1-800-567-HURT

Call Today For A FREE Consultation

Unsafe Roadways: Who Can An Injured Party Sue

#AskCoreySax

When someone is at fault in causing an accident, an injured party has the right to make a claim for compensation. Things are not so simple when the party responsible for causing your injuries is a city or other municipality. The law gives you up to two years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries, but if a municipality is the responsible party, you could lose the right to sue unless you give the municipality notice of the accident within 10 days.

Municipal obligation for roads and bridges

Under the Ontario Municipal Act, bridges and highways fall under the jurisdiction of the government. Repairs and maintenance required to keep the road or bridge safe are the responsibility of the particular municipal entity with jurisdiction over them.

You have the right to file a lawsuit against a municipality for failing to fulfill its legal obligation regarding repair and maintenance. The municipality is not responsible if it did not have knowledge of the unsafe condition or could reasonably have been expected to know of the unsafe condition. It is also not responsible if reasonable steps were taken to make repairs or correct an unsafe condition or if the municipality met minimum standards existing at the time for the condition of roads and bridges.

Different rules under the Ontario Municipal Act apply to municipal obligations for snow or ice accumulations on sidewalks. Unless there is evidence proving the municipality was guilty of gross negligence, it is not liable to pay compensation to someone who slips and falls or is otherwise injured.

Satisfying the 10-day notice rule

Assuming you have evidence proving negligence or, in the case of an accident on a sidewalk, gross negligence against a municipality, your lawyer cannot simply file a lawsuit. The law requires that you give the municipality a written notice of your claim that includes at least the following information about it:

  • Date and time of the occurrence
  • Location
  • Description of the occurrence and of your injuries

The written notice must be served upon or mailed by registered mail to the clerk of the municipality within 10 days of the date of your injury. If your notice is not served on time or does not contain the information required under the law, you could lose your right to sue.

Failure to serve the 10-day notice is not a bar to a lawsuit in cases in which the party with the right to sue dies as a result of the injuries suffered in the accident. It is also not a bar if your lawyer can establish that you had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the law and no prejudice was caused to the municipality’s ability to defend against the claim.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

If you are injured as a result of someone violating any of the new laws, the personal injury attorneys at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience handling claims for compensation on behalf of  people injured through fault on the part of other parties. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, speak to one of our lawyers right away to learn more about your rights and how to protect them. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

New Ontario Laws In Effect To Keep People Safe

#AskStephanieSlavens

The start of a new year traditionally comes with a slew of new laws, and this year is no exception. Some of the new laws target road safety by increasing penalties or expanding prohibited driver conduct. One law addresses harassment in the workplace by imposing a requirement on certain employers to create rules and procedures for managing workplace violence.

Distracted driving

The most dangerous behaviour engaged in by drivers is distracted driving according to the Ontario Provincial Police, which makes it worse than driving under the influence of alcohol as far as causing accidents. As of January 1, penalties for distracted driving increase to $1,000 for a first offence, $2,000 for a second offence and $3,000 for a third or subsequent offences.

Suspension of a person’s driver’s licence is now included with the fines as a penalty for a conviction. Suspensions are three days for a first offence, seven days for a second offence and 30 days for a third or subsequent offence. Simply holding a cellphone in your hand is sufficient cause for a police officer to write a ticket under the new definition of distracted driving.

Making tractor-trailers safer

Tractor-trailers should be safer under a change to the Motor Safety Act enacted by the federal government. All tractors, the pulling end of a tractor-trailer, manufactured in Canada after August 1 must be equipped with electronic stability control systems to prevent vehicles from rolling over or a loss of control by drivers in the event of a collision. The law also applies to school buses and intercity transit buses.

Safer workplaces

Employers with 20 or more employees will now be required to create best practices guidelines for handling violence and harassment in the workplace. The amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act includes expands the definition of a workplace hazard affecting the health and safety of a worker to include harassment and violence in the workplace.

Making it tougher for motorists who drink and drive

Amendments to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act increase penalties for motorists with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.05 percent or greater to $250 for first offenders, $350 for a second offence and $450 for offences after the second. Drivers refusing to voluntarily submit to drug or alcohol testing when asked to do so by a police officer are subject to a $550 penalty if they are later found to have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent or identified as impaired by a drug recognition evaluator.

