Car thefts and insurance claims

Who is liable in  insurance claims if the vehicle is stolen?Ontario Accident Insurance Claims

Lock your car doors. You may be liable to lose more than you think and it could affect your insurance claims.

What’s the worst that could happen when a car door is left unlocked in a driveway or parking lot? Most would assume that their car, or the belongings inside it, could be stolen. The consequences turned out to be much worse in a recent case involving an Ontario garage and dealership . The Supreme Court of Canada looked at the insurance claims and recently ruled that the owner of that garage owed a duty of care to a minor who was injured in one of their unlocked vehicles after it was stolen.

On a summer evening in 2006, two teenagers walked around their hometown with the intention of stealing from unlocked cars before finding themselves at Rankin’s Garage & Sales — a business that serviced and sold cars and trucks. The garage property was not secured, and the two found an unlocked Toyota Camry with keys left in the ashtray. Despite not having a driver’s license or any driving experience, one teen got behind the wheel and set off for a joyride with the plaintiff as his passenger. The vehicle crashed, and the plaintiff suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

Difference levels of responsibility in insurance claims

The victim sued and the Trial Judge determined that the garage owed a duty of care to the minor plaintiff and a jury apportioned 37% responsibility to the garage for the teen’s injuries. The primary issue on appeal was whether the Trial Judge had erred in finding that the garage owed a duty of care to the plaintiff in the circumstances, which included his participation in the theft. The Garage appealed.

The Court of Appeal decides on insurance claims

The Court of Appeal found it reasonably foreseeable in the circumstances that minors might steal an unlocked car with keys in it and injure themselves doing so. The basis for this conclusion was that Rankin’s Garage was easily accessible, there were no security measures to keep people off the property after hours, cars were left unlocked with keys in them, and there was evidence of a history of theft in the area and from the garage itself.

The Court of Appeal concluded that the garage should have had minors in mind when considering security measures, and that the care and control of many vehicles imposed a responsibility of securing them against minors. Securing vehicles by locking them and keeping keys secure was the garage’s responsibility.

We all know that there are possible dangers in leaving our vehicles unlocked, but we don’t often think beyond the obvious. A case like this should be a reminder that cars, machinery, and tools can cause harm to those who are not experienced in using them safely. Owners of these items have a responsibility to make sure that they do not fall into the wrong hands.

A business that leaves a car unlocked with the keys inside will not necessarily be responsible when someone is injured after the car is stolen, the Supreme Court has ruled. The business will only be responsible where it should have known both that the car could be stolen, and that someone could be injured due to it being driven unsafely.

 


How much information should you share with your personal injury lawyers ?

How much information should you give your personal injury lawyer?

We often meet with clients who are injured in an accident and don’t know what to do.  Initially we walk through the steps to take in getting a claim started and start getting support at home .  Throughout the first few months following an accident , there are a lot of changes in one’s recovery and health.  It’s important to remember to keep your personal injury lawyer abreast of these changes. If your recovery is not moving along as expected or if you feel your health is in fact declining, it is important to seek proper medical treatments as soon as possible.  The longer you wait, the worse it may become.  You are doing yourself any favors by “toughing it out”.   Once you have received proper medical treatment and are taking care of yourself, it is important that you share with your personal injury lawyer any changes in your health and recovery.  If you are referred to a new doctor or a specialist, it is important to keep your personal injury lawyer informed of such referrals.  Your personal injury lawyer will want a copy of all medical reports and any developments in your treatment plan.  The more information your personal injury lawyer has, the better they can prepare your case. In the long run this will help your case, as there will be no surprises. You may think you are bothering your injury lawyer, or they are too busy, or that you will be billed every time you contact them . In most cases, all it takes is a simple email.  Most personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency so you don’t pay anything until your cases is resolved so you need not worry about being charged. Your personal injury lawyer will want to know what you are going through.  The more they know, the more they can help.  In our initial meetings with clients, we try to make this message clear; however, often times down the road we will have clients say things like ” I didn’t want to bother you…”.  Trust me, it would bother us more if we didn’t know !

It’s important that you are honest and open with your doctors, nurses, social workers , health practitioners and injury lawyers.  We all understand that what you are going through is not easy and at times you may wish to remain private.  This is completely understandable and normal; however it is not what’ s best for you.  You need to be as open as possible and accurately describe your pain and symptoms.  The best way to recover is to properly diagnose that needs recovery.  As experienced personal injury lawyers, we are actively involved in your recovery.  We often will attend meetings with your health team and give input on what we think that can in your recovery.  We have helped hundreds of people rebuild their lives following an accident and we can help you.

