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What if Defective Parts of my Car Caused an Accident?

It can be confusing to tell who is at fault in some vehicle accidents. What if you were driving quite safely, and some defect in your car caused unsafe conditions on the road that lead to an accident and possibly injured you or someone else? Who is at fault in this case?

Defective cars can be very dangerous. Whether or not defective operation of a vehicle will excuse a driver from fault for causing an accident depends on all of the circumstances of the accident and factors such as the following may be relevant:

  • whether the defect was one that ought to have been detected prior to driving the vehicle;
  • whether the “defect” was simply a shortcoming of the vehicle (such as lack of anti-lock brakes) which the driver out to have known about and accounted for;
  • whether, despite the defect, the defendant could have avoided the accident; and
  • whether the accident would have occurred even absent the defect.

Whatever the case, when a car or one of its components is defective and causes an accident, what can you do and who is to blame?

The first, and most obvious target of such cases is the automaker, in which case this would actually be a product liability lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, if someone else was injured, you may or may not still be held accountable for some of the other person’s injuries. But in some cases, all damages caused by the accident might be able to be blamed on other parties.

If we can prove that your vehicle had a manufacturing or design defect and the manufacturer improperly installed a component or inadequately designed an entire system or vehicle, such that it resulted in the accident, you may have a claim against that manufacturer, and possibly even the dealer who sold it. We would have to also prove that the defect was dangerous enough to cause the accident in question, and that no major alterations to your vehicle had been made since being purchased that could have affected its safety on the road.

Common problems with cars that are likely to cause an accident include problems with the steering, acceleration, braking, windshield wipers, computer systems or lights. If your car is showing signs of any of these problems, you should get it checked as soon as possible.

Aside from the manufacturer of the car, you may also have claims against other parties. For example, if the vehicle was used when you bought it, and sold with a warranty. Another source of recovery is available to those who install after-market parts that fail, resulting in accidents. It is not uncommon for one to install different tires, headlights, taillights, suspension, and other systems to improve the look or performance of a vehicle. But, not all of these parts are made to the same standards of quality or designed to be as compatible with your vehicle as the original parts.

As a result, if you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle part, do not assume that there is no way for you to get recovery. In many cases, this recovery can be substantial and may compensate victims for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. To maximize your chances of success, and to consider all options for recovery of damages resulting from a defective part, contact Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyers , experienced in vehicle accidents and product liability claims. Call us for a free initial evaluation and advice following your accident at (416) 625-2122.


Some Common Places of Slip and Fall Accidents

Falls are unquestionably the most common form of injury-producing accidents today. Every year, millions of people visit the emergency room because of a slip and fall accident. The effects of these falls can vary, causing everything from a few minor bumps and bruises to skull fractures.  Unfortunately for many of those individuals, the injury is due to no fault of their own but due to the negligent, careless or reckless acts of another party.

The fact is that a slip and fall accident can occur anywhere at any time. Slip and fall accidents are not limited to certain places or circumstances. Uneven sidewalks, slippery snow and icy conditions are the most common causes of fall injuries. In the interior of complexes, wet floors, dangerous floor coverings and slippery pool surfaces present the biggest risk for slip and fall accidents. Some common places for slip and fall accidents include:

Uneven Sidewalks, Walkways, and Driveways

Most property owners are familiar with regulations or laws that require them to ensure that the pavement in front of their home remains a safe place for pedestrians.  If someone experiences a slip and fall accident due to a hazard, a negligent property owner can be held liable. In particular, sidewalks, walkways and driveways can prove to be especially dangerous during the winter season, due to snowy and icy conditions that can create slippery paths for pedestrians. Such risks aren’t limited to the winter season, either, since there are also other risks, such as cracked sidewalks or potholes that can result in serious risks to pedestrians.

