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    Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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    Cycling is a popular pastime and mode of transportation for many. While it cuts down on emissions and provides good exercise, biking on roadways can be a dangerous endeavour. As a cyclist, most cars consider you to be just another vehicle on the road and expect you to follow the same rules as they do. However, when dealing with legal concerns, these riders are considered pedestrians. This is especially important when dealing with bicycle accidents.

    With sidewalks, designated lanes, and plenty of shoulder space, it would seem imperative that drivers give cyclists room on the road. But this is not always the case. Failing to check their mirrors or blind spots when turning or opening their doors, parking in bike lanes, crowding the road, and following too closely can all contribute to potential hazards. In these cases, cyclists must remain vigilant, but sometimes that is not enough. If you have been hurt in a cycling collision, it may be in your best interest to speak with a bicycle accident lawyer.

    Bike Accident Statistics

    The knowledge of how and why bicyclists get into accidents can help bikers and drivers learn how to avoid being involved in one. For example, most bicycle accidents occur around rush hour in the morning and evening, both times when drivers aren’t able to see bicyclists as easily as they can in full daylight. If you live in an area where there aren’t a lot of bicycles on the road, there are likely no dedicated bike lanes. As a result, drivers likely aren’t expecting to share the pavement with you and may not be aware of their responsibilities. 

    Numerous bicycle injury statistics are available that highlight the dangers that can be associated with drivers simply not paying attention. Annually, about 73% of bicycle accidents that result in a fatality also involve a motor vehicle. However, these collisions have been rising since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as many citizens are opting to ride their bikes rather than drive.

    Bicycling Laws in Ontario

    The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario declares that a bicycle should be treated the same way as a motor vehicle in most settings. This means you have rights and responsibilities when riding your bike on the street. Drivers need to give you the space you need and accept the responsibility of being on the lookout for cyclists at intersections, on sidewalks, near curbs, and in bike lanes.

    What Are the Rules for Cyclists?

    As a bicyclist, you need to make a reasonable effort to make yourself visible, obey vehicle traffic laws, and yield to cars when others have the right of way. In return, drivers must treat your bicycle as another vehicle. This means yielding to you when it’s your turn, maintaining proper space when passing you, and being vigilant when making turns to ensure no cyclists are approaching from their blind spot.

    Types of Bicycle Accidents

    Similar to various types of car accidents, there are several common types of bicycle collisions. These are so named because of the frequency of which they happen and how they happen. While riding a bike, the possibilities of getting in an accident include:

    Dooring

    Dooring occurs when a driver in a parked vehicle doesn’t check for oncoming traffic when opening the driver-side door. If a cyclist is approaching, they may not be able to stop in time to avoid crashing into the door.

    Hooking

    Two types of accidents known as the right hook and left hook, refer to drivers cutting bicyclists off when making a turn. The cyclist doesn’t see the vehicle cross their path and collides with it.

    Failure-to-Yield

    There are two failure-to-yield scenarios to consider. The first is when the bicyclist assumes they can enter an intersection without obeying a traffic light, stop sign or yield sign. In the other scenario, a distracted driver doesn’t yield to the person on the bike and hits them in the intersection.

    Potential Catastrophic Injuries

    Unfortunately, when cyclists are injured in an accident, they tend to be in a far worse position than the driver of the vehicle. With just a helmet to protect you, you are more vulnerable to physical harm. As a result, these injuries tend to be slightly different than the ones seen in victims who are involved in car accidents. 

    As a bicycler, you are at a greater risk for specific catastrophic injuries, especially broken bones. These impacts tend to be forceful, throwing you off your bike and causing your body intense pain. Even a properly secured helmet could result in a head injury like a concussion. Falling on the pavement or gravel may cause severe lacerations that turn into disfigured scars. Spinal cord injuries are not uncommon and can cause some of the most significant impacts on your life, such as paralysis.

    What to do When You’re Involved in a Bicycling Accident

    If you’re hit by a driver not following the law, seeking medical attention is essential, even if you don’t feel the need for it. The adrenaline running through your body may mask the symptoms of real pain and trauma, and it is better to have your injuries looked over by a doctor. If possible before leaving the scene, take pictures of the accident and get contact information from any witnesses who saw what happened. This can help you prove the driver was at fault for the accident should you decide to take them to court.

    Recovering from a Bicycle Accident

    After your accident, you may be required to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time while they monitor your injuries. Depending on your ailments, extensive surgeries and therapy could be needed to help restore your health in some way. In other cases, you might find yourself unable to return to work or support your family like you once did, causing extensive difficulties resulting from your injuries. While recovery should be the most important thing you are worried about, it can also weigh on your responsibilities and make things even harder.

    Hiring a Seasoned Bicycle Accident Lawyer

    At Bergeron Clifford, we believe that cycling should not be hazardous to your health or well-being. We have found that many bicycle accident victims are relatively young and healthy, but due to a collision, they may need long-term care and compensation for life-altering injuries. Our lawyers will give your case the care it deserves. This includes:

     

    • Ensuring that your case is viewed with an understanding of your rights as a bicyclist.
    • Ensuring that you are not blamed unreasonably and that the person who harmed you is held accountable.
    • Helping you with insurance issues if you have no coverage of your own.
    • Sending you to the right professionals for evaluations and care.

     

    Navigating the difficulties surrounding a legal case of this nature may feel nearly impossible to do on your own. However, with a bicycle accident attorney, you can rest assured they have the knowledge when it comes to these kinds of incidents and the specifics that may surround your claim. Whether your accident was the result of road hazards or a driver, our team at Bergeron Clifford can help.


    It’s possible that you are unaware of your legal rights as a cyclist, and there’s a chance that law enforcement and insurance companies may brush off your concerns as they relate to your accident. However, we can build a case that demonstrates the unsafe conditions and their results of continued strain on your day-to-day life, therefore securing you fair compensation to be able to live with dignity. For more information on our services, reach out to us today.

    Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

    Contact us if you have suffered a motor vehicle injury in Eastern Ontario. Call us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We can meet you in Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth or wherever is most convenient for you.

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