Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, especially when you are on the open road. However, motorcycle riding is also dangerous because you are much more vulnerable to roadway hazards and have a higher risk of life-threatening injury in collisions with other vehicles who fail to share the road. If you were involved in a crash caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages. You should consider contacting our Chatham-Kent motorcycle accident lawyers to review your case and determine your legal options. We have helped obtain favorable compensation for many personal injury victims, including more than a $1.4 million in damages for a client who suffered a pelvic injury after a motorcycle accident with a vehicle whose driver made an improper left-hand turn. At Greg Monforton & Partners, we will not hesitate to pursue the maximum compensation you are entitled.
Our consultations are 100 per cent free and at no obligation to you. We take all cases on a contingency fee basis which means we only get paid if we help you recover compensation for your case.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Cases
There are many different types of motorcycle accidents that occur in Chatham-Kent, which is situated just off Highway 101 in the province of Ontario. At our firm, we handle all types of motorcycle accident cases, including those that involve:
- Left-hand turn collisions – This type of collision occurs when a vehicle turns left and hits a motorcyclist who is traveling in the opposite direction.
- Rear-end crashes – These happen when a vehicle crashes into the back of a motorcycle, usually at a stop sign or stop light. Even if the motorist was not going very fast, the impact itself could cause the motorcyclist to be thrown from the motorcycle, causing severe or deadly injuries.
- Lane-change accidents – These accidents occur when a vehicle changes lanes quickly and either hits the motorcyclist or cuts a motorcycle off, not giving the motorcyclist enough time to slow down before crashing into the back of the vehicle.
- High-speed collisions – Motorists who drive too fast greatly reduce their chances of seeing and reacting to a motorcyclist in time to prevent a collision. High-speed collisions often result in more severe, life-threatening injuries for the motorcyclist because there is no seat belt or airbag to help shield him or her.
- Drunk-driving crashes – Driving while intoxicated or under the influence is one of the most dangerous actions a motorist can engage in. Drunk driving impairs muscle coordination and the ability to make reasonable decisions, which are both essential to operating a vehicle safely. These types of crashes usually result in serious injury or death for the motorcyclist involved.
- Failure to yield accidents – Motorists who fail to yield and follow traffic signals, including stop lights, stop signs and markers, can cause severe accidents as a motorcyclist approaches in the opposite direction.
Even if you are taking all the necessary precautions as a motorcyclist on the road, other motorists can still fail to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and cause significant injury. When this happens, do not hesitate to contact a trusted Chatham-Kent motorcycle accident lawyer right away. We can help identify the cause of the accident and help prove who is liable for any injuries you sustained.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling (866) 320-4770.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When a motorcycle accident occurs, there is a greater likelihood of severe injuries because motorcycles lack the safety features vehicles have, such as seat belts and airbags. This leaves motorcyclists less protected and more vulnerable to the elements and other vehicles on the road.
Some of the most common motorcycle injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal injuries
- Mental trauma
- Road rash
- Nerve damage
- Facial damage
- Post-traumatic stress
- Permanent muscle damage
- Severe foot injuries
- Loss of limbs
If you have suffered these or any other injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact us to review your case so we can determine if you have a valid claim to pursue compensation for the physical and mental pain you have endured.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form so a motorcycle accident lawyer in Chatham-Kent can evaluate your claim.
Ontario Motorcycle Laws
According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, a motorcycle is defined as a self-propelled vehicle with a seat or saddle for the driver and designed to travel with no more than three wheels. This definition also includes motor scooters but does not extend to motor assisted bicycles.
Under Ontario Law, motorcyclists are required to follow their own specific regulations to ride legally, stay safe on the road and reduce the risk of an accident. These regulations include the following:
Obtaining a Motorcycle Licence
To apply for a motorcycle licence, you have to be at least 16 years old. New riders must also practice riding and gain experience before obtaining an M Class licence. The type of licence you can obtain depends on the type of motorcycle you will be driving. There are three main types of licences:
- M (including M1 and M2) – This licence is for full-speed motorcycles.
- M with condition L (also includes M1 and M2-L) – This licence if for limited-speed motorcycles, such as motorized scooters or mopeds.
- M with condition M (also includes M1 and M2-M) – This licence is for three-wheeled motorcycles.
After deciding which type of M Class licence you need, you must pass an eye test and a written exam that will test you on traffic signs and the rules of the road. After passing both eye and written tests, you can obtain an M1 licence and begin practice riding.
