Child safety a priority. Back in. Drive out.

Child Safety

As Ottawa injury lawyers, it’s stories like this that send a chill .

Back in. Drive out.

A Father’s Appeal for Children’s safety.

This is a true story told by a local father after a terrifying experience last Sunday afternoon.

As told by Rino Gombocz

Spring is in the air and child safety isn’t always the first thing we think of. We’re shedding those heavy coats. The birds are singing. It feels like a new beginning. I love this time of year.

I wanted to share a little experience that happened to me and Jack (my 7 Year old son) on Sunday.

Jack learned how to ride his bike last year, and with the nice weather yesterday, we wanted to get out and take advantage of the great day.

He stumbled a couple of times but he did great, and was very eager to stay three bike lengths ahead of me, a race if you will.

As we rode down the sidewalk, on one of the side streets near our home, a car backed out of their parking spot.

I yelled at the top of my lungs and the car and Jack both stopped at the same time. The car hit Jack, and threw him off his bike. Luckily, he only scraped his knuckle but he was badly shaken. The person driving was also badly shaken, saying, “I didn’t see him”.

The incident led me to a lot of reflecting last night, tossing and turning and trying to forget, but also asking myself “what if?”

Please, please, please, always back into every driveway and every parking spot.

Jack and I might be riding down your street.

Please share and help keep all our kids as safe as possible. 

 


Ottawa personal injury lawyer discusses trampoline accidents.

Trampoline Accidents and Personal Injuries

Trampolines. Are they fun? Yes.  Are they a novelty? Yes. Are they safe ? In my opinion, no.  There are many reasons why I would recommend keeping your children off recreational trampolines.  Typically most trampoline accidents and injuries occur when there is more than one user.  Often times there is more than one jumper and the lighter jumper is much more likely to be injured. In fact according to the Canadian Pediatric Society stated that 3/4 of injuries that occur on a trampoline happen when there are multiple jumpers.  The severity of injuries increases by 14 % if there is one jumper much heavier than the other. In fact, in children younger than 5 years old, the rate of bone fractures and dislocations is close to 48%.

Common trampoline injuries

The most common trampoline injuries are broken bones, fractured bones, dislocated shoulders, sprains and in more severe cases, head injuries, spinal injuries and neurological damage. A US study completed back in 2000 found that 1 out of every 200 trampoline accidents lead to some sort of neurological damage. I suspect with the cost of recreational trampolines coming down and more selection in the market the number of sales has gone up, as well as the number of injuries.

Common misconceptions : trampoline accidents

One of the most common beliefs about trampolines is that if there is a net surrounding the trampoline mat, then it is safe.  Most trampoline injuries don’t involve someone bouncing outside the trampoline. Most trampoline accidents occur on the trampoline mat itself. Flips and somersaults gone wrong can lead to some of the most sever injuries; such as a head injury or a spinal injury. No net can prevent this type of trampoline accident.

The Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program reported that in a 5 year study there were a total of 4247 reported trampoline accidents resulting in injuries. Of these 4247 trampoline injuries, 40 % were children under the age of 5 years old.  It’s important to note that this is not the total number of trampoline accidents; rather the number of reported trampoline accidents. The Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, also conducted a study in the US and found that in a 10 year period, there were more than 1 million visits to emergency rooms for people who were injured in a trampoline accident. Our very own CHEO – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario reported approximately 50 trampoline accident visits per year. While 50 visits a year may not seem like much, remember that this is just one hospital in our area.

I know we can’t have our children live in a bubble; however as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I am strongly urging you consider this information the next time your child asks you to go on a recreational trampoline.  If you chose to allow your child, please consider closely supervising the number of people on the trampoline at one time and check to make sure all nets and safety equipment is properly installed. The Canadian Safety Council recommends at the very least setting the following non-negotiable rules: 1) one person at a time on the trampoline 2) no flips or somersaults 3) no jumping on or off the trampoline.

David Hollingsworth is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa, Ontario and the father of three young children.  Child safety is of paramount importance. Please, play safe.


