Category: Car Accidents

Happy Crosswalk Safety Awareness Day!

by John McKiggan

(By Mark Raftus)

Did you know that today, Wednesday, November 4, 2015 marks the second annual Crosswalk Safety Awareness Day?

red hand-thumbI have been following the issue of pedestrian collisions and traffic safety for some time. For example, on December 23, 2014 I posted PEDESTRIAN – CAR COLLISIONS: AN EPIDEMIC IN NOVA SCOTIA.  A few months later after we started getting socked by some nasty winter weather I posted WEATHER WATCH – WINTER WALKING AND DRIVING IN NOVA SCOTIA.

Asking Siri for Directions is not Distracted Driving (in Nova Scotia)

by John McKiggan

Using Voice Activated Navigation Isn’t “Using” a Phone?

In a recent decision Justice Jamie Campbell acquitted Ajirogho Enakeno Ikede of distracted driving. Ikede was holding his iphone and asking Siri for directions when he was pulled over by a police office. Police ticketed Ikede for distracted driving contrary to Section 100 of the Motor Vehicle Act. That section of the act states:
It is an offence for a person to use a hand held cellular telephone or engage in text messaging on any communications device while operating a vehicle on a highway” [emphasis added]
The defendant Ikede had been acquitted by Justice Claudine MacDonald and the Crown appealed. Justice Campbell dismissed the Crown’s appeal and confirmed that Ikede was not guilty of distracted driving. Campbell J. was concerned that the word “use” was not defined in the legislation.

Justice Campbell was of the opinion that using the voice activated GPS function on a phone was not the same as using the cell phone to make a telephone call. Justice Campbell stated at paragraph 4 of his decision:
“Use” does not encompass all interactions with handheld devices that have cellular telephone functionality. When the driver, without looking at the screen of the device, engaged a voice activated navigational system related directly to the safe operation of the vehicle through a handheld electronic communications device, he was not “using” a cellular telephone.”
Voice activated systems are still distracting!

How do I get my medical expenses paid after a car accident?

by John McKiggan

One of the most common reasons I am contacted by people who have been injured in car accidents in Nova Scotia is because they are concerned about all the medical expenses they have piling up and they are confused about which insurance company should be paying their medical expenses.

The answer depends on whether you were a driver or passenger or a pedestrian or cyclist. It also depends on whether you have private medical expense coverage through work or through a spouse.

Who pays?

New Limitation of Actions Act in Nova Scotia will impact victim’s rights!

by John McKiggan

As of September 1, 2015, Nova Scotia has a new Limitation of Actions Act.  This law creates time limits for how long injured victims have to sue for compensation. The time limits are different depending on the type of claim.

There are some important changes in the new Act that injury victims need to be aware of. The one that may have the greatest impact on personal injury claims is the new rule that establishes a two year time limit for many claims.

Exceptions to the two year time limit

McKiggan Hebert Awards Scholarship to Raise Awareness of Dangers of Distracted Driving

by John McKiggan

Distracted Driving a Growing Danger

Distracted driving is now the number one cause of deaths on Nova Scotia highways. In order to raise awareness of the dangers of Distracted Driving, McKiggan Hebert Lawyers has created an annual scholarship for a Canadian student who demonstrates academic excellence and a commitment to end distracted driving.

I have been a volunteer with EndDD.org, a nonprofit focused on ending distracted driving, for several years. My legal practice is dedicated exclusively to representing those who have suffered personal injurys. Many of those clients have suffered injury in car accidents caused by distracted driving.

WEATHER WATCH – WINTER WALKING and DRIVING in NOVA SCOTIA

by John McKiggan

More winter weather on the way

Looks like we are in for another blast of winter tonight and tomorrow. Makes you wonder when it will end. Our senior associate Mark Raftus has been getting a lot of calls the last few days from people who have been injured due in part to the severe winter weather we have been having.

Mark has written this article to provide some advice to Nova Scotian’s on how to protect themselves from injury as we struggle through this latest storm. Take it away Mark…

Halifax Police Looking for Hit and Run Driver after Woman Hit in Crosswalk: Hit and Run Injury Claims in Nova Scotia

by John McKiggan

Halifax Regional Police are looking for a hit and run driver who struck a 22 year old pedestrian who was crossing North Park Street at a marked crosswalk. She was hit by a car turning left from Cogswell Street that left the scene of the accident.

CTV News reported that the pedestrian was taken to the hospital with “non-life threating injuries.”

Fortunately the pedestrian in this accident does not appear to have been seriously hurt. But even non-life threatening injuries can cause long term pain, inconvenience and income loss.

Assessment of Damages after Default Judgment: What’s the Burden of Proof?

by John McKiggan

Reasons for judgment were issued recently in an interesting case: MacKean v. Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada

The plaintiffs were injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver. The plaintiffs settled their claim against their own insurer under the uninsured driver provisions of their own automobile policy. When the claim was settled, the plaintiffs assigned their claim to their insurer RSA.

The uninsured driver was sued but failed to file a defence and had a default judgment entered against him.