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Toronto's Congested Streets Lead to Accidents

Toronto's increasing traffic congestion is a serious problem on many levels. There are economic and environmental costs to the crowded streets, but most damaging is the rise in personal injury accidents. The city is dangerous for people in vehicles – and for pedestrians and cyclists getting hurt by vehicles. According to a City of Toronto study, in 2011 the injury rate for vehicle accidents (which includes bicycles and pedestrians) was 561 per 100,000 people.
Numbers like this suggest it is quite likely – perhaps even probable – that you will be involved in a vehicle accident at some time in your life in Toronto. Should that happen, it might be necessary to engage the services of a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims.

No-Fault Insurance – How it Works

To be licensed to drive in the province of Ontario, it is necessary to have insurance. Since 1990, Ontario has had a "no fault” system. The practical application of that system is that people who are injured in vehicle accidents are entitled to benefits from their own insurance carrier. These statutory minimum benefits are available to the injured, regardless of who caused the collision.
The benefits fall under a few categories, and include income replacement or supplements  (a benefit if the victim becomes a non-earner), caregiver benefits, medical and rehabilitation benefits, attendant care benefits and benefits covering other expenses including funeral costs. A good personal injury lawyer can ensure that a claimant can get the maximum amount of coverage available under the no-fault system.
A lawyer can also determine if there are grounds for an additional tort suit against the guilty party in the accident, if there was negligence involved.

Who is NOT Covered by No-Fault Insurance?

There are some situations where an injured person is not eligible for benefits. This occurs if the victim was driving without a valid driver's license, driving without valid insurance, driving while impaired or while using the vehicle for criminal activity, and misrepresenting information when applying for auto insurance.
On the other hand, a personal injury lawyer may be able to assist an uninsured victim by getting compensation through other sources. That can include coverage through parents or a spouse, or filing a claim against the insurance company associated with the other vehicle. There is also a provincial fund – the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund – that is designed to assist Ontarians in situations where no insurance is available to assist them.
It is important, however, to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident as various statutes of limitations come into play.
If you are financially crippled after an accident, a personal injury lawyer can further assist you by taking on your case and not taking fees until a settlement or trial verdict is reached. Booking consultations should also be free and without obligation. And, in a city as multicultural as Toronto, look for a lawyer who speaks your language – literally. Some firms are able to conduct business in up to 15 languages, which can be a huge advantage in negotiating the complex world of personal injury claims if your first language is not English.
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Zarolia Barristers Professional Corporation        |        416-789-9200        |        info@zarolialaw.com        |        www.zarolialaw.com
3200 Dufferin Street Suite 500,   Toronto,   Ontario,   M6A 3B2,   Canada