What is preventable injury and what are the implications?

Written by: Patrick Brown

As a personal injury lawyer in Toronto, one is often asked what exactly constitutes an “injury.” Here is the definition provided by Parachute Canada, a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries:

An injury is “the physical damage to the body from a sudden exposure to energy at levels that exceeds the normal human tolerance or as a result of the lack of one or more vital elements, such as oxygen.”

Injuries are both prevalent and expensive

Injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians between one and 44 years of age, and are among the top causes of hospitalizations for Canadians of all ages. On any given day in Canada, 35 people will die as a result of an injury. Even worse, one child will die every 9 hours. Those who survive may be fortunate, but they often suffer serious, long-term physical and mental disabilities as well. The economic cost of injury is also a growing concern. A report by SMARTRISK outlines the $19.8 billion dollar price tag that injuries caused Canadian society in 2009.

Many of the most common injuries are preventable

The most tragic aspect of all of this is that many of these accidents are absolutely preventable. The three leading causes of unintentional injury-related deaths for Canadians are motor vehicle crashes, falls, and poisonings. Other injuries are a result of concussion, drowning, pedestrian incidents, suicide, workplace incidents, railway accidents, fire, and more. Through education, knowledge and empowerment, groups like Parachute Canada are battling preventable injury and working to eliminate its devastating personal and societal effects. To learn more about Parachute, its mandate and resources, visit

Patrick Brown


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