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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.

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

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.


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.

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.


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.


It’s Officially Spring! Time to Adjust your Driving Habits

Today marks the first official day of Spring. Warmer temperatures and melting snow mean it’s time to tweak our driving habits and our vehicles and hope that winter weather is gone for good.

Here are 5 tips for safe spring driving from wheels.ca:

  1. Don’t be too eager to take off your winter tires. They should be left on until the ambient temperatures stay above 7 degrees Celsius.
  2. We still can get some snowfall, which means the warm spring sun can melt ice and snow near the road. This melt water can freeze when the sun stops shining on it and the temperatures drop below zero. If you notice wet-looking roads and the temperatures have dropped below freezing, expect ice and slow down.
  3. As the weather warms it will bring out motorcyclists and cyclists. Every motorist has to practise good vision techniques and stay focused on their driving to spot these smaller road users. Looking out for and respecting these two-wheeled travellers is an important part of safe motoring.
  4. On the other side of the safety equation, cyclists and bikers need to ride wisely and be visible to motorists and truckers. Cyclists should wear brightly coloured clothing or safety vests, use lights, keep right and ride in single file. The laws of physics are not on the side of the smaller vehicle in a collision.
  5. Warmer weather brings more children outside. Slow down and pay very careful attention in residential and school zones. School kids are easily distracted by play and don’t always notice traffic. Be alert for teenagers who tend to be fixated on their texting, socializing and cellphones and, as a result, won’t be paying much attention to traffic.

Click here for 5 more tips.

Regardless of the season, if you or someone you know suffers an auto related injury, speak to a Car Accident Lawyer with a proven track-record of recovering monies for car accident victims.

Spring Driving Precautions for Motorcyclists

The beginning of spring brings a whole different set of weather and road conditions. It also brings motorcyclists to the roadways. Even the most mature and experienced motorcyclists need to be cautious while riding.

Read the following rules to avoid serious or fatal injury in a motorcycle collision.

  1. Take professional rider training. There is no substitute for a skilled rider with a proper safety attitude.
  2. Wear an approved motorcycle helmet and fasten it properly. Most crashes happen at speeds around 50km/h and helmets are very effective at preventing head injuries at those speeds.
  3. Wear highly visible clothing (especially at night) and make sure that your headlight is functioning properly. Always wear protective clothing and protective gear.
  4. Communicate with drivers in other vehicles by using proper signals, lane positions and brake lights. Try to establish eye contact with the other drivers whenever possible.
  5. Keep an adequate space cushion when following, being followed, sharing your lane, passing other vehicles or being passed. Slow down and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions. Many single vehicle motorcycle collisions occur from speeding and losing control in a curve or in a situation of unpredictable vehicle behaviour.
  6. Scan your course of travel 12 to 15 seconds ahead so you can identify and avoid potential hazards. Predict what you might do if a dangerous situation presents itself. This gives you time to prepare for a safe outcome. You can also practice evasive maneuvers under supervision in secluded areas to develop instinctive reactions.
  7. Remain alert, keep hydrated and pace yourself. Your riding ability is directly related to your physical and mental state. Also, always look twice before advancing through intersections.
  8. Limit the distance of your trip. A distance of 300 to 500 km/day will let you enjoy the trip and stop for much needed breaks.

By following these simple rules you can enjoy the fun of riding a motorcycle and the beginning of a new season while still staying safe. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our motorcycle accident lawyer now. We have helped Toronto motorcycle accident victims recover millions.

Source: Canada Safety Council


What To Do If You Think You Have a Concussion

Millions of Canadians suffer concussions in different types of accidents each year – slips and falls, car accidents, boating accidents – they can all cause concussions.

Brainline.org explains more about concussions, the steps to take if you believe you have one and when you should seek medical help.

Today, there is no single, objective measure that can determine if someone has had a concussion. To make a diagnosis, professionals look at many variables that might indicate trauma, ranging from changes in balance to memory lapses and dizziness.

It’s critical to seek immediate medical attention in a hospital or emergency department if any of these symptoms are present:

  • Loss of consciousness, even if only briefly
  • Any period of amnesia, or loss of memory for the event
  • Feeling dazed or confused
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure

In addition, for children under 2 years of age, any scalp swelling or abnormality in the way they usually behave. If possible, see a medical professional who has knowledge of and experience with brain injury.

The best answer about when you should seek medical help is: when in doubt, get prompt medical attention. Lots of people may have a headache or dizziness for a day or so and then recover fully, but a very small group of people who sustain a concussion — five percent — can develop bleeding or a blood clot that can be life threatening if not promptly diagnosed.

If you have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury in an accident, contact us immediately.

Physiotherapy Helps Injury Sufferers Get Back to Normal

Physiotherapy is often prescribed to people who have suffered injuries or become disabled in accidents. It can help them better function in their daily lives, recuperate and regain their strength.

There are 7,500 licensed physiotherapists in Ontario alone, which speaks to the popularity of this type of therapy. Here are the answers to some common questions about physiotherapy.

How do physiotherapists work?
Physiotherapists combine in-depth knowledge of how the body works with specialized hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose and treat symptoms of illness, injury or disability.

What is the goal of physiotherapy?
A Physiotherapist’s goal is to restore, maintain and maximize your strength, function, movement and overall well-being. It aims to improve and maintain functional independence and physical performance; prevent and manage pain, physical impairments, disabilities and limits to participation and promote fitness, health and wellness.

By helping your body move and function to its fullest, physiotherapy can improve the quality of your life and make you stronger by improving your flexibility, freedom, mobility, vitality and so much more.

How is physiotherapy effective?
Physiotherapy is effective in treating patients from infants to the elderly, with a variety of conditions including heart and lung disease, trauma and athletic injuries, workplace injuries, arthritis and osteoporosis, stroke and brain injury, spinal cord and nerve injury, amputations, cancer, pre- and postsurgical, diabetes and incontinence.

If you have been injured in an accident and are undergoing treatment, speak to a lawyer immediately. You could be entitled to compensation.

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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.

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  • Tel: (416) 625-2122
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