The thought of being seriously injured from hard braking, fast accelerations, or other bus accidents, isn’t something anyone thinks about. However, it’s important to know your rights – just in case. In fact, most people aren’t aware of a crucial change that took place in 2011. It affects accident claims after being seriously hurt on a bus. You might assume that if you are injured on a bus, receiving compensation is automatic. However, getting the compensation you deserve won’t come without bringing your personal claims to court.
No Crash Means No Statutory Accident Benefits
Our own Miryam Gorelashvili dealt with a case like this in the past and said: “It’s outrageous for plaintiffs”. In an article describing how the changes to accident claims affected Miryam’s client, it highlighted a problem that has a great impact on those injured while taking transit. All it takes is the driver to accelerate or brake when you’re not ready. The result is falling and acquiring a serious injury. For the full story, follow the link here.
If accident benefits are not available to you following your injury, it means that you are responsible for paying for all your physiotherapy appointments, medications, and health appointments that may not be covered by OHIP. You will not get medical and rehabilitation expenses, income replacement benefits, attendant care, or other treatment benefits. For many, this can be extremely difficult, especially if on a fixed income or unable to work.
The only way to obtain compensation is through a lawsuit.
You may have the following questions…
Who Can You Sue?
Sometimes the bus driver will have to drive erratically to avoid a collision with another negligent driver. However, if the driver cannot be identified, how can you obtain compensation?
If the bus driver avoids a collision with another vehicle, and that vehicle is unidentified, you are still entitled to be compensated under Unidentified and Uninsured Motorist Coverage. All motor vehicle policies in the Ontario, including buses, are required to provide unidentified and uninsured motorist provisions under section 265(9) of the Insurance Act. The unidentified limits for damages total a maximum of $200,000 per accident, regardless of the number of claimants.
Additionally, the Ontario Insurance Act states that all people must have uninsured coverage. This means every insurance contract or policy must have coverage for injuries caused by uninsured drivers. If a situation arises where the other driver is uninsured, or you are involved in a hit and run, and the at-fault driver is unknown, the bus insurer will also step into the shoes of the uninsured or unidentified driver and the amount recoverable is limited to $200,000.
What Is The Obligation Of The Bus Driver?
On December 20th, 2016, in a decision in Gardiner v. MacDonald, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a professional driver is held to a higher standard than a regular driver. The court dismissed the appeal by the City of Ottawa and its bus driver from the trial judge’s decision that found them 20% at fault for a catastrophic accident.
Additionally, the court held that the bus driver was obliged to observe the standard of care of a reasonably prudent driver in like circumstances. The court confirmed the bus driver has a duty to:
- Respect the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act by observing the posted speed limit.
- Drive defensively by giving up the right-of-way, if by doing so they could avoid possible collisions with other vehicles.
- Make allowances for conditions of the road, by driving in such a way and at such a speed as to maintain vehicle control; and
- Maneuver at a distance and in such a way so as not to preclude safe stopping or averting of a collision.
Get More From Your Bus Accident Claims With MG Law
The MG Law team takes pride in being readily available to discuss your options after you’ve been seriously injured. We understand that accident claims aren’t always straightforward, which is why we are always there to guide you through your options. In fact, we can meet with you for free to get started, and can even answer your questions in English, French, Greek, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Punjabi, Hindi, and all Arabic dialects. This way, you’re always informed in the language you’re most comfortable with. Give us a call at 613-730-8460 for more information about personal injury claims, accident claims, or public transit accidents. Miryam Gorelashvili and our team will be more than happy to help.