Every year there are thousands of bicycle accidents throughout Canada. Canadian statistics show that, on average, approximately 7,500 cyclists suffer severe injuries each year. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation also reported that in 2006, 32 cyclists were killed and 2,091 were injured in car-bike accidents. Unfortunately, most of the people harmed in car-bike accidents are children.
Although the rights of cyclists are generally respected in Canada, drivers are often completely oblivious to the chaos they can cause by simply not acknowledging a cyclist’s presence or failing to yield to cyclists. To help prevent head injuries resulting from bike accidents, the government promotes the use of helmets for safe cycling. Most provinces have a mandatory helmet law for bikers under the age of 18. This has helped to reduce serious cycling injuries and fatalities but they are still very commonplace.
Many catastrophic cyclist injuries come about due to two common factors:
- Negligence on the part of motorized vehicles
- Negligence of the bike manufacturers
Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles generally occur when the car driver is distracted, intoxicated or speeding. In some cases, bicycle injuries occur as a result of an aggressive driver failing to provide sufficient clearance when passing a cyclist.
Another common cause of accidents is when a cyclist is attacked by a dog, causing the rider to drive into traffic or fall off their bike.
Some of the typical injuries incurred by cyclists include, Closed Head Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury or a fractured bone or limb. All of these injuries can result in paralysis, unbearable chronic pain, or the need for extensive medical care.
The injuries inflicted on a cyclist by careless, irresponsible drivers can not only cause the cyclist immense physical pain, but can also place the cyclist in a difficult financially position. The cyclist may have to pay for physiotherapy or other medical treatment or medication not covered by OHIP. These injuries also cause immense emotionally trauma.
If you are in a situation where you or a loved one has suffered a bicycle injury due to the negligence of someone other than yourself, then you are entitled to compensation. You should be aware that cyclists involved in motor vehicle accident are eligible for the same compensation as passengers injured in a car accident. This simply means that the cyclist has the legal right to file a personal injury claim as long as the injury was due to the negligence of the other parties involved in the accident.
A personal injury law suit can even be filed against someone who indirectly caused the accident. A prime example of this can be seen when the accident is a result of faulty equipment, such as a defective helmet or bicycle. The cyclist has the right to file a suit against the manufacturer of the defective equipment as long as there is sufficient proof to ascertain that the faulty equipment was the main cause of the accident. Another example can also be seen in the case of a dog attack. The cyclist has the right to file a personal injury claim against the owner of the animal.
If death was the outcome of a bicycle injury, then the family of the deceased has the rights to pursue claims for the hardship caused; not only the emotional pain but the financial strain as well. In addition to the immediate financial losses associated with the death of a loved one, such as medical bills and funeral costs, compensation must cover the loss of future income.
If you are faced with a similar situation, be sure to contact a lawyer at Rastin & Associates in order to better understand your rights. At Rastin & Associates we work on your behalf, to ensure that you get the best possible compensation. Remember, at Rastin & Associates, you get free consultation and there are no fees unless we are successful in winning your case.