Ontario personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers

If you are injured as a result of someone violating any of the new laws, the personal injury attorneys at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience handling claims for compensation on behalf of  people injured through fault on the part of other parties. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, speak to one of our lawyers to learn more about your rights and how to protect them. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

Opioid Addiction: Balancing Patient Care And Rx Risks

#AskIsaacZisckind

Government regulators and the media have focused attention in recent years on the widespread prescribing of opioid medications for patients experiencing pain due to injuries. One study reported 2,861 deaths in 2016 attributed to the use of opioids in Canada and a sharp rise in people seeking care in hospital emergency departments for opioid-related conditions. The federal governments in Canada and the United States have responded by declaring an opioid crisis attributed to high prescription rates in both countries. Individuals could have a claim for compensation against doctors who overprescribe pain relief medication.

Opioid medications

Opioids are drugs derived from the poppy plant that have proven effective for pain relief. They can also be produced in the laboratory. Fentanyl is an example of a synthetically produced substance that replicates the pain-relieving properties of naturally produced opioids.

The effectiveness of opioids in controlling severe or chronic pain makes them a popular treatment option. Some of the commonly prescribed opioid medications include:

  • Morphine, including Kadian and MS-Contin
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin

Opioids work by attaching to cells in the brain. The affected cells inhibit a person’s ability to perceive pain. Users may experience a feeling of euphoria, which could increase the potential for abuse of the drug.

Side effects of opioids

As effective as they are in the treatment of severe and chronic pain, there are side effects associated with opioid use, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea

Long-term use of opioid medications may cause a person to develop a tolerance to the drug and require higher dosages. Dependency and abuse may develop in patients using the drugs for extended periods.

Patients using opioids must only take them under the care and supervision of a doctor and must only take the amount prescribed for them. Adverse reactions may occur when opioid drugs are taken in combination with other drugs or with alcohol or when taken in higher doses than prescribed may result in symptoms ranging from extreme drowsiness to death.

Holding doctors accountable

An investigation of 84 doctors with higher than normal numbers of patients for whom they prescribed opioids resulted in disciplinary action against one of them and recommendations for remedial action regarding their prescribing practices for some of the others. Patients have another course of action they could take to hold doctors accountable when medication errors or their failure to monitor patient use of prescribed opioids.

Physicians can be held responsible for negligence through a medical malpractice claim when they fail to provide care to patients that are up to the standards expected of the profession. Failing to warn patients of the risks posed by opioids or not monitoring a patient’s progress while taking the medication could be considered an act of medical malpractice.

Ontario personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers

The personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience handling claims for compensation on behalf of  people suffering injuries through the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, speak to one of our lawyers to learn more about your rights and how to protect them. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

Compensating Victims When Accidents Cause Catastrophic Injuries

#AskSandraZisckind

Most roadway accidents in Ontario do not result in serious injuries or fatalities to the drivers or occupants of the vehicles involved in them, but not everyone is fortunate to walk away uninjured or with only minor injuries. Some injuries are so severe that victims never fully recover. Loss of limbs, paralysis and brain trauma are types of catastrophic injuries requiring extensive medical treatment and long-term care. Recent changes to the law in Ontario affect the compensation available for accident victims with catastrophic injuries.

Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits  

Every auto insurance policy issued in Ontario must provide compensation for vehicle occupants and pedestrians injured or killed in an auto accident according to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. Benefits include the following:

  • Loss of income
  • Expenses associated with medical care and treatment
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Expenses associated with retaining the services of an aide or attendant
  • Miscellaneous costs, including home repairs and housekeeping

Benefits are payable regardless of fault in causing the accident, but there are limits placed on the amount a person may recover through the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule depending upon the type of injury. Accident victims filing a Statutory Accident Benefits claim cannot recover compensation for pain and suffering as they can in a lawsuit filed by a lawyer.

Catastrophic injuries and Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits

Injuries and the benefits payable to victims under Ontario law are categorized as minor, non-catastrophic and catastrophic. The Insurance Act defines a minor injury as including sprains, strains, whiplash, abrasions, lacerations or contusions. Maximum benefits payable for a minor injury is limited to $3,500.

A person whose injuries are more severe than those falling within the definition of a minor injury, such as broken bones and concussions, are non-catastrophic injuries. The maximum benefit under the SABS is $65,000.

