The days and weeks after a serious bike accident can be a painful and confusing time. Unfortunately, victims must act quickly amid the chaos.
Ontario’s insurance laws dictate that you must inform your insurance company (or the at-fault driver’s insurance company) within 7 days of the crash. Additionally, you have just 30 days in which to file for Accident Benefits after receiving the application. You have only 120 days to notify the at-fault driver of your intention to sue and only two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for your pain and suffering, lost wages and other expenses.
No matter how minor you believe the accident to be, you should take immediate steps to protect your ability to seek compensation for your physical and personal losses. A good Toronto bicycle accident lawyer will help you along the way.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in Toronto
Skilled lawyers try hard to help clients seek all available compensation. For a bicyclist who was not at fault for the accident, this includes Accident Benefits and a tort claim.
Accident Benefits are available regardless of fault. They include up to $50,000 in Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits, up to $400 a week in Income Replacement Benefits, and up to $3,000 per month in Attendant Care Benefits up to a maximum of $36,000. If a person is not working, they may qualify for a non-earner benefit of $185 per week. Additional benefits may be available to someone if they have suffered a catastrophic injury, such as paralysis or a traumatic brain injury.
Toronto bicycle accident lawyers can speak with their client about the other particulars of Accident Benefits and what they can expect with their own claim.
The other avenue for recourse is a tort claim. This involves filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver. A successful claim may recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical care, lost income and other associated expenses, such as home maintenance. The filing of a tort claim hinges on a person having filed for Accident Benefits.
Differences Between a Toronto Bicycle Accident and Motorcycle Accident
Bicycle accidents generally occur at a lower velocity than motorcycle accidents. Typically with motorcycle accidents, a lot of road rash injuries are seen where the individual’s skin is basically peeled away by the cement. These types of injuries are not typically seen following bicycle accidents.
In Toronto, bicycles are considered pedestrians for the purposes of legal actions. Meaning, if a person is noted as a pedestrian and is hit with a motor vehicle, there is something called a reverse onus in terms of determining negligence. The reverse onus is very important because instead of the pedestrian having to prove that the driver is at fault, the driver has to disprove that they are at fault.
Establishing Liability in a Toronto Bicycle Accident Claim
In looking at the trends in cycling deaths in the province, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario’s 2012 report encouraged “all Ontarians to take personal responsibility for their own safety and for the safety of all road users.” The report also concluded that all of the cycling deaths that were “accidental” would be more accurately classified as “preventable.” Oftentimes, it was an automotive driver who was at fault, whether running a red light or turning left into an oncoming bicyclist.
Bicycle accident lawyers in Toronto are concerned with public safety and protecting people’s rights as an injured bicyclist. They will investigate the circumstances of their client’s accident in order to hold the at-fault parties liable in a tort claim.
Contact a Toronto Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycling is an important and popular mode of transportation and recreational activity. National and local governments recognize bicycling as a valid means of transport and have established numerous helmet laws and traffic laws to protect bicyclists.
The Toronto bicycle accident lawyers of Preszler Law Firm are fully versed in local bike rights and laws. We are prepared to put this knowledge and our considerable legal experience to work for you.
Learn more about your options for financial recovery that may address medical bills not covered by your own insurance, out-of-pocket expenses, past and future loss of income, past and future health care expenses and pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.