What are the height and weight limits for child and infant car seats ?

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth….It seems like yesterday,  but 11 years ago I sat at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus with our first-born and prepared to drive him home.  I was almost as nervous for this drive home as I was the delivery. Like any first time parent , I kept thinking …Is this seat safely installed? Did I do it right?  I read up online and even called a friend who was a fire fighter to walk me through it…Then, as time went on, a second and third child came and we were constantly juggling various car seats, booster seats, rear-facing this, forward-facing that, watching their weight and wondering when it was time to move onto the next…If any of this sounds familiar or if you are about to enter these years, I would like to share with you what I know when it comes to car seats…

Shoulder Straps:

When an infant is in a rear-facing car seat it’s important that the top of the shoulder straps are below or at the baby’s shoulders. It’s important that the straps are in the proper place as to properly secure the infant.

The “bucket seat”:

In almost every case, an infant is safest in a rear-facing car seat. It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. There are even some rear facing car seats that allow a child to be rear facing up to 45 pounds. Consider this when purchasing your car seat.  It is significantly safer to keep children in rear-facing car seats.

Harness:

It’s important to make sure the harness of any child car seat, especially infant car seats is properly secured. Once your infant is secure in their car seat, test to make sure it is tight enough to your child’s shoulders. You should only be able to fit one finger between the car seat harness and your child’s collarbone. If there is more room, your harness straps are too loose and need to be tightened.

Where the buckle should be positioned:

The buckle that clips over the infants chest should be between the nipples and your infant’s armpits. It’s important that this buckle is not too high or low. If the buckle is out of place, your infant could in fact fly out of the car seat on impact.

Changes in weight and height:

It’s important to keep an eye on your child’s weight and height when it comes to having them in the proper car seat. As soon as they have reached a weight or height limit, it’s imperative you move them to the next level of child car seat. For rear-facing car seats, this means when there is less than an inch of the hard shell left at the top of the seat above your child’s head. As for weight limitations in children’s car seats, they do vary a bit and I would advise you to check with the manufacturer model to be certain and follow these guidelines to a tee.

Remove thick outer wear:

You would be surprised by how much space an infant or child coat takes up.  It’s always safest to remove your child’s coat before strapping them in.  This allows for the straps to be as secure as possible , avoiding any gaps that may potentially arise from outer wear.

Get informed:

If you are not feeling confident and still have some doubts about whether or not you are using the right car seat , it’s best you seek answers.  There are many, many valuable resources such as Transport Canada https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safedrivers-childsafety-car-time-stage1-1084.htm

Parachute Canada http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/topic/C2

or call  1-866-SEAT-CHECK

A little bit or research and a little bit of time could save your child’s life. Drive safely and hug your loved ones.

Since 1999, David Hollingsworth and his Ottawa personal injury lawyer team have been  helping people who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident in Ontario. We devote ourselves to safety and helping people through some of the most difficult days. For more information, please visit us at www.ottawainjury.ca or call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203 . Email us any question at david@ottawainjury.ca   -We understand, we care and we’re here to help and our track record proves it.

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Will stiffer distracted driving fines in Ontario help reduce accidents in Ottawa ?

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth on distracted driving… With the increase in distracted driving fines last month there has been a lot of information about distracted driving released.  The most startling fact is that Ontario Provincial Police announced that distracted driving is the number one killer on our province’s roads.  More people died as a result of distracted driving than any other reason in Ontario. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, last year there were a total of 78 fatal accidents related to distracted driving,  57 fatal accidents related to impaired driving and 44 fatal accidents related to speeding.

Earlier this month, a new legislation was put in place and saw fines for distracted driving rise from $225 from $155.  The Ontario government is  also proposing new legislation that would further penalize distracted drivers by having them lose 3 demerit points, as well as give judges the authority to raise the amount of distracted driving  fines up to  $1,000.    In other serious cases, police also have an option of laying a “Careless Driving” charge under the Highway Traffic Act. The Careless Driving charge has serious penalties such as a loss of 6 demerit points, fines of up to $2,000 and possible jail time.  The question remains …will this be enough to deter drivers?

