Ottawa personal injury lawyer discusses trampoline accidents.

Trampoline Accidents and Personal Injuries

Trampolines. Are they fun? Yes.  Are they a novelty? Yes. Are they safe ? In my opinion, no.  There are many reasons why I would recommend keeping your children off recreational trampolines.  Typically most trampoline accidents and injuries occur when there is more than one user.  Often times there is more than one jumper and the lighter jumper is much more likely to be injured. In fact according to the Canadian Pediatric Society stated that 3/4 of injuries that occur on a trampoline happen when there are multiple jumpers.  The severity of injuries increases by 14 % if there is one jumper much heavier than the other. In fact, in children younger than 5 years old, the rate of bone fractures and dislocations is close to 48%.

Common trampoline injuries

The most common trampoline injuries are broken bones, fractured bones, dislocated shoulders, sprains and in more severe cases, head injuries, spinal injuries and neurological damage. A US study completed back in 2000 found that 1 out of every 200 trampoline accidents lead to some sort of neurological damage. I suspect with the cost of recreational trampolines coming down and more selection in the market the number of sales has gone up, as well as the number of injuries.

Common misconceptions : trampoline accidents

One of the most common beliefs about trampolines is that if there is a net surrounding the trampoline mat, then it is safe.  Most trampoline injuries don’t involve someone bouncing outside the trampoline. Most trampoline accidents occur on the trampoline mat itself. Flips and somersaults gone wrong can lead to some of the most sever injuries; such as a head injury or a spinal injury. No net can prevent this type of trampoline accident.

The Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program reported that in a 5 year study there were a total of 4247 reported trampoline accidents resulting in injuries. Of these 4247 trampoline injuries, 40 % were children under the age of 5 years old.  It’s important to note that this is not the total number of trampoline accidents; rather the number of reported trampoline accidents. The Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, also conducted a study in the US and found that in a 10 year period, there were more than 1 million visits to emergency rooms for people who were injured in a trampoline accident. Our very own CHEO – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario reported approximately 50 trampoline accident visits per year. While 50 visits a year may not seem like much, remember that this is just one hospital in our area.

I know we can’t have our children live in a bubble; however as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I am strongly urging you consider this information the next time your child asks you to go on a recreational trampoline.  If you chose to allow your child, please consider closely supervising the number of people on the trampoline at one time and check to make sure all nets and safety equipment is properly installed. The Canadian Safety Council recommends at the very least setting the following non-negotiable rules: 1) one person at a time on the trampoline 2) no flips or somersaults 3) no jumping on or off the trampoline.

David Hollingsworth is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa, Ontario and the father of three young children.  Child safety is of paramount importance. Please, play safe.


Winter Tobogganing in Ottawa. What you need to teach your children…

Winter tobogganing in Ottawa ….

Most schools are out tomorrow for the holidays and that means children will be looking for activities.  What’s on the top of my3  kid’s list? Tobogganing ! Ottawa has an abundance of hills open for tobogganing.  While it’s a great sport and very fun, it is also a sport that has it’s fair share of serious injuries. Each year hundreds of people are injured and many require medical attention. The City of Ottawa has a wealth of information related to tobogganing in Ottawa. Please check out their website.

Youth between the ages of 5-9  make up for 40 %  of toboggan related injuries in Canada. A  number of these injuries result in concussions, internal injuries or broken bones. (Statistics: Canadian Hospital’s Injury Reporting Prevention Program). Most injuries are caused by hitting another object such as a tree, a rock, a sign or from being thrown from the toboggan with force.

We are not trying to be alarmists,  we simply want to remind everyone that tobogganing can be enjoyed; however, a few safety steps can be put in place before your children head off to the hills.

We’ve scoured various websites and here are a few suggestions on how to try as much as possible to prevent injuries.

Help keep your tobogganing safe by….

  • Checking  weather conditions before you head out.
  • Checking  the physical condition of the hill to make sure it is safe. Check for hazards.
  • Make sure the slope of the hill isn’t too steep or fast.
  • Do not toboggan in dark areas where visibility is limited.
  • Always wear a CSA approved helmet.
  • Always sit  facing forward.
  • Keep your hands, arms and legs inside the toboggan and do not use your arms to break.
  • Do not wear scarfs and make sure all strings on hats and mits are tied up.  Any loose clothing could catch and become a hazard.
  • When tobogganing , go one at a time, do not follow closely behind another toboggan.
  • Children under the age of 5 should not be on a toboggan by themselves as they cannot control it.
  • Teach your children that once they reach the bottom of the hill, they must quickly and carefully get to the side and be watching for oncoming sledders.
  • Teach your children to safely climb back up the hill on the sides.