Contact us at no charge and we can discuss your personal situation and how we can help you and your family.   Leave this to us so that you have the time and energy to focus on your self, your recovery and your family.

 


Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth explains which Ontario accident benefit forms (OCF forms) you need following an accident in Ontario.

Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates.  If you have been in an accident in Ontario and are injured, you will most likely need to access your Ontario accident benefits. Ontario accident benefits are provided through your insurance company or the insurance company of other vehicle involved in the accident. You begin by first informing your own insurance company that you have been in an accident. They will then send you an Ontario Accident Benefits package.  By law your insurance company must provide you with these forms, and you have 30 days to complete the necessary accident benefit forms and return them to your insurance company. It is important you fill out these forms are properly filled out.  When a new client comes to us and we act for them as their Ottawa personal injury lawyer, we always recommend that we fill out the forms for them as often times they can be somewhat confusing and challenging if you have never filled them out before.  We have accident benefit specialists who can fill these form out for you in a comprehensive and detailed manner ensuring that there are no errors on your forms that could in turn delay your case. There are a number of Ontario accident benefit forms that need to be completed and depending on what your injuries are and the details of your accident, you may be required to fill out all of them. The primary forms that need to be filled out right away are:

Ontario Accident Benefit Forms:   OCF Forms

  1. OCF-1  : Application for Accident Benefits
    • This is the initial accident benefits form to be filled out when applying for accident benefits as a result of an accident . The OCF-1 form must be filled with your insurance company in order for your personal injury claim to commence.
  2. OCF-2 Employer’s Confirmation of Income
    • The OCF-2 form applies only to those who are claiming Income Replacement Benefits. The OCF-2 form is completed by you and your employer. There are instances where several OCF-2 forms need to be completed. For example if you have been employed by more than one employer in the previous 52 weeks, you may need to fill out an OCF-2 form for each of your previous employers within the previous 52 weeks.
  3. OCF-3 Disability Certificate
    • The OCF-3 form is to be completed mainly by your health practitioner. It needs to be as detailed as possible and describes the extent of your injuries as a result of the accident.
  4. OCF-5 Permission to Disclose Health Information
    • The OCF-5 forms allows for access to your medical records and any previous medical information that can help determine your  accident benefits eligibility.

You have been injured and you are suffering so its important that we get you help as quickly as possible. We are Ottawa personal injury lawyers who can help you by ensuring that you receive all the services you need as well as ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Our accident benefit specialists will help you sift through the accident benefits process and will complete all the necessary Ontario accident benefit forms properly and in a timely manner, so as not to delay your case. We understand that these are difficult times and we are here to help.   Our Ottawa injury lawyers can travel to you, your home or your hospital. All consultations are free.

 


Ottawa Police issue 751 charges. What were the infractions? Ottawa accident lawyer David Hollingsworth shares the results.

David Hollingsworth Injury Lawyers.

The Ottawa Police and Gatineau Police targeted distracted driving and cycling safety during the months of May and June and the results were astonishing. A total of  751 charges were laid in an effort to help make Ottawa and Gatineau roads a safer place.  What is also interesting is the type of driving offenses that occurred in a short time frame of 2 months.

The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a leading community partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department. These organisations work together towards preventing and eliminating accidents, deaths and serious personal injuries in the Ottawa area. Their goal is to change culture, engage our community and develop a sustainable safe transportation environment.

In the months of May and June, the following infractions occurred and Ottawa Police charged:

Motorcycle infractions 29

Running red lights 475

Impaired driving 142

Construction zone infractions 107

Ottawa Accident Lawyers

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, these infractions are shocking to us. It would seem that everyone of these infractions is preventable and could very well cause a serious accident.  We all need to be aware of the severity and consequences of these infractions. You may think running a red light can save you 5 minutes in driving time; however the reality is that not running that red light might save your life and the lives of loved ones.  Too often I meet with families who have lost a loved one or someone is severely injured and their lives have been changed forever. They would do anything to turn back the clock , they would do anything to not have had that accident. Often times the accident was not their  fault and could have been avoided. Let’s all work together to make Ottawa roads a safer place to drive, cycle, walk and be on. Do your part.

 

 


Ottawa personal injury lawyer explains who pays for Ontario accident benefits insurance compensation?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers working with David Hollingsworth.

Ottawa Lawyers who travel to you to ensure maximum compensation.

Who pays for Ontario accident benefits insurance compensation?

