Alberta is known for expansive stretches of highway bordered by stunning prairies and Rocky Mountains; not surprisingly, thousands of motorcycle riders take to these roads during the summer months. In the city, many riders also enjoy the convenience of a bike over a large vehicle; the ability to park in tight spaces and save on gas money makes motorcycles attractive choices for commuting. Whether cruiser or chopper, touring or sport, or even moped or scooter, Albertans love the thrill and joy of life on two wheels. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and even the most cautious motorcycle riders can be involved in an accident that results in serious injury. Cruising on the open road can be exhilarating one moment and catastrophic the next. In a split second, your life can change forever. Motorcyclists know that other drivers often don’t watch for or see them; bikes get easily lost in blind spots, and it’s harder for drivers to judge how far away an oncoming motorcycle is compared to a larger vehicle like a car. Bikers are also simply more vulnerable. They do not have the physical protection of a large metal frame or airbags against the impact of other vehicles or the open road. As a result, even an accident that might normally constitute a minor fender bender between two vehicles can result in serious injury or even death when a bike is involved. Lack of protection against the open road, coupled with additional driving hazards, can have catastrophic results.
Data shows that motorcycle riders are 3.4 times as likely to be injured or die than other motor vehicle drivers . Because of the severity of motorcycle accidents, injuries often require specialized medical care and can result in long-term disability for the rider; that’s where we come in to help. We have represented injured Alberta motorcyclists for over 4 decades, and we understand the complexities and nuances of bike injury claims.
If you were injured in a bike accident that was not your fault, or even partially your fault, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. We’ll ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries, access to the benefits you are entitled to, and access to any other supports you might be eligible for. At Litwiniuk & Company, we know motorcycle accidents and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure you get fair compensation.
Having an experienced bike accident lawyer on your side can be particularly helpful when:
- It is difficult to establish fault(this is an especially common issue in bike accidents, but more on that later);
- The driver of the other vehicle claims the motorcycle was not visible or speeding;
- The insurance company of the person who injured you is arguing that your protective gear was insufficient;
- Additional investigation is needed to further analyze or gather evidence after the fact; or
- The insurance company of the at-fault party is making a low settlement offer (they always do).
I’ve heard that bike accident claims are complicated. Is this true?
Yes and no. The most important distinction is the fact that bike accident claims are different from auto-on-auto claims. And while they do tend to be more complicated and generally require more expertise than a standard MVA claim, some bike accident cases may be relatively straightforward. The degree of complexity really comes down to the particulars of your case. The best way to ensure your case is handled effectively – and ensure that your settlement is fair – is to enlist the services of a law firm with extensive motorcycle claims experience. To learn more, here are just a few of the reasons why a bike accident claim might be more complex:
- Injuries resulting from a bike accident tend to be more serious and, thereby, more difficult and expensive to treat than injuries sustained in a car accident. Serious injuries can also have a life-long impact on your quality of life; you deserve to be compensated for this. Insurance companies want to pay less, not more, and they will fight hard to settle low. This increases the complexity of the case.
- Unfair and often inaccurate perceptions that bikers speed excessively and fail to follow the rules of the road can be a disadvantage for motorcycle riders. In other words, insurance companies, witnesses, and other drivers involved may be more likely to place blame on the individual riding the motorcycle due to their own negative bias. This, of course, is completely unfair and unwarranted. An experienced bike accident lawyer will be able to use their knowledge and resources to counteract anti-motorcyclist bias, and ensure the negligent party is brought to justice.
- In motorcycle accidents, things may come into play that might not in a car accident, such as whether there was gravel on the road, what the weather was like, or what the motorcyclist was wearing.
These are just a few examples of reasons why a bike accident claim might be more complex. To get the compensation you need and deserve, you need an experienced bike accident lawyer working for you.
Making A Claim
Although basic medical expenses are usually covered by Alberta’s healthcare system or through employer benefits and insurance plans, there are some costs, such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, and so on, that are not covered by Alberta healthcare. These costs can add up quickly. And there can be other costs associated with your injuries. For example, if you were injured in a bike accident, you may be forced to take time off work while you recover, or you may not be able to return to work at all. In many cases, a loss of income or loss of future ability to work is something that can be included include in a bike accident claim. In some cases, additional claims can also be made for loss of enjoyment of life or inability to care for children, resulting in the need to hire a caregiver. You may also be unable to do certain work around the house such as cleaning, laundry, or mowing the lawn; you can claim for expenses related to housekeeping.
In cases involving severe injuries, you may require special mobility equipment or modification to your home, and an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer can help ensure the costs are covered for you. The insurance company of the at-fault company will likely contact you early on to make an offer for the lowest possible amount. Don’t agree to a settlement until you know what you are entitled to receive. And DO NOT accept an offer before you have completely healed from your injuries. It won’t cost you anything to talk to one of our bike accident lawyers and discover what your claim is actually worth. Let us handle the legal work, so you can focus on yourself, your health, and your loved ones. We will gladly help you negotiate a fair settlement, but we’re also ready to fight in your corner and win you the maximum compensation you deserve.
Bereavement & Wrongful Death Claims
When a bike accident claims the life of the motorcycle rider, and their death is the result of someone else’s negligence, loved ones such as spouses or other close family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Although no amount of money can ever truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, pursuing a claim will help family members replace the wages that person might have earned to support their family, pay for funeral expenses, and offer some compensation for lost companionship. The loved ones of a deceased motorcyclist shouldn’t be deprived of monetary support because of someone else’s negligence.
In Alberta, wrongful death lawsuits must follow the rules set out in the Fatal Accidents Act. One of these rules determines who can make claims, and who cannot. According to Section 3 of the act, only the spouse, adult interdependent partner, parent, child, brother or sister of the person who died is eligible to make a claim. It is difficult to put a dollar value on the sadness someone feels when a loved one dies as a result of another person’s negligence. The Fatal Accidents Act takes the guesswork out by putting a number on what can be claimed for bereavement. According to Section 8 of the act, each living child (not step-children or grandchildren) can claim $49,000.00. Parents of the deceased can claim $82,000.00. If both parents are alive and making a claim together, that money is divided equally. If only one parent is alive, they are entitled to $82,000.00. These amounts represent the amounts payable for grief over the loss of a loved one only; there is often other significant compensation available, and an experienced injury lawyer can help make sure you don’t miss any of it.
If someone you love was killed in a bike accident, we are here for you, and we want to help. It won’t cost you anything to talk to a lawyer and you won’t pay a cent in legal fees or expenses while your claim progresses. Call us today to learn more.
Our Calgary Bike Accident Lawyers Are Here for You.
Whether a bike accident happens in Alberta or during a cross-country ride to another province, or even as far as a U.S. state, we can help. We have relationships with other law firms and organizations across North America that help us ensure an injured rider gets the help, and the specialized advice and support they need. In particular, if you’re injured in the United States, American insurance levels are often too low to cover your compensation. We can help you access other sources of compensation to make sure your expenses are covered, and you get everything you’re entitled to. As part of our commitment to providing comprehensive services to injured motorcycles, Litwiniuk & Company works with organizations dedicated to informing motorcyclists of their legal rights and helping to protect and enforce those rights. Since 1976, Litwiniuk & Company has represented injured motorcyclists, and we have developed the specialized knowledge required to successfully handle your claim. As Alberta’s bike accident lawyers for over 44 years, we understand motorcycle culture and the most effective ways to bring a claim to a successful settlement. Call or email us today, or use our contact form to connect with us, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours to set up a meeting to speak with a lawyer.