Accidents and Red Lights..Who is at Fault ? What is the percentage of liability?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates..

You would think that if you have a green light and the other driver has a red light and they hit you, you wouldn’t be at fault…well, you could be… A recent decision came from the Ontario Court of Appeal sheds some light on liability and how a driver who has a green light can still be partially liable. 
Accident at red light

Accident at red light

Accidents and Red Lights

By: Brent Meadows

Evan Sant was a passenger in Joel Sant’s pickup truck that entered an intersection on a red light and was hit by Mr. Sekhon. The jury found that Joel Sant was 95% liable and Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable. The jury’s finding that Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable was the main issue under appeal.
 
Ordinarily, a driver with a green light is free to proceed through an intersection and may assume that driver’s approaching the intersection from other directions will stop at a red light. This statutory right of way is, however, not absolute as the driver must still exercise proper care. For example, if it is clear that a vehicle is in or about to proceed into the driver’s right of way that driver must avoid the collision if the circumstances permit.
 
The jury found that the reasonably prudent driver should have been aware that Joel Sant’s vehicle posed a hazard, and ultimately found that Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable for the motor vehicle collision.
 
The Ontario Court of Appeal held that the trial judge did not misdirect the jury,  the jury’s finding was not plainly unreasonable, and that certain cross-examination questions were not improper or inflammatory. Mr. Sekhon’s appeal was dismissed and the finding that Mr. Sekhon was 5% liable was upheld.
 
Obviously it goes without saying that drivers need to exercise caution regardless of whether the light is red, green or yellow.   In this accident case, not one person was help 100 % responsible.  Drivers cannot predict what other drivers are thinking and will do, regardless of lights, stop signs etc… the moral of the story here is that we can’t  jump to the conclusion that if a driver is at fault, that they are entirely at fault and  the percentage of liability remains a question.  A driver who has the right-of-way has the obligation to exercise reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle.
 
For more information that relates to accidents and insurance claims, explore our website.  If you have a question, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers would be happy to offer you a free consultation to discuss any questions you may have.

What are the height and weight limits for child and infant car seats ?

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth….It seems like yesterday,  but 11 years ago I sat at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus with our first-born and prepared to drive him home.  I was almost as nervous for this drive home as I was the delivery. Like any first time parent , I kept thinking …Is this seat safely installed? Did I do it right?  I read up online and even called a friend who was a fire fighter to walk me through it…Then, as time went on, a second and third child came and we were constantly juggling various car seats, booster seats, rear-facing this, forward-facing that, watching their weight and wondering when it was time to move onto the next…If any of this sounds familiar or if you are about to enter these years, I would like to share with you what I know when it comes to car seats…

Shoulder Straps:

When an infant is in a rear-facing car seat it’s important that the top of the shoulder straps are below or at the baby’s shoulders. It’s important that the straps are in the proper place as to properly secure the infant.

The “bucket seat”:

In almost every case, an infant is safest in a rear-facing car seat. It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. There are even some rear facing car seats that allow a child to be rear facing up to 45 pounds. Consider this when purchasing your car seat.  It is significantly safer to keep children in rear-facing car seats.

Harness:

It’s important to make sure the harness of any child car seat, especially infant car seats is properly secured. Once your infant is secure in their car seat, test to make sure it is tight enough to your child’s shoulders. You should only be able to fit one finger between the car seat harness and your child’s collarbone. If there is more room, your harness straps are too loose and need to be tightened.

Where the buckle should be positioned:

The buckle that clips over the infants chest should be between the nipples and your infant’s armpits. It’s important that this buckle is not too high or low. If the buckle is out of place, your infant could in fact fly out of the car seat on impact.

Changes in weight and height:

It’s important to keep an eye on your child’s weight and height when it comes to having them in the proper car seat. As soon as they have reached a weight or height limit, it’s imperative you move them to the next level of child car seat. For rear-facing car seats, this means when there is less than an inch of the hard shell left at the top of the seat above your child’s head. As for weight limitations in children’s car seats, they do vary a bit and I would advise you to check with the manufacturer model to be certain and follow these guidelines to a tee.

