Why do child car seats have an expiry date and is it safe to still use them ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.  In Canada, all car seat manufacturers provide an expiry date on all car seats.  Why? For safety !

There are also reasons such as…

  • sunlight: yes, sun exposure can damage or weaken the plastic found in car seats; and
  • safety regulations and standards change over time and products improve over time.

The provincial and territorial laws state that children’s car seats and booster seats  must be certified to Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and must be used properly according to the instructions given by the manufacturer. If you don’t follow the instructions or if you use them past their expiry or useful life dates, there is exposure to putting a child at risk and you may be found guilty of breaking the law.

You may be tempted to buy a car seat second hand.  Our Ottawa injury lawyers do not recommend you buy a used car seat unless you can get a guarantee that it hasn’t been in an accident (which could be impossible), has not been recalled (check with the manufacturer or Transport Canada – 1-800-333-0371) and that it isn’t expired; Transport Canada also provides a list of manufacturers of car seats and booster seats sold in Canada which includes the expiry/life date.

The following are the weight guidelines for child car seats in Ontario:

Infants: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children must rear-facing car seats until the child weighs at least 9 kg (20 lb.). It’s important to note that this is a minimum requirement. Some rear-facing car seats are made for children that weigh up to 20 kg (45 lb.).

Toddlers: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children use a forward-facing child car seat once  they weight from 9 kg to 18 kg (20 to 40 lb.). Again, this is a minimum requirement. Some forward-facing car seats are made for children that weigh up to 30 kg (65 lb.).

Pre-School and up to 8 years old: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children use a booster seat once they weigh 18 kg to 36 kg (40-80 lb.), are less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall, and are under the age of 8. Again, this is a minimum requirement.

Youth: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children can use a seat belt when one of the following conditions is met:

  • Child turns 8 years old, or
  • Child weighs 36 kg (80 lb.), or
  • Child is 145 cm (4´ 9˝) tall or more

It’s important that  the shoulder strap is positioned across a youth’s shoulder and in the middle of the chest and the lap belt crosses the hips and not the stomach.

Child car seat requirements are the law and more importantly are there for safety.  If you are unsure of what car seat your child should be in or if your car seat is installed correctly, there are a number of resources in the Ottawa area to help you such as Service Ontario at 1(800) 268-4686. Please make sure your child is safe.

-We understand, we care and we’re here to help: Ottawa personal injury lawyers since 1999.


Ontario Police focusing on distracted driving: It’s not just cell phones !

Ottawa accident and distracted driving

For everyone’s safety, the OPP-Ontario Ontario Provincial Police are about to begin a distracted driving campaign next week. This is not the first distracted driving campaign in the Ottawa area.  Ontario Police often target distracted drivers and you wouldn’t believe the number of infractions that occur in just a one weekend blitz campaign. I support these campaigns fully.  As a Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I read police accident reports daily and the number of Ottawa area accidents caused by distracted driving is astonishing.  What bothers me most, is that these accidents are avoidable. I’m not saying I don’t understand how it happens.   I too have children that suddenly start fighting in the back seat and before I know it, my attention has been diverted from the road to them. It  happens. That is why reminders such as this post are so useful. My goal is to have us all tuck this post in the back of our minds and hopefully the next time a situation arises when we are driving, we will remember.

Ontario Police are not only focusing on distracted drivers, they are also asking drivers to leave any handheld devices out of reach while driving. Yes, put your phone away.  Don’t even have it out. Leave your phone in your purse , or even the back of the car.  If it’s too close, the fear is that you might be tempted to check that text that just came in etc.. We can’t have that ! Ontario Police are also asking that passengers to speak to their drivers if they are driving distracted. While this may be uncomfortable, it is life saving ! This is particularly important if you have teenagers or children in the car.  Please do not set a bad example.

As I mentioned earlier, distracted is not limited to texting or talking on the phone.  Although texting is the most dangerous, there are other obstacles that can divert your attention while driving. The most common are:

eating,

drinking,

watching other drivers,

focussing on kids in the backseat ,

looking in the mirror,

or personal grooming.

Please tuck this information away and hopefully we can all work together to reduce  Ottawa accidents and keep our roads safe. Drive safely and have a great day.

David Hollingsworth has been a top Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer for close to 15 years.  David works with an incredible team of highly skilled injury lawyers, Ontario accident benefits specialists and personal injury law clerks .

 

 


How to help your teenager be a better driver and help reduce Ottawa accidents and personal injuries.

Tips for teenage drivers

David Hollingsworth is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa Ontario.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death in teenagers and sadly are on the rise. We can’t have this . The Ottawa Sun published some tips for teenage drivers . The tips originally came from FORD and the Ford Driving Skills for Life program. This program is aimed at helping parents help new teenage drivers and helping them be safe drivers. Some of the best tips were as follows:

1.Focus on driving. Watch the road and keep your hands on the wheel.

2.Always use your seatbelts and make sure your passengers buckle up as well.

