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Stay safe on the snowmobile trails this winter

Stay safe on the snowmobile trails this winter

Thirty-three-year-old Scott McPherson may have been the first snowmobiler to lose his life in Ontario this winter, but he is unlikely to be the last. The man’s body was recovered from an Eastern Ontario lake in late November, prompting the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to release a public warning, the contents of which every Ontario snowmobile accident lawyer will find painfully familiar.

“No ice is ‘safe ice,’” the statement reads. “Underlying water currents or air pockets can create thin ice, even in the coldest temperatures. Snowmobilers can’t see this until it’s too late.”

The police service is hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2016-17 winter season, during which snowmobile-related deaths reached a ten-year high. Approximately a third of the fatalities involved breaking through shallow ice and many were linked to speeding, impairment, and other risky, avoidable behaviours.

Like every Ontario snowmobile accident lawyer, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) understands that some of its members take unnecessary risks on the trails. Together with the OPP, the province’s primary organizing body for snowmobilers is aiming to effect change.

“Working in partnership with the OPP on snowmobile safety these past several years continues to be an effective way to promote safe snowmobiling, with the aim of reducing the number of snowmobile fatalities,” OFSC Manager of Participation and Partnership Develop said last year in a release. “While we are pleased to see many snowmobilers using OFSC trails safety and responsibly, there are still a number of them taking unnecessary chances and making bad riding choices.

During Ontario Snowmobile Safety Week 2017, the organization published a comprehensive list of safety tips ‘for arriving home safely after each ride.’ The list advises riders to stay on open OFSC trails; only ride in good visibility conditions; maintain space between riders; use hand signals; remain on the right-hand side of the trail; never cross ice alone; and always be vigilant and prepared for accidents by carrying a survival kit and reliable communications device.

Snowmobile accident

Snowmobiling is an intimate, engrossing way to experience Ontario’s unique winter landscape; by adhering to common sense safety protocols, it can also be a safe one.

If you or a member of your family has suffered a serious injury in a snowmobiling accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to speak with an experienced Ontario snowmobile accident lawyer. For more than 40 years, our team of knowledgeable and understanding representatives has fought for the rights of some of the province’s most seriously injured accident victims. Call today to learn how we can help.

 

Image credit: Yellowstone National Park/Flickr

Injury victims launch class-actions against Ontario insurers

Injury victims launch class-actions against Ontario insurers

Catastrophically injured Ontarians face monumental challenges at the best of times: as all experienced car accident lawyers understand, serious motor vehicle accidents can result in debilitating injuries that undermine a person’s ability to enjoy life.

Unfortunately, many accident victims face significant challenges in addition to their injuries. Drastic changes to Ontario’s auto insurance system have reduced available benefits and altered catastrophic injury designations in the last five years. Now, a series of recently filed class-action lawsuits allege that 11 insurance providers have engaged in deceitful practices relating to HST on medical benefits since 2010.

The initial series of lawsuits was announced on November 1 against Intact, Aviva, Unifund Assurance, Belairdirect, Certas Direct, and Allstate. On November 20, The Co-operators, Echelon, The Commonwell, Wawanesa, and Economical were also named.

According to the Toronto Star, statements of claim for the lawsuits accuse each insurer of “preferring its own profits ahead of … the well-being of (claimants) who suffered loss or injuries” and charge the provincial government with “deliberately turning a blind eye to the wrongful conduct … in fear that (insurance companies) would in retaliation increase rates … at a time when the government of Ontario had promised a reduction in rates (and) stop providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to the then-governing party.”

What do the lawsuits allege?

 Simply, the insurance providers are accused of deducting HST on medical goods and services from paid benefits or including HST in calculating benefit limits. Both practices are against guidelines set forth by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) which oversaw the province’s insurers until 2016.

The full scope of the scandal is not yet known: tens of thousands of people received accident benefits between 2010 and today, and seriously injured accident victims may have lost thousands of dollars in coverage. The lawsuits are seeking total damages in the neighbourhood of $1-billion.

