Our Ottawa injury lawyers want you to know that October 16 – 22, 2016 is National Teen Driver Safety Week

National Teen Driver Safety Week #GETHOMESAFEteen driver safety

Teen driver safety is so very important. As Ottawa injury lawyers, we meet with families regularly who have lost a teen in an accident.  Sadly, teen drivers are the most at risk drivers in our country. Inexperience, coupled with immaturity, can result in not knowing how to react or even risk taking behaviours like speeding, distracted driving, drug and alcohol use and not wearing a seatbelt. All of these behaviours can  lead to an increased accident rate among teens. The Ontario Provincial Police report that teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.

National Teen Driver Safety Week aims to get the word out about safe driving to parents and teens encouraging them to start talking about the dangers. Also parents need to lead by example. Specifically, parents should talk to their teens about what is known as the “5 to Drive” or the five most common teen safety driving issues.

Extra passengers

Speeding Drugs or alcohol

Driving and riding without a seatbelt

Using a cell phone or

Texting while driving

Talk to your teens about accidents and how to stay safe

During National Teen Driver Safety Week, our Ottawa injury lawyers urge you to take the opportunity to talk with teenagers about these issues and remind them to take a stand for safe driving even when not behind the wheel. That means speaking out if you are in a car with someone who is  texting while driving, making sure not to distract the driver and calling home for a ride home if another teen driver is unsafe.

This year it is particularly important to talk to teens about distracted driving as the incidents of distraction are clearly on the rise. Approximately 16 percent of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers younger than 20*.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Let us all do our part to ensure that all teen drivers . Our Ottawa injury lawyers want you to #GETHOMESAFE.

*Ontario Provincial Police


Ontario Accidents and Distracted Driving

Ontario Provincial Police Calls Distracted Driving the Number One Killer in Ontario Accidentsdistracteddriving

We have all heard and read the distributing statistics on the dangers of distracted driving and our Ottawa injury lawyers want to remind you of some of the most common causes of distracted driving.  Last month, the Ontario Provincial Police reported that distracted driving is now responsible for twice as many deaths as impaired driving. This year, they have investigated 38 on-road death accidents involving distracted driving – almost twice as many as those caused by impaired drivers, making distracted driving accidents the number one killer on our roads.  Since 2009, it has been blamed for more than 600 accidents resulting in deaths on OPP-patrolled roads.

Accidents and Distracted Driving

There are several ways a person can be considered distracted while driving.  Drivers are distracted when they have their eyes off the road, mind off the road, or hands off the steering wheel. Using a cell phone, especially to send a text message, does all three of these at once which is one of the reasons why it is so dangerous. All 10 provinces have adopted laws to stop texting while driving,  with fines ranging from $80 to $1,200 and five demerit points (*CAA).   Think you won’t get caught because you have your phone in your lap?  Gatineau police officers are now riding buses this month as part of a road safety blitz targeting drivers who are texting or on social media.

Social Media and Accidents

Social media use on smartphones has also become a serious concern with apps like Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat.  While these are obviously extremely dangerous distractions, others are less obvious.  Texting, eating or drinking, grooming, using a GPS and adjusting the radio are now all considered forms of distracted driving.  We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves, our passengers and other drivers safe on the road.  Be aware of distracted driving, don’t be a passenger in a car where the driver is distracted and don’t be tempted to take your mind off the road, your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.

Drive safely Ottawa !


We are Ottawa personal injury lawyers and we can help.

What can our Ottawa personal injury lawyers  do for you ?

Fair question .  We receive calls from clients who are about to settle their insurance claim with their adjuster and simply want to know should they ?  It’s tough for our injury lawyers to answer this question without reviewing the file.  Typically, when we receive a call of this nature, we set up a meeting (no charge) and look through the facts of the case.  It’s important that everything be reviewing in case there have been areas of a personal injury file that were not discovered or covered by the insurance company. Almost every time, sure enough, our Ottawa injury lawyers are able to find many expenses that should have been covered or aspects of an accident benefits policy that were not being utilized .  That’s not to say that the insurance company was deliberately hiding such coverage, it’s just that often times unless the person injured knows to ask for all the right benefits and coverages, some simply do not come up. ocf form

Ottawa injury lawyers analyze your case.  Are you getting maximum compensation for your injuries ?

