How is fault for an accident between a motor vehicle determined? There are several “rules of the road” that are useful in pursuing bicycle accident claims. The Highway Traffic Act states that when loss or damage is sustained by any person by reason of a motor vehicle on a highway, the onus of proof that the loss or damage did not arise through the negligence or improper conduct of the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is upon the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle. That essentially means that if you were hit by a motor vehicle it will be up to the driver of the vehicle to prove he or she was not negligent.
What if the accident was entirely my own fault? When the use or operation of an automobile directly causes and impairment you could be entitled to significant accident benefits from your own insurer or the insurer of the automobile involved regardless of fault. This could include income replacement benefits, attendant care benefits and medical and rehabilitation benefits.
What if the vehicle hit me and took off and I don’t have any of my own insurance? The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) provides compensation to people injured in automobile accidents when no automobile insurance exists to respond to the claim. This could cover you for accident benefits and even pay the damages that the vehicle that hit you should have paid you in a law suit.
What if I was hit by someone opening their door? The Courts have held that getting in and out of a vehicle is considered the use and operation of a vehicle and as such you should be entitled to accident benefits and may be able to make a claim against the person who opened the door. The Highway Traffic Act states that no person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on a highway without first taking due precautions to ensure that his or her act will not interfere with the movement of or endanger any other person or vehicle; or leave a door of a motor vehicle on a highway open on the side of the vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than is necessary to load or unload passengers.
With the nicer weather here there will be more bicycles on our roads. Safety should always be a priority. Proper safety gear should be worn at all times. Take special care to make sure you are seen by the other drivers on the road. Practice defensive driving and avoid driving at night.
The lawyers at Raphael Barristers have been practicing personal injury law for over 50 years. We have offices in Toronto and Thornhill to serve all of Ontario. Call Jeffrey Raphael for a free consultation at 416-594-1812 or 1-877-217-1812, or visit us at www.raphaelpersonalinjurylawyers.com. Our personal injury lawyers represent clients with bicycle, car, motorcycle, truck, boat or snowmobile accident claims, accident insurance claims, insurance disputes, short or long term disability benefit disputes and accident benefits disputes, sexual assault or abuse victim claims as well as, victims of crime, through the Criminal Injury Compensation Board. Your initial consultation is always free. We normally work on a contingency fee basis, which mean that there will be no charge for fees until the case is settled or successfully won at trial.