What You Need To Know About Cycling Accidents And Contributory Negligence In Alberta

Summer is almost here and we look forward to getting out in the warmer weather. For many bicycle enthusiasts, summer is the sweet spot of the year. But with the popularity of cycling on the rise, so are the instances of bicycle accidents, primarily collisions with motor vehicles. Most cyclists never expect that a collision with a car will happen to them.

Risk Factors for Cyclists

When it comes to bicycle collision casualties, 2014 statistics painted a grim picture:

Most accidents occur in the month of July
Most collisions took place on weekdays
Most collisions occurred during evening rush hour traffic
The highest casualty rate was with bicyclists between the ages of 10 and 14
Compared to drivers, bicyclists were more likely to disobey traffic signals or fail to yield the right-of-way at intersections
Over 6 percent of bicyclists involved in a casualty had consumed alcohol before the collision

These statistics indicate that the youngest of our citizens are more at risk for a bicycle casualty during the summer. But we know all too well that adult cyclists are at risk of injuries as well. So what can you do it you have been injured in a bicycle accident?

Who is Liable in a Cycling Accident?

Like any other injury claim, the liability of the parties must be determined. Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act is clear. When it comes to an accident involving a motor vehicle driver who hits a cyclist, the driver is presumed to be the negligent party. It then becomes that driver’s responsibility to disprove their negligence. That is when the concept of contributory negligence comes into play.

What Is Contributory Negligence?

The Contributory Negligence Act states that even though the driver of the car was presumed negligent, the cyclist may still bear some of the responsibility for the collision if he or she failed to take reasonable steps to ensure their own safety. When it comes to establishing contributory negligence, the court will look at certain things:

Was the cyclist wearing a helmet?
Was the cyclist using headphones and not capable of hearing traffic?
Was the cyclist following the established rules of the road?
Was the cyclist riding on the sidewalk?
Was the cyclist wearing garments that made him or her more visible at night?
Had the cyclist taken care to check his or her surroundings?

Bicycle Accident Claims are Complicated

When it comes to liability, the claim will be apportioned by the percentage that each party is determined liable. Because of the establishment of negligence and liability, bicycle accident cases can be complicated.

Call an Expert

If you have been injured as a cyclist, you owe it to yourself to get the advice of a Medicine Hat injury lawyer. Our team of bicycle injury lawyers at BPCAB Personal Injury Lawyer have extensive experience recovering the maximum compensation possible for our clients. Let us protect your rights after an accident injury. Call us for a no-cost consultation to discuss your legal rights.