However, there are certain restrictions during this time period. You must maintain a zero-blood alcohol level, ride only during daylight hours (including half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset), wear an approved helmet, drive alone and not drive on roads with speed limits over 80 km/hour, unless you are on the following highways:
The M1 licence is valid for 90 days and you would need to wait at least 60 days before taking your first of two road tests to obtain an M2 licence. If your licence expires, you will unfortunately need to start the whole process over again.
Once you pass your first road test, you will obtain an M2 licence. This means you can ride at night on any road, but you must still wear a helmet and maintain a zero-blood alcohol level. Then, after 22 months have passed, you can take the second road test and obtain your full M licence.
If you decide to complete an approved motorcycle safety course, you can take the test after only 18 months instead of 22.
Wearing a Helmet
Ontario law requires that a helmet be worn when riding or operating a motorcycle or when operating a motor assisted bicycle. The helmet must have a hard, smooth outer shell that is lined with protective padding material or energy absorbent material. This material must be strongly attached to a chin strap that securely fastens the helmet to the rider’s head. The helmet must also be undamaged from use.
When it comes to the safety, helmets must meet one of the following requirements under R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 610:
- Canadian Standards Association Standard D230 Safety Helmets for Motorcycle Riders with a monogram from the Canadian Standards Association Testing Laboratories
- A helmet certificate from the Snell Memorial Foundation
- A helmet certificate from the British Standards Institute
- United States of America Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 with a symbol from the U.S. Department of Transportation
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation No. 22 with an international approval mark
Helmets can also be equipped with speakers or as an alternative, motorcyclists can wear head phones underneath their helmets for communication purposes only and not for playing music. Wireless communication devices can also be used to make or receive cell phone calls.
Required Safety Equipment
Motorcycles are also required to have certain safety equipment to ensure riders' safety on the road. When it comes to handlebars, they must follow the 15-inch law. They must be no more than 380 millimeters (about 14.96 inches) higher than the top of the motorcycle’s seat when the seat is compressed by the weight of the motorcyclist.
Handlebars must be maintained and cannot be loose or damaged in a way that would increase the risk of an accident. If a motorcyclist fails to comply with these rules, he or she could pay a fine no less than $400 and no more $20,000 if convicted.
Mufflers are also an important component on a motorcycle. When a custom designed muffler is used, it must work as required and not create excessive smoke above levels allowed under the law. Mufflers must also not be unreasonably loud, according to what a police officer deems reasonable.
Contact our Chatham-Kent motorcycle accident lawyers today. Call (866) 320-4770.
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Insurers base your motorcycle insurance rate on certain factors including your age, riding experience and the type of motorcycle you own.
Typically, motorcyclists must obtain motorcycle insurance coverage for third-party liability, accident benefits, property damage and uninsured motorists. The minimum requirements are as follows:
- Third party liability coverage – You must have up to $200,000 in coverage if another person is injured or killed in an accident or if his or her property is damaged.
- Statutory accident benefits coverage – If you are killed or injured in an accident regardless of who is at fault, you and your family could receive benefits to help cover medical expenses, rehabilitation, caregiver costs, death benefits and income replacement.
- Direct compensation property damage (DCPD) coverage – If another driver is at fault for the accident that happens in Ontario and he or she is insured in the province, you may recover compensation for your property damage.
- Uninsured motorist coverage – You must have up to $25,000 in coverage if you were killed or injured by an uninsured motorist. You can recover financial compensation for you and your family, including damage to your property.
Contact our office today by calling (866) 320-4770.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
When filing a motor accident claim, time is not on your side. There are specific limits, called statutes of limitations, that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. When that statute of limitation expires, you will be barred from filing a lawsuit.
For most personal injury lawsuits involving motorcycle accidents, you must file within two years after the date of your injury.
Our Chatham-Kent personal injury lawyers have a detailed understanding of Ontario personal injury laws and the time limits that apply to these specific cases. We will work hard to ensure that you file your claim within the statute of limitations so you have a chance to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form today to get started on your claim.
Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can cause severe injuries which can result in costly medical expenses. This is why it is in your best interest to contact a qualified Chatham-Kent motorcycle accident lawyer to help you seek compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Filing a motorcycle accident claim may help you recover compensation for the following:
- Loss of past and future income
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Contact a Chatham-Kent Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence?
Contact Greg Monforton & Partners for a free, no obligation legal consultation today. We can determine the cause of your accident and injuries, document and gather evidence to prove negligence occurred, and work on your behalf to obtain the compensation you need while in recovery.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Chatham-Kent have many years of experience representing injured victims and know what it takes to be successful in these cases. We take all cases on contingency so your consultation is free and there are no legal fees unless you receive compensation.
We look forward to helping you. Call (866) 320-4770 now.