Dashcam Footage in Personal Injury Claims

Every year, hundreds of people are killed and tens of thousands are injured in car accidents in Canada. The impact of these accidents extends far beyond the people who are directly involved: families, friends, coworkers, and more are also affected. This far-reaching impact is why it’s so important for accident victims to work with an experienced car accident lawyer. If, for example, the person injured in the accident is the sole breadwinner for a family of four and is no longer able to work full-time, a car accident lawyer can help negotiate compensation that addresses the needs of the entire family.

But securing compensation isn’t as simple as submitting a list of expenses to an insurance company and waiting for a check to be delivered. Your car accident lawyer must establish who is liable for the accident, whether the accident was the cause of your injuries, and how much compensation is owed for those injuries.

Dashboard Cameras

Recently, dashboard cameras have become popular among the Canadian general public, with support from insurance providers, law enforcement, and personal injury lawyers. Often, they are adopted by people who have been involved in, or know someone who has been involved in, a traffic accident or insurance dispute.

Dashboard cameras are considered a reliable third-party witness in disputes over motor vehicle accidents, meaning they can help your car accident lawyer establish liability in a crash and, in some cases, prove causation of injuries. There are no privacy issues associated with dashcam footage, because roads are considered public places in Canada. As such, the footage is generally admissible in court. High-end cameras also record GPS positioning and speed, which can support liability claims.

Insurance providers favour dashboard cameras because they simplify the process of proving liability and reduce insurance fraud. In fact, some providers have considered offering discounts to drivers who use dashcams. Still, some members of both the insurance and personal injury fields believe the technology has flaws, not least of which is the risk of distraction.

“Dashcams may, like GPS devices, be a distraction if they’re not properly used,” said Pete Karageorgos, Insurance Bureau of Canada director of consumer and industry relations for Ontario, told the Canadian Press. “On the other side of the coin, if someone is involved in a crash or they witness something, the good thing about having dashcam video is it really is an impartial and unbiased witness to the events.”

It is also worth noting that although dashcam footage is admissible in general, it is unlikely to be accepted if it has been edited, cut, or manipulated in any way. From the moment of your accident, you should be careful to preserve it intact.

Even in cases where a car accident lawyer is not involved – hit and runs involving another vehicle, theft, vandalism, etc. – dashcam footage can help law enforcement identify suspects and make arrests.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

With the help of your dashcam footage, a car accident lawyer can identify the parties who are liable for your injury and pursue compensation to cover the cost of your recovery. As mentioned above, car accident injuries can be extremely serious. Recovery can involve months of medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy, as well as extended and perhaps permanent attendant care. In some cases, home renovations and mobility equipment may also be necessary.

These costs can add up quickly. Accident benefits obtained through your insurance provider can address some expenses, but it may be necessary to pursue additional compensation through a civil claim against the individuals who are responsible for your injuries. Dashcam footage, in addition to evidence collected at the scene of the accident, witness testimonies, police and medical reports and more, is essential to proving liability in your personal injury claim. An experienced car accident lawyer can review this evidence and offer advice on how to proceed.

Contact Will Davidson LLP

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a serious accident, contact Will Davidson LLP to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Our team will assess the viability of your claim and provide guidance as you consider your legal options.

Will Davidson LLP has represented seriously injured Ontarians for several decades. During that time, we have come to understand the serious mental, physical, emotional, and financial challenges that accompany a traumatic injury. Although we know that no amount of money can make up for the pain and suffering you have experienced, we also understand that financial compensation can relieve some of the pressures associated with your recovery. For that reason, in addition to free consultations, we are proud to offer our services on a contingency basis, which means you will not be asked to pay legal fees until your claim has been successfully settled. If we cannot secure compensation, we will not accept payment.

