Ottawa personal injury lawyers reflect on Bill 171.

Personal Injury Lawyers Ottawa.  The Ontario’s Minister of Finance recently  introduced Bill 171. This bill is entitled  the “Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act” and claims to be put in place to help Ontario drivers.

The question is …Is it helping drivers or helping insurance companies?   A very important provision in the bill lowers the interest rate paid by the insurance companies from 5% to 1.3%.  As  Ottawa personal injury lawyers , we feel that this highly impacts our personal injury clients .  Insurance companies will now be less inclined to settle and pay out benefits to people who have been injured and are waiting and relying heavily on this money.  A lower interest rate will not be incentive for insurance companies to settle quicker. This delay in payment may directly impact the lives of people who are waiting to rebuild their lives and often cannot afford such delays. This reduction in interest rate may cause a serious injustice. Insurance companies will now be in a position where they could potentially invest the funds and make more profit by delaying b the payout.

Bill 171 also eliminates powers given to arbitrators from the Financial Services Commission Ontario (FSCO) who review the personal injury cases and decide whether or not both sides are acting fairly. Arbitrations will now be conducted through the Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal. As Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we find all these changes very disturbing.  It seems these changes are being made quickly and there doesn’t seem to be many opportunities for input from stakeholders. Perhaps this is by design ?

Over the past few years there have been numerous changes and reductions to Ontario accident benefits and the insurance regime. These changes are not to be taken lightly as they have serious and potentially devastating consequences for Ontario drivers who have been seriously injured.

If you have questions that relate to insurance and accident benefits in Ontario, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are here to help you. We can offer you free advice and help you decide what your best options are if you have been injured in an accident in Ontario.  We have over 25 years experience in maximizing insurance claims and helping people rebuild their lives.  Contact us free of charge at www.ottawainjury.ca



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.


Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth shares safety tips to avoid pedestrian accidents.

Ottawa Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Although it doesn’t look or feel like it, spring is officially here.  With the warm weather coming , more Ottawa pedestrians will be taking to the streets. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe.

To avoid a pedestrian accident, you should…

  • always cross at crossways or traffic lights
  • be alert
  • ensure drivers see you before you cross any road;
  • only cross a road when traffic has stopped;
  • be cautious when crossing and do so promptly. Don’t waste time and make sure you get completely across before the light changes.
  • do not wear headphones to listen to music. You need to hear the sounds around you.
  • be aware of cars that may be turning and may not be able to see you;
  • as much as possible, wear bright clothing or reflective wear and make yourself as visible as possible.  Most of all, use common sense.

Accident benefits for pedestrian accidents

Did you know that pedestrians are entitled to accident benefits is they become injured as the result of a motor vehicle accident? A personal injury insurance claim is mad through the drivers insurance company and things like income replacement benefits, rehabilitation expenses, attendant care, hospital expenses, loss of education expenses, housekeeping, expenses of visitors etc.. can be covered

There are far too many Ottawa pedestrian accidents each year and sadly, most of them could be avoided.  Both motorists and pedestrians need to ensure that they are doing everything they can to keep Ottawa roads safe and accident free. David Hollingsworth and his personal injury team are top Ottawa personal injury lawyers  who dedicate themselves to ensuring that Ontario pedestrians get all the help, support and maximum compensation after an Ontario accident.

Feel free to contact our Ottawa injury law firm with any questions you may have and we would be happy to help.


Ontario accident benefits and indexation. Should you purchase additional accident benefits?

Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyers David Hollingsworth

In September 2010, The Ontario government through the Financial Services Commission of Ontario made significant changes to Ontario insurance plans. Not only did FSCO significantly reduce the accident benefits available to Ontario drivers, it introduced a 2 tiered approach for Ontario drivers. All Ontario drivers are required to purchase insurance.  How much insurance you purchase is up to you.

Top up accident benefits

There are several “top ups” that can be purchased in the event that you or a loved one is in an accident in Ontario. Indexation is an additional Ontario accident benefit that can be purchased. This optional benefit provides for an automatic adjustment over time of several  different accident benefits including income replacement benefits, medical and rehabilitation benefits, attendant care benefits and other Ontario accident benefits.  The indexation of these accident benefits is determined by the changes in inflation based on Consumer Price Index of Canada.​ Basically, it’s an extra insurance policy that ensures that your benefit dollars keep up with the times.

Accident Benefits and Indexation

In other words, a dollar today is not going to be worth what a dollar tomorrow will be worth. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I know how important Ontario accident benefits are to my clients.  Often times, people are unable to return to their previous life before the accident and are left with their insurance claim and accident benefits to carry them throughout the rest of their lives. I know that Ontario insurance premiums are already very high, so paying even more is frustrating; however, if ever you need to access these accident benefits, you will need them.

Our personal injury lawyers are constantly meeting with people who regret not having “topped up” their insurance coverage.  It’s a personal decision and not a decision that should be taken lightly.

Something to think about…

 

 


Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth offering safety driving tips for icy roads.

