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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.

Personal injury: Accidents, preventable injuries are synonymous

In many instances, accidents and the injuries they cause are preventable. If all parties involved take due care, it's often possible to avoid a personal injury. Safety authorities say preventable injuries cause most hospitalizations and fatalities in Ontario and other provinces.

Due to negligence or carelessness of others, an estimated nine in every 10 serious injuries to Canadians could have been predicted -- and therefore prevented. Reportedly, preventable injuries are the most likely cause of death in Canadians younger than 45 years, and they cause the third most deaths to those between ages 45 and 64. A significant percentage of hospital stays, emergency room visits, deaths and disabilities follow injuries that were caused by negligence.

Cannabis impairment might lead to personal injury lawsuits

With the legalization of cannabis came increased risks of automobile accidents. While road users in Ontario have always had to keep a lookout for drivers who might be under the influence of alcohol and pose personal injury threats, they must now learn how to recognize those who are impaired by drugs. Authorities say drug impairment has become a more significant threat than alcohol impairment when comparing the numbers of deceased crash victims testing positive for drugs and alcohol.

Although field sobriety tests to determine cannabis or other drug impairment are not available yet, authorities say that Drug Recognition Experts and specially trained police officers can identify and charge drug-impaired drivers. Consequences can be severe and could include licence suspension, stiff fines and even time behind bars. If they cause accidents that injure or kill other road users, they might also face civil lawsuits.

Personal injury: Whiplash could have long-term consequences

Victims of rear-end auto accidents in Ontario might feel grateful to escape uninjured. However, back, neck and shoulder aches and pains along with tingling like pins and needles in their legs and arms could develop in the days following such a collision. These are symptoms of whiplash, which is a personal injury caused when the spine unexpectedly hyperextends, causing injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments, spinal discs and vertebrae.

A rear-end collision, even at a speed as low as 15 mph can cause the sudden whip-like motion of the head -- back and forth or from side to side. The extreme and unexpected strain of the pressure on impact forces the cervical spine into an S-shape as the head is whipped into one direction. Then, just as suddenly, the motion of the head stops and returns to the normal position. During that process, the brain is shaken inside the skull, causing damage as it slams into the inner walls.

Personal injury hazards pedestrians face in Ontario

Some say this is the most beautiful time of the year in Ontario, and nothing is as refreshing as taking a brisk walk in the crisp winter air. However, piles of packed snow, icy surfaces and freezing rain can be hazardous, and one misstep can cause a fall that could have severe personal injury consequences. An unfortunate fall could cause a disabling injury that might even compromise the victim's independence and jeopardize his or her ability to continue living an active, healthy lifestyle.

Pedestrians can take precautions to help them avoid injuries, and a good start is to wear bright or reflective clothing to make them more visible to motorists. Heat loss can be prevented by wearing a warm scarf, hat and gloves or mittens, and wearing several layers of clothes can keep the body warmer than a single thick layer of clothing. It is crucial to wear shoes with non-slip soles, and even then, every step must be taken cautiously.

Distracted drivers more likely to cause personal injury

Road safety authorities say distractions cause more fatalities on the road of Ontario and other provinces than alcohol or drug impairment. The numbers of personal injury cases resulting from distracted behaviour show an alarming growth every year. Both drivers and pedestrians often allow themselves to be visually or cognitively distracted on and alongside Canadian roadways.

Although most people think they are good at multitasking, studies have shown that the simultaneous juggling of different tasks causes cognitive impairment, which can temporarily impact a person's IQ by up to 40 per cent. Further findings indicate that distracted behaviour causes drivers to see only half of what they look at while driving or walking. Authorities say this cognitive impairment is caused by overloading the brain with multiple tasks all competing for the attention of the brain.

List of possible crash-related personal injury claims is endless

While car accidents in Ontario can happen throughout the year, the harsh Ontario winters exacerbate the driving hazards. While each crash is unique, some typical personal injury consequences bring about unanticipated financial burdens. Sprains, strains, cuts, scrapes and bruising are some of the most prevalent injury types, and although they cause discomfort for some time, they are seldom life altering. However, sprains and strains caused by whiplash injuries could have long-term consequences, and their symptoms are often delayed, causing victims to decline medical examinations immediately after accidents.

Neck and back injuries are also common and could include anything from minor strains and sprains to severely fractured vertebrae or herniated discs. It could be life-changing if there is damage to the spinal cord and the nerves surrounding it. A severed spinal cord could lead to partial or total paralysis. Victims of such injuries are also at risk of suffering pneumonia, bleeding, blood clots, infections or spinal fluid leaks. Chest impact injuries could cause collapsed lungs and broken ribs, and in cases of extreme force, internal organs can be damaged.

Personal injury: Premises liability lawsuits could be challenging

Anyone in Ontario who is suffering the consequences of a slip-and-fall accident might have questions about damage recovery. If the negligence of a property owner, property manager or occupant in possession caused hazardous conditions that led to the fall, the victim might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court. Although each person has to take reasonable care to avoid slipping or tripping, the owner or occupier of premises has to ensure that known hazards are addressed to mitigate risks that could lead to injuries.

Property owners are typically responsible for ensuring that any spills or leaks are cleaned immediately, and that wet or slippery areas are clearly marked with warning signs. All walkways must be free of debris and clutter, and carpets and rugs with frayed or curling edges must be removed or secured. Staircases must be well lit, and fused light bulbs or faulty switches must be replaced. Property owners are also responsible for outside areas such as parking lots, sidewalks and walkways that form part of the property.

Personal injury prevention tips for farmers in harvest season

Fall harvest is a busy time of year for farmers. It can also be a dangerous time of year, with a great deal of farm equipment, unpredictable weather and long work hours involved in the season's workload. Here are some things Ontario farmers should consider to avoid personal injury during this important time of year.

Children are often at the highest risk for personal injury on farms. Smaller bodies are often at higher risk of falling from cabs. This is a particular risk if they grab onto a handle for balance when the machine jolts and fall out in the process. For this reason, standing passengers should not be in farm equipment at any time, and buddy seats should be used if someone else is in the cab.

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