Has Highway Traffic Act Lowered the Number of Car accidents?

Now, it goes without saying that car accidents are common sight. Unfortunately, this has become the most regular type of accident and as it turns out – it’s also the one causing the most casualties. The reasons for this are various and regardless of how stringent of legislation the province enacts, car accidents are still incredibly common in Canada, especially in the province of Ontario.

Highway Traffic Act

There is a wide range of different legislative regulations which would include some provisions regarding car accidents but the major one would be the Highway Traffic Act as well as the Insurance Act of Ontario. This might sound a bit odd at first but we would get to this later. The Highway Traffic Act is a piece of legislation which governs the overall traffic conditions and provides a variety of stipulations which would put the operation of a vehicle in order. Following the act would ensure that you won’t get penalized and it would severely diminish the possibilities of an accident. Of course, no piece of legislation is going to guarantee a 100% reduction of the accidents as the majority of them would happen because of human mistakes.

Insurance Act of Ontario

In any case, as mentioned above, the Insurance Act of Ontario is also an incredibly important piece of legislation. The reason for this is quite obvious. If you took a look at recent statistics, you’d see that over 90% of the accidents would never reach the court room. They are settled in advance by negotiating an out-of-the-court agreement or they are simply a matter of insurance. The Insurance Act of Ontario would set forth clear and concise rules of fault determination which are also foreseeing the application of the so called “no fault” rule. This particular stipulation means that the insurance company is going to cover the damages, regardless of who’s at fault.

Even if you are the one who caused the accident in the first place, your insurance company is going to cover the damages that you’ve caused to the opposite party. This is a stringent approach which sets forth a broad spectrum of compensatory obligation on behalf of the insurance company but it’s a social convention which is overly well appreciated by society and it serves it pretty well so far.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that fault won’t be distributed. The insurance company is going to conduct this precise process on its own in order to assign the fault to the liable party. While it won’t affect the compensation matter, it’s going to have an effect on the calculations for the premiums that you have to pay in order to keep your insurance policy valid throughout the time being. You might want to talk with your lawyer and ensure that everything is in place. They understand all aspects of the case and with car accidents on the rise, legal protection is needed.


Causes and Consequences of Distracted Driving

One of the main causes of auto accidents in cities like Brantford, Cambridge, Hamilton, and throughout the Greater Toronto Area is distracted driving.  In fact, recent statistics have shown that accidents and injuries resulting from distracted driving now exceeds those that are caused by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Cyclists and pedestrians have also sustained injuries at the hands of distracted drivers.  Needless to say, motor vehicle drivers fail to understand the damage that can be done when they are distracted while driving. And that is one of the leading causes for personal injury claims.

Definition of Distracted Driving

Basically, when a motorist drives without paying attention to the road and other vehicles around them, this is referred to as “distracted driving” and is viewed as impaired driving.  When your driving is impaired, your judgment along with your reaction time is adversely affected.  For instance, if you are paying attention to something other than the road while you are driving, then you are probably distracted and not exercising the proper amount of caution that you should be.

Ontario Laws regarding Distracted Driving

There are very specific laws prohibiting distracted driving in in Brantford, Cambridge, Hamilton, and other cities throughout Ontario Province.  It is illegal to look at or use any monitor or screen that is unrelated to driving a motor vehicle or to use any type of hand-held device.  As a result, you cannot use a hand-held GPS but you can if it is a mounted device.  Furthermore, you are not allowed to do the following:

  • hold an MP3 player
  • hold and use a cellphone
  • text on your cellphone
  • view a DVD screen
  • view a laptop

According to the Distracted Driving Law of Ontario Province, you can be fined and/or jailed if you are convicted of distracted driving and even have your driving privileges revoked.  Additionally, if you can be held accountable (liable) and sued in court for damages and losses if your distracted driving causes an accident.

What causes Drivers to be distracted?

In the cities of Brantford, Cambridge, Hamilton, and throughout the GTA, Ontario’s laws regarding distracted driving apply to the use of any hand-held device or viewing monitors and screens, there are other forms of this to be aware of.  The following are 3 of the most common types of distractions:

Cellphone use – talking and texting are major causes of accidents and even though you are allowed the use of Bluetooth headsets, they can be distracting and cause accidents.

Drinking and eating – if your focus is on one or both of these, then you are obviously not focused on the road and vehicles around you.

Lost in thought or daydreaming – thinking about something other than driving is a form of distracted driving as well.  This could delay your reaction time when a dangerous situation arises and may cause you to get in an accident.

What Types of Damages can I recover in My Personal Injury Lawsuit?

You normally see 3 types of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits – General, Special, and Punitive.  The first two are compensatory and their purpose is to provide the plaintiff monetary compensation for his or her economic losses.  In other words, they are supposed to make the person whole again.  The third type, punitive damages, are meant to punish the person responsible for the accident and hit it where it hurts him the most – in their wallet.  The following is an in-depth look at these.

General (non-economic) damages – these damages compensate the victim for a number of their non-economic losses such as:

  • emotional and mental anguish
  • loss of care, companionship, and a decreased quality of life (paid to survivors in a wrongful death claim)
  • permanent physical disfigurement
  • permanent physical impairment
  • physical pain and suffering

Losses of this nature are extremely difficult to calculate as you cannot assign an economic value to the distress you are experiencing.  Consequently, the insurance company along with your Toronto personal injury lawyer may have a formula for calculating the amount of damages.

