Suing after a motorcycle accident
Riding a motorcycle is an exciting activity that also provides a great way to observe the beautiful natural landscapes of Prince Edward Island. Motorcycle accidents, however, can leave riders with serious injuries. Our past client Matthew, for example, was involved in a devastating motorcycle accident that resulted in an amputation. See Matthew’s story here:
For 30 years, our team has been helping individuals involved in motorcycle accidents receive fair compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident and are interested in learning your legal rights, contact our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers for a free consultation on your motorcycle injury claim.
What should you do after a motorcycle accident has occurred?
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, the priority is to ensure that you are safe and receive any necessary medical attention. Emergency services should be called to the accident scene, including police so that a report of the accident is created.
You should try to gather as much information as possible, including the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident, information about weather and road conditions, the insurance and contact information of any other drivers involved, and photos of the accident scene. Once you’ve received any required emergency medical treatment, you should contact a law firm to begin your personal injury claim process.
You should ensure that following your accident, you make appointments and follow-up with your family doctor or other medical professional, to make sure you get the medical care you need and to help your lawyer build your personal injury file.
When your legal team opens your motorcycle accident case, they will retrieve all your relevant medical records, the police report, and any other important documents that they will need to build your case and ensure you receive full and fair compensation. They will also take over correspondence with the at fault driver ‘s insurance representatives, and much of the communication with your own insurance provider, so that you can enjoy peace of mind while they negotiate a fair settlement and ensure that you have every possible advantage moving forward with your recovery.
Common questions about motorcycle accident injuries
Under Prince Edward Island law, motorcycles are classified as motor vehicles. As such, the Prince Edward Island legal system treats motorcycles the same as any other motor vehicle, like cars or trucks.
Our Motor Vehicle Accidents section provides answers to common questions pertaining to motor vehicles, such as:
- What is the deadline on filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
- How much is my injury claim worth?
- What if the other driver is uninsured or unidentified?
- Should I accept the settlement my insurance company offers me?
- Do I have to make a statement to my insurance company?
- How long does a personal injury claim take to resolve?
Like all drivers of on-road vehicles, motorcyclists must have an insurance policy for their vehicle. When faced with a denied motorcycle accident claim from an insurance company or when the liability for an accident is in question, a personal injury lawyer may help you get the compensation you deserve.
Can you sue after a motorcycle accident?
Yes, in Prince Edward Island you can make a claim against the driver who caused your injuries. First, you and your lawyer must prove the other party is at fault and then provide evidence of your injuries.
Can a motorcycle driver sue even if they are partially at fault for the accident?
Yes, you can still sue the other driver if you were partially at fault for the accident. In some motorcycle accidents, the fault may lie both with the rider and the driver of another vehicle. Partial fault on behalf of the injured party is called contributory negligence. When a rider is partially at fault in a motorcycle accident, they will still be entitled to a portion of the damages. This amount will be equal to the percentage of fault the other driver has for the collision.
The Contributory Negligence Act, RSPEI 1988, c C-21, explains that where possible, a Court will determine the degree of fault apportioned to each driver based on the facts. In the rare occasion it is not possible for the Court to determine fault, they will split it evenly between the drivers.
For instance, if an accident between a motorcycle and truck occurred, and the truck driver was found to be 75% at fault, and the settlement was valued at $100,000, then the compensation awarded to the rider would be $75,000 for the truck driver’s negligence.
If you are accused of being totally or partially at fault for an accident, a personal injury lawyer can help in collecting the necessary facts to minimize the partial fault arguments and evaluate the claim to its full potential. Contact us for a free consultation.
When is another driver at fault for a motorcycle accident?
Another driver is at fault when their driving was substandard and that caused or contributed to the accident. The standard for driving in Prince Edward Island is determined by referencing the rules in the Highway Traffic Act, RSPEI 1988, c H-5, and past case law.
Examples of where another driver could be at fault are:
- Cars making left hand turns: Some drivers may not notice an oncoming motorcycle and proceed into their path of travel. (see Section 181 of the Highway Traffic Act).