Highway 400 crash prompts calls for safety

 

A multi-vehicle collision involving fully loaded tanker trucks on provincial Highway 400 has spawned calls from safety advocates and motor vehicle accident lawyers for improved road safety on Ontario’s highways. The 14-vehicle accident, which occurred north of Toronto on Halloween night, caused three fatalities and left a small patch of the highway engulfed in flames. One police officer described the scene as “Armageddon.”

The Ontario Safety League (OSL), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reducing preventable deaths and injuries on the province’s roads, is calling for a coroner’s inquest to determine how similar accidents can be avoided.

“All of the parties that are involved in road safety in this province want to see things get better,” OSL President and CEO Brain Patterson said to the CBC. “There is no finger pointing, there’s just an opportunity to bring good parties together and come up with best practices for this province.”

Police believe both distracted driving and impaired driving contributed to the carnage: a suspected impaired driver is thought to have caused the initial backup, and an oncoming tanker truck collided with the delayed vehicles, the CBC reports.

Distracted driving has been an area of acute concern for law enforcement officers, motor vehicle accident lawyers, and safety advocates over the past several years. Unfortunately, efforts to curb the behaviour have been largely unsuccessful. In 2016, distracted driving contributed to more road fatalities than drunk driving or speed-related accidents.

“The message has not hit home to everybody. There are still many individuals who think they can multitask,” said Elliott Silverstein, government relations manager for the Canadian Automobile Association. “Your hands need to be on the wheel, your eyes on the road and focused on that, not stopping to rubberneck and look at incidents on the road, but making sure you are keeping the right amount of distance, following the rules of the road.”

The Government of Ontario recently tabled legislation to harshen distracted driving penalties, and numerous road safety groups have initiated awareness and education campaigns.

Addressing the Highway 400 accident, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Vince Hawkes warned against distracted driving while also urging truckers to exercise greater caution, particularly when carrying dangerous substances.

“These trucks are, in essence, missiles,” he said.

Though road fatalities have fallen in Ontario in recent years, from 517 in 2014 to 439 last year, trucks contribute to roughly 20 per cent of those deaths. Members of the trucking industry acknowledged they have room to improve.

“We are at a level of excellence with regards to mechanical fitness and driver behaviour,” said Ontario Trucking Association president Stephen Laskowski. “But we know we can do better and we know that through technology, enforcement and education we are going to get there.”

If you have suffered an injury in a traffic accident, contact the motor vehicle accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP to find out how our experienced and compassionate team can help.

 

Image credit: Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD on Twitter)

Is improper car seat usage contributing to children’s car accident injuries?

There are few things more distressing for car accident lawyers than litigating injury claims involving children. Unfortunately, these cases are a reality of the job: according to Transport Canada, more than 2000 Canadian children between the ages of 1 and 4 are injured or killed in car crashes each year. Quebec’s auto insurance board, SAAQ, recently reported that car accident injuries to children had risen by 8 per cent between 2012 and 2016, even while injuries and fatalities fell across the general population. According to an SAAQ spokesperson, improperly used car seats may have played an important role in this trend.

With that in mind, the car accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP would like to offer an overview of proper car seat and booster seat use, and answer some frequently asked questions.

What type of car seat does my child need?

Your child’s age and size generally dictates which car seat is best suited for them. Infants should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least one-year-old, and weigh at least 22 lbs. Even if your child is over one year of age, you should abide by the car seat’s instructions: if your child fits the seat’s recommended height and weight, keep them in it. There’s no need to rush to a front-facing seat.

At a certain point, however, your child will outgrow the rear-facing seat and will need something bigger. Children between 22 lbs. and 40 lbs. will generally be well-suited to a front facing seat. This stage usually lasts until the child is around four years old.

When your child gets too big for a front-facing car seat, it’s time to graduate to a booster seat, which they will occupy until they grow taller than 4’9”, or older than 9-years-old.

Proper rear- and front-facing car seat use

New car models must be equipped with a Universal Anchorage System (UAS), which facilitates the installation of both front and rear-facing car seats. Before you install your car seat, however, be sure to carefully read the manual and check that your child fits its specifications.