Ottawa Accident Lawyer

.I was up bright and early this morning taking our kids to hockey.  I knew it had rained last night but I had no idea when I hit Ottawa streets how slippery they were.  As I pulled into the arena parking lot, my vehicle slid sideways down a hill.  Thankfully it was 6:30 am (yawn) and the lot was empty. I was driving very slowly and paying close attention to the road conditions, yet at that very moment, there was nothing else I could have done.  I was sliding on ice . Be careful out there on Ottawa roads. It is extremely slippery out there today. The Ottawa Police Service have provided excellent safety tips to drivers who encounter freezing rain.

-Clear all ice and snow off your vehicle to avoid any ice and snow dislodging and flying onto other vehicles.

-Allow yourself distance between vehicles. Especially when the roads are icy, you need enough distance to stop. Also it allows time to react if ice and snow is flying off other vehicles.
-Be aware that other vehicles may loose snow and ice on them. Often times, transport trucks have ice and snow on the roof of their trailers.
-Always slow down when the roads are icy.
-Allow yourself more time to arrive safely to your destination.
-Ensure your vehicle is ready for winter. Ensure you have winter tires, proper windshield wipers.

Here are a few more tips I have to offer:

  1. Make sure tries have good grips: Always best to have proper winter tires installed.
  2. Make sure you can see. Make sure blades, windows and headlights are properly functioning and clean.
  3. Run the air-conditioner. This removes condensation and frost from the interior of windows.
  4. Check your lights. Ensure they are clear of snow and working.
  5. Know how to use your brakes. If you find yourself sliding on ice,use your antilock brakes: Stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal . Stay with the pedal. Steer around the obstacle.
  6. If your car is not equipped with ABS, do not panic. Push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly.
  7. Be careful. Look for “black ice. Touch your brakes regularly enough to test for black ice.
  8. Know the tough spots.  Bridges and intersections are common places for ice to form.
  9. Too much steering is bad. In most cases, over steering will always make the situation worse. While it may be instinctive to steer away from the obstacle as hard as you can you may make things worse. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your vehicle will go in whatever way the wheels are facing, which could be very dangerous (oncoming traffic , hydro poles or traffic).

All in all, common sense and good driving habits are what will help you the most. Sometimes, despite this accidents will happen as we cannot control everything around us. Please drive safely out there.

 


Help and compensation for concussion injuries in Ontario accident benefits.

Concussions Injury Compensation Ontario.

I have had so many people come to me after a car accident in Ontario and they have no visible signs of an injury, yet they are suffering. After I hear about their day in and day out activities, it becomes quite apparent to me that they are suffering from a severe concussion. Concussions are a type of brain injury.  Although there is not always a blow to the head, a head injury can be equally or more painful.  In many cases, accident victims with severe concussions are not able to return to work or their everyday activities such as concentrating, remembering , or even simple tasks such as getting groceries or mowing the lawn. Suddenly noises, vibrations and lighting prevent them from any quality of life. No two concussions are alike and the effects suffered by brain injury victims will be different. The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body which controls all of the body’s functions. When these bodily functions are compromised, accident victims can suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally.

There has been a rise in public awareness when it comes to concussions.  It was previously believed that small blows to the head had little impact on one’s brain health.  Now, however through research, we know that these impacts can result in brain injury.

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer I find this development in research to be amazing. With the new technology developed to test for concussions and brain injuries, I am able to help my clients get identified and get the medical help they need in a timely manner.  After that, I am able to help them get the maximum financial compensation for their concussion injury.

Concussion symptoms ….

  • Headaches
  • Trouble with memory
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Ears ringing
  • Nausea
  • Unusual fatigue

When someone suffers from a concussion, it is important that I work closely with their  family and  healthcare practitioners to ensure that we are keeping a close eye and making sure to note any changes or triggers with their concussion. Coping with the needs of a brain injury victim is extremely difficult for everyone involved.

Concussion injuries can be life changing

A severe concussion is life altering for everyone involved. I understand the pain and frustration involved when someone suffers a severe concussion. I have been able to put many things in place and help secure my clients financial futures as many have been unable to return to work.

In Ontario, people who have suffered a brain injury as a result of an Ontario car accident are entitled to compensation for their losses from their own insurance company. Insurance companies must pay for accident benefits for such things as lost income and  housekeeping, medical bills and rehabilitation. There are time limits in Ontario when it comes to applying for Ontario accident benefits. Some insurance companies will deny a claim, even if the insurance policy covers the entitled to Ontario accident benefits.  This is where personal injury lawyers can really make the difference.  An experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer will step in and represent you.  The best Ontario personal injury lawyers will ensure you are getting ALL of the accident benefits you are entitled to and make sure that you and your family are taken care of in the years to come. Insurers often deny accident benefits they are supposed to pay out on.  Every concussion and brain injury is different and therefore every Ontario accident claim is unique.