Since Ontario has no-fault insurance, it can be confusing and sometimes difficult to understand who exactly pays for insurance compensation.  Does it come directly from the driver’s pocket? The other driver’s pocket? Your own insurance company? The other driver’s insurance company? Regardless of who is at fault, if you are seriously injured, you are entitled to certain Ontario accident benefits from your own car insurance company or from the car insurance company of another vehicle involved in the accident, no matter who is at fault. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, Ontario accident benefits compensation can come from any of the following.

  1. your insurance company
  2. the insurance company of the vehicle that you were travelling in as a  passenger
  3. the insurance  company of the any vehicles involved in the accident .
  4. if uninsured, the MVAC:  Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund . This is a fund established by the Government of Ontario to help compensate people who need help but have no insurance at the time of their accident.

How an Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you with your insurance claim.

Experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers will be able to help you fill out your Ontario accident benefit forms and help you determine your best course of action. It is always advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer and get a free consultation.  We meet daily with people who have been in accident sand need help.  One of the many services we offer is that we will fill your Ontario accident benefits forms for you.  It’s important that these forms are filled out correctly and in a timely manner.  Failure to do so can affect the amount of compensation you receive and the length of time it may take to receive your compensation.  The Ontario accident benefits insurance process can be complicated. Let us help you.  You have been through enough.

 

 


What are rehabilitation benefits and should you opt for additional coverage? Is it worth it? Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth gives his opinion on Ontario accident benefits.

Rehabilitation Benefits

If you own a vehicle , you must insure it in Ontario. The question is, should you also purchase all the extra additional coverage.  As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I feel strongly about certain additional benefits that can be purchased and then others that you may not need.  One additional benefit that can be purchased is an increase in rehabilitation benefits.

What are rehabilitation benefits under your Ontario accident benefits insurance policy?


Depending on your accident, injuries and the type of insurance policy you have, you may be entitled to rehabilitation benefits. Rehabilitation benefits cover the cost of expenses incurred by you or for you, as a result of injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident in Ontario.  It is important to understand that the expense incurred must be as a result of the injury you sustained in the car accident, as well as being reasonable and necessary. Rehabilitation benefits are designed to reimburse accident victims for treatments and expenses related to:

• reducing and/or eliminating the disability resulting from the injury,
• assisting individuals in reintegrating into a family role or back to work,

Rehabilitation benefits cover expenses for:
• training;
• family counselling,
• rehabilitation counselling,
• financial counselling,
• employment counselling,
• vocational assessments,
• modifications to one’s  workplace, home or vehicle,
• transportation to and from counselling and training sessions,
• miscellaneous items and services required for rehabilitation.

How much are you entitled to in rehabilitative benefits?

For medical and rehabilitation expenses such as physiotherapy, chiropractic services and dental services, standard Ontario insurance covers up to $50,000. For minor injuries medical and rehabilitation Ontario accident benefits are capped at $3,500. You have additional benefits that may be purchased. I recommend to all my clients that if you can afford it, opt for the additional benefits which can increase your limits to $100,000 or $1,100,000.

Rehabilitative benefits for catastrophic injuries For catastrophic injuries, the standard coverage for medical and rehabilitation expenses is $1,000,000. You may also opt for additional coverage and increase the limit by $1,000,000. Catastrophic injuries include quadriplegia, paraplegia, permanent loss of an arm or leg and total vision in both eyes.

Why might you need a treatment plan to receive rehabilitative benefits? If your injuries are more serious in nature, your insurance company may ask that an application be made which includes a treatment plan prepared by your health professional or a designated health professional. A treatment plan typically includes a description of the injuries and impairment and resulting disability from the injuries along with the goods and services to be implemented throughout the treatment. Insurance companies respond to a treatment plan within 10 business days of receiving the plan. Once the plan is accepted, your insurance company will pay for expenses within 30 days of receiving your invoices for rehabilitation. When it comes to purchasing insurance, it is tough to know what to do. As a personal injury lawyer, I always recommend to my clients that if possible to purchase the additional Ontario accident benefits.  They cost a little more; however your benefits coverage increases significantly. I believe it is a decision you would not regret.

For more information on other Ontario accident benefits, visit www.ottawainjury.ca/insurance-claims/

 


Let’s eliminate dangerous driving. OPP launch Facebook site dedicated to sharing real stories of texting and driving and the dangerous outcomes.

Reduction in Ottawa accidents and the elimination of dangerous driving

Did you know that texting while driving increases your chances by more than 20 times to become involved in an accident ? The Ontario Provincial Police announced that although people who know how dangerous texting and driving is, drivers are continuing to text and drive. Sarah Anderson, of CFRA reported that the OPP have launched a new campaign  “Put Down the Phone and Leave it Alone” in an effort to educate people on the serious dangers of texting , talking and driving. One way they plan to hit home the message is to share stories publicly.  They are hoping that people will read true stories of people who have died from texting and driving or talking and driving and think twice about doing it themselves.  For example, recently a family released the final text their son wrote, which wasn’t completely finished, as he died while texting it. He was distracted and drove into oncoming traffic.

