Ottawa Bicycle Accidents, Cycling safety in Ottawa : What to look for in a helmet.

Ottawa Bicycle Accidents Lawyerbicycleaccident

Did you know that bicycle helmets can prevent up to 88 % of brain injuries when used properly? Sadly,  Ottawa bicycle accidents can  happen anywhere, anytime.

Earlier this month, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced June 5, 2011 as Helmet Day in the City of Ottawa to support the avoidance of personal injuries and to emphasize the importance of wearing proper safety head gear while being active.

“We are very fortunate in Ottawa to have an environment that is well-suited to cycling and in-line skating,” said the Mayor .  He made it clear how supportive he was of an active, but safe lifestyle. “We are encouraging all residents to purchase an appropriate helmet before enjoying their favourite summer activities.”

We all know how important it is whether we are riding a bicycle or strapping on in-line skates to take safety precautions to protect ourselves; however, we don’t always do. The awareness is there and still coming , but not everyone is strapping on a helmet and some are strapping on helmets that are inadequate and would not protect them.  The City of Ottawa continues to make efforts to keep residents safe  and raise awareness of helmet safety in the hopes of preventing severe head injuries.

 

How do help reduce your chances of a severe head injury- Ottawa bicycle accidents

1-Make sure there is a CSA or CPSC certification on the helmet.

2-All helmets should fit level and square on the head, and the front should be 2 fingers distance from the helmet to eyebrows. The helmet straps should be adjusted to meet just below the ear in a V shape, and fastened comfortably.

3-All helmets should have a snug fit, allowing only one finger between the chin strap and your chin.

4-Proper helmets must be worn by all cyclists who are under the age of 18. I recommend that EVERYONE should wear a helmet to protect themselves from serious head injuries.

Each year, approximately 5,700 Ottawa area children under the age of 20 visit Ottawa hospital emergency rooms for serious head injuries.  Sport activities make up a large percentage of head injuries among children and youth.

As an Ontario injury lawyer, I meet regularly with Ontario accident victims who have suffered severe head injuries and their lives have been altered forever. I urge everyone to please equip themselves with a proper helmet.  It could save your life !

Visit www.ottawainjury.ca


Ottawa Paraplegia : Richard Perrin’s story..

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth -Ottawa Accident Lawyers.. I had the pleasure of speaking with Richard and thought I would share this article from the Ottawa Citizen with you….I wish him and his wife Maureen continued success in their recovery.

Richard Perrin was in a terrible accident. He was thrown off a motorcycle at 160 km/h. He explained to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper…”I came out on the wrong side of the risk-reward equation. Thankfully he was alive, following a serious motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the rib cage down.

Richard Perrin could be described as obsessed with motorcycles. For over 10 years, he dreamed of various bikes and  gleaming motorcycles riding through the desert sand. In particular , he had his eye on one bike.   “The Valkyrie from Honda” was the object of his affection.  Richard knew he had to have it and decided to sign up for an introductory motorcycle course at the Ottawa Safety Council.

Perrin bought his first bike from his future wife, Maureen and together they began touring New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Maine, Newfoundland and England. Richard’s bikes were not only his hobby, they were his passion and he spent many hours tinkering away on old motorcycles and reading motorcycle magazines in his garage.  Soon enough, the pictures in the magazines became part of his real life.  Richard not only looked at the racers in the magazines, he was going to become one of them.

He started racing four years ago and joined  the Vintage Road Racing Association. Richard joined this like minded group of motorcycle enthusiasts and began devoting himself to winning his motorcycle class. He trained hard and in the off-season, he worked out in his basement, while watching motorcycle races on  TV.

Then on Aug. 14, 2009, Robert entered in the summer’s premier event at Mosport International Raceway and things took a turn for the worse.  While travelling over 160 km/hr, Richard lost control of his bike and ended up in The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.  Richard was air lifted to a nearby hospital where he underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord.  Perrin was paralyzed from the ribcage down. He had suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury. The first few days in the hospital were filled with fear. Richard spent his time thinking about what he had lost, thinking about his wife and children and how this accident would forever change their lives .  Doctors were unable to tell him if he would ever be able to walk again.

Thankfully, Richard also knew that these thoughts would not serve him well.  He would allow himself only short sessions of grief, 20 minutes at a time. He knew he needed to focus on being positive. ” I decided then that I was going to be relentlessly positive through all of this experience. …“Really, I knew I was lucky because you don’t come off of a motorcycle at near top speed and go tumbling along and live some kind of life that is still OK. I still had my kids. I still had my wife” he told the Ottawa Citizen.

His wife Maureen remained supportive throughout.  When Richard arrived at the Ottawa Rehab Centre in September 2009, he was unable to sit up  or transfer to his wheelchair. He required a nurse to help him use the bathroom and dress himself. He needed significant support. And support he received. Four months later, his determination has led him through numerous physiotherapy sessions. He spent months working on building muscles and strength in his legs.

Perrin still has sensation in his legs and can feel  pressure exerted on his quadricep. The first day he stood in rehab was exhilarating. All his months of hard work paid off.  Richard is realistic in his goals and knows he won’t be running to the store anytime soon, but for now, is happily accepting these baby steps.  There is still much uncertainty.   Perrin’s rehabilitation physician, Dr. Vidya Sreenivasan told the Ottawa Citizen “All we’re able to say is that it is a good prognosis in that there is potential for motor recovery,”  “There’s still a lot of really big question marks as to where his recovery is going to take him.” The physician pointed out that Richard possesses a winning attitude and channeled his anger into getting better and being constructive.