Have a great, safe holiday season and have fun tobogganing !

 


How Ottawa injury lawyers can help protect an injured child’s compensation after an accident.

If your child has been injured in an accident in Ontario, it’s important that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you meet or speak with your insurance company.  The rules surrounding a child personal injury lawsuit and settlement are different from in a settlement case involving an adult.

When a parent commences a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a child, they need to understand that their child will not receive the settlement monies until they reach the age of 18 years old. We often have clients who are unsure what to do with the compensation they receive for their child.  Depending on the circumstances, we recommend several different options.  A structured settlement is often the best solution for a child’s settlement.  A structured settlement is when a registered insurance company will take over the settlement monies and pay out a set amount each year over the course of the child’s life.  In most cases this pay out amount is also a tax-free set amount. Depending on the age of the child at the time of the accident, this usually makes the most sense.  If the injured child is close to reaching 18 years of age, it may not be the most cost-effective plan, as the fees associated with a structured settlement might outweight the payout if the investment period is not very long .

Depending on the nature of the injuries, parents can also opt to have a trustee appointed and the trustee then holds the money.  This is often the case when a child is disabled and may not be able to decide how best to manage their money.

It is tough to know what is best to do and what’s best for your child.  We are able to help give you advice on this and help you come to the right decision, based on what’s best for your child and your family. One of the most important details every parent needs to know is that a settlement for a child in a personal injury case must be court approved.  This is done to protect you and make sure that your child is being treated fairly .  The Court will review the legal fees being charged by your personal injury lawyer, as well as the settlement amount being offered by the insurance company.  In both cases, the amount must be fair and comparable to other similar personal injury cases.

Although, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers do not recommend it, you may decide to work directly with the insurance company and negotiate your own settlement amount. At the very least, we urge you to consult with an experience personal injury lawyer and have them review what is being offered to you . An experienced child personal injury lawyer can give you comparison settlement amounts on the spot and help you decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer.  These consultations are free with most personal injury lawyers, so you have nothing to lose. In most cases, our Ottawa injury lawyers, not only offer excellent advice, they are able to point out many other accident benefits available to children that most people are unaware of.

Regardless of what stage you may be at in your personal injury lawsuit, you need to be informed and know your rights.  You are not only caring for an injured child, you will need to make incredible important decisions for their future.  We highly recommend you consult with an experienced child injury lawyer and take the time to decide what’s best for your child and your family. Our Ottawa injury lawyers can help you with this. We understand, we care and we’re here to help.

 


Ottawa child car seat inspections. Is your child car seat properly installed ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.   Last week my wife was driving down Merivale road and a police officer flagged her down and pulled her over.  She  couldn’t figure out why she was being pulled over until the officer approached her and told her they were doing random car seat inspections. ! I love this idea. It didn’t take long but they were able to look in the vehicle and inspect the installation of any existing car seats.  This got me thinking, I know there are many people who would love this random check and I wondered how they could get their car seat inspected to make sure it is properly installed.  I went online and found many resources in the Ottawa area.  One that had a great website was S.E.A.T.S. for Kids,  is a non-profit organization in Ottawa that focuses on the proper use of child restraint systems. They offer a wide variety of services including:

  • car seat inspections
  • nationally recognized certification courses
  • information sessions regarding seat safety
  • seat safety seminars
  • appearances at Ottawa events

Did you know that Transport Canada reports that each year, 10,000 children 12 and under the age of 12 are injured in accidents ? Car accidents are the leading cause of children and youth deaths (Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program).

Every child’s safety is imperative and it is our responsibility as adults to make sure that we do whatever it takes to keep our children as safe as possible. If you are unsure of whether or not you have installed your car seat properly, don’t take the chance. There are many  inspection clinics you can attend and have your seats checked by a certified inspector.  S.E.A.T.S is offering clinics next month on November 9th and 30th. For more information, please visit their website. While you are there, I encourage you to explore their website , offering valuable information on car seat recalls and other safety information such as when to move a child into and out of a booster seat, expiry dates on car seats, etc…

 


Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth on what you need to know about child car seats.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth.

 I clearly remember the day our now 10 year old was born and how nervous I was driving that little human being home.  It felt like we had driven for an hour, when we arrived home safe and sound.  Now, I should mention I live extremely close to the hospital.  In fact, I think the drive was probably close to 4 minutes long. Even though I had brought our car and baby seat to the nearest fire station to have it inspected, I was still so nervous that very first time I drove home one of our children…


In Ottawa, it is estimated that more than 80 % of child car seats are used incorrectly.  Since accidents are the leading cause of injuries and deaths in children under the age of 14. These statistics are alarming.  Something as simple as installing and using a car seat properly can save thousands of lives.  If used correctly, a car seat reduces the number of  deaths by 90 % and also reduced the number of serious personal injuries by 70 %.  Knowing these statistics, how can anyone not take the time and effort to make sure a child is secured safely in a car?

