PERSONAL INJURY BLOG: Car Accidents

Car Accidents: Whether driving on a 400-series highway or a city street, if you have been injured in a car accident in Ontario, you are entitled to government-regulated accident benefits through your insurance company.

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Japanese airbag maker Takata files for bankruptcy, overwhelmed by recalls

Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S. on Monday, saying it was the only way to ensure it could carry on supplying replacements for faulty airbag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

Filing for bankruptcy was the only way company could ensure it could continue to supply replacements for faulty airbag inflators, said Takata’s president.

Takata and the automakers were slow to address the problem with the inflators despite reports of deaths and injuries. Eventually they were forced to recall tens of millions of vehicles. The scope of the recall means some car owners face lengthy waits for replacement parts, meanwhile driving cars with airbags that could malfunction in a crash.

The defect in the inflators stems from use of the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate in the inflators to deploy airbags in a crash. The chemical can deteriorate when exposed to hot and humid air and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister.

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Strype Injury Lawyers: Access to Justice

Court delays deny access to justice for personal injury victims

Virtually every week, media headlines shine a spotlight on the trial delays plaguing our courts. But this coverage tells only half the story of the hurdles faced by personal injury victims in Ontario when it comes to gaining fair access to justice.

As we’ve seen in several high-profile cases such as the Supreme Court’s decision in R v Jordan—in which the Court decided that criminal cases in provincial courts should take no longer than 18 months from the charge to the end of trial—criminal charges, even grievous ones, are sometimes ‘stayed’ or dismissed because they were not dealt with expeditiously.

Those charged with a crime in Canada are entitled to trial within a reasonable time under s. 11(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

There is, however, another unintended consequence of that Supreme Court ruling. Because criminal trials take precedence over civil actions and because we have a serious shortage of judges, civil proceedings are often unreasonably delayed, sometimes for years on end. A civil suit in Ontario may require six to eight years from the date that the Statement of Claim is issued until resolution.

The impact on personal injury victims

Victims who are injured in a motor vehicle accident or another catastrophic event are often unable to work, and as a result, must survive financially on accident benefits in the interim—amounts that tend to be a mere fraction of their regular income. This hardship often results in significant stress, mental health issues, divorce and family breakdown.

Furthermore, because of the way that accident benefits are structured, insurers can arbitrarily cut off those benefits, which they do routinely.

The unfair settlement loophole

Insurance companies exploit these facts and delays to their advantage. They fully understand that their own clients are often desperate to settle for much less than they deserve, because they are facing bankruptcy. To compound the pressure, they routinely seek multiple court delays of six months to a year for various reasons, and consistently refuse to make reasonable—or any—offers of settlement. They know that a trial will be set so far in the future that their client will be forced to accept minimal compensation just to survive.

Even if a trial date is determined, that only indicates its opening day. Because of the problems in the court system, civil trials are routinely interrupted, or canceled at the last minute and rescheduled many months into the future. This is not only unfair to the plaintiffs, it also forces their lawyers to spend inordinate amounts of time preparing for a trial, then more time at a much later date as they work to review the case once again.

Insurance companies benefit with every delay in the resolution of a case, all at accident victims’ expense.

Jury trials for injury cases

The worst-case scenario for an accident victim is a trial by jury. Those trials take 50 per cent longer than trials by judge alone, largely for procedural reasons.

The situation is so dire that in Brampton, for example, jurors are being bused back and forth every day to other locations such as Milton or Orangeville, because of the shortage of judges and trial space. Juries, on the other hand, are subconsciously aware that substantial awards will affect their own car insurance rates, and often award sums that fall far short in addressing accident victims’ medical and ongoing support needs.

The case for timely justice in civil law

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that an accused in a criminal case has the right to be tried “within a reasonable time frame”, and that the court “has a role to play in changing courtroom culture and facilitating a more efficient justice system.”

This ‘access to justice’ standard should apply to civil cases as well.

– Strype Injury Law

Get more information about the process of personal injury trials or settlementscontact Strype Injury Law today.

 

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Automakers knew Takata airbags were dangerous

Attorneys for people suing Takata air bags maker and five automakers say the car companies knew that Takata’s products were dangerous yet continued to use them for years because they were inexpensive.

The allegations against Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and BMW were made in a court filing Monday in Miami. The federal court there is handling pretrial evidence-gathering in dozens of lawsuits against Takata and the automakers. The filing says the allegations are partly based on auto company documents.”

