Author: Mark Raftus

I Hit a Car Pulling Out of a Driveway – Who Is at Fault?

by Mark Raftus

Imagine yourself driving down the street to work on a typical day. Suddenly, a car appears in front of you backing out of a driveway. You react, applying your brakes as hard as you can. Unfortunately, the other car is too close for you to stop in time and you hit the rear of it with a huge thump. You are jerked violently forward. You lose awareness of time for a short period. When you come to you feel dizzy and wonder if you sustained a concussion or suffered whiplash. Your chest hurts but you are glad you wore your seatbelt as without it you could have been sent hurtling through the windshield. 

You have just been in a car accident.

Now, put yourself in the position of the other car’s driver. Imagine you just finished placing your two-year-old daughter in the child safety seat in the back of the car. You pass over her favourite teddy bear which makes her smile. You close the door and hop into the driver’s seat. You shoot a glance at the dashboard clock and breathe a sigh of relief because unlike yesterday you are on time to drop your daughter off at the daycare a few blocks away. You glance at the roadway and all seems clear. You put the car in reverse and start backing out. Suddenly, you hear screeching tires and before you realize what is happening, glass shatters and your car gets pushed sideways. When you gather yourself the first thoughts you have are about your little girl in the back seat. You turn around, see her looking at you and notice she is crying a little but otherwise seems fine. 

Posted in: Car Accidents

PEDESTRIAN-CAR COLLISIONS ON THE RISE IN HRM

by Mark Raftus

This article provides an update to a January 22, 2016 article I wrote for the McKiggan Hebert personal injury blog titled Good News in the Battle Against Pedestrian-Car Collisions”.

In this article I concluded pedestrian-car
“accidents” were on a decreasing trend in Halifax in 2015. Sadly, it does not
appear the trend has continued in the three-plus years since the article was
penned.

In the article I updated the statistics from my December 23, 2014 article Pedestrian-Car Collisions: An Epidemic in Nova Scotia showing the number of pedestrian-car collisions in Halifax had increased from 2013 to 2014 with attributed causes ranging from poor weather to poor visibility.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Tough News Decision from the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Affecting Car Crash Injury Victims

by Mark Raftus

Seriously injured car crash victims will now receive less money in their pockets after trial for loss of future income damages claims given the December 10, 2018 Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision in Sparks v Holland.

In the past, certain types of income replacement benefits received by an injured Plaintiff were not deducted from a Plaintiff’s award for loss of future income. These were referred to as collateral benefits.

In the past, Canada Pension Plan Disability [CPPd] benefits were not deducted from future income loss awards. Unfortunately, the highest Court in Nova Scotia has ruled that future CPPd are not a collateral benefit and are indeed deductible from loss of future earning capacity and loss of future income damages awards made at Trial.

Posted in: Car Accidents

“Oh No – Is that Snow?!” – Safe Driving Tips for the Winter Season

by Mark Raftus

November 16th marked the first substantial winter snow fall in the Halifax area for the 2018 winter season.  I awoke, looked out my front window and sadly noted snow covered streets with heavy, wet snowflakes falling. The radio forecast called for the snow to turn into ice pellets and later into rain. A very greasy day awaited and I suspected the roads would be very slippery.

As I set out for the drive to the office I prepared mentally for the trek ahead reminding myself to drive cautiously,  approach intersections a bit slower than normal, pump my brakes if I started to slide and to make sure I looked twice at every car around me before proceeding into an intersection.

I still knew, however, that despite all of my caution it was going to be “the other guy” I had to be mindful of… the guy who would make no mental driving precautions, who would approach every intersection as if the pavement was bare, who would tailgate me and perhaps even try to pass me on a two lane street if he perceived I was driving too slowly.

Autumn Changes – Advanced Pedestrian Lights and the new Traffic Safety Act

by Mark Raftus

As summer moves into fall, many seasonal changes take place. Children return to school, days are not as warm or long, leaves change color and we prepare for the long winter ahead.

Change is a constant and quite often, is for the good. The positive aspect of change can be seen in recent developments implemented by HRM and the Provincial government aimed at protecting pedestrians and motorists in Nova Scotia.

HRM statistics reveal in the first eight months of 2018 there were 120 vehicle-pedestrian collisions in HRM with 61 percent of them happening in a crosswalk. In an effort to improve safety for these pedestrians, HRM has installed what they refer to as “advanced pedestrian lights” at six high-pedestrian traffic intersections in the City – five in Halifax and one in Dartmouth.
Allowing Pedestrians a Head Start
These new lights came into effect on Thursday, October 11, 2018. How they work is the green pedestrian “walking man” signal comes on for several seconds before the green traffic light changes permitting vehicle traffic to proceed ahead through an intersection or turn. In this way, pedestrians are given a head start to proceed forward into the crosswalk and establish their presence. Vehicle drivers will see the pedestrians more readily and allow them to complete their right-of-way crossing. HRM advises they will monitor this initiative and if it works to reduce collisions HRM will add more of these advanced pedestrian lights at other intersections in the City.

Good news from the Supreme Court of Canada for injured victims of underinsured drivers

by Mark Raftus

What is SEF44 coverage?

In an article and video on the McKiggan Hebert website John McKiggan discussed how the SEF44 Family Protection Endorsement works. But a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada has made some important rulings that impact how SEF44 coverage can be used to protect you and your family.

Sabean v Portage Mutual Insurance Company