When a 35-year-old driver received a 14-month jail sentence for disregarding a red light and not stopping after striking a cyclist in Ontario, many regarded the sentence inadequate. However, regardless of how the criminal court punished this driver, time behind bars could not help the victim of his negligent driving. The cyclist he struck suffered brain injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life.
The accident happened in July 2018 when the cyclist rode through an intersection while the light was green. However, at that moment, a driver who accelerated to get through the crossing before the light turned red struck the cyclist. Officials say there was nothing to show that he attempted to stop. Nevertheless, the driver continued driving after striking the cyclist until a police officer caught up with him several blocks further.
Amazingly, the cyclist survived, but the injuries he suffered were severe and traumatic. His brain injuries and a spinal fracture caused permanent disabilities, for which he will have to undergo continuing medication, rehabilitation and physical therapy. His previous active lifestyle and independence are forever gone, replaced by the need for emotional, psychological and physical support. Furthermore, he developed post-traumatic stress disorder that prevented him from returning to work, and he ultimately lost his job six months later.
Victims of accidents caused by negligent drivers in Ontario may not realize that they might have grounds to pursue financial relief. With evidence of negligence and documented losses and damages, a personal injury lawsuit might be viable. Victims of brain injuries could seek recovery of past and future losses of both financial and emotional damages.