Ontario government looking to reduce Ottawa accidents and accidents throughout Ontario.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers for Safer Roads and Fewer Accidentsontarioaccidentcycling

written by Qasim Ebrahimi

Ontario’s Safer Roads Act

The Ontario government passed the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, which makes a number of amendments to the Highway Traffic Act in an effort to improve road safety.  Some of the new measures will come into force over the coming months, while others may take up to a couple of years.  These measures affect drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, in addition to increasing the fines for distracted driving and “dooring” cyclists.  The amendments will include the following, in addition to a number of other changes:
 

Ontario Bicycling

 
·         Traffic control signals that are specific to bicyclists will be allowed to be implemented.  In locations where there are both bicycle traffic control signals and regular traffic control signals, bicyclists will be required to obey the bicycle traffic control signals.
 
·         Bicyclists will no longer be prohibited against riding or operating a bicycle along a cross walk.
 
·         The driver of a motor vehicle in overtaking a bicycle will be required to maintain a distance of at least one metre, as nearly as practicable, between the vehicle and bicycle.
 
·         Bicycles will be permitted to be ridden or operated on the paved shoulder of a highway that is divided into two separate roadways.
 

Ontario Pedestrian Safety

 
·         Drivers will be required to remain stopped at a pedestrian crossover or school crossing until the person crossing the street and the school crossing guard are off the roadway.  Drivers were previously allowed to proceed once the person crossing and the school crossing guard are no longer on the driver’s half of the roadway.
 
·         In addition, when a pedestrian is crossing on the roadway within a pedestrian crossover, the driver of a vehicle approaching the crossover is required to stop before entering the crossover, and is prohibited from overtaking another vehicle already stopped at the crossover.  
 
·         Pedestrians or persons in a wheelchair must not enter a crossover and into the path of a vehicle or street car that is so close that the driver cannot stop.
 

Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act Penalties

 
·         Currently, drivers are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle on a highway if the display screen of a television, computer or other device in the motor vehicle is visible to the driver, with certain exceptions such as a GPS unit that is providing navigation information, a collision avoidance system, speedometer etc.  as provided under the Highway Traffic Act.    In addition, drivers are prohibited from holding or using a wireless communication device such as a cell phone, or other hand-held entertainment device, with certain exceptions such as hands-free mode etc. as provided under theHighway Traffic Act. The penalties for being convicted of an offence in contravention of these prohibitions will be a fine between $300 and $1,000.
 
·         Currently, drivers and passengers are prohibited from opening the door of their motor vehicle without first taking due precautions for the safety of other persons or vehicles.  The penalty on conviction of an offence in contravention of this prohibition increases from a fine of between $60 and $500 to between $300 and $1,000.
 
Other
 
·         Currently, drivers are required to slow down and move into another lane when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its red or red and blue lights flashing.  Drivers will be required to do the same for a tow truck stopped with its amber lights flashing.
 
·         In addition to being prohibited from attaching themselves to and being towed by a vehicle or street car on a highway while riding or operating various devices (bicycles, toboggans, roller skates, etc.), persons are prohibited from doing the same with skateboards, in-line skates and any other type of conveyance.
 
I’m sure we can all agree that the number of accidents in Ontario and Ottawa accidents should decrease.  Sometimes, simple small steps is all it takes. The Ontario government is implementing a few small changes in the hopes of better and safer roads. Let’s all work together and do whatever we can to protect our drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Stay safe on our roads !
 

Cold Ottawa weather partly to blame for increase in Ottawa accidents.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…It’s not getting any warmer out there Ottawa. The temperatures have dropped yet again and it looks like there is another very cold snap settling into our city. With this cold weather comes, icy roads and Ottawa accidents. This cold winter weather is one of the causes  for hundreds of Ottawa accidents yesterday, including a multiple vehicle accident on Hwy. 417

What does this mean for you?  Well the truth is as we all know, accidents happen.  The only thing you can do is try as much as possible to prevent them from happening by slowing down, making sure your winter tires are in good shape and being extra attentive while driving in difficult conditions.  You can only control your own driving and hopefully those drivers around you do the same.  Yes, the commutes have been messy and unfortunately there seem to be more messy commutes in the days that lie ahead, as temperatures in Ottawa continue to drop. Let’s hope this extreme Ottawa weather causes people to stop and think for a minute about their driving choices.

Slow down, drive safely and arrive alive.

 


How to hire the best Ottawa personal injury lawyers

Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth discusses how to hire the best Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer..

Hiring a Ottawa personal injury lawyer is an important decision to make. You need to make sure that you choose carefully. When choosing  the best Ottawa personal injury lawyer for you and your family, think about the following:

-what is their experience?

-what is their track record?

-can they provide you with references of past clients? past cases?

-do they have a good website?

-are they prepared to take your case to trial ?