Slippery Pool Areas, Gyms, and Restrooms

Pool areas, especially in a condo or co-op building, are another common site for slip and fall injuries. Naturally, at a public pool, plenty of people are entering and exiting the pool, dragging water onto the floors with them. At the gym, there is always a risk of pools of sweat, water, or various types of sports drink collecting on the floor, or nearby weight machines. As for restrooms, there is plenty of risk that water used to wash one’s hands can wind up on the floor, creating a slippery, hazardous environment for other persons.

Wet Floors

Plastic rain mats should be used, especially in inclement weather, to reduce the danger of slipping on a wet floor. Property managers can protect their residents and visitors from a wet floor accident by replacing saturated mats, or using mops or wet vacuums, to remove water that may accumulate from snow, ice, or rain.

Weather Conditions Due to Slippery Snow and Ice

Winter weather conditions, such as snow and ice, must be taken care of in a timely fashion. Although we can’t always predict what the weather will do, property owners and municipalities alike have a responsibility to plow streets, shovel sidewalks and salt steps and walkways.

Footwear

The National Floor Safety Institute reports that 24% of slip and fall accidents are caused by footwear, but this stat isn’t just about heading out on the town wearing 9-inch heels. Sneakers and even work boots that don’t provide proper traction can cause people to slip and fall at home, in public or on the job.

Dangerous Floor Coverings

Curled edges of carpets or mats create another common slip and fall hazard. To keep the edges of floor coverings down, a special carpet tape can be used underneath.

Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyers based in Ontario has helped thousands of  injured people with personal injury claims, and would be honored to assist you. Call us today at (416) 625-2122. The call is free, but the advice could be priceless.


Tips for Photographing your Car Accident Scene

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, photographs can be very effective real time evidence in your personal injury claim. Without pictures, insurance companies are left with incomplete police reports and the verbal testimonies of those involved. Photos that you take immediately following your car accident can be helpful in documenting the damage to both cars, the position of the cars after the collision, and any debris at the scene.

What Type of Pictures can help at an Accident Scene?

Even after the accident has been cleaned up and cars have been moved, there are more photos that may be helpful to your case. The photos can paint a picture of the location of the accident, driving conditions at the time, the position of the vehicles, collision points, and a host of other accident details. Keep in mind the following tips when taking photos at the scene:

  • Photograph all the vehicles involved and their relative positions from all angles to establish the boundaries of the crash scene and the impact zone.
  • Photograph injuries to you or any other persons, including cuts, bruises and scrapes.
  • Broaden the view and take photos of traffic indicators, street layout and landmarks if any.
  • Photograph weather conditions.
  • Get close-ups of your car’s damage.
  • Look for broken glass and damaged car parts.
  • Photograph damaged street signs, guardrails, trees, or other stationary objects damaged by the accident.
  • Include photos that identify the time and date of the accident.
  • If there were witnesses to the car accident, find out where they were and take photos from their point of view.
  • Look for skid marks. The location where tire marks start and the direction of the marks.
  • Make sure also to take shots of the vehicles’ identifying features such as license plates.
  • Look inside the vehicle and take photographs of any interior damage, deployed airbags, seatbelts, and so forth.

Ultimately, the circumstances of each accident will determine what type of pictures should be taken. As a general rule, however, it is best to take as many pictures as possible. Even when the police arrive, you should still take as many pictures as possible because you may obtain picture evidence that the police could not.

Not all of these photographs are necessary in every accident, and there may be other important photographs that are not covered here. Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyers will be better able to advise you on what photographic evidence you need for your particular case. Call us for a free initial evaluation following your accident at (416) 625-2122.


Wearable Devices: An Important Witness for Personal Injury Cases

Wearable technology can be a perfect eyewitness for personal injury cases which can potentially be used as evidence in the courtroom. Now we can keep track of our health and lifestyle second by second with a Fitbit and these wearable trends are growing and advancing.

It should come as no surprise that wearable technology and fitness trackers are saturating the consumer market, and as a result, consumers are increasingly interested in the exciting features these devices offer. Wearable technology and fitness tracking devices such as Fitbit record activity levels throughout the day, sleeping habits, distance travelled, weight loss, weight gain, heart rate, blood pressure, diet, exercise and mood.

