Whether it be for exercise, leisure, or your daily commute, the GTA has many bicycle riders. Unfortunately, like motorcyclists and pedestrians, cyclists have little to no protection if they are hit by a motor vehicle. A bike accident involving a car is almost certain to cause a severe injury to the cyclist. Cyclists have to follow traffic rules just as motor vehicles and pedestrians do, but motor vehicles and pedestrians must yield to them in many circumstances and must always keep and eye out for them. Unlike pedestrians and motor vehicles, bicycles are often times overlooked and forgotten as participants on the road.
When the operator of a motor vehicle is negligent and causes an accident involving a cyclist, the injured cyclist has a right to claim compensation through an Accident Benefits claim and might also be eligible to claim additional compensation in the form of a Tort claim. Compensation will generally come from an insurance company and will depend on who is involved, who is at fault, as well as many other factors. A claim in tort will also be easier to prove if the injured party is a cyclist because the motor vehicle driver will be required to prove that they were not driving negligently. Normally, the injured party is required to prove that the driver was negligent, not the other way around. This is simply extra protection for vulnerable cyclists.
In some circumstances, a cyclist may be injured due to the negligence of the municipality. For example, the presence of a dangerous hole in the ground without proper signage could result in the municipality being liable for any injuries sustained. If you are injured while bicycling, it is important to seek legal advice in order to determine if you are eligible for compensation.
Depending on the severity of the accident, a cyclist may be entitled to the following:
Loss of past and future income
Rehab and medical expenses
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
Loss of competitive advantage in the workplace