Toronto's Congested Streets Lead
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
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
A lawyer can also determine if there are grounds for
an additional tort suit against the guilty party in the accident, if there was
Who is NOT Covered by No-Fault
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
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.
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.