Ottawa Cycling Accident
Did you know that there are roughly 300 reported collisions annually between bicycles and motor vehicles in Ottawa ? As Ottawa injury lawyers, we meet regularly with people who have been in a cycling accident and have been injured. It goes without saying that typically when an accident occurs between a cyclist and a motor vehicle, it is the cyclist that suffers the most serious injuries. One day we received a request for a free consultation from a woman. “AD” was looking for some advice as she had been cycling and suffered several injuries. She wanted maximum compensation for her injuries.
Injuries Resulting From Accident:
AD was 35 year old single woman at the time of her motor vehicle accident. One day she was riding her bicycle across a cross walk when she was struck by a vehicle. She sustained a right knee fracture, suffered from chronic neck pain, concussion and partial tear of right pectoral muscle. She also suffered from brief period of depression and anxiety. The concern was whether or not these injuries would fully heal and would our client be able to return to a quality of life she once had? Thankfully, we were able to consult with some of the top medical experts in Ottawa, whom we work with daily. We have an established relationship with some of top medial professionals and specialists in Ottawa.
Compensation for Injury:
Thankfully, most of AD’s injuries did heal and following her accident she was able to return to full time employment. Our Ottawa injury lawyers were able to settle this case with the insurance company without having to go to court and dragging out the process any longer. After a private settlement conference, our Ottawa injury lawyers were able to negotiate a favourable settlement with the insurance company in the amount of $131,000.00 for this cycling accident in Ottawa. This allowed our client to move on and put some closure to this accident and time in her life.
If you have been injured in a cycling accident and need advice from an Ottawa lawyer, contact us. There is a lot of information available to you that you need to make an informed decision.
*Please note: Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and that the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.
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 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 !
Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer David Hollingsworth,
Cycling Accidents in Ontario
Listen up Ottawa. Over 200 Ottawa cyclists took to the streets and they went with a mission:cycling safety deserves our attention. “The message has to be a level of respect and polite sharing of the ,” quoted Eleanor McMahon. Sadly, McMahon lost her husband to a cycling accident 4 years ago. He served and protected as a Ontario police officer, now she is protecting his legacy through the “share the road” riding event. I couldn’t agree more with Mrs. McMahon. The number of Ottawa cycling accidents each year is terrible and it’s avoidable. We need change from both cyclists and drivers to ensure a safer cycling culture here in Ottawa.
This movement has a goal of ensuring no further lives are lost because of a bicycle accident. 2 weeks ago, a 53-year-old cyclist died on Boyce Street in Ottawa’s west end. The loss was felt by Ottawa’s strong cycling community. It was also not that long ago that Ottawa was devastated by the bizarre Ottawa cycling accident that injured 5 cyclists. Cathy Anderson was there and said “It raises a lot of emotions in me because we are still going through rehabilitation,” Thankfully, Cathy was one of 5 cyclists who survived the tragic bicycle accident in Kanata last July. Public education and determination are whats needed to ring about change . Change will bring safety. One of the goals of raising enough money to put together a plan to approach our government. The end goal for cycling safety would be a new law in Ontario that allows for a one-metre rule between a cyclist and a vehicle.
Common cycling accident injuries
The following are some common types of collisions that a cyclist may suffer personal injury in:
- A driver making a direct turn in a cyclist’s lane;
- A driver entering a street from a driveway, alley or lot and pulls into traffic in front of the cyclist;
- A driver who doesn’t yield at an intersection;
- A driver who runs a stop sign or runs red light;
- A distracted driver;
- A driver who doesn’t shoulder check or use mirrors;
- A driver who is under the influence of a substance that can affect judgement and reaction times.
Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer
There is very little protection for a cyclist involved in a bicycle accident and bicycle injuries can be very severe, ranging from orthopedic injuries to severe brain injuries and paraplegia. If you have been involved in a bicycle or cycling accident, you may need the help of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. David Hollingsworth is an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer who can help guide you through the process and make sure you are financially covered in the future. Free consultations www.ottawainjury.ca or call 613 978-9549