Accidents in Ontario on the rise
In a recent article written for the Advocate Daily, we commented on a report indicating a five-year high for fatalities for accidents in Ontario on OPP patrolled roads and waterways. We said that we were not surprised there were more accidents in Ontario given the growing number of vehicles on the road each year. That, combined with the increased use of electronics and hand-held devices in vehicles has created deadly distractions for drivers today.
Accidents in Ontario statistics
The report, produced by the OPP, highlighted some startling statistics from our roadways.
· 343 people died in collisions in 2017 compared to 307 in 2016, with the increase coming from driver inattention, speed and not wearing seatbelts
· 91 people died in collisions that involved a commercial transport truck in 2017
· 48 motorcyclists died in 2017
Driver Error is a Key Factor in Accidents in Ontario
A further look into the causes of these accidents show that driver error is a key factor. In addition to being distracted, drivers are failing to come to a complete stop and intersections, misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic when stopping or merging and they are driving recklessly.
Sometimes things are beyond the driver’s control such as road disrepair and weather conditions. And sometimes the condition of the vehicle can contribute to the accident. Faulty brakes, broken signal lights windows or mirrors all increase the likelihood of an accident. It is always the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the vehicle is in good repair, that it is serviced regularly and that does not have an outstanding recall.
To prevent another increase in our provincial accident statistics, there are a few things that you can do to keep our roadways safe.
Adopt a Three Second Rule
Experts suggest that you leave a three second gap between your vehicle and the one in front of you. To do this, pick a stationary landmark such as a tree or sign. When the car ahead of you is about to pass that landmark, start counting. If the car passes the landmark before you reach three, you need to slow down. You are following too closely. Reducing your speed will allow you enough space to slow down or stop quickly to avoid a hazard.
Use Your Full Attention When Driving
Operating a vehicle, of any kind, requires your full attention. If you need to read a map, eat, check on kids in the back or make a call, pull over when it’s safe.
Driving impaired or stoned can severely diminish your reaction time and your ability to notice hazards on the road. The same is true for driving tired. Avoid drugs and alcohol when driving and get enough rest.
In light of these recent reports, please drive carefully to protect you and your family. If you have been involved in a car accident in Ontario, you likely qualify for accident benefits to help you as you recover. If you have been involved in a car accident and have question about how to deal with insurance claims and benefits, please contact for a free consultation.
Ottawa Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth. www.ottawainjury.ca I am often asked to appear on CTV to discuss Ontario personal injury issues that relate to Ottawa personal injury, Ontario personal injury, liability in Ontario, brain injury, spinal cord injury, Ottawa law firms, traumatic injury, catastrophic injury claims, slip and fall insurance claims and liability issues. I recently uploaded some of the segments. Here is a video which discusses back to school liability issues. It can be seen here:
If you have any questions that relate to Ottawa Personal Injury or Ontario Personal Injury and think you may need an Ontario lawyer in Ottawa or eastern Ontario, feel free to call me for a free consultation. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca
———————- The Ottawa Injury Blog is written regularly by Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa injury lawyer representing Ottawa accident victims and the families of accident victims who have lost a loved one in an Ontario accident. This blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a question, feel free to call or email firstname.lastname@example.org (613) 978-9549
Ottawa Ontario Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth, School Liability, Ontario Insurance Claims
What is a mediation?
If you suffered a personal injury in an accident and are involved in a personal injury law suit in Ottawa or in some other Ontario jurisdictions, one of the required steps is to work at resolving the dispute with your insurance company at the mediation level . The idea is that all facts will be on the table for both sides and a personal injury lawyer can represent you and negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf , avoiding the cost, time and stress of going to court. Each party has the opportunity to express their concerns, tell their stories and attempt to negotiate an agreement. Accident victims should ensure that they completely understand the process and know what to expect before they attend the mediation. Chances of a successful mediation, of resolving the dispute or at least some of the issues between the parties, are enhanced by taking the time to prepare. David meets personally with all his clients before such meetings to sit down, review and discuss what is expected of them at mediation.
What can I expect in a mediation ?