3. Obey speed limits. They are there for a reason.

4. Do not talk, text or use any non-hands free device while driving. That;s how people die.

5. Always allow enough room between you and the next vehicle.

6. Be aware of road hazards: animals, potholes and other drivers.

7. Obey all driving laws. This includes piling too many people in the car etc..

8. Never drink and drive. There is always a better, safer alternative. Find one !

All of these seem obvious, but please take a moment and review or have your teenager read them, AGAIN. It will never hurt.  We have to be able to empower our teenage drivers and make sure they have the tools they need to be out on the roads safely. Please, we owe it to them. As parents, we won’t always be in the car with our children. That is why it is imperative that we teach them and give them the tools to safely handle a vehicle. It might just be one of the most valuable lessons you ever taught your child.

For over a decade, we have been Ottawa injury lawyers helping Ontario accident victims and specializing in Ontario personal injury law and  insurance claims.

 


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

 


Ottawa Injury Lawyer on driving safety in eastern Ontario.

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa, David Hollingsworth

It’s that time of year again when the roads become more dangerous and we are also spending more time on the roads visiting friends. In light of the recent freezing rain conditions here in Ottawa , I thought I would help provide a few reminders when it comes to travel safety…

What to have with you in difficult winter driving conditions in Ontario…

Be prepared and have a first aid kit in your vehicle at all times with:

  •  ice scraper
  •  snow brush
  •  matches
  • candles
  •  flashlights
  •  flares
  • non-perishable snacks
  • rope
  • maps
  • booster cables
  • safety shovel
  • winter boots
  • blankets
  • gloves
  • cell phone
  • Have a HELP sign (to be placed on back of window)

What to do in difficult winter driving conditions in Ontario…

  • Keep windows, mirrors and lights free of obstructions.
  • Check  headlamps,  signals and tail lights are clear of  snow and ice
  • Clear off your car entirely, including side mirrors.
  • Install snow tires.
  • Add gas line anti-freeze to the fuel-tank when refueling in extremely cold weather.
  • Keep gas tank always be over 1/2 full.
  • Make sure you have properly functioning  windshield wipers.
  • Keep windshield washer fluid levels full.
  • Check engine oil and ensure you have winter weight oil   5W-30.
  • Keep battery dry, clean, well connected and free of corrosion .
  • Make sure tire pressure is balanced
  • Check tire condition
  • Check coolant level and mixture and have it flushed every two years.

What to do in freezing rain driving conditions in Ontario…

  • Avoid driving in freezing rain.
  • Allow extra time for travel.
  • Do not drive if there are whiteouts, freezing rain or blizzards.
  • Never drink and drive. Use a designated driver, taxis, walk or sleepover when possible.
  • Buckle up your seat belt.
  • Ensure all passengers are buckled up.
  • Don’t drive if you are tired.
  • Slow down.
  • Keep at least 2 chevrons between you and the vehicle in front of you.

An accident can happen in an instant and can be devastating.  Most accidents can be avoided.  Please take the time and share this with friends and family. It could help save a life.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

-Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

 


Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth: Tips for avoiding Ottawa bicycle accidents,

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers…Sadly, 200 cycling accidents happen in Ottawa every year.  Citizens for Safe Cycling is promoting bike education throughout Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Bikefest at LeBreton Flats tomorrow. In 2010, 5 Ottawa cyclists died on their bicycles and cyclists in Ottawa are 10 times more likely to be involved in an accident than cars. Citizens for Safe Cycling explained one of the most common accidents on Ottawa’s roads is when drivers make a right turn without looking for cyclists and cut them off.

The following tips were provided by Citizens for Safe Cycling when it comes to safe cycling in Ottawa:

Obey the law: red lights, stop signs and the rules of the road.

 Don’t ride on sidewalks.

 Don’t ride the wrong way down a one-way street.

Signal: “Be sure to signal all of your intentions in advance, that way motorists and other cyclists will know what you’re doing.”

Be aware: Give yourself space to maneuver and shoulder check to make sure you know where the other vehicles are.

Prepare your ride: Wear a helmet.  Make sure your bike is in good condition.

Know your route: Use Ottawa’s bike maps

MEC Bikefest is happening tomorrow at LeBreton Flats from 11 am to 4pm with exhibitor displays, bike demos, safety education, workshops and family fun.

Have fun and safe cycling….

-Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

—-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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Ottawa cyclign accidents, Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer David Hollingsworth


Ottawa Police aiming to reduce personal injuries by focussing on unsafe lane changes

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…Ottawa Police and the City of Ottawa’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) are targetting  Ottawa motorists performing  unsafe lane changes and those who inappropriately use reserved lanes to help keep Ottawa’s roads safe. This will be the focus for April.

Ottawa Accidents and Unsafe Lane changes

Unsafe lane changes caused 1,130  accidents  reported in 2010, resulting in one wrongful death and 111 personal injuries.

Ottawa Accidents and Ottawa Drivers Driving in Reserved Lanes

In 2010, Ottawa motorists traveling in the reserved transit lanes caused 27 accidents which resulted  in  personal injuries.

The  Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department.  They are all dedicated to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious personal injuries for all Ottawa people , through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

I commend them on their efforts and support these amazing initiatives.  Let’s all do whatever we can to help reduce the number of Ottawa accidents and personal injuries.

—-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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Ottawa Police STEP program, Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

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