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

Ontario personal injury, What is a mediation? Ottawa injury lawyer explains…

Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth.. What is a mediation? How does a mediation affect an Ontario personal injury lawsuit?  Not all Ontario personal injury lawsuits get to the mediation stage.  Some may settle before that.  A mediation in an Ontario personal injury lawsuit is a step that both sides agree to take in order for a speedier resolution and hopefully have the Ontario personal injury lawsuit settle before going to court, which could take years.

In a personal injury mediation, both sides agree on using a mediator. The mediator’s job is to  help both sides come together and reach a settlement.  Mediators are neutral and are there to help both sides reach an agreement.  A personal injury mediation in Ontario is a step before court, whereby both parties can speak directly to one another and are really able to share with the other side what their needs are. It really is a very valuable part of the litigation process and typically results are fair.  Most accident victims find that because of the mediation process, they are able to avoid dragging out their personal injury case and avoid going to court. As an Ontario personal injury lawyer, I have found that almost all personal injury cases truly benefit from the mediation process.

Before going to the mediation, Ontario personal injury lawyers are required to prepare the mediator with the facts from their case.  Both sides will prepare their own version of this document known as a “mediation brief”. The mediator will typically begin the mediation by stating the facts, as they know them and then turn the floor to the  lawyers , who each get a turn to make their opening statements to both the mediator and the other side. In an Ontario personal injury case, the other side is the insurance companies’ lawyer; not the individual driver.

In Ontario, personal injury clients must be present at the mediation; however they are not required to speak. Their Ontario personal injury lawyer is there to represent them and speak on their behalf. Many accident victims like the fact that their lawyer speaks for them; while others do not.  At a mediation, the personal injury client is able to speak whenever they feel comfortable, they just don’t have to.  This includes answering any questions from the insurance company. The insurance company does not have their client there.  In fact, in most cases, the other driver is completely uninvolved in the lawsuit and has no idea as to what amounts or details there are in the case. The settlement cheque does not come from the driver, it comes from the insurance company. The insurance company also does not report back to the driver the amount that was reached at settlement.

Once all of the information has been presented by both lawyers; both sides will typically break off in separate locations to discuss freely and openly what offers they will accept and what offers they would like to make in the hoped of settling the case.  The mediator will flow back and forth between both rooms and offer counsel and suggestions to help both sides reach an agreement.

Most Ontario personal injury cases will settle at the mediation stage but not all do. In the case where it does not settle, the mediation process still helps forward the case along as both sides were able to share information and truly get a sense of where the other side is coming from. Sometimes, the mediation allows both sides to leave with some time to think about things and then over the course of the next little while, they are able to reach a resolution, as they have had some time to let things settle and they have had time  to simply think. And that is a good thing.

—-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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