How you can receive housekeeping and home maintenance expenses after an Ontario accident.

What are housekeeping benefits ?

Taking care of your home seems like the last thing you need to think about after an accident but unfortunately, you need to or you need someone helping  you. If your accident was in Ontario, you may be eligible for Ontario accident benefits from your insurance company or the insurance company of the driver who was at fault. There are several different accident benefits available to you. One involves housekeeping and home maintenance expenses. Basically, if you are unable to perform your usual housekeeping duties or home maintenance duties, your accident benefits can cover someone performing these duties for you.

How much are housekeeping benefits in Ontario ?

The maximum housekeeping and home maintenance benefit payment is $100 each week.

Does everyone qualify for housekeeping benefits?

This home maintenance and housekeeping benefit  is available only to Ontario accident victims who are deemed  “catastrophically injured” in an Ontario accident. However, the FSCO -Financial Services Committee of Ontario has made housekeeping and home maintenance benefits available to non-catastrophically injured accident victims as well by purchasing additional accident benefits. Yes, this means an additional cost each month to an already expensive insurance payment.

Should you purchase additional accident benefits?

We understand that purchasing these additional accident benefits may not seem to make sense; however,in the event of an accident , you may rely heavily on your insurance benefits.  If you are unsure of whether or not you have access to these Ontario accident benefits, let us know and we can help steer you in the right direction.  We can give you advice and let you decide how you want to approach your insurance company. We are here to help. All advice is free.

If you feel like your insurance company isn’t being fair, that’s where our personal injury lawyers in Ottawa can help. Let us help.

 


Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth explains maximum award for pain and suffering compensation in Ontario.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth and Associates: lawyers for Ontario accident victims.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering in Ontario

Ontario Insurance. There are  two types of damage compensation in Ontario: pecuniary damages and non-pecuniary. Pecuniary damages can be calculated and non-pecuniary damages cannot be calculated.

Damages for Pain and Suffering in Ontario (Non-Pecuniary Damages)

Most serious accidents in Ontario result in personal injury and pain. There is the obvious pain suffered immediately following the accident, the pain following the treatment of the injury (ie surgery, physio etc..) and then there is the ongoing pain that can last for weeks, months, years or throughout one’s life following an accident.  In many cases, a serious injury may never fully heal, leaving accident victims with a life long pain problem. Thankfully the Ontario insurance regime  compensates accident victims for  pain and suffering.

In Ontario, the amount awarded for  pain and suffering varies depending on the situation. Some factors that help determine the maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering are:

  • age
  • the severity of the injury
  • the length of time it should take the injury to fully heal
  •  treatment required to treat the personal injury (ie surgery required?)
  •  hospitalization?  rehabilitation? how long?
  • the physical and emotional damage that the injury has caused now and moving forward
  • pre-existing injuries

I will be honest, it is difficult to sue for pain and suffering after a car accident claim in Ontario. We have however had great success in helping our accident victims get the maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering.

Nowadays,  in order to sue for pain and suffering, your injuries need to meet a legal threshold . The legal threshold must show a serious and permanent impairment of an important bodily function. This impairment can be viewed in many ways .  To keep things simple, it basically means that you cannot work, be a caregiver, or participate in normal activities of daily living as a result of your pain and suffering.

Also, to receive compensation for pain and suffering , your injuries must be permanent.  What makes this particularly difficult is the fact that it is sometimes tricky to show that an injury is permanent without waiting for at least a year after the accident . Accident victims are struggling throughout this year and it is difficult to try to rebuild a new life without knowing what lies ahead.

In order to claim compensation for pain and suffering in Ontario, the personal injuries suffered in or after the accident must be proven to the courts,should the insurance company try to deny compensation. Unfortunately, in most cases, that’s exactly what they will try to do. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I find this to be so disturbing as often times people with “invisible” injuries are the people who need the compensation the most .That is why I take all pain and suffering claims in Ontario very seriously. I see how much pain people are in and how they have lost their everyday life to an accident.  I do everything I can to really help these accident victims.

