In many cities in Canada and other parts of North America, new bike paths have been built for cyclists. These paths now have new signage and other facilities to protect the increasing number of bikers and reduce accidents. But has this measure been effective?
In Toronto, reports show that over a 1,000 bicycle accidents still occur annually. Although this figure is significantly smaller than the over 50,000 auto accidents that take place yearly, this does not eliminate the fact that cyclists experience a lot of pain and anguish when these accidents occur. So what should they expect from their personal injury attorney?
Cyclists Can Be Enlightened About Their Rights
One of the major problems that people who use bicycles for transportation face is that their rights to public thoroughfares are not handled with the seriousness it deserves. That is why cyclists are often forced off the road by motor vehicle operators who may be either ignorant or inconsiderate.
Reports from the police in Toronto show that many of the accidents that involve bicyclists are caused by failure of car drivers to yield to the right of way of cyclists. In some cases, accidents occur due to improper turning and “dooring”, which involves sudden opening of a car door that causes a cyclist to collide with it.
Cyclists who want to know about their rights as road users can visit the website of Markham personal injury lawyer.
Are Bicycle Riders Always on the Right?
One of the issues that still need to be resolved is the legal definition of what a bicycle is. Legally, a bicycle is still considered as a vehicle and it is therefore subject to similar rules as a other vehicles like cars and pickup trucks. This classification puts a cyclist at a disadvantage because of the lack of adequate body protection and light weight of a bicycle.
In the Highway Traffic Act, Canadian law address a bicycle as a form of transportation. This act, provides regular updates to road user regulations and penalties. Although recent updates to the act have addressed issues like “dooring” and passing distances of vehicles, this act does not take the vulnerability of a cyclist or peculiar “rights” of a cyclist into account.
When there is an accident involving a bicycle and a car, for instance, the cyclist is seldom the winner in terms of damage, particularly because of the absence of statutory insurance that most motorists are mandated to have. In fact, most insurance companies will find it easier to defend the motorist and avoid paying claims to the bicyclist. This means the cyclist may be responsible for paying thousands of dollars in medical and related expenses.
How an Attorney Can Help a Cyclist
In situations where the party at fault cannot be easily determined, or insurance companies refuse to provide cover for damages or injuries, the cyclist should consult an attorney that specialises in personal injury cases. Scarborough personal injury lawyers can offer help to people residing in the city and its environs. An attorney can help a cyclist to document evidence, locate appropriate witnesses, and file claims.
Cyclists involved in road accidents may also receive assistance to obtain finance for hospital expenses and process claims for loss of income, during the time they are unable to work.
Personal injury attorneys usually serve as the only source of hope or compensation for cyclists involved in road accidents. Due to the frequent updates to Canada’s bicycling laws, cyclists should always seek legal counsel to know their rights when an accident occurs.