The law defines a catastrophic injury as one or more of the following conditions:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Blindness
  • Amputation or severe mobility impairment or use of an arm or leg
  • Paralysis
  • Injuries that in combination with each other cause 55 percent or more physical impairment of the whole person
  • Severe mental or behavioural impairment

Benefits available to someone with a catastrophic injury resulting from an auto accident have are capped at a maximum of $1,000,000 under the current law, which is a dramatic reduction from the prior law. Under the old law, Ontario accident victims with catastrophic injuries could receive a maximum benefit of $1,000,000 for medical and rehabilitation services and an additional $1,000,000 for attendant care.

A person suffering catastrophic injuries in a car accident probably needs the type of long-term and extensive care and services that would exhaust the limits of the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience handling claims for compensation on behalf of accident victims.  If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, our lawyers can help to maximize the benefits you receive whether through a Statutory Accident Benefits claim or by suing the party whose negligence caused the accident. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

Effect of Ontario Limitations Act On Claims By Injured Children

#AskJeremyDiamond

The right to make a claim for compensation against someone whose negligence or careless disregard for your safety caused you to be injured has a time limit. Your right to compensation could be lost by failing to sue the other party within the limitation period specified in the Ontario Limitations Act. Everyone, including parents, should be aware of how limitation periods could affect their claim and the claims of their children.

Ontario Limitations Act

The law gives you two years within which to file a claim for compensation in Ontario. The time is calculated from the date of discovery of the existence of a claim. The Ontario Limitations Act explains that discovery occurs the day you first became aware of the existence of the claim or the day on which a reasonable person would have become aware of it, whichever first occurs.

Some circumstances make it easier than others to identify when an injury occurs, such as when a pedestrian suffers a leg fracture and is taken to hospital after being hit by a speeding car. Sometimes, it could take some time before you realize you have been injured. For example, it could take a person several years following surgery to discover the cause of the pain they have is a surgical instrument left in their body during the operation.

The statute does not give you an unlimited amount of time to discover that you have suffered an injury. There is an ultimate limitation period of 15 years calculated from the date of the conduct upon which the claim is based.

There is no limitation period for claims arising from a sexual assault. Victims of sexual assault or sexual misconduct may suffer psychological trauma that could take years to overcome before they are able to come forward with their claims.

Special circumstances when children suffer injuries

The purpose of limitation periods is to avoid making it difficult for a party against whom a claim might exist to defend against it. The passage of time could result in evidence being lost and witnesses moving away or forgetting important facts. However, when children are the claimants, the law grants an extension of the limitation period to protect them

The two-year limitation period and the 15-year ultimate limitation period do not run while the person with the claim is a minor who is not represented by a litigation guardian. A child with a claim for compensation would have the full limitation period to sue the negligent party.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience handling claims for compensation on behalf of  victims suffering injuries through the negligent and careless conduct of others. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, speak to one of our lawyers to learn more about your rights and how to protect them. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

Compensating Victims Suffering Psychological and Emotional Injuries

#AskPaulMariani

Personality changes, insomnia and vivid nightmares are only a few of the symptoms someone could exhibit after witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event. Someone witnessing a family member being struck and killed by a speeding vehicle or the occupant of a building who suffers severe burns in a fire caused by negligent maintenance of a building could both be victims of psychological and emotional injuries even though only one of them suffered physical trauma.

Emotional harm caused by an injury to the brain

Brain injuries, such as might occur the head of a passenger strikes against the metal frame of a car during a collision or when someone slips and falls on a wet floor and their head hits the floor, could leave a person with emotional or psychological injuries. The following are some of the behaviours someone with a brain injury might exhibit:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Inability to produce appropriate emotional responses
  • Anxiety and fear of suffering further brain trauma
  • Impulsive and risky behaviour
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Difficulty engaging in normal social relationships
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of independence

A person with chronic pain or disability due to a physical injury caused by the negligent, intentional or careless conduct of another party could also experience depression and other psychological harm stemming from their inability to engage in normal daily activities

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Sleeping disturbance, anxiety, depression and other behaviours experienced by someone suffering an injury to the brain might also appear in someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Victims suffering serious and catastrophic injuries in an accident could develop PTSD. It could also develop from being involved in a near-death situation or from witnessing the violent death of a loved one.

