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Car accidents: Doctors to avoid prescribing marijuana to truckers

Following up on our post about commercial truck drivers using marijuana on Aug. 29, 2017 (“Car accidents: How will legalizing marijuana affect road safety?”), trucking authorities are now asking for more oversight. The Canadian Trucking Alliance is concerned about the number of drugs that are prescribed to truck drivers by medical practitioners. CTA warns that truckers in Ontario and other provinces have safety-sensitive jobs as they share their work environments with the public, and drug impairment can lead to devastating car accidents when commercial trucks are involved. The CTA asked Health Canada again to ensure that the safety policy related to drugs is one of zero tolerance. The safety record of truck drivers is generally thought to be excellent, but there is concern over the imminent legalization of marijuana. CTA believes that greater oversight is necessary to protect society. Their request is for the government to have the same restrictions on both medical and recreational marijuana use for employees in safety-sensitive positions, including commercial truck drivers. Furthermore, lobbyists want physicians to be held more accountable when it comes to prescribing marijuana — suggesting that doctors should be aware of the occupations of their patients. They say many truckers believe the impaired driving laws do not apply to those who are authorized medical marijuana users. Car occupants in Ontario who share the province’s roads with commercial vehicles will always be vulnerable. However, they may be significantly safer if the government accepts a zero-tolerance policy for both medical and recreational use of marijuana by operators of large trucks. Nevertheless, individuals who suffer injuries in car accidents that involve impaired truck drivers may have grounds to pursue financial relief through the civil justice system. Navigating a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial and other damages may be less complicated with the help of experienced legal counsel.

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Social media activities can jeopardize claims after car accidents

Ontario victims of personal injury in auto crashes are advised to think twice before hitting the “post” button, sharing, liking, accepting friend requests and being tagged on social media. Most people’s lives have become public on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. However, personal injury claims after car accidents can be derailed by a single social media post. Examples include a woman in another province who claimed a substantial amount of money in damages for suffering emotional trauma after two auto accidents. Her claim was rejected by the judge who saw images of her partying with friends, contradicting her claim of social isolation and depression. In another case, a plaintiff’s claim for recovery of damages after suffering back, shoulder and neck injuries along with concentration and memory loss was dismissed when social media showed her enjoying St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. For these reasons, injured victims are advised to avoid sharing any information related to the lawsuit. Posting videos or photos on social media can jeopardize a civil claim, and being tagged by friends on their photo’s can also be used as evidence to disprove their claims. It may also be wise to ignore strangers’ friend requests and avoid liking or commenting on the posts of others. For victims of car accidents in Ontario, it may be smart to share the details of their claims with an experienced personal injury lawyer rather than with the world on social media. A lawyer can help them to establish negligence by other parties and also with the presentation of their claims in the civil court. This may lead to the recovery of financial and emotional damages that were brought about by the crashes.

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Who will be at fault in autonomous car accidents?

After officially opening AVIN earlier this month, Premier Kathleen Wynne said industry and academia in the province are brought together to work on the development of transportation technology for the next generation. Reportedly, over 150 companies are involved in the Ontario autonomous vehicle industry. These organizations employ approximately 10,000 people, and the plan is to grow the industry by increasing post-secondary students in relevant fields by about 25 percent in the next five years. The first test-drive of an autonomous vehicle on a public road in Canada occurred in Ottawa in October. There will likely be many people who will continue to doubt that these machines would not cause accidents. If developers cannot convince consumers that no accident will ever be the fault of a driverless car, with added surety that the vehicles will have predetermined rules to determine fault in crashes, the industry will risk negativity from consumers that may be damaging. While Ontario consumers may have many doubts and questions about car accidents involving autonomous vehicles, they may find comfort in knowing that an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to provide answers. If such a car accident causes injuries, the victim might need the help of legal counsel to determine the viability of a personal injury lawsuit. If there are grounds for a civil claim, the lawyer can help with the establishment of negligence and the navigation of the legal proceedings.

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