In both rural and urban areas, riding a bicycle can be a recreational activity that community members of all ages can enjoy. On top of that, cycling can be a practical, 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 their skill level of safety equipment. In Alberta, cyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet and adult bike riders are encouraged to, as well. Wearing a helmet could reduce a cyclist’s risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury or, indeed, losing their life in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle.
But even the most cautious, safety-minded cyclist could be involved in a collision caused by a negligent driver. Even while wearing an approved helmet and other safety equipment, cyclists are almost entirely exposed to the dangers of the road. If they are struck by a motor vehicle, even those traveling at low speeds, cyclists could be severely or even fatally injured.
In recent years, cycling injuries, hospitalizations, and fatalities have surged across the country. 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.
Drivers in Alberta are required to operate their vehicles with a reasonable degree of caution in order to protect the safety of all road-users, including the most vulnerable among them. With virtually no protection in the event of a crash, cyclists who are struck by negligent drivers could sustain permanent, catastrophic injuries. Because of a driver’s failure to fulfill their legally mandated duty of care, innocent bike riders of all ages could lose their mobility, their independence, and indeed, the overall quality of life to which they had become accustomed.
Our 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.
Being injured in an Alberta bicycle accident can be overwhelmingly expensive. Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained and the impact they have on a cyclist’s life, a bicycle accident victim could require costly medical treatments and procedures, long-term physical rehabilitation, attendant care, home modifications, ambulatory assistive devices, and other expensive, injury-related costs.
The financial storm that follows a bicycle accident can be even harder to weather if the injuries sustained by the cyclist precludes them from working. On top of all their injury-related financial losses, an Alberta bicycle accident survivor might lose wages and suffer a reduced future earning capacity if they are unable to continue working or advancing in their occupational field.
In the province of Alberta, all auto insurance plans must include Section B benefits. Intended to off-set the injury-related costs incurred by anyone injured as the result of a motor vehicle collision – including cyclists – Section B benefits can provide much-needed financial relief in the aftermath of a serious, injury-causing collision.
Unfortunately, Section B benefits do not always provide sufficient compensation to bicycle accident survivors, especially if their injuries are permanent and catastrophic. The lifetime costs associated with severe or disabling injuries can be exorbitant, and many seriously injured survivors of bicycle accidents struggle to make ends meet, even after receiving insurance coverage in the form of Section B benefits.
In the province of Alberta, if a motor vehicle operator strikes a cyclist or a pedestrian, there is a presumption of negligence on the driver’s part. This is referred to as a reverse onus of proof. Whereas an injured survivor of a collision between two motor vehicles needs to prove that the other driver’s action caused the accident in order to recover compensation through civil action, a driver who struck and injured a bicycle rider must be able to prove that the cyclist’s own wrongful actions contributed the conditions that caused the collision to occur. If the at-fault driver can prove that the injured cyclist was contributorily negligent, the damages they may be required to pay could be significantly reduced.
We are familiar with the tactics often used by reckless drivers to try lowering the compensation they will ultimately be required to pay the injured victims of their own negligence.
People who have been injured in bicycle accidents should be able to recover Section B benefits from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. But what if the negligent driver responsible for the accident was uninsured? What if they failed to remain at the scene of the accident?
The government of Alberta established the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC) to provide compensation to the victims of accidents caused by uninsured and/or hit-and-run drivers. If the person responsible for your collision fled the scene or did not have auto insurance, you may be able to recover payment for injury-related costs you have incurred through MVAC.
To learn more about how we may be able to help you pursue compensation even if the motorist who struck you failed to remain at the scene or was uninsured at the time of your collision, schedule your free initial consultation today.
During a cost-free, no-obligation first meeting with our legal team, 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.
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