Update on Parental Negligence and Liability in Personal Injury Cases Involving Children

In an earlier blog post CAM LLP canvassed what happens when a child is injured while a passenger in a vehicle driven by a family member. A recent decision from the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, Edmondson v. Edmondson, 2022 NBCA 4, granted summary judgment to the legal representatives of a five-year-old child against his father for injuries suffered while a passenger on the father’s motorcycle, and found the father liable squarely on the basis of his parental negligence.

The case highlights the high degree of care that a parent must take while transporting their child, should the worst happen and they are in a motor vehicle accident. Continue reading

Alberta’s Family Protection Endorsement (SEF 44) Explained

This blog post reviews why you may want to consider purchasing Alberta’s Family Protection Endorsement (SEF 44) in addition to your standard auto insurance policy coverage. We also review some limitations concerning “who” is covered and what is covered.

What does the Family Protection Endorsement Offer?

For a modest premium increase, you can add Family Protection Endorsement (SEF 44) when you purchase your automobile insurance policy. This additional coverage allows you to claim up to your third-party liability limits, (commonly $1 million or $2 million) in the event you are injured in an accident and:

  • the at-fault driver is underinsured; that is, they have less liability coverage than your claim is worth
  • the at-fault driver is uninsured, or
  • you are injured by a hit and run driver, or the at-fault driver is otherwise unknown

What does the Family Protection Endorsement (SEF 44) cover?

Continue reading

Injuries to School Bus Riders – What You Need to Know

It is every parent’s worst nightmare –  “School bus impaled by logs after collision north of Edmonton in Barrhead,” were the headlines in all the Alberta media outlets on November 2, 2021. Logs on a turning logging truck swung out and went though the side of the school bus. Unbelievably, and thankfully, no one was seriously injured but these types of random accidents can befall children riding as passengers in a school bus, with disastrous results.

A 2008 Final Report reviewing school bus collisions for Alberta Transportation recorded that every day in Alberta more than 5000 school buses were used to transport over 265,000 young Albertans to school. Continue reading

Injuries to Bus Passengers – Know Your Rights

Buses, such as those operated by the City of Edmonton and other municipalities, Red Arrow, Ebus, SunDog Tours and Cold Shot are “public carriers”, and as such, have heightened obligations to their passengers. The duty of the bus owner and bus driver is to carry bus passengers safely and to use all “due, proper and reasonable care and skill to avoid or prevent injury to the passenger.” In typical car accidents the injured person must show that the other driver was at fault.  With public carriers, there is a “reverse onus”, and the public carrier must show that the bus was being driven in a “skilled and prudent manner”. Continue reading

What happens when a child is injured while a passenger in a vehicle driven by a family member?

The leading cause of death for Canadian children is unintentional and preventable accidents, according to Raising Canada 2020,  a report produced by non-profit children’s welfare organization Children First Canada. Further, data from the Public Health Agency of Canada published in Injury in Review, 2020 Edition confirms that a major cause of serious injuries and death for Canadian children is transportation collisions.

In most cases, children are passengers, not drivers, and it is often a family member who is driving. No one wants to cause injury to a child, let alone a parent or family member, but accidents can happen at any time. Continue reading