In personal injury cases, lawyers typically rely on medical reports to help prove the detrimental effects that an injury has on their client’s life. The aim is to gather enough evidence to prove that an individual has sustained injuries that have left them unable to work or that has greatly reduced their capacity to perform their normal duties. However, wearable devices could make it easier for lawyers to demonstrate the impact of an injury and establish that their client deserves compensation.

A personal injury case could revolve around evidence from a Fitbit showing a marked decrease in activity following an injury. With real-time data about activity levels, location, and even sleep patterns, quality of life claims in court cases may become infinitely more quantifiable. A claim of emotional damages may now be supportable by hard data showing a pattern of insomnia, high blood pressure, or other physical symptoms of stress and/or other negative emotions.

While it may be early to tell how big a role wearable technology will play in the court room, it is unlikely that it will ever play the sole role of “expert witness” in a legal case, but combined with other medical information, this technology may have a permanent place in a lawyer’s arsenal of statistical tools.

The main argument against the usefulness of wearable device is that it can be easy to undermine the data generated from it. The nature of wearable’s is that they can be easily taken off, record false readings if they are bumped or dropped and can also be worn by someone other than the primary user. They key for a lawyer is to establish data authenticity. Thus, a lawyer planning on bringing forth the data from a wearable device as evidence should assess whether the information gathered from the device is relevant, reliable and beneficial to their client’s claim.

Personal injury lawyers are keenly aware of the complexities of and the law, having many years of study and experience. Contact Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyers based in Ontario following your accident at (416) 625-2122.


Can A Prior Injury Impact Your New Personal Injury Settlement?

If you are filing a lawsuit, you may be required to disclose whether you have had any prior injuries which resulted in back and neck pain, head injury or other general aches and pains. When the new accident happens, it may reaggravate some of these pains but more often, if the accident is serious enough, there are new injuries acquired because of the new crash.

All medical evidence that is relevant to any of the issues in the personal injury matter must be disclosed. The existence of pre-existing medical conditions or injuries does not necessarily hurt a personal injury case. People should not hide any medical evidence of past injuries since the insurers usually find out about the old injuries anyway. If someone is caught hiding old injuries, that could result in a serious attack on credibility that could undermine the personal injury lawsuit.

Some Common Prior Medical Conditions include:

  • Injuries you have suffered from a previous unrelated accidents
  • Birth defects or abnormalities
  • Medical conditions such as asthma
  • Injuries that have not properly healed or are in the process of healing

Effect of Prior Medical Conditions:

If you have injuries similar to the one you suffered in a new car accident, it does not mean that the driver at-fault can escape liability by pointing to a pre-existing condition. However, you may end up having to defend your current injury as being caused or aggravated by the new car accident. This can be done through a thorough review of your medical records, and possibly via testimony provided by a doctor or other expert witness.

Your lawyer should be ready to defend your prior medical history and prove that your current injuries are due to the accident and not a prior medical condition. In order for your lawyer to prepare for such a situation, it is important that you disclose all of your medical history as early as possible.

The matter can be more complicated if not dealt with properly. If you have been injured and wish to file a lawsuit, contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance. For more information and a free consultation on your accident or personal injury matter, contact Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyers at (416) 625-2122.


Are All-Season Tires Actually Safe for Winter Driving?

Each winter, almost half of Canadian drivers will be driving on all-season tires that freeze in the cold, slide on slush, and can take 30 meters longer to stop on smooth ice, putting them at much greater risk of car accidents. Tire dealer, Kal Tire, encourages drivers to avoid all-season (three-season) tires and consider all-weather tires, ‘the winter tire you can drive all year long.’

“We don’t think drivers realize how dangerous all-seasons are in the winter, or that they have a much safer year-round tire option,” says Carey Hull, director of retail products, Kal Tire. All-weather tires, sometimes confused for all-season tires, are designated winter tires that give drivers safe traction in the winter as well as superior handling in the summer. “What we’re saying is, if you’re going to have only one set of tires on your vehicle through the year, make it an all-weather tire.”

