Grim Statistics of Motor Vehicle Accident in Toronto

The latest statistics regarding motor vehicle accidents and the fatality rates which are pretty much consequential are rather grim. Reports show that pedestrian fatalities resulted from motor vehicle accidents in Toronto have risen with over sixty percent for the last few years, to reach their absolute peak in 2015. With this in mind, the police initiated strong awareness raising campaigns in order to bring this to the attention of people and somehow limit the fatal consequences resulting from these terrible events. The reports are also showing that over 75% of the victims are senior-age pedestrians.

Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act

This led to the initiation of amendments of legislation and initiation of enacting new regulations to ensure further safety on the roads of Ontario. The particular idea behind the new legislation which was announced in the middle of summer of2015 is to reduce the overall collisions, injuries as well as the fatalities on the roads of the province. The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act was enacted and came into full effect at the early months of 2016. The main concept behind the regulations is to include stricter law enforcement actions as well as severe penalties which are supposed to have a preventive effect on those involved in the road traffic. One particular change, for instance, is that drivers are now legally obligated to wait the for the pedestrian to completely cross the road prior to proceed with his driving when he’s located at a school and pedestrian crossovers. It is hoped that implementation of proper road safety regulations in Barrie will lower the cases of pedestrian accidents and minimize car accidents too.

Preventive for accidents

In any case, there is only so much that a law can do. There are two types of protection which could be accomplished by legal regulations – preventive and repairing. The former suggests that the necessary steps are taken in order to ensure that the accident does not happen in the first place. The most common way of accomplishing this is through severe penalties. Throughout implementing harsher legal punishments, drivers are made to abide by the regulations under the fear of being slapped with charges. This is likely to be one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents.

The second type, the repairing one, aims to prevent someone who’s already caused an accident to do so again in the future. By duly enforcing the punishment which is regulated by law, the latter is going to make the perpetrator refrain for similar conduct in future under threat of even more severe charges and legal punishments. However, in order for this to work, there have to fully operational institutions and behavior-correction facilities. Otherwise, the effect could be the exact opposite with people becoming angrier with the system in Barrie, thus wanting to commit further crimes. The implementation of the most current legislation promises better results.

Common Traumas Caused by Motorcycles Accidents

Motorcycling is a thrilling activity which is extremely popular among the community of Ontario. The abundance of incredible landscapes, views as well as the overall great road conditions in Stouffville are some how predisposing riders to get on the road. However, motorcycling is a dangerous activity as you are literally exposed in the event of any kind of accident. This is also the main reason for which the traumas associated with accidents are generally a lot more severe in comparison to those that you’d get in a car crash of the same severity. After all, there are no additional roll bars to protect you and the only thing that is going to keep you safe is your helmet and driving gear. This is the main reason for which you should make sure to wear all the required pieces of equipment when you decide to hit the road.

However, regardless of how well you take care of your motorcycle and the quality of your equipment, accidents happen in Stouffville. The following takes a closer look at the most common injuries, which are associated with motorcycle accidents. Almost all of them can be classified as orthopedic injuries but there is also a high chance of brain as well as spinal cord injuries. In any case, these are the most common ones of them:

It’s important to point out that these are just some of the traumas that you’d be susceptible of if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. Now, exploring the injuries even closer is going to let us know that the most severe consequences are obviously the brain and spinal cord injuries.

Brain and spinal cord injuries are particularly dangerous because the involve the most important parts of your body – the brain and the spinal cord. The latter is responsible for the overall functioning of your body. Your brain is the single, most important organ in your entire body and a brain related injury could cause lifelong disabilities and turn you invalid for life. This is why it’s highly advisable to wear a helmet – at least to reduce the chance of sever brain injuries.

Your spinal cord, on the other hand, is a part which is keeping your movement system intact. You can expect nothing short of paralysis and even more severe conditions if a severe spinal injury takes place. In any case, you should be thoroughly informed that there are various benefit packages available if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident. There are different tests which are going to determine what is your entitlement and how to obtain it.

That is one of the reasons that motorcycle riders in Ontario have to get the insurance coverage under the law before they can get the Ontario plates and are allowed to ride on the roads legally. The insurance policy includes accident benefits, uninsured automobile and direct compensation for property damages.

Understanding the Concept of Emotional Distress

According to one of many legal dictionaries in Canada and the US, the basic definition of the term “emotional distress” is:

“a basis for damages claimed in a personal injury lawsuit

and based on the intentional or negligent acts of another.”

If you have recently sustained injures and have filed a personal injury lawsuit in the cities of Barrie, Orillia, or Stouffville, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.  These damages may be are awarded in addition to economic or pecuniary damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, etc. that are directly attributed to the injuries you’ve sustained.

Components of an Emotional Distress Claim for Damages

An emotional distress claim may come in a number of different forms.  The term may be commonly referred to as:

  • emotional upset
  • intentional infliction of mental distress
  • negligent infliction of emotional distress
  • negligent infliction of psychiatric damage

Under Canadian personal injury law, the common element among these claims is that the complainant or plaintiff must establish the following two components in order for the claim to be valid:

    • First, the plaintiff suffered foreseeable psychological injury due to the negligent behavior or conduct of the defendant.
    • Second, the psychological injuries of the plaintiff were of such a serious nature that he or she succumbed to a well-documented psychiatric illness.Emotional distress can be very difficult to prove since there are no CT scans or X-rays that a professional can point to.  Conversely, physical injuries such as broken bones or head trauma can easily be identified with these medical technologies.

