Extension of presumption for entitlement for cancers in firefighters.
What do WSIB claims and cancer have in common ? Ontario has made it easier for firefighters to get the help and care they need by extending the presumption for entitlement to benefits to cervical, ovarian and penile cancers.
“Firefighters are vital to keeping our communities safe from life-threatening dangers. Every day, they risk their health and their lives to protect us and our communities. In return, we must protect them. That’s why the government has made it easier for firefighters and fire investigators to qualify for workplace safety and insurance benefits,” Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour.
By adding the three cancers to the list of cancers presumed to be related to their work, firefighters and fire investigators will have greater access to healthcare and compensation. With the expanded presumption, once a firefighter is diagnosed with cervical, ovarian or penile cancer, the claims process for WSIB claims benefits will be expedited, and firefighters will not be required to prove a causal link between these cancers and a workplace exposure.
“If a firefighter is diagnosed with cervical, ovarian or penile cancer, the worker’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ( WSIB) claims for benefits and services will be presumed to be work-related. This will give firefighters faster access to compensation and other benefits, ultimately supporting positive recovery outcomes,” Ron Kelusky, Chief Prevention Officer
Claims related to cervical, ovarian and penile cancers will be retroactive to January 1, 1960. This will apply to full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters, firefighters employed by band councils and fire investigators.
* In 2007, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) was amended to create a statutory presumption for firefighters and fire investigators to get compensation for heart injuries and certain cancers without having to prove they are work-related.
* In 2014, the Ontario government amended the Firefighter Regulation under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to add six cancers to the list of diseases that are work-related: multiple myeloma, testicular, breast, prostate, lung and skin cancer.
* This amended regulation makes Ontario among the leaders in this area and Ontario’s firefighters among the best protected in Canada.
* There are about 450 fire departments in Ontario made up of about 11,000 full-time firefighters, 19,000 volunteer firefighters and 200 part-time firefighters
If you, or someone you love, has been injured at work or has a work-related diagnosis of disease, give us a call. We can help you make sure that you receive the benefits that you deserve.
What do product liability and garage sales have in common. Springtime brings new beginnings. When the warm weather finally comes, we are all anxious to open the doors and windows and begin the spring cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new.
As the seasons change and the children grow, we are anxious to get rid of the stuff we no longer use. Old toys, car seats, strollers, playpens and bicycles and helmets are the first to go.
Beware, selling your things carries a responsibility. Did you know that you are legally responsible to ensure that anything you sell, new or used, meets the current Canadian regulatory requirements?
Canada Consumer Safety and Product Liability
Since the enactment of the Canada Consumer Safety Act, if you sell a product that is banned in Canada, defective and will cause injury to the user or part of a product recall you will be responsible for anyone getting hurt who uses the product you sold them.
Before you hold a yard sale or flock to Kijiji to sell off your clutter, take a few precautions. Find out if the item you are selling has been banned in Canada. You can find that information on the Health Canada website.
Some of Canada’s banned products include:
· baby walkers
· infant self-feeding devices
· lawn darts with elongated tips
· baby bottles that contain BPA
Health Canada Consumer Product Liability Safety Product Recall page
Make sure that the products have not been recalled by checking the Health Canada Consumer Product Safety Product Recall page.
If you need to find out if a product has been recalled, you can contact the retailer or manufacturer or check for recent recalls and safety alerts on the Health Canada webpage. Double check infant products like playpens, car seats or strollers, still have the manufacturers label including model and date of manufacture on it.
Don’t sell toys with loose parts like buttons or knobs that can easily become choking hazards.
Buyer Beware. When you buy products from flea markets yard sales or even online, you should always ask questions about the item you are considering. Ask the seller where they bought it, how long they have had it or if it has ever been repaired or recalled. If you are buying infant products look for the manufacturers tags and check online for recalls on the item.
If you, or a loved one, has been injured by a product, you can make a product liability claim against the manufacturer or seller of the unsafe product. Call us today for a free consultation. We will gladly answer all of your questions and concerns so that you have all of the facts about making a claim
More and more, our Ottawa injury lawyers are finding that the things that social media , the things you post online are being admitted into in court as evidence. Think about it. The updates, photos and videos you post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat can be very easy to access.
Every day, people post photos, status updates and videos that create a window into their personal lives. Insurance companies may explore all of your posts, past and present, to uncover your character and your lifestyle. They will look at the type of activities you participated in prior to your injury and dig for signs of pre-existing injuries. More importantly they will follow your activity after the injury.
