During Alberta’s warmer months thousands of cyclists enjoy the beauty and breathtaking scenery of Calgary’s roads and trails. And in the winter, many hardy Calgarian cyclists don’t let the cold, ice, and snow stop them from getting in a good ride. Many people across Alberta enjoy biking as a source of daily physical activity, whether that be commuting to work or for recreation. As cyclists become increasingly integrated with high volume traffic, drivers and riders must be extra vigilant and exercise caution while sharing the road. A bicycle is no match to a car or truck in size or speed, and cyclists carry a greater risk of critical injury or loss of life in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles. According to Canadian Vital Statistics, collisions with a motor vehicle made up 73% of fatal cycling accidents, most of which took place during evening rush hour [1,2]. Whether a bicycle accident is the result of a speeding driver, distracted or careless driving, dooring (colliding with an open car door), poor visibility or road conditions, we will investigate thoroughly and determine where the negligence lies. If you were involved in a bicycle accident involving another person who is fully or even partially responsible for the accident, you may be eligible for certain accident benefits and compensation. We believe in balancing the power by getting on the side of injury victims against insurance companies who will try to persuade you to settle for less than you are entitled to receive. Knowing and understanding your rights could make all the difference. At Litwiniuk & Company, we work tirelessly to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable and your settlement is fair and what you deserve.
What you need to know after you’ve been hit in a bicycle accident.
If you’re reading this article it is likely that you, or someone close to you, has already been injured in a bicycle accident. While the procedure for auto-on-auto accidents is well understood by most drivers, it is more likely for some or all these steps to be missed in an accident involving a bicycle. In the case of an auto accident, both drivers will usually exchange insurance information, take pictures of the accident scene and damage, talk to witnesses, and file a police report if needed. All too often, cyclists involved in an accident are seriously injured or in such a state of shock at the time of the accident that they are unable to gather these important details or even act as their own witness, leading to loss or lack of evidence about how the accident occurred. Hopefully, you were able to get the driver’s license and registration at the time of the accident or, if you were taken to the hospital, the police may have documented the driver’s information. If you don’t have any pictures of the scene of the accident, go and take some if it is safe to do so, or have a friend or family member take pictures at the location. It is also a good idea to take photographs of any injuries you have. Additionally, while your first thought may be to discard a broken bicycle or helmet and throw away the clothes you were wearing at the time of the accident, these items can provide valuable evidence. Take pictures of these items and keep them if possible. If you were unable to gather evidence, that’s okay too. But the sooner you can get in touch with a Personal Injury lawyer, the better. An experienced Bicycle Accident lawyer is skilled at gathering evidence after the fact and using that information to determine what really happened at the scene of an accident. It’s always better to gather eyewitness accounts while the memory of the accident is recent, and witnesses can be located. As time passes, it may become more difficult to accurately reconstruct what happened at the scene. At Litwiniuk & Company, we will do everything possible to collect all the evidence needed to build a strong case on your behalf. We’ll be in your corner, guiding you every step of the way, advocating for you to ensure you get a fair offer the best possible outcome.
Bicycle Accidents & Section B Benefits
Like pedestrians, cyclists are generally more vulnerable on the road and injuries involving a motor vehicle are often more severe and can cause serious injuries or even death. If a cyclist survives an accident, the physical and psychological injuries are often life-changing. If your quality of life has been negatively impacted in any way following a bicycle accident, you may be eligible for certain benefits to help with your medical treatment and recovery. Common injuries that result from a car hitting a cyclist include:
- Facial injuries;
- Cuts and bruises;
- Broken bones;
- Concussions and head injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Neck injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Psychological injuries;
- Orthopaedic injuries;
- Amputations; or
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident while riding a bicycle, the most important thing is your health; it is important to get a medical assessment right away, even if you think you have only sustained scrapes and bruises, and follow the advice of your doctor and other treatment providers. In Alberta, all motor vehicle insurance policies offer “no-fault” accident benefits called Section B benefits for any person who is hit and injured by a motor vehicle while biking. Regardless of who was at fault, you are entitled to have a portion of your medical treatments paid for through Section B benefits, provided the driver of the car had valid Alberta driver’s insurance. If the driver was uninsured, no need to worry – you may still be able to get Section B coverage; call or email us for help and more information. You can download Section B forms here. The sooner you access Section B benefits, the sooner you can get back on the path to better health. If you need any help accessing the necessary paperwork, filling out forms, or if you have questions about Section B benefits, please call or email us and we’ll be happy to help you.
