Liability Laws for Cyclists

As founding partner of Neinstein & Associates in Toronto, Ontario, Gary Neinstein Q.C. focuses on representing victims of medical malpractice and severe personal injury. As a result, Neinstein and Associates regularly represents cyclists involved in accidents with motor vehicles.

Under Canadian law, a motorist who strikes a cyclist is assumed liable and is placed under a reverse onus. This means that the motorist must prove conclusively that he or she is not responsible for the accident. Drivers may claim, for example, that the cyclist was not following the rules of the road. A cyclist who fails to signal for a turn and is subsequently hit may be found at least partially responsible for an accident. Similarly, a cyclist who incorrectly assumes the right of way may be said to have contributed to the accident.

However, violation of road rules is not necessarily fully indicative of fault. For example, a cyclist on the sidewalk is not likely to be found responsible if hit by a car. Motorists are expected and required to look out for sidewalk users, even if they are illegally riding a bicycle along the sidewalk. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help cyclists determine whether they may be found at fault for an accident.

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