Should the insurance providers have known better?

According to bulletins and guidelines published by the Toronto Star, the FSCO made clear that HST was to be included in benefits payments and excluded from benefits limits.

A 2010 bulletin states that “if the HST is considered by the (Canada Revenue Agency) to be applicable to any of the services or fees listed in this Guideline, then the HST is payable by an insurer.” In 2015, an FSCO guideline read: “The HST is a tax and is not part of the benefit limit set out in the SABS.”

Unfortunately, the FSCO failed to hold insurers to these standards despite calls from car accident lawyers – in June 2016, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) sent a letter to the organization regarding “an alarming practice of some Ontario insurance companies who wrongfully deduct HST from the available medical and rehabilitation limits for injured accident victims.“

“There’s been a certain amount of incredulity that it has continued,” OTLA president Ron Bohm told the Toronto Star. “It’s nickel and diming, but when you add it up they’ve really taken a lot of money out of the pocket of these people… It’s pure bottom-line profit greed.”

Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers

 If you’ve been injured in an automotive accident or are having trouble accessing accident benefits, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers’ team of experienced car accident lawyers today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

Riding a Bike After Smoking Marijuana – The Great Physiological and Legal Unknowns

Riding a Bike After Smoking Marijuana – The Great Physiological and Legal Unknowns

Cycling has been a largely unregulated activity in Toronto since the 1950s, when licences were done away with by mayor Nathan Phillips. Cyclists may have to follow the rules of the road, but motorists they are not. Cycling is a great way of keeping fit, beating the rush hour commute and is an easy way to get around the city.

A cyclist may not require a ‘riding licence’ or have to pass the M1, M2 and M tests in Ontario, but cycling-under-the-influence is a different matter. A cyclist must know and obey the rules of the road like any car or motorcycle driver.

Riding a bike while high

Now that the recreational use of cannabis is permitted across Canada, the question of cannabis-impaired cycling – riding a bike while high – is going to come to the fore. At present, the best corollary to cycling after having consumed marijuana is how the police treat alcohol-impaired cycling.

Cycling after having consumed alcohol is not an offence per se. However, police will stop cyclists they think are visibly intoxicated. Cues that the police rely on can be: the conduct of the rider and whether bicycle was being driven safely. On this basis, the police conduct a sobriety test. Subsequently, a fine can be issued for not obeying traffic rules. Riding a bike while high bears some resemblance to this scenario.

The effects of cannabis

Exactly what effects cannabis has and how these are to be ‘quantified’ is a subject that is undergoing rapid change. So much so, even police forces around Canada are not ad idem about what is the best test for cannabis-impairment to use on people riding a bike while high. While some tests raise questions about the right to privacy, others can falsely detect the presence of cannabis, even if it was consumed days ago.

Particularly in a car accident involving another vehicle or as a result of potholes or obstructions in the road, the amount of THC (a chemical compound in cannabis) per millilitre of blood will be a factor and can affect the outcome of an injured person’s claim.

At Neinstein we are a team of committed bicycle accident lawyers who bring passionate advocacy to cycling claims. For our lawyers, your well-being is the first priority. We are there for our clients every step of the way. Our lawyers have helped many cyclists get the bicycle accident compensation they deserve, for accidents and injuries resulting from collisions, dooring and poor infrastructure.

Image credit to Loozrboy. Flickr

4 Ways Drivers Lessen the Efficacy of Automated Safety Systems and Cause Car Accidents

4 Ways Drivers Lessen the Efficacy of Automated Safety Systems and Cause Car Accidents

Steve Cohen, executive director at Aviva Canada, told Globe and Mail, “Autonomous emergency braking has been proven to help reduce the amount of collisions leading to fewer injuries and lower claims costs”. So much so that Aviva Canada started to offer a 15% discount for vehicles equipped with autonomous emergency braking.

