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Motorcycle Accidents: What You Need to Know

Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable road-users in Ontario. Compared to occupants of cars, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in an accident and suffer serious injuries at a higher rate[1]. Despite the vulnerability of these riders, many people are biased against motorcyclists. Common stereotypes surrounding motorcyclists include:

  • Motorcyclists are reckless thrill-seekers;
  • Motorcyclists always drive too fast;
  • Motorcyclists are more likely to engage in stunts or other illegal maneuvers;
  • Motorcyclists are more likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and
  • Motorcyclists are responsible for their injuries because they choose to drive dangerous vehicles.

If you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, it is important to find a lawyer who is aware of the bias against motorcyclists so that your case can be presented fairly to a judge or jury.

What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident? 

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident that was not caused as a result of your wrongdoing, it may be advisable to start a lawsuit against the driver who struck you. Lawsuits allow victims of accidents to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as for income loss or medical expenses arising from their injuries.  

A key element in motorcycle accident lawsuits is proving liability, or put more simply, proving which driver is at fault for the accident. Compensation in a lawsuit is only available if someone is at fault for your injuries. In most cases, the injured person has to prove that the accident was the fault of the other driver involved.

Proving liability can be difficult because of the serious injuries often suffered by motorcyclists.  Motorcyclists who suffer severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries with loss of consciousness, often do not have the opportunity to share their side of the story with police officers at the scene of an accident. This can put motorcyclists at a disadvantage from the outset.  If you are in a motorcycle accident, here are some steps you can take to protect your interests against the other driver involved in the accident:

  • If you are physically able, take pictures of the accident scene;
  • If you are too injured to take pictures, consider having a friend or family member attend the scene to take pictures on your behalf;
  • Obtain the contact information of any independent witnesses to the accident;
  • Report the accident to the police;
  • If you are too injured to report the accident immediately, report your recollection of the collision to the police when you are able, even if a Motor Vehicle Accident Report has already been completed based on the information from the other driver;
  • Seek medical attention for your injuries and report the details of the accident to your treating medical professional;
  • If you receive a traffic ticket in relation to the accident that you do not agree with, consider contesting the ticket rather than paying it out of convenience; and
  • Consult a lawyer before communicating with any insurance companies about the accident.

Accident Benefits

In addition to the potential compensation available through a lawsuit, victims of motorcycle accidents can also receive financial assistance through their own automobile insurance policy. This insurance coverage is known as Accident
Benefits, which is enacted through Regulation 34/10, the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. The purpose of Accident Benefits is to provide immediate financial and rehabilitative support to individuals who have been injured by reason of motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents. Accident Benefits are available even if an accident is your own fault.

Two categories of Accident Benefits frequently accessed by injured motorcyclists include Income Replacement Benefits and Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits. Here is some basic information about these benefits:

  • Income Replacement Benefits can be available to motorcyclists whose injuries prevent them from returning to work following an accident.
  • The maximum amount for Income Replacement Benefits under a standard insurance policy is $400.00 per week.
  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits provide access to treatment such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, and psychological counselling to help motorcyclists recover from their injuries. 
  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits are divided into three categories, in order of increasing injury severity: $3,500.00 of benefits for Minor Injuries, $65,000.00 for Non-Catastrophic Injuries, and $1,000,000.00 for Catastrophic Injuries.
  • Many victims of motorcycle accidents suffer injuries that potentially qualify as Catastrophic, such as paralysis, limb amputation, vision loss, and traumatic brain injury.  

Eligibility to benefits may vary depending on the policy or coverage purchased. It is important to review the terms of your insurance policy to confirm your full entitlement to accident benefits, and to find a lawyer who will help ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance company.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Motorcycle Accidents

The number one safety tool for a motorcyclist is their helmet. Full-coverage motorcycle helmets have been shown to make motorcyclists four times less likely to suffer fatal head injuries and to reduce the severity of head injuries overall. [2] Another important way to avoid motorcycle accidents is to make yourself and your motorcycle more visible to other drivers. Measures that have been shown to decrease the risk of motorcycle accident occurrence include:

  • Wearing reflective or fluorescent clothing;
  • Wearing a bright or white colored helmet instead of black; and
  • Turning your headlight on during the day. [3]

Why Choose Bogoroch & Associates LLP For Motorcycle Accident Injury Cases?

Our experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers have a proud track record of obtaining exceptional results for accident victims and their families. No matter how complex your claim, our experienced lawyers will advocate vigorously on your behalf and make sure your case is managed effectively and promptly. Our many years of experience and personal commitment will help you get the compensation and benefits you deserve. We will guide you through the justice system with expert knowledge, dedication, and compassion because the only acceptable outcome for us is the best possible settlement for you.

Our experience, commitment to excellence, and reputation have long been recognized.  Our founding partner, Richard M. Bogoroch, has been recognized as a leading personal injury lawyer by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and by The Best Lawyers in Canada.  The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and The Best Lawyers in Canada are two highly regarded lawyer rating publications.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact any of our personal injury lawyers at Bogoroch & Associates LLP for a free consultation. 

Contact a personal injury lawyer near me by calling 1-866-599-1700 or visit our Contact page for all inquiries.

Bogoroch & Associates LLP is experienced in all aspects of personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. We have the confidence and skill to advance your motor vehicle accident or medical malpractice claim to settlement or trial while helping you navigate the complex medical, legal, and insurance issues.

Our experience, commitment to excellence, and reputation have long been recognized.  Our founding partner, Richard M. Bogoroch, has been recognized as a leading personal injury lawyer by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and by The Best Lawyers in Canada.  The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and The Best Lawyers in Canada are two highly regarded lawyer rating publications.

References

[1] https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-motorcycle-crashes

[2] https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-017-4649-1

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC387473/

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Motorcycle Accidents: What You Need to Know
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Motorcycle Accidents: What You Need to Know
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This blog covers everything you need to know about motorcycle accidents and how Bogoroch & Associates LLP may be able to help if you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident.
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Bogoroch & Associates LLP
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