As we escape the throes of winter, not only do we welcome warmer sunny weather but so do the nation’s cyclists. However, with beautiful weather, bicycle accidents are at their peak. ICBC estimates that 160 cyclists are injured every month from May to October.
Recently, cyclist Anthony Floyd was involved in a collision when a driver pulled into a cycling lane while attempting to turn left on a busy Vancouver street. Luckily, Floyd was able to slow down his bike before impact and was able to avoid any serious injuries. He also had a mounted camera that recorded the incident, showing the vehicle’s movements before the collision.
Not all cyclists have a mounted camera on their bikes that help their potential legal case after a cycling accident, but there are a number of specific steps you should take immediately after a cycling accident even though, for most people, safeguarding their ‘legal interests’ is the furthest thing from their minds after they’ve just had a close encounter with a car. Unless you’ve been badly injured, your impulse may be to get back on your bike and get going, assuming (hoping) you’re fine. But the reality is that many symptoms will not arise until well after the event. For example, you may have suffered a concussion without necessarily being consciously aware of it, and you may not suffer any symptoms at the time of the accident. As a result, it’s very important to make sure you gather the information you will need to advance a claim for your injuries – just in case.
Note: Even if your injuries do not require immediate medical attention, it is always a good idea to get yourself checked out properly by a medical professional as soon as possible after an accident. Again, this is because of delayed symptom onset. Your doctor is in the best position to assess your condition and provide you with a treatment plan that you should follow to the letter.
After you get to your destination:
Do not throw away your damaged clothing or cycling gear – it may be useful evidence at trial!
Many people do not know that they are entitled to certain ICBC benefits (compensation for rehabilitation and medical services for their injuries, as well as compensation for income loss and household assistance – up to $150,000) regardless if they are at fault. You can watch a video on the basics of Part 7 Accident Benefits below:
Alternatively, you can click HERE to download Murphy Battista LLP’s Laymen’s Guide to Part 7 Benefits.
If your accident involved a motor vehicle, chances are you will be eligible for benefits. A cyclist is entitled to benefits if:
In order to apply for Part 7 benefits, you must:
It is wise to discuss your application with a lawyer. Most lawyers, including Murphy Battista, offer a free consultation.
If the accident does not involve a motor vehicle you may still have a claim! If you fall off your bike for some other reason (for example, defects in the road, or road construction created an unmarked hazard in the road), it is important to document the incident as much as possible by taking photos of the scene of the accident, obtaining contact information from witnesses, and making a note of your injuries and the damage to your bike. For photos of holes/cracks in the road, include an object (i.e. a pen, shoe, wallet) in the photo to provide context for the size of the hazard. Consult a lawyer as soon as possible as there are strict limitations dates that apply if the negligent party is a municipality.
If you have questions about a cycling accident you are welcome to contact us.
Note: a earlier version of this article was first published in December 2015. This post was updated to include new information and examples
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Information provided in our blog posts is not intended to be legal advice.
The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.