Automated safety system in cars, such as autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection and lane-keeping assist have helped create safer roads and fewer car accidents. Despite that, the human factors play an important role in road safety. SAE International, an international body that rates vehicles on their level of automation, reiterates, despite advances in technology, “the human driver is still in charge”.

Vehicle safety is increasingly interlinked with automated safety systems. Even auto insurers assess vehicles on the basis of their automated safety systems being operational. Hence, personal injury and property damage claims raise questions about the status of the safety systems at the time of the accident. Let us look at how these automated safety systems can be compromised.

  1. Ignoring warning signs – Automated safety systems employ a number of means to communicate imminent danger. These can include one or more auditory, visual and force feedback signals. Their adequacy and drivers missing or choosing to ignore them can have a bearing on the claim.
  2. Drivers turning off safety aids – A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a North American vehicle and road safety research group, found nearly 50% of drivers turn off their lane-keeping assist systems. Safety systems such as these are often the basis on which a vehicle’s safety rating has been determined and on which the insurance company has assessed risk (often offering a sizeable discount). By turning off these safety aids, drivers increase the possibility of car accidents.
  3. Ill-maintained cars leading to disabled systems – Automated safety systems work off a combination of optical and infrared cameras, radar, GPS and the ECU. If these sensors stop functioning – either due to damage or debris – the protective blanket of the respective safety system can be forfeited. A safe and responsible driver will ensure the upkeep of these systems in accordance with their insurer’s stipulations and automakers requirements.
  4. Running systems outside of their operating window – Autonomous technologies in cars are becoming more sophisticated with every generation. However, there are limits to their operation. Whether it is snow obscuring lane markings or approaching an intersection with a plethora of markings, lane-keeping assist technologies, for instance, may become disabled by overly complicated situations. Having a safety system enabled does not absolve a driver from responsibility for the conduct of the vehicle.

At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers we have extensive expertise investigating and pursuing claims arising out of car accidents. Whether it is a claim for personal injury or property damage caused by the negligence or misconduct of another road user, our lawyers have the experience to pursue your best options vigorously.

Misdiagnosis and Coming to Terms With How Common it is

Misdiagnosis and Coming to Terms With How Common it is

How common is the incidence of misdiagnosis in Canada? Pat Croskerry, an ER doctor, estimated misdiagnosis rates of ‘around 10 to 15 per cent’, as he talked toCBC in 2017. Without a formal reporting regime, is it really such a surprise to hear doctors themselves admit to a high rate of incorrect or late diagnosis?

The reality, one which misdiagnosis lawyers want to highlight, is that medical misdiagnosis is far more common than one might think. TheNational Post quotes ‘70,000 patients a year experience preventable, serious injury as a result of treatments.’ It follows on to report the experience of Helen Church, 81 years old at the time, who first received corrective hernia operation – when she did not have hernia – and later fell victim to an error by her ophthalmologist, which caused a bleed in her eye.

That it is extreme cases that get reported in the media – such as that of Helen Church, or a misdiagnosis of breast cancer that inadvertently led to a mastectomy, or a mother losing her child to an incorrect diagnosis of croup – one gets the incorrect the impression that cases of misdiagnosis are always severe and rare.

Which is why it is not uncommon for patients to not realize they have been misdiagnosed. Only when a medical error becomes blatantly obvious, or the patient discovers for themselves that the diagnosis was incorrect is there the realization that one has fallen victim to a misdiagnosis by their physician. Some of the more commonly mistaken conditions misdiagnosis lawyers see are also some of the most serious:

Cancer – Misdiagnosis in cases involving cancer are said to occur in over a quarter of all cases. This can mean either the cancer was not diagnosed, incorrectly assessed, or even diagnosed despite it not being the case.

Heart Conditions – A misdiagnosis of chest pain, an inability to adequately understand the ailment means heart conditions are some of the most commonly missed or mistaken physical conditions.

