Personal Injury Blog

E-Bike Accident? Steps to Take Immediately

Updated October 24, 2023

In Toronto, it is increasingly common to see e-bikes on the streets. Meal delivery services, commuters and even the local bike share operators include e-bikes in their fleets.

Electric Bicycles ("e-bikes") can be operated on roads in Ontario. Since October 3, 2009, electric bikes (both those resembling conventional bicycles and those resembling motor scooters) have been permanently allowed on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are currently permitted. They must follow the same rules of the road as set out in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) that currently applies to cyclists, with some exceptions.

More e-bikes and electric scooters on the road means one thing for sure, more accidents with e-bikes and electric scooters. Overall numbers are unclear, but legal experts expect e-bike injury claims and lawsuits to rise along with e-bike sales and accidents. Ontario saw a 150% increase in e-bike injuries from 2016 to 2021.

The complexity of liability, insurance coverage, and proving damages means most serious e-bike accident cases will involve litigation and settlement negotiations rather than quick resolutions.

In this article, we will not only guide you through the necessary steps to take in the unfortunate event of an e-bike collision but also shed light on the legal aspects that surround them. In the aftermath of an e-bike collision, knowing what to do and taking prompt actions can significantly impact your recovery and your potential compensation claim. 

Here are the crucial steps you should take:

  1. Seek medical assistance immediately. Even if an ambulance isn't called to the scene, head to the nearest Emergency Room (ER). Only a medical professional can assess the extent of your injuries accurately.
  2. Collect information from the parties involved. Gather names, addresses, and phone numbers of those in the accident, as well as any witnesses. If you're unable to do so, request a witness to assist you in this crucial task.
  3. Preserve evidence. Don't discard your damaged clothing or cycling gear, as they may serve as crucial evidence during any legal proceedings.

Once these immediate actions are taken:

  1. Consult a personal injury lawyer with expertise in accident benefits claims and lawsuits. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is paramount.
  2. Inform your family doctor about your injuries and report all symptoms you experience.
  3. Notify your car insurance company (if applicable) or the insurance company of the vehicle involved in the accident if you don't have car insurance.
  4. Report the accident to your employer or school, and if you have disability insurance, inform your insurer about your injuries.
  5. Notify any other relevant insurers, such as homeowners' insurance or mortgage/debt forgiveness insurance through credit cards.
  6. In case the police didn't attend the scene, report the accident at the collision reporting center.
  7. Keep meticulous records of all expenses related to the accident.
  8. Advise your family to maintain a detailed log of dates and times spent caring for you and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred.


IMPORTANT NOTE: You are not obliged to communicate with the insurance company representing other parties involved in the accident. If you decide to provide a statement, it's wise to have a lawyer present, as your statements may impact your right to compensation.


How Do I Know If I Have a Lawsuit?

In Ontario, e-bikers are typically treated as cyclists and pedestrians under the Highway Traffic Act. This means they often have the right-of-way on the roads. If another party is at fault, either fully or partially, or there is potential municipal liability, you have the right to file a lawsuit. This is known as a tort claim or a fault-based lawsuit, which allows you to seek compensation for damages. Generally, you have a two-year window from the accident date to initiate such legal proceedings.

However, even if you believe you may be at fault, negligence on the part of a municipality could still make you eligible for compensation. This negligence might involve factors like ice or snow-covered roads, road defects, improper design, or sightline obstructions. It's crucial to consult a reputable e-bike accident lawyer, as lawsuits against cities and municipalities require submitting notice within 10 days after the accident. Seeking assistance from a personal injury law firm promptly is essential to protect your rights.


Can I Receive Accident Benefits?

Following an e-bike accident, you may require treatment, income replacement, and other forms of assistance. The process of applying for "no-fault" accident benefits can be more complex than usual. Here are some key time-sensitive steps to be aware of:

  • Within 7 days of the accident, inform the benefits insurance company about the accident and your injuries.
  • Within 30 days of receiving an accident benefits application from the insurance company, complete and submit it. Failure to do so may result in delayed or denied benefits.
  • Respond promptly, within 10 business days, to any information requests from your insurance company to avoid suspension or denial of benefits.
  • If your insurer denies benefits to which you are entitled, you must file a dispute with the License and Appeals Tribunal within 2 years to contest the denial.

By understanding your rights and following these steps diligently, you can better navigate the legal landscape surrounding e-bike accidents in Ontario and ensure a smoother path to recovery and compensation if necessary.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an e-bike accident, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss these complex issues. Put Campisi LLP to work for you - we care fiercely about our clients. We are champions with heart!

Lisa Bishop
About Lisa Bishop
Lisa Bishop is an Associate Lawyer at Campisi LLP, practicing exclusively in personal injury law. Since her call to the bar in 2015, Lisa has worked to help injured people and their loved ones obtain fair compensation from insurance companies and at fault parties at a small boutique law firm in Toronto that specialized in personal injury law.

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