Our personal injury lawyers can analyze your case and in some cases discover that the insurance claim is in fact double or triple what the insurance company is looking to settle for.  Thankfully, as long as you have not signed off on the settlement offer, there may still be time to recoup these amounts with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer.  This absolutely makes it worth while to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.  All it will cost you is time; probably close to an hour for this initial consultation.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers make it even easier and will come to you.

If we think your case is worth more, we will advise you not to settle and we can step in to represent you and prepare a claim for you.  It may delay the settlement; however this delay is in our opinion worth it as typically the settlement amount is significantly higher. Not to mention, you will be receiving benefits and treatments you may not have been receiving before our personal injury lawyers stepped in.  This will hopefully speed up your recovery process.

This is a personal injury lawyer’s job…

You owe it to yourself to consult with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. It’s our job to ensure that our personal injury clients are receiving the best possible treatments, as well maximum compensation.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers understand what you are going through.  An accident can change in your life and your family’s life in many ways you never thought possible. Let us help.


More snow coming Ottawa ! Leave those snow tires on.

A caution from personal injury lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth

You may think spring is just around the corner here in Ottawa but you may have to wait a little longer.  Don’t put your shovels and snow tires away yet. There is a storm system making its way towards Ottawa and is likely to hit us late tonight. Yes, that’s right…more snow. It should start tonight and continue tomorrow. It is expected that the Ottawa area will get at least 15 centimetres of snow, possibly more. I wanted to remind everyone to adjust their driving and be aware of the weather conditions.  Driving in a snowstorm and heavy snow can be dangerous. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I can tell you that there are far too many accidents that could potentially be avoided if all drivers followed some basic guidelines for winter driving.

If you are feeling unsafe, pullover and get assistance.

Slow down during inclement weather.

Make sure to clear your car off and that you have excellent visibility on the front , back and side windows.

Clear off the roof of your car, as sudden stops may send large amounts of snow down your windows and may affect your visibility. Clearing off your roof also ensures you aren’t putting others at risk with large pieces of ice and snow flying off your vehicle while driving.

Watch out for black ice.

We will undoubtedly be faced with difficult driving conditions tonight and tomorrow morning in Ottawa and surrounding areas.  Please drive safely and take your time.

David Hollingsworth and his personal injury team are dedicated injury lawyers who are here to help through support and maximum compensation following an Ontario accident. We are from Ottawa and love Ottawa and want to keep our roads and city safe.

 


Lead by example. Do you wear a helmet or do you just make your kids wear one?

Child Head Injury

Please practice what you preach. Helmets might not always be the “coolest” or “most comfortable” option but they are absolutely the smartest option. I’m so pleased with this initiative. The Ottawa Public Health and CHEO have joined forces to promote the use of helmets during winter activities. Ottawa’s neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vassilyadi attended the family day event at Ottawa’s city hall family day skating party to talk to parents to lead by example and wear their helmets !

Dr. Vassilyadi talked about how parents need to lead by example and how they are ambassadors and that kids look up to their parents and copy what they do.  I couldn’t agree more. We need to practice what we preach.

Dr. Vassilyadi also spoke about how  more families are taking the necessary precautions and wearing helmets for winter activities, such as skating and tobogganing. Dr. Vassilyadi also stated that there has been a decline in preventable head injuries in the Ottawa area, stating that there hadn’t been one surgical head injury until mid-January this season.

While one is too many at least we are moving in the right direction. I hope these messages reach others and before we know it wearing a helmet for winter activities will be an automatic response for everyone. Lead by example and put your helmet on ! If not for you, do it for your children. Kids watch their parents all the time and want to be the same. This is an easy way to install smart, safe decisions with your children. The ideal would be that we all get to a point where we don’t even think about it and we wear our helmets anytime we are participating in an activity that has a higher risk for head injuries. 

