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After a Motor Vehicle Accident: What You Should Know

Every year, millions of people are involved in motor vehicle accidents. Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a scary thing whether it is a little fender bender, or a tragic and dangerous crash. People are in shock after an accident occurs and become very nervous whether it is their fault or not. Whether an accident is your fault or not, you should follow some basic steps.

Check if anyone is injured

The most important step after an accident is to check if any drivers or passengers need a medical help. If they do, call for emergency immediately. A person’s life should always be the number one concern to everyone involved.

Call the Police

Call the police right away after the accident so that you can file a car accident report with them. A police report will be one of the pieces of evidence used in the investigation of the crash. Do not discuss the accident with the other vehicles involved.

Information Gathering

Get information from all of the vehicles involved, including his or her name, address, contact number, vehicle identification number and the insurance company information. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information.

Contact your Insurance Company

After an accident the insurance companies involved will begin their investigation. Give your insurance company the details of the accident. If you can call them while the police are present it may be even better as the police may be able to give them information that you cannot. This step may also be necessary if the other driver was not insured or has inadequate coverage.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

If the insurance company does not accept fault or if you are seriously injured, contact a personal injury lawyer. Mazin & Associates, PC, personal injury lawyers can communicate for you with the insurance companies and make recommendations to help you to get the maximum compensation. Call us at (416) 625-2122 today for a free consultation.


Counteracting Surveillance

Insurers frequently hire private investigators to spy on injury victims (plaintiffs) to try and attack their credibility. This is done by showing the plaintiff is able to do something that they claim they cannot do.  This can be very powerful evidence if the plaintiff is found contradicting him or herself.  In fact, this evidence can be so powerful that insurance companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars paying investigators to record the activities of accident victims.

What is important to keep in mind is that most of the damage that is caused by surveillance can be counteracted in two ways.

First, it should be explained to injury victims that when they say “can’t”, that frequently means cannot at all, as in never.  Therefore, if an injury victim really means that they can’t do an activity without pain or difficulty, or for long periods of time, or without feeling a tremendous amount of pain afterwards, or without taking large amounts of pain medications, then all of these things should be said as opposed to just loosely saying “can’t”.  The insurance company will scour through documents such as past medical records looking for words like “can’t” and then hope their investigators find an injury victim doing something they say they can’t.  Therefore, injury victims should be careful when they use words like “can’t” when speaking to doctors and assessors and ensure that if they say can’t, they mean not at all, not ever.

Second, ensure your lawyer serves the necessary documents by sending them to the insurer’s lawyer so that you get to examine the defendant first.  That is, in most court cases, each side gets to ask questions (examine) the other party by asking them relevant questions and this examination is recorded.   This process is called discoveries.  The rule is that the side that serves (sends) the other side a notice of examination (a document that tells the other side when and where they will be examined) first gets to examine the other party first before being examined.  The reason it is so important to examine the defendant first is because a question that should always be asked of the defendant is what are all the particulars of the surveillance that was conducted on the plaintiff.  This way, there are no surprises when the injury victim is finally examined—the victim will know (and sometimes be reminded) what he or she did on certain days.  This way, the injury victim will not accidentally say something that looks like it is contradicted by a surveillance video.  If an injury victim does not get these surveillance details before he or she is examined, he or she may inadvertently forget certain events and purely by accident state something that is contradicted by surveillance video.  If this happens, the defence lawyer will do everything he or she can to make the contradiction seem intentional (even if it was accidental) and use it to attack the injury victim’s credibility.

In summary, if what someone really means is that they have great difficulty doing something, then that is what should be said to doctors and everyone else, not that they can’t do something at all.  Also, it is important that the defence is examined first so that the injury victim can know the details of the surveillance the insurer has done “before” he or she testifies in a discovery.

Disclaimer: Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found in this article as legal advice. Legal matters are often complicated. For assistance with your specific legal problem or enquiry please contact one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers, any of whom will be pleased to determine whether our firm can assist you.