Victims of PTSD may experience flashbacks of the traumatic event or feel as though the same or equally traumatic event might occur. Mood changes, a detachment from family and friends, and other psychological disorders frequently develop in people suffering from PTSD. A with PTSD might abuse drugs or alcohol as a means of dealing with the emotional and psychological harm associated with PTSD.

Individuals developing anxiety from PTSD or from other causes related to accidents could exhibit additional intrusive conditions. Panic attacks, fear of leaving the home and an inability to engage in normal interpersonal discourse could develop in individuals suffering from anxiety.

Ontario psychological and emotional injuries lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond years of experience representing individuals suffering psychological and emotional injuries due to the negligent and careless conduct of others. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, you should speak to one of our lawyers to learn more about your right to be compensated. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

Steps to Take When You Suffer A Serious Injury

#AskPatrycjaMajchrowicz

You could be driving in your car, shopping at a local retail store or working at your place of employment and be injured in an accident. What you say and do in the minutes and hours following an accident may affect your ability to collect compensation for your injuries. Here are the steps you must take to following different types of accidents.

Injuries suffered at work

An illness or injury related to your employment may entitle you to compensation. Ontario workers are protected through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and have the right to receive benefits, including medical care and compensation for lost earnings.

The most essential step in claiming WSIB benefits is notifying your employer of the illness or injury as soon after the occurrence as possible. You must report any injury or illness to your employer if it requires medical treatment beyond first aid in order to protect your right to benefits, including loss of income, medical care and replacement of eyeglasses and other items damaged in the accident. If you fail to file a claim for benefits within six months of the accident or onset of an illness related to your work, you could lose your right to compensation.

Steps to take following a vehicle crash

Vehicle collisions usually happen without warning and can be violent events leaving drivers and passions injured and distraught. Important steps to take following a vehicle crash include the following:

  • Stay calm and call for assistance: Take a moment to become oriented and to recover from the shock of the collision before calling 911 for assistance. If you are unable to call because of your injuries, asking someone at the scene to make the call for you.
  • Ensure the safety of yourself and others: The force of the impact could leave vehicles and debris scattered all over the roadway, so be careful when exiting your vehicle and lookout for other vehicles swerving to avoid the accident scene.
  • Take note of the accident scene: If it is safe to do so, take pictures or make a note of the position of the vehicles involved in the crash and any damage caused to each of them.
  • Exchange information with other drivers: Get the names, contact information and insurance company information of the drivers of other vehicles. Also note the description and registration numbers of other vehicles. If there are witnesses, obtain their names, addresses and telephone numbers.
  • Seek medical treatment: If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately from emergency medical personnel responding to the scene or from your own doctor as soon as possible.

Notify your insurance company and your personal injury lawyer about the accident as soon after as possible following the accident.

Accidents occurring on someone else’s property

The owners and occupiers of retail stores, office buildings and even private homes have a duty to ensure their property is safe to prevent injuries to people entering upon them. If you are injured from slipping on snow or ice, tripping on a broken tile, falling down a stairway or any other accident occurring on premises belonging to another party, you could have a claim against them for compensation.

When an accident happens on another party’s property, you should notify the owner or manager immediately. Do not leave the premises without letting someone in authority know about the accident.

Seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as practical. If your injuries are serious, ask someone to call for emergency medical personnel.

Make notes about the circumstances of the accident, including the time, date, location and a brief summary of what occurred. If possible, take pictures of the location of the accident.

Dedicated Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond offer years of experience successfully handling compensation claims for individuals suffering injuries through the negligent and careless conduct of others. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, you should speak to one of our lawyers to learn more about your right to be compensated. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

Marijuana Legalization And Traffic Accidents

#AskNastassiaIvanova

The relationship between the use of drugs and motor vehicle collisions is something researchers realized long before marijuana use was legalized in Canada. Accident investigations revealed that 40 percent of fatal collisions involved at least one driver who tested positive for drugs. Surveys show that 43 percent of individuals who admit to using marijuana acknowledge doing so on a daily basis. Driving while impaired, whether by the consumption of drugs or alcohol, continues to be illegal in Ontario and all other provinces, but there is disagreement among experts about whether marijuana legalization will significantly affect accident rates and personal injuries.

