A Recent Case Involving Compensation for Chronic Pain

Personal injury Ottawa cases and compensation amounts.

chronic pain compensation

Compensation for Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain is an injury our lawyers see frequently.  It often results from an accident and can be debilitating and life altering. Every person who suffers from chronic pain will experience varying amounts of pain.  Every accident is unique and our lawyers understand that each and every one of our clients has a unique set of circumstances surrounding their accident and injuries.

Accident Scenario:

Our team of Ottawa injury lawyers worked closely with our client to ensure she received maximum compensation for her injuries.  Our client was  a  39-year-old single woman from Cornwall, Ontario. One day, she was a driver in a car and was ” T-Boned ” by another vehicle.

Injuries Resulting From Accident: 

Our client suffered very serious personal injuries including chronic pain, post concussion symptoms anxiety and psychological difficulties as the result of the accident. These are injuries that are not to be taken lightly and required a serious plan to be put in place and that plan required maximum compensation.

Compensation For Dental Injury and Psychological Injury:

After the mandatory mediation session, our personal injury lawyers were able to get the insurance company to settle without having to go to court. Not dragging this out was crucial to our client.  She received $200,000 from the tort action and another $24,000 from her Ontario Accident Benefits Insurer. While this $224,000 in compensation will never erase the damage that has been done, it can help her adjust to a new life with rehabilitation, benefits and support.

Our  Injury Ottawa Lawyers Can Help You:

Since 1999, we have been helping people get through their accidents , come up with a plan for rehabilitation and ensure maximum compensation. Our team cares about the well-being and future of our clients and their families.  We try to make the entire process as painless and easy as possible.  That includes working around our clients’ schedules, meeting at their homes or hospital rooms and taking on extra duties to help alleviate the stress and uncertainty our clients experience following an accident. For more information that relates to compensation for chronic pain, visit www.ottawainjury.ca/chronic-pain 


Can you be at fault for hitting a deer ? Who is at- fault ?

Motor vehicle accidents and wildlife
By: Brent Meadows
 
If you live in Eastern Ontario, it is not uncommon to encounter wildlife when venturing outside of the City, and sometimes within City limits. I frequently hear stories from motorists discussing close encounters with deer and other wildlife during their commutes to and from work. In the City of Ottawa, collisions with deer and other wildlife are quite common. These collisions may result in serious motor vehicle accidents causing personal injuries to those involved.  If you are involved in a wildlife motor vehicle accident there are many legal aspects to consider.
 
For example, what happens in a situation where someone is driving along a roadway when suddenly without warning they strike a deer causing serious injuries to the motorist? As we know in tort, you may only sue another party if they are at fault in some way. Here, it would initially appear that no party is at fault, and it is likely that there is no party liable to compensate you for injuries caused by the accident (unless the party who has jurisdiction over the highway is liable in some way). But what happens if the deer was struck by a vehicle and that same vehicle kept on driving leaving the deer injured on the roadway, and at some point later on the injured deer is struck by another vehicle causing injuries?
 
The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently dealt with this issue in Ziemer v. Wheeler 2014 BCSC 2049. The court noted, among other things that:
 
[187] Mr. Wheeler failed to take any reasonable or entirely possible steps over the period of approximately 9 minutes before the third collision.  He did not return to the scene until a minimum of 21 minutes had passed.  I find that in these circumstances, his failure to take any steps to warn other motorists of the hazard posed by the moose carcass fell below the standard of care.
 
[191]     In conclusion, I find that Mr. Wheeler breached his duty to warn other motorists of the hazard posed by the moose carcass, and that this caused the Walter-Ziemer collision.
 
The Court held that the driver who initially struck the moose was liable as he failed to warn other drivers about the hazard.  While this case was heard in British Columbia it may have persuasive authority in Ontario. It is cases like these that demonstrate the importance of contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer who is willing to look at each and every fact to fully appreciate the compensation that you may be entitled to.

Does the Highway Traffic Act apply to private property?

Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth….Can you be fined for failing to stop in a private parking lot? Can you be fined for speeding in a private parking lot ? What happens when there is an accident on private property? Should the police be contacted? Should a police report be made?

If this parking lot was in Ontario,  the rules of the road don’t apply on private property.  The  Ontario Highway Traffic Act cannot be enforced  on private property such as parking lots.  In Ontario, motorists are still required under the Highway Traffic Act to report collisions involving personal injury, or having property damage exceeding $1000, or if there is a dangerous condition resulting from the accident.  (eg. a broken gas line) under Section 199 of the HTA .

For insurance purposes, the IBC (Insurance Bureau of Canada has specific rules and guidelines when it comes to “Rules for Automobiles in Parking Lots”  ( O. Reg. 276/90, s. 16.) Insurance companies use the Fault Determination Rules to determine fault. What this means is that you may not be “at-fault” according to police; however depending on the nature of the accident on private property, you may be 50% responsible for insurance purposes.