Stroke – Symptoms of strokes are missed every year in thousands of patients according to a study by Johns Hopkins. It notes, misdiagnosis is particularly prevalent in ER visitors who complain of dizziness or headaches, women and people under the age of 45.

Serious infection – A misdiagnosis of serious infection, an unfortunately common occurrence, can have significant life-changing consequences, with even death a possibility.

Medical malpractice suits in Canada must demonstrate wrongdoing by the health practitioner or facility. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we are experienced at pursuing claims and advocating suits arising out of misdiagnosis. If you or your loved ones feel you have been victims of misdiagnosis, get in touch with our experienced misdiagnosis lawyers, so we can understand your case and discuss your best options.

What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident: 10 Tips

What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident: 10 Tips

The Canadian Institute for Health Information reports nearly 9,000 hospitalizations between 2016 and 2017 due to falls on ice during winter – Ontario accounts for 2,111 of these. Slip and falls due to ice, in fact, happen to be by far the single biggest reason for hospitalizations amongst all types of sport and winter related injuries in Ontario.

To many, slipping and falling on ice seems a naturally concurring aspect of winter weather; really, it is a sign of property – private or public – not made safe for thoroughfare. Injuries can range from mild sprains to spinal cord injuries, requiring prolonged medical treatment, and causing long term disability and loss of livelihood.

What should you do after a slip and fall injury?

Despite their high incidence and propensity to cause injury, there pervades an unawareness of how slip and fall claims work, what rights the injured have, and how they should proceed ex post.

Though each slip and fall accident will preface its own unique circumstances, here are ten pointers that can be helpful for just about any slip and fall incident:

  • Bring the accident to attention

Whether to the property owner, manager or municipal authority, a slip and fall accident must be brought to their notice as soon as possible after the incident.

  • Seek treatment

Seek professional medical opinion immediately after the accident. A slip and fall accident can be particularly dangerous if pain doesn’t manifest immediately. Injuries can go ignored or exacerbate later if left untreated. A formal process will also mean injuries sustained will be attributed to the accident and will withstand scrutiny better.

What to do after a slip and fall accident

  • Inspect the scene

Start by looking around the scene of the accident. A cursory glance will give you the point of a view an ordinary pedestrian would carry. Then inspect more closely the spot where your accident occurred. Was there a pothole where a foot could get trapped, subsidence where water could collect, an unexpected change in surface? Were surrounding areas devoid of ice, and it was only this spot that had not been cleared?

  • Record detail

When did the accident happen: the time, under what circumstances? These are the kinds of salient details that must be recorded in writing. These will help provide context to the incident and assist your slip and fall lawyers in Toronto assess the case most accurately.

  • Document everything

From details of the incident, any witnesses, medical treatment sought, any interaction with those responsible for the property, communication with insurers, and any other documentation must be retained. Claims often delve into the nitty-gritties of the accident and documentation can bolster your case.

  • Take photographs

Photographs, especially immediately after the accident are a vital tool in any claim or suit pursued. Make sure to capture details of the accident adequately, and with sufficient context to explain how it came to pass.

  • Call your lawyer

The first port of call after the accident (and medical treatment) must be your slip and fall lawyers in Toronto. Professional advice is essential at this stage, to ensure evidence regarding the accident is collected. That, and they will guide you on the sensitivities of possible claims.

  • Don’t divulge information

Until you have spoken to your lawyers, it is best to avoid invitations to talk at length about the incident. This includes avoiding confrontation with the property owner/manager, insurance companies, and posting anything on social media.

  • Remain calm and composed

Remaining calm and composed is key to ensuring the fairest outcome. Committees and courts assessing claims will find unfavourably for any claimant who displays impatience or some such unbecoming conduct.

  • Don’t delay

Slip and fall accidents may have time limits for filing notice or claim. And there can be some fairly onerous requirements for the injured party to file them too. Take for instance the City of Toronto, which requires formalities such as diagrams of the accident scene and supporting documentation – and grants only 10 days to file a letter of claim. The longer you can give your slip and fall lawyers in Toronto, the greater the chances of your claim being more concretely established.

How does a slip and fall claim work?

Background research into claims is an essential part of establishing a slip and fall claim or lawsuit that is likely to succeed. Whether it is a persistent fault that resulted in the accident or a foreseeable hazard that would have been accounted for ordinarily, negligence plays an important role in determining fault. For instance, Crinson v Toronto (City), a 2010 decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario talks of the plight of a man injured after slipping on a sidewalk. Due to the strong narcotics he had to take due to the injuries sustained, he was unable to file a letter of claim within the requisite 10 days of the accident occurring. The trial judge dismissed the suit, rejecting explanations for the delay and the case put forward.what to do after a slip and fall accident width=

At appeal, however, the court overturned the decision, determining that additional time for filing a letter of claim was warranted given the medical exigencies involving the claimant. Just as importantly, the court noted,

“In sum, the evidence at trial established that almost 34 hours elapsed from the time the City became aware of dangerous sidewalk conditions and when it responded. The City offered no explanation for why the sidewalks were not addressed…when the City first became concerned about the weather, although the roads received significant attention.”

The case is an apt illustration of the difference great background research, expertise and experience skilled personal injury lawyers can bring to bear. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, slip and fall cases are a specialty of ours. We understand the nuance and the depth that must be gone into to succeed in slip and fall accidents.

What to do after a trip and fall?

With over 45 years of experience handling such types of personal injury claims, we help you assess your options with exceptional insight. Our slip and fall lawyers have handled cases of all types and we advocate for our clients to bring the most favourable outcome for them.

Tips for safe winter cycling

snowy curb - priges_m RGBstock

(Photo credit: priges_m/RGBstock.com)

As cycling gains popularity as a mode of transportation to get from one place to another, some cyclists take it a step further and use their bicycle all year round, even when there’s snow on the ground.

While people are less likely to brave the cold and bike to their destinations during the winter, many cities are improving their biking infrastructure, which could encourage more people to try it. Surprisingly enough, your body stays fairly warm while you’re riding outside since you’re exercising. One issue you’re dealing with is how to stay cool since if you start sweating, then you’ll be chilly with the cold wind blowing while you ride.

Winter Cycling

For any cyclist that’s interested in biking during the winter, there are a number of steps you should take to prepare yourself and your bicycle for the winter weather:

Clothing and Accessories

Wear clothing and gear that is warm and will protect you from the cold and getting wet.
First, you need to wear the proper gear. For starters, ensure that you can see clearly while you’re riding. If you wear glasses, you can buy prescription cycling glasses or anti-fogging spray.

It’s also important to cover any skin that might show, which includes your hands, face and neck. Wear a proper warm and waterproof pair of gloves so you can focus on maintaining your bike’s steering instead of worrying about losing feeling in your fingers.

A balaclava or a scarf are great ways to keep your face and neck warm and there are also helmet liners that fit inside your helmet and keep your ears toasty. Wear waterproof and breathable jackets and pants to help you stay dry.

If you are cycling at night, it’s important that you’re wearing bright or reflective clothing, especially during low-visibility driving conditions.

Winter Bicycle

Meanwhile, just like cars need to be fitted for the winter, the same concept applies to bicycles. It’s suggested that you ride on a more inexpensive beater bike since the salt on the city’s streets can cause rust to its structure. Regularly clean and lubricate your chain and protect it from the elements by covering it up when it’s parked. Also, always wipe down your bike after you ride and check your bike’s brakes since that will help protect you from an accident.

It’s recommended that your lower your bicycle tires pressure to increase traction and there are different types of tires you can choose from depending on the conditions you’re travelling in.

  • Thick-tread mountain bike tires will have more traction and grip when you’re travelling across packed snow.
  • Thin tires are better for cyclists travelling through slush and wet snow.
  • Studded tires can help you ride through ice.

Full fenders on bicycles are also recommended since it keeps the slushy snow and dirt from getting on your clothes.

City Cycling Tips

Just like vehicle drivers, cyclists need to bike more carefully during the winter, especially when there’s snow on the ground. If you don’t mind riding when there’s snow, you should keep in mind that motor vehicles aren’t able to stop as quickly. But the City of Toronto doesn’t recommend cycling when the road conditions are icy. Make sure you give yourself extra time to reach your destination, especially if there’s snow on the ground, and ride slower.

If you’re riding in downtown Toronto, be careful of the streetcar tracks. The tracks can become extremely slippery, even when the streets aren’t, and it’s better to climb off your bike and use the crosswalks when crossing over them. You’ll likely need to ride on the main roads since smaller roads aren’t plowed as quickly and if you do, make sure you have enough space to ride and that you aren’t extremely close to the curb or a driver might not see you. Also, add more reflector and lights so drivers are more likely to see you. Meanwhile, if the weather isn’t great, sometimes it’s safer not to ride your bicycle outdoors.

For drivers, it’s important to slow down during the winter and while visibility may be low, make sure to be aware of your surroundings, including possible cyclists. Also, make sure you check before opening your car door and possibly dooring a cyclist.

If you are involved in a bicycle accident, reverse onus applies. The personal injury and accident lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers have been handling personal injury claims for clients throughout Ontario for more than 45 years. We know how to get you the compensation you need. Call us at 416-920-4242 to set up a free consultation. Come chat with us!

Toronto safety advocates warn of dangerous construction zones

Toronto safety advocates warn of dangerous construction zones

Busy downtown streets are risky for vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists – at the best of times; when construction zones are involved they can be downright dangerous. Nowhere in Canada is the threat greater than in Toronto, the nation’s biggest city and currently the site of more than 700 construction zones according to the local CBC. To Toronto car accident lawyers, the lack of safety measures around the city’s construction sites is an urgent issue that must be addressed.

“Projects are monitored and adjustments are made to the road set up to address issues that may arise during construction,” said Eric Jensen, Toronto’s traffic operations manager, to the CBC. “In every case, safety is of paramount importance and every effort is made to ensure the maximum level of that safety for all road users, particularly the most vulnerable, while also protecting the workers on the site.”

Toronto’s construction zones must adhere to several pieces of legislation, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but many safety advocates and Toronto car accident lawyers believe more can be done. Adam Cohoon of Walk Toronto suggested to the CBC that reduced speed limits would improve safety, and Pamela Fuselli of Parachute suggested collecting more data.

Currently, the provincial Ministry of Labour is responsible for tracking injuries around construction sites, but their data is imprecise. The CBC reports that 50 non-workers were injured over the past five years, but couldn’t identify between pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, or others. Fifteen injuries were reported in 2018, the most of any year.

Every day, Toronto car accident lawyers talk to injured pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists about their accidents. Eventually, trends begin to emerge, including elevated risks for vulnerable road users and concerns about safety in construction zones. With the mayoral election around the corner, Toronto personal injury lawyers, law enforcement officials, and all manner of safety advocates are optimistic that road safety issues will become a priority at City Hall. Initiatives like Vision Zero have identified opportunities to improve safety for all road users but without political impetus, deaths and serious injuries will continue to occur on Toronto’s streets.

If you or a member of your family have been injured in an automotive accident at or near a construction site, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to learn how we can help. Our experienced group of Toronto car accident lawyers can provide guidance and assistance as you navigate the legal system and work towards your recovery.

 

Image credit: Loozrboy/Wikimedia Commons

Motorcycle fatalities surge in BC and Ontario

Motorcycle fatalities surge in BC and Ontario

September has arrived, but motorcycle season is far from over in Ontario – in the province’s south region, fall foliage makes October one of the best months of the year to enjoy a long weekend ride. Unfortunately, as every Ontario motorcycle accident lawyer knows, motorcycle riding comes with inherent risks.

Last month, the British Columbia Coroners Service announced that 30 motorcyclists had died so far in 2018, twice as many as the year before. Eighteen of those deaths came in July, alone. Several months earlier, in May, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) released data showing that fatal Ontario motorcycle accidents had reached a 10-year high in 2017.

“Over and above marking a 10-year high, what made last year’s 48 motorcyclist deaths particularly tragic was the fact that almost half (22) of the motorcycle drivers were not the at-fault driver,” the police service said in a release.

In British Columbia, speed and impairment are the most common causes of fatal motorcycle crashes.

“Speed is the leading factor for motorcycle crashes,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC interim vice-president responsible for road safety, in a release. “It makes it difficult to respond to unexpected events, or to correct for errors. ICBC strongly encourage motorcyclists to keep within posted speed limits at all times, and to wear full protective gear to protect themselves in the event of a crash.”

Environmental factors also contributed to about a quarter of the deaths in BC.

Safety Tips

Any Ontario motorcycle accident lawyer can tell you to wear your helmet and reduce your speed, but what else can Ontario motorcyclists do to avoid accidents this fall?

  • Wear full riding gear: protective apparel can mean the difference between a mild and serious injury
  • Ride defensively: assume other drivers can’t see you; keep your headlights on and avoid drivers’ blind spots
  • Never drive while inebriated
  • Inspect your motorcycle prior to your ride: check tires for cracks, bulges, and wear; look for oil or gas leaks; make sure your headlights are working; keep tabs on hydraulic and coolant fluid levels; ensure the clutch and throttle are working smoothly; adjust mirrors as necessary; test the horn; test the brakes at a low speed.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers as soon as possible to speak with an experienced Ontario motorcycle accident lawyer. Our team can help you understand your legal options and provide guidance as you take the first steps on your road to recovery.

 

Image credit: Mikey O./Wikimedia Commons

 

Can Toronto’s mayoral candidates improve road safety?

Can Toronto’s mayoral candidates improve road safety?

“Too many people are dying on our streets,” said former Chief City Planner and current mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat as she unveiled her ambitious road safety plan this September. The statement, though inflammatory, is one with which most Toronto personal injury lawyers would agree: according to the Toronto Star, 26 pedestrians and four cyclists have already been killed in the city in 2018.

This year’s mayoral race, which pits Keesmaat against incumbent John Tory, has been defined by a diverse slate of issues, including affordable housing, transit investment, and gun violence. Road safety has also been a persistent talking point: as the city grows, proactive measures must be taken to reduce death and serious injuries, particularly among vulnerable road users.

Mayor Tory has pledged to preserve the city’s existing Vision Zero strategy, for which council recently approved an additional $22-million in funding, bringing total funding to $105-million over five years. But Keesmaat and various road safety advocates have accused Tory of inaction and political cowardice.

“He keeps failing to reduce death and injury on Toronto’s streets. And when he’s called on it he gets into his avuncular mode, reassuring voters that something will be done to make it all better before long,” Graham Larkin, executive director for Vision Zero Canada, told the CBC. “But too often these are timid and pointless measures, like posting Slow Down for Kids signs.”

Keesmaat’s road safety strategy includes transforming 100 of Toronto’s most dangerous intersections, redesigning streets and sidewalks near schools, adopting Vision Zero standards when rebuilding infrastructure, and reducing speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour on residential streets.

“These are big moves, focusing on essential, failsafe measures like traffic calming and intersection design,” said Larkin. “This would require serious investment of time and money in the short term, but there would be savings of money as well as lives in the future.”

For Toronto personal injury lawyers who work with car accident victims on a daily basis, road safety is a critical election issue. Infrastructure investment and reduced speed limits aren’t sexy proposals, but their efficacy in reducing road violence is proven and well worth their political risks.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, contact a car accident lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to learn how we can help. Our experienced team of Toronto personal injury lawyers can assess the viability of your claim and provide guidance and advice as you pursue compensation.

 

Image credit: The City of Toronto/Flickr

 

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