10 Steps to Take when Injured in an Accident

At Mazin & Associates, PC, we highly recommend that you follow these 10 steps.

  1. Contact the Police and advise them of all accident related details.
  2. Write down the names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident and any witnesses; if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, obtain the insurance information as well as the driver’s licence and licence plate numbers of all other involved parties.
  3. See your family doctor and advise them of your injuries.
  4. Notify your Accident Benefits Insurance Provider of your involvement in a motor vehicle accident as soon as possible.
  5. If you are unable to work or go to school, notify your employer or school and advise them of the reason for your absence.
  6. Keep track of the names of all health professionals that you see in relation to your injuries from the accident – be sure to also keep track of the dates and times of your visits.
  7. Ensure that caregivers whether professionals, friends or family members, record the time that they spend caring for you and the activities that they help you with.
  8. Investigate whether you are eligible for treatment coverage or disability pay under any other insurance policies – check with your employer, your school and/or private plan providers.
  9. Keep the original receipts and invoices of all of your out-of pocket expenses related to your accident, including payment for caregiving, medication, assistive devices, etc.
  10. Talk to a car accident lawyer about your legal rights.

Avoid Toy-Related Injuries this Holiday Season

There are millions of different toys out there, with hundreds of new ones on the shelves each year. With the holidays just around the corner, now it a good time for parents to be reminded of toy safety.

While toys are supposed to be fun and are an important part of any child’s development, scores of kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries each year. Choking is a particular risk for kids ages 3 or younger, because they tend to put objects in their mouths.

Manufacturers follow certain guidelines and are closely monitored and regulated. They are required to label toys for specific age groups, but perhaps the most important thing a parent can do is to supervise play.

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys:

  •     Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
  •     Stuffed toys should be washable.
  •     Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
  •     Art materials should say nontoxic.

Steer clear of older toys, even hand-me-downs from friends and family. Those toys might have sentimental value and are certainly cost-effective, but they may not meet current safety standards and may be so worn from play that they can break and become hazardous.

And make sure a toy isn’t too loud for your child. The noise of some rattles, squeak toys, and musical or electronic toys can be as loud as a car horn — even louder if a child holds it directly to the ears — and can contribute to hearing damage. Read more here.

If your child has suffered a critical personal injury from a defective toy, contact a Toronto personal injury lawyer with Mazin & Associates, PC for a free consultation.


Traumatic Brain Injury: What are the signs?

Questions have been raised again about the link between brain injury and mental instability in the wake of the recent suicide of an Ohio State University football player, Kosta Karageorge, who allegedly suffered from debilitating concussions.

What is traumatic brain injury?

TBI is defined as a head injury due to blunt or penetrating trauma. TBIs have often been associated with war wounds, like soldiers in war who are exposed to explosives, and athletes, especially football players and boxers. The term “concussion” refers to a mild TBI — although doctors say they don’t consider any brain injury as simply mild.

A decision in August 2013 by the National Football League to settle with 4,500 ex-players over head injuries reflects a growing body of research showing that repeated concussions can cause permanent brain damage.

What are the signs of TBI?

Confusion and amnesia are the clinical hallmarks of the condition. Multiple concussions can lead to other health problems like post-concussion syndrome, which involves headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Epilepsy, vertigo, personality changes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia have also been linked to repeat concussions in boxers and football players.

A degenerative disease tied to repeated jolts to the brain — chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE — has symptoms ranging from dementia to altered behavior, and perhaps to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sufferers of CTE can have difficulty maintaining relationships and those with advanced disease can spiral into depression and substance abuse — and sometimes end up taking their own lives, said Dr. Julian Bailes, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the NorthShore University HealthSystem and co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute.

TBIs are not exclusive to athletes. In fact, a new study released in September found an increase of visits to emergency rooms for TBIs by 29 percent over the last four years — with the biggest jumps coming among toddlers and seniors. Read the full story here.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact Brain Injury Law Firm Mazin & Associates, PC for a free consultation.


