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Mississauga Personal Injury Law Blog

Teenage drivers, peer pressure, summer break and car accidents

Peer pressure is common among teenagers in Ontario, and the fear of rejection sometimes has catastrophic consequences. Wanting to be part of the group, have a fun summer break, and not be seen as different can make some teens do things they would not usually do. Unfortunately, things like driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs might result in devastating car accidents in which best friends might lose their lives.

Of course, this can be avoided by resisting the need to conform, and taking a stance against peer pressure may set an example to others. A person who refuses to get into the vehicle with an impaired driver and resists the pressure to do drugs and drink alcohol might have friends follow the example. Focusing on ways to say no rather than yes might save lives.

Car accidents: How will marijuana impairment be determined?

With the imminent legalization of marijuana, some drivers in Ontario will likely have questions about driving under the influence of cannabis. A marijuana producer in another province warns that cannabis has the potential to affect a driver's judgment and response time. He says operating motorized vehicles under the influence of marijuana can result in life-threatening car accidents.

Those who smoke marijuana will likely want to know whether there will be a limit to the number of joints they may smoke, similar to the limitations on alcoholic beverages. Currently, there is no answer to that question because, although the level of tetrahydrocannabino (THC) in the blood can be tested, no standards have been determined to define a scientifically valid and universally accepted level that indicates cannabis impairment. Thus, unlike the .08 per cent blood alcohol level that shows alcohol impairment, no such standard has been established for marijuana.

Car accidents: What if the other driver is unidentified or uninsured?

It happens on Mississauga’s crowded roads: Two vehicles collide, and one or both drivers carry no automobile insurance. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation does not track how many people are driving cars without insurance, but it’s a growing concern.

Many uninsured drivers flee the scene of an accident immediately, and so may be unidentified as well as uninsured. What happens in such cases?

Cyclist safety: Follow the rules of the road. Minimize risk.

Cyclists rightfully complain about poor drivers and the dangers they pose to cyclists. Drivers hit three cyclists in 24 hours in Toronto last week. Their bad driving habits are a major reason for these accidents. With bikes and cars both sharing the road, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Cyclists play a role too.

Our post this week looks at some of the complexities involved when cyclists are injured in road accidents.

Proposed Legislation Targets Victims Of Auto Accidents

Insurance companies are proposing changes that will affect the rights of car accident victims. The impact of these changes could mean that victims may not receive the full compensation amounts they are fighting for.

If you have been injured in a car accident, consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. He or she will assess your case, and provide you with legal advice to help you pursue the compensation you need to move forward.

Injuries on municipal property must be reported promptly

Ontario residents know how dangerous it can be when walking in the harsh winter, and many have to suffer the consequences of slip-and-fall accidents in the aftermath of the snowy season every year. Municipalities are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks and roads, and if they do not live up to those expectations, falls resulting in serious injuries can occur. However, injured victims must report the incident to the municipality within 10 days if they want to hold the city responsible for damages.

Pedestrians who have to navigate neglected sidewalks, roads or municipal parking lots that are covered with snow and ice can slip and fall even if they take reasonable care. If written notice of such an incident is not provided within the required 10 days, the victim will forego any chance of receiving compensation. It is advised that this is done even if there is no initial intention to seek recovery of damages because injuries that seemed insignificant at first can ultimately cause long-term problems.

Prepare Yourself For Summer Driving Emergencies

Winter isn’t the only time of year when we should make sure we’re prepared for car accidents. As temperatures rise, so do concerns about summer driving conditions.

Functioning lighting systems and reflective safety gear may all come in handy on the way to cottage country or a family vacation. According to Autotrader.ca, there are a couple of tips drivers should know to prepare themselves in the event of a collision.

Springtime hazards on Ontario roads can cause car accidents

With the worst of the harsh winter in the rearview mirror, Ontario residents may look forward to getting out and enjoy the spring. However, the lack of snowstorms does not make the roads safe -- with spring comes a new set of hazards that can cause car accidents. The first step before taking to the roads might be to give the car a good once-over to check tire pressure and the levels of brake fluid and engine and transmission oil. Also, make sure the brake pads, windscreen wipers and other essential parts are in good order.

One of the dangers for which to keep a lookout is damaged roads. The multiple freezing and thawing cycles throughout the winter cause asphalt to crack, and it could form potholes that must be navigated with care as swerving can cause an accident, and going over it could cause tire damage. Furthermore, spring showers could leave roads as slick as if they were icy, and should be treated similarly. Advisers with the Ontario's Ministry of Transportation say motorists would be wise to avoid flooded roads.

Car accidents: Multitasking is great, except when driving

In an effort to reduce the number of crashes and the resulting injuries and deaths on Ontario roads, law enforcement keeps a lookout for distracted drivers. Hoping to deter such behaviour, officers issue punishments that can include fines of up to $1,000 along with demerit points. However, even that is not enough of a deterrent because car accidents resulting from distracted driving continue to occur.

Reportedly, 16 per cent of all auto accident fatalities are caused by distracted driving, and although most people associate this with texting, records indicate that only one-quarter of those fatalities involved texting. There is no time to waste in the fast pace at which most people live their lives. Even the time spent driving calls for multitasking without regard to the dangers of doing so.

Was the one who caused your injuries a "reasonable person?"

Property owners in Ontario carry the responsibility of providing safe surroundings for any visitors who legally enter their premises. When dangerous situations cause injuries, the victim may pursue financial relief by filing a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. The court will then consider whether the property owner caused harm to the plaintiff and whether it was due to carelessness or was unintentional. To make such a determination, the reasonable person standard will be applied.

According to this standard, a reasonable person is one that exercises a standard of care similar to that which another prudent and reasonable person would apply. The standard is based on what judges believe ordinary people should do, and what most people would do. It excludes individual characteristics such as temperament, intelligence, maturity and strength, and a reasonable person need not be perfect. The victim, or plaintiff, will also be held up to the same standard of reasonableness.

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