Accidents and Red Lights..Who is at Fault ? What is the percentage of liability?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates..

You would think that if you have a green light and the other driver has a red light and they hit you, you wouldn’t be at fault…well, you could be… A recent decision came from the Ontario Court of Appeal sheds some light on liability and how a driver who has a green light can still be partially liable. 

Accident at red light

Accident at red light

Accidents and Red Lights

By: Brent Meadows

Evan Sant was a passenger in Joel Sant’s pickup truck that entered an intersection on a red light and was hit by Mr. Sekhon. The jury found that Joel Sant was 95% liable and Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable. The jury’s finding that Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable was the main issue under appeal.
Ordinarily, a driver with a green light is free to proceed through an intersection and may assume that driver’s approaching the intersection from other directions will stop at a red light. This statutory right of way is, however, not absolute as the driver must still exercise proper care. For example, if it is clear that a vehicle is in or about to proceed into the driver’s right of way that driver must avoid the collision if the circumstances permit.
The jury found that the reasonably prudent driver should have been aware that Joel Sant’s vehicle posed a hazard, and ultimately found that Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable for the motor vehicle collision.
The Ontario Court of Appeal held that the trial judge did not misdirect the jury,  the jury’s finding was not plainly unreasonable, and that certain cross-examination questions were not improper or inflammatory. Mr. Sekhon’s appeal was dismissed and the finding that Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable was upheld.
Obviously it goes without saying that drivers need to exercise caution regardless of whether the light is red, green or yellow.   In this accident case, not one person was help 100 % responsible.  Drivers cannot predict what other drivers are thinking and will do, regardless of lights, stop signs etc… the moral of the story here is that we can’t  jump to the conclusion that if a driver is at fault, that they are entirely at fault and  the percentage of liability remains a question.  A driver who has the right-of-way has the obligation to exercise reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle.
For more information that relates to accidents and insurance claims, explore our website.  If you have a question, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers would be happy to offer you a free consultation to discuss any questions you may have.

What are the height and weight limits for child and infant car seats ?

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth….It seems like yesterday,  but 11 years ago I sat at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus with our first-born and prepared to drive him home.  I was almost as nervous for this drive home as I was the delivery. Like any first time parent , I kept thinking …Is this seat safely installed? Did I do it right?  I read up online and even called a friend who was a fire fighter to walk me through it…Then, as time went on, a second and third child came and we were constantly juggling various car seats, booster seats, rear-facing this, forward-facing that, watching their weight and wondering when it was time to move onto the next…If any of this sounds familiar or if you are about to enter these years, I would like to share with you what I know when it comes to car seats…

Shoulder Straps:

When an infant is in a rear-facing car seat it’s important that the top of the shoulder straps are below or at the baby’s shoulders. It’s important that the straps are in the proper place as to properly secure the infant.

The “bucket seat”:

In almost every case, an infant is safest in a rear-facing car seat. It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. There are even some rear facing car seats that allow a child to be rear facing up to 45 pounds. Consider this when purchasing your car seat.  It is significantly safer to keep children in rear-facing car seats.

Harness:

It’s important to make sure the harness of any child car seat, especially infant car seats is properly secured. Once your infant is secure in their car seat, test to make sure it is tight enough to your child’s shoulders. You should only be able to fit one finger between the car seat harness and your child’s collarbone. If there is more room, your harness straps are too loose and need to be tightened.

Where the buckle should be positioned:

The buckle that clips over the infants chest should be between the nipples and your infant’s armpits. It’s important that this buckle is not too high or low. If the buckle is out of place, your infant could in fact fly out of the car seat on impact.

Changes in weight and height:

It’s important to keep an eye on your child’s weight and height when it comes to having them in the proper car seat. As soon as they have reached a weight or height limit, it’s imperative you move them to the next level of child car seat. For rear-facing car seats, this means when there is less than an inch of the hard shell left at the top of the seat above your child’s head. As for weight limitations in children’s car seats, they do vary a bit and I would advise you to check with the manufacturer model to be certain and follow these guidelines to a tee.

Remove thick outer wear:

You would be surprised by how much space an infant or child coat takes up.  It’s always safest to remove your child’s coat before strapping them in.  This allows for the straps to be as secure as possible , avoiding any gaps that may potentially arise from outer wear.