The safest location for installed car seats  is in the middle and back of the car. As long as the seat belt is compatible with the child car seat, this is the safest place for a child to sit in a car. The Ontario government mandates that children being transported are secured properly in an appropriate car seat : infant seat (bucket seat) , child seat, or booster seat. It is important to note that a booster seat provides more than 60 % protection compared to a seat belt.

The Ontario government requires children under the age 8 who weigh more than 18 kg but less than 36 kg (40-80 lb.), and who are less than 145 centimetres or  4’9” tall be in a car seat. Only after a child exceeds any one of these criteria, can they move to using a seat belt .

If you are unsure of how to properly install your car there are resources all over Ottawa. For example, the Ottawa Safety Council is currently launching a new car seat inspection and car seat installation program in the Ottawa area. The program is called ” BEST FIT” and the Ottawa Safety Council will be running various clinics where a certified technician can inspect and install your child car seat for you. You must register for this free program on their website.

All of our children are precious and we need to do everything we can to keep them safe.  Please take the time to make sure your child is safe.

For more information that relates to child injuries, safety and accidents, please visit our website at www.ottawainjury.ca .

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

****some information in this post was originally posted on the City of Ottawa’s website

Ottawa injury lawyers on texting and driving statistics. What can we do?

Teenage texting and driving has become a huge area of concern for new drivers.  Thankfully, most new drivers now understand and respect the dangers of drinking and driving but unfortunately texting and driving seems to be the new focus.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)  reported that 35 people died last year because of distracted driving and 1,000 suffered serious personal injuries as a result of texting and driving.

The following statistics were found at www.textinganddrivingsafety.com.  This website  is an incredible website devoted tothe elimination of drivers from texting when driving. I encourage you to visit this site for many valuable resources, statistics, videos, campaigns, pledges and tools designed to share the text free driving message.

The reality of texting and driving..

  • In 2011, there were a reported 1.3 million car accidents involving cell phones.
  • The chances of being in an accident increase by 23X when you are texting. (National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.)

Texting while driving causes…

  • 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
  • 330,000 personal injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
  • 11 teenage fatalities daily  – Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts
  • Close to 25% of  motor vehicle accidents

Texting when driving is:

  • About 6 X more likely to cause an accident than driving impaired
  • As dangerous as driving after drinking 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
  • The main cause of distracted driving for teenage drivers

Texting While Driving:

  • Is as dangerous as the driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute
  • Takes place at any giver moment across the country by close to 800,000 drivers.
  • Slows your braking speed reaction by 18% – HumanFactors & Ergonomics Society

The statistics don’t lie. Texting and driving has become a huge concern for all of us.  This blog post focussed on teenagers and texting but that’s not to say they are the only ones. Adults are also texting and driving and often times their children are watching. We must educate our teenagers and all drivers to put down the phone and focus on the road. It has taken our society awhile to get there with drinking and driving and we still have a long ways to go; however, this newest generation of drivers seems to be understanding it more and more. Now, we must do the same with texting and driving.  I have 3 children who will all start driving in the next 10 years so I feel very strongly about this issue.  Would love to hear your thoughts on what you think we can do to help eliminate texting and driving.

Throughout the years I have met with far too many families who have lost a loved one in an accident because someone was texting and driving.  It is so hard for the families to understand how these accidents happen. I’m here to tell you, they do and they are devastating.

 


Highway 417 accident sends 15 year old to hospital with serious injuries and death of Inas Naseif Bolus.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa David Hollingsworth.

The Ontario Provincial Police have released the identity of  the deceased driver of the July 16 accident on Highway 417 in North Glengarry as  47-year-old Inas Naseif Bolus from Ottawa. Bolus had been travelling with a 15-year-old male passenger who was rushed to an Ottawa hospital with serious personal injuries.  Police reported that the vehicle Bolus was driving was travelling along highway 417 and landed in a ditch. My thoughts go out to the Bolus family and friends and I hope the 15 year old is able to fully recover from this accident.

The cause of the accident is unknown at this time. The accident is under investigation. If you have any information, please contact the OPP. The OPP are asking for witnesses to help determine what caused the accident. The police are asking anyone who witnessed the accident or have any information to call the SDG detachment at 1-888-310-1122 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Any information you can help with can be tremendously helpful when it comes to figuring out why this accident on Highway 417 occurred.  It may also help prevent future accidents.

