Cycling is not only an environmentally friendly mode of transportation; it is also has all sorts of health benefits–both physical and mental. However, reports reveal that the number of bicycle accidents happening across the country has been increasing. CAA reports that more than 7,500 people in Canada are seriously injured while riding their bicycle each year, and according to Statistics Canada, cyclists are more likely to be killed or injured at an intersection or location where there are traffic signals and traffic control signs. Whether you are riding your bicycle to work or enjoying a leisurely ride on the weekend, it is important as a cyclist to always be vigilant. As personal injury lawyers in Peterborough, we help bicycle riders who have been in cycling accidents claim compensation, and sometimes sue when applicable.
Important Facts about Bicycle Injuries & Claims
Bicycle accidents can be very serious and sometimes fatal. Many bicycle accident reports involve head trauma, neurological damage, spinal cord injury, limb injury, chest/abdominal injury and bone fracture. These injuries can be traumatic and often last a lifetime. Injured cyclists are entitled to claim for no-fault benefit. This means that even if the cyclist is at fault, no-fault benefits can still be obtained. In Ontario, if a pedestrian or cyclist is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle the injured party can claim from their own auto insurance company. Many cyclists and pedestrians are unaware that even they were not driving their vehicle, their own insurance applies. No fault benefits are available to anyone that is injured in an accident in Ontario with a motor vehicle. Additionally, with no-fault benefits you can sue the driver of the car or truck, but you will need to prove that the driver was partly to blame for hitting you. Witnesses or camera footage can be crucial in proving fault in an accident.
Common causes of bicycle injuries:
- Dooring accident
- Unsafe passage
- Motor vehicles and bike collision
- Bike crash with another bike
- Cyclist collision with pedestrian
- Struck by heavy truck
Normally bicycles are covered by tenant or house insurance and auto insurance which can give extra coverage for cyclists in case of collusion with motor vehicle. In case of collision with pedestrian or with another cyclist, general insurance cannot cover the damage unless you have bicycle insurance. With bicycle insurance, you have accidental coverage, personal accident coverage, liability insurance, and coverage against theft, vandalism, crash, and storm damage. However, this bicycle insurance is provided for member of Cycling Canada. Bicycle insurance is not mandatory, but optional.
According to Ontario Ministry of Transportation, bicycle does not require registration, license plate, or driver’s license. Minor aged under 18 must wear helmet. Though, helmets are not compulsory for adult above 18. Bicycles are classified as a vehicle and must follow all traffic laws. It is also required the proper installation of light, reflector, and reflective materials onto the bicycles.
No matter what kind of insurance you have, claiming for compensation and suing the other party can be complicated and expert guidance is needed. It is wise to consult with experienced personal injury lawyer if you are injured in a bicycle accident.