The relationship between the use of drugs and motor vehicle collisions is something researchers realized long before marijuana use was legalized in Canada. Accident investigations revealed that 40 percent of fatal collisions involved at least one driver who tested positive for drugs. Surveys show that 43 percent of individuals who admit to using marijuana acknowledge doing so on a daily basis. Driving while impaired, whether by the consumption of drugs or alcohol, continues to be illegal in Ontario and all other provinces, but there is disagreement among experts about whether marijuana legalization will significantly affect accident rates and personal injuries.

Effects of marijuana use

Each person reacts differently when using marijuana. Common side effects associated with marijuana use are feelings of relaxation and euphoria, but other side effects could include:

  • Fatigue  and drowsiness
  • Slowed reactions
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory impairment
  • Anxiety or panic

A person using marijuana could experience a drop in blood pressure, which could cause fainting.

The effects on drivers of inhaling or ingesting marijuana could increase the risk of having an accident by decreasing an individual’s ability to quickly react to changing conditions on the road ahead of them. Impaired concentration could cause a driver to not pay attention to the road or to the speed at which their vehicle is travelling.

One recent study found that drivers who used marijuana before operating a vehicle had more difficulty noticing a person walking along the road than did drivers who had not consumed the drug. An interesting conclusion drawn by the study was that simple tasks associated with driving became difficult for a person impaired by marijuana once a distraction, such as seeing a bicyclist riding on the side of the road, was introduced.

Taking a look at the U.S. experience with marijuana

A Canadian study found no increase in accidents in states in the U.S. following their legalization of the recreational use of cannabis. The study did, however, find was an increase in positive blood tests for THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for producing mental and physical impairment, in drivers killed in accidents in states in which marijuana was legal.

Studies conducted in the U.S. came to a different conclusion. Collisions increased by six percent in Washington, Oregon and Colorado in comparison to neighboring states that continued to prohibit recreational use of marijuana. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board of a multi-vehicle accident that took the lives of 13 people recommended the need for an increase in measures to prevent accidents caused by drivers impaired by drugs after it concluded the use of marijuana by one of the drivers to be a contributing cause of the collision.

Dedicated Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond offer years of experience successfully handling compensation claims for individuals suffering injuries through the negligent and careless conduct of others. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, you should speak to one of our lawyers to learn more about your right to be compensated. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

Safe Driving On Winter Roads

#AskGeorgeLaloshi

Snow, ice and cold are synonymous with winter in Ontario. Road conditions during winter months present a challenge for even the best drivers with car accidents increasing by as much as 5 percent. Canadian winters come early and stay around for a while, but you can become a better and safer driver during wintry weather by preparing yourself and your vehicle for it.

Keep your Car Ready for Winter Storms

Preparing your vehicle for winter driving should not be limited only to when you are planning a long trip. A mechanical breakdown or getting stuck in deep snow during a blizzard on your way to work could put you and your vehicle at risk. Some of the items to keep in your vehicle in the event of a winter emergency include:

  • Booster cables
  • Shovel
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Safety vest
  • Flashlight
  • Road flares
  • Safety vest
  • Blanket
  • Gloves and warm hat

Your vehicle should already be equipped with a first aid kit, but if it is not, now is the time to get one. Winter tires offer better traction than other types of tires for increased control on icy or snow covered roads.

Maintain Extra Space Between Vehicles

Following other vehicles too closely can lead to collisions even under the best driving conditions, but it can be especially dangerous on slippery roads. The recommendation to maintain a two-second distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you does not apply to winter driving when stopping distances on wet or snow- and ice-covered roads increase. Experts recommend at least doubling the distance when weather conditions call for it.

Keep in mind that ice and snow not only affects what goes on in front of your car. Slippery conditions cause vehicles to skid and swerve. Try to avoid riding next to other vehicles when snow or ice conditions could cause you and other drivers to lose control and crash into vehicles in adjacent lanes of travel.

Learn How to Drive Up Hills and Inclines

The hilly road you travel on each day without incident suddenly becomes a challenge when the covered with ice or snow. Apply steady pressure on the accelerator as you approach a hill and maintain that pressure until reaching the top to avoid causing tires to lose traction and spin.

Avoiding stopping on hills or inclined driveways and ramps where there is snow or ice. You might not be able to get your car going again without slipping and sliding.