- Distracted driving: Drivers engaging in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, or eating while driving can easily miss motorcycles on the road, leading to collisions.
- Speeding: Excessive speed reduces the time drivers have to react to motorcycles, increasing the likelihood of accidents. (see Section 176 of the Highway Traffic Act).
- Failure to yield right of way: Drivers who fail to yield to motorcycles at intersections or when changing lanes are a significant cause of motorcycle accidents.
- Impaired driving: Alcohol, drugs, or other substances impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time, significantly increasing the risk of accidents involving motorcycles.
- Improper driving for road or weather conditions: Hazards like potholes, loose gravel, or debris on the road can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists, especially when drivers take action to avoid hazards without regard for nearby motorcyclists.
- Inexperienced drivers: Motorcycles require specific skills and training to operate safely. Inexperienced riders may lack the necessary knowledge to navigate challenging situations.
What kind of injuries can someone in a motorcycle accident get compensation for?
A person injured in a motorcycle accident in Prince Edward Island is entitled to compensation from the driver who was at fault for the accident. Common injuries for which motorcyclists get compensated include:
- Road rash
- Soft tissue injuries
- Serious fractures
- Spinal injuries and spinal cord injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries
- Psychological trauma
The lack of protection to motorcycle riders means that collisions are often fatal. When a loved one has passed away in a fatal motorcycle accident, an experienced injury lawyer can help the deceased’s next of kin recover compensation from the negligent driver.
Are you entitled to no-fault or Section B insurance when you are in a motorcycle accident?
Yes, in Prince Edward Island Section B no-fault benefits are mandatory and cover motorcycle accidents. Because motorcycles are considered motor vehicles under Prince Edward Island law, no-fault accident benefits – often called Section B – apply to individuals with motorcycle injury claims in the same way as they apply to those with traditional motor vehicle claims.
No-fault accident benefits are called ‘no fault’ because they apply to anyone with motor vehicle insurance, no matter which driver’s negligence caused the accident. This is also the case for motorcycle accident claims – motorcycle riders involved in collisions are eligible for Section B benefits under their motor vehicle insurance policy. Section B expenses can potentially cover medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses related to your accident.
For a more comprehensive explanation of Section B benefits, please see our Section B Benefits section.
If you are in a motorcycle accident, how can you prove you are not at fault?
You can show you did your part to prevent or minimize the effects of the motorcycle accident by:
- Showing photos of the protective gear you wore, including a helmet with eye protection
- Demonstrating your conduct of regular safety in performance checks before riding
- Practicing maneuvering skills in a private lot
- Explaining awareness of the “invisible motorcycle” phenomenon (perceptual blindness to motorcycles)
- Staying out of other drivers’ blind spots
- Avoiding lane splitting
- Staying alert
- Giving yourself time and space to react to dangerous situations on the road
Taking the steps above can prevent a motorcycle crash and eliminate the need for a personal injury lawyer altogether. However, if a motorcycle accident occurs, the injury lawyers at MacGillivray Law are ready to take on your legal claim and protect your interests.
We represent people injured in motorcycle accidents
Motorcyclists have a lack of protection when on the road, making riders vulnerable to severe injury from accidents. As in other motor vehicle accidents, those involved in a motorcycle accident may be eligible to receive compensation for damages resulting from the accident, including medical expenses, lost income, loss of valuable services, and pain and suffering. Our legal team at MacGillivray Law has years of experience in defending the interests of motorcycle accident victims and helping them receive compensation for their injuries. To learn how we can fight for you, contact our firm today for a free consultation.
Highway Traffic Act, RSPEI 1988, c H-5.
Contributory Negligence Act, RSPEI 1988, c C-21.
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MacGillivray Law is a personal injury law firm with offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We serve clients all across Canada.
If you cannot travel to one of our offices, we will accommodate your circumstances and travel needs. We can provide a consultation by phone, Zoom, or FaceTime, or travel to meet you in your home when required.
If you would like to learn your legal options at no obligation, contact us today to set up a free consultation.