-have they been to a personal injury trial before?  You would be surprised by how many Ottawa personal injury lawyers shy away from taking a case to court and will settle for less to avoid doing so.

-do they have infrastructure in place?

-will they travel to you?

-can they refer you for medical treatments?

-do they have a good personal injury network?

-do they specialize in Ontario personal injury?

-are they up to date with what is going on in Ontario personal injury law?

-do they seem genuine?

-do you see yourself working well with this Ottawa personal injury lawyer?

-are they available to meet with you?

There are many more areas for you to explore when choosing the best Ottawa personal injury lawyer for you.  Do a little research, meet with them and go with your gut.  You will know right away whether or not they are the best Ottawa personal injury lawyer for you or not. Don’t be swayed by the first personal injury lawyer that promises you millions of dollars in compensation.  Ask them how they plan on getting that amount of money and to provide other, similar cases where they have obtained similar compensation amounts.

Initial meeting with an Ottawa personal injury lawyer

Most of my initial meetings with personal injury clients are at someone’s kitchen table or hospital bed. I don’t do a song and dance about why I am the best Ottawa personal injury lawyer for them, I simply listen to their story  and then offer advice.  I like to give people time to think about the important decision of choosing the best lawyer for them. Don’t let a lawyer push you into deciding on the spot.  Give yourself time to make this very important decision.

Hiring the best personal injury lawyer for you and your family is crucial. Don’t sell yourself short.

 

 


Ontario insurance accident benefits claims: Can a relative make a claim on my insurance?

Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyers David Hollingsworth

Is everyone entitled to an insurance claim?

Yes, any person injured in an automobile accident in Ontario can make an insurance claim. This includes claim their relatives and/or dependents.

Are there any restrictions on making an insurance claim in Ontario?

There are some limitations to their insurance claim if one has broken the law during the accident in Ontario. If this is the case, they cannot receive income replacement benefits, visitors expenses, non-earner benefits, lost education expenses, expenses of visitors and the housekeeping and home maintenance benefits.

What happens if the injured does not have insurance ?

The person injured may claim these benefits from their own insurance company. If they do not have an insurance company, they can claim it at the driver at-fault’s insurance company. If none of the persons involved have insurance, the claim can be made through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

Who can help me with my insurance claim?

Regardless if you have been at fault or not or have insurance or not, we can help you. There are options. We understand the stress you are going through and can help. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have been helping people with their insurance claims since 1999.

Contact one of our Ottawa lawyers for a free consultation and help with your Ontario accident benefits insurance claim.

 

 


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 !

 

 

 

    

 


Avoid an accident and personal injury- watch out for black ice.

Ottawa injury lawyer on how to avoid Ottawa accidents and black ice. icyroads

It’s the last day of March break and it’s awfully cold out there today.  I’m just about to go out and hit the slopes with my son.  I’ve been skiing for a couple of days now and I’m sore and stiff !  Regardless, my son is excited, so off we go ! I hope my muscles forgive me someday.  Although it’s sunny out there..there is still a chill and with that comes black ice.

There are too many injuries in Ottawa each year due to black ice. Generally, drivers are caught unprepared. Black ice, sometimes known as “glare ice” or “clear ice” is deadly because it is difficult to see – it can sneak up on you when you least suspect. Ottawa Personal Injury lawyer David Hollingsworth shares his thoughts on how you can drive safely through the Winter season and practice safe driving habits.

Each year, there are an incredible number of Ottawa automobile accidents due to the ice conditions here in Ottawa and in Eastern Ontario. The goal is to establish safe driving habits that will protect you when you drive during black-ice season. As a preliminary, always strive to stay alert – this means that since black ice can be anywhere, it is wise to remember driving carefully, with all attention on your surroundings.

More specifically, you can stay tuned to weather and news reports that will advise drivers on particularly bad days and intersections that require careful attention. Black ice is not truly black, though it is virtually invisible to the driver’s eye, so sharp turns, and busy intersections, for example, will require extra caution to safeguard your safety and well-being. “Most accident victims don’t notice the black ice on the road until it is way too late,” says Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. “You have to automatically assume that if there is a slight chill in the air, there will likely be ice, SO please… slow down and avoid car accidents.”

For over 12 years, David Hollingsworth has been on Ottawa personal injury lawyer, specializing in Ottawa accidents and Ontario accidents. David’s personal injury practice focuses on Ottawa and Ontario accident victims of motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents resulting in personal injury, Ontario Accident Benefits Insurance Claims, Ontario Sexual Assault Claims, Ottawa, Ontario Serious Injury Law Suits, and other Civil Litigation matters. Ottawa and Ontario – Free Consultations. For more information, call 613 978-9549 or 613 237-4922 ext 203 or visit www.ottawainjury.ca


Ontario laws change to reduce accidents and personal injury in young drivers

Ottawa, Ontario Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth – Ontario Personal Injury Lawyers … these are very important changes for all Ontario drivers…

WHO IS AFFECTED?

