Whitby is currently trying to make the city a safer place for cyclists, and it has even been awarded a bicycle-friendly community designation. However, accidents do happen and in fact, dooring is a type of bicycle accident that has been increasing in Whitby and all over Ontario for the past couple of years.
Cyclists and drivers alike are also often confused about how to treat bicycles on the road, which only increases the likelihood of an accident. If you have been in a bicycle accident, speak to a Whitby bicycle accident lawyer that can help. Experienced injury lawyers can help you pursue a claim for compensation for your injuries.
Our bicycle accident lawyers can meet with you in Whitby for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Cyclists, Pedestrians, and Motorcyclists
One reason bicycle accidents occur as often as they do is because many people do not know how to treat cyclists on the road. In many cases, this is even true for the cyclist riding a bike. Due to the fact that they have such little protection compared to drivers in vehicles, many believe that cyclists are considered to be pedestrians and therefore have the same rights and responsibilities. Others believe that, as a vehicle on the road, bicycles should stay in certain lanes and travel behind and between vehicles, as motorcycles do. Neither of these is actually true.
Cyclists that are riding their bike are considered to be slow-moving vehicles. As such they are required to stay on the right-hand side of the road and travel in the same direction as the rest of traffic. Cyclists can move into traffic, but only to make right or left-handed turns. In this sense, they are considered to be neither a pedestrian nor a motorcycle. Cyclists can also use sidewalks or crosswalks as pedestrians do, but they must then walk their bike and not ride it. Knowing the difference between a cyclist, pedestrian and motorcyclist is important. While the courts will often side with a pedestrian, even if they were partly at fault for the accident, the same is not true for cyclists.
Whitby Bicycle Accidents Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Proving Negligence in a Bicycle Accident
Like other motorists, if a cyclist wishes to file a lawsuit against another driver after a bicycle accident, they will need to prove the other driver was negligent. This can be difficult, which is why it is so important accident victims speak to a bicycle accident lawyer in Whitby that can help them prove their case.
Any time a person uses the road, either in a car or on a bicycle, they have a duty of care to the other drivers and riders they will be sharing that road with. When a person disregards this duty and acts in a way that could be a danger to others, they can be proven to be negligent.
In order to prove negligence, cyclists must be able to prove that the driver was speeding, texting, inebriated, not paying attention, or otherwise not behaving in a reasonable manner. This can be difficult, especially while recovering from severe injuries, which is another reason hiring a Whitby bicycle accident lawyer is so important.
The injuries suffered after a bicycle accident can be severe. With only a helmet to protect them, riders are very vulnerable after being hit by a car. They could suffer from broken bones, internal injuries, severe cuts and bruises, and even when wearing a helmet, head trauma. Neck and spinal injuries can also sometimes lead to conditions such as paralysis.
Injured parties can go through their own insurance company to claim accident benefits, or if they do not have a vehicle and their own insurance, they can go through the insurance company of the at-fault party. It is important for accident victims to know that benefits provided by insurance companies often do not even cover all the expenses incurred.
However, accident victims can also file a lawsuit against the driver who is at-fault. A successful lawsuit can provide more compensation for things such as medical bills, lost income, and home care expenses.
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How a Whitby Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to contact a Whitby bicycle accident lawyer that can help. Not only can they give you a much greater chance of claiming compensation in court, they can also speak to the insurance company for you.