I also wanted to mention that distracted driving happens at all age levels, young and old.  It’s not just new drivers and “the younger generation”.  We now live in a world where many; young and old,  are glued to their devices for work and personal reasons. It’s important to note that distracted driving is not just talking and texting on your phone.  It’s taking your eyes off the road.  Distracted driving can include getting something out of your purse, tending to children in the back seat, changing radio stations etc…Essentially it can be anything that diverts your attention. The distracted driving section of the Highway Traffic act law only deals with handheld electronic devices. This means that these other activities can be very distracting and dangerous but they are not against the law. According to The Ministry of Transportation Ontario’s distracted driving law is aimed at  a particular form of  distracted driving; which is the use of hand-held communication and entertainment devices and display screens. In time, will we need to revisit was is legally considered “distracted driving” ?

Please focus on the road.  We need every driver on the road to be concentrating on the roads and their surroundings so that our roads are safer for everyone. Drive safely !

Since 1999, David Hollingsworth and his personal injury team have been  helping people who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident in Ontario. We devote ourselves to safety and helping people through some of the most difficult days of their lives. For more information, please visit us at www.ottawainjury.ca or call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203 . Email us at david@ottawainjury.ca We understand, we care and we’re here to help.

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Ottawa personal injury lawyers reflect on Bill 171.

Personal Injury Lawyers Ottawa.  The Ontario’s Minister of Finance recently  introduced Bill 171. This bill is entitled  the “Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act” and claims to be put in place to help Ontario drivers.

The question is …Is it helping drivers or helping insurance companies?   A very important provision in the bill lowers the interest rate paid by the insurance companies from 5% to 1.3%.  As  Ottawa personal injury lawyers , we feel that this highly impacts our personal injury clients .  Insurance companies will now be less inclined to settle and pay out benefits to people who have been injured and are waiting and relying heavily on this money.  A lower interest rate will not be incentive for insurance companies to settle quicker. This delay in payment may directly impact the lives of people who are waiting to rebuild their lives and often cannot afford such delays. This reduction in interest rate may cause a serious injustice. Insurance companies will now be in a position where they could potentially invest the funds and make more profit by delaying b the payout.

Bill 171 also eliminates powers given to arbitrators from the Financial Services Commission Ontario (FSCO) who review the personal injury cases and decide whether or not both sides are acting fairly. Arbitrations will now be conducted through the Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal. As Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we find all these changes very disturbing.  It seems these changes are being made quickly and there doesn’t seem to be many opportunities for input from stakeholders. Perhaps this is by design ?

Over the past few years there have been numerous changes and reductions to Ontario accident benefits and the insurance regime. These changes are not to be taken lightly as they have serious and potentially devastating consequences for Ontario drivers who have been seriously injured.

If you have questions that relate to insurance and accident benefits in Ontario, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are here to help you. We can offer you free advice and help you decide what your best options are if you have been injured in an accident in Ontario.  We have over 25 years experience in maximizing insurance claims and helping people rebuild their lives.  Contact us free of charge at www.ottawainjury.ca


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Ottawa accident Rideau st leaves man in critical condition.

Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth.  Another terrible Ottawa pedestrian accident occurred last week between Sussex and Nicholas .  It’s not the first accident in this busy downtown area.   Ottawa Police investigated the Ottawa pedestrian accident that occurred early one morning at approximately 3 a.m. Ottawa paramedics arrived at the accident scene and found a male pedestrian who had been hit  in front of 99 Rideau St. The injured man was said to be in his 20s and had suffered life-threatening injuries and was unresponsive.  He was rushed to an Ottawa hospital in critical condition.  Our thoughts go out to this young man and his family and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Ottawa’s downtown core is a busy area, no matter what time of day.  Many downtown Ottawa accidents involve pedestrians.  What many pedestrians do not know is that they are entitled to various accident benefits through the insurance company of the driver involved in the accident.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are available and will travel to your house, home or hospital to explain to pedestrians their rights and walk them through which accident benefits are available to pedestrians who have been injured. If you have a question and want to know more information about insurance claims, accidents in Ottawa, or personal injury , our Ottawa injury lawyers are available to help.

Since 1999, we have helped hundreds of people rebuild their lives following an accident.  We also understand that sometimes all people need is advice and guidance. We are here to offer our expertise.  Let our Ottawa personal injury lawyers help.

—-Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Holllingsworth has been helping people in Ottawa since 1999 and  has built a team of  Ottawa personal injury lawyers, Ontario accident benefit specialists and  injury law clerks who devote themselves to helping people throughout eastern Ontario and Ottawa.  David and his injury  team are devoted to the safety of others. If you would like more information on personal injury, insurance claims, safety concerns, accident information,  please contact us at www.ottawainjury.ca.  We understand, we care, we’re here to help and our track record  proves it.

