Unfortunately, a lot of negligently caused accidents are a very frequent and regular cause of different traumatic spinal cord injuries. Every single year, about 4,000 different new cases of spinal cord injuries are reported in Canada. Of this total amount, about 42% are considered to be traumatic. They result from significant and rather violent external physical impact – one that frequently results and occurs in a motor vehicle accident. The injuries which are associated with these include fractures, contusions as well as dislocations of the vertebral column of the victim. Spinal cord injuries are also ranked as the number one most common cause of chronic pain syndrome which results from an accident. (more…)
Public transit accidents are also quite common and they are one of the most regular causes for orthopedic injuries. These are the accidents which are going to involve the vehicles of the line of public transportation of the province of Ontario. They are usually going to have resulted from improper driving behavior of the driver of the public vehicle but they can also be caused by the incompetence of other drivers involved in the traffic.
Pressing civil charges
However, they are going to become of interest to the law when there is a citizen involved and he has had to sustain any injuries. He is liable to pressing civil charges and seeking monetary compensation for the damages that he has had to incur but the question is who is going to be liable for them. This is an incredibly important topic to discuss as there are a lot of potential damages that might be claimed in the event of a public transit accident.
If the driver of the public vehicle is at fault and he has caused the injury with his own improper driving behavior and inability to follow the traffic regulations he would be the one that the victim can file his claim against. However, for the protection of the victim, the law has foreseen one more opportunity – the right to seek legal compensation from the municipality itself. This is a situation under which the driver is insured against situations of the kind and his insurance policy is issued by the municipality. If that’s the case, the latter would have to pay the injured party under the terms of the particular insurance policy.
Getting the claim and proving liability
However, if the driver wasn’t at fault and the accident was caused by another driver involved in the traffic, the injured party would have to file his claims towards the one who has actually caused the accident in the first place. This is a fair solution as no one should be liable for the wrongful actions of someone else unless he is legally responsible for this someone. Your lawyer will work to prove that the driver was negligent if you are a victim and need to get the compensation.
It is important to get these things sorted out on time as the injuries that could result from public transit accidents can be quite serious. Furthermore, you need to understand that this is something that’s capable of causing potential short or long term disabilities and is without a doubt not a threat to be taken lightly. Make sure that you have these things all figured out and seek the aid and support of a professional lawyer in order to make sure that all of the procedures are followed properly and as per the current legislation so that you can get the compensation that you are entitled to if you are the victim of an accident of the kind.
The fact is that almost all car accidents which end up with traumatic injuries or death are handled mostly through the insurance company of the individual. This is the most common practice in Ontario and it usually doesn’t involve legal claims and lawsuits. However, there are few situations, limited as they might be, in which you can actually pursue the matter beyond the insurance company and in court by filing claims against the driver who is actually responsible for the entire accident in the first place.
The first thing that you should consider doing if you’ve been involved in such a situation is to phone the police while you remain on the accident scene. There are two possible scenarios from there on: the police could either attend the accident scene if it was serious or it could redirect you to the Collision Reporting Centre which is closest to you in order to file the required paperwork for handling your insurance claim.
If the other driver was liable for the accident you might be entitled to claiming additional reimbursement apart from your regular insurance. It is highly advisable that you take this for discussion with your personal injury lawyer. You should also be aware of the fact the fault is going to be determined and distributed by the Fault Determination Rules which have been dully established under the Insurance Act of Ontario. There are five additional circumstances under which you’d be entitled to filing a claim for addition compensation.
Loss of Income as well as loss of your earning ability: You can sue the driver which is found at fault for compensation about loss of income, both future and present as well as for loss of earning ability. The compensation is limited to 80% of the net amount of income that you lost.
- Pain and Suffering: If your injuries are serious as well as permanent, you can sue the driver for pain and suffering. However, you should know that this is decided by the judge and if you get awarded with a compensation, there is a $30,000 deductible.
- Health costs: You can sue the other driver for recovery of expenses that you made for health recovery, provided that the injuries were very serious. Orthopedic injuries as well as traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries fall within this category.
- Housekeeping maintenance: This is particularly interesting because it covers the losses that you’ve sustained as a result of the accident because you are unable to take care of yourself as a result of the injuries caused to you.
- Claims for family: Your family is also entitled to sue for loss of care, companionship as well as guidance, provided that the accident caused severe damages or death.
