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. As we finally pull ourselves out of a seemingly never-ending winter, motorcyclists are eager to get out on the road and enjoy our beautiful province. 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.
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Winter Driving Tips for Motorists

Alberta winters can be beautiful, but they can also be dangerous. Snow piles up on the road; blizzards impair drivers’ vision, and ice makes it easier for cars to slip.

Fortunately, car accident fatalities usually decrease during the winter. More people stay inside instead of risking bad weather, and most people drive slowly in bad weather.  However, accidents tend to increase on the first day or two after a snowstorm as drivers adjust to the new weather conditions. 

Not all accidents can be avoided, especially when you’re the victim of a negligent driver. But there are steps you can take to keep yourself and others on the road safe this winter. Continue reading

Halloween: the Scariest Night of the Year for Personal Injury Lawyers

Halloween, steeped in its Celtic origins, has been embraced as a fun holiday by most Canadians, including children, teenagers, and adults. For those who celebrate Halloween, this is a wonderful time of the year. For an experienced plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer, however, Halloween can be a very scary night.

Young children, decked out in colourful costumes idealizing what they would like to be, or dressed as their favourite pop culture character, will run from house to house to gather treats from strangers, frequently in unknown neighbourhoods and in darkness. Teenagers will gather for raucous Halloween parties with their friends, frequently indulging in alcohol or drugs. Continue reading

Drivers and Pedestrians. Do You Follow the Rules of the Road?

You’re out for a quick jog before work. It’s early and summer traffic is light, you decide to cut across a normally busy Edmonton street. Just like that—and out of nowhere—a car swerves into your path, missing you by centimetres.

Even if the above scenario has never happened to you, it’s increasingly possible in our fast-paced world. Even pedestrians who stay within the crosswalk may feel unsafe amid a sea of drivers who feel tired, distracted, or entitled to ignore the rules of the road.

Be proactive about preventing accidents; take time to refresh your memory and learn more about drivers’ and pedestrians’ basic responsibilities to each other. Continue reading

It’s Summer 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 – summer! 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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Schools out! Summer Safety Reminders for Drivers, Parents, and Kids

Summer is well underway, and school is 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