Motorcycle Laws in Ontario

Woman involved in car collision - motorcycle laws in Ontario

Posted In

Vehicle Accidents

I purchased my first motorcycle at age 15 on a beginner’s driver’s license. How the times have changed in respect to laws and attitudes towards motorcycling. One myth about motorcycling that has persisted is that motorcyclists are at fault for most of the accidents that occur as between motorcycles and other automobiles and travelers.

The fact is that studies have confirmed that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the motorcyclists are not at fault.In addition, studies and research reveal that the vast majority of accidents occur at intersections where the other motorists fail to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist.

As a Trial Lawyer for well over forty years, I have represented countless numbers of innocent motorcycle accident victims with claims for compensation arising out of such accidents. Following such accidents, the investigating police officer is required to take a statement from the persons involved in the accident. These statements are taken immediately after the accident and can have very significant consequences in any lawsuit for compensation. We have an at-fault system. Any degree of fault attributed to the motorcyclist reduces the damages (compensation) by the persons at fault.

There are two common “mistakes” that I see repeated in the motorcyclist’s statement to police. These mistakes often give rise to the at fault insurer (lawyer) attempting to partially blame the motorcyclist for the accident. The first is the use of the common motorcyclist phrase…“I laid my bike down”.While the phrase implies something was done deliberately to avoid an imminent collision, it also implies that the front brake was not fully engaged when trying to avoid the collision. The problem is that the insurance company’s lawyer takes hold of this phrase and suggests that the motorcyclist did not apply full front and back braking and argues the motorcyclist did not take all reasonable steps to avoid the collision. Of course in the agony of the moment of a collision, you rely on instinct (the combination of experience and learning) to try and avoid the collision.You can effectively turn the front wheel of a motorcycle with the brake fully applied (if applied, both brakes would likely skid upright) and then it is often appropriate to turn hard and brake.

Nonetheless, the insurance company does not need this ammunition. My tip is to avoid any complex answer. The simple statement would be … “I saw the vehicle entering into my right of way and I turned and braked to avoid the collision”. I suggest the “laid down” phrase be avoided.

The second common phrase I hear from a motorcyclist is “The other vehicle came from nowhere” and then you braked or turned in an effort to avoid a collision.Vehicles do not drop from the sky. The phrase implies that the motorcyclist failed to keep a proper lookout even though they had the right of way, any motorist has the responsibility to keep a proper look out.I hear or read this phrase when the motorcyclist has taken evasive action (thus he did observe the at-fault motorist) but the phrase “The vehicle came from nowhere.” implies that the motorcyclist did not see him until it was too late.

Again the tip is to keep it simple. The statement should be: “You saw the vehicle entering into your right of way and tried to avoid it.”Just keep it simple!

If you, or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident and have questions regarding legal issues surrounding the accident, call us at 1-905-525-2341

or complete our secure contact form and let’s see how Mackesy Smye’s team of Personal Injury Lawyers can help.

Related Articles

suing for injuries on an atv, jetski, dirtbike, sport boat, or other high risk vehicle

High-Risk Vehicles & Personal Injury Law

If you’re injured by a third party, what rights do you have? Can you sue for pain and suffering as you would in an auto accident? It’s different for both off-road vehicles and watercraft. In this article, we explain the differences and also give some great advice for staying safe off-road and on the water.

Read Article
safest mid-sized cars

Vehicle Safety: Which Cars Rank the Highest?

Every car maker claims to manufacture cars with safety in mind. Using IIHS safety testing, learn what mid-size cars rate as the safest, by reading this post which compares top rated safety vehicles and highlights their features.

Read Article
Road conditions and accidents

Did Road Conditions Cause your Accident?

Did Road Conditions Contribute to your Accident? Read this post to better understand how road conditions could have contributed to a motor vehicle accident, and how to pursue legal action against the parties that were responsible.

Read Article
road maintenance personal injuries

The Role of Road Maintenance in Accidents

A municipality is responsible for providing regular and proper road maintenance. If an accident resulted from negligent road maintenance, a victim can seek damages from the municipality. A personal injury lawyer can help motor vehicle accident victims navigate the complex legalities - learn more by reading our post.

Read Article
times of day car accidents happen - personal injury

When are Motor Vehicle Accidents Most Prevalent?

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should consult a personal injury lawyer immediately. Read this post to learn more about personal injury law in Ontario and how to proceed with filing a case.

Read Article
accidents and personal injury on public transit

Public Transportation: Hurt as a Passenger?

if you’re injured as a taxi or public transit passenger, you could seek damages. Suing a private or commercial entity is challenging, read this post to learn more about Ontario personal injury law and how to proceed with filing a case.

Read Article
Templates Library
Loading, Please wait...
The Library cannot be open, please try it again later.
This field is required.
Invalid email format.
Some of the fields are not filled or invalid.
Form Template
Select a Form Template
Available fields in the selected template: