The City of Toronto has recently stated that it aims to expand its cycling road network. The recent news announced a planned installation of 10 kilometres of new bikeways and improvements on five kilometres of existing bikeways. This is exciting news for the many bicyclists across the city, especially with the warmer weather approaching.
While cycling is a great and fun way to get exercise and to commute in a more eco-friendly manner, it can also be dangerous at times sharing a road with pedestrians, and much larger, faster cars and trucks. The use of separate bike lanes definitely adds safety to the activity, but not every road in the city has a separate bike lane, and collisions with motor vehicles and pedestrians happen too often.
In some cases, the cyclist may hit a pedestrian, and the pedestrian may be able to sue the cyclist for damages in civil court. It is important to remember that cyclists are regulated under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and are expected to follow the rules of traffic that apply to them. If a cyclist is found to be negligent, they may be liable to pay for the damages they caused to the pedestrian.
If a cyclist collides with a motor vehicle, the cyclist may be able to sue the driver and owner of the motor vehicle if they were driving negligently. Even if the cyclist was fully at fault, while they may not be able to get damages from the driver, they may still be able to apply for and receive accident benefits from the motor vehicle driver’s insurance. This could cover expenses incurred by the cyclist such as medical expenses, and costs for massage, chiropractic, or physiotherapy. It could also cover a portion of income loss.
If a cyclist were to be on private property while cycling and something about the path caused them to injure themselves, the cyclist may even be able to claim damages from the owner of the property. The cyclist would have to establish that the property owner, or occupier, failed to maintain the property and allowed a hazard to exist on it that caused the cyclist to hurt themselves.
If you or someone you know has been injured while bicycling or got injured by a cyclist, you may be able entitled to financial compensation. Please contact our team at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP for a free initial consultation.