On March 24th the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in Economical Mutual Insurance Company v. Caughy, 2016 ONCA 226 that a car does not need to be moving for an injured person to get auto insurance benefits.
A person tripped over a parked motorcycle after having a few libations. He was playing tag with his daughter when he tripped and suffered a very serious spinal cord injury.
The Court of Appeal ruled he was entitled to get insurance benefits, even though the vehicle was parked. They upheld the lower court judge’s ruling that that the temporary parking of the motorcycle on the walkway that evening constituted an ordinary or well-known use of the vehicle.
So what does this mean to cyclists? If you hit a parked car with your bike and you’re injured, you will be entitled to insurance benefits. If you do not have car insurance yourself, you would be entitled to benefits from the insurance company of the owner of the parked car you hit.
It does not matter if no one is in the car. It also does not matter if the car is legally or illegally parked.
If this happens to you while riding, make sure you or someone with you takes a snap shot of the car and the licence plate.
For drivers, avoid parking on streets and in bike lanes; it is safer for your car, cyclists and your insurance premiums.
To find out more as to what benefits you may be entitled check out our Bike Law FAQ’s
Enjoy your ride!