Bicycle
Bicycle Accident

Toronto bicycle accident lawyer says you can sue – even if you left the helmet home

A Toronto cycling accident lawyer advises while it’s true, you can still sue even if you were riding bareheaded at the time of your bicycle accident.

So, while a Toronto cycling accident lawyer will explain that under the law in Ontario, those over the age of 18 don’t have to wear a helmet, they’ll stress it’s of great importance to put it on both for your protection and lawsuit perspectives. 

Failure to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle won’t result in fines or prevent you from seeking damages from the liable party for head injuries arising from the accident. But a Toronto cycling accident lawyer knows that not putting on a helmet can reduce the amount of compensation you would be awarded. 

The courts could decide a portion of the degree or responsibility falls to the cyclist because they weren’t wearing a helmet. This contributory negligence on your part lowers the amount of compensation that you would receive.

Toronto cycling accident lawyer says there are many reasons for bike accidents 

A Toronto bicycle accident lawyer knows that you can ride as carefully as possible, and you could still, in a split second, become one of the 7,500 cyclists seriously injured a year – with 74 fatalities – in a bicycle accident in Canada. It’s a fact: every time you get on your bike in Ontario, you are at a high risk of being injured. In car-centric Toronto, rankings for PeopleForBikes put the city in 16th place of 85 North American cities for not being safe for cyclists.

Knowing the various causes of a bicycle accident is good for safety, but a Toronto cycling accident lawyer notes that it’s also important information for your lawsuit to know why it happened.  If the accident wasn’t your fault, it helps your legal case if you can provide the cause of the accident. 

A Toronto cycling accident lawyer says StatsCan reports that 32 per cent of cycling fatalities happened because cyclists and/or motorists didn’t follow the road safety rules. Some further reasons for bicycle accidents are:

  • Change of direction
  • Construction debris
  • Cyclist wearing dark clothing at dusk
  • Distracted driving
  • Dog ran in front
  • Dooring
  • Failing to leave a buffer
  • Failure to yield
  • Gravel
  • Impaired driving
  • No lights on bike at dusk 
  • Potholes
  • Riding against traffic
  • Rider wearing headphones
  • Road defect
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Speeding
  • Streetcar tracks
  • Turning without looking
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Weaving through traffic

Learn more about our specialty, Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Toronto cycling accident lawyer knows the various ways to get compensation

A Toronto cycling accident lawyer says that while most bicycle accidents involve a motor vehicle, even if you are injured due to a crash for other reasons – road defects, construction or other negligence – you may be able to sue the city, construction company, pedestrian, or liable individual for damages in a personal injury tort claim (lawsuit).

Cyclists are vulnerable and at a high risk of having a bicycle accident and suffering a wide range of injuries. Typically, that means you lose money, either for not being able to work or paying for treatments and other costs. A Toronto cycling accident lawyer advises that you may be entitled to compensation for those losses through no-fault statutory accident benefits (SABS) via insurance. 

In Ontario, cyclists are governed by the Highway Traffic Act, which stipulates a bike is a vehicle, and the same rights and responsibilities apply as they do to cars. You must notify the insurance company within seven days of the accident and file the application within 30 days of receipt. An injured cyclist can be compensated by their own car insurance, the insurance company of the at-fault driver, or if there are no insurance benefits available, through the Ontario Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

Our Toronto cycling accident lawyers explain that SABS is under the umbrella of the Insurance Act and provides benefits for medical and rehab, attendant care, housekeeping, caregiver, income replacement non-earner, and lost expenses. 

Further, your family can launch a claim under the Family Law Act for compensation for expenses not paid by SABS, income loss, and non-pecuniary damages (pain and suffering). The survivors may launch a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party if there is a fatality.

 

How much is a brain injury worth from a bicycle accident?

Our Toronto cycling accident lawyers understand that brain injuries from a bicycle accident can run the spectrum from mild concussion to severe, permanent impairment from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). As a result, bicycle accident cases can range in the damages awarded – but TBI usually has higher awards than other personal injury cases.

In Ontario, a bicycle accident lawsuit due to a brain injury generally attracts from $20,000 to $302,000 in damages for pain and suffering, but depending on the facts, it could be worth millions. While there’s a $370,000 cap on pain and suffering damages, there isn’t one for loss of income and future cost of care damages, say our Toronto cycling accident lawyers.

Suppose you are collecting benefits under the SABS for a bicycle accident. In that case, there are three tiers for injury victims: Tier 1 are those with minor  injuries can get $3,500;  Tier 2 up to $65,000 for five years, and Tier 3 is for catastrophic injuries, with  lifetime funded care, up to $1 million.

Learn more about our specialty, Toronto Brain Injury (TBI) Compensation.

 

Can I get long-term disability (LTD) after a bicycle accident?

You can collect long-term disability benefits for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident – but it’s best to have a Toronto cycling accident lawyer assist with the complicated process. Dealing with bureaucratic insurance companies that really don’t want to sign you up for it can be difficult at best. You may qualify, but fall into one of their contract clauses designed to exclude you. Going the “David and Goliath” route doesn’t usually work in these matters; it is very difficult for injured individuals to fight with an insurance company without a personal injury lawyer.

Remember, some companies will try and exclude injuries by using difficult to understand wording in the policy or stall tactics to delay payment. Innocent mistakes on filling out your initial policy form could come back to haunt you. Even things like not showing up to the independent medical exam or not complying with rehabilitation or treatment may seem like no big deal, but could throw a wrench in the insurer’s agreement to pay the LTD, as they could use it to not pay long-term disability benefits. 

A Toronto cycling accident lawyer on your side allows you to focus on recovery while the heavy legal lifting is left to us. Injuries that can lead to a successful long-term disability claim include TBI, spinal cord injuries, psychological, and other injuries that prevent you from working. 

A long-term disability claim for a bicycle accident starts when sick leave and short-term disability benefits finish. Once you meet the definition of disability in your policy, you will generally receive benefits that replace 60 to 70 per cent of your previous gross income. But beware: often, these cases end up in negotiations or court with the insurance company either suing or appealing a denial, and having our Toronto cycling accident lawyer in your corner can make all the difference. 

Learn more about our specialty, Long-Term Disability. 

 

Call or Email us now, to start your bicycle accident injury claim

Our Toronto cycling accident lawyers know that the aftermath of a bicycle accident is overwhelming and it’s important to have knowledgeable legal advice guide you. Our team has experience handling bicycle accident claims and will navigate the difficult process letting you focus on recovery.