Personal Injury Incidents Involving Accidents With Vehicles or Vessels, among other thingsPage last modified: April 28 2022
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Are There Differences In Injury Law That Are Affected By What Caused the Injury?
Laws Applicable to Injuries May Vary Depending On What Was Involved. Licensed Vehicles, Such As Cars and Trucks, Are Subject to Different Laws Than Vessels Such As Boats and Other Watercraft. Unlicensed Equipment, Such As Farming Implements or Construction Equipment Are Also Treated Differently Than Licensed Vehicles.
Understanding the Liability Risk Arising From Operation of Vehicles and Vessels Among Other Types of Machinery
Injuries arising from an automobile accident, a boating accident, or by some other type of vehicle or vessel, are addressed somewhat differently and by somewhat different systems of law. Indeed, the right to sue for injury arising from an automobile accident is specifically limited.
Accidents With Vehicles
In Ontario, when a person is injured in an automobile accident, whereas automobile is defined as including cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and any other vehicle designed for the purpose of transporting persons or property, thus excluding devices such as mobile cranes and other machinery designed to perform a primary function other than transporting persons or property, the injuries must be significantly severe before a lawsuit seeking compensation is permitted by law.
Everyone who drives, or otherwise operates, an automobile on public roadways or public places, meaning places other than your own private property, are required to abide by the rules of the road prescribed within the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, and required to carry insurance in accordance to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25, among other laws. When a driver fails to abide by the Highway Traffic Act, among other laws, the driver may be found negligent for failing to drive with the proper degree of care and caution. If, due to negligence, or worse carelessness or recklessness, a driver causes a vehicle accident resulting in serious injuries, a lawsuit for compensation may arise.
Interestingly, in Ontario, where a statutory insurance system prescribes a no-fault system, the right to sue in tort law, meaning for wrongful operation of an automobile by another driver, is limited to accidents involving serious injuries only. If injuries arising from the accident fail to qualify as serious enough, then the injury victim may claim compensation under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule only. However, if injuries are serious enough, then the injury victim may claim compensation under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule as well as by suing the driver who caused the accident, and possibly the vehicle owner, among others.
To determine whether injuries are serious enough to sue for compensation beyond the compensation beyond that provided within the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, contact DH Law for assistance.
Accidents With Vessels
Unlike the restriction upon suing for injuries arising from a vehicle accident, where injuries arising from an incident involving a vessel, such as a boat, a canoe, or another waterborne object providing a mode of transportation, motorized or otherwise, the right to sue for compensation is available for relatively minor injuries as well as severe harm including death.
Similar to how the Highway Traffic Act prescribes the rules of the road for operation of automobiles, the Small Vessel Regulations, SOR/2010-91 as a regulation to the Canada Shipping Act 2001, S.C. 2001, Chapter 26, prescribes the rules of the lakes for boats and such.
Interestingly, and unfortunately, in recent years, serious incidents on Ontario waterways have increased significantly and lawsuits arising from the resulting injuries are becoming more common. The broadly publicized incident involving Linda O'Leary, the wife of celebrity Kevin O'Leary, is just one example.
Accidents With Equipment, among other things
In addition to vehicles and vessels, farm implements, construction machinery, among other things, can be dangerous and cause injuries that lead to litigation that seeks compensation. Generally, when equipment and machinery is involved in an injury causing accident, unlike vehicles and vessels, the common law relating to negligence applies.