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Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth Featured in Lawyers Weekly Magazine
David Hollingsworth is often approached my news and media outlets to give his opinion and speak about issues related to personal injury. Recently, David was contacted by Lawyers Weekly magazine to discuss some of the very common misconceptions that take place during an initial meeting with personal injury lawyers and new clients.
In a nutshell, David believes the most common misconceptions about motor vehicle accidents are:
- Statutory Accident Benefits paperwork is not worth the hassle. NOT TRUE
- People believe that they have been injured in an accident and are entitled to sue . NOT NECESSARILY TRUE
- People believe that if they were injured and not at-fault for the accident, they will be entitled to millions of dollars in compensation. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE
- The other side will only rely on the documents that they are given. NOT TRUE
- People believe that there are no risks in starting a lawsuit. NOT TRUE
- Insurance companies will want to settle cases quickly and out of court. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE
- People believe that they should be able to reach their lawyer any time they want. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE
What personal injury clients need to know…
The full article in Lawyers Weekly can be viewed online. David explains what he has observed over the years as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer . He offers his ideas on what he feels is most important for lawyers to explain to personal injury clients to ensure the success of the case, open lines of communication, realistic expectations and harmonious relationships all around. Each personal injury case is unique and each outcome is unique. David and his team all share the same philosophy when it comes to personal injury cases and how best to help their clients. The main goal is always to help clients and their families get their lived back on track as best as possible. This is probably the most challenging part of every case. Many health professionals need to be involved to ensure that clients are being well cared for and a realistic rehabilitation plan is in place. Once a very solids plan is in place, then the focus is to ensure that the maximum amount of compensation will be rewarded to clients. This is critical. “Most of our personal injury clients have injuries that will continue affecting them for years to come” . These types of injuries require substantial compensation and it’s important our clients don’t need to worry about running out of money in the years to come . Clients need to focus on recovery. That is their job .
Lately , we’ve received a number of calls from Ontario drivers wanting more information about lending their cars to friends and family members . Of course there will be situations in life where it just makes perfect sense and is convenient to lend your car to someone. As Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we must caution you on making the decision to whether or not lend your vehicle to someone who is not listed on your insurance policy. There are certain risks and liabilities for both the owner of the vehicle and the driver who is borrowing the vehicle, that we feel needs to be brought to the attention of the people of Ontario.
Can your insurance premiums change if you loan your vehicle to someone?
The Ontario insurance regime was set up that you can loan your car to someone because your insurance policy follows your vehicle. This means that even if you aren’t in your car and you loan your vehicle to someone who gets into an accident in your vehicle, they may be covered. In essence, they may be “using” your insurance policy. Of course, this does mean that should they get into an accident and they are at fault, yes, your insurance premiums may be affected moving forward. If your friend or family member is in an at-fault accident while driving your car, your insurance premiums could be affected. If they happen to have their own insurance, then they would access their own Accident Benefits but if they do not, they would access Accident Benefits through your insurance policy.
What you need to think about before loaning your vehicle to someone…
When loaning your vehicle, remember you do not have to disclose the names to your insurance company however, it’s best to remember the following:
- You must agree either verbally or in writing that you are loaning your vehicle to the intended driver.
- If you are loaning your vehicle regularly to someone ( ex once a week) you must inform your insurance company and have them added as an occasional driver. There is often no extra charge in doing so.
- Make sure that the person you are loaning your vehicle to has a valid driver’s licence and that this licence is valid in the province that you both live in
- Provide a copy of the registration and proof of insurance in the car and let the borrower know of their location
- Ensure the person you are loaning your vehicle to knows not to let anyone else drive the car.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) states “ Risk management involves identifying and understanding risks. Whether you’re lending your vehicle or participating in a vehicle exchange, you can limit your exposure to risks through loss prevention techniques.” IBC offers many tips on managing these risks on their website www.ibc.ca
Knowing the implications of loaning your vehicle is important. For more information on Accident Benefits , visit www.ottawainjury.ca/insurance-claims
Parking lot injuries can be very serious. Parking lot accidents seem to be reported less often. This is typically because parking lot accidents often result in minor injuries; however, they can be every bit as debilitating. The most common parking lot accidents involve a motor vehicle either hitting a pedestrian or a motor vehicle hitting another motor vehicle. Another type of parking lot accident is when a pedestrian slips, trips or falls in a parking lot. The Occupier’s Liability Act S. 3(1) clearly states that an occupier of premises owes a duty to ensure the safety of those on and entering the property. This means that if the property was not properly maintained in a manner that did not ensure safety, the owner of such property can be help liable for injuries. Perhaps there was black ice, uneven pavement, poor lighting, or uneven ground ? These conditions are often the cause for many parking lot accidents and serious injuries. Once day, we received a call from a woman who had suffered such an injury. We worked closely with “NB” to ensure she received maximum compensation for her injuries. NB was a 71 year old woman from Gatineau, Quebec. One day she was walking in a parking lot and twisted her ankle in a pot hole which caused her to fall.
Injuries Resulting From Accident:
NB’s injuries were serious and included a torn tendon in her shoulder and facial bruising. A tendon injury is painful and often persists for a long period of time. It causes a great deal of physical and mental distress for both you and your family and is an unpleasant injury to deal with.
Compensation for Injury:
After tough negotiation we were able to get the insurance company to settle at mandatory mediation session. This means our client did not have to go to court or trial, which was of great relief. If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, it’s important you know your rights and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you are able, at the scene of the parking lot accident, take photos showing your injuries, the conditions of the parking lot accident site, where the accident occurred, what time of day it was and what the weather conditions were at the time of the accident. If there were witnesses, try to get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed your accident or the conditions surrounding your parking lot accident. Try to write out an detailed report of what happened and keep records of all medical appointments and expenses, along with dates of medical appointments and any medical professionals who treated you. Bring all this information with you when you meet your personal injury lawyer for a free consultation .
*Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and that the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.