Social media recommendations from our Ottawa injury lawyers:
Lock down your accounts– This is the easiest way to help prevent information from being used against you.
Monitor photos – Keep a close eye on photos that you post or are tagged in. Untag yourself or ask the person who posted it to delete it right away.
Watch what friends post – Monitor what’s being posted on your wall to make sure nothing could be misinterpreted.
Monitor comments – Be careful when commenting on friends’ statuses or photos.
Our Ottawa injury lawyers ask you to consider your social media presence –
Although Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are the most targeted, don’t forget about the rest of your online presence. Are you on LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, or Flickr? These may all be other sources of information for other lawyers or insurance companies.
Ask the question: “Who am I really sharing this information with? Could it be used as harmful evidence?” If your gut tells you yes, it’s probably a good idea not to post it
Don’t talk to strangers. If you are involved in a personal injury or insurance case, beware of friend requests from people that you don’t know. Folks who want to access your information have ways of making you think that you know them. Be very careful.
Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth
We hate to be the bearer of bad news but we are today. The Ontario government has done it again. To further add to all the reductions in accident benefits that have been made over the last while, they announced even more changes last Thursday. These changes, in our opinion negatively impact Ontario drivers.
The changes are known as “The Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Rates Act” and it was passed last week. What’s most disturbing in this Act is the removal of the right of motorists to sue an insurance company after they have been denied their claim. This new Act , in our opinion does not favour Ontario drivers and although it says it is designed to benefit drivers, removing the right to sue , will leave many Ontario claimants out of luck and in a potentially bad situation , where they are injured but the insurance company is not going to cover their injuries. It seems at every turn there are further and further reductions in Ontario Accident Benefits and now further rights are being removed.
Another change that Ontario drivers are facing is that the government has also reduced the interest rates that injured Ontario drivers and passengers get on their compensation from insurance companies which was reduced from 5% to 1.3% . This reduction in interest unfortunately can hurt Ontario drivers , as it gives less incentive for insurance companies to settle with claimants due to a lower interest rate.
Reducing Insurance Fraud. Really ?
The Ontario government would have us believe that their goal in this Act is to reduce insurance fraud and reduce insurance costs, but there is much more at play. So far the “promised 15 % reduction in insurance fees” has yet to be seen . The Toronto Sun reported that premiums have dropped by an average of only 6 %: a far cry from 15% !
The Importance of Accessing all Ontario Accident Benefits
We don’t disagree that automobile insurance is very expensive and lowering insurance premiums is important. What is even more important in our opinion is the ability to access ALL the accident benefits. We work each and every day with people who need these Accident Benefits not only for medical bills but also for expenses such as caregiver expenses, loss of income , etc.. Without access to these benefits, there are many people who will continue to suffer after an accident.
With further and further reductions in Accident Benefits what will be the end result? We don’t think it’s heading in a good direction at all. The Ontario Insurance Regime continues to change and Ontario drivers continue to have their rights and benefits reduced. This is frightening.
Our Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here For You
If you have questions regarding Ontario insurance or making an accident claim, our lawyers and accident benefit specialists are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation or visit our website for more information.
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth: Is a concussion the same as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) ?
This is a common question. Most people believe that a concussion isn’t as serious and symptoms will come and go quickly; whereas a mild traumatic brain injury is more severe and lasts longer. The truth is they are known as the same in that a concussion and a mild traumatic brain injury have same symptoms and can last a couple of days but may also extend and last a couple of years. Most people recover from a concussion within a relatively short period of time; typically it ranges from a week to 3 months. Concussions can also happen to anyone old or young and can result from all sorts of different activities including sports, falls, blows to the head etc..
We don’t know everything about concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries but we do know that the brain is made up of soft tissue and is surrounded by spinal fluid. The brain is protected (to some extent) by the skull. Inside the skull, the brain moves about , sometimes hitting the skull. When the brain hits the inside of the skull it can become bruised, and may result in broken blood vessels, which results in injured nerves and may lead to a concussion.
There are many ways to grade or describe concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries. The severity of a concussion is determined by how long signs and symptoms last and so can only be known after someone has recovered. The longer the symptoms of changes in brain function, the more severe the concussion.
