Ottawa Cycling Accident Lawyer
Well it is officially summer . What a gorgeous day to be out on a bicycle and although Ottawa has many designated cycling paths, a cycling accident can happen anytime, any place. We thought this would be a great time to review a few cycling safety tips and ideas on how to keep you and your children safe while cycling.
The first tip is the most obvious: Always wear a helmet..that includes parents too. Although the law only requires cyclists under 18 to wear a helmet, it’s the right thing to do. Lead by example and show your children that yes, even adults need to protect themselves while cycling.
Replace a helmet if its is at all damaged or cracked. You might think it seems like just a small crack; however, a small crack on a helmet is enough to compromise the helmet and render it useless in a cycling accident.
Make sure the helmet fits properly. There is no point in wearing an ill-fitting helmet if it’s going to fall off in impact. The Ontario government promotes the “2-4-1 Helmet Salute” a proper fitting helmet is when 1) you can fit “2” fingers between the helmet and the eyebrows, 2) helmet straps meet in a “V” shape below the ears (that’s 4 fingers) and lastly 3) one finger would fit between the chin strap and the chin.
If you wear a helmet properly, the helmet will absorb the force of the impact from hitting your head and spread that force throughout the helmet; which then reduces the impact on the brain. When the brain crashes , it moves throughout the fluid in the skull and hits the sides of the skull. Often times, an impact of this nature can leave a brain bruised, swollen or bleeding. The result can be a brain injury and many brain injuries are permanent and life altering.
Avoiding Ottawa Cycling Accidents
Ride the right size of bicycle. Yes, your child might be excited to move up to the next size of bicycle; however you need to make sure they are riding a bicycle with the correct frame size, seat height, frame length, and proper working brakes. A bicycle that is too big is difficult to control properly and can result in a bicycle accident.
Make yourself visible and heard. Ensure your bicycle has adequate lights, reflectors, bells, horns or reflective tape.
Before heading out, give your bicycle a once-over check. Check the ABCs…air, brakes, and chain.
Know and follow the rules of the road. Don’t forget, a bicycle is a vehicle and must follow the rules and laws just as a driver of a car would do. This includes leaving enough space between you and other drivers, riding one metre from the curb or from other parked cars, riding in a straight line on the right hand side of the road, obeying all traffic signs, using the proper hand signals , stopping at stop signs and red lights, stopping for buses, stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks etc..
Never, ever ride against traffic. Drivers simply aren’t aware of cyclists riding on the left side of the road.
Watch for road hazards such as puddles, potholes, loose gravel, loose pavement etc…
One of the most common cycling accidents we see as Ottawa personal injury lawyers are bicycle accidents involving right turning vehicles. Always stay behind a vehicle as you get close to the intersection and do not try to pass. Often times the result is that the cyclist gets pinched in and often pinned beneath the vehicle.
There are many valuable resources throughout the Ottawa community and throughout Ontario. for more information on cycling safety visit: City of Ottawa Cycling Safety, Service Ontario, Citizens for Cycling Safety, Kids CAN-BIKE, Ontario Cycling Association to name a few.
Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you have any questions that relate to cycling accidents and personal injury law, feel free to contact any of our Ottawa personal injury lawyers and we would be happen to provide you with the information you need.
Ottawa Cycling Accidents
The kids are out on their bikes and summer is finally here. This can also means an increase in the number of bicycle related accidents. Ottawa Police recently targeted bicycle safety infractions in Ottawa with a goal of educating people and enforcing the rules of the road. Read more about this initiative here https://www.ottawainjury.ca/lawyers/ottawa-personal-injury-accidents/ottawa-personal-injury-lawyers-happy-to-see-ottawa-police-focusing-on-cycling-safety/ and the results were astonishing.
The Ministry of Transportation has put out some great resources and safety tips for cyclists of all ages.
They offer FREE cycling guides that can be immediately downloaded.
The Ministry has produced a detailed handbook of rules and safety standards for all riders entitled “Cycling Skills: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling” and the “Young Cyclist’s Guide” , which is a handbook designed for younger riders that deals specifically with cycling safety tips and rules for children on bicycles. I highly urge you to take a look and if possible download these guides to share with your children.
There are rules and regulations when it comes to bicycle use. In Ontario, bicycles do not require registration, plates, or insurance. Anyone is allowed to ride a bicycle; however, the rules of the road to apply to bicycles. For instance, a cyclist must share the road with other vehicles.
Under the HTA, the Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act a bicycle is a vehicle, just like any other vehicle such as a car and cyclists must obey all traffic laws. Cyclists must also be responsible drivers and must obey rules surrounding bicycles. For example, on a regular bicycle, it is illegal to transport a passenger , when the bicycle is meant for one person only.