Ontario Insurance: Pain and Suffering Claims Deductible

Not only to pain and suffering claims need to be a specific threshold in Ontario, the Ontario government has also legislated that they surpass a $30,000 deductible for pain and suffering claims. Sadly,what this translates to for accident victims is that they do not receive the first $30,000 in compensation; however, this  deductible does not apply to injury claims where the pain and suffering damages exceed $100,000. As an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer, this is where I can truly help. The system is not fair and that is why experienced personal injury lawyers can make all the difference.

If you have suffered and are continuing to suffer from an accident, we can help you.  You are not alone. Our dedicated team of Ottawa personal injury lawyers can help you get through these difficult times. We know you need financial compensation,as well as emotional.  We have all the resources you need are we are here to help.  For more information ,visit us at www.ottawainjury.ca

 

 


Ontario Accident Benefits Forms Disability Certificate OCF-3 , Ontario Insurance Claims Forms

What is an OCF-3 Disability Certificate?

If you have been injured in an accident in Ontario, you will likely need medical help and you may even need legal help.  Your insurance company is often one of the first calls that get made.  Typically, your insurance company will start your claim by sending you a package to complete.  In this package, you will be required to fill out many detailed forms. These forms are extremely important and often are of great importance when it comes time to settling your case.  That is why it is so important to make sure they are filled out correctly. Insurance companies can deny a claim if there is misleading information on the forms.

OCF 3: Disability Certificate

One of the first forms to fill out is the OCF 3; otherwise known as the Disability Certificate  OCF-3. The OCF-3 Disability form needs to filled out by you and your health practitioner (this could be your chiropractor, dentist, occupational therapist, nurse practitioner, optometrist, physician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist or speech language pathologist). Your insurance company  will pay for the completed OCF-3. There is no expense charged to you.

Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyer

If you or a loved has been injured in an Ontario car  accident and you are  applying for Accident Benefits, you must fill out a Disability Certificate. Your doctor will need to fill out a Disability Certificate  OCF-3 from your insurance company. The OCF-3 Disability Certificate form can be found at the  Financial Services Commission of Ontario site. The manner in which this is filled out is extremely important. It is important to be completely honest with your doctor and have your doctor fill out the form in as much detail as possible. It’s important to include all personal injuries on the form, including psychological injuries, any mental injuries, emotional injuries etc.. Be as detailed as possible.  The last thing you want is to be suffering from an injury down the road and have the insurance company deny your claim because you didn’t give all the information at the time of the accident. You may need therapy later on and not know it at the time of your injury. Somethings to keep in mind…

Have you been previously injured in an accident? Do you suffer from pre-existing conditions ? Some pre-existing conditions could affect the outcome of your claim. Your doctor needs to be extremely thorough. What other injuries does your doctor suspect go along with your injury? Do you get headaches? Are you having trouble with bright lights, loud noises? Are there  neurological injuries? Areyou having concentration difficulties? Do you feel pain anywhere else? This all needs to be documented on your Disability Certificate  OCF-3 form.

Where an Ontario Injury Lawyer can help with a Disability Certificate  OCF-3 form. 

Some of the OCF-3 Disability Certificate is fairly standard. You need to complete  your name, date of birth, gender, address, and employment status.

Another section of the Disability Certificate OCF-3 requires you fill out all insurance information. If you were a pedestrian at the time of the car accident,  you are required to fill out the insurance information of the other driver that hit you. This information can also be found on the Police Report. If  neither drivers or accident victims have insurance there is a special fund set up by the government called  Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. It is difficult tobe considered for this fund and it would be best if you ge the help of an Ontario injury lawyer when making a claim to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

The most difficult section of  the Disability Certificate OCF-3  is the third section . It is in this section that accident victims must fill out the details of the car accident and indicate what personal injuries resulted from the accident. You need to make sure that all the information provided in this section is the same information given in your police report. Take your time and fill it out careful.  It is always best to consult with your Ontario injury lawyer to make sure you do not write anything that might jeopardize your case.

The next section of the Disability Certificate OCF-3 form is the section that requires you to enlist the help of your family doctor, surgeons, therapists, physiotherapist, psychologist, speech language pathologist, or any other health care professional listed on the form OCF-3.  Not only do they need to identify your injuries, they also need to give an opinion on your recovery status.  Your health professionals must decide if you are capable to return to work and day in/day out activities. This is particularly challenging as often only time will tell in these situations.

