Ottawa injury lawyers on texting and driving statistics. What can we do?

Teenage texting and driving has become a huge area of concern for new drivers.  Thankfully, most new drivers now understand and respect the dangers of drinking and driving but unfortunately texting and driving seems to be the new focus.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)  reported that 35 people died last year because of distracted driving and 1,000 suffered serious personal injuries as a result of texting and driving.

The following statistics were found at www.textinganddrivingsafety.com.  This website  is an incredible website devoted tothe elimination of drivers from texting when driving. I encourage you to visit this site for many valuable resources, statistics, videos, campaigns, pledges and tools designed to share the text free driving message.

The reality of texting and driving..

  • In 2011, there were a reported 1.3 million car accidents involving cell phones.
  • The chances of being in an accident increase by 23X when you are texting. (National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.)

Texting while driving causes…

  • 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
  • 330,000 personal injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
  • 11 teenage fatalities daily  – Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts
  • Close to 25% of  motor vehicle accidents

Texting when driving is:

  • About 6 X more likely to cause an accident than driving impaired
  • As dangerous as driving after drinking 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
  • The main cause of distracted driving for teenage drivers

Texting While Driving:

  • Is as dangerous as the driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute
  • Takes place at any giver moment across the country by close to 800,000 drivers.
  • Slows your braking speed reaction by 18% – HumanFactors & Ergonomics Society

The statistics don’t lie. Texting and driving has become a huge concern for all of us.  This blog post focussed on teenagers and texting but that’s not to say they are the only ones. Adults are also texting and driving and often times their children are watching. We must educate our teenagers and all drivers to put down the phone and focus on the road. It has taken our society awhile to get there with drinking and driving and we still have a long ways to go; however, this newest generation of drivers seems to be understanding it more and more. Now, we must do the same with texting and driving.  I have 3 children who will all start driving in the next 10 years so I feel very strongly about this issue.  Would love to hear your thoughts on what you think we can do to help eliminate texting and driving.

Throughout the years I have met with far too many families who have lost a loved one in an accident because someone was texting and driving.  It is so hard for the families to understand how these accidents happen. I’m here to tell you, they do and they are devastating.

 


Are Ontario snowmobile accidents entitled to Ontario accident benefits ?

Snowmobile Accidents and Accident Benefits Insurance Claims

There are far too many snowmobile accidents each year. A tragic snowmobile accident took another life: the life of  a 24 year old man in Val des Monts yesterday.  My thoughts go out to his family and friends and I am truly sorry for their loss.  I have many clients who have injured themselves in a snowmobile accident . A snowmobile is considered a motor vehicle and yes, Ontario accident benefits apply to snowmobile accidents.  So the good news is there is support and compensation for people who suffer injuries in snowmobile accidents.   The bad news is, there seem to be a lot of snowmobile accidents in our region and some of them are sadly,  fatal. Please ride safely…

Transport Canada  has prepared an amazing site full of interesting information that relates to road and snowmobile safety. For example, did you know that there are over 700,000 registered snowmobiles and more than 161,000 km of snowmobile trails in Canada?  Snowmobiling can be safe and enjoyable. As long as drivers are cautious and follow safety rules, there is no reason not to get out and enjoy a fantastic sport.

The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations or CCSO highlighted that between the years of 1994 and 1999, when promoting safety and  snowmobiling became a focus, snowmobile accident fatalities dropped by 2% – from 96 to 94 deaths;however the number of snowmobile drivers increased by 40%. This goes to show that more and more people can ride safely ,when safety is a focus.

Avoiding Snowmobile accidents safety tips:

  • Tell someone where you plan to go and when you plan to get there.
  • Ensure that your snowmobile is tuned up.
  • Dress properly to protect yourself and avoid hypothermia, especially in children.
  • Always have a  first aid and survival kit available.
  • Ride at your own speed.
  • Try to use snowmobile trails whenever possible.
  • Remain on the right side of all roads, paths and trails.
  • If you don’t know  the area, slow down and drive cautiously.
  • Be careful crossing roads and train tracks.
  • At night, drive with headlights and slow down.
  • Know the  ice conditions and if you are unsure, do not cross.
  • Always  wear flotation-type clothing.
  • Always be on the look out for wildlife.

It’s impossible to completely avoid all accidents but please, let’s try.  Snowmobiling does not need to be a dangerous sport.  Be safe and ride as safely as possible. Enjoy !

 

 

 

    

 


Orthopedic Injury, Broken Bones and Bone fractures: Why you may need an Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer

Compensation for broken bone injuries

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth

One of the most common injuries in car accidents is broken bones; otherwise known as orthopedic injuries.  An orthopedic injury often may seem like a small injury; however these injuries often prevent people from returning to their everyday life and in some cases unable to return to work or enjoy a day without pain and suffering. I meet daily with people whose lives have been turned upside down because of an orthopedic injury. Not only are they suffering, their family is suffering. I’ve seen how an orthopedic injury can negatively change someone’s life. That is why I take orthopedic injury cases extremely seriously and fight the insurance company for maximum compensation. For years, even decades to come, most accident victims will need compensation for their orthopedic injury.