The provincial government of Ontario has recently changed the rules related to blood-alcohol restrictions for young and novice drivers in Ontario. Starting August 1st, 2010 – any drivers 21 years old and under must have absolutely zero blood alcohol levels if behind the steering wheel, regardless of their driver’s license category. Until now, the zero tolerance policy was only applicable to drivers with entry-level G1 and G2 class licenses.

WHAT IS ZERO BLOOD ALCOHOL?

The concept of zero blood alcohol does not mean that you must quit drinking or that you can never drink generally if you intend to drive. Rather, the concept has been introduced to safeguard our most precious commodity: life. The new rules are intended to prevent drinking and driving tragedies that have sadly become so common in our communities.

More specifically, your ability to metabolize alcohol is affected by a host of factors which include your age, gender, body size, amount of alcohol consumed, and the functional health of your liver. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it takes about 1 hour to metabolize 15 millilitres of alcohol (standard serving amount of a spirit, beer, or wine). As stated, however, this ratio fluctuates with each individual. Always plan ahead and play it safe when it comes to drinking and the prospect of getting behind the wheel. If you consume 4 drinks in 1 hour, it will take about 7 hours for your body to eliminate all of the alcohol. Your body does this by the liver, but also through excretion in your breath, urine, sweat, feces, milk, and saliva. A blood alcohol content of roughly 0.05 per cent would be registered 4 hours after consuming 4 drinks. A 0.05 blood alcohol content is significantly unsafe for driving.

Again, please keep in mind that these new legislative measures are designed to ensure for your own, and our collective, safety. As Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne has stated,  “What we’re trying to do is introduce sanctions that will educate drivers right up front so they get into good practices early on.” Individuals found in contravention of the new rules will face an immediate license suspension and the prospect of a further suspension of 30 days, in addition to a $500 fine.

WHAT ABOUT REPEAT OFFENDORS?

Escalating sanctions are built-in as part of the new rules in Ontario. According to Wynne, novice drivers who repeatedly violate traffic rules will be given a 30-day suspension for their first conviction, and will accumulate demerit points. A second conviction will result in a 90-day suspension, and then potentially the novice license could be cancelled, forcing the young driver to start all over again. “We’ve got to educate people about these dangers, and these sanctions are part of the education” Wynne states. Statistics show that drivers aged 19 to 21 are nearly 1.5 times more likely to be involved in drinking and driving accidents that involve death or personal injury.

SUMMARY

In short, the new rules in Ontario related to blood alcohol content and repeat offenders seem to be aimed towards a good cause, namely, to reduce the overall level of tragedy related to drinking and driving by (directly) helping impaired drivers change their behaviour to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders, and (indirectly) raising the level of awareness behind these issues so that we can all help to build better, safer communities to live.

 


Ontario motorcycle accidents : Compensation and your rights, Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Ontario motorcycle accident lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ottawa bike accident lawyer David Hollingsworth…I came across this information on a related website and found it very valuable. I have changed some of the information to make it relevant to Ontario accident victims. Did you know that one of the most common causes of motorcycle and bike accidents is when a car turns left in front of a motorcycle. Did you know that turning left is one of the most common types of car accidents for motorcyclists, often resulting in serious personal injury. As an experienced Ottawa Ontario personal injury attorney, I have seen similar Ontario motorcycle accidents resulting in serious personal injury for the motorcycle rider occur repeatedly. Often times the driver of the car does not see the motorcyclist.  Motorcyclists simply do not have the same protection and therefore are ususally the ones with the more serious personal injury after the accident.  Hiring the best Ontario accident injury lawyer  after any motorcycle crash or accident resulting in serious personal injury is crucial. The best Ontario personal injury lawyers, are experienced in Ontario motorcycle accident law and know how best to represent you with your insurance compnay to get you maximum compensation after your motorcycle accident.  The best Ontario personal injury lawyers can not only get you financial compensation, they can help get you housekeeping, caregiving, medical expenses, lost time at work, out of  pocket expenses and many other accident benefits you may be entitled to.

An experienced Ottawa Ontario motorcycle accident attorney can help explain your rights and give you a free consultations to help you get started with your Ontario insurance claim. In any motorcycle accident lawsuit or insurance claim, it is extremely important to document these cases properly, ensuring that evidence is gathered efficiently and completely. Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth and his personal injury team can help with accidents and personal injuries throughout Ontario and if needed will travel to you.

 

 


Ottawa bicycle safety ? Are Ottawans at risk? Ottawa Lawyer David Hollingsworth shares..

 Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer 

A new poll in Ottawa seems to suggest that Ottawa citizens would be interested in the prospect of increased bicycle culture in Ottawa. More Ottawa citizens would cycle to work if the paths were made safer to use, and the bicycle culture of Ottawa promoted generally, including more dedicated bicycle paths, accommodation by transit facilities, and improved bicycle storage areas. Each year, countless deaths and serious injuries occur do to bicycle injuries. These tragic rates of injury, combined with the results from this new study, seem to suggest that we could do more in terms of bicycle reform and culture in Ottawa to help prevent lives and save innocent victims from getting hurt each year on our city streets and pathways in Ottawa.

Some controversy exists between experts regarding if separate bicycle lanes actually reduce accidents and personal injury. One perspective argues that there’s no basis to conclude that it is not safe to cycle on the streets of Ottawa. Only a few high-profile accidents, this side argues, make it appear to Ottawa residents that bicycle culture is not currently conducive to high levels of safety. Currently, about 31 % of Ottawa poll participants state that they would be more likely to bike to work or school if roads were made safer for cyclists.

According to the 2001 Statistics Canada Census data, about 2 % of employed people in Ottawa bike to work. Thus, it is clear that there is a strong basis of bicycle culture already well established, and a willingness to cycle to work in general by the people of Ottawa. 82 % of poll participants felt that the city should do all it can do to reduce Ottawa cycling accidents. At the same time, 23 % of respondents said they would not bicycle to work under any circumstances. Other Ottawa residents said they would consider the prospect of cycling to work if it were made easier to take bikes on public transit. Another 5 % wanted more secure places to lock up their bikes. In terms of gender disparity, more men than women seem amiable to bicycling to work (39 % vs. 19%, respectively).

 


Ottawa lawyers, contingency fees and free consultations

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth – Ontario Personal Injury LawyerFree Consultation

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer explains contingency fees and free consultations..

Hiring a Ottawa or Ontario Personal Injury lawyer because of a serious accident can be a difficult and stressful task. Whether you were in a car accident, bicycle accident, a pedestrian accident (hit by a car), slip and fall accident at the super market or a store; whether you were injured at someone else’s home or on an escalator you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injury.

Many lawyers will take on a personal injury lawsuit but not all of them handle the case from start to finish. Some will simply sign up your case only to refer it to another firm that you know nothing about just to get a referral fee. Other, larger law firms will have you meet with an experienced lawyer only to turn around and delegate your personal injury case to a newer associate.  It is important to make sure that the personal injury lawyer you hire is the right one for you and if you want, willing to handle your case themselves from start to finish.

Free Consultation

Some Ottawa personal injury lawyers such as David Hollingsworth offer a free consultation and will take your case on contingency. This can be done on the telephone , at your home, David’s office, your hospital, rehabilitation centre or wherever you  are most comfortable.  Not all Ottawa personal injury lawyers are willing to leave the office to meet you. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that it is often difficult  to travel after an accident. David understands that at this point in your life, it may be very difficult for you to come and meet him and his personal injury team and is absolutely willing to travel to meet you and not just in Ottawa, throughout eastern Ontario  places such as Smith Falls, Cornwall, Perth, Arnprior, Hawkesbury etc…

Remember that in addition to being your advocate, your Ottawa or Ontario personal injury lawyer is responsible for advising you as to the strengths and weaknesses of your personal injury case, which will in turn better prepare you when making an informed decision on whether or not to settle your Ontario personal injury case.

What is a Contingency Fee Agreement?

A contingency fee agreement is a type of contract where the client only pays the Ontario personal injury lawyer a percentage of the fee once the case is resolved and the money has been paid to the client.  When David meets with new clients, they sit down and discuss what contingency fee arrangements works for everybody; as no 2 cases are alike and everybody’s financial situation is different.  David understands this.

Cost and Expenses of Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Another matter of concern are the “costs” or “expenses” associated with starting a Ontario personal injury lawsuit.  These are different costs from the lawyer’s fee and can usually include the cost  for filing the lawsuit as well as charges for medical records, reports and for investigators and expert witnesses. Some  personal injury lawyers, such as David Hollingsworth  will agree to advance the costs on your behalf. The contingency fee agreement is also required to specify whether expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingency fee is calculated. You can even contract to pay your Ontario personal injury lawyer by the hour instead of on a contingency fee basis; however, most personal injury clients opt to have  the risk to the personal injury lawyer and pay only in the event of a successful recovery. Also, this way, your personal injury lawyer is invested in your case.  A Ottawa or Ontario personal injury lawyer may spend thousands of dollars for expenses and spend hundreds of hours working on your personal injury case. Under the contingency fee agreement the personal injury lawyer only gets a fee when they get a recovery for you.

If all of this seems confusing and overwhelming, you are not alone.  David would be happy to sit down and walk you through the process.  There are no bad questions to ask….