Under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, bicycles are classified as vehicles, which means that cyclists have the same obligations and legal rights as other road users, including during the event of a bicycle accident in Calgary. Provincial regulations are also in place to ensure every road user’s safety, irrespective of where you ride. As well, bicyclists must also obey any Calgary regulations that apply.
Cycling Laws in Calgary
Bicyclists must abide by the following provincial legislation whether riding on city roads or highways:
- All riders and passengers under the age of 18 who ride bicycles must wear a helmet. (Review Part 6, Division 5, Sections 111 and 112 of the Alberta Traffic Safety Act for helmet specifications that fulfill Canadian safety standards)
- All riders and passengers, regardless of age, must wear a helmet while on electric or power-assisted bicycles.
- At least one working brake is required.
- A bell or trumpet is a must-have accessory.
- When riding at dawn, dusk, or in the dark, you must have the following:
- A headlight that emits white light (no more than two)
- A taillight with a red light
Cyclists must adhere to the following Calgary bylaws when near or on walking paths:
- Unless otherwise posted, keep your speed to a maximum of 20 km/h.
- To safeguard the environment, stick to well-established trails and pathways.
- Cycling with a leashed dog is prohibited when on pathways.
- When cycling between sunset and morning, have a forward-facing white light and a rear red reflector.
- When passing another walkway user, utilize an audible signal (such as a bell).
Accidents still happen
Unfortunately, road mishaps happen more frequently than most people think. It only takes one fellow biker or distracted driver to cause serious injury, or even death, while riding on the road. So, if you ever find yourself in these situations, what should you do?
In the case of a road incident, call 911 for quick assistance. Here is what you must notify the dispatcher:
- Your current state (ex: any injuries you might have sustained)
- The current state of others involved (ex: anyone on the scene who requires prompt medical assistance)
- Describe your circumstances, including your location and any potential hazards, such as a plugged gas leak.
If you have difficulty speaking due to your injuries, ask someone else to call or 911.
Compensation After The Accident
Protect yourself and access your rights to seek compensation if you were hurt or injured by someone else’s negligence. Follow the procedures outlined below to claim compensation for bicycle-related injuries successfully.
- Collect the Contact Information of All Witnesses
Do not let essential witnesses leave before you collect their contact information. These people may be able to provide crucial details regarding the incident. Even onlookers or motorists who lingered at the scene can give statements on how the accident occurred. The accounts of these individuals can solidify your case and support your claim for compensation.
- Documentation of Evidence
Medical Records: Even though you might not have sustained any visible injuries, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible for your safety, as well as to detect any hidden conditions. Documentation of your medical condition also serves as proof of the pain and suffering you had to endure, and will be used to estimate how much compensation might be needed for your treatments and other related expenses.
Photographs and Videos: Some of the best tools lawyers can use to build your case are photographs and videos. Here are some points you need to remember when collecting these kinds of evidence:
- Ensure you did not move the bicycles or other vehicles after the incident.
- If you have any pictures of the scene before authorities arrived, it is critical to keep a copy for your own records.
- Seek permission before taking photos of the property that is not yours, primarily if the bicycle crash occurred on someone else’s property or in a public area.
Photos of the bicycle crash scene should include:
- road conditions
- bicycle parts on the ground
- skid marks, if any are present
- damage to other vehicles (s)
- Emergency personnel assisting victims
Your legal counsel can help you gather evidence for your claim. Obtaining video or photographic proof of the bicycle crash might be enough to prove who was at fault, so ensure that you also obtain any available surveillance cameras on the scene.
- Have a Through Discussion with a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Agreeing to a Settlement
Determining who is liable requires the cooperation of all the parties that were involved, as well as the responding police officers who were called to the scene. Once you have collected all applicable information, it is best not to discuss any offers or demands for settlement with anyone other than your lawyer. Ensure that all legal options are reviewed before you settle on a final decision.
Also, insurance companies will usually reach out to you after they know about your injury case. So contact an attorney as soon as this occurs to ensure that you take the proper steps to guarantee yourself a settlement which you rightfully deserve.