Get informed:

If you are not feeling confident and still have some doubts about whether or not you are using the right car seat , it’s best you seek answers.  There are many, many valuable resources such as Transport Canada https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safedrivers-childsafety-car-time-stage1-1084.htm

Parachute Canada http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/topic/C2

or call  1-866-SEAT-CHECK

A little bit or research and a little bit of time could save your child’s life. Drive safely and hug your loved ones.

Since 1999, David Hollingsworth and his Ottawa personal injury lawyer team have been  helping people who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident in Ontario. We devote ourselves to safety and helping people through some of the most difficult days. For more information, please visit us at www.ottawainjury.ca or call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203 . Email us any question at david@ottawainjury.ca   -We understand, we care and we’re here to help and our track record proves it.


Will stiffer distracted driving fines in Ontario help reduce accidents in Ottawa ?

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth on distracted driving… With the increase in distracted driving fines last month there has been a lot of information about distracted driving released.  The most startling fact is that Ontario Provincial Police announced that distracted driving is the number one killer on our province’s roads.  More people died as a result of distracted driving than any other reason in Ontario. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, last year there were a total of 78 fatal accidents related to distracted driving,  57 fatal accidents related to impaired driving and 44 fatal accidents related to speeding.

Earlier this month, a new legislation was put in place and saw fines for distracted driving rise from $225 from $155.  The Ontario government is  also proposing new legislation that would further penalize distracted drivers by having them lose 3 demerit points, as well as give judges the authority to raise the amount of distracted driving  fines up to  $1,000.    In other serious cases, police also have an option of laying a “Careless Driving” charge under the Highway Traffic Act. The Careless Driving charge has serious penalties such as a loss of 6 demerit points, fines of up to $2,000 and possible jail time.  The question remains …will this be enough to deter drivers?

I also wanted to mention that distracted driving happens at all age levels, young and old.  It’s not just new drivers and “the younger generation”.  We now live in a world where many; young and old,  are glued to their devices for work and personal reasons. It’s important to note that distracted driving is not just talking and texting on your phone.  It’s taking your eyes off the road.  Distracted driving can include getting something out of your purse, tending to children in the back seat, changing radio stations etc…Essentially it can be anything that diverts your attention. The distracted driving section of the Highway Traffic act law only deals with handheld electronic devices. This means that these other activities can be very distracting and dangerous but they are not against the law. According to The Ministry of Transportation Ontario’s distracted driving law is aimed at  a particular form of  distracted driving; which is the use of hand-held communication and entertainment devices and display screens. In time, will we need to revisit was is legally considered “distracted driving” ?

Please focus on the road.  We need every driver on the road to be concentrating on the roads and their surroundings so that our roads are safer for everyone. Drive safely !

Since 1999, David Hollingsworth and his personal injury team have been  helping people who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident in Ontario. We devote ourselves to safety and helping people through some of the most difficult days of their lives. For more information, please visit us at www.ottawainjury.ca or call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203 . Email us at david@ottawainjury.ca We understand, we care and we’re here to help.


Should you negotiate with your insurance adjuster ?

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I meet daily with people and give them advice on how best to proceed with their personal injury lawsuit and accident benefits insurance claim.  Sometimes, I meet with people who have been working with their insurance company and are suddenly offered a settlement amount and don’t know what to do.  Typically people wonder if the settlement amount is fair?  If it’s enough to take of their injuries long-term ?, What a typical similar injury case typically yields in settlement funds ? Do they need a personal injury lawyer ?   How they should negotiate with the insurance company ?

There are some personal injury cases that are basic and straight forward enough that representing yourself may be sufficient.  If this is indeed the situation you find yourself in, then I still strongly advise you contact a personal injury lawyer for some free legal advice just to make sure you are on the right track and not selling yourself short.  Most experienced personal injury lawyers in Ottawa will do this for free for you and have all the information you need.  It will likely be a meeting or phone call that takes less than 30 minutes but a meeting that could typically help you receive thousands more in compensation.

Most personal injury cases are that straightforward and that’s where experienced personal injury lawyers can make all the difference.  In these cases, it’s always best to let a skilled personal injury lawyer negotiate for you.  Our Ottawa injury lawyers negotiate cases and settlement amounts daily.  We understand the complexity of the law and what needs to be asked for when it comes to compensation. We are very thorough and prepare diligently by ensuring all medical files are in order and a thorough medical diagnosis has been made by experts in that particular field.  We also gather all motor vehicle accident reports . we gather all witness statements, photos and help our clients document their losses.  There is a lot of preparation work involved but in the end it pays off.  It’s important to us that we make sure we have explored every aspect of your case so that when it comes time to negotiating on your behalf, we are overly prepared.