Kal Tire has enlisted the help of Bill Gardiner, contributor to Motoring TV since the start of the show, and often referred to as ‘The Doctor of Cars’ to educate drivers across Canada about the dangers of driving all-season tires in the winter.

For many years Bill has travelled the country educating Canadian motorists on the importance of car safety, and, as a licensed mechanic, every winter his customers count on him to make the right tire selection for their vehicle.  “As Canadians, there are so many things that are beyond our control in the winter,” says Gardiner. “But how we prepare our vehicles for winter is 100 per cent within our control.”

Critical auto injuries due to accidents and collisions, when they occur, can often result in grave injury, permanent disabilities or death for drivers and their passengers, bystanders, motorcyclists, and cyclists. That is why it’s so important to maintain the safety of your vehicle and use tires that are designed and tested for Canadian winters. If you or a family member is involved in a serious automobile accident this winter, contact car accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Source: Think Your All-Season Tires are Safe for Winter? Think Again


The Financial Impact of a Brain Injury

When one family member suffers a traumatic brain injury, it can affect the whole family in a number of different ways. In additional to the extreme emotional impact of such a trauma, many families are also impacted financially due to loss of income, costs of travel and accommodations if the injured family member requires medical care away from home, and specialized rehabilitation therapies.

Sadly, many people with brain injuries do not receive adequate compensation for their injury and losses. Either they don’t engage a Personal Injury Lawyer or they have engage one that doesn’t specialize in brain injury and therefore is unable to obtain maximum financial compensation for them.

What can a Personal Injury Lawyer that specializes in brain injury can do for you?

  • Determine the lifetime costs associated with your brain injury and seek full compensation from the responsible party.
  • Ensure that insurers recognize that your needs a much higher level of support and care than the bare minimum.
  • Work closely with top experts including medical professionals, present and future care experts, specialized accountants, and leaders in the field of medical rehabilitation.
  • Partner with you and your family members to work towards a successful outcome during this confusing, difficult time.
  • Become your strong advocate and advisor, striving for the best monetary result possible for you and your family.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact brain injury lawyer for a free consultation.


Visibility is Crucial when Biking in the Winter

If you commute to work by bike in Toronto year-round, it’s important to take proper precautions during different weather conditions. While visibility is important all the time, it’s especially crucial when biking in the winter because it’s likely that you’ll be out on the road before the sun rises and after the sun sets, making you less visible to vehicles. Add snow and ice to the mix and your chances of an accident increase.

The City of Toronto has a whole section of their website devoted to safe cycling in the city. They caution that not every winter day is a cycling day and state that some days it is better to leave your bicycle at home. Riding in the snow is a challenge even for very highly skilled cyclists.

  • Use a steady white light in front–the brighter the better – Highway Traffic Act 62 (HTA 62). Use rechargeable batteries since you will need to use your lights almost everyday.
  • Use a constant red light in the back–not a flashing light (HTA 62).
  • A red rear reflector and front white reflector are a good back-up in case a light goes out.
  • Generator lights stop working when the wheels stop so have a back up light.
  • Bright colours and reflective gear are recommended for dark and wet weather conditions-both conditions reduce motorist vision.
  • Consider adding reflective tape to your jacket. Reflective bands are also widely available for your pant legs and arms, as are reflective vests.
  • Reflective tape is required under the HTA (62): white on the front forks and red on the back seat stays.
  • Wear cycling glasses with high contrast lenses to increase night vision and carry an anti-fogging spray with you (prescription cycling glasses are also available).
  • Stay on bright streets with good street lighting.

As you can see, the Highway Traffic Act requires you to follow some of the tips listed above. Not doing so could not only result in hefty fines, but also serious injury. If you are injured in a cycling accident, contact our cycling accident lawyer.

