Cycling is a popular activity and has become an increasingly attractive method of transport and exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, despite significant improvements in Calgary’s cycling infrastructure, accidents between cyclists and motorists occur. Unsurprisingly, an accident between a cyclist and a motor vehicle can result in serious and often life-changing injuries to the cyclist.
Common injuries include:
Beyond the immediate injuries and costs associated with recovery, a collision with a motor vehicle can have a significant impact on a cyclist’s physical, financial, and emotional well-being. However, many cyclists are unaware they can claim monetary compensation for losses caused by a collision with a motor vehicle.
Cycling Accidents and Section B Benefits
All motor vehicle insurance policies in Alberta include “no-fault” accident benefits referred to as “Section B Benefits.” When it comes to insurance claims, cyclists in Alberta are considered ‘pedestrians,’ and are generally entitled to no-fault treatment and disability benefits under Section B of the Insurance Act. Generally, the automobile insurer of the motor vehicle that struck you as a cyclist is responsible for providing your Section B Benefits. These benefits can include a portion of your medical costs and work disability payments regardless of who was at fault. Even if the driver was uninsured, Section B coverage may still be possible through an automobile insurer of your own.
What To Do At The Scene of An Accident
As in any accident or emergency, the immediate concern is your physical well-being. If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately.
If you do not require immediate medical care, several small steps can assist if or when you decide to pursue a claim:
- Collect the name(s), address(es), and phone number(s) of the driver(s) involved.
- Collect the name(s), address(es), and phone number(s) of any witnesses.
- Try to get a photo or copy of the insurance and registration information of all parties involved.
- Try to get a copy of the police accident report.
- Make a note of the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as a description of the weather conditions an any road hazards.
- Make special note if the accident occurred in a construction zone.
- Take pictures or record video of the scene; include any damage to your bike, the vehicle(s) involved, and any injuries you have suffered.
- If possible, keep any items damaged by the accident. This includes your bike, helmet, and clothes you were wearing at the time of the accident.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
After a collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle, the driver’s insurance company may encourage you to sign a waiver and settle a potential claim. Although this may seem like a relatively easy resolution, these offers rarely account for all the short and long-term losses caused by the accident.
You have up two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to preserve your claim for compensatory damages. This timeframe gives you the opportunity to seek treatment and get a better sense of any financial, physical, and psychological losses.
If you are a cyclist injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, Vogel LLP can advocate on your behalf. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers will represent you on a contingency basis so there are no upfront costs; we only get paid if you do.
Book a free consultation to learn about your options and how we can support your recovery.