If you have suffered a concussion or if a friend or family member is suffering from a severe concussion, we understand and can help you. We can’t undo the damage that has been done, but we can help you get much needed resources that can help you regain control of your life. Your quality of life is extremely important; not only for you but for your family.  Your concussion may get worse, but hopefully it will get better. We can help you along the way. Hang in there and let us help !

 


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.

 


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 lawyer David Hollingsworth supporting Helmet Day : 46 Ontario stores offering discounts on helmets.

Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth… I strongly urge everyone, children and adults to wear a helmet. It really could save your life. I meet daily with people involved in accidents and in some cases they are severely injured, but alive thanks to a helmet.  Please celebrate Helmet Day tomorrow by purchasing  a new helmet. 46 Ontario retailers across the region have agreed to participate in this event. The following locations are offering discounts tomorrow. Simply visit a participating store and purchase your helmet for helmet day discount,

This event is for everyone (children, youth, adults, and seniors) and all kinds of helmets will be available., whether you bike, rollerblade, skateboard, ski, or play hockey.

The following retailers are supporting this very important initiative and are offering discounts:

Store: Top of the World Location: 158 Rideau Street Discount: 15% off all Helmets and Safety Gear (Knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards)

Store: Antique Skate Location: 9 Florence Street Discount: 15% off all skateboard helmets and equipment

Store: Bushtukah Locations (2 locations): 5607 Hazeldean Road, 203 Richmond Road  Discount: 25% off in stock helmets, customer must mention that it is Helmet Day

Store: The Cyclery Location: 115 Bank Street Discount: 20% off all Helmets and Safety Equipment (Bells, Lights, and Reflective Tape)

Store: Dinardo’s Skis & Wheels Location: 44 Northside Road  Discount: Will pay the taxes on all helmets purchased on Helmet Day

Store: Euro Sports Location: 13 Bullman Street Discount: 25% off all helmets

Store: Joe Mamma Location: 767 Bank Street Discount: 25% off all helmets in stock

Store: Foster’s Sports Centre Location: 305 Bank Street  Discount: 15% off all helmets

Store: Fresh Air Experience  Location:1291 Wellington Street Discount: 15% off all helmets

Store: Full Cycle Location: 401 Saint Laurent Boulevard Discount: 15% off in stock helmets, customer must mention that it is Helmet Day

Store: Kunstadt  Locations (3 locations): 680 Bank Street, 1583 Bank Street, 463 Hazeldea Discount: 30% of all helmets

Store: Lacroix Source for Sports Location: 2062 St. Joseph Blvd Discount: 20% discount on all hockey helmets

Store: McCranks Location: 889 Bank Street Discount: 10% off all in-store helmets

Store: Mountain Equipment Coop Location: 366 Richmond Road Discount: 10% off all in-store helmets

Store: On Deck Skateboard Shop Location: 141 Bentley Avenue Discount: 15% off all helmets

Store: Orleans Cycles Location: 2404 St.Joseph Boulevard Discount: 10% off all in-store helmets

Store: Pecco’s Location (2 locations):  86 Murray Street, 85 Du Portage (Gatineau, QC)   Discount: 25% off all helmets

Store: Phat Moose Cycles Location: 98 Hawthorne Avenue Discount: 15% off all helmets

Store: Rebec and Kroes Location: 2679 Alta Vista Drive Discount: 10% off all in-store helmets

Store: Sport Chek Location (12 locations):  Ottawa: Kanata Centrum: 785 Kanata Av, Merivale Mall : 1642 Merivale Rd, Place D’Orléans: 110 Place D’Orleans Dr, Riocan Marketplace: 125 Riocan Av, St.Laurent: 1200 St Laurent Blvd, Surrounding Areas: Belleville, ON: 390 North Front Street #200, Cobourg, ON: 1111 Elgin Street West , Cornwall, ON:  501 Tollgate W, Lindsay, ON: 401 Kent Street West, Kingston, ON: 945 Gardiners Road, Pembroke, ON: 1100 Pembroke Street East #503
Peterborough, ON: 645 Lansdowne Street West  Discount: 20% off last ticketed price on all bike helmets

Store: Sportek Location: 1020 Pleasant Park Road Discount: 20% off helmets if customer mentions “Helmet Day”

Store: Sports Experts  Location: 100 Bayshore Drive, 4338 Innes Road, 50 Rideau Street , 1226 Saint Laurent Boulevard Discount: 25% off all regular priced helmet

Store: Tall Tree Cycles Location: 255 Richmond Road Discount: 20 % off all helmets

Store: Tommy and Lefebvre Location:  464 Bank Street, 250 Centrum Boulevard
499 Terry Fox Drive , 2525 Lancaster Road, 3777 Strandherd Discount: 20% off any Helmet purchase or a BUY one receive the second helmet FREE (equal or lesser value)

Please , please , please take care of your head and brain. A brain injury and head injury can happen to anyone and can change your life forever. Be a good role model for your children and strap a helmet on !

 


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