Blog – Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers
On May 10, the Government of Ontario introduced “new ways to improve traffic flow and safety” on highways by testing higher speed limits on three sections of provincial roads. The experiment will determine whether the government moves forward with its plan to raise limits on highways around the province, a plan that has been met with concern by some personal injury lawyers.
The pilot program will affect Highway 401 from London to Sarnia; the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from St. Catharines to Hamilton; and Highway 417 from Ottawa’s Gloucester neighbourhood to the border with Quebec, according to a provincial release.
“Safety is the government’s number one priority and each pilot location was carefully chosen based on a number of factors, including its ability to accommodate higher speed limits,” transportation minister Jeff Yurek said in the release.
Today, Ontario’s 400-series highways have a uniform speed limit of 100 km/h. Other provincial highways have posted speed limits between 80 and 90 km/h. The original speed limit on 400-series highways was 70 miles per hour, or 113 km/h, but it was reduced amid the 1970s OPEC fuel embargo.
Some transportation experts believe the time is right to reinstate higher speed limits. Baher Abdulhai of the University of Toronto’s Transportation Research Institute told the CBC that 120 km/h is already the “de factor speed limit” on highways in the Greater Toronto Area. Others point to roadways with higher speed limits in the United States and Europe as examples of success.
But other experts – including some personal injury lawyers – worry higher speed limits will cause an increase in serious accidents and perhaps more fatalities. McMaster University transportation engineering professor Mohamed Hussein told the CBC that “most research shows that if you are involved within a collision and you are driving more than 120 km/h, your chances to survive are almost zero.”
This research is supported by the results of a 2014 pilot project in British Columbia that saw the province increase speed limits to 120 km/h on several sections of highway. The project was rolled back after a sharp spike in serious collisions on several routes.
Regardless of posted limits, motor vehicle accidents involving excess speeds are more likely to result in fatalities. Vision Zero advocates are pushing for steep reductions of inner-city speed limits for precisely this reason.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Our team will manage your legal requirements while you focus on your recovery.
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Car accidents are the leading cause of fatal and traumatic brain injuries among 15- to 34-year-olds in the United States, according to a 2013 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Brain injuries from car accidents are similarly prevalent in Canada, as any Ontario car accident lawyer can attest. But a new method developed by researchers at the University of Arizona may be able to reduce fatalities by predicting which car accidents cause brain injuries.
The technique, outlined in the journal Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, fuses experimental and computational approaches to brain injury research. Its developers believe it may lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment, which improves outcomes.
Samy Missoum, an aerospace and mechanical engineering professor and director of the Computational Design Optimization of Engineering Systems (CODES) Laboratory, and graduate student Seyed Saeed Ahmadisoleymani used experimental data to simulate the movement of crash test dummies during collisions. They then applied that data to a computer model of the brain to form. The experiment forms the basis of a method to eventually ‘calculate the probability of TBI after a car crash,’ per Science Daily. The method can even account for critical pieces of missing data, including collision speed, impact angle, and information about the injury victim’s brain.
“From a scientific point of view, the novelty here is how we’re combining computational data and experimental data, while also accounting for several sources of uncertainty,” Missoum told Science Daily. “From a practical point of view, the method provides a tool to determine the probability of TBI.”
Missoum envisions his method being used in accident scene tools by first responders.
“Let’s say a paramedic arrives at the scene of a car accident,” he said. “They could input the information into a tool and say, ‘Okay, based on the characteristics of this accident, this person is going to have a 70 to 80 per cent probability of severe traumatic brain injury.”
The method, which is still in its infancy, may also be useful from a legal perspective. The earlier a brain injury victim is diagnosed, the earlier his or her family can reach out to a car accident lawyer to initiate the necessary legal processes.
If you or a member of your family have experienced a serious injury in a traffic collision, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer today. Our team can help you understand your legal options and decide on the best possible path towards recovery.
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In some respects, Canadian roads have never been safer. Motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 people and per billion kilometres travelled reached all-time lows in 2017, the last year for which Transport Canada provides data. Fatalities dropped from 1,895 in 2016 to 1,841, a 2.8 per cent decrease, and serious injuries fell from 10,760 in 2016 to 9,960, a 7.4 per cent decrease.
And yet, despite positive trends, any personal injury lawyer will tell you that road safety remains a major concern in our country. Too many motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians continue to die or suffer catastrophic injuries in accidents on Canadian roads, accidents which are overwhelmingly caused by human error.
