Category: Personal Injury

“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.

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.

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

Air Canada 624 Crash: Is a Class Action the Right Approach?

by John McKiggan

Over the last 72 hours new coverage in Nova Scotia has been dominated by stories involving the crash (or “hard landing” as Air Canada prefers to describe it ) of Air Canada flight 624.

Most of the coverage has revolved around how the crash happened, why it happened, and concerns about the delayed response to passengers who had to wait on the tarmac for rescue.

Class action being filed?

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.

Tracking chronic pain symptoms: There’s an app for that

by John McKiggan

One of the things I deal with every day as a personal injury lawyer in Nova Scotia are clients who have suffered significant injuries that result in long term chronic pain.

Invisible injury

Chronic pain cases can be difficult to prove because the injury is invisible. There is no X-ray that you can produce to show the client’s broken bone, no photographs of scars, and there is no such thing as a “Pain-o-Meter” to show the extent and what kind of pain the client is suffering.

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.