Articles Posted in Car Accident

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Mistakes happen. Part of our job at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers is helping people better understand the law, and how car accident insurance works in Ontario.

Today the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is pleased to share Brian Goldfinger’s list of Top 6 Mistakes which people make after a serious car accident in Ontario.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car collision, Brian Goldfinger and the team at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers urge you to read this list carefully to make sure that the same mistakes don’t happen do you or your loved ones. Your health is important and so is your case. Don’t get hurt twice.

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This installment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post will deal with Brian Goldfinger’s tips on driving in Winter Wonderland.

Now that winter is here (officially), it’s important to get a refresher on how to stay safe when road conditions get hazardous on account of bad weather.

Brian Goldfinger has represented his fair share of personal injury clients who have been involved in serious motor vehicle collisions where winter weather has played a role.

Most car accidents are avoidable” says personal injury lawyer Brian Goldfinger. “Speed and road conditions generally play a role; but so does bad judgment, and having the right equipment on your vehicle”.

Mr. Goldfinger will help the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog readership in further understanding how to stay safe while driving in winter conditions.

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On December 5, 2017, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa along with Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced another set of major reforms to car insurance in Ontario. This set of reforms has a grandiose name, much like all of the other reforms which have been introduced in the 14+ years of Wynne rule in Ontario.

The “Fair Auto Insurance Plan” is intended to lower premiums in Ontario, and reduce fraud. Both sound like great things. Haven’t we been trying to reduce premiums over the past 30+ years? In that time period, have your premiums gone down? Have the premiums of your neighbours, friends, family members or loved ones even gone down in the past 5 years? Likely not according to our very informal survey of asking real people if their premiums have gone down.

The Fair Auto Insurance Plan is based on the recommendations from the Marshall Report, created by former head of the WSIB David Marshall. The Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog covered the Marshall Report entitled Fair Accident Benefits, Fairly Delivered in a previous entry here. If you haven’t read up on the Marshall Report, I suggest that you do if you want to better understand what the Liberal Government is hoping to accomplish.

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An Ontario MPP’s private member’s bill proposed that pedestrians not paying attention to where or how they are walking, could be fined up to $50 for distracted walking.

It’s called the “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” and was tabled by Toronto MPP Yves Baker of Etobicoke Centre.

Baker’s bill would ban people from looking at their phones or electronic devices when crossing roads, with an initial $50 fine for the first offence, $75 for the second and up to $125 for the third. Exceptions would include pedestrians making an emergency call or if they began speaking on the phone before stepping into the crosswalk (this would be difficult to prove).

In Ontario, the OPP attributed 65 deaths in 2016 to distracted driving, which is more than impaired driving, speeding or not wearing a seat belt. While this is not distracted walking, it’s certainly along the same lines. In 2016, 42 pedestrians were killed on Toronto’s streets, the most since 2002.

Here are Goldfinger Injury Lawyers, we applaud the “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” as too often, we see people taking those so called “zombie walks” without paying attention to where they are going, or what they’re doing.

But, we have a lot of questions about the new Act, which are explored in greater detail below.

Please keep in mind that distracted walking does not only involve accidents involving pedestrians, and cars, bikes or other motorized vehicles.

People walk in to pot holes or cracks or lose their footing on account of not paying attention to where they are walking .

People walk in to lamp posts, doors, walls, guard rails, other pedestrians, parked cars and fall down stairs because they are not paying attention to where they are walking.

People slip on ice or other slick surfaces because they aren’t paying attention to where they’re walking.

You have all seen the YouTube clips before of ridiculous distracted walking incidents. Our personal injury lawyers field some of those calls.

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Your personal injury lawyer may have shared the term “Examination for Discovery” with you when describing the next step in your case.

This may be the first time you’ve heard this legal term.

Understanding what it means to participate in an Examination for Discovery, and why a discovery is important for your personal injury case, will help you better understand and make you feel more comfortable with your case. An understanding and more comfortable client will perform better when it matters most.

After reading this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post you may likely still be nervous for an upcoming Examination for Discovery.

Rest assured; these feelings are NORMAL! It’s perfectly normal to get nervous or anxious to participate in a discovery if you’ve never done one before. Even if you have participated in one, you never know what to expect.