Here are a few of the main causes of motor vehicle accidents in Canada:
Drunk driving rates have consistently fallen over the past several decades in Canada, but impaired driving remains a serious safety risk. Even as anti-impaired driving laws become harsher and stigma around impaired driving grows, drugs and alcohol remain a common cause of serious accidents. As every personal injury lawyer knows, marijuana legalization has complicated this already fraught subject.
Distracted driving today shares many characteristics with drunk driving several years ago: it is pervasive, extremely dangerous, and rarely taken seriously enough. Though law enforcement agencies and different levels of government have recently launched awareness campaigns addressing smartphone use behind the wheel, distracted driving is too often thought of as a technology problem. In reality, distraction can come in many forms, including passengers in the vehicle, navigation and entertainment systems, and scenery. What’s important is to remain focused on the road at all times.
Aggressive and Dangerous Driving
Speeding, the most common form of dangerous driving, is involved in roughly 27 per cent of fatal crashes and 19 per cent of crashes causing serious injuries. Speed kills, which is why road safety programs like Vision Zero support enacting blanket speed limits in downtown cores.
Other forms of dangerous or aggressive driving include running red lights or ignoring traffic signs; tailgating; weaving in and out of traffic; and disregarding crosswalks.
We’ve all been there: you’re driving home from a long day at the office; it’s cold and dark outside but warm in your vehicle; talk radio drones through the sound system; suddenly, you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open. Driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of serious accidents on Canadian roads. Tired drivers are more likely to drift between lanes, fluctuate their speeds, and be irritable towards fellow motorists. Much like impaired drivers, fatigued drivers have slower response times and worse judgement than their sober, alert counterparts. If you find yourself nodding off, find a safe place to pull off the road and take a quick nap.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to learn how we can help. Our experienced team can help you access compensation to fund your recovery.
Imagine losing the ability to interact with friends and family, to work to support your spouse and kids, to enjoy your favourite pastimes. This is the life of a person who has suffered a long term or permanent injury, the type of client that Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers works so hard to support. An experienced long term disability lawyer can help seriously injured accident victims access coverage to address long term healthcare costs, rehabilitation expenses, and home renovations to accommodate a new way of life. It is the job of a long term disability lawyer, in other words, to help accident victims reclaim control of their lives.
Who Can Access Coverage?
Long term disability insurance can be purchased in a variety of ways, including individually via an insurance broker or directly from an Ontario insurance company. It may also be available through your benefits package at work. Contact your employer or insurance provider for more information.
What Sort of Injury Qualifies for Long Term Disability Coverage?
When most people think about long term disability, they envision a person who is paralyzed or suffering from partial paralysis caused by a brain or spinal cord injury. This is not inaccurate, but there are various other forms of long term disability, including chronic pain, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Simply put, anyone whose injuries prevent them from working and earning a living has the right to apply for long term disability coverage. The source of the injuries is generally irrelevant; whether you are hurt in a car accident, a boating accident, a medical mishap, or a slip-and-fall, you are entitled to seek benefits through your insurance provider.
How Can a Long Term Disability Lawyer Help?
Applying for long term disability benefits can be a complex and challenging process at the best of times. When you’re dealing with a new and life-altering injury, it can seem nearly insurmountable. Personal injury lawyers with expertise in long term disability claims have experience with this process. Their trained eyes will ensure that your application proceeds smoothly.
A long term disability lawyer can also represent you in disputes with your insurance provider. These disputes are, unfortunately, not uncommon. As your representative, it’s our job to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled. We’ll manage this process from beginning to end while keeping you informed and up-to-date along the way. Our aim is to shoulder the burden of the legal process while you focus on your recovery.
Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to Learn More
If you or a member of your family has suffered a serious injury in an accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to learn how our experienced team of long term disability lawyers can help. When you experience a life-changing injury, it helps to have a seasoned representative by your side. Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers has helped catastrophically injured Ontarians access compensation for decades. Call today to arrange a free no-obligation consultation for more information.
Getting seriously injured in an accident is a traumatizing, sometimes life-changing event. A serious injury can profoundly affect a person’s life in a variety of ways, including physically, mentally, and financially. It can also affect the lives of the victim’s friends and family members.
In some cases, there is nothing an accident victim can do to mitigate the far-reaching impacts of their injuries. But in others, the victim and their family may be able to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. This compensation can help the victim access rehabilitative care, long-term medical and home care, therapy, and home renovations. In other words, a personal injury lawyer can help an injury victim fund his or her recovery.
