When you’re learning how to ride a bike, the usual injuries include: scraped knees and bruised egos. But when you take your bike on the road, the possibility of more serious injuries increases significantly. Even with separate bike lanes and safety regulations, there is always the chance of human error that results in an accident. If you’re involved in a cycling accident, you need to know what steps to take in order to start a personal injury suit.
As summer holidays come to an end, school starts back up and the roads become increasingly busier. With over an estimated 12 million Canadians saying they have cycled, bike lanes are being put to use. This is why it’s so important that motorists share the road and remain aware of their surroundings at all times. With that being said, bicycle accident fatality rates are still significantly lower than pedestrians and motor vehicle occupants – with 2.6 deaths per million populations in Canada in 2012.
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself as a cyclist comes down to what you’re wearing. Helmet? Reflective gear? Bright colours? Making sure you have the proper safety gear will protect your body if you are involved in an accident. Wearing bright and reflective clothing will help make sure motorists can easily see you.
Know the laws. They’re in place to protect you, so follow them.
Stay alert. Wearing headphones or using a device (such as your phone) while cycling can be very distracting. You need to pay attention to your surroundings at all times so you can react quickly.
Be aware of the cyclists (and bike lanes) around you. Use your side and rear view mirrors before making any turns and don’t forget to shoulder check.
Practice the Dutch Reach to avoid “dooring”. A cyclist being hit or driving into an opening vehicle door is one of the top safety issues.
Give cyclists space and don’t assume you have the right of way. Even if you do, still give the cyclist room.
Personal Injury Suit
Even if you follow all of the safety regulations, there’s still a chance you can be involved in a bicycle accident. If you’re injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury suit in order to receive compensation to cover certain costs incurred from the accident.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and build a case for you. But in order to make sure it goes smoothly, there are a few things you need to do right after the accident (if you’re able to).
Call 9-1-1 or have a witness report it if you’re unable to.
Collect as much evidence as possible from the scene. Get witnesses names and numbers to be able to contact them later
Keep all of your medical forms and any other documentation related to the accident. Recording your injuries and medical expenses will help form a stronger case.
Biking is a great, eco-friendly way to get around the city while enjoying some fresh air. But that doesn’t mean it is without risks. Follow the safety regulations set in place and ensure that you always remain aware of your surroundings. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, contact a personal injury lawyer today to start your personal injury suit. You’ll be able to get your rightful compensation to cover the expenses you’ve incurred because of the accident.