More and more people are biking to work these days, ourselves included. Unfortunately, with more riders on the road there has been an increase in car and bike accidents. Most accidents happen at intersections where cars and cyclists cross paths. Other factors include congested roadways, areas without bike lanes, unsafe bike lanes, potholes, buses and streetcars. These dangers can have deadly consequences for cyclists.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, cyclists are typically treated as pedestrians meaning they are presumed to have the right-of-way. While, it is important for cyclists to obey the rules of the road; being right, legally speaking, does not help if you end up in the hospital. In nearly every car and bike accident the driver blames the cyclist for doing something dangerous.
Know Your Rights
In cases where someone other than the cyclist is wholly or partially at fault for the accident, you have the right to sue the driver/person who caused or contributed to the accident. This is called a ‘tort’ claim. This means you can seek compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income, medical costs, care costs and other expenses. Even if the at-fault driver did not have valid insurance, fled the scene or was driving a stolen vehicle – you are still covered.
In Ontario, you are also entitled to Statutory Accident Benefits if a car or other motor vehicle was involved in the accident. These benefits primarily cover medical treatment and lost wages. If your injuries are more severe, you may be potentially entitled to additional benefits, for example, to cover the cost of care-givers.
The lawyers at Thomson Rogers assist injured cyclists with both tort and accident benefit claims
If an accident happens, it is usually the cyclist who suffers most. When a person is knocked off a bike, run over by a car, doored or crashed into, it usually results in severe and sometimes catastrophic injuries. We are here to help.