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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

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A bad police report and a poor police investigation can be very harmful to an injured Plaintiff in personal injury cases.

In order for a Plaintiff’s personal injury case to succeed, the Plaintiff must establish that the Defendant was negligent (at fault) for the accident in question.

No fault against the other driver? No tort claim.

Regardless of how seriously injured the Plaintiff is; if the Plaintiff cannot establish fault against the other driver, they won’t have a successful tort claim. That’s not to say that they won’t have a successful accident benefit claim. Accident benefit claims are not subject to same the fault rules which we see in tort cases.

All too often, our office has seen police investigations in Ontario which frankly aren’t done properly. That’s not to say that all police investigations into motor vehicle accidents fall short. One bad apple (or a few bad apples) can certainly spoil the bunch.

There is no doubt that police resources are spread thin. Large jurisdictions like Toronto have a lot of ground to cover. Other more rural jurisdictions may not have ample resources. But the consequences of not getting the job done properly, or at all, can be devastating to a personal injury case.

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Being involved in a motorcycle accident is very serious.

No bumpers. No airbags. No re-inforced steel or plastic to absorb the impact of a serious collision. Add to that the proximity to the hard road and the impact falling off the bike can have. A thousand and one other bad things can happen after a motorcycle accident.

The weight of the motorcycle landing on its driver or passenger.

Not having a seat belt to keep you in place which can lead to the driver or passenger going flying off the bike and landing who knows where.

Helmets work. But how much will a helmet protect its wearer when a collision takes place at high speed.

There is still a negative stigma against motorcylists in many communities. The preconceived notion that bikers are rebels with bad attitudes hasn’t gone away and can work against an innocent accident victim where liability is an issue. This is particularly important when the evidence of independent witnesses is important. This is also important when the police aren’t on the biker’s side in determining fault for the motorcycle accident.

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Every car accident case in Ontario has three major components:

  1. Liability
  2. Causation
  3. Damages

Without a personal injury lawyer establishing all of these components, the personal injury case will fail. Meaning, that if  Defendant successfully refutes, or creates sufficient doubt to surpass a balance of probabilities, the Defendant will win the case. As a plaintiff personal injury lawyer, you don’t want to see that happen.

In addition to these three pillars of personal injury law, your Ontario personal injury lawyer also must overcome the following rules at trial which CANNOT be shared with the jury:

  1. The Threshold for General Damages (did the injured accident victim sustain a serious and permanent impairment of an important bodily function)
  2. The Deductible aka the secret credit. The current deductible stands at $38,818.97 for any award for general damages below $129,395.49. The effect of the secret credit is that the Defendant insurance company does NOT NEED TO PAY THE FIRST $38,818.97  of any award below $129,395.49. We here at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers refer to the deductible as the secret credit because plaintiff lawyers are NOT ALLOWED TO MENTION THE DEDUCTIBLE AT TRIAL. So if a Jury intends to award a Plaintiff $50,000 in general damages for pain and suffering, that award automatically gets reduced to just $11,181.38 which is a 76% reduction in value from what the jury originally intended to award! On what planet do we automatically strip the will of the jury by such a large proportion?!?!? One final note on the secret credit. How many jurors to you think earn $38,818.97/year after tax. The median individual income in Ontario sits just $27,600.

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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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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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