For rear-facing car seats, make sure the seat is positioned at a 45° angle. If the slope of your seat does not allow for this, you can use a firm towel roll or pool noodle to ensure the seat is positioned safely.

Front-facing car seats must be secured with a tether strap, which is attached at the top of the car seat. If your car doesn’t come equipped with tether anchors, consider asking your automotive dealer to install them.

Booster seats

Once your child has graduated to a booster seat, they will begin using your car’s installed seatbelt system. The seatbelt should fit your child like it does an adult: make sure the shoulder strap lays over the middle of your child’s collarbone rather than the neck, and that the lap belt lays over the hips, not the stomach.

Even with a properly installed car seat or booster seat, some automotive injuries are unavoidable. If you or your child has been injured in an accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP to find out how we can help.

 

Photo credit: Lars Plougmann/Flickr

MPs argue over constitutionality of proposed roadside testing bill

Automotive accident lawyers are keeping tabs on an ongoing debate in the House of Commons concerning the constitutionality of mandatory roadside breathalyzer tests. On June 13, federal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould took the floor to defend Bill C-46, which would allow police to demand breath samples without evidence of intoxication.

“Questions around its constitutionality have been raised,” Wilson-Raybould said, but she insisted the law will be “minimally intrusive” and that “the benefits in lives saved will be immeasurable.”

Deputy Attorney General William Pentney also stridently defended the bill.

“We’re not saying that every police officer that stops every person for a broken tail light must ask,” he said. “But we are saying that everyone who gets pulled over for whatever reason in whatever context should know that they might be asked, and if they’re asked, they have a legal obligation to comply.”

Under current roadside testing laws, police must have a reasonable suspicion of intoxication before demanding a breathalyzer test. With marijuana legalization on the horizon, however, fresh concerns about intoxicated driving have been raised by road safety advocates and automotive accident lawyers. Bill C-46 represents the Canadian government’s attempts to address those concerns; under the proposed law, police would also have the right to conduct saliva tests for marijuana intoxication.

Both the NDP and Conservative parties believe the policy would be difficult to defend under the Canadian Constitution.

“Let’s not underestimate the fact that this is a significant infringement on individual liberty when we’re talking about taking a bodily sample without the slightest hint of suspicion that someone is breaking the law,” said Conservative MP Michael Cooper.

The Liberals have used a number of arguments to defend the Bill, including pointing out that police would still need a good reason to pull someone over; that around half of all impaired drivers go undetected; and comparing a mandatory breathalyzer test to the existing requirement for drivers to show a valid license when they are pulled over.

Liberal MPs have also noted that Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland have all implemented similar strategies and have seen significant decreases in road-collision deaths, a result that would be welcomed by automotive accident lawyers.

While the opposition parties are well within their rights to question Bill C-46’s constitutionality, the Liberal government’s focus on reducing road traffic fatalities is also commendable. Whether or not the legislation can be passed in sync with Ottawa’s desired marijuana legalization date of July 1, 2018, remains to be seen.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident involving an intoxicated driver, contact the automotive accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP to discuss how we can help you access compensation for your injuries.

 

Image credit: KOMUnews/Wikimedia Commons

 

Ontario’s redefinition of catastrophic impairment puts injury victims at risk

Last June, the Government of Ontario enacted widely-publicized changes to its Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) which dictates how benefits are distributed to motor vehicle accident victims. Motor vehicle accident lawyers and advocates for injury victims were particularly disturbed by harsh cuts to available benefits, and for good reason: catastrophically injured individuals had access to a combined $2-million in medical, rehabilitative, and attendant-care benefits prior to the changes, and just $1-million after.

Slashed benefits were not the end of injury victims’ troubles, however. The Government also redefined “catastrophic” injuries, which has had significant negative impacts on some victims’ lives.

