Thousands of Canadians are injured every year, and dozens are killed while riding bicycles. Thankfully, cycling is safer than ever due to the widespread use of helmets and the increasingly ubiquitous bike lanes, making drivers more aware of their presence. However, as long as people ride bicycles, accidents are unavoidable. Here’s what you need to know if you or someone you love is involved in a cycling incident in Ontario.
UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO INSURANCE BENEFITS
Ontario has a no-fault insurance system. This means that anyone injured in a cycling accident has the right to claim accident benefits, even if they’re at-fault. Your car insurance pays for your benefits, as well as those of your dependents. If you don’t have car insurance, and another driver was involved in the accident, their insurance company must pay your compensation. Finally, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund exists as a last resort if you don’t have car insurance and no other vehicle was involved in the incident.
RELEVANCE OF HOME INSURANCE
If your bicycle suffered major damage in the accident or is a complete write-off, your home insurance may cover the cost of replacing it. However, since you’d likely have to pay a deductible, this may only be worth pursuing if your bicycle was particularly valuable.
THE ROLE OF AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER
Many people are under the impression that an insurance adjuster is an independent third party that negotiates with the insurance company on your behalf. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether they’re employed or contracted by the insurance company, their job is to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. They may even be instructed to try and get you to accept less than you deserve.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Like many legal issues, claims involving cycling accidents have a statute of limitations. This dictates how much time you must claim compensation for your injuries. In Ontario, this is typically two years. However, this can be extended up to 15 years in some circumstances.
SPEAK WITH PERSONAL-INJURY LAWYERS IN ALGOMA DISTRICT
If you or a loved one is involved in a cycling accident, you need a legal professional to defend your interests. At Feifel & Gualazzi, personal injury law is all we do. This gives us the expertise to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.