Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

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Did you know that May is Motorcycle Safety Month? Unless you’re a personal injury lawyer; the answer is likely “no”. Well…It is!

So, what does that mean for the average person? Probably not much…But, injury lawyers like me are trying to raise awarness of motorcycle safety and motorcycle injuries through social media posts such as this one.

The Ministry of Transportation keeps road safety and accident stats in something called “Ontario Road Safety Annual Reports“. The most updated ORSAR is a 2014 report which shows the following interesting stats for road safety:

Total Fatal and Personal Injury Collisions in 2014: 34,064

Total drivers involved in fatal and personal injury collisions: 64,202

Total vehicles involved in fatal and personal injury collisions: 64,736

Persons Killed in Motor Vehicle Collisions per 100,000 people: 3.52

11.6% of Motor Vehicle Fatality Claims were Motorcycle Fatalities 

Of the 64,736 vehicles involved in reported collisions in 2014, 1,206 were motorcycles or mopeds. Of those 1,206 vehicles, 54 of those claims resulted in fatalities.

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Did summer hit, or is it just me? With a quick snap of the fingers, we’re already in June with some fantastic weather. I’ll take it after a long, cold winter.

When we get nicer weather in Ontario, people are more inclined to ride their motorcycles and bikes. The rules of the road and the way personal injury law works in Ontario for motorcyclist and cyclists can get a bit tricky…but it shouldn’t.

The purpose of this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post is to examine the law and how it relates to accidents involving motorcycles and bikes, and how this can differ (or be the same) from your normal car accident case.

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Clients frequently believe that because a car accident happened, and they’re not at fault, that they’re automatically entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.

That might have been the case in the 1960’s or 1970’s during the “auto-lotto“, but that’s certainly not the case in Ontario anymore.

Lawyers refer to those times as the “auto-lotto” because just being involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, likely resulted in some form of recovery for the Plaintiff.

The laws have changed dramatically, and because of these changes, insurers are looking to different factors in their assessments to claims.

Having over a decade of experience representing accident victims in helping them get the compensation they deserve, our lawyers have observed several trends which insurers look to in assessing the value to car accident claims. These little things aren’t things which people normally think of; but which insurers place a lot of weight on.

With this latest edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog, we will examine what those sometimes overlooked factors are which insurers place a lot of weight on; which people tend not to give much thought about.
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Yesterday, there was a fatal crash on Highway 401 just outside of Whitby. The accident involved 4 vehicles (a Toyota Corolla, a transport truck, a tour bus, and a Pontiac motor vehicle).

The transport truck hit the Corolla at around 10:30AM, so visibility was likely not an issue around that time of day. Police are still uncertain about how the accident happened, but they suspect that the transport truck rear ended the Corolla.

There were 3 passengers in the Corolla. The driver (47 years old) and front seat passenger (29 years old) was taken by ambulance to the hospital with very serious injuries. The third passenger was seated in the back seat. He passed away at the accident scene. At law, this is what we call a fatality claim. Those claims, contrary to popular belief, do not attract as big as settlement as you would think. The pain and suffering for such claims is limited from the time of the accident, to the time of the death. If the death is instantaneous, the damages for pain and suffering will not be significant.

Where the damages can get significant are where there are Family Law Act Claims, along with claims for loss of income to the family.
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Bike safety is becoming a “sexy” and “on trend” topic for municipal and provincial politicians for a variety of reasons. Governments can’t afford to ignore cyclists. They can’t afford to ignore motorists either.

Ontario has pledged $25 million dollars for bike infrastructure over the next 3 years. Where’s that money going to come from? I don’t know. Do you think that the Liberals will get enough support to pass that through a budget? Another excellent question.

That cycling money is for the entire province. That means that every municipality will be fighting for a piece of that provincial money. Toronto will of course want the lion’s share of that money so that they can accommodate the hundreds of thousands of cyclists who take to the roads every day. London, Brampton, Mississauga, Peterborough, Lindsay, Sudbury, Richmond Hill, Vaughan. You name the Ontario Municipality. They will want a piece of that provincial bike lane money.

Will $25 million of provincial money adequately finance Ontario’s cycling needs? Will $25 million in provincial money keep cyclists and motorists safe from accident?
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This week I had the pleasure chatting with a kind Detective from the Toronto Police Service in the lobby of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The CICB is where victims of crime can go to get compensation for their injuries resulting from a crime. So, if you’ve been shot or stabbed, you may claim compensation from the CICB. Our office can assist you with the hearing. Hearings take place in a majority of these case. That means you need to go to Court.