 


Ride on lawnmower accident severs 3 year old’s foot. A tragic reminder for us all to be careful with the use of ride on lawnmowers.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.  A recent  terrible lawnmower accident reminds us all of the dangers of ride-on lawnmowers.  It’s easy to forget how quickly accidents can happen with these vehicles. On Wednesday, a 3 year little boy has had his foot severed off  as a result of his leg being  run over by a tractor in L’Ange Gardien. The young boy’s uncle had been mowing the grass when the terrible accident occurred. The young boy was immediately rushed to CHEO and treated for his injuries.

Unfortunately this type of accident is not uncommon.  Many ride on recreational vehicles tip easily and become hazards.  Something as innocent as cutting the grass can turn into a terrible and dangerous situation.

Here are a few things you can do to help ensure a safer experience:

  • Always start your lawnmower while in the driver’s seat.
  • Never stand next to the lawnmower while it is running.
  • ƒDisengage the lawnmower and transmission before you start to use it.
  • ƒEngage the blades at the lowest engine setting first and then slowly release the brakes.
  • Stay clear of objects such as trees, rocks and shrubs.
  • ƒAlways slow down when turning the lawn mower.
  • Never put your hands or feet near the blades or under the lawnmower.
  • ƒClean clippings and debris from your lawn mower after each use.

Accidents can happen anytime , anywhere. This tragic accident is just another reminder of how in a split second an accident can happen. My thoughts go out to this young boy, his family and his uncle.
If you have been injured in an accident or lost a loved one in an accident, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are here for you. Call or email us with any questions or concerns you may have that relate to personal injury or your insurance claims.  We offer free consultations throughout eastern Ontario and will travel to you if that is more comfortable for you.  You have been through enough, let us help.

Visit  www.ottawainjury.ca or call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203 . If you have any questions , please contact us.


Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth gives free legal advice today on CTV news at noon

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth on CTV news.

Please join personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth this afternoon on CTV news at noon with Leanne Cusack. We’ve had some great questions come in so far and I’m looking forward to today’s segment as the ask the expert on CTV.  On today’s show we hope to cover questions that relate to:

Summer safety, pool safety, water parks and off-road vehicles.

A few questions that were sent to our Ottawa injury lawyers and we hope to be able to cover relate to:

  • A deceased family member and a lost will. What should you do?
  • “Lemon clauses” when it comes to buying used cars
  • A Quebec resident who was in a car accident in Ontario. Which insurance regime to go through- Ontario insurance or Quebec insurance?
  • Difficulties with a contractor mid renovations the cost of the renovation doubles. What can you do?
  • Child injuries and how to proceed

We hope you are able to tune in at noon today on CTV. We look forward to answering all your legal questions.  If we can’t get to your question on today’s segment, feel free to email me directly at david@ottawainjury.ca and I would be happy to help.

Who doesn’t need free legal advice?

David Hollingsworth will be appearing regularly on CTV news and is available to answer your questions on or off the air. Whichever you are most comfortable with. If you have a legal question you would like answered on CTV news or need some free legal advice, contact David and he will happily offer free legal counselling. Even if your question does not pertain to personal injury, David can answer your question and if it is very specific, he can refer you to other reputable Ottawa lawyers who specialize in your field of interest.


City of Ottawa introduces new by-laws for Ottawa pools.

Avoiding Ottawa accidents: Know City of Ottawa pool by-laws

Ottawa Ontario Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth . I am pleased with and totally support the City of Ottawa’s new by-laws that aim to reduce the number of pool related accidents each year in Ottawa. Drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death among young children in Ontario, after motor vehicle accidents. According to CBC  News, kids under 5 are at greatest risk of drownings and toddlers faced almost half of near-drowning injuries. The article was published according to data from the Canadian Institute for Health.

Although most drowning incidents do not actually involve swimming. In fact,  76%  were close to swimming pools, decks or a beach. Thankfully, the city of Ottawa’s new by-laws call for all existing pool gates with a permit to have a padlock. The city of Ottawa believes that education and locked gates are key strategies in reducing Ottawa pool accidents. The city of Ottawa has also updated fencing requirements for wading pools, hot tubs and fish ponds. Under the new City of Ottawa by-law, every fence must be at least 5 feet high.

This summer, to try to enforce the new by-laws, the City of Ottawa will be sending out people door to door to check that all pool enclosures abide by the new by-laws.

We all have responsibility in this.  As a parent, we must educate our children on what to do in and near pools and water. As pool owners, you have the extra responsibility of ensuring that your property is perfectly safe. There were tragic drownings last year in Ottawa. We need to learn from this and ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our kids and city safe.

Please take the time and talk to your children about pool safety. A regular review of pool safety and drowning prevention could save your child’s life.