In Ontario, all cyclists must stay as close as possible to the right edge of the road , unless otherwise indicated. In some instances, there may be designated bike lanes that are not immediately to the right . Cyclists in Ontario cannot ride their bicycles on most highways ( Ontario’s 400-series highways) and cyclists must not drive across a road within a pedestrian crossover . The rules in Ontario are that cyclists must walk their bicycles to the other side of the crossover.
Ontario law states that every cyclist under the age of 18 years must wear an approved helmet and for cyclists under the age of16 years old, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to ensure their child is wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle. The helmet must also fit properly to offer as much protection as possible.
While not mandatory for adults, as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I strongly urge all adults to wear a helmet while cycling. Helmets are not compulsory for adults, but in my opinion, the use of a helmet may very well save your life. There are plenty of cycling resources out there and the Ministry of Transportation is just one of them, but a good one, so I thought I would share it with you. Have a great, safe summer of cycling.
Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth.
Our Ottawa Police will be conducting a safety blitz for Ottawa cyclists . They plan to mainly target Ottawa’s downtown core most of next week. Specifically they will be looking to remind cyclists ..
– to stop at all stop signs and red lights,
-use proper hand signals,
-exercise caution when crossing intersections.
-shoulder check and signal all lane changes, turns and stops.
-be bright and visible at night
-share the road with other cyclists and drivers.
-recognize and be mindful of blind spots around cars, trucks and buses.
-cycle on the right side of the road.
-ride only in the designated direction on one-way streets.
-stay off sidewalks.
-wear a helmet if under 18.
-have a bell, gong, or horn on your bike.
Did you know that approximately 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured each year in Canada? Did you also know that most bicycle injuries and accidents occur during the afternoon rush hour ? 18% of cyclists killed in traffic accidents are under the age of 16 ? 34% of cyclists who were killed were hit by a vehicle in the dark ?
These statistic are alarming. As an Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer I urge both drivers and cyclists to be aware of the safety steps that can be taken that may very well save a life. Both drivers and cyclists need to be extremely aware of one another and share the road accordingly. Ottawa has seen our share of tragic cycling accidents in the past few years , despite how many wonderful paths and what a great cycling culture we have here in Ottawa. If you are out there on our roads as a cyclists or drivers, please do everything you can to make it a safe ride for everyone.
Let’s reduce Ottawa cycling accident and continue to work on our great cycling culture that we are so fortunate to have in our city.
Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers David Hollingsworth
It looks to be a gorgeous day in Ottawa and I suspect many people will be getting their bicycles out for the first time this year. Cycling is an amazing activity. Sadly, it is not an activity without it’s risks. There are many things drivers and cyclists can do to help reduce the likelihood of a cycling accident. There are also a number of laws in Ottawa surrounding cycling and cycling safety.
For example, did you know that in certain circumstances a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle and that any collisions must be reported to Ottawa police if injuries or damages are in excess of $1,000 ? It’s important to treat a cycling accident like you would a motor vehicle accident. Gather all the information such as names, phone numbers, witnesses, insurance information, policy numbers etc. As soon as possible, write out your account of what happened in the accident and keep this information in a safe place. Cyclists who are hit by a motor vehicle are entitled to compensation through the driver’s insurance company and Ontario accident benefits.
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act is also quite specific when it comes to bicycles. If it’s a 1/2 hour before sunset or 1/2 hour after sunrise, or anytime there is reduced visibility. By law, every bicycle must be fully equipped with…
- A working bell or horn (A fine of $85 can be issued if you are cycling without a working bell or horn)
- A working braking system on the rear wheel (A fine of $85 can be issued if you are cycling without a proper working braking system)
- A front light (white) (A fine of $20 can be issued if you are cycling without lights)
- A rear light (red) or red rear reflector
- 2 pieces of white reflective tape on front forks
- 2 pieces of red reflective tape on rear forks
In Ottawa, bicycle helmets must be worn by all cyclists under 16 years of age. A fine of $60.00 can be issued for not wearing a helmet. All helmets must be CSA or CPSC certified. All helmets need to fit properly and close to the head and all bicycle helmet straps need to fit properly under the ears.
A few basic pathway rules are…
- Cycle on the right of the yellow centre line
- Be cautious when passing others
- Always use a bell/voice/horn when passing others
- Whenever possible use hand turn signals
- Cycle at a reasonable speed
- Exercise caution while cycling in the evening. Slow down, wear bright colored clothes and turn on all bicycle lights
Cyclists who do not yield or stop for pedestrians at crosswalks are subject to a $85.00 fine.
Cyclists who do not walk their bikes at crosswalks are subject to $85.00
The following are not considered to be bicycles and therefore have different laws :
- Limited speed motorcycles
- Motor assisted bicycles
- Segway Transporters
- Low speed vehicles
- Motorized scooters
- Pocket bikes
Please enjoy your day out on your bicycles and ride safely. Sadly, I meet too regularly with Ottawa bicycle accident victims who have bit hit, doored or suffered serious personal injuries as a result of a cycling accident. Both drivers and cyclists have their role in helping reduce the number of Ottawa cycling accidents. Let’s work together on this Ottawa !
