Regardless of fault, bicyclists struck by cars in Ontario can generally recover Accident Benefits to cover a portion of their income following the accident. In addition, they may be able to pursue damages by taking legal action against the motorist who caused the accident. Lastly, they may qualify for disability benefits through Canada Pension Plan Disability or Ontario Disability Support Program.
Navigating the steps required to pursue these types of compensation can be difficult. Talking to an Ontario bicycle accident lawyer may help you get a better understanding of your options based on the specific details of your case.
You May Qualify for Accident Benefits
When applying for Accident Benefits, you must notify your insurer of the incident regardless of the party at fault, complete paperwork, and document your losses. The insurer then pays out to cover these losses up to the limits of your policy. When it comes to income replacement benefits, the limits on standard coverage include 70 percent of your net weekly income, with a cap of $400 per week, according to the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.
Some cyclists without vehicles may worry that because they do not drive, they do not have their own auto insurance. If this applies to you, you still qualify for benefits. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario states that you can file a claim for Accident Benefits based on the insurance policy that covers the vehicle that struck you.
Filing an Accident Benefits Claim
There are strict rules you must follow and tight deadlines to keep in mind when filing a claim for Accident Benefits. You will need to notify the insurance company quickly following the accident, talk to the claims adjuster about the proper steps to take, and complete and return your Accident Benefits Application Package before the deadline.
Alternatively, you can enlist the help of an Ontario bicycle accident lawyer who may be able to take on this process for you. Just remember that deadlines arrive very quickly, so you may want to enlist their help in the first days following the accident.
Qualifying for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
Depending on your injuries and a number of other factors, you may be able to apply for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefits. CPP Disability benefits are for workers who meet eligibility requirements and can no longer work after sustaining long-term injuries.
Those eligible for these benefits will need to:
- Be under 65
- Have contributed enough to the plan
- Meet the plan’s strict definition of ‘disability’
- File a claim and supporting documentation
A lawyer may be able to help you determine if you can apply for CPP benefits.
Taking Legal Action in an Ontario Bicycle Accident Case
The Ontario Insurance Act limits who can file a lawsuit for non-pecuniary loss following a motor vehicle accident. Your accident may qualify if you suffered:
- Permanent, serious disfigurement; or
- A serious, lasting injury that impairs an important bodily function, or mental or psychological functioning
If your medical records and other proof show that you meet these criteria, you may be able to take legal action to hold the at-fault motorist who caused your accident liable for your injuries. You could be eligible to recover additional wage loss benefits and income to cover your diminished earning capacity.
You want to work with a lawyer who regularly handles car and bicycle accident cases in Ontario. They may know how to document your injuries and losses related to your inability to return to work. Valuation of your losses is necessary to ensure the pursuit of a fair settlement offer or to prove your damages in court.
Talk to an Ontario Bicycle Accident Lawyer About Your Options
Damages in bicycle accident cases can be very complex and difficult to pursue for some victims. At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible after your accident so we may help in any way we can.
To pursue damages, a lawyer needs to have a clear understanding of the Ontario Insurance Act, the Accident Benefits system, and how to navigate the Ontario legal system. We may be able to use our knowledge to handle this process on your behalf if you qualify.
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, our team may be able to help you seek damages if you are unable to work after a bicycle accident in Ontario. Call 1-800-JUSTICE today to discuss whether you qualify to recover damages or benefits.