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Mississauga Personal Injury Law Blog

Personal injury risks are par for the course at trampoline parks

In Canada, the design, construction, advertising, sale and importation of trampolines are not regulated. However, it might be a good idea for Ontario parents who plan to take their children to a trampoline park to gain some knowledge about the risks posed by them. Trampoline park owners are responsible for the safety of visitors, and negligence can lead to personal injury lawsuits.

According to the Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program, statistics show that almost 80% of reported trampoline injuries involve children who are between 5 and 14 years old. Furthermore, reports indicate that although falls off trampolines lead to many injuries, performing tricks and having two or more children jumping at the same time cause pose additional hazards. Children might perform dangerous tricks because they might not yet be able to sense imminent danger.

Distracted driving can have serious personal injury consequences

Even though April was Distracted Driving Month in Ontario, distracted drivers continue to cause car accidents. In many cases, these crashes lead to serious personal injury or worse. The provincial government says that distracted drivers in Ontario cause an injury every 30 minutes. While many people associate distracted driving with mobile phones, the new distracted driving law that became effective on Jan. 1, 2019, classified many other types of distractions.

Along with talking, texting and checking maps on a cell phone, watching videos or programming a GPS device are regarded as distractions. Even just holding a portable gaming console, smartphone, tablet or another electronic device can get a driver in trouble. Furthermore, eating or drinking beverages while driving are also not permitted.

Personal injury: Hidden accident injuries can be costly

Victims of car accidents in Ontario may not realize that some of the injuries they suffered could be hidden, and delayed symptoms may only become evident later. In many cases, an adrenaline surge can block the discomfort or pain, and crash victims might decline a trip to the hospital for evaluation. This could be detrimental if injuries are not identified and diagnosed soon after the accident; damages might not be recovered from insurance or a personal injury lawsuit.

One injury that can remain hidden for days or weeks after a collision is whiplash, which occurs during the sudden movement of the neck, known as retraction, extension and rebound from the initial position. Whiplash injuries put excessive strain on the vertebrae and spine, and aches in the neck and back, headaches, pins-and-needles sensations, tinnitus and dizziness can appear days later. Other hidden injuries include damaged soft tissues like muscles, ligaments and tendons that can be strained or sprained.

Car Injuries: Seat Belts Versus Air Bags.

With the snow melting and higher temperatures appearing everyday, Canadians are ready to go outside and enjoy the spring season. Which for some, could mean road trips and spring getaways. But if you are going to be spending extended periods of time on the road – especially roads in new places or locations – its important to remember essential car safety rules to reduce the likelihood of injuries should a car accident occur.

Two of the most common car safety features are the seatbelt and airbag. Some people may think that, even if they get into an accident while not wearing a seatbelt, an airbag will protect them.

Personal injury could include post-traumatic stress disorder

Car accidents can be traumatic experiences that might affect victims for many years afterward. A personal injury suffered in a crash does not always include fractured bones and open wounds. It is possible for crash victims in Ontario to believe they escaped injury, only to develop post-traumatic stress disorder weeks or months after the accident occurred. Anyone who experienced an incident that threatened his or her life, or the life of a loved one, can have nightmares and relive the trauma over and over again, causing PTSD.

Along with auto accidents, bombings, fires, torture, rape and other traumatic events can cause PTSD -- even if the incident is only witnessed and not experienced. Re-experiencing a traumatic event or having recurring dreams about it can prevent a victim from moving forward. He or she might become withdrawn and avoid interaction with people or activities that serve as reminders of the trauma. The person might find it difficult to concentrate, experience mood swings and anxiety attacks that include sudden shortness of breath, dizziness and accelerated heartbeat.

Personal injury: Concussion symptoms are often missed

Many people in Ontario might be under the impression that concussions are injuries that are limited to those who participate in contact sports. The fact is that a significant percentage of personal injury suffered in car accidents and falls include concussions. These injuries do not always involve a blow to the head because any rapid movement of the head that causes the brain to smash against the inside of the skull can cause traumatic brain injuries. Whiplash is one example of such trauma.

The problem is that many people are so relieved not to see broken bones or bleeding wounds after a crash or a fall that they believe it to be unnecessary to go for a medical evaluation. However, concussion symptoms can remain hidden for days or even weeks after the injury occurred. The sooner concussion is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start, which might avoid long-term consequences.

Watch for personal injury threats in community playgrounds

There is a lot of fun to be had in community playgrounds. However, there could also be multiple personal injury hazards, and Ontario parents will be wise to assess the safety of the park before leaving their children to play on playground equipment. The municipality or another owner of the playground must maintain the equipment and ensure the safety of the children.

Jumping, sliding and other activities will invariably lead to children falling to the ground. While dirt, concrete or grass can cause scrapes and contusions, sand, wood chips, pea gravel, or rubber crumbs or mats can provide softer landings. Garbage, broken glass and other debris can cause injuries, and so can protruding bolts and sharp edges on the equipment.

Personal injury claim after slip-and-fall on dangerous property

Wintertime is a particularly hazardous time for pedestrians, and property owners in Ontario are burdened with the responsibility to keep their properties free of slip-and-fall hazards. Anyone who is injured on another person's property -- business or private -- might have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the property owner. Sidewalks, driveways, walkways, stairs and other areas must be kept clear of snow, ice and slippery, wet leaves in compliance with the bylaw timeframes.

Property owners might also want to address issues such as unexpected changes in elevation and surface gaps or cracks that pose fall hazards. Putting down non-slip coverings on slippery floors and repairing missing, damaged or loose handrails on stairways might prevent accidental falls. Proper lighting can provide additional safety.

What types of personal injury can be claimed in civil lawsuits?

Whenever anyone in Ontario suffers physical injuries and emotional trauma as the result of another party's negligence, he or she might be eligible to file a civil lawsuit. Along with car accidents, other incidents that might provide grounds for a personal injury claim include assaults, premises liability, product liability, dog bites and more. However, such suits are based on the evidence of negligence, and the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.

Victims of such incidents can seek recovery for various types of damages. Financial losses typically include medical expenses like doctor's bills, ambulance and hospital fees, therapy, and medication. Also, victims can also claim lost income if their injuries prevented them from returning to work. Documented proof of property damage can also form part of the claim.

Traumatic personal injury needs both physical and mental care

According to safety authorities and medical professionals, saving the lives of victims of traumatic injuries in Ontario and elsewhere does not stop with the initial medical treatment they receive. Authorities and professionals maintain that a life is only saved once the personal injury victim has successfully integrated back into his or her normal life as much as possible before the injury occurred. According to a study that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, this part of the process is crucial to prevent depression, alcohol-abuse disorder, anxiety or other mental health problems.

The study indicates that victims of traumatic injuries are 40 percent more likely to return to the hospital for treatment of mental health problems. The lead author of the article says the treatment of the patient's mental health is as necessary as the care provided to heal physical injuries. Another concerning conclusion of the study shows a significantly higher suicide rate than that of the general population.

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