Passenger Injuries: Examining Causes and Pursuing Compensation
Passenger injuries resulting from road accidents in Canada can be traumatic and life-altering. Understanding the Canadian road safety regulations, common causes of passenger injuries, legal rights, recourse for injured passengers, the personal injury claims process, and available medical care and rehabilitation options are essential for passengers who have suffered injuries. This page aims to provide valuable information on these topics and offer safety tips to help passengers avoid potential risks.
Canadian Road Safety Regulations
Dealing with the consequences of road accidents is a problem every country faces. To avoid accidents, Canadians are improving the road system, including users, infrastructure, and vehicles. This is important as approximately 1,800 people are killed, and 150,000 are injured annually while using the road transportation system. Out of these, around 10,000 suffer serious injuries. The cost to society is a staggering $40.7 billion annually, accounting for 2.1% of Canadian GDP.
The Canadian Highway Code differs from those in Europe or the USA. Knowing some key rules and regulations to drive safely in Canada is essential.
- Firstly, always remember to wear your seatbelt – it’s mandatory for everyone in the vehicle.
- Speed limits vary, with different limits in towns and on highways. Look out for speed limit signs along the roads.
- In most parts of Canada, you can turn right on a red light, but you must stop completely and be cautious about pedestrians. However, this rule doesn’t apply in Montreal and at specific intersections where it’s prohibited.
- When you see a flashing green light, you have the right-of-way to turn left.
- Pay attention to road signs that indicate which direction you can go at intersections, like right turn or straight ahead. You may not be allowed to turn left in some cases.
- At a 4-way stop, the first vehicle to stop is the first to go. If two vehicles stop simultaneously, the one on the right has the right of way.
- Exit numbers on highways are indicated in yellow boxes and represent the distance in kilometers to the exit.
- Highway markers show the highway number, not the destination.
- Be aware of dedicated lanes for buses and taxis in cities – give them the right-of-way when needed.
- When a school bus’s red lights are flashing, stop your vehicle at least 5 meters away to ensure the safety of children getting on or off the bus.
- Using a cellular phone while driving is illegal. But smoking is currently allowed, although there might be changes in the future.
Common Causes of Passenger Injuries in Canada
Vancouver has experienced significant growth, leading to more traffic issues and car accidents. In fact, in 2013, there is car accident statistics done in British Columbia by ICBC:
- Total accidents: 260,000
- Accidents in the Lower Mainland: 170,000
- Injuries: 85,000
- Injury accidents in Vancouver metro area: 61,000
- Deaths: 538
And here are a short analysis of the common causes of passenger injuries in Canada.
Speeding accounted for 28% of fatal accidents in 2013.
- Drunk Driving
Drunk driving contributed to 23% of fatal accidents.
Distracted driving, including texting, caused 29% of fatal accidents, diverting attention from the road.
Weather & Road Conditions
Driving too fast for weather conditions caused 30 fatal accidents in 2013, especially in rainy, snowy, or icy conditions.
Other factors considered are texting while driving, aggressive behaviors (like tailgating, speeding, and improper passing put everyone at risk), driver fatigue, and exceeding speed limits or driving too fast.
Legal Rights and Recourse for Injured Passengers
Injured passengers in Canada have legal rights and options to pursue compensation for their injuries. They may seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company through a personal injury claim. Passengers can explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. This is for you to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
No-Fault Insurance in Canada
No-fault insurance simplifies how insurers handle claims for drivers involved in a collision. It means that no matter who’s at fault, each driver’s insurer takes care of their claim.
But don’t get confused; it doesn’t mean you won’t be considered at fault in an accident. With no-fault insurance, you deal only with your insurer. In any accident, someone may be fully or partly to blame, and it’s the insurer’s job to figure out each person’s risk to decide how policies will be affected. This is done using “Fault Determination Rules.” These rules help insurers examine the situation and assign a percentage of fault to each party based on the actual circumstances of the event. The level of fault doesn’t impact the eventual payout of the claim as long as it covers the damage caused by the accident.
This speeds up the claims process and gets you paid for losses quickly. Plus, you don’t have to go to court and sue the at-fault drivers for compensation, saving you time and hassle.
Medical Care and Rehabilitation for Injured Passengers
Medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits are important parts of your car insurance policy that help cover healthcare and recovery expenses not covered by private health plans or the government. Your standard car insurance policy provides coverage for non-catastrophic injuries, and you can increase it to $130,000. For catastrophic injuries, the coverage can be increased up to $2,000,000.
Medical and rehabilitation benefits cover various healthcare and recovery services like physiotherapy, prescription medications, chiropractic care, counseling, and more, not typically covered under OHIP or your group health plan. Check the statutory accident benefits schedule for eligible medical care and costs.
Attendant care benefits aim to support individuals who cannot care for themselves after an accident. It assists with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and transportation to medical appointments. This benefit ensures that you don’t become a burden on your friends and family for basic care needs. Be aware of any limitations your private or employer health plan may have for services like physiotherapy, massage, and chiropractic care, as they may have yearly limits of $1,500 or less.
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Safety Tips for Passengers
Passengers can ensure their safety and the safety of others by following these essential safety tips. First and foremost, always wear seatbelts inside the vehicle, as they provide crucial protection in an accident. Passengers should avoid distractions and encourage the driver to stay focused on the road to prevent potential accidents.
Refrain from engaging in reckless behavior that could distract the driver, as their full attention is vital for safe driving. For young passengers, appropriate child restraints and booster seats are crucial to ensure their proper protection. Lastly, passengers should adhere to all road safety regulations and obey speed limits to contribute to a safe and responsible travel experience for everyone on the road.
Personal Injury Claims at Personal Injury Lawyers Edmonton
Injured passengers have several steps to follow when pursuing a personal injury claim with a personal injury lawyer in Edmonton. First, they can use a free consultation to discuss their case and potential compensation. If they choose to proceed with the claim, the lawyer will provide legal representation.
The lawyer will then investigate and gather evidence such as accident reports, medical records, and witness statements. Next, the lawyer will negotiate with insurance companies or the at-fault party to seek a fair settlement. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to court, where the lawyer will advocate for the passenger’s rights.
Facing a car accident or harm to a loved one is an unwanted scenario. However, being prepared for the aftermath becomes crucial. In cases of severe injuries, seeking the assistance of a personal injury lawyer might be necessary to secure the rightful settlement.
Sidhu Personal Injury Lawyers Edmonton possesses extensive experience in aiding individuals to attain the necessary compensation. Our injury attorneys are adept at ensuring you receive the appropriate settlement.
After the accident, you can seek treatment and rehabilitation by visiting a hospital or doctor immediately to assess your injuries and receive necessary medical care. You should also inform your car insurance company about the accident and inquire about your coverage for medical expenses and rehabilitation services. Following the recommended treatment plan from healthcare professionals is necessary for proper recovery and rehabilitation.
Accident benefits cover various medical and rehabilitation expenses that result from a car accident. These benefits can include coverage for healthcare services like physiotherapy, prescription medications, chiropractic care, counseling, and more, which private health plans or government programs may not cover. The specific coverage details depend on the terms and limits of your car insurance policy.
Even if you are a passenger in someone else’s car and get injured in an accident, you should contact your own car insurance company to make an accident benefits claim. But if you don’t have car insurance, you can claim accident benefits from the insurance policy that covers the vehicle you were in when the accident happened.