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Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:43 pm 
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So I recently moved to Canada from Florida on December 5th, 2010. Unfortunately only 5 days later I got rear-ended and got air-lifted to the hospital. I was with my mother and my mothers boyfriend.

http://m.ctv.ca/ottawa/20101210/OTT_bankfield_crash_101210.html

Waking up not knowing where I was questioned by a police officer about what happened. I had many stitches, two contusions, and no memory of what had happened or how I had gotten there. I was then given moments later a ticket claiming an "improper left turn - fail to afford reasonable opportunity to avoid collision"

From what I recall was that I was at an intersection, the street I was on did not have a stop sign but the street perpendicular to mine did. I was at a stop with my turn signal on when things got dark. From my mother and her boyfriends, both of whom did not lose consciousness, both felt a bang from behind.

Also the Motor Accident Report claim me, the car that got hit DRIVER 2 and the other car who had hit mine DRIVER 1.

What I desperately need help on is that I am fighting the ticket and I need advice on what I should say. I recently moved here so I do not know how the court system works. I have never even gotten a ticket before!! Should I have gotten a ticket? What should I bring?

Here are pictures of the scene:

Image
Image

And my car:

Image



Edit: Also I got Highway Traffic Act 141(5) which states:

"Left turn, across path of approaching vehicle

(5) No driver or operator of a vehicle in an intersection shall turn left across the path of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction unless he or she has afforded a reasonable opportunity to the driver or operator of the approaching vehicle to avoid a collision. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 141 (5)."

Which is strange because I DID NOT cross the path of the approaching vehicle, he had hit me from behind!


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Re: Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:35 pm 
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It would be helpful if you could provide some more details about the accident, such as the specific intersection and the direction of travel for both vehicles.

For the police to charge you, they would most likely have physical evidence (skid marks, damage, etc) and possibly independent witnesses to support the allegation. Due to the serious nature of the crash, it is quite possible a more experienced collision investigator was at the scene and a fairly detailed investigation was conducted (at least compared to your typical fender bender). If you decide to plead not guilty, the Crown will have to prove their case in Court, but since you don’t recall what happened you’d have a harder time disputing the evidence.

Also, do you have any other photos of the damage to your vehicle? The one you’ve shown does not look like it’s primary collision point. That damage appears quite minimal and I can’t see how that would cause such serious injuries and require the roof to be cut off for extraction. It’s very hard to tell from the photos, but the front end appears to have much more serious damage, and the photo you’ve shown is from a secondary collision (i.e. the vehicle spins after the crash and collides with something else or the other vehicle again).

At the end of the day, you’ll probably want to at least request disclosure from the Crown. That way you can see the evidence against you and how they came to believe you were at fault. It would give you a better idea if you're truly at fault or not. You'd get a copy of the full accident report, officers notes and any witness statements that were obtained.

Edit: I should also add if you're serious about fighting the charge, you may want to consider hiring a professional to defend you. I'd hazard a guess that due to the serious nature of the crash, the Crown will be less likely to offer you any kind of plea deal.


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Re: Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Stanton wrote:
It would be helpful if you could provide some more details about the accident, such as the specific intersection and the direction of travel for both vehicles.

For the police to charge you, they would most likely have physical evidence (skid marks, damage, etc) and possibly independent witnesses to support the allegation. Due to the serious nature of the crash, it is quite possible a more experienced collision investigator was at the scene and a fairly detailed investigation was conducted (at least compared to your typical fender bender). If you decide to plead not guilty, the Crown will have to prove their case in Court, but since you don’t recall what happened you’d have a harder time disputing the evidence.

Also, do you have any other photos of the damage to your vehicle? The one you’ve shown does not look like it’s primary collision point. That damage appears quite minimal and I can’t see how that would cause such serious injuries and require the roof to be cut off for extraction. It’s very hard to tell from the photos, but the front end appears to have much more serious damage, and the photo you’ve shown is from a secondary collision (i.e. the vehicle spins after the crash and collides with something else or the other vehicle again).

At the end of the day, you’ll probably want to at least request disclosure from the Crown. That way you can see the evidence against you and how they came to believe you were at fault. It would give you a better idea if you're truly at fault or not. You'd get a copy of the full accident report, officers notes and any witness statements that were obtained.



The Intersection was Brophy DR. and Cedarview Rd. in Ottawa (although the ticket says bankfield rd) both cars were traveling in the same direction going away from HWY 416.

http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&client=safari&pwst=1&rls=en&q=bankfield+rd+and+cedarview+rd&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl


I was hit on the rear left light, and then at the car spun the impact hit both the back and driver side doors, jamming them and not letting them to be opened thus having to take the roof off.

Image

and the front was damaged because the whole engine slammed towards the drivers side after the spinning. My mother and her boyfriend were both in my car and remember everything that had happened.

Image


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Re: Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:31 pm 
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I was also turning on to William McEwen Drive.


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Re: Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:34 am 
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Thanks, the photos and further details help explain the situation a little better. I’m guessing the other driver was trying to pass as you turned left?

In regards to your first post, don’t worry about who’s Driver 1 or Driver 2 on the report. Driver 1 is supposed to be whoever struck the other vehicle (which sounds correct in this case) and doesn’t relate to who is at fault. If I were driving through an intersection on a green light and broadsided someone who blows the red, I’d be driver 1 on the accident report even though I'm not at fault.