We have many systems in place to help make this process easier on you.  the last thing we want to do is add stress on you at an already stressful time. Once our lawyers have fully prepared your case, we then meet with you and discuss how best to move forward.  Once you are ready, we then approach the insurance company and begin the negotiation process.  This stage of negotiations can sometimes resolve quickly but often insurance companies often want to try to poke holes in any weaknesses that may exist in your case.

It’s important for you to understand that your insurance adjuster is likely a very nice person; however it is their job to try to settle your case for the least amount of money possible. They work for your insurance company.  This puts them in a difficult position as they are not neutral and don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart. It’s important that you are properly prepared , as once you settle a case you cannot change your mind and revisit it later on.  Our Ottawa injury lawyers work closely with you to make sure you not only receive maximum compensation for your injuries but that you are happy and feel good about settling your case.  We will never settle a case on your behalf without your approval.

It’s not easy proving your damages and losses.  We know how to do it and we do it very well. Even if you have been working with your insurance company, it’s not too late to get advice from an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer.  Let us help you.  You have been through enough.

 


Ottawa personal injury lawyer on Ottawa’s icy roads and frostbite warning.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth : Happy new year ! I hope you all had a great holiday season and were able to spend some time with loved ones.  If you remained in the Ottawa area, you no doubt have been doing your best to keep warm, as we have now had several days of frostbite warnings.  Along with this extreme cold comes difficult driving conditions. Ottawa police reported 45 accidents  since 6 a.m. this morning !   Ottawa roads are slippery and the ice is sometimes not visible , leading to difficult driving conditions.

What can you do to help protect yourself and your loved ones? Firstly, be aware of the icy roads and slow down. Adjust your driving and know that you will need more time to arrive at your destination safely. Make sure you leave enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Secondly, make sure you have winter tires installed. In our weather conditions, you need them. Make sure you clear off your car and have excellent visibility. Not only do your mirrors and windows need to be clear, make sure you clear off the roof of your car, as to avoid any snow falling down once you start driving.

Ottawa weather looks like it will warm up a bit in the next day or 2; however the forecast says this warmer weather is bringing in large amounts of snow.  This new snow will also make driving conditions in the Ottawa area a challenge.

Please be careful and slow down on Ottawa roads.  If you are outside, bundle up, wear lots of layers, keep covered and keep moving ! Frostbite can set in within 10 minutes

Enjoy your weekend and be safe and don’t forget the kids are back at school on Monday . Watch out for them on the roads.

 


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)

 


Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth shares a thank you note from a personal injury client.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer review and cases.

Close to 15 years ago I decided to focus on personal injury law and helping people who have been injured. I decided to go out on my own and start building an Ottawa law firm that focussed solely on personal injury law.  Thoughout the years, I started meeting other personal injury lawyers who shared in my vision of developing one of the best Ottawa law firms for personal injury. I knew it was the right decision for me and am constantly reminded when I receive emails like this one…

“Dear David,

We just wanted to thank you and your team for everything you  have done. We know that this weekend is the beginning of a new chapter for us.  You helped make this possible and we never thought we would get here. Thank you form the bottom of our hearts. You were amazing. “

I want to thank my clients and their families for allowing me to continue doing what I do best and want to get to work each day so that I can continue helping others. My job is my passion and it is incredibly rewarding knowing what I difference I can make in someone’s life.

Why would you hire us as your Ottawa personal injury lawyer?

-We are honest

-We have over 25+ years experience

-Our lawyers have a high success rate

-We fight for what’s right and ensure fairness

-Our clients refer their friends and family to us.

-We love helping in every way we can

-Our injury lawyers go above and beyond

-We stay informed of all the latest developments and laws in Ontario personal injury law

-We are incredibly dedicated to our clients .

We know what you are going through and we can help .  If you need the help of an Ottawa personal injury lawyer , you have come to the right place.  Our lawyers speak close to 10 different languages and we work with some of the top medical professionals in the Ottawa and eastern Ontario. Let us help you.