Learn more about how to find a personal injury lawyer that is right for you and your case.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In order to successfully pursue a personal injury claim, the injury victim and his or her personal injury lawyer must prove the following:
- That the claimant has indeed suffered an injury. Common forms of injury include brain or spinal injuries; burns; broken bones; lacerations and contusions; or amputations. Injuries may also be psychological or emotional in nature, including pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and diminished quality of life.
- That another party was responsible for the injury due to negligence. Example: if a person is injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, the drunk driver will be liable for the victim’s injuries.
- That the injury caused recoverable damages. If an injury victim did not suffer a loss as a result of their injury, then their claim will have no monetary value. Forms of loss or damages include medical costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering other emotional damages.
If you believe that your case meets each of these criteria, consider reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, you can arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our reputable team. At this meeting, you and a lawyer will discuss the viability of your claim and determine what steps to take next.
Personal injury lawsuits are often expensive to litigate, which is why Neinstein works on contingency, meaning our clients are not asked to pay legal fees until their case has been successfully resolved. This approach allows us to offer access to justice to injury victims across Ontario, even those who would not ordinarily be able to fund a complex or lengthy legal battle.
Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about how we can help.
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Ontario’s auto insurance system is flawed, to put it mildly. Despite paying some of the nation’s highest premiums and driving on some of its safest roads, Ontarian accident victims often struggle to get by on the benefits they receive. Many personal injury lawyers in the province believe reforms to lower premiums and improve coverage are necessary.
A private member’s bill working its way through the Ontario legislature could be a step in the right direction. Ontario Bill 42, introduced by Conservative MPP from Milton Parm Gill, would prevent insurance providers from using postal code data as a primary factor to calculate rates. Under current legislation, insurance providers are able to divide the province into a maximum of 55 territories, up to ten of which can be in the City of Toronto. If you happen to live in a high-risk territory, your premiums will be higher than those of a driver with a similar record who happens to live in a lower-risk territory.
For example, the Toronto Star spoke with Pankaj Sallh, an engineer who recently moved from Mississauga to Brampton and saw his insurance rates jump from $237 to $350 a month.
“To me, it’s unexplainable,” Sallh told the Star. “Why should I pay more just because of the change of address?”
Geography isn’t the only factor determining premiums. Insurers also consider drivers’ records, age, gender, marital status, vehicle make, and usage patterns. But postal codes are a defining factor. As a result, a person with a clean driving record will pay more in Brampton than a person with a clean driving record in Mississauga, without access to additional benefits.
“My bill will create a fairer market, encourage more personal responsibility, foster more competition and ultimately benefit good drivers in our province,” Gill wrote in a Toronto Star op-ed.
However, the insurance industry steadfastly believes that geographic information must play a role in determining rates. Indeed, industry experts believe more robust data is the key to reducing premiums for safe drivers.
“Insurers have been asking the government for years for a system where the very specific location of an individual matters significantly more than it matters now,” wrote Kim Donaldson, Ontario region vice-president for the Insurance Bureau of Canada in an op-ed responding to Gill’s piece.
This would allow “a good driver with a good record, who happens to live in a neighbourhood that has lots of claims,” to avoid “paying as high a premium as their neighbor who has a poor driving record.”
For Ontario’s personal injury lawyers, the issue at the heart of this debate is value. Good drivers with clean records paying elevated premiums due to their home address are emblematic of a much larger problem: that Ontarians are not receiving good value for the cost of their insurance.
Having worked for decades with seriously injured accident victims across the province, Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers understands that motor vehicle injuries can present devastating physical, mental, and financial problems. If you’ve been injured and are concerned with access to accident benefits through your insurance, contact Neinstein today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.
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Most of Canada has emerged from winter’s grip, but many Canadians are still grappling with the fallout from a long, cold, stormy season. In 2016-2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, almost 9,000 Canadians were hospitalized due to falls on ice, according to Canadian Underwriter and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. And, as some Toronto slip-and-fall lawyers could predict, data from across the country suggests this winter may have been even worse.
An unusually harsh winter
In Montreal, the McGill University Health Centre reported a significant year-over-year increase in hospitalizations due to falls on ice, with a notable surge occurring near the end of January. The city recorded 191 centimetres of snowfall during January and February, equal to the average annual total. That time span also featured heavy rains and dramatic temperature fluctuations. Mary Stark, the executive director of Montreal’s Contactivity Centre for senior citizens, told Canadian Underwriter unpredictable weather was a season-long issue.
“It’s been difficult for everyone, but it has been difficult for seniors in particular,” Stark said. “Some of the things we’ve recommended in the past in countering that kind of situation just don’t cut it.”
Slipping and falling on ice is a rite of passage in Canada. It happens to all of us from time to time; in fact, it is the nation’s leading cause of winter injuries. For vulnerable individuals – people with mobility issues, the elderly, etc. – it can be a serious, even life-changing event. Common injuries like wrist and ankle fractures or head trauma can have a devastating impact on seniors’ quality of life.
It wasn’t only Montrealers who had to grapple with an unusually severe winter. In Ottawa, suburban residents said they felt neglected by city cleanup crews as they struggled to maintain the downtown core. Toronto was also under strain, as local slip-and-fall lawyers know: the city received more than 1,700 service requests for icy sidewalks during December, January, and February, a 120 per cent increase over 2017-2018.
Legal options for slip-and-falls
Slip-and-fall victims have the right to pursue compensation when they sustain injuries on municipal property, but history isn’t on their side. Canadian Underwriter reports that just two of 147 Toronto claims for icy sidewalk slip and falls were paid out in 2017; just three of 173 claims were granted in Montreal last year.
As one Toronto-area personal injury lawyer told the publication: “They’re not going to be held to a standard of perfection. They city or the municipality – they are afforded generous protections. It’s kind of impossible for (the municipality) to get every single speck of ice off the ground when they’re covering so much area.”
“It’s Canada,” the lawyer concluded, “you’re not going to stop winter.”
Contact an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer
If you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team of experienced personal injury and slip-and-fall lawyers can assess the viability of your claim and provide guidance as your work toward recovery.
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Chronic pain is a common but misunderstood form of injury. It often materializes in the weeks and months following a traumatic accident and can be a heavy burden during recovery. In serious cases, chronic pain can be debilitating and can dramatically damage a person’s quality of life. Despite this, it has been considered a minor injury under Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, a designation that some personal injury lawyers dispute. However, a recent ‘reconsideration decision’ on a Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) ruling is likely to change how benefits disputes related to chronic pain are handled.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can be broadly defined as pain lasting for a long period of time, generally more than 12 weeks. It most often appears following an injury: a car accident, a slip-and-fall, a surgical error, etc., and is often referred to as an “invisible” disability due to its difficulty to diagnose. Individuals suffering from chronic pain may not appear unwell and may not bear the hallmarks of a traumatic disability.
Nonetheless, chronic pain can hinder a person’s ability to work, to interact with friends and family, to be physically active, to engage in intimate relationships, and to generally enjoy a full, happy life. For this reason, many chronic pain patients and personal injury lawyers believe it is insufficient to label chronic pain as a “minor injury.”
The Reconsideration Decision
In July 2018, Linda Lamoureux, executive chairwoman of Tribunals Ontario, reversed the LAT’s decision in T.S. v. Aviva General Insurance of Canada. In the case, Aviva awarded T.S. $3,500 in benefits, the maximum available according to the Schedule’s Minor Injury Guidelines, to cover medical treatment following a January 2015 accident.
T.S. used the full amount and requested more, stating that he had developed chronic pain that could not be considered a minor injury. Aviva denied the request and the LAT agreed. T.S. applied for a reconsideration, according to Law Times.
In her decision, Lamoureux wrote: “The Tribunal made significant errors when rendering its decision. The Tribunal did not adequately consider the context and purpose of the Schedule, and ultimately adopted a narrow interpretation of the relevant provision at issue. In doing so, the Tribunal failed to recognize T.S.’s chronic pain exceeds the Schedule’s definition of a ‘minor injury.’”
Lamoureux ordered Aviva to pay T.S. a further $9,863.45.
Good News for Injury Victims
Lamoureux’s decision recognizes how chronic pain can impact a victim’s life. For personal injury lawyers representing chronic pain victims, the ruling makes it possible to secure more reasonable compensation.
“This will allow people who really need the treatment, who are experiencing chronic pain, to get more treatment that they need to help them with their recovery,” one personal injury lawyer told Law Times.
Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a member of your family is suffering from chronic pain as a result of an accident, contact Neinstein’s team of experienced personal injury lawyers today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team will assess the viability of your claim and offer advice as your travel the road to recovery.
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The arrival of spring is the traditional start of cycling season in Ontario. For the province’s city-dwellers, this means an influx of vulnerable road users on already busy streets. Cycling is a healthy, efficient and affordable way to get around congested cities, but for all its benefits there are also risks, as every cycling accident lawyer understands. In Toronto last year, five cyclists were killed and many more injured on the city’s streets.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before heading out on your bike this spring.
Check Your Bike
Make sure your bike is in working order before heading out for your first ride. Perform a general check for basic issues: is your tire pressure okay? Are your spokes intact and secure? Are your brake pads and levers working? How about your chain and derailleurs? Identify issues and decide whether to address them yourself. You may be able to reload your chain or replace a flat tire, but more complex problems should be handled by a professional bike shop.
If you’re unsure whether your bike is in good condition, bring it into a shop just in case – many offer deals on spring tune ups.
Safety equipment is important throughout the year, but perhaps never more so than in the spring. The combination of unpredictable weather, lingering winter debris, and a general lack of comfort between cyclists and motorists makes spring a tough time to be on the road.
As any cycling accident lawyer will tell you, the helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment a cyclist can own. It’s not illegal to ride without them in Ontario – not for adults, anyways – but it is highly dangerous. Wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of concussions and more serious brain injuries.
In terms of preventative safety gear, visibility is key. Equip your bike with reflectors and wear bright, reflective clothing whenever possible. If you’re planning to bike in the early morning or evening, make sure your bike is equipped with powerful, eye-catching lights. Avoid biking at night at all costs.
Hit the Road
Once your bike is tuned up and tricked out with safety equipment, it’s time to hit the road. Be cautious during your first weeks of riding. You won’t feel as comfortable on the bike in April as you do in September, so give yourself extra time to get from point A to point B.
Remember: riding in the spring can be perilous. Road are often slick with rain and snow melt. Reduce your speed around metal, wood, painted or brick surfaces, as they become slippery when wet. Try also to avoid large puddles, which can push you off balance and obscure hazards.
If You’re Injured, Call an Accident Lawyer
f you or someone you know suffers a cycling injury this spring, don’t hesitate to call Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced cycling accident lawyer. Our team will be here to guide you on your road to recovery.
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Stats published by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police for Canada Road Safety Week last May show that road safety in Canada has generally improved over the past several years. As some car accident lawyers are likely aware, fatalities and serious injuries both declined between 2001 and 2016 even as the number of vehicles grew.
However, the stats also revealed several disturbing trends including the continued prevalence of dangerous and aggressive driving. According to the most recent available data, speeding contributed to 27 per cent of fatalities and 19 per cent of serious injuries on Canadian roads, more than drug or alcohol impairment.
Government bodies, safety advocacy groups, car accident lawyers and law enforcement agencies have gone to great lengths to warn the public about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving, with mixed success. But how can we reduce aggressive and reckless driving?
Globe and Mail contributor Andrew Clark proposed a novel solution in a February 2019 opinion piece: lifetime driving bans for serious offenders.
“Why shouldn’t people who drive dangerously be banned from driving for life?” he mused. “We’re not cutting off a limb. We’re not sending them to prison. We’re just saying “from now on, take the bus.”
Are lifetime bans necessary? To bolster his position, Clark offers several examples of convicted dangerous drivers who will, at some point, drive again. A 19-year-old Ontarian was caught going 246 km/h in a friend’s car; his licence was suspended for seven days and the car impounded for a week. Another driver was caught going 180 km/h on Southern Ontario’s Queen Elizabeth Expressway (QEW); he was fined $4,000 and received a 12-month driving ban. In Alberta, an individual serving an 11-year manslaughter sentence for a fatal hit and run recently had his lifetime driving ban reduced to 10 years. The reasoning? According to the judges of Alberta’s Court of Appeal, a lifetime ban for a person in their 20s was not realistic and served no “compelling” purpose.
“It does not depreciate the magnitude of his offence to recognize that the appellant will be a different person in the years to come and should be encouraged to live a constructive life then,” the decision read.
Not having a driver’s licence would be a major inconvenience for many Canadians, but it should not prevent a person from living a “constructive life.” Is it more important to ensure that dangerous drivers have a comfortable commute than to protect fellow road users from their potentially lethal behaviour?
If you or a member of your family has been injured in an accident our team of experienced car accident lawyers can help. Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.
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