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Personal Injury

Cyclists, drivers responsible for safety on cottage roads

When it comes to ensuring the safety of cyclists on country roads, both drivers and those on bikes have to take responsibility for their actions – or the impact can be devastating, Toronto critical injury lawyer Patrick Brown tells 99.5 Moose FM in Bracebridge.

“We see far too many cases of cyclists either being severely injured or killed on the country roads or cottage roads,” says Brown, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP.

A person on a bike is subject to the laws of the Highway Traffic Act, and must follow the rules of the road, says Brown. As such, he says, cyclists should always wear a helmet, be sure to have lights on their bikes, wear bright clothing, fix flat tires away from traffic and ride in a group where possible.

When coming around bends and corners on cottage roads, he tells Moose FM, drivers should anticipate that there might be a cyclist and should position their vehicles accordingly or reduce their speed.

“You’ve got to give those cyclists room, meaning give them a wide berth when you pass them. If you can’t, the solution is simple – simply wait until you can. You brush up close to them, you’re playing with their life.”

If an accident does occur, Brown says cyclists and their families have rights, including the right to bring a civil lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.

“There will be compensation made available to those cyclists, there’s also a wealth of different rehab benefits that you get [for] the cyclist that’s been injured to receive the treatment that they need. If the cyclist has been killed, the family has the ability as well to have other benefits,” he says.

However, he adds, “there’s really no compensation that would ever, ever be the amount that would compensate somebody for the loss of life or some of the serious and debilitating injuries that we see.”

Ultimately, Brown says in the interview, Ontario has one of the most complicated systems in North America when it comes to obtaining compensation for injuries where a car has been involved.

As such, he says, it is essential to find a lawyer experienced in this area of the law.

“If you’ve been injured or you have a family member that’s been killed, get a very good lawyer. That was one of the reasons we put the Personal Injury Alliance together – why I joined, why my firm joined – we wanted to make sure that we were with a group that had the experience and the qualifications and credentials to work together to help people.”

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