      Proving Emotional Distress

      If you and your Barrie, Orillia, or Stouffville personal injury lawyer intend to pursue an emotional distress claim, there are 5 ways in which proof can be established:

    • Duration – as with most cases involving traumatic stress, if your pain has persisted and occurred over a lengthy amount of time, it may be easier for you to prove emotional distress.
    • Intensity – the more intense your level of mental anguish is, the better your chances of proving emotional distress and being compensated for damages.
    • Physician’s note – make sure that your claims are supported by a physician’s or psychologist’s documentation of your condition. Your reports are a testament of the level and amount of injuries you sustained.
    • Related bodily injury – although proving emotional distress can oftentimes be difficult, you can usually provide proof of physical symptoms that are attributed to it such as headaches, ulcers, etc.
    • Underlying causes – the court will be more likely to find for emotional distress if the underlying cause is extreme such as surviving a bombing compared to a motor vehicle collision.

In order to prove your claim, you may have to incorporate several of these factors.  Just keep in mind that you should be working with an experienced personal injury lawyer as well as a physician and/or psychologist. This will help you get a better representation in court.

Making Your Personal Injury Settlement Offer – Part II

Adjusting the Value of Your Personal Injury Case

Once Barrie, Stouffville or Orillia personal injury lawyer has established what your personal injury claim is worth, adjustments will made by calculating the amount to reflect these factors:

  • Court and trial location – in Ontario Province, some venues are more conservative than others.  Consequently, settlements awarded in these areas tend to be much lower than what juries award in heavier populated, urban communities.  Whenever insurance adjusters are negotiating a settlement, they usually remember this factor.
  • Liability – if liability is established in your case, this could afford you a higher settlement amount.  However, if contributory negligence is a factor (in other words, you contributed to your injuries by virtue of your actions), then your settlement amount will be decreased based on you contributing to the fault.
  • Mitigating damages – whenever it is reasonably possible, the injury victim or plaintiff should try to reduce (mitigate) the damages in their case.  For instance, your medical expenses are higher because you did not get proper medical treatment after your accident.  Since you failed to get treated, your injuries are now harder to treat.  As a result, your claim’s value may be reduced due to failure to mitigate.
  • Multiple defendants – whenever there is more than one defendant in a personal injury case, there may be differences and issues with the amount of percentage of the total settlement amount that each one is responsible for paying.
  • Plaintiff characteristics – interestingly enough, the value of your settlement can easily be influenced by your own characteristics.  Factors that could possibly influence the final settlement amount include your age, like ability, occupation, past medical history, and so on.

A personal injury lawyer plays a significant role throughout this process.  Consequently, you should never attempt to handle your claim on your own and always rely on the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer to represent you and your case in Ontario.

Submitting Your Settlement Offer

At this point in the process, you and your lawyer are ready to submit your settlement offer.  A settlement demand letter will be submitted by your lawyer to the defendant and/or their insurer.  At this particular point in your case, it is not uncommon to see a lot of back-and-forth negotiations between you, your lawyer, and the defendant’s insurance company regarding what your case is worth in Barrie, Orillia, or Stouffville.

Until a settlement is reached, negotiations could be ongoing.  Naturally, the insurance company will try and settle as cheaply as possible.  After all, they are trying to protect their own interests and do not care about yours.  The reality here is that if a settlement cannot be reached, a judge and jury will be determining how much your damages are worth in court and it could take years to resolve your case as a result. It is best if your lawyer can find a price that can make the settlement faster so that you don’t have to undergo financial crisis.

Making Your Personal Injury Settlement Offer – Part I

Getting Started with a Personal Injury Lawyer

In Canadian personal injury law, any individual who is injured in an accident that has been caused by another person’s careless, negligent, or reckless behavior may be entitled to compensation for their losses.  While this is one of the more complex areas of Provincial Law, it goes without saying that an injury victim will want to sue for damages in court or settle their personal injury claim before their case goes to trial.  Statistics have clearly shown that over 90% of these cases typically settle out of court.

Your best Option

Resolving a personal injury claim in Barrie, Orillia, or Stouffville by virtue of a voluntary settlement on behalf of the defendant and their lawyer is realistically the most feasible option as jury trials can become extremely costly and tedious over time.  However, it is very difficult for your personal injury lawyer to determine the value of your case until several different factors have been brought to the forefront.  The first step to achieving a settlement in your case is that you seek medical attention.

Your physician will be able to determine the nature and extent of the injuries resulting from your accident and recommend the appropriate medical treatment and proper care during your recovery.  Once your personal injury lawyer has this information, he or she will most likely be able to assess the value of your case and determine what it’s worth.  At this point, you and your lawyer will begin the settlement process.  Remember, the primary aim of personal injury (tort) law is to provide financial relief to the victim.

Determining the Value of Your Case

There are a number of factors that a personal injury lawyer will take into account when trying to determine the value of your case.  In most instances, this comes down to a single word – damages – which are classified as “non-pecuniary” and “pecuniary.”  In some cases, non-pecuniary damages may also be referred to as non-economic or general damages.  These include:

  • embarrassment and humiliation
  • emotional distress
  • loss of companionship
  • loss of consortium
  • loss of reputation
  • loss of society
  • mental anguish and shock
  • physical pain and suffering

Depending on the severity of your injuries, non-pecuniary damages will range anywhere from 1.5 to 5 times that of pecuniary damages.  Pecuniary damages may be referred to as economic or special damages and typically include:

  • funeral and burial expenses
  • lost earning capacity
  • lost wages (past and future)
  • medical expenses
  • property damage

While establishing damages in a personal injury case in Barrie, Orillia, or Stouffville is part of the legal process, the burden of proof where liability and negligence is concerned rests on you and your lawyer’s shoulders.  This is where personal injury law can become extremely complex.

Part II will explain how the value of your claim is adjusted along with submitting your offer for a fair and reasonable settlement.