Often times, broken bones require serious medical intervention such as surgery , the insertion of metal hardware  plates , pins or screws  and typically require ongoing physical and occupational therapy.

Not all orthopedic injuries are the same…

There are several types of bone injuries or bone fractures. Generally, most orthopedic injuries fall into these categories:

1-Compound bone fracture – This is when the bone breaks through the skin and is an open fracture.

2-Simple bone fracture– This is when the bone breaks under the skin but is not visible from the outside and does not pierce the skin. There are several types of simple bone fractures.

3-Complete bone fracture –This is when a bone completely breaks; either in  two or more parts.

4-Incomplete bone fracture-This is when the bone cracks but does not break apart.

If you or a loved one has suffered an orthopedic injury, it’s important to remember that your insurance company needs to compensate you  for financial shortfalls, damages, rehabilitation and other Ontario accident benefits to which you may be entitled to. As an Ottawa personal injury layer who has had hundreds of bone fractures injury cases, I can honestly say that it is in your best interest to consult with a top Ottawa personal injury lawyer to know your rights and options. All my consultations are free and I’d be happy to help you get the maximum compensation for your broken bone injury.  You have to take care of yourself. You owe it to yourself and your family.

 


Ottawa Police aiming to reduce personal injuries by focussing on unsafe lane changes

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…Ottawa Police and the City of Ottawa’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) are targetting  Ottawa motorists performing  unsafe lane changes and those who inappropriately use reserved lanes to help keep Ottawa’s roads safe. This will be the focus for April.

Ottawa Accidents and Unsafe Lane changes

Unsafe lane changes caused 1,130  accidents  reported in 2010, resulting in one wrongful death and 111 personal injuries. 

Ottawa Accidents and Ottawa Drivers Driving in Reserved Lanes

In 2010, Ottawa motorists traveling in the reserved transit lanes caused 27 accidents which resulted  in  personal injuries. 

The  Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department.  They are all dedicated to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious personal injuries for all Ottawa people , through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment. 

I commend them on their efforts and support these amazing initiatives.  Let’s all do whatever we can to help reduce the number of Ottawa accidents and personal injuries.

—-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: [email protected] (613) 978-9549

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Ottawa Police STEP program, Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

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: [email protected] (613) 978-9549

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What happens mediation? Ottawa personal injury lawyers, Ontario personal injury lawyers, Mediation process Ontario


Ottawa neurosurgeon Dr. Vassilyadi and child head injury, study calls for new helmet

Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer, Ottawa Brain Injury Attorneys….Ottawa-based neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vassilyadi has conducted research that shows hockey helmets are the most effective at protecting children and preventing serious head injury to children tobogganing. The experiment conducted by Dr. Michael Vassilyadi, the neurosurgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and also a professor at the University of Ottawa, tested helmets designed for hockey, downhill skiing, and cycling. Dr. Vassilyadi and his Ottawa team simulated the potential impact that might occur while tobogganing. The findings were amazing. Hockey helmets were determined to be the safest, over bicycle helmets. This is especially true if the hockey helmet has a face shield guard. Dr . Vassilyadi noted that often times when a child suffers a tobogganing injury, they often have facial injuries such as torn lips, broken teeth,  broken nose, or eye injuries.

The bottom line is that any helmet is better than none for tobogganing. So if you can’t have access to a hockey helmet, then please grab whatever helmet you have when you take your kids out tobogganing.  As an Ontario personal injury lawyer who has had many clients with severe head injuries, I am in complete agreement with Dr. Vassilyadi and support is a desire  to see a helmet created for outdoor winter activities such as tobogganing and skating. It really does seem crazy not to.

Dr Vassilyadi explained that collisions in tobogganing are usually to the front of the head, whereas ski accidents usually involve impacts to the side of the head, where ski helmets were the most effective. Again this just goes to show that there is a need for a specific helmet to be designed for tobogganing, as there is currently no helmet specifically designed to protect the front of the head-on impact.

All this to say, do everything you can to keep your little ones (and yourself) safe. Take every safety step you can.  A child’s brain injury or head injury is life-altering. Enjoy this winter and all its wonderful activities, but please be safe.

 


Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Supports Reach Canada: Ottawa Organisation for people with disabilities.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth..I am pleased to be supporting Ottawa’s REACH Canada tomorrow night .  I volunteer on the Board of Directors for Reach Canada and along with 350 other Ottawa community REACH supporters tomorrow night, we hope to raise funds to support people with disabilities in Ottawa. Reach aims to improve the quality of life for citizens with disabilities.

