The story of Edmonton bicyclist Rylan Kafara has caught the
attention of many Albertans this week. Kafara has been handed a
$6,200.00 bill for damages he allegedly caused to an SUV in 2013,
while riding his bike. Although Kafara was injured in the accident,
the SUV's insurance company contends that he is responsible for
damage to their insured's vehicle.
Unlike most drivers of motorized vehicles, bicycle riders may
not think they need to carry liability insurance. However, the
possibility of negligently causing damage to someone else (by
hurting them and/or their property) when riding a bike is still
very real. The same holds for skateboarding, skiing, rollerblading,
etc. In such cases, homeowner/ tenant insurance may provide
defendants with personal liability coverage, if they have added
that to their policy.
At the same time, the possibility of being injured in a motor
vehicle accident by an uninsured, or underinsured, driver is also
very real. The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act has
established a fund for such cases in Alberta. Payments, however,
are limited to $200,000.00 and this fund will not pay for property
In order to further protect against damages caused by
underinsured drivers, Albertans can also purchase "SEF 44" coverage as an endorsement on
their own motor vehicle insurance policies. This family protection
endorsement can give you additional coverage (not exceeding the
liability limits of your own policy) in the event someone in your
household is injured in a motor vehicle accident by a defendant
without enough insurance.
If you have been hurt in an accident by someone without adequate
insurance, do not be deterred from contacting a lawyer about
pursuing your rights. Miller Thomson's personal injury lawyers
understand the insurance system, and will explore all sources of
potential coverage, even if the defendant in your claim failed to
do the same before they hurt you.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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