Special (economic) damages – the compensating of the plaintiff for economic losses they have suffered as a result of their injuries is the main intention of special damages.  The courts will usually award compensation for a number of economic losses such as:

  • Cost of repairing or replacing damaged property
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of items that are deemed irreplaceable
  • Lost income (past and future)
  • Past and future medical expenses

As with general damages, the intention of special damages is to compensate the injury victim (plaintiff) for the losses that the defendant has caused.  The court will consider factors such as lost wages based on time away from the job, medical expenses, and property damage when calculating the amount of compensation to be awarded.

Punitive damages – just as the name implies, punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff for the purpose of punishing the person who is at fault for the accident and your injuries.  Rather than making the plaintiff whole again, these damages are intended to be a deterrent or warning to avoid this type of negligent or reckless behavior in the future.  It also serves to notify other individuals that negligent or reckless behavior will not be tolerated by the courts.

If you’ve recently sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident in the cities of Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton as well as anywhere else in Ontario Province, you could be entitled to compensation for general, special, and possibly punitive damages.  However, this is extremely difficult to do on your own.  So why risk settling for less? You owe it to yourself to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. Not only will they be helpful but will go that extra mile to ensure that you are not inconvenienced while you recover. To help, they schedule appointments and visit you at the hospital or at home.

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Personal Injury Settlement

While personal injury cases in Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton as well as other communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area are oftentimes complex, there are a number of tips for maximizing your recovery in the settlement process to be aware of.  Though your lawyer would try his/her best to do that, the following tips could be extremely helpful when it comes to maximizing your personal injury settlement.

If you haven’t retained a personal injury lawyer, now is the time to do so – it is very difficult to get the settlement you have in mind if you haven’t retained a personal injury lawyer to represent you and your case.  Not only do they have the experience and the expertise necessary to winning your case, they will ensure that your rights to fair and reasonable compensation are protected. Having a professional in your corner that can understand the law is essential.

Go into negotiations knowing how much you will settle for – naturally you will have an ideal amount in mind but you will probably have to decrease that slightly in order for the insurance company to settle with you.  Go with the amount that your lawyer feels your case is worthy but have a bottom line amount (the lowest amount your will settle for) in mind.  Only you and your lawyer should know what your bottom line amount is.  Do not share this figure with the insurance company adjuster.

Emphasize the emotional points that favor your case – be sure to mention any emotional strong points that support your settlement amount.  If you sent the adjuster a letter with photos of your injuries or your badly damaged vehicle, be sure that you refer to these during negotiations.  While it is almost impossible to place a dollar value on these emotional points, they can be helpful in getting the settlement you deserve.

Never accept the first offer – it goes without saying that the adjuster is going to low ball your settlement amount and while you may be anxious to settle, you could be cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars by jumping at the first offer.  However, keep in mind that you already know what your claim is worth based on your lawyer’s calculations.  If the adjuster’s initial offer is reasonable but still too low, be prepared to respond with a counteroffer immediately.

Make the adjuster validate a low offer – if the initial offer is so low that you know it’s a negotiating tactic or that they are testing you to see if you really know the value of your case, tell him or her to justify the amount they offered.  Keep notes during the course of the conversation.  Depending on their reasons for offering the amount they did, you may want to lower your demand amount slightly.

Once you and the insurance company adjuster have agreed on a settlement amount, put everything in writing in a confirmation letter to the adjuster.

What is the Point of View of Injury Lawyers in Cambridge on Product Liability Cases?

An Injury Lawyer in Cambridge is going to take care of a lot of different cases, considering that the area of personal injury law is incredibly vast. However, the state of Ontario has Provincial laws that differ from the ones set forth by other states and they should be taken into consideration as they are the only ones that have legal effect on society. With this in mind, we recognize several different potential causes for personal injury cases that may require the contracting of an Injury Lawyer in Cambridge.

Product liability

These are cases which derive from defective or all in all faulty product. The responsibility may be carried out by the manufacturer or by the vendor, provided that the latter has purchased the right to sell the product. As per Ontario’s current legislation, this kind of responsibility may derive from both Contractual law and basic negligent behavior.

When it does derive from the Contract Law, the Sale of Goods Act takes effect and the case should be resolved accordingly. The aforementioned act clearly governs that every product should fit the set forth standards and should be fit for general usage. If the product does not meet these criteria the vendor may be hold responsible in the event of an injury as result of the defect.

When the case derives from the negligent behavior of the vendor or manufacturer, respectively, there is also a duty of care involved. This suggests that the selling party should take proper care of the product and if this duty is somewhat breached it could be held liable.

Car accidents

Car accidents are often grounds for insurance disputes and some Injury Lawyers in Cambridge offer representation in front of the insurers. It is important to know that the Rules of Fault Determination take place in the state of Ontario and as per them a certain amount of fault should be assigned to each of the involved in the car crash. The fault is then calculated and the compensations are reduced accordingly. Of course, if the fault is 0% then the victim is entitled to the full amount of the compensation.

Slip and fall accidents

These take place when there is a breach of the Occupier’s Liability Act. The cited legal provision governs that each owner or an entity that is in charge of managing certain property should take the require precautions to prevent any sorts of incidents involving other citizens. Therefore, if you slip and fall on a slipper floor in a shop and the owner or the tenant haven’t placed an alarming sign, you are going to be fully entitled to file a compensatory claim for the injuries that you have had to suffer from. That is because you had no prior knowledge or warning about it and suffered the injuries due to the negligence of others.