Motor vehicle and Car Accidents Ontario
Motor vehicle accidents occur when a motor vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, tree, or other stationary or non-stationery objects, resulting in injury, death, or property damage. Motor vehicle safety has certainly made improvements over the decades but motor vehicle incidents remain as one of the most common causes of severe injury in Canada. Injuries sustained as a result of motor vehicle incidents may be short-term or long term and consequences may be debilitating, physically, mentally, financially and legally.
Causes of Accidents in Ontario Each accident is unique and can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which are human factors that include negligence …
… mobile phone usage, intent, intoxication and other forms of driver impairment. Other factors may be due to environmental circumstance such as bad roads, hazardous weather that may impair a motorist’s visibility or vehicle handling. As a result of all these variables, each motor vehicle incident has its own challenges which require experts to approach each one on a case-by-case basis.
Preventing Accidents in Ontario Drivers must co-operate to ensure traffic moves safely. Drivers have a responsibility to be predictable on the road. This includes correct and comprehensive signalling on turns or when changing lanes and stopping. This is referred to as defensive driving, which is based on three primary principles;
1. Visibility: Drivers must be aware of traffic (and the environment) ahead, behind and beside their vehicle. 2. Space: Drivers must discern how much cushion of space they should have between their vehicles and the environment, allowing them to see and most importantly, to be seen. This cushion of space also should allow for drivers to have enough distance and time to correct any sudden action around them to avoid an accident. 3. Communication: Drivers must communicate appropriately to let other roadway users know what decisions the driver chooses to make on the road. This includes signalling and striving to make eye contact with pedestrians and other road users where possible. If necessary, drivers may need to use the vehicle’s horn to attract another roadway user’s attention.
After an Accident
In the event of a motor vehicle incident, legal experts, courts and insurance companies will try to ascertain who was negligent. Who caused or contributed to the accident? What were the resulting injuries caused by the accident? This is a vital stage that can decide the outcome of insurance, or court verdicts as to who the responsible or guilty party was. An individual involved in an accident must take steps to ensure they are not at a disadvantage. One of the crucial steps is to ensure they get advice from a legal accident and personal injury expert. Further steps would be to:
- Collect contact information
- Gather information about insurance basics and involved parties’ personal information if capable. Sometimes a driver involved may be driving a vehicle that belongs to a third party, which may further complicate matters.
- Call and wait for police who are can be more authoritative in the event that a party refuses to provide insurance details or personal information. The presence of police may also provide a wealthy source of primary evidence collection.
- Document injuries and events. This information such as medical treatment costs, lost income and other personal consequences will help strengthen a case. Take photographic evidence if possible. This will help forensic experts recreate how the even happened.
- Get in touch with a legal expert! Drivers may be tempted to handle insurers, police and, or other drivers involved in the accident, which may instead jeopardize the driver’s chances at ensuring justice is reached. Experts will also provide guidance on ensuring victims of the accident receive their accident benefits and legal support in the event that insurance companies deny claims.
Effects of an Accident
Traffic accidents pose a great public health challenge and significantly affect human capital development in areas it occurs. Traffic accidents directly affect the victims as well as their immediate family, personal, and professional circles. Victims may suffer short term, long term effects which could be debilitating and even fatal.
Short Term Effects
Short term physical effects of traffic accidents can be anything from minor cuts and bruises, fractured bones. Additionally, some victims of motor vehicle accidents may suffer from post-traumatic stress including mental and emotional stress, which can be even more heightened if there was a loss of life involved. Property damage may also occur, which would need repairs, some which could be costly. Other times, there could even be a complete loss of property.
Long Term Effects
While some physical effects of motor accidents may be significantly minor, others are more serious than a bruise and a bump. Some injuries may go undetected because they may be internal or ignored by a person involved until they take a turn for the worst, such as brain traumas and major spinal injuries that could lead to temporal or permanent paralysis and loss of life at worst. Individuals involved in traffic accidents are advised to seek immediate medical attention immediately after an accident for the purpose of ensuring they receive curative or preventive medical attention. Another reason immediate medical attention is advised is that it increases an individual’s case for receiving medical insurance, compensation and benefits. In the event of court litigation, the opposing party to the accident may argue that injuries were not caused by the accident if medical attention is not done immediately.
Emotional and Psychological Effects
The emotional effects of motor vehicle accidents are many and very unpredictable. Some individuals may develop long term difficulties handling some of these effects which may unravel and affect their professional and personal effects. Some effects such as anxieties may cause individuals to be dysfunctional in areas they had previously thrived in. Some effects of injury may alter an individual’s life completely and force them to perceive themselves differently than they previously did. For instance a loss of limbs may have a huge effect on a professional athlete, and could mean they would require to earn a living differently. It could also mean they may need to learn to self-identify differently than they did prior to the accident. Individuals involved in an accident are advised to seek psychological therapy to help them cope with certain effect that may affect their mental health. This could also strengthen their argument for health insurance and court litigation cases.
Loss of Income
An individual is considered to have an income loss when their source of income, such as a job or business is terminated due to effects of a personal injury. For instance, an athlete losing a limb, or the loss of sight in a field of work where sight may be a requirement. Other instances of loss of income could be an individual missing an event where they would have gained value had they been present, but missed that opportunity due to a traffic accident incident. These losses are usually insured for by insurance companies like Sunlife Assurance and Manulife.
Having insurance policies are certain help in the aftermath of a traffic accident. These may be the difference between full treatment and recovery or a loss of life. Insurance companies specialized in accident insurance help minimize the financial impact. These accident benefits allow victims and their families manage medical as well as daily living expenses in the aftermath of an accident, alleviating the financial burden and family pressures. However, some circumstances may cause an insurance company to reject an insurance claim. Some of these reasons may be:
- A claim exceeds the insurance policy’s cover limits
- The individual’s policy has lapsed due to none payment
- The vehicle involved wasn’t listed on the policy
- The insurance company was not informed of the accident or the policy-holder hadn’t seeked medical attention immediately after the accident
- The cause of the accident was on a list of events the policy does not cover
What Our Personal Injury Lawyers Do if a Claim is Rejected
Rejections of insurance claims are not uncommon, it takes skill to be able to overcome a rejected claim by an insurance provider. Victims of a traffic accident should contact an accident legal expert as soon as possible to receive guidance and legal support when dealing with insurance companies. Accident law experts at HSP Law will
- Gather additional evidence that a driver may have missed that would strengthen a claim.
- Initiate and lead a court litigation in the event that an insurance company maintains their positiondespite overwhelming evidence
- Fact-check the insurance company’s evaluation process and rationale for rejection.
Fatal traffic incidents happen every day. They happen when least expected, leaving loved ones devastated and dealing with insurers and court litigation cases which may be complex affairs to handle simultaneously. With over 40 years of experience in personal injury and long term disability claims, at HSP Law, we have the skill and experience to get you the compensation you deserve. We have been successful in prosecuting thousands of injury and disability claims against big insurance companies and at the same time ensuring that our clients are taken care of and treated with dignity and respect throughout the claims process.