When you think about vehicle accidents, you probably think about getting into an accident with another car. However, you can very well hit a bicyclist largely because of their poor protection and visibility. If you are ever involved in this situation, you need to hire a personal injury lawyer.You should also read this article for valuable advice and information.
Believe it or not, accidents with cyclists are common
You may think that accidents with cyclists are rare. However, your Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa will tell you that this is far from true. In Canada’s Ontario province alone, police reported 126 auto crashes that involved cyclists. The cyclists were at fault in 63 of those crashes. Canadian law requires all car owners to carry auto insurance. The ‘no-fault’ insurance rider will pay for all property damage and bodily injury the cyclist has sustained regardless of who was at fault.
What to do in a crash with a bicyclist: Always call the police to the scene if you hit a bicyclist. The officer will file a police report with details and descriptions of the accident. The report will also contain eyewitness testimony and other evidence that can either incriminate you or prove your innocence in court.
You will likely be at fault and forced to pay: Canadian law gives the involved cyclist the right to file a personal injury claim against you for property damage and any resulting bodily injuries. The police will require you (the car driver) to provide your insurance information at the accident scene. This information will be included in the police report. Canadian law requires you to provide this information to the cyclist even if (for whatever reason) you do not call the police.
What happens in a hit and run or if you are uninsured?
If you don’t have car insurance, or if you flee from the accident scene immediately, you may find temporary relief from having to pay the cyclist a personal injury settlement. However, your personal injury lawyer will tell you that the cyclist can still receive some compensation from the Ontario Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Fund (OMVACF). Keep in mind that you the police will eventually find you because the cyclist will still call the police to the accident scene and give descriptions and take pictures of the accident. The cyclist will also call eyewitnesses who will give firsthand testimony of the accident in the police report.
The cyclist can still sue you for bodily injury and property damage through your homeowner’s policy. This is true even if you flee from the accident scene immediately. You could find your deductible and annual homeowners insurance premium increasing substantially as a result. You will need to hire a good personal injury lawyer to represent you in court if you hit a cyclist. Doing so could save you tens if not hundreds of thousands in personal injury payouts.