Bicycle Accident Lawyers Calgary

In both rural and urban areas, riding a bicycle is a recreational activity that people of all ages can enjoy. It is a practical and environmentally friendly way of commuting, an invigorating form of exercise, and leisurely activity families can enjoy together.

Unfortunately, sharing the road with motor vehicles can be dangerous for cyclists, regardless of how careful they are. In Alberta, cyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet and adult bike riders are strongly encouraged to follow suit. Wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury, or worse.

Even the most cautious cyclists are involved in bicycle accidents, generally due to negligent motor vehicle drivers. Helmet and safety equipment can help reduce the severity of injuries, but by no means offer injury complete immunity.

Bicycle accident statistics in Calgary

In recent years, cycling injuries, hospitalizations, and fatalities have surged across Canada. With more riders on the roads and a general increase in driver distraction, bicycle accidents in Alberta are on the rise. Alberta accounts for 15% of the country’s reported bicycle accident-related injuries. Emergency room visits related to injuries sustained in Alberta bicycle accidents have skyrocketed by 48% in just one year.

In 2020, Calgary police responded to 199 collisions where cyclists were hit and 227 in 2019. Bicycle fatalities are still high despite less vehicle traffic in Calgary.

When a minor fender bender happens, people in the car may not even feel the impact. Most motor vehicles are designed to absorb impact. Bicycles do not have those same protections, leaving cyclists vulnerable to catastrophic injury even at low speed. Drivers in Alberta are required to drive their cars with a reasonable degree of caution to protect the safety of all road-users, including cyclists. There is an unwritten contract between users of public roadways to drive, walk and bike safely. Unfortunately, not everyone holds up their end of the deal.

Our Calgary bicycle accident lawyers are passionate about helping injured cyclists throughout the province get the compensation they deserve. To review your case with our legal team, contact us today and take advantage of a free, initial consultation.

Common causes for bicycle accidents in Calgary

The most common cause of a bicycle accidents are motor vehicles. Some examples include:

  • Dooring accidents: can occur when a car door is opened suddenly, not giving a cyclist an opportunity to swerve or stop to avoid it. This can result in an accident with bicycle damage and serious injuries.
  • Sideswipe accidents: relative to cars, bicycles are small and not as easily seen on the road. Bicycles are also not as loud as motorcycles. This makes them less noticeable to distracted drivers who may not properly check their surroundings before switching lanes.
  • Visibility: some bicycle accidents occur due to poor visibility. When it is dark or difficult to see due to weather, drivers may not see cyclists. It is important for cyclists to not only wear protective wear but also to be equipped with visibility aids such as lights and reflective material.

In some cases, improper road maintenance, weather conditions or pedestrians can also be the cause of a bicycle accident. In recent years, major cities have made efforts to create or increase designated bike lanes. This means there are more bicycles on roads than in previous years. Many accidents result in disagreement between the cyclist and the driver as to who is at fault. For example, a driver who abruptly opens their car door may deny responsibility at the scene. If you are involved in a bicycle accident, it is highly recommended to immediately seek legal advice. Call our Calgary accident lawyers now for a free consultation.

Types of compensation for Alberta bicycle accident injuries

Those involved in bicycle accidents can claim the same general areas of compensation that can be claimed in other types of accidents including motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, dog attacks, and more.

There are 2 main types of compensation in personal injury actions. The first is pecuniary damages, which are meant to compensate you for the money you have or will lose in the future because of an injury. The second is non-pecuniary damages, also referred to as general damages for pain and suffering.

Pecuniary damages can include the following types of losses:

  • Income loss: Lost income, benefits, and pension due to an accident.
  • Future loss of earning capacity: An injury can change the direction of your job. This includes lost opportunities, future loss of income, and losing your competitive edge because of an injury. In many cases, this loss can be calculated until the age of likely retirement.
  • Medical costs: This includes money spent on medical treatments, doctor’s appointments, ambulance, medications, and other medical devices.
  • Future care. Medical treatments that you may need in the future due to accident-related injuries.
  • Housekeeping expenses: If your injuries prevent you from doing your household chores as you did them before an accident.

The word pecuniary means something involving money. But an accident can take more than just money from you and your family.

Non-pecuniary damages, also referred to as general damages, are intended to compensate you for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and how the accident has and will continue to impact the enjoyment of your life.

The key to a fair assessment of non-pecuniary damages is to assess your level of impairment or how your pre- and post-accident life has changed.

A common litigation strategy used by the insurance defence is to argue your injuries have little or no impact on your life. But our lawyers will work alongside medical experts, vocational experts and other experts to help prove your case in the event you are truly injured and impacted. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to have a Calgary bicycle accident lawyer on your side.

Section B benefits for bicycle accidents

In the province of Alberta, all auto insurance plans must include Section B benefits. These are “no fault” benefits available to anyone who is involved in a motor vehicle accident including cyclists.

Section B benefits are intended to provide immediate support for those injured in a car accident. This includes things like physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, massage therapy and more. Section B benefits also provide disability benefits if you cannot return to work due to your injuries.

Unfortunately, Section B benefits are not designed to provide full compensation to victims, but rather to provide some basic benefits to help with the immediate aftermath of an accident. Lifetime costs associated with a serious injury can be significant, which often need to be claimed from the opposing party’s insurance company.

How negligence is established in bicycle accident claims

In cases involving 2 motor vehicles, the person bringing the lawsuit must show evidence proving the other driver caused the accident. In accidents involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian or a cyclist, there is a presumption of fault on part of the driver. This is referred to as a reverse onus.

In bicycle accident cases, the driver needs to prove that they were not negligent in the accident. This gives cyclists an advantage but does not mean they are free and clear of any possible fault. Insurance companies often find ways to argue that cyclists contributed to the accident and injury in some way. Common arguments made by insurance companies include that the cyclist was:

  • Not paying attention to the road
  • Riding in an area not designated for bicycles
  • Crossing an intersection without dismounting
  • Not visible
  • Not wearing a helmet
  • And more

Our Calgary bicycle accident lawyers are familiar with the tactics often used by reckless drivers to try and avoid responsibility for an accident. It is best that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. For more information or immediate legal assistance, contact our legal team today.

How our Calgary bicycle lawyers can help you

There are many reasons it is recommended to hire a lawyer after a bicycle accident. First, it is important to investigate the case to identify all possible at-fault parties. We also assist with ensuring all Schedule B benefits that you may be entitled to are being paid in a timely manner and that you are getting the medical treatment that you need. Once a lawsuit is filed, proving fault and the value of your case requires gathering relevant documentation and expert evidence. There are many steps from your first phone call until you receive a settlement cheque. The steps in between determine how quickly the case is resolved and more importantly, the level of compensation.

During a cost-free, no-obligation first meeting with our Calgary bicycle accident lawyers, you will have the opportunity to review the details of your case and learn about options for financial recovery that might be available to you. To learn more about how we may be able to assist you during this challenging time, call us today and take advantage of your free initial consultation with our legal team today.


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