Mediation is simply a step in the legal process designed for people to settle disputes or lawsuits outside of court. A mediator is hired to be unbiased and help both sides come up with a fair solution they are both happy with. The mediator is not a judge or an arbitrator. Mediators are not judges and do not decide who wins and who gets what. The mediator’s role is to help the people involved to reach a fair settlement with each other in a positive manner and move the lawsuit forward, to understand all sides, and to find a resolution that both sides feel good about. The mediator’s role is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to express themselves, their concerns, and their interests. The purpose of this stage in the process is not to determine who wins and who loses a case, but to come up with a solution and possibly avoid a trial. The process is informal, relaxed and absolutely confidential. The insurance company and the accident victim speak more openly than they would in court. Most accident victims find mediation a more comfortable and constructive process than they would in court.
Typically, a mediation involving a personal injury lawsuit most often begin with the mediator explaining the reasons and procedures for the personal injury mediation. Then the personal injury lawyer and the insurance defence lawyer make opening statements explaining the facts of the case. Both sides involved in a law suit must attend the mediation. However, they are not always required to speak. A personal injury lawyer will often speak on their clients behalf. The mediator may the accident victim if there is anything they want to add. However, it is common for the clients not to speak in the mediation.
How long does a mediation last?
After the opening statements, the parties usually retire to separate rooms where they exchange settlement offers back and forth under the guidance of the mediator. This is often when most personal injury cases develop and a lot of progress is made in resolving the personal injury lawsuit. In some instances the lawyers will have a direct conversation without clients. The mediator may or may not participate. Almost always the person who attends the mediation with the defence lawyer is not the driver but an insurance company representative who decides on behalf of the insurance company how much money in compensation they will pay out to the accident victim.
Unfortunately not all personal injury lawsuits settle at the mediation level, but a lot do. In the instances where they do not settle, the lawyers can continue to discuss settlement and will move forward towards a trial date.
DO: Remain at the scene of an accident.
- Call the police and advise of the nature of injuries suffered at the scene of an accident.
- Provide the following information: your name and address, your vehicle permit number, and the name and address of the owner of the car (if it is not your car).
- Get the names, address, phone number, vehicle permit number and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
- Get the names, address, and phone numbers of any witnesses who saw the accident.
- Write down anything anybody says about how the accident happened.
- Tell the police officer if you think another driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Move the vehicles, or any debris, unless they are a potential hazard to other motorists; or
- Sign documents or discuss the accident with anyone but the police.
What should I do after I’ve been at the scene of an accident ?
- When you get to the hospital or to your home, you should call your insurance agent immediately. If you do not have your own insurance you may be entitled under someone else’s policy or through the Ontario’s Superintendent of Insurance through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
- Make an appointment with your family doctor or attend a walk-in clinic.
- Take photographs of any damage to your car, truck, bicycle or motorcycle.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer.
- If you have any visible injuries, take photographs of these injuries. Also take photographs of any damaged clothing or belongings.
- Contact your employer or school and advise them that you were in an accident.
- Consider your needs for specialized equipment and home modifications.
- Keep a detailed record of all medications taken, assistance received from family, friends or professionals, all rehabilitation or doctors’ appointments, progress or development in physical, psychological or mental injuries, and all out of pocket expenses including parking, wheel chair rental, ambulance bills etc..
- Comply with all requirements of the Accident Benefits.
- Let your personal injury lawyer assist in completing the Accident Benefits forms.
- Provide any statements to your insurance company until you have consulted with a personal injury lawyer.
If you have any questions at all that relate to personal injury and accidents, please don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Ottawa Lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Injury Lawyer…I came across this information on the Canada Safety Council website and thought I would share . Let’s do everything we can to keep our kids safe and avoid child injuries !
Canadian Safety Council: Buckle-Up Basics
Did you know that the proper use of a child restraint on each and every trip can prevent 75% of crash-related deaths and serious child injuries. Sadly, roadside checks find only 51.6 % of children buckled up at all. During 2002, Buckle Up Bears clinics found that less than 20 percent of all car seats checked were correctly installed. By following tips from the Canada Safety Council, we can help make sure children are properly secured in their vehicles.
The Fundamentals of installing child car seats
- Always ensure your child car seat has CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) on the label and has a valid manufacturer’s instructions.
- Check the weight and height limits of the seat and check this against the child being placed in the child car seat.
- Before you buy a child car seat, test it in your vehicle to ensure that it fits well in your vehicle.
- Follow all instructions according to the child seat manufacturer’s manual and the vehicle owner’s manual.
- Transport Canada recommends that children under the age of 12 and under should be properly restrained in the back seat especially if there is a passenger-side air bag.
Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat Birth to 10 kg (22 lb.)
- An infant-only car seat is the best for young babies. When your child is over the height OR weight limit of the infant-only car seat, you can use an infant seat in the rear-facing position.
