According to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), more than 7,500 bicyclists are injured each year in Canada. During 2014, 35 riders lost their lives in traffic-related accidents. Sadly, the Ontario chief coroner released a report about cycling deaths in 2012. Of the 129 cycling deaths the team studied, all deaths were preventable.
The fact is that riding your bicycle can be dangerous. You face many threats from negligent drivers to road hazards. A cycling accident can occur in a split second but change your life forever. If you are injured in a cycling accident, it is important for you to take steps to protect your right to recover compensation for your injuries from the party or parties who caused the crash.
What Do I Do Right After a Cycling Accident?
The first priority after a bicycle accident is your health. Call 911 to request the police and emergency medical services. Do not leave the scene of the accident, wait until help arrives. However, avoid discussing the details of your crash with anyone at the scene. Never admit fault or say you are sorry as this can be construed as admitting fault.
If possible, take pictures of the accident scene in addition to requesting contact information from any eyewitnesses. It can be very important to have an accurate record of the accident scene as it appeared at the time of the collision. Because eyewitnesses may leave before police arrive, you should ask for contact information before they can leave. Eyewitness testimony can be very persuasive if you must file a bicycle accident lawsuit to settle your claim.
Once the police arrive, give the officer a full report of how the cycling accident happened. If you are not being transported to the emergency room, see your family physician as soon as possible. You need medical attention to protect your health and your accident claim. It is vital to document your injuries, follow the instructions given by your physician, and do not miss any appointments. Keep copies of all documentation you receive related to the accident.
As soon as possible, contact our office to discuss your case with an Ontario personal injury lawyer. Do not negotiate with the insurance adjuster for the other party. Anything you say could be misconstrued and hurt your claim. Consulting with a lawyer with experience in Ontario bicycle accidents is always in your best interest.
Common Causes of Cycling Accidents in Ontario
A bicycling accident can occur for many reasons. Some reasons are the fault of the cyclist while many other causes are beyond the control of the rider. Common causes of cycling accidents include:
- Debris in the road as the result of unnatural causes (i.e. trash, work zone debris, etc.) or natural causes (i.e. debris after a storm, slippery roads, etc.)
- Being struck by a motor vehicle
- Striking a door of a vehicle that is opened in the path of the cyclist (“dooring accident”)
- Potholes, uneven pavement, gravel, utility hole covers, and other roadway defects
- Negligent or careless drivers
- Distracted drivers and distracted cyclists
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Improperly maintained shoulders and intersections
Determining the exact cause of your accident is a crucial step in recovering compensation for an injury. An experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer can help you determine the cause and obtain evidence to prove liability.
Common Injuries in Ontario Bicycle Accidents
Riders who are in an accident often sustain:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Road rash
- Twists, sprains, and dislocations
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Spinal cord injuries, resulting in partial or complete paralysis
- Closed head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Penetrating brain injuries
The injuries in a bicycle accident can result in substantial damages. Do not bear the financial burden of an accident alone. Let our lawyers fight for your right to receive a fair and just settlement for your injury claim.
Call an Ontario Personal Injury Law Firm Today
The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond are available 24/7 to help you. Call our injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.