Make Sure You Drive With Care

Every day in urban centres, you see them…  Those people who drive like they got their licence from a bubble-gum machine.  You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  It’s stressful, even if the rest of your day isn’t necessarily.  The drive to and from anywhere these days is fraught with dangers.  People cutting in front of oncoming traffic, through an intersection because they run their own red light, turning right at the corner.  Or the classic, hanging in the intersection, waiting to turn left when the light turns yellow.  Let’s not even mention texting while driving.  Those laws are changing (thankfully) to address the increasing dangers those violators expose the rest of the conscientious drivers to.

Back in 2009, the highest, personal-injury award in Canada was given to a 20-year old, grade 12 student.  Robert Marcoccia was driving his Honda Civic, and collided with a furniture truck, turning left at Rexdale and Humberwood boulevards, an intersection in Toronto.  The truck was driven by Bhupinder Singh Gill, for his employer, Purba Furniture, and leased from Ford Credit Canada Limited.  All three parties were found liable by a jury.

The victim, Robert Marcoccia suffered severe brain injuries, causing permanent impairment of many of his physical, mental, and psychological functions.  The degree of his injuries determined the breakdown of what amounted to $16.9 million.  The jury decided almost $14 million was for his future care alone.  The rest of the award was split between future loss of income, future corporate guardian costs, future legal fees, and general damages.

It’s a devastating reality for an occurrence that happens everywhere, all too frequently.  It’s a split-second decision with the most horrific consequences, short of causing death.  The issue of fault was assessed in that case as well.  In fact, Robert Marcoccia was found by the jury to be at fault, 39% and the balance of fault, 61% with Bhupinder Singh Gill. 

While $16.9 million sounds like an incredible amount of money that many Canadians cannot relate to, what is the real cost of Robert Marcoccia’s life as he’ll know it from then on?  A life-time sentence of rehabilitation, medication, side effects – both from the injuries sustained, and the medications to control the physiological damage.  Caretakers, lost-life experiences, opportunities, and devastated general wellness.

Don’t forget the families.  Tragedy from civil or criminal circumstances never effect only one or two people.  The suffering will extend, reaching family and friends of all of the parties involved.  One split-second decision, made in haste, forever changing trajectory into reality of regret.

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. Contact the Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.  

The Uninvited Guest

You’re dying to go next door to see your neighbour’s renovation.  They’ve been at it for months.  Inside, outside, from open concepts to new “grotto” patios.  But, you’re not exactly friends.  Every time you ask “How’s it going?”  They give you the same, flaccid reply, “Well, it’s still going.  We’re getting there, slowly.”  Finally, you decide one day, you’ll just wander over and have a look.  After all, it’s hard to tell you to your face to go home if you’re standing there. 

The contractors are working, there’s a buzz of activity, and you see the homeowner outside, milling about.  That’s your cue.  You wander over casually and with quiet humility, you offer your most polite pleasantries and keep walking towards the homeowner pretending you can’t hear them dissuading your advances. As you walk, focused on their face, taking great study of their body language, you completely ignore what they’re saying and stumble over some equipment cords, falling in and out of a deep hole, then tripping head-first into a pile of rubble.  Instead of getting the anticipated tour, you’re seriously injured.

After first responders are called, and the scene subsides from the obvious chaos, you end up at the hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.  Despite jeopardizing neighbour relations, you’re still quite upset, believing the hazardous areas of their property should’ve been identified, preventing you from injury.  And, the homeowner is mad at you! 

Should you sue?  Do you even have a claim?  It seems reasonable that you do.  It could’ve been anyone who got injured and you think the homeowner should know better since their renovation project has gone on for months.  The injuries you sustained were clearly a case of negligence.  Safety should be “their” priority.  There’s only one nagging concern…  You weren’t invited over.  You were in fact, trespassing.

Homeowners do have the burden of having to provide a safe environment on their property when hosting others.  Renovations present circumstances where life-threatening hazards may constitute negligence.  Under Canadian tort law (from the Latin word “tortum,” meaning wrong or injustice,) there is a special section called, “Premises Liability Law,” dealing with issues specifically related to a property owner’s accountability and obligations.  And low and behold, a trespasser is also covered under tort law – to some degree.  Despite breaking a law by trespassing, they can still make a claim against the homeowner where personal injury was due to negligence.  So, game on you nosy neighbours but, trespassers beware…  Bring your hard hats, safety glasses, and steel toes!

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. Contact the Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.  

UBC Researchers Developing “Smart Seat” to Reduce Whiplash Injuries

One of the most common injuries after a car accident is whiplash. The severity of the degree of whiplash depends on the nature of the accident, and the mechanism of how the injury happened. Recovery time depends on the individual and on the severity of the injury. 

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are working towards developing a car system that would lessen the effects of whiplash enough to significantly reduce the risk of injury from low speed rear-end collisions. The technology is aimed towards creating a “smart seat” the measures a person’s pulse during a collision and readjusts his/her position accordingly to reduce the impact on the head and neck. 

The researchers believe that educating the public will create interest and create consumer demand for this technology to be made available in vehicles and to be made cost effective. Something that came out of this study is the importance of properly adjusting the headrest (head restraint).People need to be aware of the amount of space between their heads and the head restraint and to properly adjust this for safety reasons. This will also help with reducing injuries. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of a car accident and has sustained whiplash injuries or any other type of injuries, you should consider contacting an experienced person injury lawyer right away. 

At the law firm of Paciocco & Mellow, we have represented many clients who have sustained serious injuries as a result of car accidents, slip and fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents and other types of personal injuries. We can help clients with finding the right rehabilitation clinics and help them with their recovery. 

People may not be aware of their rights or obligations and may feel overwhelmed about the legal process. Personal injury litigation is complex and Paciocco & Mellow is a Windsor Personal Injury Firm that has successfully represented many injured persons.  

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. Contact the Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.