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.


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

 

 


Ottawa’s Operation Red Nose needs volunteers. Number to call…

Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth: Operation Red Nose needs our help. Already in 2013,  Operation Red Nose has driver over 425 people home safely and the it continues to do so and plans on getting many more home this holiday season.  This year however, they are short on volunteers. Each call requires 3 volunteers and Operation Red Nose needs more.

The obvious concern with not having enough volunteers is that people are still relying on Operation Red Nose to get home safely. New Year’s eve will surely be a very busy night and the need for more volunteers will increase.  The hours of operation for Operation Red Nose are from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Operation Red Nose is available in the following areas:

  • Kanata
  • Ottawa
  • Blackburn Hamlet
  • Barrhaven
  • Nepean
  • Gloucester
  • Orleans
  • Gatineau (Aylmer, Hull & Gatineau sectors – providing the pickup or drop off area is on the Ontario side).

If you can, please help support this amazing organisation. Operation red nose is happy to answer any questions and welcomes all volunteers.  You  can reach Operation Red Nose at 613-820-NOSE (6673)

 


Strange Ottawa accident: high winds leave woman with severed leg. Be careful.

Ottawa personal injury lawyers David Hollingsworth. Thankfully the winds have died down now but earlier today they were quite strong; strong enough to blow open a driver’s door as she reversed her car. This strange accident caused by violent winds has left a 29-year old Ottawa woman with a serious injury to her leg. Early this morning, when the winds were blowing strong in Ottawa, the female driver reached to pull the door closed as she was reversing.  What happened next was shocking. Her vehicle ran over her leg and she was left with one leg in the vehicle and one out of the vehicle. An Ottawa paramedic reported that one of her legs was lying on the ground and explained to news sources that the vehicle continued to back up over her entire leg. The woman remains in serious condition in an Ottawa hospital and is risking losing her leg. This type of accident seems impossible, but sadly, these real life stories tell us otherwise. Our thoughts are with this woman and we hope they are able to reattach her leg and she is able to recover fully from this terrible, strange accident.

Please be careful out there on your way home, whether you are walking or driving.  The winds may pick up again and there is no telling how forceful they can be.  Accidents can happen in an instant and some accidents are life-altering.

In most cases, if you are injured in an accident, you will have the right to accident benefits insurance.  This insurance my be through your own insurance company or it may be through a family member’s insurance or the driver of the car who injured you.  It’s important you know your rights when it comes to Ontario accident benefits.  Most experienced personal injury lawyers will meet with you free of charge and help you determine your best options. You owe it to yourself, your heath and your recovery.

 


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 lawyer David Hollingsworth explains maximum award for pain and suffering compensation in Ontario.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth and Associates: lawyers for Ontario accident victims.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering in Ontario

Ontario Insurance. There are  two types of damage compensation in Ontario: pecuniary damages and non-pecuniary. Pecuniary damages can be calculated and non-pecuniary damages cannot be calculated.

Damages for Pain and Suffering in Ontario (Non-Pecuniary Damages)

Most serious accidents in Ontario result in personal injury and pain. There is the obvious pain suffered immediately following the accident, the pain following the treatment of the injury (ie surgery, physio etc..) and then there is the ongoing pain that can last for weeks, months, years or throughout one’s life following an accident.  In many cases, a serious injury may never fully heal, leaving accident victims with a life long pain problem. Thankfully the Ontario insurance regime  compensates accident victims for  pain and suffering.

In Ontario, the amount awarded for  pain and suffering varies depending on the situation. Some factors that help determine the maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering are:

  • age
  • the severity of the injury
  • the length of time it should take the injury to fully heal
  •  treatment required to treat the personal injury (ie surgery required?)
  •  hospitalization?  rehabilitation? how long?
  • the physical and emotional damage that the injury has caused now and moving forward
  • pre-existing injuries

I will be honest, it is difficult to sue for pain and suffering after a car accident claim in Ontario. We have however had great success in helping our accident victims get the maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering.

Nowadays,  in order to sue for pain and suffering, your injuries need to meet a legal threshold . The legal threshold must show a serious and permanent impairment of an important bodily function. This impairment can be viewed in many ways .  To keep things simple, it basically means that you cannot work, be a caregiver, or participate in normal activities of daily living as a result of your pain and suffering.