As for your actual Highway Traffic Act charge, I’m guessing there were several factors the investigating officer looked at before laying it. To the best of my knowledge, you are responsible for making sure any turning movement can be done in safety and won’t affect the operation of other vehicles. This would include vehicles overtaking you. The main issues I could see being relevant are if you properly signaled your turn and whether the other driver had already started to overtake you prior to you signaling your intent or starting your turn.

That being said, the section you were charged under might be incorrect for this offense. I’d think the proper charge would be “Turn not in Safety” section 142(1) because 141(5) does seem to deal with oncoming traffic only. More experienced people could tell you if this is something the Crown can easily amend at trial or not, or if it even needs to be amended.

It’s a bit of a crummy situation. I’d be lying if I said I always checked behind me for passing vehicles when I turn left, but under the law you are required to do so. Even insurance companies split the fault in these cases. While more blame gets assigned to the vehicle who was overtaking you, I believe you’re still considered 25% at fault.

Please note I’m not giving you legal advice (just my opinions) but it sure wouldn’t hurt to at least request disclosure as suggested earlier. See if there are any witnesses to the crash (passengers in the involved vehicles don’t count) and what their statements say.


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Re: Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:18 pm 
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ottawa.newbie wrote:
Also the Motor Accident Report claim me, the car that got hit DRIVER 2 and the other car who had hit mine DRIVER 1.


That's correct. The person who does the hitting is always Driver 1, the person who is hit is always driver 2. This has nothing to do with who is at fault, just which car struck which vehicle.

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Re: Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Stanton wrote:
I’d think the proper charge would be “Turn not in Safety” section 142(1) because 141(5) does seem to deal with oncoming traffic only. More experienced people could tell you if this is something the Crown can easily amend at trial or not, or if it even needs to be amended.


I'm going to say 141 (5) cannot be amended at trial if it is more than six months after the date of offence. Speeding can be amended at trial, because if you're charged with speeding, the quantity can be changed because the nature of the offence is the same. However, changing from one offence to another cannot happen. So, if it takes more than 6 months to go to trial, this should be beatable. The Prosecutor would have to withdraw the original charge and change it to Left Turn - Not In Safety.

As for the Improper Left Turn, that may stick. What section were you charged under?

I'm surprised the other driver was not charged with something. As for "fault," the charges under the Highway Traffic Act, in and of themselves, do not determine fault. Your insurance company will refer to the Fault Determination Rules. If the other driver was overtaking you and you turned left, he is 75% at fault and you are 25% at fault, as Stanton says. See Fault Determination Rules, section 10, subsection (5).

Click here for Fault Determination Rules

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Re: Rear-Ended and a TICKET?!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:00 pm 
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You probably won't remember if you did or did not complete this action but it could easily be deteremined by an accident investigator...

A VERY bad habit of some drivers is cranking the wheel before they are going to make a turn. This means that if you are waiting in an intersection at a light to complete your turn and there is oncoming traffic so you are sitting in the intersection waiting OR if you are on a country road like you were and waiting for the oncoming traffic to clear before completing your left turn and having your wheel cranked so that your front two tires are pointing left (the direction you want to turn)

Some drivers may believe that this is a good idea and the right action before attempting a left turn, they may think, I want to be ready to quickly turn left and clear the road/intersection so that I can turn quickly in front of oncoming traffic or simply they are doing it out of bad instict/habit because maybe that's what they were taught or learned from someone.

Well, I will tell you it is very dangerous and if I am correct in this case can cause serious problems and consequences.

If you have your wheels pointed in the direction of travel and someone rear ends your vehicle perfectly square in the back then guess where your car is going to go?

The direction of your tires, which means that leaves you to be T-boned by oncoming traffic which is a very dangerous situation.

Whether you are at an intersection or on a country road turning onto another road or private entrance you should NEVER turn your wheels to the left until your turn can be made in safety (oncoming traffic has cleared) only then should you give a little bit of gas, then turn your wheel, then give more gas to complete your turn in safety.

If someone rear ends you right square at an intersection or on a country road and you wheels are straight where will you go? Generally straight, Which generally will mean you will hit nothing but space, nothing in front of your vehicle for at least 5-10 meters (if at in intersection where there may be a lightpost, which is still a much safer option than another vehicle travelling at 50km/hr to 100 km/hr depending on the road)

The only exception is if there is another car in front of you waiting to turn in which case if you didn't leave enough room in front of you you will likely rear-end them too. (50% at fault)

Given the details either the car was not paying attention and rear ended you and tried to avoid your car at the last second and swerved left (should have sweved right which would be the shoulder not oncoming traffic)
OR
Your vehicle was already on a slight angle to the left because you had turned your wheels which would mean the first point of contact would be your back left bumper which is what got hit first from what it looks like which would also explain why your vehicle would have spun around.

Do you know if oncoming traffic hit your vehicle as well? It seems pretty unlikely that just the vehicle that rear-ended you did all that damage.

It seems like the vehicle that rear ended you tried to avoid you and hit your left bumper than slid along and hit the drivers side of your vehicle.

Even looking at all of the options I believe it impossible that the other car was not charged with following too close/Careless driving UNLESS with the exception that you failed to signal and the car behind you thought you were just slowing down so the car behind you passed you on the left and you were starting your left turn at the same time and then the collision occured in which case you probably would be 100% at fault and why you were charged.

The most important thing you can do is request disclosure and let us know what you are working against as it is a very tough situation to be in when you can't recall the events in question. Can your passengers remember the events better?


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