Motorcycle Accidents

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    Home > Practice Areas > Motorcycle Accidents

    Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation during Canada’s warmer months, offering riders an unparalleled sense of freedom. However, this freedom can sometimes come with significant risks. Unlike larger vehicles like sedans or SUVs, motorcyclists rely primarily on their helmets for protection in the event of an accident. Such exposure can leave one vulnerable to injuries, especially when coupled with hazardous conditions on high-speed roadways.

    Understanding Motorcycle Accidents

    Motorcycle accidents encompass a range of incidents, including collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or stationary objects. The absence of protective barriers makes motorcyclists especially susceptible to injuries.

    Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

    Motorcycle accidents can occur due to various factors, many of which are preventable. Other drivers may be at fault for these accidents for various reasons:

    • Neglecting to check their mirrors or blind spots when merging
    • Braking suddenly and unexpectedly
    • Failing to leave enough space when driving near a bike.

    All of these could play a factor in a collision. However, a rider may also experience unsafe road conditions. Gravel can be particularly difficult to maneuver with these types of vehicles, and unkempt roads with plenty of potholes pose an increased threat due to the force of driving over them.

    Another reason for motorcycle accidents could be faulty machinery or parts. Many individuals take great pride in the upkeep of their bikes, using after-market parts to enhance their driving experience and the motorcycle’s appearance. Unfortunately, in some cases, these parts can be dangerous, poorly made, or not correctly installed. They may cause problems for riders who are unable to stop safely or stall unexpectedly.

    Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

    Motorcycle accidents often result in the rider being thrown from their bike, which can cause multiple injuries. A study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that motorcycle accidents are ten times more likely to cause severe injuries compared to car accidents.1 While adrenaline may mask the severity of injuries immediately after an accident, it is paramount for riders to seek prompt medical evaluation to determine the extent of potential injuries.

    • Spinal cord and brain injuries are common due to the extenuating circumstances the body has to endure when it hits the ground. The thoracic spine is the most commonly injured in these accidents,2 while brain injuries can range from mild to severe.
    • It is possible to suffer from broken bones while trying to protect the head or kick away from a dangerous situation.
    • Soft tissue damage, also known as road rash, from the impact of falling on the pavement can be particularly difficult to recover from.

    Helmets are the primary safety gear for motorcyclists, pivotal in reducing the risk of severe head and brain injuries.3

    Wrongful Deaths

    In some extreme cases, motorcycle accidents result in wrongful deaths. Transport Canada reported that 242 riders died in 2020 as a result of accidents. This represented a 24% increase from 2019, highlighting the importance of increased safety around motorcycle riding. It can be incredibly difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one, only worsened by the associated expenses and potential loss of financial support.

    A peaceful afternoon ride could turn into a life-altering event. If you survive a motorcycle accident, you will require immediate medical attention and care.

    The Recovery Process

    After suffering from any kind of motorcycle accident, your primary focus should be on your recovery. Accurately diagnosing and understanding the extent of your injuries can be a gradual process for healthcare providers. Moreover, the journey to physical and mental recovery often presents challenges, such as escalating medical expenses and potential loss of income, especially if the accident impedes your ability to work or requires additional assistance to complete the tasks you were once able to do yourself.

    Pursuing a Legal Claim

    Dealing with insurance companies can be a long, complex process, and you may consider filing a lawsuit to receive the compensation you need to get by. This could entail lodging a tort claim against another driver, the manufacturer of a faulty part, or even municipal entities if unsafe road conditions contributed to the incident. That’s where Bergeron Clifford steps in.

    Working with an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer

    Bergeron Clifford boasts a rich history of representing clients impacted by personal injuries due to motorcycle accidents. Every accident presents distinct nuances and potential outcomes; our expertise ensures that you are fairly compensated to cover medical and rehabilitation costs. If you are the family member of a deceased rider, we can assist in filing for Ontario accident and death benefits, in tandem with a tort claim to address the emotional strain and anguish experienced.

    If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury from a motorcycle accident, our team can give you the support you need to seek compensation. Contact us today for more information.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    In Ontario, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to initiate a personal injury claim. However, there are exceptions and shorter timeframes for specific situations, such as accidents involving municipal entities. It is crucial to consult with our team as soon as possible to ensure compliance with the applicable deadlines.

    Ontario provides accident benefits covering medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, replacement for lost income, and other relevant costs—this applies irrespective of who’s at fault. Additionally, if you meet specific criteria, you could be entitled to initiate a tort claim to seek compensation beyond accident benefits. This may include damages for pain and suffering, future care costs, and loss of earning capacity. Consulting with our lawyers will help us assess the fair compensation you may be entitled to based on your unique circumstances.

    The timeline for settling a motorcycle accident case in Ontario can differ, contingent on several aspects: the case’s intricacies, injury severity, and the likelihood of the case being litigated in court. While some cases may find resolution in a matter of months through effective negotiation, others might extend for a longer period. Our dedicated team will strive to streamline the process while ensuring your rights are protected.

    While it is possible to handle your claim independently, having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can greatly benefit your case. At Bergeron Clifford, our in-depth comprehension of Ontario’s legal landscape, combined with our negotiation acumen, positions us to advocate for your best interests, gather evidence, assess damages, and navigate the complex legal system. Leveraging our expertise can enhance your likelihood of securing fair compensation.

    1. Pincus, Daniel, David Wasserstein, Avery B. Nathens, Yu Qing Bai, Donald A. Redelmeier, and Walter P. Wodchis. 2017. “Direct Medical Costs of Motorcycle Crashes in Ontario.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 189 (46): E1410–15.
    2. Robertson, Angus, Peter V. Giannoudis, Toby Branfoot, Ian Barlow, Stuart J. Matthews, and Raymond M. Smith. 2002. “Spinal Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes: Patterns and Outcomes.” The Journal of Trauma 53 (1): 5–8.
    3. Desapriya, Ediriweera, Sarah Yassami, and Gooya Sheikhimoghadam. 2018. “Effects of Helmet Use on Costs of Motorcycle Crashes.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 190 (20): E626–26.

    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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