Accidents in Ontario on the rise
In a recent article written for the Advocate Daily, we commented on a report indicating a five-year high for fatalities for accidents in Ontario on OPP patrolled roads and waterways. We said that we were not surprised there were more accidents in Ontario given the growing number of vehicles on the road each year. That, combined with the increased use of electronics and hand-held devices in vehicles has created deadly distractions for drivers today.
Accidents in Ontario statistics
The report, produced by the OPP, highlighted some startling statistics from our roadways.
· 343 people died in collisions in 2017 compared to 307 in 2016, with the increase coming from driver inattention, speed and not wearing seatbelts
· 91 people died in collisions that involved a commercial transport truck in 2017
· 48 motorcyclists died in 2017
Driver Error is a Key Factor in Accidents in Ontario
A further look into the causes of these accidents show that driver error is a key factor. In addition to being distracted, drivers are failing to come to a complete stop and intersections, misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic when stopping or merging and they are driving recklessly.
Sometimes things are beyond the driver’s control such as road disrepair and weather conditions. And sometimes the condition of the vehicle can contribute to the accident. Faulty brakes, broken signal lights windows or mirrors all increase the likelihood of an accident. It is always the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the vehicle is in good repair, that it is serviced regularly and that does not have an outstanding recall.
To prevent another increase in our provincial accident statistics, there are a few things that you can do to keep our roadways safe.
Adopt a Three Second Rule
Experts suggest that you leave a three second gap between your vehicle and the one in front of you. To do this, pick a stationary landmark such as a tree or sign. When the car ahead of you is about to pass that landmark, start counting. If the car passes the landmark before you reach three, you need to slow down. You are following too closely. Reducing your speed will allow you enough space to slow down or stop quickly to avoid a hazard.
Use Your Full Attention When Driving
Operating a vehicle, of any kind, requires your full attention. If you need to read a map, eat, check on kids in the back or make a call, pull over when it’s safe.
Driving impaired or stoned can severely diminish your reaction time and your ability to notice hazards on the road. The same is true for driving tired. Avoid drugs and alcohol when driving and get enough rest.
In light of these recent reports, please drive carefully to protect you and your family. If you have been involved in a car accident in Ontario, you likely qualify for accident benefits to help you as you recover. If you have been involved in a car accident and have question about how to deal with insurance claims and benefits, please contact for a free consultation.
Our Ottawa injury lawyers are often asked to provide insight and advice on current issues in Ontario personal injury law. Recently, our very own Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth, was interviewed by Advocate Daily magazine and was asked to offer up some advice on setting up clear expectations and guidelines during an initial meeting with a personal injury client. Of course, this advice can be used in any type of meeting; however David focused primarily on Ontario personal injury cases.
What are Ontario Accident Benefits ?
In particular , David discusses what is to be expected when it comes to Ontario Accident Benefits. There are many myths associated with Ontario Accident Benefits and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help sift through what is important and what isn’t and what is to be believed and what isn’t. There are many different Accident Benefits available to people who have been injured in a car accident in Ontario; however not all Accident Benefits apply to each case. Depending on the nature of the accident, the extent of the injuries and the particular insurance policies, different accident benefits are available to different people.
Can I sue for…?
Another common misconception that David addresses in the article in Advocate Daily is the myth of everyone who is in an accident is entitled to sue. He goes to highlight and explain what responsibilities lie on which individuals. In other words , can the individual prove fault? If not, can they sue? Can they show that they are seriously injured? Are their injuries permanent? Any experienced Ottawa injury lawyer can answer these questions for you.
How much compensation for injuries?
Probably one of the most common misconceptions David discusses is the amount of compensation people feel they are entitled to. David believes this is a very important expectation to set out. By being honest and setting reasonable expectations with the clients at the onset, there are no surprises. Most people do not like surprises, especially when it comes to the amount of compensation they are going to be receiving.
The articles goes on to discuss other common misconceptions and serves as a reminder to us all that it’s always best to be up front and honest . In the initial meeting, people need to be given as much information as possible and know what to expect in the months and years to come. Click on the link if you wish to read the full article in Advocate Daily.
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.
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.
Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates. Many teachers have headed back into school this week and some school boards have already begun. Students in the Ottawa area are heading back to school ! Among many other things, what this means is that we need to be extra vigilant on the roads and watch out for the little ones as they head back to school. Many of them are out of routine, so they may not be looking as they cross the streets. It’s our job as drivers to be cautious out there on the roads as these next couple of weeks will be busy with children reminding themselves with the rules of the roads as they walk, bike, scooter and blade to school. We all need to be watching out for the children as well as being cautious around school buses , as a lot of this will be new to many children.
The beginning of September brings a wave of emotions ranging from fear, excitement, and stress for children and parents alike. As parents, we are often rushing around trying to adjust to the new schedule of having kids back in school and we too are distracted. This is the exact type of distraction that could lead to accidents. We all need a good reminder to slow down and focus on driving when we are behind the wheel. Our commute to work may take longer with the increase in traffic but we are all in the same boat and we all need to arrive to our destination safely.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, the City of Ottawa has implemented signage at high-traffic intersections to help remind Ottawa drivers about the start of the school season and the need to be extra cautious when driving near school zones and school buses. The Ottawa Police will also be focusing some efforts as well on driving safety when it comes to back to school and school zones. There are also many wonderful organisations in Ottawa such as the “Safer Roads Ottawa Program” which is a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health, and the Public Works Department. These amazing organisations work together to prevent road deaths and injuries in the Ottawa area.
Happy back to school ! Let’s work together to make it a safe and successful return to school for everyone.
Ottawa Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
Compensation for bulging disk
We were pleased to be able to help another Ottawa woman who was recently injured in a slip and fall accident. A few weeks after her slip and fall accident, she was in severe pain and needed help. It became apparent that the pain in her lower back was causing her great pain and she would need compensation. We stepped in and took over and had the insurance company pay her $125 000 to compensate her for a bulging disk in her lower back. Our client was very happy with the way was settled without having to go to court.
How to determine the amount of compensation
It is difficult to determine the amount of compensation a certain injury will receive. In fact, it’s not just the injury that determines the compensation amount. The injured occupation, family, dependants, education, recovery, treatments, age, income, etc.. also help determine what amount of compensation will be needed to enjoy a comfortable quality of life moving forward, following the accident.
The role of a personal injury lawyer
We are Ottawa personal injury lawyers who help people like this every day. We know what to do to ensure our clients get maximum compensation for their injuries. We hire and pay for experts to prepare a detailed analysis of all the costs that your injury is causing and will cause in the future. These reports are incredibly important when it comes to the future and critical for maximum compensation. We’ve helped thousands and we can help you.
Experienced personal injury lawyers will offer you a free consultation and help you determine what your best course of action is. Maximum compensation for injuries such as a bulging disk can vary , but a top personal injury lawyer should be able to give you some indication in your initial free consultation.
What are you waiting for?
Is an e-bike considered to be a motor vehicle?
No, to operate an e-bike:
- a driver’s licence is not required
- there is no written test required to operate an e-bike
- there is no vehicle registration or plate required for an e-bike
- there is no motor vehicle liability insurance required
- to operate, ride or be a passenger on an e-bike you must be older than or 16 years of age
- requires drivers and riders to wear an approved bicycle/ motorcycle helmet.
If you have been injured in an e-bike accident, you may be entitled to accident benefits as a cyclist would be . Regardless of whether or not you have your own insurance policy you have rights as an e-bike rider and passenger should you be in an accident. Our personal injury lawyers travel throughout Ottawa and eastern Ontario offering free consultations and helping people determine what their options are in a personal injury lawsuit.
In most instances, the initial meeting is simply a meeting to share the details of your accident and the extent of injuries. This information is enough for experienced personal injury lawyers to provide your with the insight you need and give you all the information regarding your personal injury lawsuit and the amount of personal injury compensation you might be entitled to.
If you have any questions, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss what Ontario accident benefits you may be entitled and how to receive maximum compensation for your injuries. There are many areas involved in accidents and insurance claims. E-bikes are relatively new to the laws and it is critical that anyone driving an e-bike, as well as their family members , are informed as to how it works when it comes to insurance and accident claims. It’s not always clear and best that you sit with an experienced lawyer and allow them to walk you through it all.
Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyers David Hollingsworth
In September 2010, The Ontario government through the Financial Services Commission of Ontario made significant changes to Ontario insurance plans. Not only did FSCO significantly reduce the accident benefits available to Ontario drivers, it introduced a 2 tiered approach for Ontario drivers. All Ontario drivers are required to purchase insurance. How much insurance you purchase is up to you.
Top up accident benefits
There are several “top ups” that can be purchased in the event that you or a loved one is in an accident in Ontario. Indexation is an additional Ontario accident benefit that can be purchased. This optional benefit provides for an automatic adjustment over time of several different accident benefits including income replacement benefits, medical and rehabilitation benefits, attendant care benefits and other Ontario accident benefits. The indexation of these accident benefits is determined by the changes in inflation based on Consumer Price Index of Canada. Basically, it’s an extra insurance policy that ensures that your benefit dollars keep up with the times.
Accident Benefits and Indexation
In other words, a dollar today is not going to be worth what a dollar tomorrow will be worth. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I know how important Ontario accident benefits are to my clients. Often times, people are unable to return to their previous life before the accident and are left with their insurance claim and accident benefits to carry them throughout the rest of their lives. I know that Ontario insurance premiums are already very high, so paying even more is frustrating; however, if ever you need to access these accident benefits, you will need them.
Our personal injury lawyers are constantly meeting with people who regret not having “topped up” their insurance coverage. It’s a personal decision and not a decision that should be taken lightly.
Something to think about…
What are Ontario income replacement benefits ?
If you have been in an accident in Ontario, one of the first calls you may make after you have taken care of yourself is likely to your insurance company. You will need to make this call within 7 days if possible. This early reporting will help significantly when it comes time to settling your claim. If you are unable to work because of your accident, you will likely be eligible for basic weekly income replacement benefits.
How much can you receive for income replacement benefits?
These benefits will add up to 70% of your gross income , to a limit of $400 per week. There are options to top up your insurance by purchasing additional insurance coverage. Optional income replacement benefits can increase the maximum weekly pay out on income replacement benefits to $600, $800 or $1,000, depending on how much optional accident benefits coverage you purchase. I know that paying additional premiums on top of already high insurance rates seems ridiculous; however, if you ever need to access these benefits ,you really need them and would never regret your purchase. Depending on your income level, topping up your Ontario accident income replacement benefits makes a lot of sense.
If you are unsure of whether or not you are accessing all of your Ontario accident benefits and needs some advice, please contact our lawyers and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Besides income replacement benefits, there are many other benefits that you are most likely entitled to but not accessing through your insurance company. A free consultation with a personal injury lawyer can be very beneficial. In your meeting you will learn of all the Ontario accident benefits available and which are available to you and which are available to your family members as well. Your accident impacts you but it also has a direct impact on your family members and this can be compensated. We highly suggest you get informed.
Insurance Claims Lawyer
Accidents at Schools
I am once again asking all drivers to think about their driving and the decisions they make behind the wheel each day. I am thrilled to share with you that the Ottawa Police are focusing on school bus and school zone safety this month in the Ottawa area. Over the last few years, 9 people suffered personal injury in 41 schools zone accidents. These accidents were avoidable.
Another area of focus this month for Ottawa drivers will be to reduce the number of drivers making unsafe lane changes. There have been over 5500 Ottawa accidents in the last few years that were caused by unsafe lane changes. These Ottawa accidents resulted in 4 deaths and over 600 people suffering personal injuries. Again, these are accidents that can be avoided ! Ottawa police are working hard at lowering accidents in Ottawa with the end goal of preventing or eliminating deaths and serious personal injuries. As an Ottawa community, we all have our part in reducing the number of Ottawa accidents each year, especially school accidents. Let’s all work together.
Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have helped many people work through their options following an accident on school property or on a school bus. Sadly, accidents at schools happen regularly and children suffer serious injuries. You owe it to yourself and especially your child to meet with one of our personal injury lawyers experienced in child injury. We can sit down and walk you through your options free of charge so that you can make an informed decision on how best to proceed with a child injury on school property. Our personal injury lawyers can also help you meet with some of the top medical professionals in the Ottawa area when it comes to child injuries. Let us get your child maximum compensation and let yourself focus on your child.