Texting isn’t the only Form of Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is considered distracted driving and is against the law. However, it’s not the only form of distracted driving that could get you a hefty fine, or worse, a serious or fatal injury.

In Ontario, it’s also illegal for drivers to talk, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices.

Research shows that drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road. And when drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their crash risk doubles.

This chart from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Website is a good reference for which electronic devices can and can’t be used while driving.

Tips to avoid distraction

There are many simple steps you can take to avoid being distracted while you drive:

  • Use your cell phone only when you’re parked, or have a passenger take the call.
  • Let calls go to voicemail.
  • Turn off your cell phone before you start driving.
  • Identify and preset your vehicle’s climate control, radio and CD player.
  • Plan your route and set your GPS before you leave.
  • When you’re hungry or thirsty, take a break. Don’t eat or drink while you drive.
  • Avoid other distractions like reading maps, grooming activities and tending to children and pets.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, consult a Personal Injury Lawyer right now.

 


Toronto Rehab changes Lives

Toronto Rehab is a member of the UHN family, and is Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre dedicated to adult rehabilitation and complex continuing care. Over the years, they have found new treatments and solutions for brain injury, stroke, cardiovascular disease, spinal cord injury and Alzheimer’s disease. Bottom line: they do amazing work. The stories shared by their patients are a strong testament to that.

Joanne Smith’s spinal cord injury (SCI) at 19 left her paralyzed, but it has not held her back in the least. In fact, she has led an extraordinary life. This might not have been the case had she not undertaken rehabilitation at Toronto Rehab.Joanne’s story.

Tom Wilcox was doing what he loved when he was injured on the job. He was rushed to Toronto Western Hospital for emergency brain surgery. He was later transferred to Toronto Rehab’s Brain Injury Unit where the team got him back on his feet. Tom’s story.

Kristen Cameron, an active 25-year-old hockey player and coach, was struck from behind and thrown nearly 50 feet by an impaired driver while out for a bike ride. After two weeks of critical care, Kristen was referred to Toronto Rehab’s world-renowned Lyndhurst Centre to treat her C5 complete quadriplegia, with paralysis from the neck down. Kristen’s story.

Read more Toronto Rehab patient stories here.

If you’re looking to support an amazing organization that changes lives, UHN’s Toronto Rehab Foundation is a good choice.


Mazin & Associates Settles Major Slip and Fall Case

When you’ve been hurt and can’t afford to lose. Mazin & Associates, PC are experts at focusing on serious and catastrophic personal injury claims. Our lawyers will help support you through every step of the legal process and assist you with finding the best possible health care solutions for your recovery.

Here’s the story of how we helped one of our clients, C.‌ Luke from Whitby,‌ Ontario:

“In‌ October‌ of‌ 2009,‌ I‌ was‌ involved‌ in‌ a‌ slip‌ and‌ fall‌ at‌ Walmart‌ which‌ seriously‌ injured‌ my‌ shoulder. ‌ I‌ was‌ contacted‌ by‌ Cunningham‌ Lindsey,‌ which‌ was‌ an‌ adjusting/insurance‌ company‌ representing‌ Walmart. ‌ They‌ asked‌ me‌ questions‌ like‌ if‌ I‌ had‌ a‌ job,‌ to‌ which‌ I‌ replied‌ I‌ was‌ self-employed. ‌ They‌ said‌ that‌ wasn’t‌ good‌ enough. ‌ They‌ asked‌ me‌ what‌ I‌ was‌ looking‌ for. ‌ I‌ asked‌ them‌ what‌ they‌ are‌ offering‌ me‌ and‌ they‌ offered‌ me‌ what‌ seemed‌ like‌ an‌ OK‌ amount. ‌Just‌ to‌ be‌ safe‌ though,‌ I‌ contacted‌ Gary‌ Mazin‌ who‌ was‌ recommended‌ to‌ me‌ by‌ a‌ friend‌ of‌ mine‌ as‌ being‌ a‌ top‌ personal‌ injury‌ lawyer.