What are catastrophic injuries?

Determining whether a person is “catastrophically” injured depends on a number of criteria, including what part of the victim’s body is affected. Brain and spinal injuries are the most common causes of catastrophic impairment, though afflictions like blindness and chronic pain may also qualify.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), which regulates the province’s auto insurance industry, defines a variety of impairments as catastrophic, including paraplegia and quadriplegia; other injuries that permanently prevent a person from walking or using both arms; total blindness or vision loss in both eyes; and extreme impairment from mental or behavioural disorders.

In general, catastrophic impairment implies that an injury victim’s life has been severely – and often permanently – affected and that their ability to function in daily life has declined. This overarching sentiment holds true following the Government’s 2016 changes, but changes in methodology have impacted accident victims’ ability to access compensation. In particular, the decision to abandon the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in favour of imaging technology has drawn the ire of motor vehicle accident lawyers and their clients.

How redefining catastrophic impairment harms victims

An October 2016 report from the CBC illustrates why motor vehicle accident lawyers continue to be distressed by the province’s changes.

“Adam Bari, 34, was mistakenly pronounced dead by police when his motorcycle was T-boned on a rural road in Delhi, southwest of Hamilton, on June 1,” the report reads. “Investigators concluded he was not at fault in the crash.”

Bari suffered major injuries, including brain trauma. He scored a three on the GSC upon arrival in hospital, and an eight later on. Prior to June 1, any score under nine automatically qualified the victim as catastrophically impaired.

Because Bari’s injury occurred on June 1, however, this definition did not apply, and he was deemed not to have suffered catastrophic impairment. As a result, he and his family were able to collect just $86,000 in accident benefits. Had the crash occurred a day earlier, he would have been eligible for benefits of up to $2-million.

The Ontario Government instituted its changes to the SABS in an attempt to reduce auto insurance rates. Unfortunately, the move has done more to disadvantage injury victims – particularly those suffering from catastrophic impairment.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a serious automobile accident, contact the motor vehicle accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP today to learn how our dedicated, experienced team can help you access compensation.

Does your insurance policy cover you for accidents outside Ontario?

Summer vacation road trips are a great way to bond as a family and experience the size and diversity of North America. With just a few weeks left before the end of the school year, it’s time to start planning your route and deciding what to see and where to stay. Before you embark on your trip, you should take the time to consider what sort of coverage your auto insurance policy provides in different North American jurisdictions – if necessary, an auto insurance lawyer can help you understand your policy and suggest purchasing additional coverage.

The Standard Ontario Motor Vehicle Policy contains safeguards for car accidents outside of Ontario, including no-fault benefits for insured Ontarian motorists. These include benefits for income replacement benefits, attendant care benefits, lost education benefits, and death and funeral benefits. They may also cover visitors’ expenses, reimbursement for damaged medical devices, glasses and clothing, and in some cases benefits for housekeeping and home maintenance. An auto insurance lawyer can explain the scope of these benefits more fully.

If you plan on heading to the United States this summer, it’s important to understand that motor vehicle insurance policies are quite different south of the border. For instance, motorists in Ontario are required to carry at least $200,000 in liability coverage; most states have no minimum, and as such many motorists have limited coverage. This can cause significant issues for uninsured accident victims.

Many Ontario auto insurance policies include “Uninsured Automobile Coverage,” which can be useful when driving in the United States. The stipulation ensures that Ontario drivers are protected up to the limits of their policy’s liability coverage when involved in a collision with an uninsured driver. If you’re concerned that your needs may not be met, consider purchasing additional, enhanced accident benefits coverage prior to your trip.

Finally, the Family Protection Endorsement extends insurance coverage to some Ontario motorists’ family members if they are involved in an accident outside of Ontario. Once again, an auto insurance lawyer may suggest purchasing additional benefits if a family member is traveling to the States.

