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A workplace injury can happen anywhere. A workplace injury can also go far beyond the industrial and construction site accidents that we hear about in the news. Workers are often injured in offices, retail stores, restaurants and many other industries. In fact, the Association of Worker’s Compensation Boards of Canada reported in 2015 that there were 281 fatalities in Ontario: that’s one about every 31 hours. Non-fatal injuries amounted to 51,570: that’s one every 10 minutes.
Employees injured on the job and their families have a lot to cope with including a wide range of expenses and losses. If you suffer a workplace injury, you or your family are entitled to benefits or compensation to recover these losses. · Loss of Earnings · Compensation for Non-Economic Loss · Loss of Retirement Income · Compensation for Future Economic Loss · Health Care Benefits · Health Care Equipment and Supplies
Most workers are able to claim benefits for their losses either through workers’ compensation or by suing their employer for damages.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is an independent agency of the Ministry of Labour in Ontario responsible for providing workers’ compensation to Ontario workers who become injured on the job
This is a “no-fault” system which means you can get workplace insurance benefits without proving that your employer was to blame for your injury or disease. Even if you think that the accident at work was your own fault, you are still entitled to benefits and services from the WSIB. Work-related injuries include those sustained while running errands off the premises or while travelling for work. It does not cover break periods or travelling / commuting back and forth to work.
To qualify for a workplace injury insurance benefits, you must meet the requirements set out in the Ontario law that governs workplace insurance. It is really important to file the claim as soon after you are injured as possible. Employees who wait too long have a harder time gaining full compensation. As always, report early, take a lot of pictures, write down the details and get the names and numbers of any witnesses.
Because workplace insurance is a “no-fault” system, you can receive benefits without proving that your employer was to blame for your injury or disease. Even if you think that the accident at work was your own fault, you are still entitled to benefits and services from the WSIB in almost all cases.
If you are covered by the WSIA, you cannot sue your employer in court for your injuries
Suing your employer or a third party for a work place injury
If you believe that your employer was to blame for your injury or disease, you can sue for damages. You should make this decision before you file workers’ compensation because once you file your claim, you can no longer sue your employer under the “no-fault” system.
If your workplace was unsafe, the equipment was unsafe, or your employer was unintentionally reckless, you can sue . You could also sue a third party, for example a cleaner, visitor or contractor to your work place if they have unintentionally done something that contributed to your injury.
Injuries at work can be complicated. Whether filing a workers’ compensation claim or suing your employer, you should take the time to first consult with a lawyer. Consultations are free. Call us today.
Drug-impaired driving among teens is a major concern. A ten-year trend shows one in four teens who died in a motor vehicle crash tested positive for cannabis. This week, (October 15-21) is National Teen Driver Safety Week , an observance to create positive behaviour changes and to reduce injury rates among teens.
This year, the annual campaign aims to create better awareness of drugged driving and will also focus on distracted, impaired and aggressive driving urging teens to #GetHomeSafe.
Young people make up just 12 per cent of licensed drivers, but account for about 20 per cent of all road-related injuries and deaths. Here are some key messages:
Drugs And Driving Don’t Mix
One out of four teen drivers who die in a motor vehicle crash between 2000 – 2010 tested positive for cannabis. Yet, many youth do not consider driving while impaired by drugs to be risky. Some even falsely believe that using cannabis makes them better drivers.
Texting Is Like Driving Blindfolded
Research shows that texting behind the wheel is equivalent to driving with your eyes closed for almost five seconds! Reduce the temptation of texting by keeping your phone out of reach. It could save your life.
Speak Up to Stop Distracted Driving!
Multitasking behind the wheel is dangerous – stay focused on the road and ask your passengers to help you do so. Young passengers have the power of prevention: A recent survey of Canadian drivers found 96 per cent of drivers would stop driving distracted, if a passenger asked them to. Simply asking can save your life and others’.
If You Drink, Don’t Drive
Over half of teen deaths from drunk driving occur on the weekend. Impaired driving can lead to a collision that may take your life, or someone else’s. Don’t risk your safety and that of others. Plan ahead for a designated driver, taxi or family member to give you a lift.
Mind Your Speed and Stay Alive
Speed is a factor in one third of teen driver deaths. Follow the speed limit and adjust your speed to match the conditions of the road. Running late is not a reason to risk your life.
Just one wrong choice can cause a devastating collision. Young drivers need to be aware of the risks that they face on the road. This week, take the time to speak to your teen driver about these staggering statistics and encourage them to #gethomesafe.