Do your part in avoiding head injuries .

 


Steps Ontario personal injury lawsuits :What is an examination for discovery ?

Ottawa Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth www.ottawainjury.ca Steps of an Ontario Personal Injury Lawsuit : Examination for Discovery

What is an Examination for Discovery in an Ontario personal injury lawsuit?    An examination for discovery is a very important step of an Ontario personal injury lawsuit.  It allows for questions to be asked under oath. It also allows both sides to share documents that relate to the Ontario personal injury lawsuit. All parties in an Ontario law suit have an obligation to list and give copies of all documents that are relevant to the Ontario personal injury law suit in a sworn affidavit. This is often the time when additional evidence will surface. This is also the stage in an Ontario personal injury lawsuit when the insurance company will be able to ask the accident victim questions.  Not to worry, your Ontario personal injury lawyer will be there to ensure that all the questions being asked are fair. Your Ontario personal injury lawyer will also prepare you for an examination for discovery ahead of time so you know what to expect. A court reporter will also be present to record the examination for discovery.

Sometimes in an examination for discovery, a question may be asked and the witness does not know the answer. Often times the Ontario personal injury lawyer and the lawyer for the insurance company will agree that the question can be answered later in writing as an undertaking.  Your Ontario personal injury lawyer will help prepare the undertaking and assist you in answering any undertakings.

An examination for discovery often “gets all the cards out on the table”.  The examination for discovery gives both sides a clear picture of all the facts in the Ontario personal injury law suit and allows for better communication and better chances of settling the Ontario personal injury lawsuit before it goes to court.

If you have any questions at all about your Ontario accident or your Ontario personal injury lawsuit, fell free to contact us.

—-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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steps Ontario personal injury lawuits, examination for discovery


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


What's in your winter emergency car kit? , Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworths shares…

Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…A car break down or accident is never good, but it is worse during the winter months. A few inexpensive items kept in your car during winter months can help increase your safety and the safety of your loved ones. It is always wise to have an emergency kit in your car in case you ever need it. I came across some information on a website dedicated to cars and car safety, written by Aaron Gold. I thought I would share it with you as a reminder to us all as we head into the colder winter months here in Ottawa.

In the event of an emergency…

1. Get assistance !

Roadside assistance: Most new cars include a roadside assistance program which will provide towing if your car breaks down. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is  probably the best-known and most reliable third-party roadside assistance program in Canada.

Mobile phone and car charger: If you don’t have a mobile phone, and if you can, buy an inexpensive pre-paid unit to keep in your car so you can call for assistance. Make sure you have a car charger; some phones can also be charged from your car’s USB port.

OnStar: On many new cars, the OnStar system can get a live operator on the phone with the press of a button, and will automatically summon help if your car’s airbags deploy. Don’t forget, OnStar relies on the vehicle electrical system, so carry a cell phone as a backup.

2. Stay safe !

Emergency flares and/or hazard triangles: Winter accidents often result in damage to your car’s taillights, which means your hazard flashers will not work. In a snowstorm, other cars may not see your car until it’s too late to avoid it. Set out flares or hazard triangles to warn cars and avoid a second collision. If your car goes off the road in deeper snow, these items can also help emergency services find you and your vehicle.

First aid kit – Bad weather may delay emergency workers, so it’s a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit.

Small LED flashlight: Don’t rely on the vehicle’s electrical system for light — if it’s working, LEAVE IT-you want to conserve the car’s battery as long as possible. LED flashlights use much less energy than regular incandescent flashlights, making them a great choice for your emergency kit. The Mini Maglite LED is more expensive than many small flashlights, but its construction makes it well worth the price.

