the wayward trailer, causing the fall.

    “The TAC did not accept the injured motorcyclist’s description of what had happened, or that of independent witnesses, instead insisting that the motorcyclist had contributed to his injuries, despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary.”

    It took a panel of judges at the Supreme Court’s Court of Appeal to finally set the TAC straight, with Justice Whelan saying in his final decision: “I would reject all of the grounds of appeal relied upon. In my view the appeal should be dismissed.”

    Peter Baulch of the Victorian Motorcycle Council said the TAC’s desperate attempt to avoid helping a rider who was injured through no fault of their own, is a sad indictment on the general anti-rider attitude the TAC continues to display.

    “Riders are sick of being treated like second-class citizens by other road users and by the organisation set up to protect their rights on the road,” Mr Baulch said.

    “It reinforces the importance of rider advocacy programs such as the Stop SMIDSY campaign, which says inadvertence is no excuse for hitting vulnerable road users such as riders, and that we all need to take more care on the roads to increase safety.”

    The full verdict of the Court of Appeal can be found here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2013/29.html
    • Like Like x 11
  2. this win should be publicised Australia-wide.....

    my brother was hit head on by a truck on the wrong side of the Macquarie Pass. More than two years on there is still no legal resolution of the truck's fault in his many (and permanent) injuries....
  3. The additional indictment here? TAC spent a heap of money - our money - on pursuing this case. That is extremely wasteful - and someone at the TAC should be made accountable for this. How could they possibly, ever have even though they (TAC) could win this one??????
    • Like Like x 5
  4. I'm no expert on these matters, so excuse the dumb question.

    What was the point of TAC trying to win this? If they did, would it mean that the rider got no or less payout? I thought it was a no fault system? I must be missing something obvious..
    • Like Like x 3
  5. You have to wonder if they even expected to. Perhaps it was just a case of using public money to cause as much vexatious distress as possible? These are the cases that the government need to look at when assessing the quality of governance at TAC.
    • Like Like x 3
  6. I don't get it... The TAC are representing the motorists, whose lack of care caused the accident? Aren't they supposed to be for road safety? When was the TAC representing motorists and spending public funds in doing so...

    Has anyone referred this to the local and federal MPs in melbourne?

    I can not see where within the TACs regulations, this sort of action would be justified. What are they trying to achieve except for villifying motorists...
  7. My question exactly
  8. thought we had a no fault insurance system. pricks
  9. This case suggests a systematic anti motorcycle bias.

    Black adder, a win would mean they could claim contributory bias and reduce the payout.

    Something that dawned on me the other day is that the TAC is all up in arms about riders costing them nearly 20% of their total outgoings, however the outgoings includes common law payouts which are a payment to a victim due to a fault of another, so infact, the TAC have at their fingertips the realisation that other road users mowing riders down is costing the TAC money, yet they continue to blame the rider.

    This is why the TAC should NOT BE IN ROAD SAFETY. They do not have a genuine roadsafety focus - this part of their charter is secondary to the cost imperatives which drives their road safety agenda.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. I get that sometimes weird shit just happens like a trailer bouncing across the centreline. It's plausible that there is no fault that can be atributed to the driver. But for the very agency that exists to provide financial assistance to victims of road accidents to try to pin blame on the victim of random shit luck is nothing short of disgraceful. Im not overly concerned about the money wasted in legal challenges but the attitude of TAC is way off the reservation. I would hope that this example alone is justification enough for the state govt to go in with a scalpel and sort TAC's shit out for them.

    What an utter fcuken abomination.
  11. We have to be careful before jumping to that conclusion, because get it wrong and it affects your credibility. However I think this may well be the evidence required...

    I thought this was kinda obvious - they simply blame riders and don't want to cover because on average, per claim we cost more - regardless of fault. So their opinion is, well it doesn't matter whose fault it is, but as a rider you are at fault for putting yourself in a position where you can be more injured. Therefore we shouldn't have to pay out for you.

    There is always a fault vs no-fault issue here but I never saw this sort of crap in WA. It seems to be uniquely victorian as well as the vilification of riders that goes with it. In the end, I can see as a result of the no-fault politics, that they end up aiming for partial coverage.

    TAC need to figure out if it is a no-fault system or not. If it is truly no-fault, then it has absolutely no reason to play the politics or marketing.

    In a fault system, at least there is an implicit assumption that the at fault party could have done something to avoid the accident, and they are the ones targeted.

    Note you never see in the media that a vehicle collided with a motorcycle. It is always reported as the "motorcycle colliding" implying that the motorcyclist was somehow at fault/
  12. Likewise! What happened to the "no fault" system?
    • Like Like x 2
  13. A goal to reduce the cost of claims by motorcyclists would explain all of TAC's anti-MC behaviour. Considering occam's razor, it's not necessary for TAC to be anti-MC or even biased, simplistic, short-sighted management is sufficient.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Someone, or some group is going to have to push the Govt on that direction.

    I tweeted this thread to the HUN and the Age today.

    Time to use Social Media IMHO. If enough people ask the same question, then maybe the media may get us an answer.

    This isn't the first time TAC have done this to a rider.
  15. The no TAC doesn't want to pay out, no-fault system isn't working.
    And yet most of the rego fees go to TAC.

    Why? What's wrong with Victoria?
  16. The no-fault system applies to medical and work-related costs. TAC don't generally fight legal battles on these grounds (AFAIK - MB?). They apparently contest payments for pain, suffering and loss of lifestyle considerations that aren't covered under the no-fault system.
    TAC does intrude on the medical side though, screwing down the standard and cost of medical treatment for victims of road trauma. That battle has gotten so toxic that many health workers are refusing to touch TAC cases, citing ethical conflicts as a major issue.
    • Like Like x 4
  17. Thanks for the clarification Titus. BTW, have posted the link to the MRA version of the article to the TAC Facebook page and asked them to comment.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. Total

    Make sure their facebook page is swamped they need to be held accountable
    • Like Like x 2
  19. You can't make an individual post on that page and need to reply to an existing post by the TAC?
    No provision to make a general inquiry regarding their attitude towards bikes it seems.
  20. That's a good outcome. But what I'm most pleased to see is that there seems to have been a swing away from the idea that motorcyclists don't enjoy a reasonable expectation to be able to use their entire lane/half of the road without getting knocked off:

    This is quite different to some other cases that have popped up in Australia and the UK, where the courts found that a motorcyclist taken out be a car or truck crossing the centre line bares some of the responsibility if he was not travelling as near as "practicable" to the left hand edge of the road. In this case, all sides seemed to have accepted that this is not true even though the accepted evidence was that the car and trailer were probably protruding over the line by just 30 to 40 centimetres.