Every year, countless people are injured or die in car accidents resulting from the negligence of others. With an astounding number of cars on our roads, it isn’t too difficult to understand how so many accidents occur. Car accidents can result in bodily injury, property damage and even death.
Physical Effects of Car Accidents
Anyone who has ever been involved in an accident can attest to the fact that regardless of how minor it may seem, severe injuries can result. Victims involved in minor accidents can suffer from whiplash, soft-tissue injuries, burns, spinal injury, broken bones, brain injury, bruises, paralysis, and even wrongful death. Your primary goal if you’ve been involved in a car accident should be to deal with your injuries and heal. Following that, you should seek reimbursement for any medical bills, lost wages and damage to your property.
FACT: There were over 20 million registered vehicles in Canada last year.
FACT: According to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, about 160,000 road accidents occur in Canada annually. This translates to 2,800 to 2,900 people losing their life on the road every year.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Drifting left of center, failure to yield right of way, tailgating, disregard of stop lights, improper turning, are all causes of car accidents in Canada. Other factors can include:
- Alcohol and Drug Influence – According to the Traffic Injury Research foundation, it is estimated that in 2005, 1,100 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Canada. In regards to drug influence, it is known that a wide range of drugs (illicit as well as prescription and even some over-the-counter drugs) have impairing effects on driving-related skills. It is also known that many of these drugs are found in drivers involved in serious road crashes – as many as 25% of fatally injured drivers have been found to be positive for some psychoactive substance. In Canada, a national opinion poll found some 2.4% (approximately 520,000) drivers had used marijuana or hashish in the past 12 months and had driven within two hours of using either substance.
- Fatigue – It is estimated that sleepy and/or fatigued drivers are responsible for 4% of fatal crashes and about 20% of non-fatal crashes. In 2004 some 20% of drivers in Canada admitted to falling asleep or nodding off at the wheel during the last 12 months.
- Speeding – On a four-lane divided highway with a posted speed limit of 100 km/hr., studies found that 20% of the drivers were travelling in excess of 120 km/hr. Research has shown that excessive speed increases the risk of collisions, injury and death.
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving involves a diversion of attention from driving because the driver is temporarily focusing on an object, person, task, or an event not related to driving. This reduces the driver’s awareness, decision-making, and/or performance, subsequently leading to an increased risk of corrective actions, near-crashes, or crashes. According to CAA, distracted driving, particularly texting while driving, is an increasing phenomenon that has become the number one road safety concern of Canadians.
Legal Represenation is Essential
Martin G. Schulz & Associates will assess your case and negotiate with both parties’ insurance companies to ensure you’re receiving maximum compensation relative to the injuries and damage you’ve sustained. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, there are other factors you and your attorney will want to consider. Is the responsible party insured or under-insured?
In the event of a hit-and-run, it is in your best interest to identify the responsible driver as soon as possible. And while police officers on the scene will conduct a preliminary investigation by interviewing any witnesses and victims, it is important to note that mistakes can be made and important details can be missed or forgotten. This is why it is critical to have a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side to help you understand the fault and no-fault law and to assist you in filing your insurance claims and obtaining what you’re entitled to.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Martin G. Schulz & Associates will closely examine the police report and if necessary, hire a specialized expert to reconstruct the accident when important details are in question or not known.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident that’s resulted in personal injury or property damage, contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at Martin G. Schulz & Associates for a free, no obligation consultation.