The Vancouver Metropolitan Area, including New Westminster, has the dubious distinction of being “one of the worst places in the world for bike-related accidents.” With its huge hub of traffic and cycling lanes throughout the city, it’s not surprising that Vancouver sees nearly 1,456 accidents per every 100,000 bicyclists. Montreal was the only other Canadian city that made the list.
If you or a loved one have sustained losses stemming from a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, a bicycle accident lawyer from our firm can help with a free consultation. Our New Westminster personal injury lawyers work out of a nearby office, just 14 minutes away in Burnaby. If you’re too injured to come to us, we can come to you.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents in New Westminster?
About 25 percent of bicycle accidents involve parked motorists opening their doors without first checking for cyclists travelling in the nearby bike lane. Cyclists in these cases technically have the right-of-way. In most cases, the person opening the door into bike traffic is liable for any sudden injuries caused. However, a cyclist may be deemed liable if he or she was aware of an open door and “failed to take reasonable, evasive measures.”
A number of collisions between bicycles and cars occur because the motorist was:
Who Is Liable for Damages in a B.C. Bicycle Accident?
In some cases, tenant or house insurance riders can provide some coverage for acts of negligence committed outside the home (including cycling injuries), but not always. Filing a claim with ICBC in the event of an accident with a motorist is the surest way to recover compensation for your injuries. It is up to cyclists to establish negligence in order to recover damages from the driver’s ICBC policy — which can be an uphill battle — so you may find it advantageous to hire a personal injury attorney with expertise in bicycle accidents.
What Does ICBC Pay For?
If your claim is approved, ICBC can provide financial compensation for past and future medical bills. This may include doctor copays, hospital stays, surgeries, physiotherapy, medications, occupational therapy, dental treatments, and even PTSD counselling.
Typically, they will cover past and future wage losses incurred from forced time off work and the cost of homemaking services. They will also generally cover the cost of bicycle repair or replacement. Estimated damages for pain and suffering is where there is the most room for negotiation.
Are There Limits to What You Can Get From ICBC for a Bicycle Accident?
“Pain and suffering” for minor injuries is now capped at $5,500. This does not include medical costs, wage loss, or lawyer fees. “Minor injuries” are determined by medical professionals and may include aches, pains, sprains, whiplash, cuts, bruises, stress, and anxiety that does not persist for more than a year.
In 2019, for the first time in 25 years, ICBC increased the overall benefit cap — from $150,000 to $300,000. Claimants can receive up to $740 per week in wage loss benefits and up to $280 a week for homemaking benefits. Grieving family members can receive up to $7,500 in funeral benefits and up to $30,000 in death benefits. These amounts are paid on a weekly basis, rather than in a lump sum.
Find Legal Representation
If this is your first dealing with ICBC, it can help to have a trusted friend with decades of experience on your side. Preszler Injury Lawyers advocate on behalf of cyclists to obtain maximum compensation. We only get paid if you get paid first, so contact us for your risk-free, contingency-based representation any time, 24/7.