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The Legal Rights of Pedestrians and Bicyclists in Traffic Accidents

A pedestrian or a cyclist is much more exposed to risk of harm than a person in a motor vehicle. Pedestrians and bicyclist don’t have the same level of protection when on the road, leaving them vulnerable to serious injury.

You have legal rights if you have been hurt in a cycling or pedestrian traffic accident. In today’s blog post, our Oshawa and Lindsay accident claims lawyers will explain your rights and how to protect them.

Your rights as an injured pedestrian or cyclist

bike accident

If you are a pedestrian or cyclist who suffered injuries in a traffic accident caused by the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, you have the right to two types of claims:

  1. You have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to secure compensation for your financial and non-economic losses; and

  2. You have the right to claim for accident benefits to cover things such as income replacement if you are unable to work, reasonable costs for medical and rehabilitation benefits (medication, physiotherapy, counseling, etc.), attendant care benefits, and caregiver benefits.

In fact, it may surprise you to know that you have the right to claim accident benefits even if you caused the traffic accident. Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits (also known as “SABs” or “no-fault benefits”) are available to an injured pedestrian or cyclist whenever a vehicle was involved in the collision, regardless of who was at fault.

If you have your own car insurance, you claim no-fault benefits from your own insurance company. The mandatory minimum coverage for no-fault benefits typically includes up to $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries and up to $1 million for catastrophic injuries, but it depends on the coverage you purchased. You may have increased coverage for non-catastrophic injuries to $130,000 and for catastrophic injuries to $2 million. If you don’t have your own car insurance, then you claim no-fault benefits from the insurance company of the driver involved in the collision.

Your right to the benefit of the “reverse onus”

In a typical personal injury lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle accident, the injured person must prove several essential elements, including: (1) the fault or liability of the other driver, and (2) the injuries, damage, and loss caused by the accident. In a pedestrian/vehicle or bike/vehicle accident situation, the injured person has the right to benefit from the “reverse onus” found in s. 193 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, which means the injured person doesn’t have to prove the first element.

The reverse onus in s. 193 creates a presumption that the driver is at fault for an accident that caused harm to a pedestrian or cyclist, unless the vehicle driver can prove otherwise. All that the pedestrian or cyclist needs to show is that they were injured in a vehicle accident. The burden is then on the vehicle’s driver to prove that the loss or damage did not arise as a result of their negligence or improper conduct.

Your right to legal advice and legal representation

Personal injury law is complex. It’s not easy to get the compensation you rightfully deserve. You do not have to navigate the process alone. You have the right to advice and guidance from an accident claims lawyer. Linsday and Oshawa accident lawyers at Kelly Greenway Bruce have a deep understanding of the relevant laws and can help you navigate the complex legal system, ensuring you meet all the deadlines and complete the necessary paperwork. Additionally, they can assist you in accurately assessing the full extent of your damages, allowing you to receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

For example, hiring a pedestrian and bike accident lawyer from Kelly Greenway Bruce to assist you can protect your legal rights and drastically increase the chances of your accident benefits claim being accepted. When making a claim for accident benefits, the insurance company must be notified within 7 days of the crash in question. The insurance company will provide an Application for Accident Benefits package which must be completed and returned within 30 days. Our team will help you complete the necessary forms and ensure you receive the benefits and treatments you’re entitled to.

Connect with us today if you or a loved one has suffered a pedestrian or bike injury

Oshawa lawyers at Kelly Greenway Bruce ensure that legal rights are protected and that you or your loved one receives fair compensation for pain and suffering, wage loss, medical bills, and more. It’s important to connect with an Oshawa accident lawyer as soon as possible so we can gather evidence and guide you through the complicated insurance claims process. Contact our dedicated team in Oshawa for a free case evaluation today. We also have Lindsay accident claims lawyers who are ready to assist you.


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