Regardless of whether you are on private or public property, it’s important to obey all rules of the road for safety purposes. If you have a question regarding your accident on private property, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to provide you with the information you need.

 


What are Ontario Accident Benefits ? Are family members entitled to accident benefits?

Ontario Car Insurance Claims and Accident Benefits. Who can access Ontario benefits?

Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS) are provided by law in every Ontario auto insurance policy. All Accident Benefits are standard and equal among insurance companies, unless you opt for “top up” coverage. Ontario  Accident Benefits provide compensation, regardless of who is at fault, for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and family members who suffer personal injury or death caused by an accident in Ontario or any accident if you are a resident in Ontario. The following accident benefits are the standard Ontario Accident Benefits and are available to most accident victims in Ontario:
  • Income Replacement: Just like it says…the income replacement benefit compensates  for lost income/wages.
  • Non-earner benefit: The non-earner benefit applies when you are unable to carry on a “normal life” and do not qualify for either an Income Replacement benefit or Caregiver benefit.
  • Caregiver benefits: Compensation for expenses incurred when a member of your home needs care and someone is hired to care for them because you no longer can.
  • Medical benefits: Covers medical expenses that occurred as a result of the injury.
  • Rehabilitation benefits: Covers rehabilitation expenses incurred as a result of an injury.
  • Attendant Care benefits: Covers some of the expense incurred by hiring an aide or attendant.
  • Compensation for Other Expenses: These accident benefits pay for some expenses such as monies put out by family members costs in being with you during visitation and recovery. Often times some housekeeping and home maintenance is also covered , as well as lost or damaged articles during accident. ie: computer in car etc…
  • Death benefits: Family members may collect this accident benefit on behalf of a deceased family member.
  • Funeral benefits: These accident benefits help cover funeral expenses.

There are many more Ontario accident benefits available to Ontario drivers.  If you are unsure of whether or not you are receiving everything you are entitled to from your Ontario insurance company, it is best you consult with an Ontario injury lawyer.  We meet daily with people and walk them through their best options. Often times all they need is a little advice.  Unfortunately most insurance companies will not tell you unless you ask and most people don’t know what to ask for.  We know Ontario accident benefits inside and out we have experienced staff who specialize in Ontario accident benefits.  We can help.


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 !

 

 

 

    

 


Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth: How to prevent a slip and fall accident.

Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

Good morning Ottawa ! It is cold out there today and very slippery. There is a layer of ice on the ground and its hard to see , as last night’s snow is covering the ground.  This is typically when slip and fall accidents happen. With the holidays here we are all out just a little more, shopping and visiting with others and often we are carrying bags or presents. This, coupled with our weather conditions contribute to a higher incidence of slip and fall accidents.  Slip and fall accidents  in Canada makeup more than 50% of all personal injuries . Slip and falls accidents are the primary cause of accidents in hotels, restaurants and public buildings such as shopping malls.

As a property owner, it’s also important that you keep your property as safe as possible. This means keeping your walkways and steps clear of ice.  Property owners have a “duty of care” to see that their property is reasonably safe.  This not only means ensuring steps and walkways are cleared away in a reasonable manner, it also means  your home doesn’t have structural defects, hazardous conditions have been addressed.

Yes, accidents do happen but many accidents are preventable. There are things you can do to lower your risk of a slip and fall accident such as watching for ice, wearing proper footwear, walking slowly, keeping your hands free in case you do fall.

Common Slip & Fall Injuries include:

slip and fall accident

Our injury lawyers help with:

  • Fractures
  • Back Pain
  • Broken Bones
  • Brain Injury
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Bulging Discs
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Spinal Injuries

Although a slip and fall accident doesn’t seem as serious as a car accident, some injuries are more serious and can leave an individual with a lifetime of pain and a decreased quality of life. Some people suffer such serious injuries from a slip and fall accident, that they are unable to return to work.

Financial compensation for slip and fall accidents

If you have suffered from a slip & fall accident you may be entitled to maximum compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of income and health costs, depending on whether or not you are able to establish negligence.  This is where our Ottawa personal injury lawyers excel. We have helped thousands of people and we can help you with your slip and fall accident and make sure you are well taken care of now and in the future.

Ottawa Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Free Consultations

 


Ontario Accident Benefits and Income Replacement Benefits , Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ontario Accident Benefits: Income Replacement Benefits

Are you entitled to Income Replacement Benefits ?

If you suffer personal injury and are unable to work, you may be entitled to income replacement benefits through your Ontario accident benefits. Income replacement benefits in Ontario are partial compensation and are only available if you cannot fully return to work because of the injuries caused in the accident.   

What are the criteria for income replacement benefits ?

Income replacement benefits are only available to accident victims who were employed at the time of the accident or depending on the circumstances,  during the year before the accident. Typically, these benefits are paid out every 2 weeks and partially cover any lost income as the result of an Ontario accident. IRBs  are typically paid up to 104 weeks after it is identified that the injury has prevented a return to work.