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Will an increase in distracted driving fines help eliminate accidents ? Our Ottawa injury lawyers hope so.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth..Last year far too many people were killed  directly as a result of  distracted driving. Did you know that distracted driving has now become one of the main causes of accidents? As handheld devices become more and more popular, distracted driving is on the rise. The Ontario government is concerned and wants to do something about.  Despite more education surrounding the dangers of distracted driving, accidents continue to occur.  In response, fines for distracted driving are set to nearly double on March 18, 2014.

The decision to increase the fine for driving while using a hand-held device such as a cellphone, smartphone or MP3 player  to $280 from $155 starting March 18 was delivered by a chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.

According to CAA statistics,  the Canadian Automobile Association states that cell phone use is the worst offender when it comes to causes of car accidents. Specifically texting, as the act of texting causes you to be 23 times more likely that you’ll cause an accident. These statistics are even higher that impaired driving.

The Ontario Provincial Police issued 19,000 tickets in the Ottawa region last year for distracted driving and this is raising concern about the fate of motorists on roadways. In the Ottawa area 78 people died as a result of distracted driving last year.  How tragic ! These deaths were avoidable !

As Ottawa personal injury lawyers , we read accident reports daily and often times distracted driving plays a role.  Sadly, this is not uncommon.  It’s everyone’s job to respect their lives and the lives of others and put your phone away while driving. If it’s an urgent matter and you need to read or send a text, then  pull over to a safe place and do what you need to do. As parents, we also need to stress the dangers of distracted driving with our children and new drivers.  Lead by example and discuss with your children the dangers and realities of distracted driving.  As a society, we all need to be a part of the solution and help eliminate distracted driving.  Do your part and save lives.

For more information on safety and laws in Ontario, please visit our website at www.ottawainjury.ca . Since 1999, David Hollingsworth has been an Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer dedicated to safety and helping people in eastern Ontario.  Throughout the years David has built an incredible personal injury team who share a common interest in helping people who have been injured.  David Hollingsworth and the team work closely with clients and  clients’ families to help rebuild lives following an accident in Ontario.  Email us at david@ottawainjury.ca with any legal or safety question you may have and we would be happy to answer.

“We understand, we care and we’re here to help..and our track record proves it”

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Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth discusses snowmobile accidents.

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa, David Hollingsworth…

There have been in an increase in snowmobile accidents in the Ottawa area and throughout eastern Ontario.  Our region is surrounded by many snowmobile trails. There is no doubt that snowmobiling is a very popular winter sport. It is however , a sport that comes with it’s risks. There is not only the fact that snowmobile riders are driving a 450 pound machine, they are also driving with very little protection. Then there are also the obstacles in nature such as thinning ice, protruding branches and other obstacles on the roads and trails. Often times these snowmobile accidents  result in serious personal injury such as brain injuries, spinal injuries , broken bones, spinal injuries, concussions and sadly, many die each year from snowmobile accidents.

Many people do not know that a snowmobile is considered a motor vehicle and a snowmobile accident is treated the same as a car accident when it comes to accident benefits and insurance claims. You are not required to have a separate insurance policy for your snowmobile if you are trying to access accident benefits.  If you have been injured in a snowmobile accident and do not have your own insurance policy , you can still have options.

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in snowmobile accidents and know how to access maximum compensation for people involved in snowmobile accidents.  We are here to offer our support and expertise.  Call an Ottawa personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation and help in figuring out what’s best for you and your family. Let’s start your road to recovery.

If you have been in a snowmobile accident and are injured, we can help.  it is imperative you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.  It’s important you know your rights and we get you what you need. Visit our Ottawa personal injury lawyers at www.ottawainjury.ca . We will travel to you.

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Changes to Ontario Accident Benefits and the Minor Injury Guideline.

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa, David Hollingsworth…The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has again made some changes to Ontario accident benefits and unfortunately, in my opinion as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, these changes do not favour Ontario drivers, should they become injured in an accident and need to access their accident benefits.  One of the  recent changes in accident benefits  has to do with the MIG (Minor Injury Guideline)  and it requires a pre-existing condition to have been included in a medical note by a health professional to get out of the Minor Injury Guideline.

