The freedom of riding a motorcycle in Canada is quite liberating. Balancing on two wheels as the feeling of G-forces push you effortlessly through the gorgeous Canadian landscape, the feeling of the wind blowing through your hair without a care in the world. It’s the stuff many people dream of. And it’s something a lot of motorcycle riders get to experience regularly.
However, motorcycle accidents and injuries often present a different picture. In 2020, there were 42 motorcycle deaths in Ontario alone during the year. In addition, there were 202 significant accidents with severe injuries in the same year in Ontario.
A large proportion of motorcycle accidents do not involve any other vehicles. For example, 37 of the fatalities mentioned above involved no other car and were primarily the result of excessive speed. However, where another vehicle is involved, injuries tend to be very serious and are often life-changing with extended rehabilitation periods and enormous financial costs.
Let’s look at personal injury claims resulting from motorcycle accidents in Canada and what to do if you’ve been involved in one.
The immediate aftermath
Motorcycle accidents usually do not end well. The rider’s lack of any protective cage and the exposure of the rider’s body and limbs to objects generally result in severe injuries.
The most critical issue at the accident scene is to ensure that any injuries are immediately assessed and taken care of. In addition, a call to 911 (yes, the emergency number in Canada is the same as it is in the U.S. for a full list of 911 numbers abroad, review this helpful guide.) must be made to get medical expertise as well as police onto the scene as soon as possible.
Since adrenaline will be pumping, remember that pain is not always felt immediately and may only present once the surge of adrenaline starts to wane.
If you are a motorcyclist, make sure that you are physically intact and okay. You will be in shock, but try to remain calm and not get aggressive with the other driver. 911 will have dispatched some traffic police to the scene. While waiting, and if you are able, try to get the witness’s contact details and their version of the accident. This may prove crucial at a later stage. If you cannot do this due to injury or shock, request a bystander to do this for you.
Capture photos of the accident scene on your cell phone from many different angles. Take pictures of any injuries you may have. Make an effort to get complete details of the other driver/s and their insurance details if possible.
Once you have made a statement to the police, politely request that you be provided with a copy of the police report. Do not admit liability to anyone and try to get medical attention as soon as you can, being careful to document this if you are in a position to do so.
The days following the motorcycle accident
Receive medical treatment
Once again, your priority should be to get yourself medically treated for any injuries you may have suffered.
Even if you do not feel that you have suffered any severe injuries, you should get checked out at a hospital. Their examination should include concussion tests. Although modern helmets are excellent at providing protection for the head, they are not foolproof. A heavy impact could land you with a severe concussion which can present as searing headaches in the weeks and months to come.
Make sure that you keep records of all costs and all medical reports. You will need to show these to your lawyer once appointed.
Make an appointment to see a personal injury lawyer
The sooner you consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer, the better.
Your first consultation is an assessment of the case and should be at no charge to you. After that, the lawyer will make a few investigations and will advise whether you have a worthwhile claim or not.
If the lawyer elects to take on your case, it will probably be on a contingency basis, which means that the firm will not ask you for money to pursue your claim. Instead, the law firm will fund the case and deduct any fees and other expenses from the award they secure for you.
If they do not win your case, they will absorb almost all of the costs related to your lawsuit.
Once you appoint a lawyer, they will take care of all communication with the insurance company. They will relieve you of all of the myriad of things to take care of in your personal injury case, leaving you to concentrate on getting better and receiving the treatment you need.
What will your personal injury lawyer do for you?
Personal injury claims are highly specialized in terms of detail and in terms of procedure. Your lawyer will take care of the following for you:
- Assist with police
- Investigate your accident
- Deal with your insurance company
- Assist with no-fault benefits
- Set up your wage replacement
- Deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Hire a rehabilitation team that will assist with your discharge home
- Assist with having your insurer fund all modifications and assistive devices required around your home
- Set up your attendant care.
If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a motorcycle collision, you should be in an excellent position to pursue your claim by following the advice given above. In addition, appointing an experienced, specialized motorcycle personal injury lawyer will go some way to reducing your stress levels in the claim process.
Jeremy Biberdorf is a long-time internet marketing pro turned online entrepreneur and blogger. Check out his investing blog at Modest Money.
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