 


6 Safety tips for cliff diving this summer

Going off the grid and venturing into the wilderness with good friends is a must when the warmer months start to roll through. While there is ample room for fun around every corner – this landscape provides a much different terrain than the city centres most of us are used to.

Everyone wants to explore their adventurous side when it comes to cliff jumping. While this extreme activity is a lot of fun – people can succumb to peer pressure and make the plunge without taking into account the necessary safety precautions.

Here are 6 necessary safety measures that you need to know before making the big jump.

  1. Don’t go cliff diving alone. Take your friends along, in case something goes wrong.
  2. Make sure you wait for your friends to step out of the water before you decide to make the jump. This will make things easier for you to concentrate and will prevent hurting anyone. If you have a neoprene wetsuit bring it along. If you’re a beginner, bring your sneakers too.
  3. Check out how deep the water is. You can do that by engaging in a little research on that particular river or lake or simply ask someone that can help you with this information.
  4. As you start to come in contact with the water, remember to breathe out through your nose, not to let any water affect your breathing process.
  5. When your body hits the water, it should have a tight and dynamic shape. Keep your toes stretched and arms very close to your body, so you could slide freely and easily.
  6. It is recommended that you get a serious training from someone with experience at first and if you are indeed a beginner, start with relatively small cliffs.  It also goes without saying – but you need to be a solid swimmer. You will be hitting the water at a high velocity and you need to be able to reorient yourself to come back to the surface.

While this is the quintessential summer activity with a good group of friends, it can also lead to very serious spinal cord injury if conducted haphazardly. Make sure you take the necessary safety precautions and always remain on the safe side if you are unsure of anything.

Spinal cord injuries can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life. Injuries to the spinal cord can be a complete spinal injury that robs a person from feeling, function or sensation below the level of injury.

If you or a loved one has experienced a spinal cord injury, contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Mazin & Associates, PC for a free consultation. Call (416) 625-2122.


Tips to Prevent any Water-Related Accidents this Summer

With warmer temperatures beginning to stretch across Canada, many of us flock to local swimming pools, lakes and the central hub for cooling off. While there is nothing more fun than relaxing with friends and family in the water – every year there are tragic and avoidable water-related fatalities that occur all across Canada.

Many drowning incidents involve other factors that swimming skills alone cannot prepare an individual for. Learning water safety, such as how to prepare for an emergency, and what to do if one should occur – is key to preventing an emergency in or on the water. It’s swimming skills combined with safety knowledge and skills that saves lives.

Here are very helpful tips to preventing any water-related accidents this summer.

Active supervision

  • The absence of adult supervision is a factor in most child drownings.
  • Whether it’s a pool, the bathtub, a water park, or the beach, always watch children actively around water-even if they can swim.
  • Consider requiring all non-swimmers to wear a life jacket to keep them at the surface to assist you while supervising.

Backyard Pools

  • Backyard pools are especially dangerous for small children. Ensure adequate barriers are in place such as four-sided fencing along with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
  • Empty portable toddler pools after each use.

Diving

  • Diving headfirst into water should be avoided unless the individual is properly trained and is sure that the water is deep enough.
  • Avoid diving in home pools and always enter the water feet-first.

Open Water

  • Never underestimate the power of current. Swimmers can be swept away in an instant, particularly if weak swimmers get caught by current in rivers or out of their depth in abrupt drop-offs.

We understand the importance of being heard. If you have been involved in an accident and are experiencing pain and suffering, financial hardships, loss of enjoyment of social life or are in need of medical treatment – our specialized personal injury lawyers are here to help you.

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Mazin & Associates PC dedicates itself to achieving maximum settlements in serious personal injury and accident cases. Our areas of practice include car accidents, motorcycle injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, slip and falls, wrongful death, product liability, long-term disability and medical malpractice.

  • Toronto
  • Tel: (416) 625-2122
  • Toll Free: 1-800-432-HURT (4878)
  • Fax: (416) 250-1238
  • 5 Park Home Ave #501
  • Toronto, ON M2N 6L4