Has ‘Making Ontario Roads Safer’ Act Reduced Pedestrian Accidents?

Pedestrian accidents have become increasingly common in the different cities and province of Ontario and that’s why the Ministry of Transportation has effectively introduced a lot of changes and new implementations in the Making Ontario Roads Safer Act. The previous texts in the law included severe charges for people who are texting and driving at the same time, amongst other improper and behaviors that impair driving skills and disrupt concentration while on the road.

Now, as of the 1st of January, 2016, the fines are also including a new rule – it requires drivers to stay put while the pedestrians cross the street. This is particularly mandatory for specially marked zones and the drivers are required to stay put until the passenger has fully passed onto the other side of the street bank. It’s also worth noting that the Ministry of Transportation has obliged the drivers to take extra caution at crossovers around schools which have a crossing guard with a sign with him.

Failing to comply with these rules is going to result in a financial fine ranging between $150 and $500 as well as three additional demerit points. At the same time, these amounts are going to be doubled if the rules are breached within a community safety zone which are clearly marked and are generally found near the schools and many other public areas.

In any case, the legislative organ is definitely on the right track. Pedestrian accidents are an increasing phenomenon and action must be taken to be reduce it. The legislation of Ontario in this particular regard doesn’t offer something special and the pedestrian is left with the choice of a direct lawsuit towards the driver, should he be involved in a pedestrian accident. In any case, filing the claim is pretty straightforward, such as the entire trial procedure itself. However, the claim might be quite extensive and for a lot of money. This is due to the fact that the pedestrian accident might have led to some severe injuries, both physical and emotional. This is why claims of the kind shouldn’t be taken lightly.

It’s also worth noting that the claimant bears the obligation to prove that the injuries have resulted from the accident and there is a present causality link between them. This might not always be that easy so cautious should be exercised. In any case, an event of the kind could be quite traumatic and it could lead to some horrible orthopedic injuries and in some situations the accident could even be fatal. Victims are entitled to claim for incurred financial loss, loss of income, loss of earning ability, pain and suffering and basically everything else you can think of.

If you have been injured as a pedestrian, you are covered under Ontario tort laws and can seek redressal for your injuries. However, it is essential that you have an able and experienced lawyer to help you with the processes.


Judging Chronic Pain as Subjective Vs. Objective Disability

Have you ever wondered how does an insurer, a jury or a judge manage to assess the pain level of a plaintiff? If it’s not visible on the MRI scan, how can the court really know how much pain the claimant feels? Furthermore, what is to stop someone to make a claim that he’s thoroughly disabled by lying to the Court and to his doctor as well? How can you be sure that someone is telling the truth when he attests to his pain levels?

These are all particularly cogent and reasonable questions. However, whether you believe it or not, the way personal injury claims as well as long term disability claims work in Canada make it rather hard for someone to actually fake it.

Objective injuries

To start with, you would have to be able to distinguish objective and subjective injuries. The former is an injury which is going to have some sort of visual representation on your body. A broken bone, a wound and any other sorts of physical injuries that you can think of – all of these are objective injuries. All of them are going to show up on the x-ray or MRI and even if they are not visible for the naked eye like a hematoma of the brain, for instance, their nature does not change.

Subjective injuries

However,subjective injuries are those which would not be visible on scans, MRIs, x-rays and so forth. They can’t be perceived by the human’s eye. Some injuries could show up after a battery of consequential psychological examinations. Common examples include depression, fatigue, memory loss, anxiety, loss of concentration and chronic pain. These are never going to appear on any x-ray and they can’t be physically perceived.

This is the main reason for which the jury and the judge is going to require actual, physical evidence that you are suffering from them. Remember those subjective conditions that we just mentioned? Guess what – they are determined through a series of tests. The judge is going to require those tests in order to make an informed conclusion. What is more, the court is capable of requiring an expert to attest to the condition of the claimant.

So, if are still under the illusion that you can actually fake chronic pain, for instance, you can’t be farther away from the truth. Not only is that impossible, but it’s also going to be costly and potentially illegal. However, keep in mind that if you are going through a subjective injury of the kind and you want to claim it, your say-so is definitely not going to be enough. You have to have the materials to back it up in court through solid evidence.

It is best to hire a good lawyer that can substantiate your claims with the assistance of medical and health care professionals. Faking anything does not work as there is a battery of tests and pain management specialists that can differentiate between a real and fake claim.

