Things to Remember in Transit Accidents
Toronto’s public transit vehicles and streetcars cover an estimated 150 million km per year, so it’s not surprising that accidents happen frequently. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has recorded over 18,000 collisions since 2009. Just over a week ago, GO’s first accident, which happened on Highway 407 in Vaughan, northwest of Toronto, also became one of the worst in the history of public transportation.
With majority of Toronto residents using the public transit to commute to work or just to get around, it is not surprising that there is always a risk of a transit accident. Even if you are not a public transportation commuter, it doesn’t exempt you from accidents caused by Toronto public transportation.
If it happened that you or someone you know has suffered from such an incident, you should know that one is entitled to government-regulated accident benefits via an insurance company. However, there are things to keep in mind for victims of public transportation accidents:
The Vehicle Needs to Be In a Collision or a Crash
Due to changes in legislation made in 2011, the law now defines vehicular accidents based on whether or not there was a collision or a crash. This means an injury resulting from a bus making an unnecessary sudden stop does not constitute a vehicular accident, and will be categorized as a slip and fall instead of a motor vehicle accident.
The Law is In Favor of Insurers, Not Victims of Vehicular Accidents
The legislative changes aim to reduce the number of wrongful claims and protect the insurers of public transit vehicles and personal auto insurers. It is not in favor of people who suffered injuries during a transit accident. The person must prove that they have suffered serious injury as a result of a collision or crash.
The Law Has a Specific Definition for Injuries
There is a threshold that a person filing for a claim must meet. The court defines it as an injury or impairment that “substantially interferes with your ability to return to work or to complete your usual daily activities.”
You Need to File a Claim Within a Specific Time Frame
Last but not the least, if you need to file a claim in Court, you have to do so within two years from the date of your accident. Otherwise, you can deprive yourself of the right to claim. This is a statute that public transit owners frequently take advantage of. Therefore, it is best to file a claim at the soonest possible time.
You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Operators of public transit vehicles are prepared for protracted court battles. They need to protect themselves from wrongful claims, which means that they have the means to take on even valid claims and find loopholes, absolving them of liabilities. What’s worse, they can even make the claimant shoulder their legal costs.
If you want to get maximum benefit from the claim, you need to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer who will act in your interest. That way you are protected from unfair treatment by companies with deep pockets and errors resulting from lack of proper knowledge.