Bicycle Accidents - What to Do After the Crash
Whether you commute by bicycle, ride it as a part of your workout, or simply enjoy an occasional ride in the city, navigating urban traffic might be quite a challenge. Canadian municipalities, especially, Toronto, Vancouver, BC, and Montreal invest a lot in bicycle lanes, looking at it as a solution to traffic gridlock. Toronto alone has over 37 kilometres of segregated lanes and is adding more every year.
Dedicated bicycle lanes dramatically reduce the risk of bicycle accidents, but, unfortunately, the width of the streets is limited in older cities. Luckily in newer developments such as some areas in Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham, and Brampton, they are becoming a part of new road infrastructure.
Bicycle Safety Goes a Long Way
No matter how experienced you are and how confident you feel on a bicycle simple precautions and following the traffic rules will help keep you safe. If you have to share the road with motor vehicles, just remember they are travelling at a higher speed than you are.
Although every driver must check the blind spot when changing lanes, always assume that they do not see you.
- Always wear a bicycle helmet, it is required by law
- Routinely inspect your bike
- Signal turns
- Do not make unexpected turns and lane changes
- Be aware of the road conditions
Riding a Bicycle at Night Time?
Take every precaution when riding at night time. According to the Highway Traffic Act, bicyclists are required to be equipped with front and backlight in the dark time of the day. Also, reflective vest, reflective stripes on your jacket and reflective stripes on your backpack will make you more visible on the road.
What are the Steps After a Bicycle Crash?
Unfortunately, no matter how careful bicycle riders are,bicycle accidents do happen. For a bicycle rider, they do come as a shock, as unlike car drivers they are not that well protected and end up with more severe injuries after a collision.
- Remove area rugs, to eliminate the danger of tripping over the corner
- Install reliable handles in the bathroom
- Make sure the stairs in the house are nonslip
- Remove furniture with details that stick out, or easy to trip over
- Make sure the indoor shoes are comfortable and offer support
- If your loved ones are home by themselves for a long time, make sure they have access to a medical alert system
While inside the house you are in control and can make some changes, outdoors are more difficult. Walk around and check it for safety:
1. Assess your condition: Even if you have sustained perceivably minor injuries, seek medical attention. You might not notice some of the injuries right away, such as a concussion or brain trauma.
2. Call the police: It is important to have the collision reported. Do not try to reach a private agreement, as you do not know the impact on your health in the long term. Police will document the details required for the insurance claim or potential legal action.
3. Take note of all the details
- License plate of the car involved
- Name of the driver
- Insurance number
- Names and contact information of the witnesses
- Police officer’s badge
- Police report number
- Also take notes on road conditions, traffic density, any visible signs of the driver being distracted or driving under the influence.
4.Take photos of the event a.The car involved with a clear view of the damages b.Car license plate c.Damages to the bicycle d.As an additional resource to see if any of the witnesses took any pictures or videos they might share with you e.The accident might also be recorded by security cameras of some businesses in the area.
What are Your Rights, As a Bicycle Rider?
In Canada, the bicycle rider’s rights are well protected even if they are at fault. An Injured cyclist can claim compensation from:
- The car driver’s car insurance
- The cyclist’s car insurance
- The Ontario Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund
If you were injured as the result of a careless car driver, or driver driving under the influence, you may seek to file a lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer, specializing in vehicle accidents.
You will require all the information collected at the time of the crash, as well as any information proving that you were not at fault.
Have you suffered from a bicycle crash, not sure what compensation you are entitled to? Contact us and we will be happy to answer all your questions.