A lot of our clients are victims of motor vehicle accidents. At this time of year when the children are going back to school vehicle and pedestrian traffic on our roads increases substantially. Here are some helpful tips and friendly reminders for motorists at this busy time of year.

  • Drivers should be aware of increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic during the school season
  • Watch for school zone signage and reduce speed. Drive cautiously in school zones; be ready to stop at any moment.
  • Keep a safe distance from school buses and be prepared for frequent stops
  • Remember that if a school bus flashes its red lights, traffic in both directions must stop at least 20 metres from the bus. Travel may not resume until the school bus resumes motion and/or the lights have stopped flashing.
  • The Province of Ontario recently increased fines and demerit points for drivers who violate laws relating to school buses, as outlined in the Highway Traffic Act
  • As of October 26, 2009, Ontario’s new distracted driving law will has made it illegal for motorists to use hand-held wireless communication devices or any hand-held electronic entertainment devices while driving. This includes hand-held cell phones, texting and e-mailing. Hands-free devices are still permitted.

Unfortunately accidents do happen. If you find yourself in this situation here are the
Top 10 Things to Do if Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident:
By James Page B.A., (Hons.), LL.B.

1. Call 911!! If you are injured and require immediate medical attention call 911 or ask someone to call for you.
2. Take information. If you can, find the names, addresses, telephone numbers, insurers and policy numbers of the owners of the other vehicles involved. If the owner and driver of a vehicle are different, obtain the driver’s information as well. This will be useful if you do not obtain an MVA report.
3. Take pictures! If you have a camera, take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved. Take photos at right angles to the damaged areas.
4. Obtain MVA report. If police are at the scene, ask for a copy of the motor vehicle accident report. It will contain important information, including the names, addresses, insurers, policy numbers, etc., of the owners and drivers of the other vehicles involved. If the police are not at the scene, attend the nearest police station and report the accident at the Collision Centre.
5. Report to your auto insurer. Report the accident to your automobile insurer. Whether it is your fault or not, if you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation for one or more of the following: medical rehabilitation, lost income, job retraining, lost educational expenses, maintaining your home, caring for dependants and repairing or replacing your vehicle and other damaged personal property.
6. Report to other auto insurers. If you are not insured, report the accident to the insurer for the vehicle in which you were a passenger. If that vehicle is not insured, report the accident to the insurer for any other vehicle involved. You may be eligible for benefits from those insurers.
7. Report to other insurers. Report the accident to your other insurance companies that may compensate you for medical rehabilitation, lost income, maintaining your home, etc.
8. See a doctor. If you are injured but not taken to the hospital, visit your family doctor or a walk-in clinic at the first on-set of any soreness or pain.
9. Contact school or employer. Notify the school you attend or your employer (or both) that you have been involved in an accident.
10. Contact a lawyer: Generally you only have 2 years to sue since the date of the accident. Contact a lawyer to be advised of your rights. This must be done well in advance of the two-year limitation period.

MARTIN & HILLYER has been assisting people involved in motor vehicle accidents for over 35 years. To find out how we can make a difference call us at 905-637-5641.

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