These benefits cover medical and rehabilitation expenses, disability benefits if you were employed and cannot work, homemaker benefits where you need assistance with housework, and funeral expenses and survivor benefits if a bicyclist dies in a collision. Further damages that you may be entitled to include future care expenses, future loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering damages, and special damages.
It is also possible in some circumstances to pursue a personal injury case against the driver. In a negligence case where you are hit while riding your bicycle, you are required to show that the driver’s unreasonable act was the cause of your injury. This may require evidence such as photos from the scene, police reports, witness testimony, expert testimony, medical records, billing statements, and more.
Because of the difficulty that can accompany proving your claim, you should work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who has experience handling bicycle accident claims. The lawyer will know the best route to take in order to show the negligence of the responsible driver.
In order to decide whether an ICBC claim or negligence claim is right for you, contact our bicycle accident lawyers for advice.
How Our Vancouver Bike Accident Lawyers Can Help You
When you are injured as a bicyclist as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to money for your injuries. Protect your rights by contacting our experienced bike accident lawyers today.
Our bike accident lawyers can help you in dealing with ICBC. If ICBC refuses to cover some or all of your injuries, we can work to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We are equipped to fight insurance companies attempting to settle with you for less than you deserve. At Warnett Hallen LLP, we remove the burden of dealing with insurance companies so that you can focus on getting back to your life.
Our bicycle accident lawyers know that if you are going to make a full recovery, you will need full compensation. Our experienced lawyers know the best way to handle your case and strategies for proving your entitlement to compensation.
With decades of combined litigation experience, our dedicated staff understands that serious injuries can bring about serious challenges. Many of the challenges involve debt due to medical bills and lost wages. Other challenges include the mental stress that affects you and your loved ones.
Our compassionate personal injury lawyers are here so that you don’t have to face that alone. In addition to fighting for fair compensation for your injuries, our lawyers are here to provide you with peace of mind.
Our compassionate law firm has been recognized by our clients for exceptional service. We know that communication is extremely important in any case. We are committed to returning your calls in a prompt manner. We are always available for one-on-one consultations to discuss the status of your case.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Bicycle Accident in Vancouver
After a collision while riding your bicycle, make sure to call emergency services and report the accident to police. Even if the accident seems minor at first, it is important to file an accident report. When filing your report, it is important to give your side of the story to the police. Once you have done that, make sure to obtain a copy of the accident report.
Refrain from discussing fault. Even if you don’t explicitly say that you were at fault, your statements could be used against you in the future. Even if the vehicle driver admits fault, they may attempt to deny it later on.
Collect the vehicle driver’s name and contact information. This will be necessary for filing your insurance claim. Additionally, collect the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident that may have arrived during or after the accident. Later in the case, these witnesses may provide important testimony regarding the collision.
Immediately following the accident, you should seek medical care. It is important to undergo a full medical evaluation in order to locate any injuries, even if you initially feel uninjured. This medical evaluation is important for your health, as some potentially life-threatening injuries do not show immediate symptoms.
Remember to keep all relevant documents. It is important to keep all records relating to the injury and the treatment required. Additionally, keep any documents showing that your injury prevented you from working, those showing the damage to your bike and the cost of repair or replacement, and any other accident-related records.
After you’ve seen a medical professional, you should file your claim with ICBC for Part 7 benefits. You should state that the actions of the driver were the cause of your injuries. Generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim, but you should do this as soon as possible so that essential evidence does not disappear.
After your claim has been filed, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. Don’t speak with insurance companies, as they may try to reach a settlement with you for less than you are entitled to. Insurance companies want to pay accident victims as little as they can. Don’t let them shortchange you.
Remember to store all items that could potentially be used as evidence in a safe place. This includes your bicycle and photos of the damage, your clothes, your shoes, any reflective gear you were wearing, and evidence of reflective lights on your bicycle. It all may become essential evidence later down the road.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
On the Lower Mainland in a single recent year, there were 1,400 total crashes where one person involved was a cyclist. Of those 1,400 accidents, there were 980 injured cyclists, and 2 cyclists were killed. As the weather warms up each year, many more cyclists hit the road, increasing the chance for a negligent driver to cause a collision.
In an effort to decrease the number of severe head injuries, British Columbia has an established helmet law. This law requires a helmet to be worn while riding a bicycle and makes parents liable if they allow children to ride without a helmet.
While wearing a helmet can decrease the risk of suffering a serious head or brain injury, there are certain severe collisions in which wearing a helmet doesn’t prevent injury and trauma to the head or brain. These can be extremely detrimental injuries that can have long-lasting effects.
In addition to head injuries, other types of injuries frequently suffered as a result of collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles include:
- Jawbone fractures and other facial breaks
- Broken bones and other orthopedic injuries, especially in the hands or wrists
- Severe bruising, cuts, lacerations, and road rash
- Injuries to the spinal cord, including those causing paralysis
Even if the injury seems minor at first, it is important to see a medical professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of your injuries.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Many bicycle accidents result from a motorist’s negligence. These accidents would not have occurred if the driver had operated their car in a responsible manner. Even vehicles traveling slowly can cause serious injury to a bicyclist if the driver of the vehicle takes careless actions.
Some of the common types of negligent driving resulting in bicycle collisions include instances where:
- The driver ignored stop signs and other traffic signs.
- The driver was speeding.
- The driver was texting or otherwise distracted.
- The driver followed the bicyclist too closely.
- The driver did not yield the right-of-way.
- The driver was intoxicated by alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication.
- The driver failed to check their mirrors or blind spots.
In addition to driver negligence, some bicycle accidents can be caused by defects in the bicycle, potentially making the manufacturer liable, or defects in the road, potentially making a municipal government liable. Our lawyers can investigate your accident to determine the cause and identify the responsible parties.
Tips to Prevent Bike Accidents in Vancouver
Because bicycle accidents can result in such serious injuries, everyone should do their part to try to prevent them. If you are a driver sharing a road with a bicyclist, follow these steps to keep them safe:
- Be patient and courteous.
- Be aware. Always shoulder check, and when turning left or across a bike lane, assume cyclists are traveling faster than you think.
- When parked at the curb, look before you open the vehicle door.
- Provide wide space margins behind and beside cyclists. (Cyclists are allowed to ride in the middle of a travel lane.)
- Be extra cautious at intersections, especially when turning right across the cycle lanes.
Bikers themselves should also take steps to stay safe while out on the road. These steps can include:
- Make eye contact with drivers.
- Plan your route along designated bike lanes or streets – even if it means traveling on a less-direct path.
- Follow the rules of the road as a cyclist. Don’t ride on sidewalks. Don’t ride against traffic or the wrong way on a one-way street. Stop when required at intersections.
- Wear bright clothes or reflective gear if traveling before dawn or after dusk.
- Use hand signals to let drivers know your intentions.
Unfortunately, even bicyclists who take every precaution can still end up in serious accidents. If this happens to you, do not hesitate to seek legal help from our law firm.