Driver may be civilly liable for striking e-bike rider within crosswalk

November 21, 2014, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The Cambridge Times recently reported on an accident involving a pickup truck and an e-bike (a bicycle with an electric motor).  A 16 year old boy was riding his e-bike on Hespeler Road in Cambridge. As the e-bike rider was approaching the intersection with Munch Avenue, the boy started to ride the e-bike through a crosswalk while he had the green light.  As the e-bike was proceeding through the cross walk, he was struck by the pickup truck attempting to make a left turn from Hespeler Road onto Munch Avenue.  The pickup truck struck the e-bike and destroying the e-bike in the accident.  The e-bike rider was first taken to Cambridge Memorial Hospital.  The boy suffered major injuries in the accident and was then taken to Hamilton Hospital.

Many municipalities will have rules regarding riding bicycles on sidewalks. This may include prohibition against riding a bike through a crosswalk at an intersection. Generally where the diameter of the wheel exceeds 50 centimeters then you are required to ride your bicycle on the roadway and not on a sidewalk.  Even though that may be a violation of a particular bylaw, it is not a final determination of the liability issues for a civil claim.  Liability in a civil claim is based on a balance of probabilities. The first question that needs to be addressed in a personal injury matter is who is at fault?  If there is no at fault party then you will not be able to sue for damages due to the injuries suffered in an accident.  When considering liability, consideration must be given to whether the pickup truck that hit the operator of the bicycle or e-bike, acting in a reasonable manner, should have been able to avoid the accident.  For example, should the driver of the pickup truck have seen the bike rider before making the turn? What did the pickup truck driver do to ensure it was safe to make a turn before hitting the bike rider? Was the pickup truck driver distracted while driving, such as using a cellphone while driving?  Was the pickup truck driver’s ability to drive the truck impaired in any way through drugs or alcohol?  It is important that where there are some concerns regarding liability that an injured person obtains a consultation with a personal injury lawyer to assist in assessing all the questions that may arise regarding liability.  A personal injury lawyer will determine whether to hire experts to assist determining the “whose at fault question”.  The personal injury lawyer may hire an accident reconstruction engineer, a private investigator or even a human factors assessor.     There is no charge for the consultation and if you retain a personal injury lawyer, it is usually done on a contingency basis, which means that if there is no settlement then you will not have to pay the personal injury lawyer any fees or disbursements. 

Posted under Personal Injury, Bicycle Accidents, Drunk Driving Accidents, Fractures, Paraplegia, Truck Accidents

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About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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