FAQ: I was riding my bike in downtown Ottawa when a car cut me off in an attempt to make a right turn. As a result, I flipped over my bike and broke my arm. What are my legal rights against the driver?
Answer: You may be able to file a tort claim or lawsuit against the driver. However, before we discuss your potential tort claim, we need to discuss Statutory Accident Benefits.
If you own a car, the first thing you need to do is file an accident benefits claim with your auto insurance company. You may be wondering what your auto insurance has to do with your bike accident, but the law in Ontario requires your auto insurance company to provide accident benefits to insured drivers who are injured while riding their bikes.
These benefits are the same benefits you would receive if you were in an Ottawa car accident. The amount of benefits and the type of benefits you may receive depend on your injuries and the amount of coverage you purchased.
Pursuant to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) under the Ontario Insurance Act, you may be able to receive the following benefits:
- medical and rehabilitation care benefits,
- income replacement benefits,
- caregiver benefits, and
- reimbursement for housekeeping and home maintenance.
In addition to receiving accident benefits from your auto insurance company, you may file a tort claim against the driver. You may recover medical expenses and income replacement benefits that are not covered by accident benefits.
You may also be able to recover damages for pain and suffering. However, you may only do so if your injuries pass the "threshold test." Essentially, Ontario law only allows injured victims of auto accidents to sue for pain and suffering if their injuries are both permanent and very serious.
In addition, even if victims pass the threshold test, the first $30,000 of a pain and suffering award is deducted if the award is less than $100,000.
The law is very complex. Thus, it is crucial to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer who specializes in Statutory Accident Benefits and knows how to properly work up a case to recover maximum compensation for injured victims. Feel free to contact us to schedule a FREE consultation - 866-384-5886.