What causes the most confusion is the word “mild”. A mild traumatic brain injury can be anything but that. Up to 20% of people who suffer from a concussion suffer symptoms beyond the 3 month mark. Everyone reacts differently to a concussion or MTBI ; however some common symptoms include:
- post-traumatic headache
- difficulty sleeping
- problems with balance
- cognitive impairments
- extreme fatigue
Often times, people with a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury seem perfectly fine ; however they are severely suffering on the inside and are unable to participate in everyday activities. Often times people with a concussion or mTBI are unable to work, be social or participate in many day-to-day activities they once loved doing.
When it comes to children and concussions , it gets even trickier, as children often are not in tune with their symptoms and may not be communicating their symptoms. A child with an undiagnosed concussion can be at serious risk for brain damage or a disability. If a child sustains a head injury, it must be taken seriously. In sports in particular, a doctor needs to examine the child and decide when it would be best to have the child return to sports. Regardless of whether or not the child lost consciousness or not, it’s vital that parents, caregivers and coaches are on high alert and watching for symptoms. Head injuries take time to heal..Don’t rush it.
When it comes to concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries, we must be extra vigilant. As an Ottawa injury lawyer, I meet regularly with people whose lives have been turned upside down due to a head injury. For some , life may never be the same again. For more information on head injuries, concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries , visit www.ottawainjury.ca/brain-injuries.
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:
- 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
Did you know that bicycle helmets can prevent up to 88 % of brain injuries when used properly? Sadly, Ottawa bicycle accidents can happen anywhere, anytime.
Earlier this month, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced June 5, 2011 as Helmet Day in the City of Ottawa to support the avoidance of personal injuries and to emphasize the importance of wearing proper safety head gear while being active.
“We are very fortunate in Ottawa to have an environment that is well-suited to cycling and in-line skating,” said the Mayor . He made it clear how supportive he was of an active, but safe lifestyle. “We are encouraging all residents to purchase an appropriate helmet before enjoying their favourite summer activities.”
We all know how important it is whether we are riding a bicycle or strapping on in-line skates to take safety precautions to protect ourselves; however, we don’t always do. The awareness is there and still coming , but not everyone is strapping on a helmet and some are strapping on helmets that are inadequate and would not protect them. The City of Ottawa continues to make efforts to keep residents safe and raise awareness of helmet safety in the hopes of preventing severe head injuries.
How do help reduce your chances of a severe head injury- Ottawa bicycle accidents
1-Make sure there is a CSA or CPSC certification on the helmet.
2-All helmets should fit level and square on the head, and the front should be 2 fingers distance from the helmet to eyebrows. The helmet straps should be adjusted to meet just below the ear in a V shape, and fastened comfortably.
3-All helmets should have a snug fit, allowing only one finger between the chin strap and your chin.
4-Proper helmets must be worn by all cyclists who are under the age of 18. I recommend that EVERYONE should wear a helmet to protect themselves from serious head injuries.
Each year, approximately 5,700 Ottawa area children under the age of 20 visit Ottawa hospital emergency rooms for serious head injuries. Sport activities make up a large percentage of head injuries among children and youth.
As an Ontario injury lawyer, I meet regularly with Ontario accident victims who have suffered severe head injuries and their lives have been altered forever. I urge everyone to please equip themselves with a proper helmet. It could save your life !
Ottawa whiplash compensation lawyer David Hollingsworth…
Our Ottawa injury lawyers receive many calls asking about whiplash every day from people asking me what compensation is available. Unfortunately, there isn’t one clear “cookie-cutter” answer. Yes, in Ontario, accident victims can receive compensation for whiplash. The amount, however, will depend on a variety of variables such as the type and severity of personal injury. Overall, one of the most common personal injuries after a car accident is whiplash. Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe a range of injuries to the neck. Whiplash is caused by a sudden extension or flexing of the neck secondary to a high speed injury such as a car accident, which causes the soft-tissue of the neck to become strained and/or inflamed.
Which accidents cause whiplash ?
Even though whiplash injuries generally occur from motor-vehicle accidents, they can occur from other sources as well. I have encountered whiplash injuries from falls from bicycles, motorcycles, horses, and other high speed moving physical activities. These injuries are serious in nature and must be paid important attention – please seek out help from your medical care team to determine your injuries and to ensure for your future health and mobility. Sometimes, one injury can change your life.
To ensure force of a neck injury exists. At this point, only a doctor is generally allowed to rule out the whiplash or neck injury; this could involve communication with the patient and x-ray type examinations.