Were you a victim of a hit and run? What if the driver was uninsured?
If you were struck by a vehicle and the driver fled the scene, you may be wondering if it’s possible to even make a claim to receive compensation for your injuries. If this has happened to you, get in touch with an experienced Personal Injury lawyer right away because there are important deadlines and as time goes on it can be more difficult to gather the evidence needed to track down the driver. At Litwiniuk & Company, we will do everything we can to find the responsible party. If the at-fault driver cannot be identified, or does not have insurance, you may still be compensated through Alberta’s Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program, also known as MVAC. Our Calgary Bicycle Accident lawyers know the ins and outs of dealing with hit and run accidents and uninsured drivers; if there’s a way to get you compensation for your injuries, we will find it. We will pursue legal action on your behalf and file a claim for your injuries.
What is my settlement worth?
Rule #1. Do NOT sign any documents or accept a settlement offer from an insurance company before speaking to an experienced Bicycle Accident lawyer.
Rule #2: Do NOT accept a settlement for your claim before you what the long-term effects of your injuries might be on your life and health.
Be on guard for insurance companies asking you to sign waivers or documents stating that you will not hold another party liable for your injuries. Insurance companies are known for being quick to offer settlements to bicycle injury victims in the hope of resolving the claim quickly and paying the lowest possible amount. These offers from insurers often come quickly following an accident, usually before you have had a chance to hire a lawyer and learn the full amount you are entitled to. In the first weeks following an accident, you are also less likely to be aware of the full extent of your injuries and any long-term effects from the accident. While some injuries are visible right away, sometimes the full impact of an accident is not felt for months. And that is something many victims are not aware of in the early days or weeks following an accident. It is important to consult a Personal Injury lawyer to understand the compensation you are entitled to receive based on the unique details of your case. The value of your claim depends on several factors including how severe your injuries are and how they impact your ability to work, daily life, and various other factors. Our Calgary Accident lawyers will utilize their knowledge and resources to acquire the maximum compensation for your claim. Even better, it won’t cost you a thing to hire us because we don’t get paid until you get paid.
In Alberta, you typically have up to two years from the date of an accident to make a claim – if you pass that deadline, your right to make a claim is lost forever. That isn’t to say that you should put off your claim because of the two-year grace period. It’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines or circumstances that may affect this deadline or your claim. If you have questions about the limitation window for your claim, call or email us for a free consultation with one of our Bicycle Accident lawyers today.
Our Calgary Bicycle Accident Lawyers Are Here For You.
We hope this article gave you some insight into how bicycle injury claims work in Alberta. Looking for personalized legal advice from an experienced Bicycle Injury lawyer? Call or email us now to speak to a lawyer – it’s absolutely free. As Alberta’s Personal Injury law firm for over 44 years, voted Calgary’s Top Choice Personal Injury Law Firm by our clients for six years running, we have an outstanding track record of bringing negligent drivers to justice and getting injured Albertans the compensation they deserve. We have represented injured cyclists, as well as the families of bicyclists who suffered fatal injuries in accidents, in Calgary and throughout Alberta since 1976. Our Calgary Personal Injury lawyers are experienced in representing clients with all types of injuries, including the very severe injuries that may occur in an accident between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. Let our experienced legal team work to get you the maximum compensation for your claim and access to the benefits and treatment you’re entitled to. We handle the insurance companies and complex legal work, while you focus on getting back to a normal life. If you are looking for a Calgary Bicycle Accident lawyer contact Litwiniuk & Company today for a free consultation. It won’t cost you anything to get an experienced Bicycle Injury lawyer on your side in the courtroom, because we don’t get paid until you get paid.