Who Pays In Bike-Car Collisions?
In most car accidents involving two or more cars, insurance companies are usually the ones responsible to take all the facts and details of an accident into consideration and determine who is at fault. But what if a cyclist is 'at-fault?'
Unlike all other drivers, cyclists aren’t required to have insurance to cover their wheels and actions. Enter: "Section B Benefits" (in Nova Scotia).
If a cyclist is injured in a car accident, he or she will be entitled to “section B” benefits regardless of who is at fault (this type of insurance is often referred to as “no-fault benefits”). If the cyclist has his or her own car insurance, then these benefits would be paid by that insurance company. If the cyclist doesn’t have car insurance, then the “section B” benefits would be paid by the car operator’s insurance, even if the car isn’t responsible for the accident.
Don't worry, the payout of these benefits does not affect your insurance premiums (if you're at fault, they'll be affected for other reasons).
The type of insurance benefits available under 'Section B' for injured bike riders are strictly defined and include the following:
- the costs of medical treatment and expenses related to the injuries sustained in the accident, including things like physiotherapy, massage, and chiropractic care. This insurance benefit is only payable within 4 years of an accident and up to a maximum of $50,000;
- a weekly indemnity payment for any loss of income. This income loss insurance benefit is only payable if the injuries result in a disability and is paid to a maximum of $250/week. If the disability is permanent, the injured cyclist is entitled to this weekly amount for the remainder of his or her life.
- weekly compensation for homemakers who don’t work outside of the home, if the injuries result in a substantial inability to do the housekeeping tasks the injured cyclist would typically do; and
- funeral and lump sum death benefit if a family member is fatally injured in a bike accident.