The penalties include $850 million in restitution to automakers, $125 million for victims and families and a $25-million criminal fine.

Separately, three former executives are charged with falsifying test reports. They remain in Japan.

Takata’s inflators use ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates airbags in a crash. But when exposed to prolonged high temperatures and humidity, the chemical can deteriorate and burn too fast. That can blow apart a metal canister.

Read the full article about Takata air bags by:

Each day we work with people whose lives and families have been destroyed by the negligence of others. With more than 55 years of experience, Strype Injury Lawyers has built a reputation for legal excellence and client advocacy. Our approach is simple: if a reasonable out-of-court settlement can’t be reached, we will take your case to court and litigate to obtain fair compensation.

Read Strype client testionials, here.

Strype Injury Lawyers, Toronto’s manufacturing liability law firm: Whether the product is a faulty automobile airbag, hairdryer, a child’s toy, tainted meat, artificial hip, or an automobile tire, manufacturers must ensure that products are designed and made safely.

Manufacturers must have quality control systems in place to prevent defective products from entering the market. They also need to provide adequate directions and warning labels to protect consumers.

Read more about Manufacturing and Product Liability, here.

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It’s safer to back into parking spaces

Road safety: It’s safer to back into parking spaces. Why most don’t drivers do it?

(Excerpts from an article by Ben Yagoda)

There are several theories, but little evidence, as to why Americans don’t often back in. How technology can help us back in: There is hope for people with bad spatial skills: rear-view cameras.

Backed in cars on a parking: road safety

Backed in cars on the University of Delaware campus

Every year, some 300 people are killed and 18,000 are injured by drivers who are backing up, usually in driveways or parking lots. There’s a simple way to prevent a lot of these accidents: We could back into parking space so that we don’t have to back out.

In a parking lot, the AAA thinks we should back in, recommending that “drivers reverse into parking spaces whenever possible, except where prohibited by law or parking lot restrictions.”

And yet most of drivers don’t do this.

In “Predicting productivity gains from parking behavior,” a 2014 article published in the International Journal of Emerging Markets, author Shaomin Li, a professor of management at Old Dominion University, describes visiting Taiwan. He notices that, in contrast to the US, most drivers there backed into spaces: “Needless to say, back-in parking takes more time and effort than head-in parking. Yet, it is easier, quicker, and safer when exiting. Thus we may conjecture that people take the trouble to back in demonstrate the ability to delay gratification; they want to invest more time and effort now so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor later. They demonstrate a culture of long-term orientation.”

Li took photographs of how cars were parked in US and Taiwan lots, and had friends do the same in the so-called BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

The percent backed-in was:
US: 5.7
Brazil: 17.1
India: 25.4
Russia: 35
Taiwan: 59.4
China: 88

Read this interesting and informative article by Ben Yagoda, professor of journalism at the University of Delaware and the author, most recently, of The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song.

If you or a loved one has endured a catastrophic injury, contact Strype Injury Lawyers team now to book your free initial consultation.

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Video game injuries: Pokémon Go and Pedestrian Safety

Historically, when individuals think about video game injuries they may be thinking of carpal tunnel syndrome, eye strain or possible fatigue, as gamers play for hours on end in the comfort of their own homes. However, with the recent launch of Pokémon Go into Canada, gamers, pedestrians and motorists alike, need to be aware of the increased caution that is needed on roadways as more people immerse themselves in the virtual world, while physically walking around in the real world.

Pokémon Go was released in Canada on July 17, 2016 and is a free-to-play, location based, augmented reality game developed by Niantic for IOS and Android devices. In the game, players use the smart device’s GPS and camera to capture, battle, and train one of the 151 virtual creatures, called Pokémon, that appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. As players travel around the real world, their avatar moves along with them on the game’s map. Players must physically travel to explore the game’s map, capture Pokémon, visit PokéStops to collect needed resources for your Pokémon trainer, or gyms, to battle other players and test their skills.

Sensor Tower, a group that analyzes mobile apps earlier estimated that the game is the fastest ever to reach 50 million global downloads across iOS and Android devices and now estimates that the game has crossed the 75 million download milestone earlier this week.

The share price of Nintendo Co., Ltd rose dramatically after the initial launch on July 6th, 2016, from $17.63 to an intra-day 52-week high on July 18th, 2016 at $38.25. The share price has since fallen back to about $29 on the date this article was written. Nintendo now sits at a market capitalization of around $36.74 Billion.