While insurance coverage rules vary by jurisdiction, most Ontario auto insurance policies do a good job of protecting Ontarians driving outside the province. If you’re planning an outside-Ontario trip, make sure to review your policy and, if necessary, talk to an auto insurance lawyer to ensure peace of mind on the road.

The personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP have been protecting Ontarians for decades. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact the team at Will Davidson today to book a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

Image credit: Clotee Pridgen Allochuku/Wikimedia Commons

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycles are a fun and exciting way to experience Canada’s expansive countryside, but also an inherently dangerous one. These small, relatively light vehicles can move extremely quickly and lack the safety measures built in to cars and trucks. For this reason, motorcycle accident lawyers are often asked to represent severely injured clients who require significant compensation to assist their recovery.

In 2016, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to almost 750 motorcycle crashes, in which 31 motorcyclists died, the second most in the last six years. In response, groups like the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) and the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council (MMIC) are eagerly promoting May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

“At the MCC our long-term goal is to make Canada the safest place to ride a motorcycle,” said MCC Chair Dave Millier in a release. “We’re encouraging everyone to take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge because behind the helmet, motorcyclists are mothers, fathers, children, and friends.”

The Motorcycle Safety Pledge urges motorcyclists to ride sober and within the limits of their ability, to obey traffic laws, and to make arriving alive their top priority. Advocacy groups and motorcycle accident lawyers hope these and other measures can make 2017 a safer year for riders.

What can you do to stay safe?

Make and share your travel plans: Before heading out on a ride, make a detailed plan including your destination, your route, and when you expect to be home. Share this plan with family and friends, and keep a fully charged cellphone with you at all times.

Travel in a group: Riding solo along an empty highway may be a romantic image, but if you’re in a crash you’ll want to have a friend nearby. A riding companion can call for emergency help in case of an accident or perform basic first aid, if necessary.

Never drink and ride: This rule applies equally to motorcycling as it does to driving a car, a boat, or a bicycle. Impairment through alcohol or drugs affects your judgment and reaction time, and can lead to serious injury or death. And unlike other motorists who drink and drive, motorcyclists do not have the benefit of airbags, windshields, or a reinforced roof.

Watch your speed: Speed was a significant contributing factor in many of the 31 motorcycling deaths in Ontario last year. Motorcycles are built for speed, but that doesn’t mean post speed limits don’t apply to you. They are there for your safety.

Rules for motorists: Road users must work together to ensure each other’s safety. Drivers of larger vehicles must be acutely aware of motorcycles on the road, as they are sometimes difficult to see. If you’re driving a car or truck on the highway, make sure to regularly check your blind spots for motorcyclists before switching lanes.

Contact an injury lawyer: If you are involved in an accident, a team of motorcycle accident lawyers can help you on your road to recovery. An experienced injury lawyer can take care of your legal proceedings while you focus on getting better.

The motorcycle accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP have years of experience helping injured Ontarians access compensation for their injuries. Our team has a reputation for compassionate, attentive service; contact us today to arrange a free consultation and learn about how we can help.

Avoid accidents during construction season in the GTA

 

Spring has officially arrived in Ontario! Across Canada, this transition is cause for annual celebration: the heavy boots and jackets are put away, the days get longer, and cottage season is right around the corner.

But as drivers in Oakville, Toronto, and the rest of the GTA are well aware, summer doesn’t come without its hardships, and chief among those is road construction. The region’s population is surging and its infrastructure is struggling to keep up, which means commuters can expect another summer of jackhammers and congestion.

Unfortunately, it may also mean a busy season for motor vehicle accident lawyers. Construction zones are a risky environment for drivers, workers, and pedestrians alike, and motorists must take extra caution to avoid inflicting injury on themselves or others. Let’s have a look at some measures you can take to avoid accidents.

Slow down

“There is a reason speed fines double in construction zones – to help foster a safe work environment for Ontario’s construction workers,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair in a 2016 release from the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA).

