Bicycle accidents tend to peak in the summer in Ontario cities, such as Kingston, Ottawa and Whitby. This makes sense because cyclists typically ride when the weather is nice. Even individuals who are not avid cyclists may choose to commute to work by bike. Many people would rather ride bikes than take public transportation or drive.
Unfortunately, when there are more cyclists on Ontario roads, there is also a greater chance of car-bicycle accidents. This article will discuss what happens after an Ontario bicycle-car accident and the rights of injured cyclists.
Proving Fault in an Ontario Car-Bicycle Accident
When a car accident happens, someone is usually at-fault. Many times, involved parties may point fingers at each other and accuse the other of person causing the car accident. If an injured party sues the other driver, there would be a dispute as to who was at fault, and the parties would need to provide evidence to prove fault. Evidence may include eyewitness testimony, police reports, investigative reports, pictures, etc.
The same is true for car-bicycle accidents. Parties involved may dispute who was at fault. An injured cyclist may say a driver hit him from behind, causing him to fall off his bike. In turn, the driver may say the cyclist was riding erratically which caused him to hit him from behind. However, if the cyclist sues the driver, the cyclist does not have to prove that the driver was at fault. It is presumed that the motorist is at fault pursuant to Ontario law.
The relevant Ontario car-bicycle accident law is called “reverse onus.” This law is found in section 193(1) of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, and it presumes that a driver is at fault for hitting a bicyclist until the driver proves otherwise.
This is favorable for an injured cyclist, especially if there are no eyewitnesses to the accident. For instance, if a bicyclist is riding his bike late at night in downtown Kingston and is suddenly hit from behind by a car, the driver may try to say that the cyclist came out of nowhere. However, it doesn’t matter what the driver says because he is presumed to be at fault. He must provide evidence that the cyclist was at fault. Of course, if the driver provides evidence, the cyclist would need to provide evidence to counter the driver’s claims.
Ontario Bicycle-Car Accidents
If you or a loved one was hit by a car while riding a bicycle, you have legal rights. The car accident lawyers at Bergeron Clifford can help. Call to schedule a FREE consultation today. 866-384-5886