Filing out complex insurance forms can be very difficult and stressful.  It shouldn’t be ! You are already dealing with enough. As some of the most dedicated Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we  help all of our personal injury clients fill out these forms correctly, so as not to jeopardize anything .  There is far too much at risk and we want to help.  We can help.If you have a question,or would simply just like some help filling out your Disability Certificate OCF-3, we would be happy to help. We won’t charge you. These are forms we fill out every day and it is far easier for us to do, than for you to do.  Let us help you and you can focus on your recovery. Feel free to call us at (613) 978-9549 or email [email protected]

 

Ottawa Police planning to streamline accident reporting process, cut costs and lower Ottawa accident reporting times.

Ottawa Accident Report

Ottawa Police are planning to make improvements to their accident reporting system.  The accident reporting process should then be faster, safer, and more efficient  due to the new technology being used as well as designated Collision Reporting Centres (CRC) in Ottawa.

Motorists who are involved in accidents and who have not suffered injuries and have a vehicle that can still be driven will be able to attend one of the three designated reporting centres (open 7 days a week ) . The accident report will need to be filed within 24 hours. Ottawa’s 3 reporting  centres will be located at 474 Elgin Street, 211 Huntmar Drive and 3343 St. Joseph Boulevard.

On average, it takes 32 minutes before an available officer arrives on an Ottawa accident scene and the accident reporting process takes approximately  72-minutes. Now, with the new system in place, the process will be quicker it will also alleviate traffic around the accident.  Now under the new system, Ottawa accidents will be submitted electronically which will not only save time, it will save money , dropping the cost of each report $249 to $167.

If you plan on starting a personal injury lawsuit, you will need a police report.  Our lawyers can order a copy for you if you do not have a copy. Contact an Ottawa personal injury lawyer for a free consultation and let us help you get all the supports and compensation you are entitled to.


Ottawa accidents: Where to avoid. Ottawa’s busiest accident intersections.

Accidents in Ottawa

Personal Injury Lawyers in Ottawa Ontario….

Listen up Ottawa drivers ! Did you know that more than 15,000 auto accidents occurred  in Ottawa in 2011. This is more Ottawa accidents than last year; however,  fewer people died and  fewer people suffered personal injuries.

The most common intersection in Ottawa for accidents is Riverside Drive and Hunt Club Road. This busy Ottawa intersection had 53 crashes in 2011, compared to 2010,when it also ranked  first in accidents, 43 accidents reported.

The second most common Ottawa accident intersection was Belfast Road and St. Laurent Boulevard. There were  32 accidents in 2011.

The intersection of Baseline Road and Woodroffe was also a common accident location with 31 accidents reported.

Ottawa accidents in 2011

The following intersections also reported a high number of Ottawa accidents in 2011:

Catherine Street and Kent Street- 30 Ottawa accidents

Walkley Road and Hawthorne and Russell roads- 30 Ottawa accidents

Prince of Wales Drive and West Hunt Club Road -30 Ottawa accidents

Blair Road and Blair Road Ramp 36 -29 Ottawa accidents

Clyde Avenue and Merivale Road- 29 Ottawa accidents

Industrial Avenue and St. Laurent Boulevard -29 Ottawa accidents

Baseline Road and Greenbank Road -28 Ottawa accidents

Beechwood Avenue and Crichton Street – 28 Ottawa accidents

Thankfully, none of these Ottawa accidents resulted in death.

The city of Ottawa recorded 15,295 collisions in 2011, up from 14,953 in 2010,  The number of registered vehicles and licensed drivers on Ottawa’s roads also increased in 2011.

The city of Ottawa also reported that 25 people died in Ottawa accidents: 9 drivers, 7 passengers, 1  motorcyclist, 1 cyclist and 7 pedestrians.  The number of fatal accidents in Ottawa lowered  from 2010, when 38 deaths occurred in Ottawa accidents and is the lowest number of fatalities in 6 years.

