Social Host Liability : Entertaining over the holidays? Ensure the safety of your guests.

Social Host Liability

Inviting a few friends over to celebrate the season or ring in the new year? Your social host liability and responsibilities go further than just providing the memorable music, drinks and delicious appetizers. As a social host, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your guests. While you don’t have the same responsibilities as someone who runs a bar or restaurant, if you are having an event in your home or on your property where alcohol is served, you may have more legal responsibilities than you think.

As a social host, you should be aware of how much alcohol your guests are consuming, whether you provided it or they brought it along themselves. Guests who leave your home intoxicated could be involved in a motor vehicle accident injuring themselves or others. Guests who over indulge can also choke, slip and fall, assault another or injure themselves in a number of other ways. As a social host, you may be sued if you were aware that your guest was intoxicated and you did not prevent them from driving or becoming injured.

Prevention and planning ahead is always the best course of action when hosting a party where alcohol is involved. It is much easier to reason with your guests when they arrive at the party sober than when they are trying to leave the party intoxicated. Explain to your guests ahead of time that you have zero tolerance for drinking and driving and that they will either leave your party sober, in a taxi or not at all.

Here are some tips for safe social hosting:

* Limit guest list to those you know

* Provide filling food for guests and alternative non-alcoholic beverages

* Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who should not drive home

* Stop serving alcohol well before the time the party is to end

* Do not serve guests who are visibly intoxicated

* Consider hiring a smart serve trained bar tender for your party

* Stay alert yourself, always remembering your responsibilities as a host

Social Host Liability. A few important numbers you may need in the Ottawa area:

The Ride-Dowload the App

WestWay Taxi – (613) 727-0101

Blue Line (613) 238-111

UBER -Dowload the App

DJs Taxi – (613) 829-9900

 


Our Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Social Media Being Used as Evidence? 

social-mediaProblems for Personal Injury Lawsuits

More and more, our Ottawa injury lawyers are finding that the things that social media , the things you post online are being admitted into in court as evidence.  Think about it. The updates, photos and videos you post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat can be very easy to access.

Every day, people post photos, status updates and videos that create a window into their personal lives.  Insurance companies may explore all of your posts, past and present, to uncover your character and your lifestyle.  They will look at the type of activities you participated in prior to your injury and dig for signs of pre-existing injuries.  More importantly they will follow your activity after the injury.

Social media recommendations from our Ottawa injury lawyers:

Lock down your accounts– This is the easiest way to help prevent information from being used against you.

Monitor photos – Keep a close eye on photos that you post or are tagged in. Untag yourself or ask the person who posted it to delete it right away.

Watch what friends post – Monitor what’s being posted on your wall to make sure nothing could be misinterpreted.

Monitor comments – Be careful when commenting on friends’ statuses or photos.

 

Our Ottawa injury lawyers ask you to consider your social media presence

Although Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are the most targeted, don’t forget about the rest of your online presence. Are you on LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, or Flickr? These may all be other sources of information for other lawyers or insurance companies.

Ask the question: “Who am I really sharing this information with? Could it be used as harmful evidence?” If your gut tells you yes, it’s probably a good idea not to post it

Don’t talk to strangers.  If you are involved in a personal injury or insurance case, beware of friend requests from people that you don’t know.  Folks who want to access your information have ways of making you think that you know them.  Be very careful.


Recent clients gave our Ottawa injury lawyers a review.

Thank you from our Ottawa injury lawyers and our team…

Our entire Ottawa injury team of lawyers, paralegals, accident benefit specialists and law clerks pride ourselves on the work we do. We work hard to ensure that our clients and their families are receiving the support that they need. This support sometimes as a service, support or compensation. David Hollingsworth was born and raised in Ottawa and has consequently developed a network of top professionals to assist our clients. Whether it be us working with our clients’ physicians, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists,  psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists or physiatrists, we know that they team approach to every case it what is going to be best for our clients and their families. We don’t like to brag, but we are great at helping people through some of the most difficult times of their life. Our Ottawa injury team is integral in helping our accident clients and their families rebuild their lives following an accident in Ontario.  Here are just some of the latest notes we’ve received :thank-you-clothesline-752x483

” David is outstanding in his field. He truly understands the needs of those who have suffered a loss as a result of an accident and will do what is in is power to ensure that his clients are receiving the maximum compensation that is available.”   D.P.

” Mr. Hollingsworth is a dedicated personal injury lawyer who works hard to ensure his clients and their families are well taken care of in their time of need. He is a compassionate and caring individual who demonstrates these qualities in everything he does.” K.N.

” Because David is a conscientious and dedicated injury lawyer and professional, he not only works hard at his law firm but he also dedicates countless hours as a volunteer for his children’s sport teams.” A.M. 