Within Toronto, pedestrian and road safety is an upmost concern for motorists and residents of the city. As of July 14, 2016, total pedestrian and cyclist deaths within Toronto for this year have reached 23. With the addition of games such as Pokémon Go, gamers, pedestrians and motorists should take extra care, to avoid contributing further to this rise in deaths.

For Gamers

1. Remember to be alert at all times, be aware of your surroundings. This is also the splash screen message within Pokémon Go as the app opens, which can be applied to both awareness to capture Pokémon and player’s safety as they travel around the real world.

2. Common sense. There have already been numerous reports of accidents related to video game injuries – players playing Pokémon Go – as people walk into revolving doors, trees, or not being fully aware when crossing a street, leading to personal injuries.

3. Avoid Trespassing and show respect. In the quest for Pokémon, players have also been trespassing into restricted areas or places where they could be hurt, or hurt by others present at these locations. Some of these places include, courtrooms, hospitals, and residential homes. Players should avoid trespassing into these areas, and allow clients, patients and homeowners their privacy.

For Pedestrians

1. Awareness of others. If you are not playing Pokémon Go, be aware that others might be or are being simply distracted in some other way. This may result in pedestrians, abruptly stopping on the sidewalk, road, or while crossing a street.

2. Any handheld device. When using any handheld device be aware when stepping away from curbs and on to the street as these devices may lead to distraction. As the saying goes, “look both ways before crossing the street”.

For Motorists

1. Avoid playing Pokémon Go while driving. This may seem like common sense. However, there have already been accidents related to players driving while trying to capture a Pokémon. Avoiding playing while driving will improve the overall road safety for yourself and others.

2. Awareness of others. Be aware that in high-density pedestrian areas some people may make unexpected movements or not be fully aware of the real-world dangers that are present as they walk into the street or into a parking lot.

While the weather is nice this summer, more and more people will be out trying to catch them all. Remember when playing Pokémon Go, be respectful, be aware of your surroundings and be safe! As the saying goes, “the life you save may be your own”.

Links to Other Articles
For more information on Pokémon Go, see the links below:

https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/11/pokemon-go-adds-9b-to-nintendos-value-global-rollout-continues-this-week/

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/pokemon-go-estimated-to-have-been-downloaded-75-mi/1100-6442180/

For more information on pedestrian and cyclist deaths within Toronto, see the link below:

http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2016/02/04/pedestrian-and-cyclist-fatalities-in-toronto-2016.html

Feel free to contact  Strype Injury Lawyers and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding issues arising from this new wave of entertainment and possible video game injuries.

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Self-Driving Car Accident: First Driver Death

Authorities investigate first driver death in self-driving car accident. A fatal collision involving a self-driving car has been recorded in Florida.

“WASHINGTON — The first American death involving a car in self-driving mode presents a dilemma: How aggressively to embrace the potentially life-saving technology after a fatal crash.”

The driver, Joshua D. Brown, a 40-year-old technology company owner from Canton, Ohio, was so enamored of his sedan that he nicknamed it “Tessy” and praised the Autopilot’s safety benefits. Brown published videos on Youtube of himself behind the wheel with the system active.

He was killed May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his car’s cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn’t automatically activate the brakes, according to statements by the government and the automaker. Brown didn’t take control and brake, either.

Read the full article here:
http://www.nola.com/traffic/index.ssf/2016/07/driver_killed_in_self-driving.html

Wrongful death claims occur when someone is killed as a result of the negligence of others. Strype Injury Law works to obtain compensation to ease the financial burden resulting from the loss of a loved one.

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Fatal Crashes: 5 Driving Behaviours

Fatal Crashes: 5 driving behaviour factors

  1. Driver inattention
  2. Failing to obey signs and signals
  3. Driving too fast for conditions or driving above speed limit
  4. Failing to stay in your lane
  5. A manoeuvre by a car near a truck is very dangerous and is not the same as car on car.

TIPS:

Do not change lanes last minute, never cut in front of a truck.
Slow down and let the truck have the right of way.

The size of a large truck puts car occupants at risk of being killed in a crash.

“More than 320 people have died due to truck collisions in Ontario in the last five years, and the OPP say few of them were truck drivers. Between 2011 and 2015, there were 27,000 collisions involving transport trucks on roads patrolled by the OPP. 260 of those crashes resulted in fatalities, with a total of 321 people losing their lives. Only 40 of those deaths were the drivers of the large trucks; the remainder being drivers or passengers of the other vehicles involved.”

http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/over-300-transport-truck-related-deaths-prompt-opp-initiative-1.2947085

We have decades of experience and success trying complex automotive accident cases, including fatal crashes. Catastrophic automotive accidents can transform a person’s life in a matter of seconds. Our goal is to leverage our experience and expertise to secure the maximum possible settlement needed to fund your post-injury medical and lifestyle needs.