Legal Regulations Dealing With Car Accidents

The truth is that there is quite a lot of legal regulation which is dedicated to car accidents and the results that stem from it. And this is definitely a good thing. Especially if we take into account the frequency with which these accidents tend to happen as well as the harmful consequences which usually derive from them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the Insurance Act of Ontario – a piece of legislation which governs how the insurance is paid out and in under which circumstances.

Insurance Act of Ontario

The Insurance Act of Ontario is a comprehensive and cogent piece of legislation which poses strict provisions that have to be abided by when it comes to claiming compensation as well as when it has to be repaid. You see, in a car accident case there are always going to be at least two parties – the claimant, who is usually the victim of the accident who had to incur the damages and the liable party or, in most situations, the insurance company. We say in most situations because unless it’s specifically mentioned in the Insurance Act, the rules of Fault Determination are going to kick in and activate one very important clause.

This clause is commonly referred to as the “No Fault” rule and it’s laid out in the aforementioned act. With this in mind, the rule basically stipulates that regardless of who’s at fault, the compensation is going to be paid out by the insurance company. Of course, there are exemptions. For instance, if the driver who caused the accident was under the influence, he’s going to lose his privileges that derive from this rule.

Challenging Situations

However, if there are no exemption conditions and the victim wants to get compensated, he should be seeking it out of the insurance company. The process is particularly challenging as these companies are going to do whatever they can to reduce your compensation and delay it in time as that’s how they report their profits.

In any case, you should keep into account that just because there is a “No Fault” rule in motion, this doesn’t mean that fault is not going to be assigned. The investigation is carried by the insurance company and it’s going to assign fault accordingly. This is done so that the premiums could be adjusted properly based on the involvement of the insured party in the accident and the fault that he has for its occurrence in the first place. This is due to the fact that you are going to have an elevated risk factor and as such are going to be subjected to higher premiums. That is how insurance companies operate and that’s what you’d have to take into account.

This is one of the major reasons that you need a good lawyer in your corner to assist you through the negotiations or trial.

Timing is Essential in a Personal Injury Lawsuit, but there are 4 other Key Factors that must be considered

Most of us are familiar with the old adage “time is money.”  However, it goes far beyond that in personal injury lawsuits.  Regardless of the type of accident you’ve experienced and the severity of the injuries you’ve sustained, there are certain deadlines or time limits under tort law within which you are able to file your lawsuit.  Barring any special circumstances, once that time limit has expired, you can no longer sue.  In most cases, the time limit in a personal injury claim is 2 years. Thus, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer at the earliest to ensure that your rights are well-represented.

According to Ontario Provincial Statute 2002, c. 24, Sched. B, s. 4., “…a proceeding shall not be commenced in respect of a claim after the second anniversary of the day on which the claim was discovered.”  Given the fact that they have up to 2 years to file a lawsuit, many injury victims oftentimes wonder why there is an urgent need to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.  The fact is that there is much more that needs to be considered than timing and the Statute of Limitations.

4 Factors that play a key Role in Personal Injury Lawsuits

While the Statute of Limitations is an important factor to consider in any personal injury claim and/or lawsuit, there are 4 other factors that must be considered as well as ones that can play a significant role in the overall scheme of things.  These include:

·         Enlisting the services of a personal injury lawyer as soon after your accident as possible ensures that your rights will be protect and that you receive the maximum compensation or Statutory Accident Benefits that you are entitled to.

·         Personal injury law is an extremely complex field and it is extremely difficult for injury victims to navigate through the legal process, especially when they are overwhelmed by what they have experienced.

·         Personal injury lawyers can ensure that potential claims are properly documented and followed (probably the most critical factor).

·         Waiting until you have almost reached the Statute of Limitations for your case to contact a personal injury lawyer instead of doing so as soon as you are able could discount your credibility as well as the credibility of your case.

Where the last point above is concerned, credibility also refers to how you’ve been living your life while you delayed filing any sooner.  Most importantly, if you’ve been unable to work because of your injuries, make sure you have proper medical documentation to verify your claim.

Naturally, there are exceptions to the Statute of Limitations such as being a minor at the time of your accident or being psychologically unable to file your claim.  If you have any questions regarding this or any of the above, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Problem with mixing Your Personal Injury Case with Social Media

One of the best pieces of advice any personal injury lawyer can depart to their client is to avoid social media platforms like a plague.  While this may sound somewhat abrupt, this is advice that would be well taken.  Why? Because the use of these platforms can transform perception into reality and be the primary reason that your personal injury case does not go in your favor.  The following is a primary example of how too much social media activity can damage your case.

You’ve filed your personal injury claim because you slipped and fell in a shopping mall, injuring yourself quite seriously.  You’re in the middle of your court case and your lawyer is arguing that your injuries are preventing you from functioning normally on the job.  These mobility issues are directly attributed to your accident and your physician has diagnosed that you fractured your arm, hit your head and incurred a concussion, and twisted your ankle.

While this is going on, your sister got married and during the reception, one of your friends tagged you in a photo they took and posted it on their Facebook page.  The image depicted you attempting to dance while wearing your cast.  In reality, the photo was a joke and you were physically incapable of dancing.  Unfortunately, the insurance company and their lawyers didn’t see it that way.

For them, the perception was that you weren’t that injured and now, negotiating the settlement you are deserving of is going to be extremely difficult because of this.  It’s more than obvious that you sustained serious injuries that rendered you incapable of working.  And no doubt, you experienced considerable pain and suffering in the process.  So how does this justify not using any social media platforms?

Putting it simply, social media is today’s surveillance vehicle, especially in personal injury cases.  What most personal injury claimants do not realize is that many insurance companies and their lawyers now use social media as a form of surveillance to build a case against you and your claim.  Here is sound advice about minimizing perception issues you are involved in a personal injury claim and lawsuit.

If you cannot or are unwilling to stop using social media, then be honest 100% of the time.  If, at any time, your physical condition or health changes let your lawyer and your physician know immediately.  Check what other people see on your social media profile page and adjust your settings so that only your friends can see your posts.  The key is to avoiding displaying anything that may be inconsistent with your claim.  Finally, while social media does have many positive attributes, it doesn’t belong in a personal injury case where it can be used against the claimant.

Thus, it is better to take precautionary action and ensure that nothing gives you away. Discuss the details with the personal injury lawyer that you have hired so that they can advise you best.

What to do when a Defective Vehicle Product causes Your Accident

Motor vehicle accident cases in Toronto and other cities can oftentimes be confusing when trying to determine which driver is at fault.  But what if you were safely operating your vehicle and a hazardous condition arose because of a defective part or piece of equipment? And what if that defective part or piece of equipment caused you to wreck your vehicle and you or someone else was seriously injured as a result? How do you determine who is responsible for your accident?


It’s no secret that a defective part, piece of equipment, or vehicle in general can be very dangerous and put driver’s and/or passenger’s lives at risk.  Other questions arise such as does the vehicle’s defective operation excuse the driver’s responsibility for the accident? The answer depends on the relevancy of the circumstantial evidence of the accident and a variety of specific factors such as:


·         Whether the collision would’ve happened, even if there was no defect

·         Whether the defect should have been detected and identified before anyone drove the vehicle

·         Whether the defect was a vehicle shortcoming that the driver was aware of

·         Whether the driver, despite the presence of a defect, could have avoided getting into an accident


Regardless of the above factors, when a defective vehicle or one of its parts causes an accident, you have to determine what to do next and blame or fault must be established.


In defective motor vehicle product cases in Oakville, St. Catharines, or Waterloo, the auto manufacturer is typically the first entity that undergoes scrutiny.  In personal injury law, a product liability lawsuit could result, especially if someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of driving the defective vehicle.  Depending on circumstances surrounding the accident, if another person sustained injuries, you might or might not be held responsible for a portion of those injuries.  Conversely, other parties could be blamed for damages that resulted from the accident. However, you will need a good personal injury lawyer to prove liability.


You may have a defective product/product liability claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle, if you and your personal injury lawyer can prove that:


·         the design or manufacture was defective

·         the entire system or vehicle was inadequately designed

·         the manufacturer installed a component improperly


Additionally, you may also have a claim against the dealer who sold you the vehicle.  You would also have to prove that the defective component or system was dangerous enough to result in your accident.  Furthermore, you will also need to prove that you’ve made no significant changes that could have affected the safety of the vehicle since purchasing it.  Taking all of the above into consideration, if you’ve sustained injuries because of defective vehicle or vehicle component, you could be compensated for lost income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Occupier’s Liability Act in Details

When dealing with personal injury law, Occupier’s Liability Act is one of the most common claims that can be filed is for pain and suffering and medical reparation related to orthopedic injuries. And, quite frankly, one of the most common reasons for orthopedic injuries in Ontario are slip, trips and falls on someone else’s premises in St. Catharines. Luckily for the claimant, the legislative authority has already dealt with that by the enactment of the Occupier’s Liability Act back in 1990. This law has replaced the common law approach to the problem and it’s now a statutory system which is controlling all of the occupiers’ claims over the province of Ontario. There are various types of claims that could be filed under this particular legislative piece and it’s important to identify some key points in order to shed some light over what may seem a complicated matter.

Who can file a claim under this Act?

Literally everyone who has tripped, slipped and fallen on the premises of a third party in St. Catharines can file a claim. However, there are conditions to be met as well as some negative premises that have to be absent.  The occupier is entitled to put a sign which is capable of alerting those who pass by it that there is a potential threat of slipping. If that’s the case, you have no claim against him because the responsibility and the duty of care have been transferred to you. In any other case, you can file if the premise wasn’t properly cleared, dried, lit or basically was in a condition which could lead to falling.

Where does the Act apply?

Well, first of all, it applies over the entire territory of the province of Ontario and all the cities which fall within it. However, when broken down to smaller effect, the Act applies to all premises, both residential and commercial. You might want to discuss more with your personal injury lawyer in Toronto to get a better idea of how it can help you get higher amount of compensation.

Who does this particular Act apply to?

All sorts of occupiers are liable under the current Occupier’s Liability Act. They bear the heaviest duty of care and are dully responsible if they breach it and fail to provide safe conditions for people that either walk in or out or just pass by them. That’s quite fair. However, the legislation even goes so far in the extension of responsibility to place it over current tenant. Of course, this could be seen as both limitation and extension. The first hypothesis relates to the actual owner of the premise whose’ liability is limited by being transferred onto the tenant. The second hypothesis envelops the case in which the claimant is able to file his claim towards both of them because the Occupier’s Liability Act allows it. However, the owner has to provide a proof that he has dully transferred the duty to the tenant. Usually a simple contract would do the trick.

Restoring Financial Security to Survivors of Catastrophic Injuries

According to personal injury law, the term “catastrophic” injury is defined as any severe injuries to the brain, spinal cord, and/or spine.  However, fractures of the skull and spine are oftentimes included in this injury category.  Injuries of this nature are oftentimes life-altering.  They can tragically hinder your quality of life dramatically and permanently by leaving you unable to earn a living.  Furthermore, you could remain in constant need of assistance and medical attention for the remainder of your life while your surviving family members are financially devastated as a result of your condition.


Effects of Catastrophic Injuries


Needless to say, the impact of a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, as well as any other catastrophic injuries, can be emotionally and financially devastating for surviving family members.  The effects range anywhere from recoverable temporary dysfunction to long-term or permanent disability.  In some cases, catastrophic injuries are fatal.  For instance, an injury to the spinal cord or spine can permanently paralyze a person and result in paraplegia or quadriplegia. This is debilitating from all aspects of the victim’s life.


Additional Catastrophic Injuries


Although most individuals tend to think of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries as being catastrophic, personal injury claims in Oakville, St. Catharines, and Waterloo as well as the surrounding areas may also include the following types of injuries:


·         burn injuries

·         head and neck injuries

·         limb amputation or loss of limb function

·         paralysis

·         permanent disfigurement and/or scarring


If you are a catastrophic injury victim or a surviving family member, consider discussing your needs with a personal injury lawyer.  In addition to helping your family recover from your losses, you will have a better chance at restoring your financial security.


Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries


In most instances, catastrophic injuries are caused by another person’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness.  Injuries of a catastrophic nature can occur suddenly, without warning, and in a number of different accidents including:


·         Cycling accidents

·         Medical malpractice

·         Motor vehicle accidents including cars, motorcycles, pickup trucks, SUV’s, tractor trailer rigs, and vans

·         Pedestrian accidents

·         Slip and fall accidents

·         Sports injuries

·         Violent acts involving the use of firearms

·         Work related accidents

These are some of the more common injury causing accidents that are seen in personal injury cases in St. Catharines , Oakville , or Waterloo and throughout Ontario Province.  With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you may be able to seek restitution if the injuries resulted from someone else’s careless, negligent, or reckless behavior.


Keep in mind that there is a prescribed time limit for filing a personal injury claim and/or lawsuit.  Having a personal injury lawyer on your side not only gives you a better chance of being compensated for you or your loved one’s injuries, he or she will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

4 Keys to Successful Personal Injury Settlement Negotiations

What most injury victims in Oakville, St. Catharines, and Waterloo fail to realize is that their behavior and the way they act during negotiations can have an impact on the outcome of their case.  Negotiations could proceed quickly and smoothly with a minimum of aggravation and stress while achieving a very satisfying outcome in the process.  The bottom line is that all of this depends entirely on you and how you interact with the insurance company’s claims adjuster when sitting at the negotiations table.  Here are some helpful tips for negotiating successfully.


Be persistent, relentless if you have to – the first rule of thumb in negotiations is to never let the adjuster stall things or sit on your personal injury claim.  If the adjuster tells you that they need to contact their manager or supervisor or will make you another settlement offer, hold them to what they told you.  In other words, if you have a specific date, include that in your confirmation letter.  If they fail to get back to you by that date, call them and demand a response – politely and professionally of course.


Organization is the key – whenever you have a discussion with the adjuster, make notes of everything that transpires in your conversations with them.  Whatever you or the adjuster say you will or won’t do or that something will happen as of a specified date, write them a letter of confirmation.  When you agree to provide any information, do so in prompt fashion.  No matter what you send the adjuster, keep a copy for your files.


Patience is a virtue – although there might have been a considerable delay in getting income records and medical documents, don’t be in too big of a hurry to settle your case.  That adjuster will test your patience by making a low settlement offer initially, so be prepared to wait for what you want before agreeing to his or her proposal.  If you hold out long enough, the adjuster will be the one who becomes impatient and wants to settle your claim, so stand your ground until your personal injury lawyer says otherwise.


Stay calm and push forward – if there is one thing you can say about insurance adjusters it’s that they hear stories just like yours on a daily basis.  Furthermore, they are typically overworked and underpaid.  Stay calm and don’t turn the negotiations into a battle for supremacy.  They won’t respond well if you’re abusive or get hysterical.  Simply show them that you have filed an honest claim and that you fully understand how the negotiation process works.  Let them know that you firmly believe the facts that you’ve presented.  After all, the success of your negotiations depends on you.


That is why it is essential to work with our experienced personal injury lawyers that have handled similar cases in the past. You can look online and review the services that we offer.

Time Period for Filing A Medical Malpractice Claim

It is important to remember that Canadian provinces have a Statute of Limitations, which signifies the time-limit for filing a lawsuit in court by the plaintiff. Usually for filing a medical malpractice claim or case under tort laws on Ontario is two years from the date of injury or healthcare negligence. In Ontario, there is a Rule of Discover ability which has been woven into the Statute Of Limitations. This means that the time starts when plaintiff ‘discovers’ the reason for the injuries and the negligence in medical care.

Most of the defendants and their insurance companies try to prove that the time period has run out when the negotiations start. The Rules of Court in Ontario gives an opportunity to allow the Court, to give judgment where there are no reasons to need a trial. As per the rule of discover  ability in Ontario, your claim is considered discover able when you, the victim came to know:

·         Damage/injury has occurred

·         The injury was due to an act of mission against whom the claim has been filed

·         A proceeding is initiated considering the injury and damage as per the negligence.

Why say NO to self-representation

Though there have been talks about the doctors representing themselves and handle the claims. it is not recommended. This is because the discussion between the patient and doctor will not remain confidential and they might have a different view of the discussion. And they can always remember that you ‘accepted liability’.

In case the doctor offers to let go of the bill and offer money, they are sure to consult a lawyer to get more money. Thus, you might need to think again before writing off the medical bills. Other than that there are instances when the patients file false medical malpractice claims when they are unable to pay the hospital bills. Thus, you do need the services of a personal injury lawyer that deals with medical malpractice. As a doctor, there may be an instance when you might have to face a medical malpractice case as a defendant. It is essential that you notify the insurance company about the potential case. Though it is not covered under insurance, but if you don’t notify the insurance company, and tell them all about the claim, you will be denied the coverage. This information is usually out of bounds for lawyers representing the plaintiff.

It is essential to work with your attorney closely. The insurance company will provide you with an experienced lawyer to ensure that you are professionally defended. Although it is on the insurance company to pay the bills of the attorney, you need to ensure that you provide him or her with all of the details of the case. And the lawyer has to treat you like a client and uphold his role in helping you get justice. If required, inform the lawyer about the medical issues and terms so that they are able to grasp all aspects of your case before they represent you.