Category: Fatal Accidents

New Seatbelt Rules Coming for Canada: Using seatbelts is common sense.

by John McKiggan

Have you ever noticed that the middle-rear seat of most cars usually doesn’t have a shoulder seat belt strap? Ever wonder if the side seats that have shoulder straps are safer than the middle seat?

Studies have shown that passengers wearing lap belts alone are more likely to suffer separation of their lumbar vertebrae, causing paralysis.

Three point (shoulder strap) seat belts have been mandatory in all cars sold in the U.S. since September 2007.

Save your tears: No compensation for grief in Nova Scotia

by John McKiggan

Dog Day Afternoon

I was reading an article written by my colleague Brett Emison, a personal injury attorney in Kansas. Brett wrote about an interesting case in Texas that highlights the irony of the law in most U.S. states and in Canada.

In most states and several provinces in Canada, courts cannot award compensation for grief for the loss of a family member.

Increase in NS Traffic Deaths in 2012: What can we do?

by John McKiggan

Huge Increase in Traffic Fatalities

2012 was not a good year for Nova Scotia motor vehicle accidents with eighty-two (82) road fatalities. In fact, 2012 bucked the trend of a steady decline in motor vehicle fatalities that has been ongoing since 2007. Compare the 2012 numbers to those in 2011 when there were only sixty-five (65) people killed on the road. That’s a 21% increase!

Back in July of 2012, I voiced my concerns about the cause of the rising trend of fatal accidents on Nova Scotia roads: Increase in Nova Scotia Traffic Fatalities: Is Distracted Driving to Blame?

Motorcycle Accidents: How they happen and what you can do to avoid them.

by John McKiggan

Motorcycle Accident Compensation Claims

I am in the middle of preparing for a trial involving a motorcyclist (my client) who was injured in a motorcycle – car collision. The driver of the car made a left turn in front of my client while my client was driving through a green light. The injuries the motorcycle rider suffered were more serious than you tend see in a typical car-car collision.

While motorcycle collision cases form a relatively small part of the cases I am asked to handle, the injuries in those cases tend to be more severe and complicated. So if you spend any time on the road, as I’m sure all of you do, here is some important information regarding motorcycles and motorcycle injuries.

Is Ford Escape Recall a Cover-Up?

by John McKiggan

Spontaneous Acceleration

Remember the allegations of spontaneous acceleration that Toyota vehicles had to deal with a few years ago? They ended up recalling 3.8 million vehicles. It was a public relations disaster for the company.

Is Ford facing a similar problem? Worse, has the company been trying to hide a dangerous problem it has known about for seven years?

Children Should Stay in Rear Facing Seats Longer: Child Safety Experts

by John McKiggan

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 4 and up. Child car seats have been shown to lower the chances of death in a car accident by 28 per cent compared with seatbelts. They have also been found to reduce the severity of car crash injuries.

Most child car seat manufactures recommend that children stay in rear facing seats until they are 1 year old or 9 kilos as a guideline, before being placed in forward facing seats.

Rear Facing Seats Safer
But after reviewing data from injuries due to car crashes over several years that shows that children in rear-facing car seats are more likely to surivive, the American Academy of Pediatrics and U.S. traffic safety officials have teamed up to release new guidelines that recommend toddlers should sit in rear-facing car seats until age two. If a child under the age of two outgrows the weight limits for their infant car seat, they should be moved to a rear-facing convertible car seat and kept in that position until age two.

Nova Scotia Motor Cycle Injury Claims – Helmets Reduce Spinal Cord Injuries

by John McKiggan

Nova Scotia has had a mandatory helmet law for motorcycles (and bicycles) for many years. But there are some jurisdictions in the United States (Florida and Texas for example) where motorcycle helmets are not required.


There are “mountains” of studies that prove that helmets reduce the risk of death and brain injury after a motorcycle accident. But opponents to mandatory helmet laws have claimed for some time that helmets increase the risk of spinal injury because of the torsion laced on the neck by a heavy helmet.

Christmas Tree Safety Message

by John McKiggan

We decorated our Christmas tree today and I noticed the tree was already getting a little dry. Then I came across this public service announcement this evening. Scary!

We all get busy over the holidays and sometimes in the rush we forget to do the little things, like watering the tree.

Christmas tree fires are not common, a few hundred a year in the United States where there would be millions of Christmas trees in homes across the country. But when they happen, tree fires are likely to be serious. On average, one of every 21 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death.

Smoke Detectors May Not Provide Adequate Protection

by John McKiggan

Everyone knows you should have smoke detectors in your home right?

You may even be one of the dedicated few who check them to be sure they are working and replace the batteries on a regular basis.

But did you know that your smoke alarm may not provide you with adequate warning during a fire?

Space Heaters: Safety Tips to Prevent Burns Injuries and Fires

by John McKiggan

The temperature is dropping and more and more Canadians are using space heaters to keep warm.

The first house that my wife and I bought was so poorly insulated that we had an electric space heater in the bathroom so we wouldn’t freeze to death getting ready for work in the morning.
Thinking back it probably wasn’t a great idea to have an electrical appliance like that around so much water.

Since then I have seen many people who have been injured because of faulty space heaters. Or children injured because heaters were not used properly. So I thought it might be a good idea to post these safety tips.