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Debris from vehicles puts drivers at risk

  • February 7, 2017
  • by Will Davidson LLP
  • car accident, car accident lawyer, Personal Injury Lawyer, personal injury lawyers, road safety, Will Davidson LLP,

Winter in Ontario is always a busy time for personal injury lawyers who work with car accident victims. Shorter days and inclement weather reduce visibility, road surfaces become slippery, and motorists’ minor mistakes are compounded by poor driving conditions. Even drivers who exercise due caution and comply with the rules of the road can be put at risk.

On December 19, 2016, St. Catharines resident Tristan Brown’s vehicle was struck by a sheet of ice falling from a transport truck on Highway 401. The ice smashed Brown’s windshield and left his rearview mirror dangling by a thread. Brown was lucky to avoid injury.

“It was like it was in slow motion,” he told the Toronto Star. “You could just see it and I knew right away that it was going to hit my truck if I slowed down or sped up. I just saw it coming. It was surreal almost.

Ontario personal injury lawyers are familiar with these types of altercations. Debris falling from vehicles is a common form of distraction on the province’s highways, and reliably causes several accidents each year. The situation is made worse by messy driving conditions.

“The wild thing is,” Brown pointed out, “what if I swerved and there was someone next to me and I hit a family or something?”

According to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Const. Julianne Porritt, these interactions are regarded as motor vehicle collisions by law enforcement, and rarely result in charges, tickets, or warnings being delivered if the damages are not substantial.

“When damage done to the secondary vehicle is under $2,000 the drivers exchange information and it’s up to them to settle the claim through their insurance company,” Porritt told the Star.

In more serious accidents, charges may be laid and personal injury lawyers may get involved.

The issue of debris falling from moving vehicles is not restricted to winter: items that fall off commercial trucks can cause serious accidents at any time of year. This summer, a woman in British Columbia was killed when a log fell of a crashed logging truck and hit her car. In March, an Oshawa truck driver whose load fell from his truck was charged with driving a commercial motor vehicle with an insecure load, driving a commercial motor vehicle with a major defect, and failure to accurately complete a daily inspection report.

Determining blame in these cases is difficult. Depending on the circumstances, it may fall on the driver, the company that owns the vehicle, or the manufacturers of the specific parts of the rig that failed.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by debris falling off a commercial truck, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP to discuss your case and assess your options moving forward.

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