In some situations and contexts, however, EMS is unable to arrive at the scene. Perhaps it is a foreign country or foreign environment where ambulances cannot service the area. As an Ontario personal injury lawyer, who has seen many accident victims suffer daily from serious pain from whiplash, I can sincerely attest to the extremely important and urgent need for professional medical attention. Do not downplay your personal injury! Do not diagnose yourself. Leave it to the professionals. By seeking diagnosis from a medical professional, the accident victim will not only receive proper medical care, they then have written documentation on the personal injury. This proves to be extremely important down the road. The severity of a whiplash injury may not be evident right after the accident. It may take days, weeks or months to truly manifest it-self. This documentation will likely be needed to prove to the insurance company that a serious personal injury was caused by the accident. It also shows that you are not taking the situation lightly.
What are the symptoms of whiplash injury ?
In terms of symptoms, whiplash injuries can be difficult to initially isolate because your feelings may be masked by general pain and injuries sustained in other areas of your body, such as headaches, back pain, and even memory loss. But some other common symptoms can include, however, general tenderness and pain around the base of your neck and difficulty for you to move your neck; muscle spasms can be felt in the neck and along the sides of your spinal column, pointed, shooting pain along your arms from the neck, and even partial paralysis. If you feel any of these symptoms, please do yourself a favour and seek the urgent medical attention that you need and deserve.
Compensation for whiplash
In addition to seeking medical attention, it is best to contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer that specializes in whiplash accidents. Insurance companies can be extremely difficult to work with and often times ignore or downplay whiplash cases. An experienced personal injury lawyer will understand what you are going through and the ”invisible” effects of your personal injury and trauma. Top Ontario personal injury lawyers know how best to represent you and ensure you receive maximum compensation for not only what you have been through, but what you are going to be going through in the future with a whiplash injury. Whiplash injuries are a serious injury and should not be taken lightly. Self-diagnosis is very dangerous and can lead to even more neck and back problems, if untreated. Damage can be caused to your joints, vertebrae, and nerve roots, which if untreated, can have long-term effects. Seek medical attention immediately after a car accident, even if it appears the neck is ok. Ask for a written report from the doctor who examined your neck and give it to your personal injury lawyer, or they can order it for you and then best represent you with the insurance company, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery, while your personal injury lawyer gets you maximum compensation.
It’s that time of year again- Holiday parties and family get togethers. It is also the time of year when people are more social and therefore are sometimes drinking more. One question I am often asked as an Ontario personal injury lawyer concerns social host’s responsibility. Many people want to know if they are hosting a party what are they legally responsible for. No one wants to think this way, but it is a reality.
What are the legally responsible for as a host of a party?
It’s common sense, you never want anyone being placed in a dangerous situation. As a host you have the extra responsibility of ensuring that your guests depart safely and are free of injury. Do whatever it takes….you will never regret airing on the side of being overly cautious …Happy holidays!
As a father of three young children who are all still in car seats, I found it astonishing that 84 % of baby and infant car seats are not properly installed. Proper car seat is crucial. Improper car seat installation leaves our children unsafe in the event of a car accident and more likely to suffer serious personal injury. It’s important to ensure your child is properly secured in their car seat to keep them safe. The following are a couple of things you can do help ensure your child’s safety in the event of a car accident:
Don’t buy a used car seat. A used car seat may have missing parts or was involved in a previous car accident. Older car seats also expire in 6-9 years. If you do however purchase a used car seat, please call the manufacturer to verify if it is still safe. Here are a few things you can do to help ensure your child’s safety.
- 45 degree angle: Put rear-facing car seats at a 45-degree angle. At this angle, the baby’s head is supported and its chin won’t fall to the check, blocking your baby’s airway.
- Snap then Wrap: Cover your baby with blankets or dress him or her warmly if it is cold outside. But, beware bulky snowsuits will be compressed in a car crashor car accident, and the baby could be ejected from the car if the harness becomes loose. Dressing the baby warmly, and buckling in, then covering the baby with blankets for warmth is safer.
- Center Up: The best, safest location for your baby’s car seat is in the center seat. If you have multiple children, any back seat spot is safer than the front.
- Double Check: Use free installation checks performed by certified technicians, such as local Ottawa fire stations or the Ottawa police.
And of course, ALWAYS drive safely !