Road workers aren’t the only people that benefit from reduced speeds in construction zones. These work environments can be chaotic spaces, and travelling through them at high speeds reduces your ability to react to sudden impediments on the road. If you need to slam on your breaks, you put the cars behind you at risk; if you lose control of your vehicle, workers and pedestrians in the vicinity could be hurt. When you encounter a construction zone this summer, take your time and trust that the reduced speed is posted for a reason.

Stay alert

Law enforcement, motor vehicle accident lawyers and other advocacy groups have worked hard to highlight the dangers of distracted driving: cell phones, laptops, books, or passengers that take your eyes off the road significantly increase your chance of injury. This is especially true in construction zones, which are less stable environments than empty highways.

As you approach work zones this summer, end your hands-free phone call, turn down the baseball game on the radio, and devote your full attention to the task at hand.

Treat construction zones as if they were your own workplace

This tip comes directly from the ORBA, who said in its May 2016 release that “construction zones are workplaces and should be treated with respect and consideration for their workers.”

The motor vehicle accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP couldn’t agree more: road workers, especially on routes where vehicles travel at high speeds, are in an inherently vulnerable position. As you navigate the construction zone, follow the workers’ instructions, obey all visible signage, and remain patient. When planning your route, leave extra time to navigate any road construction you know you will encounter.

Call the motor vehicle accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP

If, despite these precautions, you or someone you know suffers an injury while driving through a construction zone this summer, make sure to contact the motor vehicle accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options.

Friends and families of traffic accident victims band together

In late October, a group named Friends and Families for Safe Streets (FFSS) launched in Toronto. The organization is comprised of relatives and loved ones of traffic victims who want to ‘put a human face’ on the issue of road safety, according to the Toronto Star. They are the first group of their kind in Canada.

Last year, 64 people died in traffic accidents in Toronto, 38 of whom were pedestrians. It was the highest number of traffic fatalities in the past five years, leading Toronto Police Const. Clint Stibbe to tell the CBC: “We are becoming worse drivers. We are not doing anything to make ourselves better drivers.”

Stibbe, it appears, was correct: as of FFSS’s Oct 25 meeting on the roof of City Hall, 65 road users had been killed in Toronto this year. Thirty-five of those fatalities were pedestrians, and one was a cyclist. If you or a member of your family has been injured in an motor vehicle accident, make sure to contact an Oakville automobile accident lawyer as soon as possible.

“The hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries we’ve seen over the years were all preventable,” said SSFF’s Kasia Briegmann-Samson, who lost her husband, Tom, in a cycling accident in 2012. “These are not numbers. These are lives. And for each individual killed there are scores of family members and friends who are also shattered.”

FFSS is calling for safer road design, tougher penalties on bad drivers, and lower speed limits in an effort to make the city’s streets less dangerous. In July, the City of Toronto announced an $80-million plan to improve road safety which incorporates some of these measures. After originally aiming to reduce injuries by 20 per cent over a decade, the plan now aims to eliminate traffic casualties altogether in accordance with the Vision Zero system, a multi-national road safety project originating in Sweden.

Toronto’s plan includes expanded use of “watch your speed” radar signs, street lighting improvements, m-right-turn-on-red provisions, longer pedestrian crossing times, and the creation of “pedestrian safety corridors,” the Star reported.

“The reality is this was a particularly tough year on our streets. And we need to make sure that we’re actually trying to achieve that Vision Zero,” Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton said at FFSS’s launch. “And if we’re not getting there – and obviously we seem to be going in the opposite direction – then we need to do something about that.”

As an experienced Oakville automobile accident lawyer will understand, a serious personal injury can impact all facets of a person’s life. Besides advocating for improved road safety regulations, Friends and Families for Safe Streets will also provide emotional support to people who have lost friends or family to traffic accidents. Losing a loved one under sudden circumstances presents a litany of challenges, including navigating Ontario’s complicated legal and insurance landscapes.