What must be established to receive income replacement benefits?

To receive income replacement benefits in Ontario, it must be established that the injured suffered physical or psychological impairments as a result of the accident and that they are unable to work. You must also establish that you were employed or self-employed at the time of the accident or that you worked at least 26 of the 52 weeks prior to the accident. In certain cases, income replacement benefits can also be collected if the injured was collecting Employment Insurance (EI) benefits at the time of the accident.  

When can you start collecting benefits ?

After the first week of your disability you can begin to be compensated.

How are income replacement benefits calculated?

Income replacement benefits are calculated by taking 70% of your gross income, minus income replacement assistance payable from other sources (employer), to a maximum of $400 per week. If you continue to qualify for income replacement benefits after 104 weeks, your minimum weekly income replacement benefit then drops to $185.

Is there extra coverage for income replacement benefits?

Hopefully you opted for additional coverage. Yes, this is an added expense, but an expense that pays off , should you need it. Additional income replacement benefits pay up to $600, $800 or $1,000 per week , depending on when you purchased your additional coverage.

Can I receive income replacement benefits if I am self-employed?

If you are self-employed at the time of your accident, income replacement benefits are based on 70% of your weekly net self-employed income earned in the past 52 weeks; or the last fiscal year completed prior to the accident.

Can I receive income replacement benefits if I am unemployed?

If you are unemployed at the time of the accident and receiving Employment Insurance benefits, or had been working at least 26/52 weeks before the accident, the income replacement benefits are based on income earned in the 52 weeks before the collision inclusive of your Employment Insurance benefits.

Can I receive benefits if I am over 65 years old?

If you are over the age of 65, income replacement benefits are paid up to 208 weeks. If you turn 65 while receiving income replacement benefits, the benefit is converted to a lifetime pension at a reduced rate.

The laws surrounding income replacement benefits in Ontario can be confusing. It is always best that you consult an Ottawa personal injury lawyer to answer any questions you may have. 

Ontario Accident Insurance Claims


Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers who offer free consultations…

Ottawa lawyers free consultations

You may have a small case and are thinking of handling it on your own and just need some basic information on how to deal with an insurance company.  A free consultation from an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer may be all you need.  Most experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers offer a free consultaitons are are glad to help. They may even have formsavailable that you need instead of you going out and searching for them. The top Ottawa personal injury lawyers can also let you know if you have a case and what you might expect as a settlement from your insurnace company, so that you have an idea of what to expect when dealing with them.

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa

If  you suffered a more serious personal injury, it is always best for you to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you decide which Ottawa personal injury lawyer you want to work with. Keep in mind that the next several months or years may be very challenging and you need to know that you can relate, approach and work well with your Ottawa personal injury lawyer.  As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I usually like to meet with new clients at the location of their choice, so I know they are comfortable.  I usually listen and gather the facts and then let them know what Ican do for them.  I often suggest they take sometime to think about their decision and then contact me when they are ready. I truly feel that this is the best approach for everyone involved. Throughout the process, I often also meet with accident victims family members.  These meetings are so important and valuable for everyone.

No matter what the severity of your personal injury, it is always best to consult with an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer before negotiating with your insurance company.  After all, it’s free to ask questions ! As one of the best Ottawa personal injury lawyers, I am pleased to offer free consultations. I offer my services in English or French and am happy to travel to meet you throughout Ontario.

 


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.

 


If in an Ontario accident, do you have to provide your insurance information ?

Ontario Accident Insurance Claims

If in an accident, do you have to provide your insurance  information ?  The answer is yes. Section 200 of the Highway Traffic Act states that any person involved in an Ontario accident must, when requested, must provide his/her name, address, driver’s licence number, insurance policy information and ownership information.  This information must also be given to the police and to all witnesses or anyone else who may have been involved in the Ontario accident. Failure to comply with section 200 means that they are guilty of an offence.  On conviction , they can be fined or even imprisoned or have their licence suspended.

What you should do if someone refuses to give you their information.

Should someone refuse to give you their information, try to get as much information as possible and contact the police as soon as possible.   If the driver was uninsured , the police will have access to this type of information. Most likely, the police will charge the other driver.  In terms of Accident Benefits, you will still be covered by your own insurance company, so do not worry. Obviously it goes without saying, never attempt to be forceful with someone, simply write down what information you have and hand it over to police.

If you have been involved in an accident, it’s best you contact an Ottawa personal injury lawyer and together, you can determine what your rights are relating specifically to your accident.  Depending on the accident, nature of injuries, insurance policies and others involved, your options will vary. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help walk you through what you need to do and what you might expect in terms of rehabilitative support and compensation following an accident. Don’t think that every accident and injury is the same and just because your neighbour’s cousin was compensated a certain amount, you will be the same. You owe it to yourself to get informed. Contact our Ottawa personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.