Winter Tobogganing in Ottawa. What you need to teach your children…

Winter tobogganing in Ottawa ….

Most schools are out tomorrow for the holidays and that means children will be looking for activities.  What’s on the top of my3  kid’s list? Tobogganing ! Ottawa has an abundance of hills open for tobogganing.  While it’s a great sport and very fun, it is also a sport that has it’s fair share of serious injuries. Each year hundreds of people are injured and many require medical attention. The City of Ottawa has a wealth of information related to tobogganing in Ottawa. Please check out their website.

Youth between the ages of 5-9  make up for 40 %  of toboggan related injuries in Canada. A  number of these injuries result in concussions, internal injuries or broken bones. (Statistics: Canadian Hospital’s Injury Reporting Prevention Program). Most injuries are caused by hitting another object such as a tree, a rock, a sign or from being thrown from the toboggan with force.

We are not trying to be alarmists,  we simply want to remind everyone that tobogganing can be enjoyed; however, a few safety steps can be put in place before your children head off to the hills.

We’ve scoured various websites and here are a few suggestions on how to try as much as possible to prevent injuries.

Help keep your tobogganing safe by….

  • Checking  weather conditions before you head out.
  • Checking  the physical condition of the hill to make sure it is safe. Check for hazards.
  • Make sure the slope of the hill isn’t too steep or fast.
  • Do not toboggan in dark areas where visibility is limited.
  • Always wear a CSA approved helmet.
  • Always sit  facing forward.
  • Keep your hands, arms and legs inside the toboggan and do not use your arms to break.
  • Do not wear scarfs and make sure all strings on hats and mits are tied up.  Any loose clothing could catch and become a hazard.
  • When tobogganing , go one at a time, do not follow closely behind another toboggan.
  • Children under the age of 5 should not be on a toboggan by themselves as they cannot control it.
  • Teach your children that once they reach the bottom of the hill, they must quickly and carefully get to the side and be watching for oncoming sledders.
  • Teach your children to safely climb back up the hill on the sides.

Have a great, safe holiday season and have fun tobogganing !

 


How Ottawa injury lawyers can help protect an injured child’s compensation after an accident.

If your child has been injured in an accident in Ontario, it’s important that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you meet or speak with your insurance company.  The rules surrounding a child personal injury lawsuit and settlement are different from in a settlement case involving an adult.

When a parent commences a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a child, they need to understand that their child will not receive the settlement monies until they reach the age of 18 years old. We often have clients who are unsure what to do with the compensation they receive for their child.  Depending on the circumstances, we recommend several different options.  A structured settlement is often the best solution for a child’s settlement.  A structured settlement is when a registered insurance company will take over the settlement monies and pay out a set amount each year over the course of the child’s life.  In most cases this pay out amount is also a tax-free set amount. Depending on the age of the child at the time of the accident, this usually makes the most sense.  If the injured child is close to reaching 18 years of age, it may not be the most cost-effective plan, as the fees associated with a structured settlement might outweight the payout if the investment period is not very long .

Depending on the nature of the injuries, parents can also opt to have a trustee appointed and the trustee then holds the money.  This is often the case when a child is disabled and may not be able to decide how best to manage their money.

It is tough to know what is best to do and what’s best for your child.  We are able to help give you advice on this and help you come to the right decision, based on what’s best for your child and your family. One of the most important details every parent needs to know is that a settlement for a child in a personal injury case must be court approved.  This is done to protect you and make sure that your child is being treated fairly .  The Court will review the legal fees being charged by your personal injury lawyer, as well as the settlement amount being offered by the insurance company.  In both cases, the amount must be fair and comparable to other similar personal injury cases.

Although, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers do not recommend it, you may decide to work directly with the insurance company and negotiate your own settlement amount. At the very least, we urge you to consult with an experience personal injury lawyer and have them review what is being offered to you . An experienced child personal injury lawyer can give you comparison settlement amounts on the spot and help you decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer.  These consultations are free with most personal injury lawyers, so you have nothing to lose. In most cases, our Ottawa injury lawyers, not only offer excellent advice, they are able to point out many other accident benefits available to children that most people are unaware of.