” I feel he has the personal attribute I would appreciate: approachable, courteous, direct, hardworking, focused. I believe he cares about his clients and is fully prepared to represent them.   M.K. 

Our Ottawa injury lawyers truly appreciate the feedback and kind words from our clients. We strive to improve our clients’ lives and feedback such as his helps ensure we are always working our hardest and doing the very best for our clients.

Our Ottawa injury lawyers and our team thank you.

 


Changes to Ontario Auto Insurance Again…and It’s Not Good News.

Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth

We hate to be the bearer of bad news but we are today.  The Ontario government has done it again.  To further add to all the reductions in accident benefits that have been made over the last while, they announced even more changes last Thursday. These changes, in our opinion negatively impact Ontario drivers.

Changes to Ontario Insuranceontario accident benefits

The changes are known as “The Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Rates Act” and it was passed last week. What’s most disturbing in this Act is the removal of the right of motorists to sue an insurance company after they have been denied their claim. This new Act , in our opinion does not favour Ontario drivers and although it says it is designed to benefit drivers, removing the right to sue , will leave many Ontario claimants  out of luck and in a potentially bad situation , where they are injured but the insurance company is not going to cover their injuries.  It seems at every turn there are further and further reductions in Ontario Accident Benefits and now further rights are being removed.

Another change that Ontario drivers are facing is that the government has also reduced the interest rates that injured Ontario drivers and passengers get on their compensation from insurance companies which was reduced from 5% to 1.3% .  This reduction in interest unfortunately can hurt Ontario drivers , as it gives less incentive for insurance companies to settle with claimants due to a lower interest rate.

Reducing Insurance Fraud. Really ?

The Ontario government would have us believe that their goal in this Act is to reduce insurance fraud and reduce insurance costs, but there is much more at play. So far the “promised 15 % reduction in insurance fees” has yet to be seen .  The Toronto Sun reported that premiums have dropped by an average of only 6 %: a far cry from 15% !

The Importance of Accessing all Ontario Accident Benefits

We don’t disagree that automobile insurance is very expensive and lowering insurance premiums is important.    What is even more important in our opinion is the ability to access ALL the accident benefits. We work each and every day with people who need these Accident Benefits not only for medical bills but also for expenses such as caregiver expenses, loss of income , etc.. Without access to these benefits, there are many people who will continue to suffer after an accident.

With further and further reductions in Accident Benefits what will be the end result? We don’t think it’s heading in a good direction at all.  The Ontario Insurance Regime continues to change and Ontario drivers continue to have their rights and benefits reduced. This is frightening.

Our Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here For You

If you have questions regarding Ontario insurance or making an accident claim, our lawyers and accident benefit specialists are here to help.  Contact us for a free consultation or visit our website for more information.


Ontario Accident Benefits and what is considered an “accident” .

Ontario Accident Benefits …

Liberal Interpretation of “Accident” under SABSaccident insurance claims
By: Brent Meadows
 

Accidents in Ontario

In Ontario, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may apply for benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) regardless of fault. You may also seek compensation in tort by commencing a lawsuit against any person(s) at fault.

What is an accident ?

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has recently dissected the term ‘accident’ in relation to the SABS. If an injured party can establish that they were injured as a result of an ‘accident’, they may apply for SABS benefits.

What accidents will be covered under accident benefits?

In Kasman and Security National, (FSCO A12-007175, October 2, 2014), Mr. Kasman, the applicant, alleged that he was injured in a motor vehicle accident and was therefore entitled to certain statutory accident benefits. He applied for benefits but was refused by Security National on the basis that he was not injured in an ‘accident’ as defined in section 2(1) of the Schedule.

By way of background, Mr. Kasman was struck on the head by the arm/gate that regulates entry into an underground parking garage. He walked and followed a car that triggered the arm to lift. The arm then lowered on his head as the car that Mr. Kasman was following continued into the garage triggering the sensor that causes the arm to lower.

Arbitrator Rogers had to decide whether or not Mr. Kasman’s injury was directly caused by the use or operation of an automobile. Security National relied on cases where individuals were not entitled to accident benefits and where their injuries were caused by an assault that occurred in or around a vehicle. In the ‘assault’ type of cases, Swaby v. Allstate Insurance for example, it was decided that the injuries did not arise out of the use of an automobile.

Arbitrator Rogers further differentiated the case at hand from Mahadan and Co-operators General Insurance Co (FSCO A00-000489, March 15, 2001) where an individual was injured after he placed groceries in the trunk of his car and soon after tripped on a pothole. The pothole broke the chain of causation and the claimant was not entitled to the accident benefits.