How can an Oakville automobile accident lawyer help?

Traffic accidents are extremely common: there have been approximately 60,000 traffic collisions in Toronto this year, each with the potential to cause serious injury or death. When you or a member of your family is injured in a traffic accident, it is important to immediately contact an experienced Oakville automobile accident lawyer to discuss the protections and potential compensations available to you. A personal injury lawyer can help you access funds to cover lost wages, medical treatment and rehabilitation services and, if necessary attendant care. Because of the complexity of Ontario’s legal and insurance landscape, accident victims can benefit greatly from the help of an injury lawyer.

If you or a member or someone you love has been hurt in an traffic accident, contact an Oakville automobile accident lawyer at Will Davidson LLP today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

Holiday Season Brings More Car Accidents

Holiday Season Brings More Car Accidents

A study done by All State Insurance shows that in the past 20 years, most car accidents have happened on three days: December 21, 22 and 23. The study counted insurance claims for car accidents in 50 separate communities in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick.

 A separate Global News study showed that December 23 is the worst day for car accidents in Toronto. An interesting chart showing the average amount of car accidents each day for 2001-2011 can be found here.

 

police at car accident scene
In Toronto, pedestrians accounted for almost 2/3 of all car accident fatalities in 2013.

Data for car accidents occurring on December 23 in Toronto shows that the top locations for car accidents were Scarborough Town Centre and Dufferin Mall. If you include the rest of the week, the top locations for car accidents also include Yorkdale Mall, Sherway Gardens and Fairview Mall.

Why the spike in car accidents? Clearly there is a link between last minute holiday shopping, rushing and car accidents. Other possible reasons include more people on the roads visiting friends and family, as well as poor weather conditions typical of the winter months.

In 2013, there were 63 total car accident fatalities in Toronto. Of those car accident fatalities, 40 were pedestrians, 7 were drivers, 7 were motorcyclists, 5 were passengers and 4 were cyclists. On a positive note, only 3 car accidents were attributable to drinking and driving.

The car accident fatality rate for Toronto is 2.26 deaths per 100,000 people, which is lower than Edmonton (3.30), Winnipeg (3.12), Ottawa (3.10), Calgary (2.86), Vancouver (2.85), Hamilton (2.62) and Montreal (1.76).

A large part of our practice is representing the families of loved ones that have been killed in car accidents while walking, jogging, running or cycling. More people have died on Canada’s roadways due to car accidents in the past 50 years than the number of Canadian soldiers killed in both world wars.

If a loved one has been died in a pedestrian or bicycle car accident, it is important that you contact a specialized lawyer immediately. The laws concerning pedestrian and cyclist fatalities due to car accidents and auto insurance are quite complex. For example, the Highway Traffic Act tells us the rules of the road and how to obey those rules, however, they do not mandate for or against pedestrians crossing at uncontrolled intersections. Also, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the law imposes a reverse onus, meaning the driver must prove that he or she was not at all negligent – at all. Every motorist has a duty to be observant of the conditions surrounding them while operating their vehicle and this duty includes keeping a lookout for pedestrians. When the driver of a car ignores safety, there is negligence.

There are also certain issues that a specialized lawyer will be able to assist you with. There may be certain financial benefits available to a person who was hit or killed in a car accident to cover death and funeral costs. There is also the availability of a wrongful death claim which would seek compensation to all eligible surviving family members entitled to financial compensation and recovery for their loss. There may also be death and funeral benefits that a family may be entitled to, as well as financial income losses to help compensate the surviving spouse or child for financial losses they suffer due to increased family responsibilities or perhaps even the loss of a dual family income. Our Oakville car accident lawyers can provide you the specialized representation you need to bring claims for pedestrian or cyclist fatalities due to car accidents. Please contact us for a free consultation.

To see an old post about car accident statistics in Toronto, please click HERE.

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