What Compensation Can You Get?
The following are some possible types of claims that you can file in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Disability/loss of mobility
- Wrongful death
Benefits Of Hiring a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Professional Expertise in Handling of Insurance Claims
If you have only sustained some minor cuts on the arm, then you might not need an attorney’s services. However, if you sustained major injuries as a result of bicycle accidents caused by reckless drivers who were not thinking of other wayfarers’ safety, then it is imperative that you get in touch with an attorney. A legal representative that specializes in handling the complexities of personal injury cases against reckless motorists can help you through your entire claim process, and give you the best chance at getting the compensation that you deserve.
Saves Time And Effort
Hiring an experienced bike accident lawyer saves you both time and effort. This way, you can focus on getting better from any physical injuries, such that you can return to everyday life as soon as possible.
Ensuring that You Have the Necessary Legal Resources To Win the Case
Bicycle accident lawyers who have represented victims of road accidents in Calgary are usually well versed in all the laws of the road and can determine when someone involved is liable, and if so – which steps to take next.
Here are some of the legal resources that bicycle accident lawyers possess:
- Professional experience: It is best to consult an experienced attorney who has taken on cases that are similar to that of yours. This way, you can rest assured that they have the knowledge needed to handle your case properly.
- Knowledgeable legal team: Lawyers who handle cases pertaining to accidents in Calgary are familiar with all the provincial laws and rules that may apply to your case. For example, they will know what type of evidence needed for filing a claim and when to contact persons involved (local police department if necessary).
- Thorough investigation: Experienced personal injury attorneys will investigate your case thoroughly before deciding on how best to move forward so that they can prove the other party’s guilt or liability for causing the incident. They will not only contact the eyewitnesses, but they will also obtain the police report and witness statements. Your legal counsel could help determine who was responsible and seek compensation for all related damages, no matter how big or small.
- Accurate & complete records: Lawyers who specialize in handling the same cases have access to state traffic reports, witnesses’ testimonies, medical files, police documents, and photos for building up their defense against any insurance firm or government agencies that are responsible for investigating the scene of the incident.
- Availability: The right legal team can present expert opinion evidence in court on your behalf when there are questions about the extent of your injuries. Furthermore, they can put together a comprehensive argument on your behalf to make sure you receive proper compensation for all your suffering and losses.
- Adequate financial resources: A personal injury lawyer will gather all necessary evidence and facts about your case. As well, they will hire any necessary medical experts who can prepare reports on your injuries.
- Seamless Claims Process: An attorney will take care of all the paperwork involved in filing your case. This way, you can focus on recovering from your injuries and on getting better. They can even draft letters to insurance companies so that you don’t have to negotiate with them. Furthermore, suppose the other party’s insurance firm offers unreasonable compensation for your damages. In that case, your legal counsel can get back to them with specific reasons why their offer is insufficient.
- Settlement negotiation: Negotiating a proper settlement takes time, knowledge, and experience. Hiring an experienced attorney who has dealt with similar cases is always best because their expertise will help speed up negotiations between the other party and your legal team.
- Filing a Lawsuit: A personal injury lawyer will determine what evidence is needed before taking things to court. Furthermore, they know how much it costs to hire experts like psychologists or statisticians who can provide professional opinions that will stand up in court.
Personal injury lawyers can help you file a claim and seek the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. With a knowledgeable legal team on your side, it’s just a matter of time before you get all the medical treatment you need and receive the money you require to fully recover from your injuries after a bicycle crash with another party.
As you have just read, there are many benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer when you’re in the process of recovering from injuries after being hit by someone’s vehicle while riding your bicycle.
With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can receive compensation that covers all expenses related to ongoing treatments and lost wages caused by your time spent away from work. These professionals’ expertise will also save both parties involved a significant amount of time and effort while ensuring that your case is settled in court if necessary. That is, they can negotiate an out-of-court settlement without involving courts in the process.
Moreover, every person has rights, and it’s crucial we know what those rights are so we can take action when they are threatened.