As of February 1, 2014, the Government of Ontario has decided that Ontario drivers who are accessing their accident benefits and who fall under the Minor Injury Guideline are limited to the cap of $3,500.00 UNLESS they have a  pre-existing medical condition and this pre-existing medical condition must have been documented by a health practitioner prior to the accident.  This is a new requirement. Before February 1, 2014,  pre-existing medical conditions did not need to be documented.  Essentially , what this means is that if you were injured before but had perhaps  not sought out medical treatment that was documented, then you will not be considered for the exclusion of minor injury guidelines and most likely your treatment will be limited to the $3,500.00 cap.

This change in accident benefits highlights why it is critical to treat any injury as serious. Most people think things will heal naturally over time and often can’t find the time to get to the hospital or doctor.  With wait times the way they are, it is understandable; however these types of changes highly why Ontario drivers need to make this a priority. Unfortunately, once an accident has occurred, you can’t turn back the clock.

If you have been in an accident and are injured, it is imperative you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.  It’s important you know your rights and leave no stone unturned in the event that weeks, months or years later your injuries prevent you from a quality of life you once had.  If you have a question or would like more information about the recent changes to Ontario Accident Benefits,  contact us at www.ottawainjury.ca . We would be happy to sit down with you free of charge .

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Another reduction in accident benefits for Ontario drivers.

Why are Ontario drivers not purchasing additional accident benefits?

In January of  2011, FSCO: Financial Services Commission of Ontario lead a study and surveyed the people of Ontario, in particular,  the largest automobile insurance insurers in Ontario.  The survey looked at  24 large insurance companies that help close the 3/4 of the Ontario insurance market.  Sadly the results from the survey indicated that  most people are not purchasing the extra additional accident benefits avail ale to them. In fact, most drivers were unaware of the optional benefits. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I find this very disturbing.  It seems that insurance benefits available to drivers are continuing to be reduced year after year, yet premiums are remaining the same.

As of February 1, 2014, more disturbing reductions in accident benefits came into play. The newest reductions affect attendant care, pre-existing conditions under MIG (the Minor Injury Guideline)  and the election of benefits.  Unfortunately these changes do not favour Ontario drivers, as they are significant reductions.

Of particular note is the reduction in attendant care. The new attendant care provisions reverse the law as established by the Court of Appeal in Henry v. Gore.  What this case established was the amount of “economic loss” is a threshold requirement for payment of an attendant care benefit.   Essentially why this case was so important was because it addressed that is an attendant care provider was not acting in the course of his or her ordinary employment, then the amount of benefit payable to them was not to exceed the amount of monies they would have earned in their regular employment.   This amendment  can leave families in a difficult position as they may not be able to afford to care for their own family members. In other words, if your income is lower than the benefit  pay out, you will only get paid what you would have otherwise made at your regular job.  So for example, if you are a stay-at-home parent and do not have an income, you will receive nothing for attendant care benefits . This forces many families in a situation of not being able to  afford to care for their loved ones with injuries and professional providers will need to be hired.

Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth appeared on CTV news this week and discussed these changes and the implications of the changes for Ontario drivers and their families. In case you missed it, please visit the CTV news at noon website and watch the video.

If you have any questions that relate to the amendments in Ontario insurance, personal injury, or accidents, please fell free to contact us and we would be happy to help.

–Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth and his team of injury lawyers, accident benefit specialists and staff have been helping people in Ottawa and  eastern Ontario since 1999 . We understand, we care, we’re here to help and our track record  proves it. Visit our website at www.ottawainjury.ca for more information.

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Has your accident benefits claim been denied ? You have options.

You might be surprised to know that many insurance claims are denied benefits. I often meet with clients who have been told that their expenses will not be covered by their insurance company.  Inevitably, they are provided some sort of reason.  Other times, clients have been receiving accident benefits and are then notified by their insurance company that they their claim is being reviewed and reassessed and that they may be “cut-off”.  Sadly, some people accept this and end up continuing life injured , without access to benefits that are much-needed. Once their benefits are denied they think that they have no other options.

Insurance companies must assess every injury claim and the proposed treatment plan and from there determine what they believe to be necessary expenditures. Often times, the insurance company will conduct their own assessment by hiring their own medical professionals to perform an assessment. Sometimes the assessment from the insurance company are vastly different from our client’s initial assessments. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have seen this many times.  We understand how the system works and we make sure that our medical assessments are also taken into consideration and that our clients are treated fairly.  We know how important it is to show the severity of our clients’ injuries and that proper compensation is awarded.