3. Stay warm

Emergency blanket: Cars use the engine to produce heat, so if the engine breaks, so does the heater. Even if the engine is working – say, after a car accident – running it can be dangerous, because if the exhaust system has rust holes or damage, fatal exhaust fumes can creep back into the passenger compartment. Besides, your car may not be the safest place to be in an emergency. Emergency blankets are small, light and cheap. Buy extras if you frequently travel with passengers.

Ski hats: Experts say that 30 to 40 % of body heat can be lost through the head. Carry a few inexpensive winter hats, large enough to cover the ears.

4. Keep busy !

Children’s books or games: If you travel with children, keep a few emergency children’s activities stowed away to fight boredom and keep the kids occupied while you wait for rescue.

Non-perishable snacks: Munchies help pass the time and will keep your energy and morale up while you wait for rescue.

Where to carry your emergency kit?

The most logical place to store your emergency kit would be the trunk. The problem is if you’re in an accident that damages the rear end of the car, you may not be able to get the trunk open. Instead, carry your emergency kit in a small duffel bag stored in the passenger’s footwell, where it can be easily accessed by the driver . If your kit includes flares and you travel with children, store the flares in the trunk and keep a backup hazard triangle in the bag.

Most importantly , stay safe !!!

———————- The  Ottawa Injury Blog is written regularly by Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa injury lawyer representing Ottawa 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 more information. If you have a question, feel free to call or email david@ottawainjury.ca (613) 978-9549

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Ontario Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth, Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa


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 Accident Lawyer: Tailgating Test..do you do it ?

Ottawa Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth discusses what exactly is a tailgate accident…We all have places to go and we all want to get there as quickly as possible.  I understand .  Many Ottawa accidents occur as a result of tailgating. As an Ottawa injury lawyer, I am reminded too often of the dangers of tailgating.tailgaitaccident

Tailgate Accidents , did you know…

  • That following closely and tailgating is the cause of the majority of rear-end collision accidents – which also accounts for 1/3 of all Ottawa accidents.
  • Between 2005 and 2007, 13,333 Ottawa accidents occurred, which resulted in 4,237 personal injuries and 11 deaths.
  • Most Ottawa accidents occur during morning rush hour, between 8:00 and 9:00 AM, then slowly taper off. Increasing gradually to peak at evening rush hour (4:00 PM to 5:00 PM) then again taper off during evening hours.
  • 72% of Ottawa accidents occur in clear, dry weather. 12% occur during rain,  and another 12% during snow or winter conditions.
  • Approximately 1/2 of Ottawa accidents occur at an Ottawa intersection.
  • Car accidents account for the majority of fatal accidents.
  • Approximately 30% of personal injury related Ottawa accidents occur when a driver disobeyed a red light.

What is considered tailgate?

What is a safe distance to travel behind other vehicles to avoid an Ottawa accident? Apply the two-second rule. It is the same method that is outlined in the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Driver’s Handbook. Use this test while driving.

  • Choose an object ahead of you on the road to use as a reference point– EX: road sign, pole or tree
  • Once the back-end of the vehicle ahead of you passes the reference point, start counting using steamboats.
  • Count how long it takes the front of your vehicle to reach the same reference point.
  • If it takes less than two seconds (or steamboats), you’re travelling too close and are risking an Ottawa accident.
    Important: In wet or slippery conditions, you should allow even more time. Allow yourself time to react and stop quickly and avoid an accident and serious personal injuries…. I came across this valuable information on the City of Ottawa’s website and thought I would share it with you. It make take a little extra time to get there, but avoiding an Ottawa accident and personal injuries….Please take your time and arrive safely…

Ottawa Ontario  Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth has been helping Ottawa and Ontario  accident victims since 1999. accident victims are entitled to accident benefits even if they do not have their own insurance.  The claim is made against the driver’s insurance company.  Many accident victims are unaware of the benefits to which they are entitled to. With extensive experience and knowledge of relevant accident and personal injury issues, David has recovered millions of dollars in settlements  on behalf of his accident clients. David has the experience and skill to help obtain maximum compensation. David offers free consultations and makes  home visits or hospital visits. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. David understands, he cares and he is here to help.