Canadian air, rail accidents rose in 2017

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Each year, thousands of Canadians are killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. A personal injury lawyer spends a significant portion of their time responding to inquiries from and providing legal representation to victims of motor vehicle accidents.

However, traffic accidents are by no means the only source of injury in Canada. Indeed, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB), the federal agency responsible for advancing transportation safety across Canada, recently reported that 2017 was an above average year of incidents involving commercial aircraft. Ninety-four incidents occurred, more than the five-year average of 79 and well above last year’s total of 63. Nine of those incidents involved passenger aircraft, including Canada’s first fatal accident since 2011. Individuals who have been injured in aircraft accidents can seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer.

The Canadian Federal Pilots Association (CFPA) placed blame for the increase on cutbacks by the federal government, including less oversight and fewer in-person reviews by Transport Canada.

“They’re down to doing process inspections, which is sort of the third level of inspection that the department can do,” CFPA national chair Greg McConnell told the Canadian Press. “An analogy that I like to use is if you were going to buy a car, and you brought a mechanic with you, you would want the mechanic to check the whole car. You wouldn’t want the mechanic to just check the electrical system.”

The number of fatalities and serious injuries that occurred on Canadian railways also rose slightly last year. Between collisions at railway crossing and incidents involving trespassing, 72 people were killed and 44 seriously injured in 2017. Forty-five per cent of the deaths occurred in Ontario.

For comparison, 65 people were killed in 2016, 45 were killed in 2015, and 54 were killed in 2014. Serious injuries for those years ranged from 35 to 50.

This February, the TSB issues a call for governments and rail companies to improve safety at railway crossings following a report on the 2016 death of a disabled man in Moncton, New Brunswick. The man was struck and killed by a train after his wheelchair became stuck while he attempted to navigate a public railway crossing in the city’s downtown.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury as a result of a railway accident, a car accident, or an accident involving an aircraft, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer like those working at Will Davidson LLP. Our team can assess the validity of your case and offer advice on how to proceed with your claim.

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