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Articles Posted in Car Accident

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Recently, a post went viral on Tik Tok of a York Regional Police officer checking out his mobile device while driving at what appeared to be a high speed.

It would seem unfair that a police officer would be driving around in his police cruiser checking out his cell phone because if members of the general public did the same, they would be given a ticket.

But is it?

There is a caveat in then Highway Traffic Act which permits police, fire and emergency responders to use the mobile devices while driving. There are likely good policy reasons behind these laws, but I cannot say for certain what policy reasons those might be. I can certainly make assumptions that using a mobile device as a police officer, fireman or emergency responder might be required.

Here is what the Highway Traffic Act has to say about operating your mobile device while driving:

Display screen visible to driver prohibited

78 (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway if the display screen of a television, computer or other device in the motor vehicle is visible to the driver.  2009, c. 4, s. 1.


(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to the driver of an ambulance, fire department vehicle or police department vehicle.  2009, c. 4, s. 1.

Hand-held devices prohibited Wireless communication devices

78.1 (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.  2009, c. 4, s. 2; 2015, c. 27, Sched. 7, s. 18.

Entertainment devices

(2) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held electronic entertainment device or other prescribed device the primary use of which is unrelated to the safe operation of the motor vehicle.  2009, c. 4, s. 2.


(4) Subsection (1) does not apply to,

(a)  the driver of an ambulance, fire department vehicle or police department vehicle;

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Car insurance, and making a claim after a car accident in Ontario should be simple and straight forward.

But, as a personal injury lawyer with two decades of experience in the field, I can tell you that it’s not. Far from it! In fact, car insurance and accident benefit claims are complex and defy common sense.

Here are a few items that our lawyers at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers along with our clients have always found rather strange when it comes to car accident claims in Ontario.

Item #1 Regardless of fault, the first insurer to respond to the claim is your own car insurance company. Ontario has a “no fault” system of accident benefits. This means that your own car insurer, regardless of fault, is the first insurer to make a payment of the claim. The at fault driver could have been drunk, high on drugs, on his cell phone having run a red light. It doesn’t matter. Your own car insurer, regardless of fault, is the first insurer to pay. This is what “no fault” is all about. How the accident happened and the degree of liability for the at fault driver is not even a thought when it comes to no fault accident benefits which defies common logic when non lawyers think about car accident cases.

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The greater your injuries, the greater the value of your personal injury case.

The same applies in the opposite.

The less severe your injuries, the less value your personal injury case will have.

It’s always good to have a healthy and high quality of life and a lower value personal injury case; as opposed to the other way around. Nobody wants a poor quality of life. Money is not a substitute for happiness or for having the inability to manage daily tasks.

At some point in your personal injury case, an insurance adjuster, lawyer for the insurance company, or even a Judge might ask a Plaintiff how they are doing, or how they are feeling.

People have a tendency to respond that they are “doing fine“. Think about that for a moment. When a friend, family member, or work colleague asks you how you are doing, the tendency is not to open up and share all of your problems (because that would be really weird). Instead, more often than not, we tend to reply that we are “doing fine”.

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It may be your first time being involved in a serious car accident where you have sustained serious injuries. These are not common events. And because these are not common events, few people know exactly what to after the accident, or how to deal with their car insurer.

The purpose of this edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is to provide you with quick tips dealing with your Car Insurance Company after a serious collision.

1.You deal with your own car insurer first. Ontario  has a no fault system of accident benefits for car accident cases. That means that regardless of fault, the first insurer you will deal with is your own insurer. This seems counter intuitive, but this is how the law works. So, the at fault driver could have been drunk driving, high on drugs, texting on his phone, and ran multiple red lights. It does not matter. The first insurer you will deal with is your own insurer regardless of fault. Weird huh!

2. Watch what you say to the insurance adjuster. When you call most insurers, there is a recorded message saying that the call will be recorded for training and customer service. The call is being recorded so that if you put your foot in your mouth, and say something which is helpful to the insurer, but hurtful to your case; it can and will be used against you moving forward. Many claimants put their feet in their mouths and cause more harm than good in these recorded phone calls with their insurance adjusters. It’s much wiser to let an experienced personal injury lawyer handle it.

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Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you have to love this time of year. Holiday meals, celebrations, gifts and good vibes galore. That’s what the holidays are about. A bit tone deaf given the political climate? Sure. But the focus of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog isn’t politics. Let’s keep that debate out of it and focus on the intention of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog which is to educate the public on the ins and outs of personal injury law in Ontario.

The holiday season can get ruined by anyone who makes a bad decision and jeopardizes their life, and the lives of others because they weren’t thinking or showed a wanton disregard for the health and safety of others. Those sort of people exist. You know, the people who make selfish decisions which impact the safety of others. The people who can’t say “no” to the next drink, or are too proud to call a taxi after a few too many drinks.