The number of reported people suffering personal injuries in Ottawa accidents lowered from 3,822 in 2010 to 3,690 in 2011, including  2,152 drivers, 814 passengers, 339 pedestrians, 130 motorcycle drivers, 13 motorcycle passengers, and 242 cyclists .

The city of Ottawa is also looking at  road safety initiatives and assessing  different types of situations when Ottawa accidents happen and where personal injuries result,  to improve safety for everyone in Ottawa .

 


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: [email protected] (613) 978-9549

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


Ottawa personal injury lawyer cautioning all Ontario distracted drivers.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth… Ontario Provincial Police have a new focus:  distracted drivers. The OPP are going to crack down on people driving who are doing almost anything other than driving. Yes, that’s right. What does that mean? It could be cell phone or texting, fiddling with the radio in the car, eating and drinking, smoking, dealing with children. Anything that distracts drivers from the road.  I can honestly say as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, there are far too many accidents as a result of distracted driving. 2012 has just begun and already we have 8 people who have been killed on Ontario highways due to distracted driving.

I know we are all in a rush but please put the phone away.  Don’t even keep it within arms reach when driving.  That way you won’t be tempted to answer it. Return your calls/texts when you arrive SAFELY at your destination.  Before cell phones, people managed and so can we.

Please drive safely out there !                                    -Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

———————- This  Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa injury lawyer dedicated to helping Ontario accident victims and the families of accident victims who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an Ontario accident. This blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury. Visit  www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a topic you would like me to write about or  if you have a question,  please call or email me: [email protected] (613) 978-9549

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Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ontario accident lawyers, distracted driving


What is maximum compensation for chronic fatigue syndrome in Ontario ? Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Top Ottawa Injury Lawyers – David Hollingsworth on Compensation for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ?

chronic fatigue syndrome

photo credit Fede Racchi

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (“CFS”) is a real disorder affecting hundreds of thousands of people in North America.  We have our fair share of chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers here in Ottawa as well. Often the syndrome can present itself to a victim after an accident or injury. The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is not perfectly understood, though the World Health Organization classifies it as a Disease of the Nervous System. Secondary to an accident, clients will often describe to their injury lawyer levels of fatigue they are experiencing. It is important for a person to also consult with their medical team to ensure that they are receiving the best attention possible to ensure for the best possible health. Your injury lawyer can help you with your recovery to ensure that you do not lose out on what accident benefits you may be rightfully entitled to.  The classification of CFS will involve several factors. Notably, a classification of CFS will entail (1) ruling out other conditions that you may suffer from and (2) it must be shown to be otherwise unexplained, relapsing fatigue that is new (i.e. you have not had this condition all your life, it is not predated fatigue); (3) that the fatigue is not the result of ongoing exertion; (4) that the fatigue is not relieved by rest; (5) and that the condition results in substantial decreases in your levels of occupational, social, educational, or personal activities.

Furthermore, to prove Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,  the patient must exhibit at least four of the following enumerated symptoms, which must persist for at least six months: (1) Difficulty with memory or concentration; (2) Sore throat; (3) Tender cervical (neck area) or axillary (underarm area) nodes; (4) Sleeping but not feeling rested; (5) Arthralgias (pain along the nerve of the joint) – no redness or swelling; (6) Headaches; (7) Muscle pain; (8) Post-exertional malaise, lasting more than one day. Our Ottawa injury lawyers work closely with medical professionals who specialize in chronic fatigue syndrome. We understand how difficult life can be living with this syndrome and are here to help.

 


What do I do at the scene of a motor vehicle accident ? What should I do after the motor vehicle accident ?

What do I do at the scene of an accident ?drivesafely

DO: Remain at the scene of an accident.

  • Call the police and advise of the nature of injuries suffered at the scene of an accident.
  • Provide the following information: your name and address, your vehicle permit number, and the name and address of the owner of the car (if it is not your car).
  • Get the names, address, phone number, vehicle permit number and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
  • Get the names, address, and phone numbers of any witnesses who saw the accident.
  • Write down anything anybody says about how the accident happened.
  • Tell the police officer if you think another driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

DO NOT:

  • Move the vehicles, or any debris, unless they are a potential hazard to other motorists; or
  • Sign documents or discuss the accident with anyone but the police.

