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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. Spring weather also brings out pedestrians and cyclists, adding additional dangers, which could lead to accidents with devastating consequences. Distractions add to the typical hazards of sharing the roads, and it is not only motorists who may be guilty because pedestrians who text while walking are as likely to cause accidents. Road users might want to keep in mind that any negligent acts that result in injuries or death to others could bring about civil lawsuits. Victims of car accidents in Ontario might have grounds for pursuing personal injury claims to recover damages. For most, the prospect of filing and navigating a lawsuit might seem daunting, but help is available. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the legal proceedings, and he or she can also deal with applicable insurance claims.

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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. Drivers save time by having their meals while driving, and another few minutes can be saved if they can get their make-up or shaving done on the way to work. There might even be enough travelling time to check emails quickly, and replying to some of them might leave them free to take care of another task once they get to the office. Furthermore, some drivers use the time behind the steering wheel to take selfies, update social media or to comment on the posts of others. Sadly, this all happens with total disregard to the safety of children or other passengers in the car and other road users or pedestrians. Injured victims of car accidents in Ontario are entitled to pursue financial relief through insurance or the civil justice system. However, proving that another driver’s distractions caused the injuries could be challenging and might be best achieved with the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

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Who can be sued for financial recovery after car accidents?

Following serious injuries or deaths in crashes on Ontario roads, financial relief may be sought through the civil justice system. Personal injury or wrongful death claims can be filed, regardless of the outcomes of any criminal proceedings. For civil lawsuits to be successful, negligence must be established on the part of the person or entity that is named as the defendant. Not all such claims following car accidents are filed against drivers. If a drunk driver caused the crash, a restaurant or bar might be held responsible for supplying alcohol to an already intoxicated driver. If an auto defect caused the accident, the vehicle manufacturer and others in the supply chain might be liable. The same applies to other defects or malfunctions such as blown tires, faulty airbags or failing brakes, in which cases manufacturers may be named as defendants. When a traffic light malfunctions or a pothole leads to an accident, the municipality might be at fault. When the driver who is deemed responsible is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be named as an additional defendant. Examples of such circumstances could include an employee causing a crash while driving a company vehicle, or a teenager driving his or her parent’s car. Victims of car accidents in Ontario who have questions about pursuing recovery of damages can get the answers from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Legal counsel can assess the circumstances of the crash and help with proving negligence. Furthermore, with careful examination of all the facts, the lawyer can determine the parties or entities that could be named as defendants, and then provide guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings.

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