Bicycle accidents are notorious for causing catastrophic injuries, such as brain trauma and compound fractures. Even a seemingly “minor” injury can have a substantial financial impact on a victim’s life.
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Below are three resources to consider as you or a loved one recovers after a bicycle accident in Ontario.
1. Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits
You are entitled to Accident Benefits in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle or if a maneuver made by a motor vehicle causes you to fall. This is the case even if you were riding a bicycle (and not in a car) at the time of injury.
You may also be able to secure benefits to address a number of accident-related expenses, including:
- medical costs (above and beyond what is covered by OHIP or a private health insurance policy);
- lost wages (caused by having to miss work based on a doctor’s orders);
- out-of-pocket expenses (such as housekeeping, transportation, etc.); and
You must notify your own car insurance company or any other insurance company which insures any vehicle involved in the accident within seven days of the bike collision. You then must file your Application for Accident Benefits within 30 days of receipt of the application.
Additionally, you may have grounds to pursue a tort action against a negligent party who caused your accident. For instance, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against a driver who disobeyed a traffic signal and caused your collision. You have just 120 days from the date of the accident in which to notify a driver of your intent to file suit.
2. Guidance from a Personal Injury Lawyer
While browsing legal articles and blogs might answer a few of your questions and provide basic information, they are no substitute for personalized advice. An accident lawyer familiar with bicycle accident cases can bring a number of assets to your case, including past case experience and an understanding of Ontario’s laws and case precedence.
Additionally, a lawyer can handle all aspects of the claim — from the initial Application for Accident Benefits to the valuation of a claim. A lawyer can determine if you have grounds for pursuing a lawsuit against a negligent driver and initiate the suit on your behalf.
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3. A Free Case Consultation with an Ontario Lawyer
Those who do not have an established relationship with a personal injury lawyer may wonder how to select and hire the lawyer best suited for their case. Select a lawyer with knowledge about cases similar to your own. If you were in a bicycle accident, ask prospective lawyers if they are familiar with bike accident cases. Also inquire about communication during your case and be sure you understand the lawyer’s fee structure before hiring him or her.
Many law firms – including Preszler Law Firm – offer a free case evaluation and consultation to injured clients. These are excellent opportunities to ask questions about your case and determine if the lawyer is a good fit for you and your accident claim. Call the Preszler Law Firm at 1-800-JUSTICE® when you are ready to discuss your case in greater detail.