Richard knows  his outlook has been influenced by his experience as a competitive athlete, which taught him the road to improvement is marked by pain and frustration. Richard accepts full responsibility for his actions. He knew the risks and was well aware of the dangers of the motorcycle races. He doesn’t blame anyone for the accident. He isn’t asking himself  ‘Why me?’ He knows why.  He also knows that most motorcycle accidents don’t result in a spinal cord injury, his just happen to have.

As time went on, Richard’s hope of walking again , bit by bit, day by day, started to become a possibility. Months before he didn’t feel this much hope but now he did. It’s almost as of his determination, hard work and positive attitude got him up on his feet again. The future is now brighter for Richard and Maureen Perrin. They soon take possession of a new home in the  Andrew Haydon Park area. The home will need to be modified and made wheelchair accessible and they are waiting to find out what the insurance company will and will not cover. Thankfully Richard will also be able to return to work designing software. By all accounts, things are looking up.

Article information from the The Ottawa Citizen

If you have been in an accident , you may need the help of an Ottawa personal injury lawyer to help you navigate through a very complicated insurance claims process.  Often times, an Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you get the maximum amount of compensation that you need to begin a “new life”.  You have been through enough, you shouldn’t be worrying about your finances at a time like this.  You need to channel all of your efforts and strength into your recovery and your family.  Let an Ottawa personal injury lawyer help. Let David Hollingsworth help. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more details or call 613 978-9549 to speak with an Ottawa personal injury lawyer directly.

Personal Injury Claims- How much is Pain and Suffering worth ?

Ontario Personal Injury Claims: Pain and suffering Compensation. How Much Is My “Pain and Suffering” Worth?

One of the challenges that I face as an Ontario personal injury lawyer  in Ottawa is explaining to people who have been seriously injured how much pain and suffering compensation they are entitled to. Each and every case is different. Calculating how much compensation an Ontario accident victim should receive for pain and suffering is also very challenging.

What is Pain and Suffering ? Compensation that lawyers refer to as “non-pecuniary damages”. Most people refer to this type of damages as “pain and suffering”.

How Do Courts Calculate “Pain and Suffering”? Unfortunately, there is no specific answer for calculating pain and suffering. Each case is very unique. What a judge does when determining compensation for pain and suffering is evaluate how the personal injury has affected the victim’s ability to function in everyday life and how the injury has effected the person’s enjoyment of life. From there compensation is calculated.

In other words, how have your injuries affected your normal day to day activities;  ability to work; and your normal amenities of life? Your personal relationships ? How do your injuries affect the way you interact with your friends and family? Your co-workers ?

Maximum Award compensation for Pain and Suffering.  The Supreme Court of Canada has placed a limit on the amount of compensation that accident victims are entitled to receive for non-pecuniary damages for pain and suffering. To date, the maximum compensation  is slightly more than $300,000.00.  The maximum amount is only paid to the most catastrophically injured victims (quadriplegic, paraplegic,  brain injury etc..) .

If you are considering a claim for compensation and live in Ontario, it is important to have an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer assisting you collect all the necessary information you need to make a detailed claim. Which will in turn,  help assess your damages claim for pain and suffering. The best Ontario personal injury lawyers can help ensure you prepare your case properly, in a manner that will show the courts the amount of pain and suffering you are living with and the need for maximum compensation for you not only today but for the rest of your life.

I have been representing victims of serious personal injuries for over 10  years, helping injured victims get maximum compensation for their personal injuries.

Contact me for a free consultation.  Home and hospital visits.  Contact  www.ottawainjury.ca


Review and Recommended Changes to Auto Insurance in Ontario

Among a number of significant changes to the current Ontario accident benefits regime , the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is considering the following changes to the tort regime (suing the at fault driver) in Ontario which would provide greater access and a more equitable and fair system of compensation and rehabilitation for victims of motor vehicle accidents:

Release of 5 Year Review of Auto Insurance by FSCO

The 5 year review of auto insurance in Ontario was released today by the Superintendent of FSCO.  The report contains 39 recommendations for auto insurance reform with a focus on achieving savings from accident benefits. From my perspective , they are very serious recommendations that severely impact Ontario drivers.

Some of the suggestions include:

1.     A  reduction on the deductible on non-pecuniary general damages from $30,000 to $20,000;

2.     A  reduction on the deductible on Family Law Act claims from $15,000 to $10,000:

3.     Eliminating a $15,000 deductible for fatal accident claims,

4.  Revoking the regulation defining the Verbal Threshold.

You have a right and a say.  Please consider contacting your local MPP to discuss these changes and voice your concerns.  The rights of Ontario accident victims need to be heard and most of all protected.  You may  not think this is important, but believe me , should you ever become seriously injured, it will be more important than ever that you have a clear understanding of what accident benefits you are entitled to, as well what deductibles you will be required to pay.  The injuries caused by accidents not only bring about pain, they can bring very significant costs as well for medical treatments not covered, as well as lost income from work in some cases.

My personal injury lawyer team and I will continue to watch closely the changes, development and  implementation of Ontario’s  proposed changes and work to ensure justice for accident victims’ to receive fair compensation for their losses and suffering.