Motorcycle accident: Can you sue if you were speeding?

February 16, 2022

Picture this: you’re driving down a rural country lane on your motorcycle on a bright spring day. Maybe it’s the empty roads or maybe it’s because the sun is shining off the instruments, but you’ve strayed over the speed limit. Suddenly, an SUV coming the other way turns left. It’s obvious the driver has not seen you and you crash heavily.

You’ve suffered a severe brain injury and you are facing years of rehabilitation, possibly lifelong impairment. You want to sue the other driver for your pain and suffering and the inevitable loss of future prospects.

But can you sue for a motorcycle accident if you were speeding? What compensation can you hope to receive if you were speeding?

Everyone Gets Flustered After a Motor Vehicle Accident…
Keep our motor vehicle accident guide handy and save yourself from doing or saying something that harms your case.

What happens after a typical motor vehicle accident?

Ontario has a no-fault system of motor vehicle insurance. That means regardless of who’s at fault in an accident all injured parties are eligible to receive statutory accident benefits for their reasonable and necessary medical, rehabilitation and attendant care needs, along with income replacement benefits if they are unable to return to work due to their injuries. 

The first step in any motor vehicle accident (whether or not it involves a motorcycle) is filling out the Application for Accident Benefits (OCF-1) form which will initiate the insurance claim. 

In addition, you will also need to complete the Proof of Loss form to initiate your claim for property damage. The claims adjuster will investigate the accident. The adjuster will likely see pictures of the accident, talk to witnesses, and look at police reports.

The adjuster will compare your accident to a database of 40 accident types and determine fault for each driver (ranging between 0-100%). If you were speeding, the adjuster will likely allocate a greater portion of the fault to you unless the other driver was also driving improperly. This will determine your property damage coverage and if your premiums will be adjusted.

Even if you are found partially or fully at fault for the accident because you were speeding, your access to statutory accident benefits is normally not impacted unless you are convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada. If you are convicted with dangerous driving or stunt racing due to the high speed you were travelling at the time of the accident, you will not be entitled to the income replacement benefit or the housekeeping benefit if you are catastrophically impaired (read more here).  

Why you may want to sue someone after a motor vehicle accident

If you will receive accident benefits after your accident, why would you need to sue anyone? There are many reasons why you may want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit after a motor vehicle accident:

  • You want to challenge the claims adjuster’s at-fault findings (for instance, 50% or over fault attribution can make your premiums shoot up and even preclude you from getting insurance).
  • You’ve been denied adequate accident benefits because your injuries have been classified minor or non-catastrophic.
  • The insurance payout does not compensate you for the pain and suffering you have undergone.
  • The insurance benefits available are insufficient to compensate your loss of future personal, social and professional prospects.
  • You need to claim additional expenses such as for medical treatment, attendant care, loss of income, and for sacrifices your family’s made to take care of you.

Can you sue for a motorcycle accident if you were speeding at the time?

Yes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario against the other driver(s) involved in a motor vehicle accident even if you were speeding at the time.

The fact that you were speeding does not prevent you from suing another driver, but it could affect the outcome of the case.

If you are partially at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by the fault percentage. This is the principle of contributory negligence. Read our article on contributory negligence to learn more.

Here’s the question you should be asking…

If you are partly to blame for the speeding motorcycle accident, then you should be asking:

 Is it worth it for me to sue the other driver?

 There are several factors that will affect the answer to that question, such as:

  • What is the value of your case? 
  • How much have you been found at fault?
  • Can the other driver pay compensation if you were to succeed?
  • Is there enough evidence to prove your case?

These are all questions you should be asking an experienced team of trauma lawyers. Thomson Rogers offers free consultations where you (or your loved ones) can discuss the case worry-free. There’s no obligation for you to retain us and discussions will be completely confidential. 

We’ll help you get the best medical treatment, tell you how much compensation you can receive, and keep you up-to-date with the latest motorcycle accident case law. 

Book a free consultation today to discuss your accident.

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