Cycling Safety Tips
I was out visiting a client in Rockland today and as I was driving around Rockland, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were out on their bicycles . That’s great for so, so many reasons. We are all excited for spring to arrive and with spring comes more pedestrians, cyclist, motorcycles, ATV etc. I wanted to take a moment and remind everyone of a few things you can do to help keep yourself and your children safe.
The Ottawa Police have a great website that offers the following bicycle accident safety tips:
-Make sure your helmet is on and fits properly.
-Your bicycle helmet should be snug and not move around.
-Your bicycle helmet should sit two finger-widths above your brows.
-The straps of your helmet should form a V below and around both ears.
-You should not be able to get more than 2 fingers between the chin strap and your chin.
-Ottawa and Ontario cyclists must wear a helmet by law if they are under 18 years of age.
-Do not wear a hat under a helmet. This is not safe.
-Helmets only reduce personal injuries, they do not prevent accidents from happening.
-Do not use a helmet that has already been in an accident.
-All bicycle helmets need to be CSA, CPSC, Snell B-95, or a N-94 certification sticker.
-Remember that motorists and cyclists share the roadways.
-Cyclists must also follow the rules of the road. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act, the Ottawa Traffic and Ottawa Parking Bylaw state that cyclists:
-Stop at all stop signs and stop at red lights
– Properly signal any changes in lanes.
-Ottawa cyclists must remain on the right side of the road
-Do not ride your bicycle on sidewalks.
-Have a bell, gong, or horn on your bicycle.
-If you are riding at night, make sure your bicycle is well lit.
Please be safe out there. Ottawa has had far too many tragic bicycle accidents and cyclists injured and we all need to obey the rules of the road. Have a great and happy spring on your bicycle Ottawa !
Have you been injured in an Ottawa bicycle accident? You need to know this..
If you are a cyclist and become injured as the result of a bicycle accident, you are entitled to accident benefits from the insurance company of the vehicle that hit you or your own insurance company f you have one. If you have any questions that relate to the rights of cyclists and compensation , please do not hesitate to contact any of our Ottawa bicycle accident lawyers. We offer free consultations and can travel to you.
Have you been involved in a US Accident?
Our Ottawa injury lawyers were thrilled to be able to help a 74 year old client last month. Sadly, he was riding a bicycle in the United States when he was hit by a car. Thankfully, he was ok but he did suffer a fractured pelvis and a left tibia fracture. We were able to help him and negotiated on his behalf with the insurance company. We were able to get him support and compensation as well as $107 500.00 for what he had been through. Our client was so thankful and we were happy to help.
Accidents that take place in another country can still receive compensation. Many people are unaware that an Ontario personal injury lawyer can pursue a claim on their behalf. While accidents in other countries sometimes complicate a claim, experienced personal injuries lawyers know exactly what to do.
This is just one of many cases we were able to settle last month. We have built such an incredible team of injury lawyers, paralegals and personal injury specialists that we are able to help hundreds of personal injury clients each year. We have over 20 years of experience in Ontario personal injury law.We are fortunate that we are the ones who provide “good news” after a terrible and tragic event. Our clients have all been so wonderful and appreciative along the way. We really do understand and care. It’s our job as Ottawa personal injury lawyers to help make things better and we do. If you want to ask us ANY question that relates to personal injury, Ontario insurance, Ontario accident benefits or accidents in general, we are here for you. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
David Hollingsworth, Personal Injury Lawyers in Ottawa -We understand, we care and we are always here to help ..
Bicycle Accident Lawyer Ottawa
I want to personally thank the Ottawa Police, the Ottawa Pathway Program, Right Bike and the Citizens for Safe Cycling. Yesterday they were involved in a fantastic Ottawa safety initiative. 200 bicycle lights were handed out yesterday to cyclists who did not have proper lighting on their bicycles. This is part of a bicycle safety awareness campaign that had Ottawa Police Traffic enforcement officers stopping cyclists who do not have the proper lights on their bicycles. Many volunteers from Citizens for Safe Cycling, Right Bike and the City of Ottawa Pathway Patrol Program provided the free lights and bells and also went as far as showing cyclists how to install them properly.
Cyclists need to be visible when cycling. Cyclists share the road with other cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. Now that it is getting darker, these safety measures become much more important.
Common causes of Ottawa Cycling Accidents
Did you know that the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) states that all cyclists must have a working front light and minimum rear reflector, as well as a working bell? The lack of proper lights and bells are the two most common offences Ottawa Police have come across when they have ran enforcement blitzes with a focus on cyclists. Seems to me, there is an easy fix here.
