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Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guys!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:32 pm 
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I'll tell the story of the accident quickly.. I was coming back from work near the airport around 6pm, when I got near Dufferin and Steeles. I approached a red light and my brakes completely stopped working, I pressed on it and it went all the way down loosely, I tried to go into the island separating the streets but ended up crashing into 3 cars waiting at the light. Nobody was seriously hurt but my car was totaled.

This is where it gets messy, as 4-5 tow trucks came before police, firetrucks or ambulance and started moving car parts off the road. After 30mins, 2 ambulances and a firetruck showed up and almost an hour later the police did.
The people involved gave their statements to the cop and then I did. He did not look around the scene or had someone take pictures before the cars were all moved by the tow trucks. He gave me a careless driving ticket but did not suspend my license as I was not impaired or with people or on my phone. End of story.

I kept on driving still under insurance for a few months until my policy expired and was not renewed because my case was still pending. (The rate would have been around $9.000 to $12.000 a year)

I fought it and got a court date for 6 months after the incident. I decided not to hire anyone and did all my research online. Thanks mostly to http://www.ticketcombat.com and a few other sources I had my charge dropped yesterday :)

I went in the first day of court scheduled and told the Justice that I had only requested Disclosure a week prior (which I did), requested an adjournment to have time to read it over and consult legal counsel. All three witnesses where there. Matching the next date with the court, the prosecutor, the cop, all three witnesses and myself was complicated. Ended up being 3 months later.

I showed up for the second court date only with some questions and a small statement explaining my side of the story. Nothing elaborate, I thought I'd tell my side of the story and point a few mistakes in police procedure and I'd be let go. Apparently the prosecutor thought the cop was busy so she called off the witnesses for the day, but he showed up anyways.

Without the witnesses there, she requested another adjournment and again had to match all the dates between us (without the witnesses present). I requested a stay based on Section 7 of the Charter but was denied.

Another 2 months later, for the third day of court I was PREPARED. I talked to a friend in law school and found very interesting and recent case law. In particular, the case "R. v. Abdo (2015)" has the most amount of information on previous case law I've seen. I also refined my questions and learned about "Police Accident Investigator" levels. I had a really sound case and almost 50 pages of printed paper, so I could hand out a copy of everything I was reading out loud to the prosecutor and the Justice.

I go inside and again, there are no witnesses. I figured the prosecutor would request another adjournment but after stating my name she.... Withdrew all charges!!


It's nice to be free from the mental weight of that and I look forward to sharing the road with everyone again like I had safely with 8 different vehicles, some for work (without counting the one that died recently) for the last 9 years! Thanks a ton guys.

PS: I never got to use anything I had prepared, would someone like me to post some links and references? Might help a lot of people!


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:44 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Congrats on beating the ticket. I'm guessing your accident was still deemed 100 percent your fault by the insurance, so I don't know you'll find affordable coverage for some time.


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:07 pm 
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My understanding was that he would only have one chargeable claim against his policy. He can't be discriminated for the damage. So this would count as his first at-fault accident.

Whether he crashed into three cars or had a minor fender bender, the consequences are still the same?

If OP has 1M liability, is it for each accident? So if Driver 1 sues him for 500k, Driver 2 sues for 1M, Driver 3 sues for 600k; is the OP still covered because each individual driver is suing for <1M? Or is he going to have to pay 1.1M out of pocket?


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:50 pm 
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Not really sure on the amount the insurance had to pay the people involved but nobody was harmed in any way.. I was traveling at 50km/h. Unfortunately it is my second 'at-fault offence', last one happened a few days after the December storm that froze all the trees and roads, and even though it was only 500$ in damages, the other person opted for going through insurance because it was a company car.

I've yet to call back from my insurance adjuster, it happened yesterday..


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 12:24 pm 
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Congrats! One thing I don't understand is, you said "I kept on driving still under insurance for a few months until my policy expired and was not renewed because my case was still pending. (The rate would have been around $9.000 to $12.000 a year)"

If you case is still pending and you are waiting for your trial you are not convicted of careless driving yet, how come your insurance wasn't renewed? Is it because of the at fault accident only, not because of the ticket?

I am in a similar boat, had an at-fault accident back in February (my first one ever) and have an accident forgiveness in my policy so broker told me my rate shouldn't go up in the next renewal (August), but I have to win the careless driving ticket which is currently pending (waiting for the notice of trial) and should only take place in the fall. Until then, I am not convicted of careless driving so I don't expect my insurance to go up in the next renewal.


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Because the insurance companies don't care about convictions, only the collision and at-fault determinations.

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Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 2:38 pm 
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So what you are saying is: if you get convicted of Careless Driving (which is a serious charge) without an accident (for instance) the rate won't go up?

My understand is that Insurance companies care about convictions (besides at-fault accidents, of course) any traffic ticket may increase the insurance premium.

My question is regarding when a serious ticket is being disputed and waiting for the trial, does the insurance company still take that charge into consideration in the next renewal (prior to the trial), even if you are not convicted yet?


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 6:48 pm 
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Just to clarify what argyll is saying: Insurance companies DO care about convictions. In many cases, Careless Driving is enough to get your insurance company to drop your coverage. However... in the case where a collision happens (such as this case), the insurance companies are more concerned about the at-fault determination rather than whether there were charges arising out of it.

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* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 1:10 am 
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pcdunlop wrote:
If you case is still pending and you are waiting for your trial you are not convicted of careless driving yet, how come your insurance wasn't renewed? Is it because of the at fault accident only, not because of the ticket?

I am in a similar boat, had an at-fault accident back in February (my first one ever) and have an accident forgiveness in my policy so broker told me my rate shouldn't go up in the next renewal (August), but I have to win the careless driving ticket which is currently pending (waiting for the notice of trial) and should only take place in the fall. Until then, I am not convicted of careless driving so I don't expect my insurance to go up in the next renewal.



When you are fighting a ticket, your driving record isn't clean, it says something like "ticket pending". When your insurance renews it with something pending, if you are convicted, your rate might go up because of demerit points.

Insurance companies care about accidents where you are at-fault and demerit points. While you are fighting a ticket, you are still considered innocent if you are currently insured but it's not the same if you try to renew with the pending charge.

My suggestion is to get a paralegal or talk to someone that has court experience to guide you. At the very least, always show up 10 minutes early and dress well. It really is a very formal game of poker with insane stakes.


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Re: Just "beat" my Careless Driving charge thanks to you guy
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 1:29 am 
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Radar Identified wrote:
Just to clarify what argyll is saying: Insurance companies DO care about convictions. In many cases, Careless Driving is enough to get your insurance company to drop your coverage. However... in the case where a collision happens (such as this case), the insurance companies are more concerned about the at-fault determination rather than whether there were charges arising out of it.


Yes sorry, I wrote in haste. Insurance companies care about convictions without collisions AND collisions without convictions. They get you both ways.

_________________
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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