What should I do after I’ve been at the scene of an accident ?

DO

  • When you get to the hospital or to your home, you should call your insurance agent immediately.  If you do not have your own insurance you may be entitled under someone else’s policy or through the Ontario’s Superintendent of Insurance through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
  • Make an appointment with your family doctor or attend a walk-in clinic.
  • Take photographs of any damage to your car, truck, bicycle or motorcycle.
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer.
  • If you have any visible injuries, take photographs of these injuries.  Also take photographs of any damaged clothing or belongings.
  • Contact your employer or school and advise them that you were in an accident.
  • Consider your needs for specialized equipment and home modifications.
  • Keep a detailed record of all medications taken, assistance received from family, friends or professionals, all rehabilitation or doctors’ appointments, progress or development in physical, psychological or mental injuries, and all out of pocket expenses including parking, wheel chair rental, ambulance bills etc..
  • Comply with all requirements of the Accident Benefits.
  • Let your personal injury lawyer assist in completing the Accident Benefits forms.

DO NOT

  • Provide any statements to your insurance company until you have consulted with a personal injury lawyer.

If you have any questions at all that relate to personal injury and accidents, please don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

 


Infant and Child Car Seat Safety. Have you buckled your child properly?

Installing a Child Car Seatchildaccident

Ottawa Lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Injury Lawyer…I came across this information on the Canada Safety Council website and thought I would share .  Let’s do everything we can to keep our kids safe and avoid child injuries !

Canadian Safety Council: Buckle-Up  Basics

Did you know that the proper use of a child restraint on each and every trip can prevent 75% of crash-related deaths and serious child injuries. Sadly, roadside checks find only 51.6 % of children buckled up at all. During 2002, Buckle Up Bears clinics found that less than 20 percent of all car seats checked were correctly installed. By following  tips from the Canada Safety Council, we can help make sure children are  properly secured in their vehicles.

The Fundamentals of installing child car seats

  • Always ensure your child car seat has CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) on the label and has a valid manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check the weight and height limits of the seat and check this against the child being placed in the child car seat.
  • Before you buy a child car seat, test it in your vehicle to ensure that it  fits well in your vehicle.
  • Follow all  instructions according to the child seat manufacturer’s manual and the vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Transport Canada recommends that children under the age of 12 and under should be properly restrained in the back seat especially if there is a passenger-side air bag.

Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat Birth to 10 kg (22 lb.)

  • An infant-only car seat is the best for young babies. When your child is over the height OR weight limit of the infant-only car seat, you can use an infant seat in the rear-facing position.
  • Always ensure the harness are  snug. You should only be able to fit one finger between you baby’s and the harness.
  •  Make sure that the chest clips are positioned at your child’s armpit level.
  • Remove winter outdoor wear before placing your child in their seat.
  • Never put a rear-facing child car seat on a seat that is equipped with an air bag.

Forward-Facing Car Child Seat 10 – 18 kg (22 – 40 lb.)

  • Once your child weighs 10 kg and are able to stand independently you can switch to a  forward-facing seat.
  • Always make sure the  harness is snug and follow the one finger rule.  The chest clip needs to be at the armpit level.
  • All forward-facing child car seats must be anchored to the vehicle frame with a tether strap. If the anchor is not visible, check in the trunk.

Booster Car Seat 18 kg (40 lb.) or over

  • Your child can move to a booster seat once they weigh 18 kg.
  • A booster car seat raises the child to properly fit the adult seat-belt.
  • A booster car seat that uses a lap is always best.
  • Check your seat  and ensure that you are following the weight limits.

Seat-Belts

  • Once your child has reached the age of 8 or is 4 ft. 9 in., or weighs 80 lbs, they can use a seat belt in Ontario.
  • Make sure the seat belt is positioned properly. The lap portion of the seat belt should be worn on the hips, touching the upper thighs and the  shoulder portion of the seatbelt should be worn over the shoulder and tight across the chest.
  • Your child should always sit upright, with their back against the seat.

Stay safe and buckle up !