- Always ensure the harness are snug. You should only be able to fit one finger between you baby’s and the harness.
- Make sure that the chest clips are positioned at your child’s armpit level.
- Remove winter outdoor wear before placing your child in their seat.
- Never put a rear-facing child car seat on a seat that is equipped with an air bag.
Forward-Facing Car Child Seat 10 – 18 kg (22 – 40 lb.)
- Once your child weighs 10 kg and are able to stand independently you can switch to a forward-facing seat.
- Always make sure the harness is snug and follow the one finger rule. The chest clip needs to be at the armpit level.
- All forward-facing child car seats must be anchored to the vehicle frame with a tether strap. If the anchor is not visible, check in the trunk.
Booster Car Seat 18 kg (40 lb.) or over
- Your child can move to a booster seat once they weigh 18 kg.
- A booster car seat raises the child to properly fit the adult seat-belt.
- A booster car seat that uses a lap is always best.
- Check your seat and ensure that you are following the weight limits.
- Once your child has reached the age of 8 or is 4 ft. 9 in., or weighs 80 lbs, they can use a seat belt in Ontario.
- Make sure the seat belt is positioned properly. The lap portion of the seat belt should be worn on the hips, touching the upper thighs and the shoulder portion of the seatbelt should be worn over the shoulder and tight across the chest.
- Your child should always sit upright, with their back against the seat.
Stay safe and buckle up !
Accidents happen in a split section and are generally out of our control. There are however certain things you can do to help yourself and hopefully avoid an accident. It’s hard not to panic in an accident situation. My advice to you is read and re-read these safety tips. Try to ingrain them in your mind. Visualize yourself actually following these safety tips. They could save your life and the lives of others.
Avoid the accident: If the rear tires of your vehicle skid, you should…
- Remove your foot immediately off the accelerator.
- Turn your steering wheel in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear tires are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
- If you start to fishtail, turn the steering wheel gently towards that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control. Don’t panic, stay focused.
- If you have standard brakes, gently pump them.
- If you have (ABS), anti-lock brakes don’t pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes until they pulse — don’t worry or panic…this is normal.
Avoid the accident: If the front wheels of your vehicle skid, you should…
- Remove your foot from the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer.
- As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. Once you start to feel traction, turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and gently accelerate.
Avoid the accident: If your vehicle gets stuck, you should…
- Not spin your tires. This will only make things worse and dig you in deeper.
- Turn your tires from side to side a few times to push snow or mud out of the way.
- Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your vehicle out.
- Use a shovel to clear away snow from the tires or underside of the vehicle.
- Pour sand, salt or any other materials that might give your tires some grip. Place it in the path of the wheels to help get traction.
- Try rocking the vehicle by driving gently in forward and reverse.
Most of all, stay calm ! Safe driving !
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in Ontario as a result of a car accident, motor vehicle accident, or slip and fall, as soon as possible you need to hire an reputable and highly experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer; preferably one that has experience with your particular injury. Over the course of the last 12 years, David has been highly successful at helping those and their families with a brain injury or a spinal cord injury. These types of injury are life changing and require support on many levels. Due to his vast experience with clients with a brain injury or spinal cord injury, David has become one of the best brain injury and best spinal cord injury lawyers in Ottawa. David`s clients with a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury will attest that he is a dedicated, hard working and one of the best Ottawa lawyers who goes above and beyond his role of Ottawa Ontario spinal cord injury lawyer, Ottawa Ontario paraplegia lawyer, Ottawa Ontario quadriplegia lawyer or Ottawa Ontario brain injury lawyer. David`s clients know and will vouch that he is there for them.
Ottawa Paraplegia and Quadriplegia Lawyer
Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth specializes in serious personal injury and is available to work with you, your family, your doctors, your social workers, psychologists or any other treating medical professional. David will also alleviate your burden and deal directly with your insurance company for you; ensuring you recieve maximum compensation. If it is easier on you, David will meet at your home, hospital, rehabilitation centre or any other location that is convenient for you such as the Ottawa Hospital or the Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre.
You have been through enough, now let David Hollingsworth do his job. Even if you just need some advice on what to do, David Hollingsworth can help steer you in the right direction, free of charge. You can call or email him for a free consutation of and you are absolutely under no obligation or pressure . Let his years of experience with Ottawa and Ontario personal injury help you because right now you need to focus on yourself and your family; not insurance companies and paperwork. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca or call 613 978-9549