If your teen is injured in a motor vehicle accident. Please call us. Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth and his team focus solely on accidents, personal injury and insurance claims in Ontario. We know how you feel and we can help you. You are not alone.
New rules and penalties implemented by the Ontario government aim to crack down on careless and distracted driving in hopes of improving safety for some of the most at-risk road users like pedestrians and cyclists.
“Ontario is taking action to reduce the number of people killed by impaired, distracted and dangerous drivers. These measures will help keep some of our most vulnerable road users safe and help us drive home the message that dangerous, impaired and distracted driving is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated, “ Steven Del Duca, Ontario Minister of Transportation.
The new legislation, expected to be introduced this fall, is directly aimed at reducing accidents and injuries resulting from impaired, distracted driving and dangerous drivers including:
- A new offence for careless driving causing death or bodily harm with penalties that include fines, license suspension and imprisonment
- Tougher penalties for distracted driving, such as using a cellphone while operating a vehicle, including higher fines, more demerit points, and license suspensions
- Increased penalties for drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians and escalating fines for drivers who are convicted of multiple pedestrian-related offences within a five-year window
- Expanding the use of rear flashing blue lights for enforcement and emergency vehicles.
To combat the incidence of drivers illegally passing school buses, the province is looking into the use of cameras on buses to capture offending drivers. Camera evidence would be admitted to court without the need for a physical witness.
These new laws and measures would come in addition to measures introduced in September of this year. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation provided the following statistics in conjunction with the announcement.
- On average, one person is killed on Ontario’s roads every 17 hours. In 2014, pedestrians and cyclists made up approximately 25 per cent of Ontario’s road fatalities.
- While drunk driving remains in the top-five killers on Ontario’s roads, the province’s most recent roadside survey found that drivers who tested positive for drugs were more than twice the number who tested positive for alcohol.
- The proposed legislation builds on existing measures Ontario has introduced to improve road safety including tougher impaired, distracted and street racing laws.
- In May Ontario passed legislation to protect the most vulnerable such as pedestrians and cyclists, by giving municipalities more tools to address speeding. These tools include the ability to set reduced default speed limits and use automated speed-enforcement systems on roads with speed limits below 80 km/h that are designated as community safety zones or in school zones.
- In June 2015, Ontario passed legislation to toughen penalties for offences such as distracted driving.
- The Ministry of Transportation hosted a road safety symposium in June with municipalities and many road safety partners to discuss a broad range of road safety concerns that helped shape the government’s proposed actions to help to save lives on Ontario’s roads.
Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers focus on accidents, personal injury and insurance claims in Ontario. If you are involved in an accident, please call us for a free consultation. We know how you feel and we can help you.
ODSP -What you need to know..
Recent changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) will have a huge impact for those who receive these benefits and are involved in personal injury cases.
As of August 1, 2017, awards for pain and suffering are fully exempt from personal injury settlements and are no longer considered as income or an asset when calculated for this purpose. This is a significant change from the previous ODSP limit of up to $100,000 and alleviates the need to seek ODSP approval on amounts greater than $100,000.
These compensation exemptions apply to:
· Awards for pain and suffering, usually ordered through a court, as a result of a loss or injury to or the death of a family member. For example, this could include an individual or their family member being compensated for facing loss or injury from a car accident or from medical malpractice.
· Awards for expenses from an injury to or death of a family member (typically in an accident).
· Awards for loss of care, guidance and companionship due to an injury to or the death of a family member.
· Awards for non-economic loss under certain sections of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Also exempt are amounts for pre-judgment interest (unless it is interest on income) and awards for medical and rehabilitation benefits under SABS and awards under the Family Law Act are also exempt.
It should be understood that these awards will not affect a person’s ODSP eligibility. This means that someone who receives a large
settlement can still stay on ODSP.
And, while ODSP will not revisit past awards, those that were not processed prior to August 1, can still take adv
antage of t
he new rules. Individuals who received a settlement award of over $100,000 in the past and have since come off ODSP, can reapply if they still qualify and their settlement will be exempt.
With this change, award recipients are free to use their money any way that they see fit. Where, previously, medical and rehabilitation funds would need to be allocated to disability related items and services, individuals can now use the money as they like as long as they adhere to the rules on spending for non-exempt assets.
The new changes do not apply to any settlement for Income Replacement Benefits, Non-Earner Benefits, and Past or Future Loss of Income. These benefits will still be used to calculate income and/or assets for ODSP purposes. It also does not apply to awards for loss of income. The individual will need to claim that amount as income.
If you have questions about ODSP rules and claims for personal injury, you can always call for a free consultation at: (613) 978-954