Ontario has a terrific cycling culture - people ride bikes for recreation, fitness, and as a mode of transportation. Cycling is popular in urban cities and rural communities throughout Ontario. Many municipalities have also made improvements to accommodate the increasing popularity of cycling. Although cycling is usually safe and fun, there are accidents involving cars and bicycles.
When a cyclist is hit by a car or truck in Ontario, the consequences can be serious, often resulting in injuries and, sometimes causing the death of the cyclist. Here we will discuss the rights of an injured cyclists that is hit by a car or truck in Ontario. If you have lost a loved one due to a cycling accident with a motor vehicle, read about your rights here.
Your Rights to No-Fault Accident Benefits Following a Bicycle Accident with a Car
If you were a cyclist involved in a crash with a motor vehicle you are entitled to claim for Statutory Accident Benefits in Ontario. These benefits are available insurance benefits for all cyclists injured in a car accident, without regard to fault. Accident Benefits can provide coverage for income loss, medical and rehabilitation expenses, and other losses depending on the nature and severity of the injuries. Accident Benefits may be administered by your own insurance company, the insurance policy on the vehicle that was involved in the accident, or the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. There are time limits to apply for and receive certain accident benefits, so it is important to speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. At our firm, consultations are Free and confidential, so that you can make an informed decision as soon as possible to preserve your rights to compensation for your losses.
Your Rights to Sue the At-Fault Driver for a Bicycle Accident with a Car
In addition to the no-fault accident benefits claim, an injured cyclist can also bring a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover money for their pain and suffering, and economic losses. In most cases, the accident benefits claim alone will not adequately compensate the victim of a bicycle accident, so a tort claim will be advanced as well. These claims are also handled and ultimately paid by any valid insurance coverage on the at-fault vehicle. A tort claim for compensation can be challenging to advance, so it is in the best interest of the victim and their family to seek the advice of a lawyer as soon as possible.
Proving it was the Car's Fault in a Bicycle Accident in Ontario
In Ontario, the Highway Traffic Act creates a reverse onus on a driver who impacts a cyclist on a public roadway. This reverse onus provision is outlined in section 193(1), which provides as follows:
"When loss or damage is sustained by any person by reason of a motor vehicle on a highway, the onus of proof that the loss or damage did not arise through the negligence or improper conduct of the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is upon the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle"
Therefore, a driver that causes injury to a cyclist in Ontario is presumed negligent and has the burden of proving otherwise. This is significant, as most negligence claims put the burden of proof on the injured party.
Is it Worth Bringing a Claim if I am Injured as a Cyclist
If you did not sustain any injuries, of if your injuries are very minor, then you probably would not need to advance a claim. If, on the other hand, you experienced injuries from the impact with the car and require medical treatment, then you should speak to a lawyer to explore whether you have a claim for money compensation. Although every case is unique, in our experience we find that most injured cyclists are fairly compensated for their losses and injury from the insurance company if they have a lawyer and commence legal proceedings. To determine what fair compensation means for a cyclist hit by a car in Ontario, an experienced lawyer would assess your damages and provide you with guidance through the process.
Request a Free Consultation with a Lawyer
Call us today - our phone lines are answered 24 hour per day and 7 days per week. We accept clients throughout Ontario. If we can help you, we will provide you with an informed Free Consultation where you can ask questions and learn about your rights. If you decide to hire us, and we accept your case, you pay us nothing up front and pay us nothing for the duration of your case until we recover money for you. If we are unsuccessful, you pay us nothing. Call now to see if we can assist at 866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada and Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death in Canada and the United States. Andrew is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Form and is the author of "Are You a Canadian Injured in the United States? Claim the Damages and Insurance Coverage the Right Way".