Regardless of what stage you may be at in your personal injury lawsuit, you need to be informed and know your rights.  You are not only caring for an injured child, you will need to make incredible important decisions for their future.  We highly recommend you consult with an experienced child injury lawyer and take the time to decide what’s best for your child and your family. Our Ottawa injury lawyers can help you with this. We understand, we care and we’re here to help.

 


Ottawa child car seat inspections. Is your child car seat properly installed ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.   Last week my wife was driving down Merivale road and a police officer flagged her down and pulled her over.  She  couldn’t figure out why she was being pulled over until the officer approached her and told her they were doing random car seat inspections. ! I love this idea. It didn’t take long but they were able to look in the vehicle and inspect the installation of any existing car seats.  This got me thinking, I know there are many people who would love this random check and I wondered how they could get their car seat inspected to make sure it is properly installed.  I went online and found many resources in the Ottawa area.  One that had a great website was S.E.A.T.S. for Kids,  is a non-profit organization in Ottawa that focuses on the proper use of child restraint systems. They offer a wide variety of services including:

  • car seat inspections
  • nationally recognized certification courses
  • information sessions regarding seat safety
  • seat safety seminars
  • appearances at Ottawa events

Did you know that Transport Canada reports that each year, 10,000 children 12 and under the age of 12 are injured in accidents ? Car accidents are the leading cause of children and youth deaths (Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program).

Every child’s safety is imperative and it is our responsibility as adults to make sure that we do whatever it takes to keep our children as safe as possible. If you are unsure of whether or not you have installed your car seat properly, don’t take the chance. There are many  inspection clinics you can attend and have your seats checked by a certified inspector.  S.E.A.T.S is offering clinics next month on November 9th and 30th. For more information, please visit their website. While you are there, I encourage you to explore their website , offering valuable information on car seat recalls and other safety information such as when to move a child into and out of a booster seat, expiry dates on car seats, etc…

 


Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth on what you need to know about child car seats.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth.

 I clearly remember the day our now 10 year old was born and how nervous I was driving that little human being home.  It felt like we had driven for an hour, when we arrived home safe and sound.  Now, I should mention I live extremely close to the hospital.  In fact, I think the drive was probably close to 4 minutes long. Even though I had brought our car and baby seat to the nearest fire station to have it inspected, I was still so nervous that very first time I drove home one of our children…


In Ottawa, it is estimated that more than 80 % of child car seats are used incorrectly.  Since accidents are the leading cause of injuries and deaths in children under the age of 14. These statistics are alarming.  Something as simple as installing and using a car seat properly can save thousands of lives.  If used correctly, a car seat reduces the number of  deaths by 90 % and also reduced the number of serious personal injuries by 70 %.  Knowing these statistics, how can anyone not take the time and effort to make sure a child is secured safely in a car?

The safest location for installed car seats  is in the middle and back of the car. As long as the seat belt is compatible with the child car seat, this is the safest place for a child to sit in a car. The Ontario government mandates that children being transported are secured properly in an appropriate car seat : infant seat (bucket seat) , child seat, or booster seat. It is important to note that a booster seat provides more than 60 % protection compared to a seat belt.

The Ontario government requires children under the age 8 who weigh more than 18 kg but less than 36 kg (40-80 lb.), and who are less than 145 centimetres or  4’9” tall be in a car seat. Only after a child exceeds any one of these criteria, can they move to using a seat belt .

If you are unsure of how to properly install your car there are resources all over Ottawa. For example, the Ottawa Safety Council is currently launching a new car seat inspection and car seat installation program in the Ottawa area. The program is called ” BEST FIT” and the Ottawa Safety Council will be running various clinics where a certified technician can inspect and install your child car seat for you. You must register for this free program on their website.

All of our children are precious and we need to do everything we can to keep them safe.  Please take the time to make sure your child is safe.