Also, to receive compensation for pain and suffering , your injuries must be permanent.  What makes this particularly difficult is the fact that it is sometimes tricky to show that an injury is permanent without waiting for at least a year after the accident . Accident victims are struggling throughout this year and it is difficult to try to rebuild a new life without knowing what lies ahead.

In order to claim compensation for pain and suffering in Ontario, the personal injuries suffered in or after the accident must be proven to the courts,should the insurance company try to deny compensation. Unfortunately, in most cases, that’s exactly what they will try to do. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I find this to be so disturbing as often times people with “invisible” injuries are the people who need the compensation the most .That is why I take all pain and suffering claims in Ontario very seriously. I see how much pain people are in and how they have lost their everyday life to an accident.  I do everything I can to really help these accident victims.

Ontario Insurance: Pain and Suffering Claims Deductible

Not only to pain and suffering claims need to be a specific threshold in Ontario, the Ontario government has also legislated that they surpass a $30,000 deductible for pain and suffering claims. Sadly,what this translates to for accident victims is that they do not receive the first $30,000 in compensation; however, this  deductible does not apply to injury claims where the pain and suffering damages exceed $100,000. As an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer, this is where I can truly help. The system is not fair and that is why experienced personal injury lawyers can make all the difference.

If you have suffered and are continuing to suffer from an accident, we can help you.  You are not alone. Our dedicated team of Ottawa personal injury lawyers can help you get through these difficult times. We know you need financial compensation,as well as emotional.  We have all the resources you need are we are here to help.  For more information ,visit us at www.ottawainjury.ca

 

 


Ottawa Byward Market accidents result in serious personal injury: back injury, chest injuryand leg injury.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth.. 2 Ottawa accidents resulted in 2 pedestrians suffering personal injuries in Ottawa’s ByWard Market yesterday morning. The first Ottawa pedestrian accident involved an elderly  woman who was rushed to an Ottawa hospital with serious personal injuries, including chest and back injuries. She was hit by a car at Sussex Drive and Murray Street. Thankfully she is in stable condition.

Also in Ottawa’s Bytown Market,  on Rideau and Dalhousie streets, a young woman was treated for serious personal injuries, including a leg injury after being hit by a car. She too is in an Ottawa hospital in stable condition.

I wish both women a full and hopefully speedy recovery….

Hollingsworth. The Ottawa Injury Lawyer 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. 

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Ottawa accidents Byward market, Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth


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


Navan Accident results serious injury Shannon Kelly and 4 others: impaired driving charges laid

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…A terrible Ottawa accident has left Shannon Kelly with severe personal injuries but thankfully she survived. The 18-year-old student at the University of Ottawa was out with several friends and left a party in Orleans on Saturday night.  that’s when things went sideways. As a result of the Ottawa accident , Shannon Kelly now has a fractured sternum, lacerations to her forehead, back pain, stitches in her eyebrow, a lot of swelling.  

Shannon is sending out an important message to us all.  She g0t into a car with someone who had been drinking. She wasnt fully aware of how much or whether or not the driver had been drinking.  She assumed it was fine and got into the car.  A decision she now regrets.  Thankfully she survived. A lesson for us all. 4  people  were injured in the car. One of them was initially in critical condition but now thankfully appears to be making a recovery.  This accident could have had very different results.

The accident occurred near Navan on Innes Road near Frank Kenny Road when it rolled over several times. Paramedics received a 911 call at around 1:20 am. Witnesses to the accident said that the car was travelling at least 160 km/h when it passed them as they drove along Innes Road. The speed limit is 80 km/h along that stretch of road.. The driver was a friend of Shannon’s.  He is now facing criminal charges. She does not blame him for the choices she made.  James McCarthy, who is 20 years old is being charged with 2 counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Shannon’s story serves as a reminder to us all.  Yes, she has suffered some very serious injuries but she is alive and so are her friends thankfully.  To all the kids out there, please learn from this story..You can always call a cab, your parents, a friend or sleep over.  You cannot get into a car with someone who has been drinking. It’s not an option.  As a parent of three, this story also resonates with me….

—-The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. The Ottawa Injury Lawyer 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 subject  you would like to know about or  if you have a question,  please call or email me: david@ottawainjury.ca (613) 978-9549

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Navan Accident Innes Road, Shannon Kelly, James McCarthy