Do what it takes to avoid an Ottawa bicycle accident
Please, ensure that when you are cycling you have taken all precautions for a safe ride. We have lost far too many cyclists here in Ottawa to preventable accidents. On the flip side, to everyone sharing the roads, cyclists, drivers and pedestrians, please be aware that you are sharing the roads and remain in control. Any accident can happen in a split second and can be life-altering. Ride, drive and walk safely.
Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth
Did you know that as a cyclists you are entitled to Ontario accident benefits coverage ?
Your own auto insurance, may cover your physiotherapy, your income loss, pain and suffering, attendant care, rehabilitation or any other costs associated with your injuries as the result of a cycling accident. If you don’t have car insurance, the driver ‘s car insurance can also cover your costs. If a child suffers an injury while cycling, your vehicle insurance will cover the associated costs for recovery . Regardless of who is at fault, cyclists are covered.
Are there timelines to adhere to when it comes to cycling accidents ?
Yes, within 120 days of the cycling accident, you need to give notice to the driver’s insurance and your insurance company if you have one. Your personal injury lawyer can do this for you. Then, a standard claim must be started withintwo years of the date of the accident. There are exceptions to these timelines. If you are unclear as to whether or not your timelines are up or not, contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer and they can answer that question for you. If you are close to the limitation period, it is best to consult immediately with an Ontario personal injury lawyer, as it may take a little time to get the paperwork in to begin the claim.
Even if you have spoken with your insurance company, that does not constitute a claim being started. Be careful that you do not miss the limitation period while discussing matters with your insurance company. If you aren’t sure of whether or not you will start a claim, it’s always best to get a free consultation for an Ontario personal injury lawyer and see what they have to say. After all, this is what they see day in, day out and they will be able to immediately point you in the right direction.
Will you need to go to court for a bicycle accident in Ottawa ?
In most cases, you will not go to court. In most cases, your Ontario personal injury lawyer will negotiate a maximum settlement for you and deal directly with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
How much will it cost to start a lawsuit for a cycling accident ?
In most cases , your Ontario personal injury lawyer will cover your costs as part of the claim. You will not have any out of pocket expenses . Most Ontario personal injury lawyers will take your case on a contingency basis which means once and only when your case settles do you pay your personal injury lawyer and they will take an agreed upon percentage of your settlement. This fee is discussed and you and your lawyer agree upon what that fee will be.
City of Ottawa declares June 2012 Brain Injury Awareness Month
As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I am so pleased that our wonderful city has chosen June as Brain Injury Awareness Month. With more bicycles, motorcycles, sports, rollerblades, skateboards out during the summer months, the need for brain injury awareness is paramount. I fully support this initiative. I have so many clients suffering from a brian injury and it is heartbreaking. A brain injury is an invisible condition affecting adults and children. A brain injury is usually not recognizable and results in daily frustrations for not only the person suffering from a brain injury, but also their family and friends.
I totally believe that the Ottawa community needs to become informed about the risks of a brain injury, what to look for and the strategies for preventing a brain injury.
The daily challenges faced by someone with a brain injury and their families are often uncomprehensible unless you are in their shoes. They struugle daily to do some of the most basic life tasks, that they could once do easily.
As a community supporting those suffering from a brain injury, we need to help by sharing information, knowledge and inspiration to help improve the quality of life of brain injury victims and their families.
We have some valuable Ottawa brain injury resources such as:
Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley, The Brain Injury Association of Canada, the Vista Centre, Pathways to Independence, the Acquired Brain Injury program at the Ottawa hospital, the Ontario Brain Injury Association to name but a few….
June 2012 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Ottawa.
Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers…Sadly, 200 cycling accidents happen in Ottawa every year. Citizens for Safe Cycling is promoting bike education throughout Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Bikefest at LeBreton Flats tomorrow. In 2010, 5 Ottawa cyclists died on their bicycles and cyclists in Ottawa are 10 times more likely to be involved in an accident than cars. Citizens for Safe Cycling explained one of the most common accidents on Ottawa’s roads is when drivers make a right turn without looking for cyclists and cut them off.
The following tips were provided by Citizens for Safe Cycling when it comes to safe cycling in Ottawa:
Obey the law: red lights, stop signs and the rules of the road.
Don’t ride on sidewalks.
Don’t ride the wrong way down a one-way street.
Signal: “Be sure to signal all of your intentions in advance, that way motorists and other cyclists will know what you’re doing.”
Be aware: Give yourself space to maneuver and shoulder check to make sure you know where the other vehicles are.
Prepare your ride: Wear a helmet. Make sure your bike is in good condition.
Know your route: Use Ottawa’s bike maps
MEC Bikefest is happening tomorrow at LeBreton Flats from 11 am to 4pm with exhibitor displays, bike demos, safety education, workshops and family fun.
Have fun and safe cycling….
-Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth