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#AskTaniaFleming

Car accidents happen at an alarming rate throughout Canada. According to the latest accident statistics released by the government, almost 155,000 people were injured in road accidents in a single year. Not all collisions result in personal injuries or fatalities, but knowing what to do when involved in a car accident and the legal requirements for reporting it in Ontario could keep you from incurring fines and other penalties. Reporting a car accident also ensures that you are protected in the event a claim is made against you or in case you have a claim for personal injuries or property damage.

A collision between two or more vehicles frequently happens suddenly and with such violence that participants, even when they do not suffer physical injuries, can be in shock and confused about what actually happened. This is why it is important to take a few minutes now to review the car accident reporting requirements and learn the steps you need to follow to protect your rights immediately after a collision.

Ontario car accident reporting requirements

Stopping is the most important thing to remember to do if you are involved in a car accident. Do not leave the scene of an accident particularly one in which someone has been injured.

You must call the police to report any car accident in which someone has suffered a personal injury or if the accident caused more than $2,000 in damage to property. The police operator will instruct you about what to do while awaiting arrival of the police. Reporting an accident directly to the police should also be done when one or more of the following circumstances exist:

  • You suspect one or more of the other drivers is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or has committed some other criminal offence.
  • A pedestrian has been struck by a vehicle involved in the accident.
  • There is property damage, but the owner of the property is not present.
  • A government vehicle is involved in the collision.
  • One of the drivers does not have proof of insurance coverage on a vehicle.

When no one is injured in a car accident and the total amount of damage to property, including the vehicles, is less than $2,000, you are not required to call police from the scene of the accident. This does not mean you do not report the accident. You have 24 hours from the time of the collision to contact a collision reporting centre to make a written report of the collision and to have a photograph taken of any damage to your car.

Consequences for not reporting an accident

Making a report of a car accident protects you against a false claim by another driver that you left the scene of an accident. The report also documents the fact that an accident occurred at a particular location at the date and time specified to protect you against an insurance company refusing to pay a claim for lack of proof of an accident.

The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident can be severe and include confinement to jail particularly in cases of accidents involving serious personal injuries. Fines could be as high as $2,000 for leaving the scene of an accident, and a judge could suspend a person’s license to drive for up to two years.

If you are unsure about the amount of damage caused by an accident or if someone has been injured, your best course of action is to call the police. There is no penalty for voluntarily reporting an accident that you were not required to report.

Risks of not reporting minor car accidents

You might think it is not worth the bother to report what appears to be a minor collision with another vehicle, but not reporting a fender bender could have serious consequences, including:

  • The other driver or an occupant of that vehicle might report the accident and claim personal injuries. Your failure to report the accident could result in your auto insurance company refusing to honor the claim.
  • A report filed by only one driver to an accident could result in the police charging you with leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Whiplash, concussions and other types of injuries might not be readily apparent at the scene of a collision and could take hours or days before an accident victim becomes aware of them.
  • Promises by another driver to take care of the damage to your vehicle without involving the police or insurance companies can be broken. Instead of risking being targeted by an unscrupulous driver, report all car accidents to your insurance company immediately after they happen.
Reporting an accident to your insurance company

Even though you file an accident report with the police or at a collision reporting centre, you should also contact the insurance company that insures your car. Under the terms of your policy, you must report to the company all accidents in which the insured vehicle is involved. Failing to report the accident could cause your insurance company to deny coverage for any claims and cancel your insurance policy for failing to comply with its terms.

Be safe and report all accidents to your insurer within 24 hours. This includes someone hitting your vehicle while it is parked on the street or in a parking lot. Follow the same reporting rules as you would for other types of collisions. It should go without saying that you need to report a collision in which you hit an unattended, parked vehicle.

Know what to do after an accident

Being dazed and confused following a collision is common and becomes worse for drivers and passengers suffering physical injuries. The first thing to do following a car accident is to try to remain calm and attempt to collect your thoughts. Some of the other things to do or avoid following an accident include:

  • Do not leave the scene of the collision.
  • Call 911 to report the collision to the police.
  • Get medical attention immediately for yourself and anyone else who might be injured. Depending upon the extent of your injuries, try to remain still and await assistance from emergency medical personnel responding to the scene.
  • Remain in your vehicle until police arrive unless it is safe to exit your vehicle and doing so does not put you in the path of moving vehicles.
  • Do not attempt to move anyone injured in the accident.
  • If anyone has been injured, await the arrival of the police and get their permission before moving any of the vehicles involved in the collision.

Do not make any statements or engage in conversations about how the accident happened or the extent or nature of your injuries with drivers and occupants of other vehicles, bystanders or witnesses. The people involved in a serious car accident frequently have no idea what caused the collision. Trained accident investigators can take weeks to piece together what caused cars to crash, so the best thing to do is leave it to your lawyer to sort through the facts to determine what caused the accident.

If you are not injured, you must exchange information with the drivers of other vehicles, including:

  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Names and contact information
  • Names of auto insurance companies and policy numbers
  • Vehicle information, including plate numbers

You should also write down a brief description of what you recall about the accident, including the makes, models, colours and license numbers of the vehicles. Take pictures of the scene and include the position of the cars involved in the collision.

Get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Include a brief description next to the person’s information about what was seen or heard. You should also note the names, badge numbers and agency of police officers and other emergency responders. If you discover later on that you have been injured, all of the information you record at the scene will be helpful to your lawyer in pursuing your claim for compensation.

You might not be in pain or believe you have been injured while standing at the scene of a car accident, but it is a good idea to go to a doctor as soon as possible for an examination. Some injuries, such as whiplash and concussions, might not present symptoms for hours or even days after an accident. If a physical examination discloses injuries caused by the car accident, your next call should be to a personal injury lawyer.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf individuals injured in Ontario car accidents. Learn more about your right to recover compensation by speaking with one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families

The post Protect Your Rights: Know How To Handle Car Accident Reporting appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskJeremyDiamond

It stands to reason that most animal attacks on humans involve dogs. The dog population across Canada exceeds 8 million. Ontario looked at the statistics about the dog breeds most frequently involved in attacks on people and amended its law pertaining to owner liability to prohibit people from owning pit bulls. This resulted in a sharp decline over the years in the pit bull population in the province. As the pit bull population declined in Ontario, the number of people possessing exotic animals, such as tigers, monkeys and alligators, has increased thanks in part to laws that make ownership of pit bulls and killer whales illegal while remaining silent about tigers and other exotic and potentially deadly animals.

Dog owner liability in Ontario

Banning pit bulls in the province drastically reduced attacks on people involving that particular breed, but it did not eliminate the risk of being bitten by other breeds of dogs. There were 767 dog bite incidents in Ontario according to the most recent statistics compiled by the government.

The Dog Owners’ Liability Act makes the owner of a dog liable for damages for injuries caused to a person attacked by the animal. A person making a claim for damages against the owner of a dog following an attack need not prove the owner knew of the dog’s propensity for biting. Ontario does not subscribe to the “one-bite rule” that relieves owners of liability unless their dogs exhibited aggressive tendencies in the past.

A person bitten by a dog may sue the owner for damages, including the following:

  • Costs associated with medical care and treatment
  • Rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy
  • Medication costs
  • Lost income, including anticipated future income losses or reduction
  • Pain and suffering

Depending upon the severity of the attack, a person bitten by a dog could be entitled to receive compensation for counseling required to overcome the psychological and emotional trauma.

Damages claims for exotic animal attacks

Although it is illegal to keep game wildlife or wildlife that is protected under the law, there is no uniform ban against ownership of monkeys and other types of exotic animals that could attack and injure a person. An owner of an exotic animal that attacks someone could be held legally responsible for damages under a general theory of negligence.

Unlike owners of dogs whose liability in the event of an attack is based upon the provisions of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, owners of exotic animals in Ontario can be held liable based upon the legal principle of negligence. Venomous snakes, crocodiles and monkeys are inherently dangerous and likely to attack a person. A person owning such an animal should know from its  characteristics that it is likely to cause harm to anyone coming in contact with it regardless of how docile or tame it might appear to be.

Even though the law might not prohibit ownership of a particular species of wild or exotic animal, ownership brings with it a duty of exercise care to protect other people from being attacked. An owner failing to take reasonable precautions to protect someone from harm could be held liable for damages resulting from an attack.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of Ontario residents. Whether you have been bitten by a dog or by an exotic animal, our lawyers have the knowledge of the law and the skills to advise you about your rights and the proper procedure for obtaining compensation for your injuries. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post Owner Liability When Exotic Animals Attack appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskBasilBansal

One of the most memorable moments for parents is the birth of a child, but birth injuries during labour and delivery can lead to death. According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, 1,309 infants died within 27 days of their birth while others may be left with severe, long-term effects. Most births in Canada take place without incident, but it is important for parents to know the types of birth injuries that could occur and how to recognize each of them.

Difference between birth injury and birth defect

Birth injury is a direct result of something occurring during labour or delivery process, including the following:

  • Pulling on or improper manipulation of the infant usually done to reposition it during delivery. Forceps and vacuum extraction are common methods used to turn or manipulate the position of the infant.
  • Errors in prescribing mediations during labour.
  • Failing to properly monitor the infant’s vital signs, including heart rate, during labour and delivery process to identify signs of distress and take appropriate corrective measures.
  • Allowing labour to continue too long without resorting to alternatives, including cesarean section. For example, placental bleeding that is left undetected by the physician and medical staff during labour could cause a delay in ordering a caesarian section.

Negligence or improper medical care by physicians and other medical professionals during labour and delivery could cause an injury to the child. Unlike birth injuries, birth defects develop during pregnancy as the fetus develops in the womb and prior to the birthing process.

Common types of birth injuries

The types of injuries that may occur during labour and delivery depend upon the circumstances related to the birth, the skill of the physicians and other factors unique to each birth. Some common birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral palsy: Trauma to the brain and oxygen deprivation are two injuries that can cause an infant to be born with impaired brain and nervous system function known as cerebral palsy. Problems associated with the umbilical cord left undetected and untreated by a doctor during labour and delivery can deprive the child of oxygen.
  • Brachial plexus injury: BPI is damage to nerves in an infant’s neck or chest and could be caused by improper use of forceps by a doctor during delivery. The effects of the injury could be mild or severe depending upon the extent of damage to the nerves. In the most serious BPI cases, the result could be paralysis.
  • Hypoxia: This is a decrease in the amount of oxygen to an unborn child’s brain that can cause physical and developmental disorder unless quickly diagnosed and corrected. The umbilical cord is a common cause of an infant being deprived of oxygen during labour, but hypoxia can also be caused by damage to the placenta.

Birth injuries caused by negligent medical care can be difficult for parents to identify on their own. A personal injury lawyer experienced in handling claims for birth defects has the knowledge and skill to review medical records related to the birth to determine if negligent care by doctors and medical staff caused the injury. A lawyer provides a valued resource for legal advice and guidance to help parents decide on the best course of action to follow in presenting their claim for damages.

Ontario birth injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling medical malpractice and birth injury claims for families throughout Ontario. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post Taking Action Following A Birth Injury appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskSimonMariani

Canadians continue to make the United States a popular destination to visit. More than 20 million people crossed the border from Canada into the U.S. for overnight trips according to the most recently available yearly statistics. Cars continue to be the most popular means of travel with three out of four visits by Canadians to the U.S. being made by car. If you are a resident of Ontario planning a road trip across the border, take a few minutes to become familiar with the laws and procedures that apply in the event you or a family member travelling with you is injured in a car accident while visiting the U.S.

Can you use Ontario courts for a U.S. car accident?

If you are injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you have the right to file a claim for damages against the negligent party. Ontario residents injured in collisions across the border in the U.S. have a choice to make about the court in which to file their claim for damages.

You could decide to sue in the state in which the accident occurred, but this might not be the most convenient option for you. Depending upon the extent of your injuries, you will probably return to Ontario to continue with your medical care after receiving preliminary medical evaluations and treatment in the U.S. making it more convenient to consult with a personal injury lawyer and making a claim in Ontario.

According to a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, you could file a claim for damages in the courts in Ontario if one or more of the connecting factors exist:

  • The accident occurred in Ontario;
  • The party responsible for causing the accident resides or is domiciled in Ontario;
  • The responsible party has a business in Ontario; or
  • A contract made in connection with the claim arose in Ontario.

A personal injury lawyer can review the facts of your accident and claim for damages and offer advice about the courts having jurisdiction over your case.

Reporting the accident

You must report a car accident to your insurance company, broker or agent within seven days from the date of the accident no matter where the collision took place. The claims process for a car crash outside of Canada is much the same as it would be had your accident taken place in Ontario.

Increase your insurance coverage before heading south

Auto insurance coverage requirements vary from state to state in the U.S., with some states requiring drivers to maintain only minimal liability coverage. You can protect yourself in case the driver causing your collision does not have sufficient coverage or does not have any insurance at all by adding a Family Protection Endorsement to your insurance policy before leaving home.

Family Protection Endorsements provide coverage for you and occupants of your vehicle in the event of a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured U.S. driver. For example, your claim for damages against an underinsured motorist would be made against both the liability coverage of the other driver’s car insurance and with your own insurance company under your Family Protection Endorsement.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of Ontario residents. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post What Should You Do If Injured In A Car Accident While Visiting The US? appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskTheresianRaphaelSelvakumar

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, impaired driving is the leading cause of death related to criminal conduct in Canada. An average of four people die each day in motor vehicle collisions in which one or more drivers test positive for alcohol or drugs. Depending upon the facts of each case, it might not only be the impaired driver who could be held responsible for causing the accident and resulting injuries. The tavern or restaurant at which the drive consumed the alcoholic beverage might also bear some of the responsibility under what has come to be known as dram shop laws in Ontario.

Dramshops and modern-day personal injury claims

“Dramshop” was a term used to describe taverns and other commercial establishments serving alcoholic beverages. You probably won’t hear the term used much today except by lawyers and judges to refer to legislation holding restaurants, taverns and other establishments responsible for limiting the drinks they serve to customers who appear to be intoxicated.

Bars, restaurants, taverns and other establishments located in Ontario must be licenced under the Liquor Licence Act to legally sell drinks containing alcohol. The law prohibits a licenced establishment from selling liquor to a person who appears to be intoxicated.

It is the responsibility of the server or bartender at a licenced establishment to make a determination whether customer is visibly intoxicated before serving a beverage containing alcohol. Serving an alcoholic beverage to someone who is intoxicated is a violation of the law and puts the establishment at risk of losing its licence. It also creates a liability issue.

Holding taverns and restaurants responsible for accidents

A commercial establishment that sells alcohol to a person who appears to be intoxicated could be held responsible in the event the customer leaves and causes an accident. An intoxicated customer could expose the tavern or restaurant to a claim for damages without ever getting behind the wheel of a car. Someone assaulted by an intoxicated person could have a claim for damages against an establishment that continued to provide drinks after the individual showed signs of intoxication.

The theory of liability that holds a bar or restaurant responsible is based upon negligence. The establishment had a duty to act reasonably by refusing to serve liquor to a person servers believed was intoxicated. The evidence must prove the staff at the establishment could reasonably foresee that an intoxicated customer could pose a danger to other people either by attempting to drive away from the location or by getting into a fight or altercation.

A personal injury lawyer consulted by someone injured by an intoxicated individual would investigate the facts to identify evidence tending to prove a tavern or restaurant acted negligently with regard to an intoxicated customer. For example, allowing an intoxicated customer to leave without making arrangements, such as calling a taxi, for the person to get home could be negligence on the part of the servers and management of a restaurant.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

If you have been injured in an accident with or through the intentional conduct of an intoxicated individual, you should consult the personal injury lawyers at about making a claim against the commercial establishment that served liquor to the person. Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of injured accident victims throughout Ontario. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post Intoxicated Driving Accidents – Can A Tavern Be Held Responsible? appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskKristyMoore

Accidents happen to even the most careful people. Whether your vehicle is hit in the rear at a stop sign by a distracted driver or you get hurt in a slip-and-fall accident caused by a building owner using the wrong type of wax on the floors, accidents and injuries caused by the fault of other people are common. You might be aware of your right to make a claim for damages against another party whose negligence causes an accident, but you might not know that you could still recover damages even if your own negligence contributed to causing the accident or your injuries.

What is negligence?

Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise the level of care expected of a reasonably prudent person confronted by similar circumstances. For example, reasonably prudent drivers would be expected to pay attention to the road and maintain control over their vehicles. Someone texting on a cellphone while driving would negligent for not exercise the same level of care as the reasonably prudent driver.

Proving negligence in a personal injury case requires evidence establishing the defendant, the party against whom a claim for damages is made, had a duty of care toward the plaintiff, the person asserting the claim, and breached that duty of care resulting in injury to the plaintiff. The evidence must also prove the conduct of the defendant was the proximate cause of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.

The building owner who fails to remove ice from a sidewalk, and a driver who gets behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated create are examples of individuals whose conduct creates an unreasonable risk of harm to others. A judge or members of a jury could conclude from the evidence that their negligence caused the accident and injuries to the plaintiff making a claim for damages.

Contributory negligence

It can take an investigation to sort out the facts about how a particular accident occurred. A collision between two cars might appear to have been caused by one of the drivers failing to stop in time to avoid the crash because of being intoxicated, but an investigation could reveal that the injured driver of the other vehicle was not wearing a seat belt. Contributory negligence, which is negligence or fault on the part of the injured party that contributed to the damages, does not preclude a claim for damages. It could, however, diminish the amount of compensation awarded to the injured party.

Under the Negligence Act in Ontario, judges and jurors must apportion the damages based upon the extent of the negligence or fault of each of the parties. In other words, if a judge or jury finds that the failure of an injured claimant to wear a seat belt was a factor in causing or enhancing the person’s injuries, it can reduce the damages awarded by the degree of negligence or fault on the part of the plaintiff. So, for instance, if the failure to wear a seat belt is found to be 25% responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, the damages paid by the defendant would be reduced by 25%.

Contributory negligence accident lawyers

It is important to keep in mind that contributory negligence does not mean you should not pursue a claim for damages against the party whose negligence caused the accident in which you were injured. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond use their years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of injured accident victims to evaluate the facts of your claim and advise you about the best way to proceed. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post Contributory Negligence Does Not Prevent A Claim For Damages appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskPaulMariani

The death of a loved one exacts an emotional toll, but it also results in a loss to family members of the companionship and financial support contributed by the deceased. When the death is caused by the negligent or intentional conduct of another party, family members of the victim could be entitled to compensation for their loss through a wrongful death claim under Ontario law.

Wrongful death claims: Suing for damages

Certain family members of a person killed through the fault or negligence of another party have a right to recover compensation for wrongful death according to the Ontario Family Law Act. Only the following family members of the deceased may make a claim for damages:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Brothers and sisters

Examples of situations that could give rise to a wrongful death claim include car accidents caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver. A criminal act, such as an assault, could also result in a claim for damages for wrongful death if the criminal act causes the death of the victim.

Damages recoverable for wrongful death

Damages recoverable by family members against the party responsible for causing the death of their loved one include the following:

  • Expenses incurred for the funeral of the deceased.
  • Expenses family members actually incurred on behalf of the deceased.
  • In situations in which the victim survives and receives treatment before succumbing to the injuries, family members may recover the reasonable travel expenses incurred to visit with the victim.
  • An allowance for services rendered by family members to care for the victim following the accident.
  • Compensation for the loss of care, companionship and guidance a family member would have expected to receive had their relative not be injured and killed.
  • Loss of the future income the victim would have reasonably been expected to contribute to the family member making a claim for damages.

Family members should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice and guidance about damages they could be entitled to seek in an Ontario wrongful death claim based upon the facts of their particular case.

For example, it is a mistake to not make a claim for wrongful death damages because the facts of the accident indicate your loved one might have been at fault in causing it. Contributory negligence, which is negligence on the part of a person injured or killed in an accident, does not automatically preclude a wrongful death claim. A court may take into consideration the extent to which the actions of the deceased contributed toward causing the accident or the injuries use that to apportion the damages award to surviving family members.

Time limitation for filing a wrongful death claim

It can be difficult to think clearly and make informed decisions following news of the sudden death of a beloved member of your family. If you suspect your family member died because of the negligence or intentional act of another person, it is imperative that you do not delay filing a claim for wrongful death damages.

The Limitations Act in Ontario places a two-year limitation period on wrongful death claims. You have only two years from the date of death to file a claim for damages before your right to recover compensation is lost.

Ontario wrongful death lawyers

If a loved one has been injured or killed due to the fault of another party, you should speak with the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond. They have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of injured accident victims and their family members in wrongful death and other types of personal injury claims. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post What You Need To Know About Ontario Wrongful Death Claims appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskPatrycjaMajchrowicz

You might have noticed more people riding bicycles throughout Ontario. More and more Canadians have discovered the benefits of leaving their cars at home and using a bicycle to commute to work or simply to get around town. Whether sharing the streets with other vehicles or being used on a remote trail, bicycles offer an environmentally friendly means of transportation that also provides plenty of exercise, but there are risks associated with cycling. Approximately 7,500 Canadians suffer serious injuries in bicycle accidents each year, so it is important for cyclists and motorists to observe a few precautions to prevent bicycle accidents and cyclist injuries.

Obey the rules of the road

You might associate bicycles with children and think of them as toys, but Ontario traffic laws classify bicycles as vehicles. Cyclists have the same rights and obligations as drivers of cars, trucks and other types of vehicles, but they also must obey all traffic laws, including riding far to the right as possible.

Because they are vehicles under the law, bicycles can be used on all roads except 400-series roads and other limited access highways in Ontario. Pedestrian cross overs offer another situation where bicycles are treated differently than other types of vehicles. Cyclists must dismount and walk their bicycle at a pedestrian cross over.

Wear a helmet

Helmets help reduce the severity of injuries suffered by bicycle riders in the event of an accident. They have been proven to be a factor in reducing head injuries. It is a good idea from a safety perspective for all bicycle riders to wear an approved helmet even though Ontario law only requires riders 18 years of age and younger to wear an approved helmet. The law makes parents of children 16 years of age and younger responsible for ensuring their child wears a helmet when riding a bicycle.

There are organizations in Canada and the U.S. that test bicycle helmets to ensure they meet minimum safety standards and protect wearers in the event of an accident. Those organizations include Snell, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, and the Canadian Standards Association. A helmet bearing a sticker indicating certification by one of these testing organizations meets the legal requirement for being an approved helmet.

Motorists should obey the law about passing a cyclist

Ontario law requires that drivers leave a space of at least one metre when passing a bicycle rider. A motorist attempting to pass a cyclist is permitted to cross a roadway’s centre line to create the space needed to pass the cyclist while remaining in compliance with the law. If the proper distance cannot be maintained while passing, a motorist must wait before attempting the manoeuvre. Violation of the law is punishable by a fine and demerit points.

Motorists must stop to observe road conditions before opening vehicle doors

A motorist opening the door of a car or other vehicle in such a way as to pose a danger to a passing cyclist is subject to a fine and demerit points. Opening a car door without looking to see if it is safe to do so without striking or impeding a passing cyclist can cause an accident and injury to the rider. A violation is punishable by a fine and demerit points.

Ontario bicycle accident lawyers

If you have been injured in a cycling accident, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of injured accident victims throughout Ontario. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post Tips for Safe Cycling appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskNastassiaIvanova

Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering events that leave victims with devastating physical and psychological impairment and disability. More than 85,500 Canadians live with some form of spinal cord injury, and another 4,259 people are injured each year through various types of mishaps, including car crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, and work-related accidents. Damage to the spinal cord can leave a victim with an assortment of mental and physical disorders ranging from chronic pain and discomfort to permanent disability and, in some cases, death. It is essential to understand the effects of a spinal cord injury and how to obtain the compensation you deserve for the impact it has on your life.

The structure of the spinal cord and spine

The spinal cord is a nerve bundle carrying signals between your body and brain. It runs down the middle portion of your back from the base of your skull to the lower tip of your spine. The spinal cord is surrounded by and encased in the center of the spine, which is made up of individual bone segments called “vertebrae” that protect it from injury.

The vertebrae of the spine are stacked atop each other and separated by cartilage disks that allow the spine to bend while cushioning the vertebrae to prevent them from making bone-to-bone contact with each other. The bony structure of the spine protecting the spinal cord is frequently referred to as the spinal column.

Injury to the spinal cord

If your hand comes in contact with a hot surface, a signal is transmitted through the nerves of the spinal cord from your hand to your brain. Your brain instantaneously processes the information and sends signals, again through the spinal cord, causing you to feel pain and remove your hand from the hot surface.

A serious car accident or a fall from a ladder or other elevated surface can damage the spinal column and cause an injury to nerves of the spinal cord. An injury to the nerves of the spinal cord can interfere with their ability to transmit signals between the various parts of the body and the brain. The result could be paralysis as the signals from the brain cannot get through to other parts of the body.

The location of the damage to the spinal cord affects different parts of the body and determines what impact the injury has on the person. For example, an injury to the cervical portion of the spinal column, which is located in the neck are, could affect movement in your arms, legs and torso while also impairing functioning of your bladder and other internal organs. If the injury is close to the brain stem, it could affect a victim’s ability to breathe and lead to death.

Causes of spinal cord injuries

Common causes of injuries to the spinal cord include the following:

  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Falls from ladders and other elevated surfaces, including scaffolding
  • Sports-related injuries, including contact sports
  • Intentional conduct, including assaults

Treatment and recovery from a spinal cord injury can be a slow, long-term process that could require surgery and rehabilitation.

Ontario spinal cord injury lawyers

If an accident caused by the negligence of another party results in an injury to your spinal cord, you could be entitled to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of accident victims throughout Ontario. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post Understanding Your Spinal Cord Injury Claim appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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#AskGeorgeLaloshi

Uber has become a popular alternative to personal vehicles and taxis particularly in major cities, such as Toronto. The Toronto government reports that almost 70,000 people have been licensed to drive for ride-hailing services, which includes Uber, in the city. Vehicles operated by drivers for Uber and other ride-hailing services present unique insurance and legal challenges when one of them is involved in a collision. If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber vehicle, your claim deserves the attention of an experienced Toronto Uber accident lawyer. Contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately after an Uber accident puts someone to work on your behalf investigating the facts and circumstances of the accident, locating witnesses and ensuring your right to be compensated for your injuries is protected.

Obtaining compensation from Uber drivers

The technology allowing you to use an application on a smartphone to let Uber drivers monitoring the app know that you need a ride is not the only thing making Uber and other ride-hailing services unique. Unlike calling a taxi company that sends one of its vehicles to pick you up, the Uber drivers use their personal vehicles and do not work for Uber.

The truth is that claims for injuries suffered in accidents with vehicles operated by Uber drivers are handled in much the same way as other car accident claims. It is essential that after receiving medical treatment for your injuries you contact experienced Toronto Uber accident lawyers to begin pursuing your claim for damages.

As the victim of an Uber accident, you can help ensure the success of your claim for damages by providing your lawyer with as much information about the accident and the vehicles as possible, including the following:

  • Information about each vehicle involved in the crash
  • Contact information, including license numbers, for all drivers
  • Names, addresses and telephone numbers occupants of all vehicles
  • Date, time, and description of the accident.
  • Names and contact information for all witnesses
  • Names and contact information of all insurance companies
Resolve insurance issues related to Uber accidents

Your medical treatment, lost income, rehabilitation and physical therapy expenses, and other costs related to the fact that you were injured in a car accident would normally be submitted through Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage of your own auto insurance policy unless you do not have insurance. In that event, the claim is submitted through the policy covering the Uber vehicle.

The fact that most Uber drivers use their personal vehicles to pick up passengers, there could be insurance issues when an accident occurs. The most common situation that occurs is for the auto insurance company to deny coverage because the vehicle was being used for commercial purposes. However, third-party liability coverage could exist through a policy Uber offers to its drivers.

Uber’s third-party liability policy $1 million in insurance coverage to drivers logged in to the Uber app. When there is a passenger in an Uber vehicle, the policy increases the coverage to $2 million until the ride is completed and the passenger leaves the vehicle.

Depending upon the facts surrounding a Toronto Uber accident, you could have the right to sue the Uber driver and drivers of other vehicles responsible for causing the accident and your injuries. A negligence lawsuit allows you to claim damages not payable through Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage, including pain and suffering, lost or diminished future income, and the costs of medical care and treatment that might be necessary in the future.

Dedicated Toronto Uber accident lawyers

If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber driver, you need the services of experienced Toronto Uber accident lawyers. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond devoted years to successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of people injured through the negligence of other parties, including Uber and other ride-hailing services. They handle notification of insurance companies, including companies issuing policies through ride-hailing services. Learn more about your right to recover compensation by speaking with one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

The post Toronto Uber Accident Lawyer appeared first on Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.

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