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What you need to know if you’re in a collision with a transport truck on Ontario roadways

Personal Injury Lawyer Catherine Shearer offers legal guidance to individuals injured in a collision ensuring their compensation is fair and their rights are protected

Ontario Provincial Police responded to more than 9100 collisions involving transport trucks in 2022, marking the highest provincial total for collisions in more than a decade.

Chances are that if you’re in a crash with a tractor trailer it could have severe consequences due to the sheer size and weight disparity between trucks and smaller vehicles. An average car weighs about 4,000 pounds, while a fully loaded transport truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The risk of sustaining a serious injury increases tenfold when it involves a transport truck.

This vast weight and size difference often results in catastrophic outcomes for occupants in smaller vehicles. Catherine Shearer, Partner, and Personal Injury Lawyer at McKenzie Lake Lawyers in Guelph says, “The aftermath of such accidents often involves serious injuries, emotional trauma, and significant medical expenses and the long-term effects on survivors and their families can be profound.”

Navigating the system

The first thing you should do if you’ve been such a collision is to call 911 and if injured, seek medical attention. After notifying your insurance company, at some point you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Catherine Shearer says, “It’s not something you can navigate on your own. Following a collision, an injured person or their family may not be feeling their best. Having a lawyer in place allows them to focus on the treatment and recovery that they need while having peace of mind knowing that the claim is being taken care of by a lawyer.”

A lawyer can reduce delays, increase the chances of receiving fairer compensation, and ensure that the injured person receives quality and timely treatment for their recovery. Shearer adds, “A lawyer will ensure that an injured person and their family get the right supports in place from the beginning. They will ensure that benefits are available depending on the individual and the injury. Navigating these legal issues on your own will be overwhelming.”

Rules of the road

In Ontario, on any given day, approximately 200,000 trucks are travelling the roadways along with millions of cars. Speed, distracted driving, following too closely, and improper lane changes are a few of the primary causes of collisions.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has taken steps to reduce the risks caused by fatigued truckers by limiting the number of hours they can drive in a single day. The MTO demands that truck drivers keep daily logs that include odometer readings, their length of duty, and distance travelled. Shearer says, “Since 2022, all commercial trucks in Ontario must be outfitted with a computerized sensor, a certified electronic logging device (ELD) to record their hours of service.” An ELD is connected to the vehicle’s engine and automatically updates driver logs. Data is also displayed on a tablet inside the cab so the driver can refer to it at any time or present it at a roadside inspection.

Commercial trucks in Ontario must be inspected and certified as being roadworthy on a regular basis. Inspection reports, drivers’ logs, and information stores in the ELD can provide vital information about the truck and its driver if the vehicle is involved in a crash.

Call a personal injury lawyer

If you have suffered injures due to a collision with a commercial truck Catherine Shearer can obtain these records, which could be crucial evidence in an injury claim. Such evidence could ensure that your rights are protected, and you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

If you have suffered an injury in a collision and would like to learn more about your rights and options, Catherine Shearer would be happy to speak with you about your next steps.

Her initial consultation is free. Contact Catherine Shearer at [email protected] or call (226) 203-1243.