Vehicle-caused bicycle accidents in Ontario are more common—and dangerous—than you think. Just ask any bike messenger—or the 7,500 Canadians who are injured in bicycle-vehicle accidents every year. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident you need to know your rights, course of recourse—and most importantly, what to do after the crash. To begin we will examine what your course of recourse is, then move on to how to proceed with a legal claim.
What are your Rights After a Bicycle Accident in Ontario?
If you have been injured in a bicycle-vehicle collision you may be eligible for auto accident benefits from an insurance company under ‘no-fault benefits’ or ‘accident benefits’. Depending on your specific case benefits may be paid by your own insurance company, or from the insurance company of the vehicle that was involved in the accident. Alternatively, you may be entitled to benefits from the at-fault driver.
When it comes to deciding which insurance company, or individual, to claim with it depends on your ability to prove liability from the driver. To prove liability in a bicycle accident claim you must prove that they were negligent/careless, via a ‘tort claim’. Proving liability and negligence will require proof that the driver in question:
·Failed to obey posted traffic signs and speed limits;
·Were driving aggressively;
·Were impaired/under the influence;
·And/or otherwise failed to exercise expected caution in accordance with their legal responsibilities as a driver.
Making a Bicycle Accident Case
In Ontario it is required that the person issuing the claim prove negligence on the part of the accused. The person making the claim will also need to prove that they were obeying the rules of the road for a cyclist, which includes wearing a helmet and reflective gear at night to remain visible.
What to do After the Crash—Building a Case
To build an effective claim and case you will need to take extensive notes that includes the following information:
·Your exact location and heading at the time of the crash
·The location of the vehicle in question
·Witnesses to the crash
·Medical documentation of all injuries
·Exact location and effect of impacts, including all sights, sounds and other engaged senses
Immediately after a crash you will want to consult legal council, to help you properly document the accident and build a bullet-proof case.
When it comes to bicycle accidents in Ontario there is no better legal representation than Conte & Associates—your bicycle accident experts in Whitby & Oshawa. And we’ve got the case history to prove it.