Note: Information believed accurate at the time of writing. Should not be considered legal advice. Consult a lawyer if in doubt.
Collisions with Cars
The Alberta Bicycle Association Recreation and Transportation Committee has a very useful and detailed guide on what to do in case of an accident:
Briefly, the same rules apply to car/bicycle collisions as to any other collision. You should stop, call the police and/or EMS if necessary, and in any event exchange information as you would in a car collision.
Collisions have to be reported to the Calgary Police Department if anyone is injured, or if the total damage in the collision exceeds $2,000. It is the legal responsibility of the driver of the car to make a report, but cyclists are entitled to file a report as well — and you should. Police will file the report if they attend the scene; otherwise you’ll have to go to a district office.
If you or anyone else are injured, you should call the Police and EMS to the scene. Call 9-1-1 if anyone requires medical attention, or the Police Department non-emergency line if no medical attention is required (403-266-1234).
Alberta Finance has detailed information on what to do in case of a collision.
Always carry with you:
- a pen
- a piece of paper (or a printed collision worksheet)
- a cellphone
In Alberta, you are entitled to medical insurance coverage regardless of who is at fault for the collision. If you have been injured, see the relevant section of the “What to do in case of an automobile accident” page. If you only have minor injuries and EMS were not at the scene, you should see a physician as soon as possible to obtain documentation of your injuries.
Your immediate medical care will be covered by Alberta Health and/or your extended health plan, if you have one. You will be able to recover other medical expenses from the car insurance of the driver.
As a cyclist injured in a collision with a car, you have coverage for medical and death and disability expenses under the car insurance policy of the driver of the car (section B of the standard automobile insurance policy). Your own car insurance may also cover you, and it may be easier or more convenient to deal with your own insurance company. Talk to your insurance company immediately.
You have 10 days after the collision to file a Notice of Loss and Proof of Claim with the car insurance company for medical expenses for sprains, strains, or whiplash, and 30 days for other medical claims.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident or the driver was not insured, you may be able to recover your medical expenses from your own car insurance, if you have one, or through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims (MVAC) programme.
Contact your home owner’s or tenant insurance to see if you have coverage for liability or property damage.
Confrontations with Drivers
It is a sad fact of cycling in Calgary that you may come in contact with drivers who do not respect your right to cycle on the road as part of traffic. If a driver endangers your safety, intentionally or unintentionally, you should report them to the Calgary Police Department. Such reports are logged, noted in the driver’s file, and will be helpful if they are ever in an actual collision with a cyclist. To make a report (by calling the non-emergency line 403-266-1234) you will need:
- license plate number
- description of the driver
- account of what happened
If the situation is serious enough, e.g., if the driver gets out of their car and wants to fight or if they have a weapon, call 9-1-1.