Our firm is committed to a single goal: helping clients achieve their full post-injury potential. We do it by litigating for as long as it takes to secure the maximum possible settlement needed to fund your ongoing medical and lifestyle needs.

That process can take months or even years because most insurers won’t settle a claim without a fight. In fact, they rate lawyers and know which firms will work to secure a reasonable settlement or take the case to trial—as well as those who will simply settle for a lesser amount. We have the financial capacity to go the distance on your behalf.

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Spring Is Here: It’s motorcycle season!

The motorcycles are out of storage and back on Toronto streets.

All participants in the traffic should be aware of the motorcycle riders who are back on the road. Unfortunately, this time of the year shows an increase in serious road accidents involving bicycles and motorcycles.

Ontario Provincial Police says spring sunshine often brings a spike in motorcycle collisions.

Whether on a motorcycle or a bicycle, if you have suffered injuries as a result of negligent motorists, you could be entitled to government-regulated accident benefits through your own automotive insurance policy as well as other benefits. Strype Injury Lawyers can help you get your benefits.

After an accident, you will need to file a report and request motorcycle accident benefits within 30 days of the accident. If you are a family member of an accident victim who is still hospitalized, it is important to talk to one of our Toronto car accident lawyers as soon as possible in order to meet important deadlines.

In some personal injury cases, injury victims find it difficult to obtain rehabilitation and compensation for injuries. The trial lawyers at Strype Barristers LLP can help you get results. Motorcycle accidents often result in devastating injuries that can end careers and change lives forever.
We will work with our trusted medical team and the insurance companies to make sure you receive the treatment you need for serious injuries such as:

In addition to accident benefits and disability benefits, you may be entitled to additional benefits if you are not at fault in your accident. You may have a claim against the driver, known as a tort claim, who was responsible for the accident. We will work closely with you, making sure you understand all of the benefits available to you beyond your insurance.

To learn more about your rights after a bicycle or motorcycle accident, contact us for a free initial consultation with a Strype Injury Lawyer.

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Toronto cops won’t attend minor car crashes

Minor car crashes will no longer be investigated.

TORONTO – Unable to keep up with the ever-increasing number of fender-benders in the city, cops have decided minor car crashes will no longer be investigated.

Toronto Police say the new hands-off approach to minor collisions will be implemented starting next week.

“We’ve decreased the type of calls we’re going to respond to because of the rise in total number of collisions in recent years,” Const. Clint Stibbe, of Traffic Services, said Tuesday. “The current model is no longer sustainable.”

In 2015, cops responded to nearly 64,000 collisions — an increase of more than 6,000 crashes from two years earlier.

And Stibbe said about 70% of all crashes are minor.

As of next Tuesday, Stibbe said motorists involved in collisions where the combined damage is under $2,000 no longer need to notify police or a collision reporting centre.

Read whole article by , Toronto Sun here:
http://www.torontosun.com/2016/03/22/toronto-cops-wont-attend-minor-crashes

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Ford recalls 29,300 Ranger pickups in Canada for airbag fault

Takata airbag recalls to grow as U.S. regulator takes over recall proces

Recall of about 391,000 Ranger pickups, including 29,334 in Canada announced: the driver’s airbag inflators can explode with too much force and cause injuries.

Ford Ranger pickup trucks are being recalled after another death related to exploding Takata airbags. (David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

The recall covers trucks from the 2004 through 2006 model years in the U.S. and Canada.

Read more about it, here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/ford-recalls-29-300-ranger-pickups-in-canada-for-airbag-fault-1.3420414

Manufacturers must have quality control systems in place to prevent defective products from entering the market. They also need to provide adequate directions and warning labels to protect consumers.

When a dangerous or defective product injures an unwary consumer, one or more of the manufacturer, designer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer will be considered legally liable as long as the consumer was using the product as it was meant to be used when he or she was injured.

Strype Injury Lawyers is experienced in helping determine who bears responsibility for product or manufacturing defects or inadequate warnings and information and then pursuing those responsible for the damages that their negligence has caused consumers.

In the light of recent massive auto industry product recalls and resulting lawsuits, Strype Injury Lawyers is ready to pursue those responsible for the damages that their negligence has caused you.