If you were to sue the wrong doer, chances are you wouldn’t be able to recover very much money because most wrong doers are judgment proof (unless the wrong doer is a known multimillionaire). That means that they have no quantifiable assets. A stack of money under a pillow doesn’t count. The CICB awards victims of crimes with real money for their injuries, making these cases worth pursuing from a financial perspective.

Back to the story of the Detective and I. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

We were sharing war stories, chatting about the hit TV Show “The Wire“, along with some of the crazy situations we’ve both encountered.

It was an absolute pleasure hearing the perspective from a Detective. Did you know that it’s the police officers who prepare the warrants and all of the legal paperwork which is later relied on by the Crown to prosecute a case? Unlike in the United States where the Attorney General and their lawyers and law clerks prepare this sort of paper work; here it’s the officers themselves who do it.

These officers have no substantive legal training. They’re trained to be cops, not lawyers/paper pushers. Yet, their paper work is legal, and it’s scrutinized by Defence Lawyers and Judges alike. Their paperwork is so important to advancing the Crown’s position. Seems like an unfair fight having paper work prepared by a police officer torn to shreds by an experienced Defence Lawyer along with their legal team. But I’m no expert when it comes to criminal law. Personal Injury Law is what we do best.
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The biggest snow storm of the year has hit Toronto and other parts of Ontario. Parts of Highway 401 have been closed off on account of car accidents, poor visibility and poor driving conditions. The police, tow truck drivers and CAA are backlogged with reports of accidents and vehicles in distress. It’s days like these where people ask this personal injury lawyer “how can I avoid getting in to a car accident when the conditions are so bad“?

Well, on this snowy Toronto day, I’m going to share with you Brian Goldfinger’s top 6 tips on how to avoid/evade a car accident in a bad snow storm. If these tips aren’t sufficient, then check out the Goldfinger Guide to Fair Compensation, a copy of which is available at our website here, or you can request a hard copy from our office by clicking a link here.
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If you hit a moose, a deer, or any other sort of animal and you get injured in the car accident, you can’t sue the animal. You can try. But I have a feeling that the animal doesn’t have car insurance, doesn’t have a bank account, and doesn’t have any sort of income; so your case will be bust.

If, per chance, that animal is owned by a wealthy owner (like Bill Gates or Donald Trump), OR any insured owner by that matter; then there’s a chance we can sue the owner for letting their animal get out of control and causing the car accident. I suppose that fact scenario would work in a situation where you hit a stray horse which happened to wander out of its pen and into the middle of a long country road causing you to hit it. In that scenario, we have to ensure that the home owner’s policy, or commercial general liability policy (CGL) covers them for this sort of loss.

BUT, most of the calls we get at Goldfinger Personal Injury Law involve people hitting a moose, or a deer along a quiet country road. You know those signs you see in remote areas which show a symbol of a deer prancing, which are supposed to be deer crossings; or beware of deer because they exist around these parts and they’re a driving hazard. You know that expression “deer in the headlights“. Welll, for city folk like those residing in the CIty of Toronto, deer hazards are likely very uncommon.
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Brain injury is serious.

I could end this blog posting there, but you’re probably craving more. I mean, sometimes reading about personal injury law can be so gosh darn enterntaining.

Goldfinger Personal Injury Law gets tons of calls a day from prospective clients. Of all the calls we get; it’s those calls which involve brain injury claims which can be the trickiest to handle.

When you break your leg, or arm in a car accident; you know it’s broken. The x-ray shows it; or the bone might be protruding out of place; or the area that’s been hit might be swollen.
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Car Accident Injury more than meets the eye.Ontario has a very complicated accident benefits system for car accidents. Car accident lawyers have to keep up with the changes in the laws, which occur regularly.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in a car accident, you are allowed to claim accident benefits. For some, the most important group of accident benefits are those relating to income, caregiver and non-earner benefits. All of these benefits represent money which is potentially available to you in the event that you are not able to lead a normal life as a result of your car accident.

The thing that insurance companies DO NOT tell you, is that you have the right to chose which benefits you would like. This is called an “election”, and there is a special form that you must complete in order to elect one of these three benefits. If you DO NOT elect one of these three benefits, then the insurance company will pick a benefit for you; and it will likely be a benefit which is advantageous for them, and not for you.

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