Side Impact Collisions
A side-impact collision is when one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. In Toronto, a side-impact collision is often referred to as a side-swipe or a T-bone collision. Side swipes occur when drivers are changing lanes and the two vehicles come into contact where one side touches the other side of the vehicle. T-bone collisions are where cars collide in a perpendicular configuration.
A car accident lawyer in Toronto can help explain that there is no strict definition under the rules of the road contained in the Highway Traffic Act. These are more layman’s terms that describe side-impact collisions or T-bone collisions.
Side-impact situations can happen where a vehicle fails to yield at a red light or a stop sign, and the other driver proceeding through the intersection expects it to be clear and is hit on the side by the vehicle that failed to yield. Other circumstances are when people anticipate the light is going to change to green and they proceed before the light turns green, prohibiting the other driver from clearing the intersection. Another example is when two vehicles are traveling in lanes beside each other and one vehicle makes an unsafe lane change striking the other vehicle.
Assessing the Collision
When someone is involved in a side-impact collision in Toronto, they must make sure to bring their vehicle to a complete stop and then document exactly how the accident occurred. When there are two vehicles or one vehicle is changing lanes into another, the drivers often blame each other. Under those circumstances, it is important to compile and obtain evidence from any other party involved in the accident or around the scene of the accident who can describe exactly what happened.
It is the same with T-bone collisions. A person needs to identify exactly what happened. There is often a denial of responsibility by one party or the other. It is so important to locate independent witnesses. Given the severity of T-bone collisions, there are usually witnesses who stopped to help and can identify exactly what happened.
More often than not, side-impact collisions can result in rotator cuff injuries and knee injuries. Rotator cuff injuries occur from being struck from the side and being pushed into the door or into the console. There are seatbelts holding that person in place, their arms flail resulting in a torn rotator cuff. There can also be damages to the knees, torn ligaments, torn meniscus, and/or fractures from side-impact collisions. Depending on the severity of the collision, the skull can hit the side windows. There are also whiplash, neck, back, lower back injuries from being thrown about in the car, and injuries to the ankles and feet from the pedals, brakes, and clutches.
When someone has a serious and permanent injury that impairs their ability to do the activities of daily living or perform their regular employment duties, they are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. In addition to that, a person can seek damages for past loss of income up to 70 percent and future loss of income at 100 percent. An individual can also obtain future care costs which include medical expenses, chiropractic care, plastic surgery, acupuncture, physiotherapy, home modifications, and etcetera.
When someone is unable to do housekeeping and home maintenance, they can obtain damages for that. If their relationship with an individual family is affected, they can seek family law claims and family law damages for a loss of care, guidance, and companionship.
The law on Toronto is complex and thresholds apply. Unless a person meets the threshold, they cannot make a claim for pain and suffering or at least not successfully. Even when someone has injuries considered serious and permanent and they meet the threshold, there are often deductibles in most cases if your pain is worth under a certain amount. The statutory deductible, depending on when your accident occurred, is anywhere from $30,000 up to $36,500, increasing each year.
That means if a person’s case is worth $50,000 and they have a serious and permanent injury, if the deductible is $30,000 they receive $20,000. That $30,000 deductible is a gift to the insurance company from the injured person made possible by the provincial government that permitted insurance companies to profit from the misfortune of victims.
How a Toronto Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Lawyers can help someone involved in a side-impact collision determine liability and make sure that the person is seen by the appropriate doctors, gets the proper treatment, and their claim is advanced expeditiously. The system in Toronto is already fraught with delay, so the injured person needs a lawyer that can push their claim forward in a focused and comprehensive manner.
A person involved in a side-impact collision does not want a lawyer that is reactionary; they want a lawyer that is focused on their case, pushing it forward, and making sure that the insurance company, rather than the injured party, is reacting.
Lawyers should be able to build a client’s case ensuring that the foundation of the claim is solid. They make sure that the client is informed and understands the system, the context of the litigation, and what they need to do to be successful in the statutory environment that exists in Toronto.