Here in Alberta, there are over 400 accidents between cyclists and passenger cars every year. Most of those accidents can result in very serious injuries or even the death of the cyclist. Tragically, many of the victims are children or teens, but adult cyclists aren’t immune. Some of these accidents are even the result 0f aggression and road rage targeted at cyclists.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, call our expert bicycle accident lawyers. If the driver was at-fault then you deserve compensation for your injury and losses. We’re to make sure the driver’s insurance does what it’s supposed to do and pays your claim. If the incident was a hit-and-run, we can help you recover funds from MVAC, or your own insurance company.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Most of our clients present with one of the following injuries:
In some tragic cases, bicycle accidents lead to death. In those cases, we help the families of the deceased recover damages for their loss.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Most bicycle accidents are the fault of motor vehicles.
Over 20% of these accidents are caused by left turn accidents. Vehicles fail to see the cyclists, fail to give up the right-of way, and turn directly into the cyclist crossing the road when making a left turn. Right turn accidents also make up a substantial portion of these accidents.
Other accidents are caused by distracted driving, driver aggression, speeding, refusing to respect that the cyclist serves as another vehicle on the road, unsafe lane changes, and driving while impaired.
There are a percentage of accidents that are the fault of the cyclist. Cyclists are required to follow the rules of traffic just like any other vehicle. Cyclists who cross against the light in front of other cars or who fail to use proper bike lanes may be held at fault for their own accidents.
Differences Between A Bicycle Accident and a Motorcycle Accident
Legally, a cyclist is treated very much like a pedestrian in an accident. A pedestrian or bicyclist hit with a motor vehicle places the onus on the driver to prove that the cyclist is not at-fault for the accident. It is one of the very small advantages that a cyclist has over a motorist in these cases.
That does not mean these cases are “open and shut,” or will automatically be decided in favor of the cyclist. Cyclists can be found at-fault or partially at-fault for accidents. In Alberta if they are found partially at-fault their award amount may be reduced by whatever percentage of fault is assigned to them. Thus, nailing down the facts of the case remains incredibly important in any bicycle accident case.
Tips to Prevent Bicycle Accidents in Cochrane
Make sure you understand bicycle law in Alberta. The Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation demands that cyclists follow all the laws of the highway just like any motor vehicle does. Here are some additional laws pertaining to cyclists.
Note that there are times when it is wiser to get off the bike and walk it, such as at crosswalks.
What to Do During a Bicycle Accident?
If you are conscious after the bike accident you’ll want to take many of the same steps as you’d take in an Alberta car accident.
Call a lawyer as soon as you are medically capable of doing so. The earlier you involve a lawyer the stronger your bike accident case will be.
How Do Bicycle Accident Settlements Work?
Your accident settlements are meant to cover your losses. That means your financial losses and your pain and suffering.
Financial losses include:
Pain and suffering is less defined. It’s compensation for your actual pain and harm, as well as for the ways that your injury has ultimately changed your life. Someone who can no longer walk, can no longer pursue a beloved hobby, and can no longer pursue their career will generally see a larger pain and suffering award than someone who broke their arm.
In Alberta, this award is capped at $370,000 for major injuries. It will be up to your lawyer to help you negotiate the highest possible pain and injury settlement.