Public Transit Accidents in Toronto

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Public Transit Accidents in Toronto

Public Transit Accidents

Nearly 40% of commuters in Toronto take public transit to and from work each day, according to 2016 long form census data, and this percentage may rise as the transit system expands. With so many passengers travelling daily and the sheer number of vehicles necessary to transport them, accidents are bound to occur. CP24 reports that TTC vehicles are involved in approximately 4,000 accidents each year.


Although Torontonians love our iconic TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) streetcars, for example, they are involved in dozens of accidents each year. At more than 48,000 kg, streetcars are very heavy, and it’s difficult for them to stop quickly; they’re also unable to swerve in order to avoid other vehicles. Last year streetcars were involved in 7.61 collisions per 100,000 miles driven - more than double the rate for buses. A 2018 Toronto Star investigation found that streetcars were involved in nearly half of the city’s fatal pedestrian and cyclist accidents. Even when no streetcars are present, the spiderweb of intersecting streetcar tracks can prove hazardous to cyclists.


Collisions are the major source of TTC accidents, but hundreds of other claims are filed each year because people are injured while riding public transit, or have fallen in a subway station or other TTC property. But knowing what to do if you or a family member is injured in an accident or on TTC property can be difficult.


Common Accidents

If you were involved in a collision with a TTC vehicle – whether you were driving a car that collided with a TTC bus or streetcar, or whether you were riding the TTC when the accident occurred – you may be eligible for compensation. If you suffered a serious injury, you could receive as much as $400 per week in income replacement benefits (or $185 per week if you were not employed when the accident occurred.) In addition, if you require personal care, you may be eligible for up to $3,000/month in attendant care benefits. And if medical and rehabilitation costs are a factor, you may be eligible for up to $50,000 in benefits for those expenses. (More if you suffered a catastrophic injury such as paralysis.) If a death has occurred, the family of the victim may be able to claim survivor benefits.


These benefits may be available to you even if you were at fault for the accident. Due to Ontario’s standard no-fault insurance system, you will not be denied benefits even if your actions caused the accident. (If you were at fault, however, you may not be able to go after additional compensation in a lawsuit.)


Each year, many people are injured at subway stations in slip-and-fall accidents. Ontario winters can cause havoc, with accumulations of snow hiding patches of ice around station exteriors, for example. Melting snow from patrons’ boots may leave hazardous puddles on platforms or stairs. Depending on your injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation. In addition to slip-and-falls, there are also numerous reports of injuries sustained while riding TTC vehicles. Many of these have occurred in the newer articulated streetcars, which, when taking a turn too quickly, can send passengers flying. Injuries are also often caused when buses are forced to make sudden stops. In 2011, The Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act (Bill 173) amended sections of the Insurance Act, which impacts public transit vehicles. The provisions in this bill are sometimes known as “no crash, no cash,” as they make it more difficult to make a claim when no collision has taken place.



What to Do

If possible, document the accident scene as best you can with photos, and get the names of any witnesses present. This can help to demonstrate what happened later. Get medical attention as soon as possible, and ask for copies of all medical reports. Next, contact a personal law firm and book a consultation with a lawyer. These cases are complex, and you will need an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the paperwork and the bureaucracy involved. Most personal injury law firms offer a free consultation with one of their lawyers, and you should use this meeting to ask questions about your situation and to see if you want to partner with the lawyer.


There are several aspects to a case involving the TTC. A good personal injury lawyer will be able to explain your options to you after he/she gathers the facts about the incident. After you make a claim for compensation, you may also be able to pursue a lawsuit seeking further damages. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will receive payment only if you receive compensation.


Remember to act promptly, as there are strict time limits governing the types of action that you can take. Generally speaking, you have only one week to notify your insurance company to let them know whether or not you intend to seek accident benefits. You must meet other deadlines for submitting your application for accident benefits, and for notifying the liable party if you intend to bring a lawsuit.


If you have been injured in a public transit accident, call a personal injury law firm today and get the compensation you deserve!

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Public Transit accidents in and around Toronto are actually more common than you would think.
If you or someone you love have been injured in a public transit accident, make sure to call a team of lawyers that will have your best interests at heart.