How do bicycle accident claims differ from other MVA claims?

Bicycle accident claims have unique aspects due to cyclists' vulnerability, distinct traffic rules, helmet laws, damage to bicycles, and common injuries. If you've been in a bicycle accident, contact Kantor Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.

Bicycle accident claims, while categorized under motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), have some unique aspects that differentiate them from other MVA claims. In Alberta, Canada, these differences primarily arise from the distinct nature of bicycles as a mode of transportation, the vulnerability of cyclists, and the specific regulations governing cyclists on the road.

  1. Vulnerability of cyclists: Bicycle riders are more exposed and less protected than occupants of motor vehicles. They do not have the structural safety features that cars, trucks, or buses provide, such as seatbelts, airbags, or crumple zones. Consequently, cyclists often suffer more severe injuries in accidents, even when collisions occur at relatively low speeds.

  2. Distinct traffic regulations: In Alberta, cyclists must follow specific traffic rules that differ from those applicable to motor vehicles. For example, cyclists should use designated bike lanes when available, ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable, and use hand signals to indicate turns. The Traffic Safety Act and local municipal bylaws govern these rules. Understanding the unique regulations for cyclists is essential for determining fault and liability in a bicycle accident claim.

  3. Helmet laws: Alberta has specific helmet laws that require cyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. While there is no legal requirement for adult cyclists to wear helmets, failing to wear one may be considered contributory negligence in a personal injury claim, potentially reducing the compensation awarded to the injured cyclist.

  4. Damage to the bicycle: Bicycle accident claims often involve the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged bicycle. Bicycles can be expensive, especially if they are specialized or custom-built. These costs should be factored into the compensation sought in a bicycle accident claim.

  5. Common injuries: Injuries sustained in bicycle accidents may differ from those in other MVAs. Common injuries in bicycle accidents include fractures, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and soft tissue damage. The severity of these injuries can significantly impact the compensation sought in a claim.

  6. Visibility and road conditions: Cyclists are generally less visible than motor vehicles, and road conditions can disproportionately affect their safety. Potholes, debris, or uneven surfaces can pose significant hazards for cyclists, potentially contributing to accidents.

When pursuing a bicycle accident claim in Alberta, it is crucial to work with a law firm experienced in handling such cases, like Kantor LLP Personal Injury Lawyers. They will understand the unique aspects of bicycle accidents and help navigate the complexities of determining fault, liability, and compensation. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will work diligently to protect the injured cyclist's rights and secure fair compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses.