Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of the world we live in, despite the numerous regulations and safety measures in place. In Ontario, both the graduated licensing system and established federal and provincial laws serve to create a culture of caution and responsibility on the road. Despite many safeguards in place to protect drivers and encourage them to make safe decisions while behind the wheel, collisions do occur. While some of these incidents might result in a dented door or broken headlight, others can have far more catastrophic effects.
Factors Affecting Car Accidents
There is a broad spectrum of factors contributing to the prevalence of car accidents in Ontario. These collisions can yield a range of outcomes, from minor personal injuries to tragic fatalities, leaving families in the throes of emotional distress and despair.
Impaired driving, particularly under the influence of alcohol or drugs, significantly increases the risk of car accidents.1 Several factors contribute to the impact of these accidents, including decreased cognitive function, impaired motor coordination, and altered perception. Beyond the severe legal implications, impaired driving constitutes a substantial public safety hazard, jeopardizing the well-being of other road users.
Distracted driving, which involves engaging in any activity that diverts attention from the road, poses consequential risks and contributes to numerous car accidents. The surge in mobile device usage while driving has triggered heightened concerns in many provinces, Ontario included, leading to strict laws to curtail this behaviour. For example, statistics from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) reveal that distracted drivers are eight times more likely to be in a crash or near crash event compared to non-distracted drivers. In general, distracted driving can result in cognitive and visual distraction,2 as well as manual interruptions when drivers attempt to handle objects other than the steering wheel. The resultant loss of situational awareness can precipitate accidents, leading to serious, sometimes catastrophic, injuries.
Catastrophic Injuries from Car Accidents
Arriving at the hospital for medical care, physicians may know immediately the types of injuries you have suffered and start you on a path toward potential recovery. However, they may be unable to predict the enduring effects such injuries might impose on your physical and psychological well-being. The direction of impact and your seated position within the vehicle significantly influence the nature of the injuries sustained due to the overwhelming transfer of energy from the collision.
Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
The most common injuries caused by car accidents occur in the brain and spinal cord. When strapped into the seat of a vehicle, the force of impact from a collision can cause the body to contort and move in ways that it shouldn’t at high speeds. Without a seatbelt, however, you increase the risk of fatality.
Post-accident psychological implications may present themselves, such as the development of phobia or the reluctance to operate a vehicle. These fears may evolve into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resulting in an aversion to vehicular travel and consequential self-imposed isolation.3 Even with proper medical care, the psychological repercussions of the accident may prolong the recovery journey significantly.
Due to the impact, you may have a range of other injuries to contend with following a car accident. Some of these injuries may appear relatively minor and treatable, but others may instigate a continuum of trauma and difficulties. For example, a broken bone may seem like a straightforward recovery process. However, complications associated with the nature of the fracture could potentially induce soft tissue injuries, triggering inflammation and possible laceration at the site of injury.4
Fatal Car Accidents
Sometimes, injuries sustained in car accidents are too damaging to overcome for the human body. In these cases, victims may pass away at the scene of the accident or succumb to their injuries in the hospital. Statistics Canada reported that in 2020, there were 1,745 motor vehicle fatalities. According to the province’s 2019 Road Safety Report, 31% of those victims were in Ontario. Bereaved families are left to grapple with the abrupt absence of their loved ones, and if they were passengers in the vehicle, potentially even having to deal with recovery themselves. The financial burden of funeral expenses can be daunting, and without a suitable legacy plan, some families may struggle to support themselves financially, compounded by the emotional trauma of their loss.
Hiring a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
In circumstances of wrongful death following a car accident, legal recourse is available. Working with a firm specializing in personal injury law, such as Bergeron Clifford, ensures that your legal team has the knowledge and years of experience handling such life-altering cases.
There are specific parameters around filing for a wrongful death case and the process that needs to be followed. Our fatal car accident lawyers can help ensure your voice is heard, and we review all the specifics of how your life has changed since you lost your loved one. Fair compensation can be pursued to cover funeral costs, lost wages and to provide some alleviation from the devastating emotional distress you are experiencing.
Working with a Professional Legal Team
At Bergeron Clifford, our lawyers possess a comprehensive understanding of the physical and legal ramifications associated with various motor vehicle injuries. These accidents can be the result of negligence and human error, permanently altering the lives of individuals and their families. While determining fault in an accident might seem straightforward, the repercussions can be increasingly challenging to navigate. This includes incidents involving impaired or distracted drivers and those involving pedestrians or cyclists.
We’re Here to Help
Our professional legal team dedicates our resources to each case we take on. Our seasoned lawyers prepare every case for trial, ensuring our clients have the best possible options in and out of court. We understand that the road to recovery can be met with setbacks, including financial difficulties, struggles around returning to work, and even fearing leaving your home. We believe in securing fair compensation for clients to enable them to live with dignity and grace. To learn more about our services, please contact us.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Hiring a car accident lawyer is crucial for several reasons. When you work with our team, we have the expertise to navigate the complexities of personal injury laws, insurance claims, and negotiations. We can gather evidence, determine liability, and build a strong case on your behalf. Additionally, our lawyers will ensure your rights are protected and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
The compensation you may recover for your car accident injuries depends on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and long-term effects on your quality of life. Our team will assess all these factors and advocate for your rightful compensation, which may include medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost income, and non-economic damages.
The timeline for resolving a car accident case can vary based on the specific circumstances. Some cases can be settled relatively quickly through negotiations with insurance companies, while others may require litigation and go to trial, which can extend the duration. We will work diligently to expedite the process while ensuring your best interests are protected.
Yes, you can afford to hire a car accident lawyer. At our firm, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t charge any upfront fees. We only get paid if we successfully recover compensation for you. This arrangement ensures that legal representation is accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.
While it’s possible to handle your car accident claim without a lawyer, it’s not recommended. Dealing with insurance companies, gathering evidence, understanding legal procedures, and negotiating fair settlements can be overwhelming and complex. Having our experienced team by your side ensures your rights are protected, and you have the best chance of receiving the full compensation you deserve.
1. Impaired Driving in Canada.” 2019. https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-04/CCSA-Impaired-Driving-Canada-Summary-2019-en.pdf.
2. Lee, John D. 2014. “Dynamics of Driver Distraction: The Process of Engaging and Disengaging.” Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine. Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Annual Scientific Conference 58: 24–32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4001670/.
3. Beck, J. Gayle, and Scott F. Coffey. 2007. “Assessment and Treatment of PTSD after a Motor Vehicle Collision: Empirical Findings and Clinical Observations.” Professional Psychology, Research and Practice 38 (6): 629–39. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.38.6.629.
4. Rommens, P. M., and P. L. Broos. 1992. “The Significance of Soft Tissue Trauma for Fracture Healing. A Prospective Study on 70 Tibial Shaft Fractures Following Primary Treatment with the Monofixateur.” Der Unfallchirurg 95 (3): 133–41. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1553566/.
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