Avoid Distractions While Driving

Driving while distracted is dangerous regardless of the time of year or the weather conditions, but it becomes even more of a risk when road conditions require your complete attention. Some of the distractions to avoid when driving under winter conditions include:

  • Texting and talking on your cellphone
  • Tuning the radio
  • Talking to passengers or correcting children
  • Reading maps or directions
  • Eating and drinking
  • Adjusting navigation system

Anything that takes your eyes and attention away from the road and the task of driving should be avoided. You should also avoid engaging in any activity that takes your hands off the steering wheel while your vehicle is in motion.

Ontario Personal Injury Lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation by people suffering injuries in accidents caused by the negligent conduct of other parties. If you suffer an injury and need to file a claim, you should speak to one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond & Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

How Does The Thin Skull Rule Apply To Personal Injury Claims

#AskTaniaFleming

Whether slipping on an icy sidewalk or being hit by a car as you cross the street, you don’t get to choose when or where accidents occur. A similar principle applies to the negligent property owner who did not remove the ice from the sidewalk or to the distracted driver who failed to look out for pedestrians. The party at fault in causing an accident cannot defeat a claim for compensation with a defense based upon a victim’s predisposition to being injured due to a pre-existing condition.

Thin Skull Rule of Personal Injury Law

An old injury or pre-existing medical condition could make someone more likely to suffer an injury in a subsequent accident than would a perfectly healthy person without the condition. For example, the victim of a car accident suffers a fractured forearm. At the trial, the negligent driver who caused the accident offers evidence that a previous injury weakened the bone and made it more susceptible to fracturing. The thin skull rule of personal injury law would prevent the defense from defeating the victim’s claim for compensation.

The thin skull rule stands for the principle that a party at fault in causing an accident and an injury cannot avoid responsibility for paying compensation simply because a pre-existing medical condition makes the victim more susceptible than others to being injured. The thin skull rule precludes a defendant or insurance company from seeking to limit damages by claiming the injuries suffered by the victim are more severe than would have been suffered by a victim without the same pre-existing condition.

Crumbling Skull Rule

The ability of an accident victim to be compensated under the thin skull rule has an important limitation. The crumbling skull rule relies upon the underlying purpose of personal injury law to restore the injured party to the position he or she was in prior to the recent injury. The party at fault in causing an accident is only responsible for additional harm caused to the victim and not for the effects of the pre-existing condition itself.

The distinction between a pre-existing injury subject to the thin skull rule and one under the crumbling skull rule has to do with stability of the existing injury. The thin skull rule is based upon a stable pre-existing condition that would most likely have remained that way were it not for the intervening accident caused by the party being sued for negligence. A pre-existing condition under the crumbling skull rule is one that was not stable before the most recent accident, so the defendant’s conduct accelerated its inevitable deterioration as opposed to causing it.

Evidence to Support a Claim for Compensation

Medical records pertaining to your pre-existing condition are vital to prove the nature of the condition and its stability prior to the most recent injury. The past medical records and the most

recent medical evaluation following an accident that aggravated a prior condition are essential to proving the validity of your claim.

Ontario Personal Injury Lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation by people suffering injuries in accidents caused by the negligent conduct of other parties. If you suffer an injury and need to file a claim, you should speak to one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond & Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

CALL 24/7 HOTLINE 1-800-567-HURT ™ FOR FREE CONSULTATION

Diamond & Diamond Ontario Head Office

255 Consumers Road, 5th Floor

Diamond & Diamond Alberta Head Office

4246 97 Street NW, Unit 100

Diamond & Diamond British Columbia Head Office

1727 West Broadway, Suite 400

Barrie

299 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 200

Burnaby

4720 Kingsway Suite 2600

Calgary

909 17th Avenue SW, 4th Floor

Hamilton

105 Main Street East, Suite 1500

Kelowna

1631 Dickson Avenue Suite 1100

Langley

8661 201 Street, 2nd Floor

London

256 Pall Mall St, Suite 102

Mississauga

2233 Argentia Road, Suite 302, East Tower

Ottawa

1081 Carling Avenue, Suite 704

Peterborough

459 George Street North

Richmond

5811 Cooney Road Suite 305 South Tower

Sudbury

144 Elm Street, Suite 201

Surrey

7404 King George Blvd. Suite 200

Thunder Bay

278 Algoma Street South

Toronto – Yonge

5075 Yonge Street, Suite 805

Windsor

13158 Tecumseh Rd. E. Unit 3B