The OPP have set up a  Facebook page for such stories. They are encouraging people to contribute stories of near-misses, accidents and dangerous distracted driving. The goal is to have people rethink their own driving safety habits.

So far, there has been input from the public.  People are writing in stories that need to be shared. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I sadly meet with families who have lost loved ones as a result of distracted driving.  These are senseless accidents and can absolutely be avoided.  We worry so much about new teenage drivers, it is important to note that if you have children in the car, you must lead by example.  Your children will watch what you are doing, If they learn from you that it is ok to text and drive occasionally, guess what ? They will text and drive.  Talk to your children and highlight the fact that you can’t answer your emails or text, as you are driving and driving and texting is not an option. Please, please put your devices far away from the wheel. This will avoid any temptation you may have .  If it’s far enough away, you can’t grab it.

Texting and driving has become a serious problem and we must put an end to it. Regardless of how many years you have been driving you cannot text and drive.  It takes a split second for an accident to happen. That accident could kill you, your family or someone else.  If you don’t believe me, call me and I can share some very sad stories with you.

Let’s all work together to eliminate dangerous driving. It can be done. All we have to do is change our mindsets and our habits. Drive safely !

 


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.

 

 


Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth discusses the differences in Ontario personal injury insurance claims for children.

Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

When it comes to our children, nothing is more important.  When a child suffers a personal injury, our hearts are broken. No one over wants their child to be injured. We know how stressful and overwhelming it is for parents when their child is suffering.

Hiring the right Ottawa child injury lawyer is critical. It is important for one to know that a child personal injury claim is not the same as an adult personal injury claim. There are very specific laws in Ontario that govern a child injury case. For instance, did you know that any settlement of a Ontario personal injury claim  involving a minor  requires Ontario court approval ?  This is done to protect the child and make sure that the settlement amount is appropriate and fair and that the legal fees charged by the personal injury lawyer hired for the child are fair and appropriate for the amount of work/risk he or she had done.

There are also many areas in Ontario accident benefits policies that pertain to children claims. Often times when a child suffers a personal injury, they need to be cared for by a parent. In most cases, this means that a parent must take time off work and assume a full-time caregiver role. There are specific provisions in the Ontario accident benefits that can help cover your loss of income while caring for your child.

Our child injury lawyers and our Ontario accident benefit specialists work together to make sure that all expenses are covered including, medications, family visiting expenses, loss of income, and provisions for other changes in your life as a result of your child being injured. We can help in many ways including  filling out all the necessary paperwork for you.  We do this to ensure that the insurance companies are responsible for 100% and no stone is left unturned. The paperwork can be daunting and complicated and often times our clients are not in the right head space to be focusing on this as they have much more important things and people to be focusing on.

If your child has been injured in a Ontario accident, it’s important that you consult with an experienced Ontario child injury lawyer to ensure you receive all the compensation and support that will be needed not only now but in the years to come following your child’s accident.

For more information, visit www.ottawainjury.ca or email david@ottawainjury.ca. We are here to discuss your child’s accident with you and can offer you advice on how best to proceed. We have been helping Ontario families work through their accidents and injuries since 1999. Our goal is to help you as much as possible and provide you not only with maximum compensation, but help you get much needed services and support.


We love hearing from our Ottawa injury clients.

Happy with our injury lawyers? Please let us know !

We received another great email today from a client who came to us close to 2 years ago after she had suffered a serious back injury in an accident.  We began working with her and her family soon after her accident and were able to secure them a great settlement that allowed them to continue on with life much more financially comfortable and start rebuilding a life with a serious back injury. Not only do we help secure her financial future, we were able to get her in to see some of Ottawa’s top back specialists. We also helped them set up for the future with a plan that would make sure they were well taken care of.  This client is just one of many clients we help each month. Here is what she had to say.

“I just wanted to say thanks again.  My husband and I sat down last night and for the first time felt like it was finally over and that is thanks to you and your staff.  We really appreciated everything you did for us David and know how hard you worked to get it for us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  “

Our success as personal injury lawyers

As Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we are also very thankful that we are in a position to help.  Our success rate speaks for itself and we pride ourselves on how hard we work and how experienced we are. We know how to make a difference for each and every one of our clients.

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are experienced and dedicated accident lawyers specializing in Ontario personal injury, accidents and insurance claims.  Since 1999, we have built one of the top Ottawa personal injury lawyer teams.