So, without further ado, here are Goldfinger Injury Lawyers quick hitter tips on how to keep the Holiday Season a safe one. While following these tips can’t guarantee safety, following them certainly can increase the odds of making this holiday season a fun and safe one, as oppose to needing to consult with a personal injury lawyer on account of a serious accident resulting in injury.

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When a car accident happens, you would like to think that the insurance company insuring the at fault driver will pay out on a meritorious claim.

That makes sense.

But more often that not, insurance companies try to avoid (putting it kindly) their obligation to pay out on such claims. They will leave no stone unturned in an attempt to get out of paying. Smart tactic when it works. But breaches all conventional norms of decency when it fails. But a little egg on the face of an insurer isn’t a new thing.

One of the ways that they can avoid paying out on claims is by attempting to nullify the insurance for the Defendant at fault driver.

They can do so in a number of ways.

One of the ways is to declare that the at fault Defendant driver didn’t have any sort of insurance coverage in the first place.

This happens more often that you would think. During the Pandemic, many Ontario drivers stayed at home on account of COVID and the lockdowns. These motorists had cars, which weren’t being used at all. They were just sitting in the garage, all the while the motorist was paying insurance premiums. Many of these motorists temporarily cancelled their car insurance during the Pandemic to save a few dollars. This makes perfect sense.

But the problem became that many of these drivers who removed coverage, forgot to reactivate their coverage when the world opened up again. The result was that they thought that they were driving around with proper insurance coverage, but in reality; they were not.

In that example, the insurance coverage is well within their rights to deny coverage for a car accident which took place when there was a temporary hold, or removal, of the insurance coverage. You don’t get coverage for free.

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It’s a legal requirement to drive a motor vehicle with car insurance.

Section 2(1) of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act states:

Compulsory automobile insurance

(1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,

(a) operate the motor vehicle; or

(b) cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated,

on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance

In plain language English, this means that if you are driving a motor vehicle without insurance, you are breaking the law.

The consequences for breaching the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act can be significant. It’s not a criminal offense, but the fines and consequences for driving without car insurance can add up quickly.

Section 2(3) of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act sets out the penalties for driving without insurance. Those penalties are set out below. If you don’t want to read the “leagalese”, I’ll quickly summarize those penalties for you. A Justice of the Peace can fine you (not more than $50,000 after multiple offenses), can take away your driver’s license, can impound your car, and can charge you for the costs of impounding your car.

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When someone gets into an accident, we think that the accident victim is automatically entitled to compensation. This seems basic, fair, and like the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the law is not so simple, nor is it very forgiving.

The law is a donkey. It’s rather stubborn, unyielding, and once you think you have it figured out, it gives you a big kick in the you know what!

Just because you’ve been involved in an accident, even if the accident is NOT your fault; it does not mean that you are entitled to compensation. And even if you are eligible for compensation for your injuries or damages, it does not always mean that you will recover as much as you think you are entitled to.

Insurers and defence lawyers want to know how much money a Plaintiff has received since their accident. Not only that, they want to know how much money a Plaintiff might be eligible to receive even though they have not collected that money.

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linkedin-2-300x300Personal Injury Law in Ontario does not make sense. It’s overly complicated, and intentionally hides things from Jurors.

It would make sense to present a Juror (who likely has no prior experience being a Juror) with all of the facts so that they can make a just decision.

Yet, in personal injury cases, there are things which lawyers are NOT allowed to share with the jury. Insiders (like Judges, insurance adjusters, and lawyers) know about what can be shared with a jury, and what cannot. But jurors are intentionally left in the dark.

Here are a few things which lawyers cannot share with the jury, at a personal injury trial.

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Everyday, our personal injury law firm receives calls from people who have been involved in car accidents in Ontario.

Some people reside in Ontario.

Other people reside outside of Ontario.

Some accident victims have their own car insurance.

Others have no form of car insurance whatsoever.

Their common connection is that they’ve been involved in a car accident in Ontario; and now; don’t know what to do; or where to turn.

They don’t know the right things to do. They don’t want to do the wrong things either. It’s their first time being involved in a serious car accident and they are looking for answers.

People tell me that they weren’t taught in school how to handle a car accident case with an insurance company. Nor is there any quick and easy book on what to do after they’ve been involved in a car accident. They are right in stating that what to do after a car accident isn’t on the standard school curriculum. But, there is a fast and quick guide on what to do after they’ve been involved in a car accident in Ontario. The Goldfinger Guide to Fair Compensation is a great starting point and it can be found in the link above. Reading the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog (as you are right now!) is another great resource.

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