To ensure that you are not deprived of your rights and the compensatory claim, it is best to work with a personal injury lawyer in Toronto or Brampton as they understand the law.
In Ontario Province, individuals who have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident have the right to claim benefits from insurers or sue the at-fault driver. These cases are oftentimes referred to as tort claims. Therefore, it is important that you understand how most personal injury lawsuits work and when you can file a lawsuit against an at-fault or negligent driver.
Definition of Negligence in Personal Injury Law
You may be able to sue for damages (monetary compensation) if you sustained injuries in an accident that was caused by an at-fault of negligent driver. According to the Legal Dictionary, the term “negligence” is defined as the:
“failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the circumstances or taking action which such a reasonable person would not.”
In personal injury or tort law, the area referred to as negligence involves non-intentional harm or in other words, harm that results through carelessness. The laws regarding negligence are extremely complex, but in the simplest of terms, the following must be proved in order to find a person negligent:
- damages were caused by the defendant or the person that is being sued
- defendant acted or behaved below the legal standard of reasonable care
- defendant must have proximately caused the damages or was not too remote from the plaintiff when the damages occurred and they sustained injuries
- defendant was bound by legal duty to avoid any damages
- plaintiff has suffered some form of emotional, physical, or property damage
- plaintiff’s conduct prior to the accident occurring may impact their right to sue for compensation or recover damages
According to Provincial Law, you have 2 years from the date that the accident occurred to sue the at-fault or negligent driver. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to extend the 2-year time limit. However, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer where this is concerned. It is best to contact them in Toronto or Hamilton as early as possible after the accident so you don’t lose any time.
Types of Damages
Damages in a personal injury lawsuit are categorized in 1 or 3 ways – non-pecuniary, pecuniary, and punitive (see “What Types of Damage Claims are filed in Personal Injury Lawsuits?”). You can sue for the following damages provided negligence can be proven in your case:
- Attendant care expenses incurred during recovery
- Future medical, recovery, and rehabilitation expenses
- Home maintenance and housekeeping expenses
- Loss of past and future income
- Non-pecuniary damages for pain and suffering
- Pecuniary damages for any out-of-pocket expenses attributed to your accident and your physical impairment
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries, it is advisable that you consult with a personal injury lawyer. He or she can determine if you’re entitled to compensation and will ensure that your rights are protected during the legal process.
In Part I of this series, the content focused on the “Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act” and how it impacted distracted drivers and the reduction of cyclist fatalities and severe injuries. While the changes in this law went into effect on September 1st, 2015, it also applies to drivers who are drinking alcohol and driving, the “Move Over” law, and pedestrian crossovers. As with the infractions discussed in Part I, the penalties and fines for these will be increased significantly and will hopefully reduce the frequency of cases that a personal injury lawyer will have to handle in the future.
- Driving while under the influence – according to the Ministry, individuals in Hamilton who are convicted of “driving under the influence” will face the same fines and penalties as persons convicted of drunk driving. License suspensions could range from as little as 3 up to 90 days. Furthermore, their vehicle will be impounded for a week. On a side note, alcohol or drugs were found to be present in 45% of the fatalities that occurred during last year.
- The “Move Over” law – there will also be implications for motorists passing emergency vehicles when they have pulled over to the side of the road while having their blue and red lights flashing. This also applies to any tow truck that has pulled over to assist a motorist with their amber lights flashing. Under the newly altered law, drivers convicted of breaking these rules will have to pay a $490 fine and receive 3 demerit points.
- Pedestrian crossovers – whenever a motorist sees a pedestrian within a crossover or school crossing, they now have to wait until that person has crossed the street and is on the other side before they proceed to move forward. According to the Ministry of Transportation, roughly 50% of all fatalities that have been recorded and involve pedestrians in these street crossing venues typically occur at intersections. With the new law, pedestrians will hopefully be safer when crossing the city streets.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured as a result of these accidents or the issues involving distracted drivers, the best course of action is to seek the legal counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Hamilton and their legal team. In addition to filing a claim and hopefully getting you the compensation you are deserving of, they will ensure that your rights are protected while undergoing the legal process and recovery. To ensure that you are comfortable, the lawyers make home visits or hospital appointments so that no time is wasted in filing the case.
Keep in mind that cases of this nature are extremely complex and oftentimes very time-consuming. So it is always best to seek the legal representation of a personal injury lawyer that specializes in cases involving these newer road safety rules.