Bicycle accidents are often the fault of motorists who simply aren’t looking out for bicyclists like they look out for automobiles. Because you enjoy almost no protection, your injuries are likely to be more serious than those suffered by people injured in auto accidents. Catastrophic injuries are distressingly common. Consequently, you are almost certainly going to need a St. Catharines bicycle accident lawyer.
For more than 40 years now, Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers has helped a multitude of people recover fair compensation for their injuries in St. Catharines, Ontario. Insurance companies have a thousand tricks, but we are prepared to handle them.
Our St. Catharines Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Obtain Full Compensation for Your Injuries
We pride ourselves on the close personal attention we pay to our clients’ cases. To us, everything matters regarding your case. We understand that no two cases are exactly alike, and we will design our case strategy around your needs, goals, and priorities–not ours, as so many other firms do.
Don’t try to handle a St. Catharines bicycle accident claim alone or with a lawyer who lacks experience in personal injury cases. Your claim is likely to be worth far more than the other side will initially offer to settle for. We can help make sure you end up with every dollar you deserve.
Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers can help your St. Catharines bicycle accident case by doing the following:
- Reconstructing the accident: We can reconstruct the accident based on available evidence, taking into account the unique features of bicycle accidents. Reconstructing an accident makes it easier to assign fault.
- Gathering admissible evidence: The truth may not matter unless you can prove it with admissible evidence. It takes considerable training to determine what evidence is admissible. Admissible evidence is just as valuable at the negotiating table as in court.
- Determining the true value of your claim: The total value of your claim might be worth more than you think it is. Have you considered, for example, that the value of your pain and suffering might be worth more than half the total amount of your claim?
- Negotiating with the opposing party: In all likelihood, any negotiation will take place against an insurance company adjuster. These people are professionals at the art of negotiating. It is crucial to have an experienced negotiator on your side as well. We know how to negotiate. In all likelihood, your claim can be settled with no trial necessary.
- Filing a lawsuit: Filing a lawsuit proves you mean business, even if you eventually plan to settle your claim. To file a lawsuit, you must submit a complaint. You must draft your complaint with great care because every word matters. Fortunately, we are experienced at drafting personal injury lawsuit complaints.
These are only a few of the myriad of ways we can help you. Take the first step in resolving your claim by contacting us to schedule a free initial case consultation.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in St. Catharines, Ontario?
Bicycling on public roads is one of the most dangerous forms of transportation. As a bicyclist, you lack both the frame protection that an automobile offers and the ability to accelerate out of trouble that a motorcyclist enjoys. Unfortunately, an average of 74 Canadians die in bicycle accidents every year, and about 7,500 suffer serious injury.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in St. Catharines, ON
A bicycle accident can occur for any number of reasons.
The following are common causes of bicycle accidents:
- Distracted driving (cell phone use, for example)
- Driver blind spots, especially since bicycles can be more difficult to spot than larger vehicles
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to obey traffic lights or signs
- Failure to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists
- Hazardous road conditions (sleet, for example)
- Vehicle defects
- Changing lanes without checking blind spots
- Making turns in front of bicyclists.
Many motorists simply aren’t looking out for bicycles and do not anticipate their presence.
Should I Sue or Settle After a St. Catharines Bicycle Accident?
Maybe both. Most injury victims seek settlement instead of trial. Settling is quicker and easier than trial. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t sue. Defendants typically prefer settlement as well. As a consequence, the great majority of bicycle accident claims settle out of court.
You might have to file a lawsuit to gain the legal leverage to force a settlement out of a stubborn defendant. You can always withdraw your lawsuit once you reach a settlement. Talk to your lawyer about strategy before agreeing to accept a settlement offer.
What Types of Damages Are Available After a Bicycle Accident?
You are entitled to all of your damages, both tangible and intangible, for a bicycle accident.
Damages that may be available after a bicycle accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Diminished earning capacity,
- Long-term disability;
- Incidental expenses such as child care or housekeeping while you are incapacitated
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages are possible in some cases, but it is uncommon.
Limitations on Damages in Bicycle Accidents
Ontario law imposes several inherent limitations on the amount of damages you can qualify for or actually receive. If you are partially at fault for the accident that injured you, Ontario courts will apply a principle known as comparative negligence. Courts will reduce the value of your claim in direct proportion to the extent to which your injuries are your own fault.
Suppose, for example, that you were talking on your cell phone immediately prior to the accident, and the court holds you 25% responsible. If your damages are $100,000, you will only receive $75,000.
The following are ways that the defendant might try to blame you for a bicycle accident:
- Noting that you failed to wear a helmet
- Claiming that your bicycle lacked a front headlight and a rear reflector
- Asserting that you pulled out in front of the defendant
Can you still file a claim if you weren’t wearing a helmet? Yes, you can. However, if you sustained a head injury, the defense might argue against damages for that particular injury on the ground that not wearing a helmet constituted failure to mitigate your damages. Alternatively, a court might simply reduce your damages for head injury on the logic that even with a helmet, you would have sustained injury.
The assistance of a skilled bicycle accident lawyer is crucial because there are 100 other ways that the defendant might seek to blame you for the accident. You are unlikely, however, to run into defenses that we haven’t dealt with successfully before.
Wrongful Death Claims After a Bicycle Accident
The death rate for bicycle accidents is high. Any close blood relative who was dependent on the deceased in some way can file a wrongful death claim. Typically, you win a wrongful death lawsuit by proving that the defendant was negligent and that they caused the death of the victim. Wrongful death damages can be substantial.
Our St. Catharines, Ontario, Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Expedite Your Claim While Preserving Its Value
We work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t need to pay us any money upfront. You will only pay us if we win compensation for you.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident in St. Catharines, ON, we are here for you. Contact Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers by calling 905-522-9799 to schedule a free initial case consultation with our St. Catharines bicycle accident lawyer.