However in Kasman, the injury was directly caused by the car as it triggered the arm/gate to go up and down. Specifically, arbitrator Rogers noted that “Had the car hit the arm, which in turn hit Mr. Kasman causing injury, there would be no doubt regarding causation. I see no qualitative difference because the arm is remotely triggered.”

Arbitrator Rogers ultimately held that Mr. Kasman was injured as a result of an “accident” as defined in section 2(1) of the Schedule as the incident arose out of the use or operation of an automobile, and the use or operation of the automobile directly caused the impairment.

 

If you have been injured and aren’t sure of your rights, contact an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer. Most lawyers offer a free consultation and can walk you through your options and help you determine what’s best for you and your family moving forward. For more information, visit www.ottawainjury.ca/insurance-claims

 

 


Is a concussion the same as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth:  Is a concussion the same as a mild traumatic brain injury   (TBI) ?

This is a common question.  Most people believe that a concussion isn’t as serious and  symptoms will come and go quickly; whereas a mild traumatic brain injury is more severe and lasts longer. The truth is they are known as the same in that a concussion and a mild traumatic brain injury have same symptoms and can last a couple of days but may also extend and last a couple of years. Most people  recover from a concussion within a relatively short period of time; typically it ranges from a week to 3 months.  Concussions can also happen to anyone old or young and can result from all sorts of different activities including sports, falls, blows to the head etc..

We don’t know everything about concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries but we do know that the brain is made up of soft tissue and is surrounded by spinal fluid. The brain is protected (to some extent) by the skull. Inside the skull, the brain  moves about , sometimes hitting the skull. When the brain hits the inside of the skull it can become bruised, and may result in broken blood vessels, which results in injured  nerves and may lead to a concussion.

There are many ways  to grade or describe concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries. The severity of a concussion is determined by how long signs and symptoms last and so can only be known after someone has recovered. The longer the symptoms of changes in brain function, the more severe the concussion.

What causes the most confusion is the word “mild”. A mild traumatic brain injury can be anything but that. Up to 20% of people who suffer from a concussion suffer symptoms beyond the 3 month mark.  Everyone reacts differently to a concussion or MTBI ; however some common symptoms include:

  • post-traumatic headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • problems with balance
  • dizziness
  • cognitive impairments
  • extreme fatigue
  • depression
  • anxiety

Often times, people with a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury seem perfectly fine ; however they are severely suffering on the inside and are unable to participate in everyday activities.   Often times people with a concussion or mTBI are unable to work, be social or participate in many day-to-day activities they once loved doing.

When it comes to children and concussions , it gets even trickier, as children often are not in tune with their symptoms and may not be communicating their symptoms. A child with an undiagnosed concussion can be at serious risk for brain damage or a disability. If a child sustains a head injury, it must be taken seriously.  In sports in particular, a doctor needs to examine the child and decide when it would be best to have the child return to sports. Regardless of whether or not the child lost consciousness or not, it’s vital that parents, caregivers and coaches are on high alert and watching  for symptoms. Head injuries take time to heal..Don’t rush it.

When it comes to concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries, we must be extra vigilant.  As an Ottawa injury lawyer, I meet regularly with people whose lives have been turned upside down due to a head injury. For some , life may never be the same again. For more information on head injuries, concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries , visit www.ottawainjury.ca/brain-injuries.

 



Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth- safe drive.

Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth… I just wanted to a minute and send a quick message out. I know many of you will be traveling on highways and very busy roads today. Please take your time, drive carefully and arrive safely. If you are meeting up friends and family, enjoy yourself. Please designate a driver , call a cab or sleep over if you plan on drinking.
– The Ottawa injury lawyer blog is written regularly by Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. David and his Ottawa injury team are dedicated to helping Ontario accident victims and their families reBuild their lives following an accident in Ontario. For more information visit www.ottawainjury.ca


Smith Falls accident , death Tracy Banks and serious personal injury

Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth..Sadly, a 51-year-old Smiths Falls woman has died after in a head-on accident on Highway 43 this morning morning. Tracy Banks has been identified as the Ontario accident victim. My thoughts go out to the friends and family of Tracy Banks.

Ontario Provincial Police reported reported that a 31-year-old man from Perth also suffered serious personal injuries in the Ontario accident, west of Smiths Falls. My thoughts go out to this man and his family. I hope he can recover fully from this accident.

The Ottawa accident and injury lawyer blog is written regularly by Ottawa Ontario accident lawyer David Hollingsworth. David specializes in helping Ontario accident victims get the help and compensation they need after losing a loves one or suffering personal injury in an Ontario accident. For more information visit www.ottawainjury.ca. Feel free to call 613-978-9549 for a free consultation.