I‌ was‌ hesitant‌ at‌ the‌ beginning‌ because‌ I‌ didn’t‌ know‌ what‌ to‌ do,‌ but‌ Gary‌ helped‌ me‌ with‌ everything. ‌ He‌ helped‌ me‌ find‌ therapy‌ and‌ found‌ the‌ best‌ doctors‌ for‌ me.

In‌ the‌ end,‌ I‌ settled‌ my‌ case‌ for‌ 75,‌ that’s‌ SEVENTY‌ FIVE ,‌ times‌ what‌ the‌ insurance‌ company‌ originally‌ offered‌ me. Retaining‌ Gary‌ Mazin‌ was‌ the‌ best‌ thing‌ I‌ did‌ for‌ myself‌ and‌ I‌ completely‌ recommend‌ him‌ to‌ anyone‌ involved‌ in‌ an‌ accident.”


How to Identify Whiplash Following a Car Accident

Whiplash is a form of neck injury caused by forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end car accident and the signs and symptoms of whiplash may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Some people also experience:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

Whiplash signs and symptoms usually develop within 24 hours of the injury.

Always seek medical attention as soon as possible following a car accident to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Most people recover from whiplash within a few months, while some people experience chronic neck pain and other ongoing complications.

The course of treatment depends on the severity of your whiplash injury. For some people, over-the-counter drugs and at-home care may be sufficient. Other people may need prescription drugs, specialized pain treatment or physical therapy.

If you’ve been in a car accident and suffer from whiplash or another critical injury, consult a Car Accident Lawyer to help recover any compensation you may be entitled to while you focus on recovering.

 


UHN Study Finds Long-term Care Facilities May Not Be Best for Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury

Last week, the University Health Network (UHN) announced the results of a new, large-scale Canadian study that reveals that many adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) live in a long-term health setting – such as a nursing home – which may not be appropriate for their condition and younger age.

The study, led by Dr. Angela Colantonio, Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network, was published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. It looked at more than 10,000 adults with TBI in four non-acute settings: home care, mental health, nursing homes and complex continuing care facilities.

“There were two striking findings in this work: First, persons with traumatic brain injury were significantly younger than other residents in nursing home settings; and, they were also more likely to be male, whereas most of the other residents were female,” said Dr. Colantonio.

Dr. Colantonio also notes that this is a result of a lack of appropriate housing or health-care setting alternatives for this population. For many individuals living with TBI, it is imperative they are in a setting with TBI rehabilitation to help them thrive.

“Providing housing for people living with visible and invisible disabilities associated with brain injury is critical in reducing the homeless population and the number of people incarcerated,” said Harry Zarins, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Canada. “Importantly, having housing available will also reduce the time Canadians suffering with brain injury are spending in hospitals. Hand in hand with housing is the availability and implementation of a visionary rehabilitation program.”

Read more on the UHN’s website.

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  • "I‌ wanted‌ to‌ thank‌ Gary‌ Mazin‌ for‌ everything‌ he‌ did‌ for‌ me. ‌ Retaining‌ him‌ was‌ the‌ best‌ decision‌ I‌ had‌ ever‌ made. Gary is the best personal injury lawyer. His‌ expertise,‌ professionalism‌ and‌ kindness‌ were‌ always‌ present. ‌ He‌ was‌ able‌ to‌ get‌ me‌ the‌ fair‌ settlement‌ that‌ I‌ deserved‌ because‌ of‌ his‌ knowledge‌ and‌ support. He‌ is‌ a‌ truly‌ dedicated‌ personal‌ injury‌ lawyer‌ to‌ whom‌ I‌ am‌ forever‌ grateful."
  • R.‌ Chertok,‌ Richmond‌ Hill
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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, Suite 120
  • Toronto, ON M2N 6L4