If a person has been denied a particular benefit, they must apply to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario “FSCO” to mediate the denied benefit.  FSCO is required to schedule a mediation of the dispute within 60 days of receiving the application for mediation. However, many injured people find that the wait time for a mediation date is much longer.

Often times,  it begins with one benefit being denied. What then happens is that  a FSCO mediation is schedule to try to attempt a resolution. At a mediation, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers present the case and negotiate for what is right. Often times , at the mediation stage, the insurance company will offer a settlement amount, which is a sum of money to close out the file. This is where personal injury lawyers make all the difference because not only are they highly experienced in this negotiation process, they are armed with their own reports, prognosis  and medical examinations that can prove the long-term implications of the specific injuries and therefore what amount of compensation is truly needed long-term.

If the mediation is not successful and both parties do not agree, then typically the next step is for a personal injury lawyer to file a ” Statement of Claim” . At this stage, a judge or arbitrator is hired to access the benefits being denied and give a ruling as to whether or not they should be compensated.  Individuals who have been denied accident benefits are in a difficult spot.  They are injured and they need compensation and support.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers spend their days helping people get all the support and maximum compensation they are entitled to.

In every case, the facts will vary. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and it is always best you sit down and discuss your situation. Experienced personal injury lawyers can walk you through the steps and give you an idea of what you might expect.  There are timelines that need to be met and forms that must be filled out and filed.  You don’t need to do this alone.

Since 1999, David Hollingsworth and his personal injury team have been  helping people who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident in Ontario. We devote ourselves to helping people through some of the most difficult days of their lives by being there for them and their families. Our goal is to help people rebuild  lives following an accident.  We can help by offering free consultations and traveling to you wherever you are most comfortable meeting: home, our office,  hospital , rehabilitation centre etc. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca or call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203 . Email us at david@ottawainjury.ca We understand, we care and we’re here to help.

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Increase in City of Ottawa lawsuits and OC Transpo bus accident lawsuits.

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa

Suing the City of Ottawa ?  CBC news reported that the City of Ottawa paid out more than $1.4 million in the last three months of last year for  lawsuits related to accidents between motor vehicles and  OC Transpo.  None of these lawsuits include injury lawsuits or wrongful death lawsuits from last fall’s terrible accident between an OC Transpo bus and VIA Rail.

Most of the claims against the City of Ottawa are personal injury lawsuits and in most cases could have been avoided and consequently  OC Transpo  is looking at ways to improve and deliver a safer ride to almost 400 000 passenger trips daily.

In 2013, there was a total of 57 personal injury claims filed against the City of Ottawa  involving motor vehicle collisions and these personal injury claims totalled $5,013,823.45 . It was reported in CBC news that this amount is double the amount from last year.  It was also reported that there are more than 300 outstanding personal injury lawsuits.

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I can attest that there are likely many personal injury lawsuits to come as a result of the deadly OC Transpo / Via Rail accident last fall.  Many people are just now evaluating the extent of their injuries. Our personal injury lawyers are contacted regularly and asked to advise on legal rights and timelines when it comes to suing the City of Ottawa.  I have provided links to some relevant posts that answer most of these questions.

Slip and Fall Accident on City of Ottawa property:

http://www.ottawainjury.ca/lawyers/ottawa-personal-injury-accidents/slip-and-fall-accident-on-city-of-ottawa-property/13012014

OC Transpo Bus Accidents

http://www.ottawainjury.ca/lawyers/ottawa-personal-injury-accidents/ottawa-injury-lawyers-know-your-legal-rights-after-an-oc-transpo-bus-accident/08102013

http://www.ottawainjury.ca/lawyers/ottawa-personal-injury-accidents/ottawa-oc-transpo-accident-lawyers-advice-and-support-for-accident-victims/19092013

The City of Ottawa has certain timelines that must be adhered to when filing a lawsuit against the City of Ottawa.  It’s important that you know what is required of you in a timely manner.  If you are unsure visit our website at www.ottawainjury.ca or call us for a free consultation at (613) 978-9549 and we can answer any questions you may have.

—-Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth has been helping people in eastern Ontario since 1999 and  has built an incredible team of  Ottawa injury lawyers, accident benefit specialists and  injury law clerks who devote themselves to helping people throughout eastern Ontario and Ottawa. If you would like more information on personal injury, insurance claims, safety concerns, accident information, feel free to contact us.   We can assist in any way we can. We understand, we care, we’re here to help and our track record  proves it.

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