Unless you’re a lawyer who has done hundreds or thousands of Examinations for Discovery, you will likely have a hard time sleeping the eve of discovery on account of nerves. Use those nerves to your advantage to keep you sharp and alert throughout the discovery process instead of having those nerves work against you.

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Car accident cases in Ontario should be simple.

The premise of one car, hitting another car by mistake or negligence; and thereby causing damages/injuries to another party ought to be basic tort law.

Unfortunately in Ontario, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Ontario Government, at the behest of large insurers has created a system whereby the rights of people are not equal to the rights of large insurance companies. This system has become very complicated.

The law has been crafted in such a way as to minimize the exposure/risk for insurers to boost their profits, at the expense of everyday people like you and me.

I have never met an individual unaffiliated with car insurance industry (doctor, therapist, adjuster, lobbyist, lawyer, insurance company employee/agent) who has lobbied for changes to accident benefits or the Insurance Act. Yet, major changes to accident benefits and the Insurance Act happen on a near annual basis.

The election issue of lowering car insurance premiums was admitted by Premier Wynne to be a “stretch goal“. But reforms to the accident benefit system, and how tort claims proceed through the Courts was not a election issue. Yet these items are constantly being tinkered with at the expense of innocent accident victims to bolster insurer profits.

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If you are hearing a roar of applause, and perhaps laughter in delight, it’s coming from high atop the corporate head quarters and legal offices of auto insurers across Ontario.

Insurers won large in two recent Court of Appeal decisions which were released earlier this month:

El-Khodr v. Lackie, 2017 ONCA 716

Cobb v. Long Estate, 2017 ONCA 717

In the Cobb decision, a Jury verdict of $220,000 in favour of the injured accident victim plaintiff, was reduced by the Ontario Court of Appeal to just $22,136.60. After applying the statutory deductible for pain and suffering claims, that meant the case had no value whatsoever.

This case took 19 days to try before a Jury. Costs were awarded to the Plaintiff in the amount of $409,098.48. That cost award by the trial judge was completely eliminated by the Ontario Court of Appeal, who ruled that “in the circumstances, in my view, the fairest result to both sides is that each party bears its own costs“.

The Insurance Act and car accident legislation is intended to be consumer protection legislation. There are reasons that there are (and were) cost provisions against large insurers to ensure that the scales of justice were not tipped in their favour when it comes to the money required to litigate disputes.

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The Liberal Government of Ontario plans to introduce new tougher penalties to crack down on careless and distracted driving, this fall.

The Honourable Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, along with some other MPPs, announced the new measures today in Toronto.

The legislation, if passed, is supposed to protect pedestrians and cyclists and reduce the number of fatality claims involving people killed or injured by drunk, distracted, impaired and/or dangerous drivers.

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Our personal injury lawyers constantly field questions from prospective clients regarding the basic steps of what to do after they’ve been involved in a car accident in Ontario.

We must admit, the laws surrounding car accidents in Ontario are confusing. They certainly aren’t straight forward by any means. It comes as no surprise to our lawyers that people have questions, and LOTS of them!

This is why our law firm has put forward this easy to understand claims guide in order to assist you after you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or have been hit by a car as a pedestrian.

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Our law firm has written many articles on how to complete the OCF-3 Disability Certificate in previous editions of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog.

Your can read these previous articles here, here, or here.

Don’t get me wrong. Those articles are great and contain valuable information for accident victims, their loved ones, doctors, therapists, even insurance adjusters.

But those articles are dated. Accident benefit and car insurance law is ever changing!!!

The standard OCF claim forms are constantly being updated. We have no reasonable explanation as to why the OCF forms get changed around so often aside from the government is constantly changing car accident law to keep lawyers and insurers on their toes. These changes generally seem to favour large insurers, but that’s another story all together.

The end result is that injured accident victims, doctors, therapists and rehab clinics may be using old forms which won’t be accepted by the insurer when submitted.

In fact, we’ve had experience with more than one adjuster who has submitted the wrong/dated OCF form to our clients by mistake. Our lawyers don’t blame them. The system and the constant tweeks/updates to accident benefit and car insurance law has made an already complex system even more complex and burdensome to accident victims, service providers and insurers alike.

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