Toronto is a busy place. Nearly everyone is in a rush, and nearly everyone is working hard. Getting around isn’t always easy, despite numerous public transit options. There is a ton of traffic in Toronto, and the transit solutions can be frustratingly inadequate in the face of all of this hustle, bustle, and gridlock. Plenty of Torontonians commute by car (as do the many people who work in Toronto but do not live there), and that creates incredible traffic — and, sometimes, dangerous situations.
Accidents happen, and Toronto is not immune from that reality. Like the rest of Canada, Toronto has its fair share of car accidents. In the winter months, when snow and ice make driving more dangerous, accidents rise in frequency. While it’s not something that Torontonians like to think about, this is the reality: car accidents can happen, and they can hurt you, whether you’re in another car, riding a bike, or walking along.
Here’s what Torontonians should know about avoiding motor vehicle accidents and — failing that — about protecting their legal rights and recovering from an accident if and when it happens.
Reducing your odds of being hurt in an accident
We can’t control everything that happens on the busy streets of Toronto. But we can control the role that we play, and we can do our part to reduce our own risk of being hurt in an accident.
It starts with our driving decisions. It’s important to know when not to drive. Toronto is a hard-drinking city, but even those with the highest tolerance for alcohol should never try to drive. On top of being against the law, it’s extremely dangerous. You know that, of course — but you should also remember that distracted driving is a no-no. That includes eating and driving, which can actually be just as dangerous as texting while driving (yes, really)!
While you’re on the road, you should obey traffic laws and practice defensive driving. You should also take full advantage of modern safety features. Always wear your seatbelt, use those mirrors (and shiny new helpers like back-up cameras and blind spot monitors), and consider upgrading your ride to a safe and modern vehicle.
Recovering after an accident
It would be nice if all of this could guarantee you safety on the roads of Toronto. But it just isn’t so. The fact of the matter is that other drivers in Canada can put you at risk even when you are doing everything right. No amount of defensive driving can protect you completely, and while doing things like buckling your seatbelt will help reduce the damage a crash can do to you, it’s important to recognize that you can still suffer terrible consequences due to an accident that was not your fault.
That’s why Torontonians should realize what their legal options will be if and when they are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Thanks to Canadian tort laws, such Torontonians will have options available to them.
If you’re injured in an accident that was not your fault, call a Toronto injury lawyer right away. Set up a consultation and come share the details of your accident, along with any relevant documentation that you may have (that includes things like police reports, medical bills, and pay stubs showing lost wages). Explain what happened to your attorney and let them tell you if you have the makings a personal injury case.
If you do, you could file suit and potential win an award (or agree to a settlement) that will make you whole again, covering unfair bills and compensating you for any loss in your quality of life. But you can’t do it without a lawyer, so be sure to schedule a consultation as soon as you can.