Last year, the annual REACH auction gala raised over $110 000. 00 for people with disabilities in Ottawa .  Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow night.

———————- The  Ottawa Injury Blog is written regularly by Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa injury lawyer representing Ontario accident victims and the families of accident victims who have lost a loved one in an Ontario accident. This 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 a free consultation and  more information. If you have a question, feel free to call or email [email protected]  (613) 978-9549

Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer , Ottawa  Accident Lawyers , Personal Injury Lawyers Ottawa  David Hollingsworth, Reach Canada

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Infant and Child Car Seat Safety. Have you buckled your child properly?

Installing a Child Car Seatchildaccident

Ottawa Lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Injury Lawyer…I came across this information on the Canada Safety Council website and thought I would share .  Let’s do everything we can to keep our kids safe and avoid child injuries !

Canadian Safety Council: Buckle-Up  Basics

Did you know that the proper use of a child restraint on each and every trip can prevent 75% of crash-related deaths and serious child injuries. Sadly, roadside checks find only 51.6 % of children buckled up at all. During 2002, Buckle Up Bears clinics found that less than 20 percent of all car seats checked were correctly installed. By following  tips from the Canada Safety Council, we can help make sure children are  properly secured in their vehicles.

The Fundamentals of installing child car seats

  • Always ensure your child car seat has CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) on the label and has a valid manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check the weight and height limits of the seat and check this against the child being placed in the child car seat.
  • Before you buy a child car seat, test it in your vehicle to ensure that it  fits well in your vehicle.
  • Follow all  instructions according to the child seat manufacturer’s manual and the vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Transport Canada recommends that children under the age of 12 and under should be properly restrained in the back seat especially if there is a passenger-side air bag.

Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat Birth to 10 kg (22 lb.)

  • An infant-only car seat is the best for young babies. When your child is over the height OR weight limit of the infant-only car seat, you can use an infant seat in the rear-facing position.
  • Always ensure the harness are  snug. You should only be able to fit one finger between you baby’s and the harness.
  •  Make sure that the chest clips are positioned at your child’s armpit level.
  • Remove winter outdoor wear before placing your child in their seat.
  • Never put a rear-facing child car seat on a seat that is equipped with an air bag.

Forward-Facing Car Child Seat 10 – 18 kg (22 – 40 lb.)

  • Once your child weighs 10 kg and are able to stand independently you can switch to a  forward-facing seat.
  • Always make sure the  harness is snug and follow the one finger rule.  The chest clip needs to be at the armpit level.
  • All forward-facing child car seats must be anchored to the vehicle frame with a tether strap. If the anchor is not visible, check in the trunk.

Booster Car Seat 18 kg (40 lb.) or over

  • Your child can move to a booster seat once they weigh 18 kg.
  • A booster car seat raises the child to properly fit the adult seat-belt.
  • A booster car seat that uses a lap is always best.
  • Check your seat  and ensure that you are following the weight limits.

Seat-Belts

  • Once your child has reached the age of 8 or is 4 ft. 9 in., or weighs 80 lbs, they can use a seat belt in Ontario.
  • Make sure the seat belt is positioned properly. The lap portion of the seat belt should be worn on the hips, touching the upper thighs and the  shoulder portion of the seatbelt should be worn over the shoulder and tight across the chest.
  • Your child should always sit upright, with their back against the seat.

Stay safe and buckle up !

 


Risks of Social Media: Problems for Personal Injury Lawsuits? Ottawa Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth     FaceBook_32x32linkedinTwitter_32x32

Please be careful of what  you put up on the Internet.  Pictures and “tweets” can often be taken out of context and misconstrued and inevitably may hurt your personal injury case.

Risks Of Social Media  

Online social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube are great ways to connect with people, but can easily undermine personal injury cases.

Please be careful about which details you reveal about yourself on social media sites. Information on your pages can be used against you as evidence from Facebook  by the police, the media, and most importantly insurance companies. Insurance companies often hire private detectives to follow you.  Facebook does this work for them. Make sure to check your settings and make sure your privacy is protected. You may think posting a picture of yourself doing an activity is harmless but you never know how an insurance company can misconstrue these pictures and use them against you. There have been many personal injury lawsuits that have gone south because accident victims innocently posted a picture of themselves relaxing or enjoying leisurely activities.  The insurance company can and will use these pictures against your case. Any picture can be taken out of context and an insurance company can use these pictures to say you aren’t as injured as your claim states. Insurance companies may not understand that people who are injured will gather strength and rest up for certain special occasions and then spend the next 3 days in bed to recuperate. The insurance companies can paint a picture of this type of behaviour and activity as being commonplace. Obviously, this can lead to misinformation and make settling personal injury lawsuits difficult.  To avoid the confusion, it’s best to keep your personal life personal.

The last thing you want to have happen is for you to affect your personal injury case in any way, shape or form.