Ottawa injury lawyer asking you to help. Renfrew police need our help with Arnprior hit and run accident.

Arnprior Accident

The authorities need your help. The Ontario Provincial Police need information on a hit-and-run accident in Arnprior. More specifically, the Renfrew Police need our help. Last  Saturday afternoon in Arnprior, a white, mid-sized car was driving and hit a woman and her dog . The woman suffered personal injuries and lost her dog in the accident. If you witnessed this accident or know of any information, please  contact the Renfrew detachment of the OPP or Crime Stoppers.

For more information, please visit www.ottawainjury.ca

David Hollingsworth works with a team of  Ontario personal injury lawyers serving all of eastern Ontario. This includes areas such as Renfrew and Arnprior.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you need to know your rights within your insurance policy.  We can help steer you in the right direction. Call, visit, email or text us anytime !

We have helped many clients work through their Arnprior accident and we can help you and your family receive all the accident benefits you are entitled to . Our lawyers are highly experienced in the ins and outs of Ontario insurance claims and know how to ensure maximum compensation. If you have a question or need information, let our injury lawyers know.  If you want to meet in persona, let us know and we can come to you the next time we are in the Arnprior area , which is regularly !

 


How you can receive housekeeping and home maintenance expenses after an Ontario accident.

What are housekeeping benefits ?

Taking care of your home seems like the last thing you need to think about after an accident but unfortunately, you need to or you need someone helping  you. If your accident was in Ontario, you may be eligible for Ontario accident benefits from your insurance company or the insurance company of the driver who was at fault. There are several different accident benefits available to you. One involves housekeeping and home maintenance expenses. Basically, if you are unable to perform your usual housekeeping duties or home maintenance duties, your accident benefits can cover someone performing these duties for you.

How much are housekeeping benefits in Ontario ?

The maximum housekeeping and home maintenance benefit payment is $100 each week.

Does everyone qualify for housekeeping benefits?

This home maintenance and housekeeping benefit  is available only to Ontario accident victims who are deemed  “catastrophically injured” in an Ontario accident. However, the FSCO -Financial Services Committee of Ontario has made housekeeping and home maintenance benefits available to non-catastrophically injured accident victims as well by purchasing additional accident benefits. Yes, this means an additional cost each month to an already expensive insurance payment.

Should you purchase additional accident benefits?

We understand that purchasing these additional accident benefits may not seem to make sense; however,in the event of an accident , you may rely heavily on your insurance benefits.  If you are unsure of whether or not you have access to these Ontario accident benefits, let us know and we can help steer you in the right direction.  We can give you advice and let you decide how you want to approach your insurance company. We are here to help. All advice is free.

If you feel like your insurance company isn’t being fair, that’s where our personal injury lawyers in Ottawa can help. Let us help.

 


Are you part of the Ottawa community? What you can do to reduce the number of Ottawa accidents each year. Lawyer David Hollingsworth asks for your help.

Accidents at Schools

I am once again asking all drivers to think about their driving and the decisions they make behind the wheel each day. I am thrilled to share with you that the Ottawa Police are focusing on school bus and school zone safety this month in the Ottawa area. Over the last few years, 9 people suffered personal injury in 41  schools zone accidents.  These accidents were avoidable.

Another area of focus this month for Ottawa drivers will be to reduce the number of drivers making unsafe lane changes. There have been over 5500 Ottawa accidents in the last few years that were caused by unsafe lane changes. These Ottawa accidents resulted in 4 deaths and over 600 people suffering personal injuries.  Again, these are accidents that can be avoided ! Ottawa police are working hard at lowering accidents in Ottawa with the end goal of  preventing or eliminating deaths and serious personal injuries. As an Ottawa community, we all have our part in reducing the number of Ottawa accidents each year, especially school accidents. Let’s all work together.

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have helped many people work through their options following an accident on school property or on a school bus. Sadly, accidents at schools happen regularly and children suffer serious injuries.  You owe it to yourself and especially your child to meet with one of our personal injury lawyers experienced in child injury. We can sit down and walk you r through your options free of charge so that you can make an informed decision on how best to proceed with a child injury on school property. Our personal injury lawyers can also help you meet with some of the top medical professionals in the Ottawa area when it comes to child injuries.  Let us get your child maximum compensation and let yourself focus on your child.