July 19 2017

It’s Cottage Season in Canada! That Means Boats and the Potential for Boating Accidents

Memories of a long hard winter fade into the past as Canadians begin to enjoy a favourite time of year – cottage season! Part of the fun includes water sports – sailing, power boating, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in our beautiful lakes. It’s never a bad idea to give some serious thought to water safety, and this is especially true when you are likely to be enjoying group activities that include young children.

Proactive Water Safety

Taking care to enjoy water sports safely means following basic safety protocols including the following:

  • Assess your swimming skills and the differing abilities of those in your group.
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July 6 2017

The Real Costs of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving, as a contributing cause of serious accidents, is not new but the causes of distraction have increased as our society adopts new and more pervasive technology.

Distracted Driving Back in the Day

In a Manitoba case fifty years ago, a 15-year-old boy stole a car and picked up his 14-year-old school friend for a joy ride. The 15-year-old had only driven a car once before, which his school friend had stolen from his father, and only for a few minutes, and so was a completely inexperienced driver. As they drove at 70 m.p.h. on a curve in the highway just past the local penitentiary, his friend exclaimed at the sight of car lights approaching from behind that the police were in pursuit. Continue reading

June 28 2017

Schools out! Summer Safety Reminders for Drivers, Parents, and Kids

It’s the end of June and school will soon be out for elementary, junior and senior high school age children. The summer means more kids on bikes, skateboards, and on foot (plugged into their smartphones). It also means an uptick in young people learning to drive. All of these things increase the potential for injuries to children. For drivers, this means you need to tune up your “kid radar” and drive defensively with a view to doing your part to ensure their safety and to protect yourself against liability.

In Alberta, ss. 185 and 186 of the Traffic Safety Act create a reverse presumption against drivers, such that if there is a collision between a motorist and a non-motorist (for example, a collision between a car and a child walking or on a bike), the onus is on the driver of the vehicle to prove that the accident did not arise solely because of their negligent operation of the vehicle. Continue reading

June 23 2017

Distracted Walking – A Modern Day Hazard

The distracted pedestrian is a common sight these days. You know the ones, walking with their eyes glued to their cell phones, frequently listening to music on headphones, or feverishly texting, oblivious to their surroundings. We have all had a laugh at videos of people falling into swimming pools and walking into poles while walking and texting. But more tragic are the increasing incidents of distracted pedestrians injured or killed in intersections, at railway crossings, and by light rapid transit. On May 16, 2017, for example, a 60-year-old woman was killed when she walked into the path of a C-Train at the Calgary Whitehorn station, spell-bound by her cell phone, and in February 2017 a 30-year-old man was killed at the same station, absorbed in his headphones and cell phone. Continue reading

June 15 2017

Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents: Answering the Call of the Road Safely

Baby Boomers grew up with Easy Rider, and for Millennials and others, the romance of the motorcycle endures. Unfortunately, a personal injury lawyer sees all too frequently the harsh reality for many motorcyclists – a tragic accident, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or death.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

As a personal injury lawyer who was seen the downside of the call of the road, I offer the following tips for safer motorcycle riding:

  • Before each ride inspect your bike to make sure everything is in working order and inspect the tires to make sure they are properly inflated.
  • Don’t speed – excessive speed is frequently a contributing factor in most motorcycle accident cases.
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June 7 2017

Fatal Accidents: Compensation for the Loss of a Family Member

Fatal accidents are never a pleasant topic but with Mother’s Day just past and Father’s Day approaching, we as personal injury lawyers are reminded of our many clients who have lost a mother, father, spouse, or child through the negligence of another.

What happens when the victim of a fatal accident is a parent, child or spouse?

In addition to CPP death benefits and Section B death benefits (if the death is as a result of a motor vehicle accident), you may also be entitled to claim damages from the parties who were at fault for the accident. These damages consist of:

  1. Bereavement Damages

Bereavement damages are for the loss of the guidance, care and companionship of the deceased and are mandated by legislation. Continue reading