Whether for fitness, fun or as a form of transportation, bicycle riding in the Toronto area is on the increase. In fact, according to a report by the CBC, over the last year, “The demand was so high most shops are still in short supply and don’t have enough inventory to keep up with an even greater demand this year.” Another poll cites a 30 percent increase in cycling activity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the increase in bike use may be great news for the environment and for physical wellness, it also means that there are more accidents – many of which result in injuries that include everything from broken bones, sprains, and strains to catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord damage, and in the worst of all cases, fatal injuries. In fact, according to the Toronto Police Service, while there was a 14 percent decrease in collisions from 2019 to 2020, there were more cyclist deaths.
As more bicyclists share the road with motor vehicles, there is greater potential for contact between bike riders and passenger cars or even larger vehicles, such as trucks or busses. Even the safest rider can find themselves in trouble when a truck pulls out without signalling a turn or poor road conditions wreak havoc.
Do you have a right to compensation if you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing? You absolutely do, but there are important timelines that must be met:
You must inform the insurance company within 7 days of the accident (yours, and/or that of the at-fault party).
After receiving your application, you have 30 days to file for accident benefits
You have 120 days to file a notice of intent to sue to the at-fault party
You have up to 2 years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for pain, suffering, lost wages, and other compensable expenses
Failure to meet these timelines may mean that you forfeit your right to justice and financial recovery for the injuries you suffered. As dedicated and experienced Toronto bicycle accident lawyers, we do more than help you file accurate and complete claims on time: We work to make sure you get the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.
Perhaps this statistic from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) should come as no surprise: Of all bicycle rider accident fatalities, 73 percent involve collision with a motor vehicle. While collisions between motor vehicles and bike riders may be the most serious, they’re not the only types of bike accidents that can cause injuries. Causes of accidents between bikes and cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles can include:
“Dooring” accidents: This happens when a car door opens in the path of a bike. Often, the bike rider doesn’t have enough time to get out of the way and either crashes into the door or goes over the top of their handlebars.
Drunk or drugged drivers: Bicyclists may be even more vulnerable than vehicle drivers when it comes to being struck by a drunk driver. Not only do they have far less protection, but they are also less likely to be seen by an intoxicated driver.
Distracted drivers: Overall, deaths from collisions in Ontario caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000. While this includes all types of collisions, bike riders may be especially at risk of being hit by motorists who are texting or are otherwise distracted while operating a vehicle.
Drivers breaking traffic laws: Motorists failing to heed stop signs, running red lights, speeding, passing on a shoulder or driving in a bike lane, or similar illegal traffic maneuvers create dangerous situations for bike riders.
Other Bike Accident Injuries
Other causes of bike-rider injuries that are not related to accidents with motor vehicles include:
Poor road conditions: Potholes, badly maintained roadways, exposed grates, and other conditions that may be attributable to negligence are common causes of bike accidents.
Accidents involving other cyclists or pedestrians: Determining who was the at-fault party is critical to determining if you may be eligible for compensation.
Accidents caused by animals: Pet owners are responsible for keeping control of their animals, and not allowing them to wander out onto streets or chase bikes.
Getting compensation for bicycle accident injuries
When your accident was caused by the carelessness or negligence of another, you have the right to seek compensation for the harm inflicted upon you, whether the at-fault party was wholly or partially responsible. A “damages” claim (also known as a tort claim) is a lawsuit filed to get monetary compensation for:
Pain and suffering
Loss of income (beyond what is payable under Statutory Accident Benefits)
Housekeeping and yard maintenance costs
Excess medical expenses
What are Accident Benefits?
Even if you file a negligence lawsuit (tort claim), you must first file for Statutory Accident Benefits (SBA). In vehicle-bicycle accidents, the claim is filed against the motor vehicle driver’s Accident Benefits insurance. These no-fault benefits are available to you if you were hit by a motorist, and include compensation for medical, income, caregiver, and other expenses. SBAs are available to you whether you choose to file a tort claim or not. Typically, accident benefits include:
$50,000 for medical and rehabilitation
$400 a week for income replacement (a $185 a week benefit may be available for non-earners)
$3,000 a month (to a maximum of $36,000) for attendant care
In this second part of a 3-part interview personal injury lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth describes what steps to take after an Ontario motor vehicle accident.
Are you looking for expert advice after an accident? The smartest step you can take after any accident is to connect with a personal injury lawyer for a FREE consultation.
In Ontario, Canada, Personal injury lawyers Brenda Hollingsworth and Richard Auger with their team of experienced lawyers offer FREE, no-pressure, advice about your rights and entitlements when you have been hurt.
For more information on whether you have a claim for car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, any other road accidents, accidents at work, slips and falls, etc, go to https://www.personalinjuryottawa.ca
The interview also discusses what information you should collect at the accident scene before you leave. Get the other driver’s name, address and driver’s license. Wait for the police if they have been called.
It is also important to get medical attention as quickly as possible. It is easier to prove your injury was caused by the accident if you see a medical doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
“This is more of a personal thank you rather than a review. Thank you to the whole Auger Hollingsworth team for the amazing service they have provided me in distressing times. Before making my decision to go ahead with Auger Hollingsworth, I had previously made phone calls to other lawyers. It was upon meeting Bianca there that I was certain this was the team I wanted to deal with. They kept all my records super organized, answered my phone calls and emails in a timely manner, and pushed to close the case within just over 4 years after the car accident. When you deal with a painful situation, you want people who understand your case, who take the time to explain the process and clarify any of your questions, and who communicate in a clear manner for the common citizen who isn’t in law. That’s exactly what they did, and more. I’ve gone to 2 of their locations and in both of them it was clear that everyone working there is happy to be there, which makes it obvious that the leadership is stellar. So, thank you to the whole team, to the various lawyers who helped me, to everyone I interacted with while I was there, because without you I would still be in pain with less funds to take care of my health.”
Contact our Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Toronto today
If you have been injured in a bike accident in the Toronto area, contact an Auger Hollingworth lawyer immediately. Getting you full and fair compensation for your injuries is our number one priority. We are committed to giving you sound and honest advice, prompt response to your questions and concerns, and aggressive representation when needed. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us online or call us at 1-888-574-4529.
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”Just wanted to take a minute and thank you for your advice and expertise in all aspects of taking care of my best interests. I will continue to send clients that I think are true people not people just looking to make a quick buck by faking or trying to pull a fast one. I have sent two and both were accepted as far as they have told me and i hope things turn out well for all parties concerned.”
“I would like to take this time to thank you for your support, and above all your compassion for people’s feelings, and your helpful staff, always cheerful. I really enjoyed working with you. Brenda, I am happy you were there for me. Thanks so much.”
During your initial strategy session, we will assist you in creating a strategy in how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a car accident claim, 18 wheeler injury, or, other kind of personal injury claim.
There are 5 points to your free claim strategy session:
First, we will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
Based on the information you provide, we will give you our best advice on both what claims you have and the next steps you should consider to go forward with your claim.
If you claim is something that we think we can help you with, we will explain the services that we can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
If your matter is something that we do not think we can help you with, then we will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unknowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed light on what you can expect and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.
Auger Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers represents injured people across Ontario. Note: This website provides information but not legal advice. Contact a lawyer for legal advice about your case. Every case is different.