For more information that relates to child injuries, safety and accidents, please visit our website at www.ottawainjury.ca .

“We understand, we care and we’re here to help..and our track record proves it”

****some information in this post was originally posted on the City of Ottawa’s website

Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth discusses the differences in Ontario personal injury insurance claims for children.

Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

When it comes to our children, nothing is more important.  When a child suffers a personal injury, our hearts are broken. No one over wants their child to be injured. We know how stressful and overwhelming it is for parents when their child is suffering.

Hiring the right Ottawa child injury lawyer is critical. It is important for one to know that a child personal injury claim is not the same as an adult personal injury claim. There are very specific laws in Ontario that govern a child injury case. For instance, did you know that any settlement of a Ontario personal injury claim  involving a minor  requires Ontario court approval ?  This is done to protect the child and make sure that the settlement amount is appropriate and fair and that the legal fees charged by the personal injury lawyer hired for the child are fair and appropriate for the amount of work/risk he or she had done.

There are also many areas in Ontario accident benefits policies that pertain to children claims. Often times when a child suffers a personal injury, they need to be cared for by a parent. In most cases, this means that a parent must take time off work and assume a full-time caregiver role. There are specific provisions in the Ontario accident benefits that can help cover your loss of income while caring for your child.

Our child injury lawyers and our Ontario accident benefit specialists work together to make sure that all expenses are covered including, medications, family visiting expenses, loss of income, and provisions for other changes in your life as a result of your child being injured. We can help in many ways including  filling out all the necessary paperwork for you.  We do this to ensure that the insurance companies are responsible for 100% and no stone is left unturned. The paperwork can be daunting and complicated and often times our clients are not in the right head space to be focusing on this as they have much more important things and people to be focusing on.

If your child has been injured in a Ontario accident, it’s important that you consult with an experienced Ontario child injury lawyer to ensure you receive all the compensation and support that will be needed not only now but in the years to come following your child’s accident.

For more information, visit www.ottawainjury.ca or email david@ottawainjury.ca. We are here to discuss your child’s accident with you and can offer you advice on how best to proceed. We have been helping Ontario families work through their accidents and injuries since 1999. Our goal is to help you as much as possible and provide you not only with maximum compensation, but help you get much needed services and support.


Car accidents leading cause of child deaths in Canada. What you need to do to keep your child safe.

Accident and Child Injuries

Did you know that motor vehicle accidents  are the leading cause of death for Canadian children? This week Ottawa Police will be focussing on car child safety by conducting a roadside car seat safety blitz. The goal is to ensure that children under the age of 16 are secured properly. If you are unsure of whether or not your child’s car seat is installed properly or not, there are clinics throughout Ottawa, that can inspect your installation for you. For locations and times, visit the “seatsforkidscanada.com” website.

Want to know which child car seat to use and when ?

  • Birth to 9 kg (20 lb.) -Rear-facing seat
  • 9 to 18 kg (20-40 lb.) -Forward-facing seat -Use with a tether strap
  • The law requires booster seats for children who have outgrown a child car seat but are too small for a regular seat belt.Booster seats are required for children under the age of 8, weighing 18 kg or more but less than 36 kg (40-80 lb.) and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall.A child can wear a  seatbelt  once any one of the following criteria is met:
    • child is 8 years old  or child weighs 36 kg (80 lb.)  or child is 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall.

    Booster seats raise the child up so that the adult seatbelt works better. Booster seats protect against serious injury 3 ½ times better than seatbelts alone.

  • If you are unsure of whether or not your car seat is safe, please take the time to have it checked. Proper installation can make all the difference between life and death.

Drive safely.

Here are some valuable sites you may wish to look at the pertain to child car seats and safety:

www.seatsforkidscanada.com

www.ottawa.ca/en/node/267736/index.html

https://www.ottawasafetycouncil.org/childrens-programs/car-seat-program

http://capitalparent.ca/blog/2012/10/18/child-car-seat-safety-is-your-child-properly-secured