Most bike accidents in Ontario, Canada, are caused by negligent motorists. Canadian law holds bicyclists to the same duty of care that motorists do on the roads. That means you must file for benefits under your car insurance policy if riding your bike when a motorist hits you.
There is a catch that works in favor of the bike rider. You could sue the motorist for bodily injury and property damage if you sustained severe bodily injuries and property damage during your accident! You have to consider two important things if you’re going that route, though.
The first is if the dollar amount of your claim will be more than Ontario’s statutory deductible. The second is if you have been seriously disfigured or suffered a permanent disability from your accident.
Case Study: St. Marthe V.S. O’Connor
The Ontario Superior Court made a judgment on this case. The case was filed in response to a bicycle accident in Toronto in November of 2011. The plaintiff was riding his bike to work on a morning in November 2011.
He was riding Westbound on DuPont Street. The defendant happened to be in his car at the same time. The plaintiff saw the defendant. He took his earbuds out and passed the gas station at cruising speed. He had just gotten onto DuPont Street when the defendant pulled out and hit his bike. The plaintiff was knocked off his bike immediately.
He was not wearing a helmet and stretched his arms out to break his fall. He called his employer, who immediately picked him up from the accident scene. The plaintiff went to the hospital later that morning. He was admitted to the emergency room because he complained of back pain on his right side.
The nurse gave him some over-the-counter medicine and then discharged him. He went to continuing physiotherapy and massage appointments to get rid of the pain. The plaintiff took a new job in construction in May of 2014. His supervisor noted that he started to have difficulty lifting equipment in general during that first year.
He quit in November of 2014. He told his supervisor that he could no longer do his job. Justice Patrick Hurley of Ontario Superior Court tried the case in November and December 2018. A jury headed the case initially, but the judge later dismissed it. Hurley calculated the settlement since the defendant admitted guilt. The plaintiff may have been injured in 2011 but filed his case in 2014. However, his case was still acceptable since it had been less than two years since he realized that he would no longer be able to work.
The plaintiff won a settlement since he could prove that the damages were permanent and affected his ability to work in his previous capacity. He would need to undergo vocational training in another field to find new work. He won almost $200,000 for his accident.
As you can see, bike injury accidents can be severe, so you need to hire an excellent personal injury lawyer in Brockville, if you have ever been involved in a bike accident to get the settlement that you want, need, and deserve!