You might think that when a bike rider gets into an accident with a car that it would be an open-and-shut personal injury case. After all, the cyclist has little defense against a 1000+ kg vehicle.
In reality, you will need a bicycle accident lawyer to help you successfully navigate your personal injury claim. Bicycle accident cases are far more complex than many people realize.
Does car insurance cover a bike accident?
Yes. The driver who hit you will have a car insurance policy that should pay out if they are found to be at-fault for the accident. If the driver is uninsured Alberta has a fund that you can make a claim against. This is called the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC). You can make a claim up to $200,000.
The difficulty happens when the insurance company begins making the argument that you are at fault for the accident.
Is it easy to win a bicycle accident case?
It is harder than you think. To win a personal injury case of any kind you have to prove several things.
First, that the driver was at-fault for the accident, and so failed in their duty-of-care to you by failing to follow traffic laws or keep a close watch out for cyclists and pedestrians. Second, that you sustained an injury. Third, your injury was a direct result of this failure.
You’d be surprised what defendants can come up with to try to absolve themselves of responsibility. They will try to pin the blame for the accident on you. They will try to say that the driver couldn’t have possibly seen you and so the accident was completely unavoidable.
If they’re successful they may reduce your ability to collect a claim, or reduce the amount you get paid. Make sure you have an experienced bicycle accident lawyer working with you to protect your interests and your rights.
How much is my bicycle accident claim worth?
No two bicycle accident claims are alike. The amount your claim is worth will depend on the extent of your injuries and the effect those injuries have on your life.
You’ll be able to claim two types of damages, with a possible third.
The first are economic damages. These are your medical bills, long-term care bills, and reimbursements for your lost wages. If you are no longer able to work as a result of your accident this would also cover your lost earning capacity.
The second are non-economic damages, also known as a pain and suffering award. In Alberta, this award is capped at $5,500 for minor injuries and at $370,000 for major ones.
The third, less common type, is a punitive damage award. This would happen if the driver did something worthy of punishment, like driving drunk or texting while driving. Punitive damages are rare in bicycle accident cases. Speak to your lawyer if you think they apply to yours.
Why Merchant Law?
The team at Merchant Law has decades of experience. We’re responsive, caring lawyers who know what you’re going through. We have the knowledge to bring your case to a successful conclusion, freeing you to relax and focus on healing.
Call (403) 237-7777 to schedule your free consultation. Our team is standing by 24/7/365.