Hockey : Children Brain Injury and Head Injury Concussions in children

Ottawa personal injury lawyer, Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth.  I am currently at my son’s hockey tournament in Alliston , Ontario.  These 8 year old kids are giving it their all and playing with heart.  I love watching them play hockey.  I thought it would be timely to remind everyone about hockey and concussions in children. I also wanted to remind everyone with a child is out there on the ice,  please make sure they are wearing a proper CSA approved helmet, not just the helmet that is lying around in the garage. Most of all,play safe and have fun…. 

Hockey is one of Canada’s most popular sports, with over 520,000 players registered in the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) for the 2000-2001 season. The incidence of hockey-related injuries amongst children between the ages of 9 to 14 leading to emergency department visits more than doubled between since 1990.The injury incidence among teens aged 15 to 18 didn’t increase as much as that of younger children, but still grew 85 % during the same time period. 

  

Where do injuries most often occur?  
 

42% – head and face   

27% – upper body
31% – lower body

Who gets injured? 

 Defense 33% Forwards 63% Goalie 4%.  

The Children’s hospital of Eastern Ontario’s website is an excellent resource for signs and symptoms of concussions.  The following inforamation is from this site: Concussions can cause a variety of symptoms, which can appear several hours after the incident. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Confusion (your child might not know where he is or the period of the game)
  • Memory problems (forgetting what happened before or after the injury)
  • Loss of consciousness (being “knocked out”)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness/feeling dazed
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Vision problems/staring blankly/seeing stars
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual emotions, personality change, inappropriate behaviour

There are different kinds of concussions and some may be more serious than others. 

Simple concussions 

  • Symptoms last less than 15 minutes after the injury.
  • Child/teen should not return to playing hockey or other sports for at least one week.

Complex concussions
        Symptoms last longer than 15 minutes after the injury. 

  • Symptoms return with exercise.
  • The child/teen has been knocked out.
  • Longer recovery time. Several weeks or even months before returning to playing hockey or other sports.

Again, enjoy hockey ! It is a wonderful sport.  Please be safe out there and parents be on the look out if your child does fall or you suspect they have hit their head.

———————- The  Ottawa Injury Blog is written regularly by Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa personal injury lawyer representing Ottawa accident victims and the families of accident victims who have lost a loved one in an Ontario accident, including snowmobile accidents. This blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury.  Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a question, feel free to call or email david@ottawainjury.ca  (613) 978-9549  

Hockey and brain injury in children, children head injury, Ottawa personal injury lawyer


Ottawa Bicycle Accidents, Cycling safety in Ottawa : What to look for in a helmet.

Ottawa Bicycle Accidents Lawyerbicycleaccident

Did you know that bicycle helmets can prevent up to 88 % of brain injuries when used properly? Sadly,  Ottawa bicycle accidents can  happen anywhere, anytime.

Earlier this month, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced June 5, 2011 as Helmet Day in the City of Ottawa to support the avoidance of personal injuries and to emphasize the importance of wearing proper safety head gear while being active.

“We are very fortunate in Ottawa to have an environment that is well-suited to cycling and in-line skating,” said the Mayor .  He made it clear how supportive he was of an active, but safe lifestyle. “We are encouraging all residents to purchase an appropriate helmet before enjoying their favourite summer activities.”

We all know how important it is whether we are riding a bicycle or strapping on in-line skates to take safety precautions to protect ourselves; however, we don’t always do. The awareness is there and still coming , but not everyone is strapping on a helmet and some are strapping on helmets that are inadequate and would not protect them.  The City of Ottawa continues to make efforts to keep residents safe  and raise awareness of helmet safety in the hopes of preventing severe head injuries.

 

How do help reduce your chances of a severe head injury- Ottawa bicycle accidents

1-Make sure there is a CSA or CPSC certification on the helmet.

2-All helmets should fit level and square on the head, and the front should be 2 fingers distance from the helmet to eyebrows. The helmet straps should be adjusted to meet just below the ear in a V shape, and fastened comfortably.

3-All helmets should have a snug fit, allowing only one finger between the chin strap and your chin.

4-Proper helmets must be worn by all cyclists who are under the age of 18. I recommend that EVERYONE should wear a helmet to protect themselves from serious head injuries.

Each year, approximately 5,700 Ottawa area children under the age of 20 visit Ottawa hospital emergency rooms for serious head injuries.  Sport activities make up a large percentage of head injuries among children and youth.

As an Ontario injury lawyer, I meet regularly with Ontario accident victims who have suffered severe head injuries and their lives have been altered forever. I urge everyone to please equip themselves with a proper helmet.  It could save your life !

Visit www.ottawainjury.ca