Remove thick outer wear:

You would be surprised by how much space an infant or child coat takes up.  It’s always safest to remove your child’s coat before strapping them in.  This allows for the straps to be as secure as possible , avoiding any gaps that may potentially arise from outer wear.

Get informed:

If you are not feeling confident and still have some doubts about whether or not you are using the right car seat , it’s best you seek answers.  There are many, many valuable resources such as Transport Canada 

Parachute Canada http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/topic/C2

or call  1-866-SEAT-CHECK

A little bit or research and a little bit of time could save your child’s life. Drive safely and hug your loved ones.

 


Will stiffer distracted driving fines in Ontario help reduce accidents in Ottawa ?

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth on distracted driving… With the increase in distracted driving fines last month there has been a lot of information about distracted driving released.  The most startling fact is that Ontario Provincial Police announced that distracted driving is the number one killer on our province’s roads.  More people died as a result of distracted driving than any other reason in Ontario. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, last year there were a total of 78 fatal accidents related to distracted driving,  57 fatal accidents related to impaired driving and 44 fatal accidents related to speeding.

Earlier this month, a new legislation was put in place and saw fines for distracted driving rise from $225 from $155.  The Ontario government is  also proposing new legislation that would further penalize distracted drivers by having them lose 3 demerit points, as well as give judges the authority to raise the amount of distracted driving  fines up to  $1,000.    In other serious cases, police also have an option of laying a “Careless Driving” charge under the Highway Traffic Act. The Careless Driving charge has serious penalties such as a loss of 6 demerit points, fines of up to $2,000 and possible jail time.  The question remains …will this be enough to deter drivers?

I also wanted to mention that distracted driving happens at all age levels, young and old.  It’s not just new drivers and “the younger generation”.  We now live in a world where many; young and old,  are glued to their devices for work and personal reasons. It’s important to note that distracted driving is not just talking and texting on your phone.  It’s taking your eyes off the road.  Distracted driving can include getting something out of your purse, tending to children in the back seat, changing radio stations etc…Essentially it can be anything that diverts your attention. The distracted driving section of the Highway Traffic act law only deals with handheld electronic devices. This means that these other activities can be very distracting and dangerous but they are not against the law. According to The Ministry of Transportation Ontario’s distracted driving law is aimed at  a particular form of  distracted driving; which is the use of hand-held communication and entertainment devices and display screens. In time, will we need to revisit was is legally considered “distracted driving” ?

Please focus on the road.  We need every driver on the road to be concentrating on the roads and their surroundings so that our roads are safer for everyone. Drive safely !

 


Should you negotiate with your insurance adjuster ?

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I meet daily with people and give them advice on how best to proceed with their personal injury lawsuit and accident benefits insurance claim.  Sometimes, I meet with people who have been working with their insurance company and are suddenly offered a settlement amount and don’t know what to do.  Typically people wonder if the settlement amount is fair?  If it’s enough to take of their injuries long-term ?, What a typical similar injury case typically yields in settlement funds ? Do they need a personal injury lawyer ?   How they should negotiate with the insurance company ?

There are some personal injury cases that are basic and straight forward enough that representing yourself may be sufficient.  If this is indeed the situation you find yourself in, then I still strongly advise you contact a personal injury lawyer for some free legal advice just to make sure you are on the right track and not selling yourself short.  Most experienced personal injury lawyers in Ottawa will do this for free for you and have all the information you need.  It will likely be a meeting or phone call that takes less than 30 minutes but a meeting that could typically help you receive thousands more in compensation.

Most personal injury cases are that straightforward and that’s where experienced personal injury lawyers can make all the difference.  In these cases, it’s always best to let a skilled personal injury lawyer negotiate for you.  Our Ottawa injury lawyers negotiate cases and settlement amounts daily.  We understand the complexity of the law and what needs to be asked for when it comes to compensation. We are very thorough and prepare diligently by ensuring all medical files are in order and a thorough medical diagnosis has been made by experts in that particular field.  We also gather all motor vehicle accident reports . we gather all witness statements, photos and help our clients document their losses.  There is a lot of preparation work involved but in the end it pays off.  It’s important to us that we make sure we have explored every aspect of your case so that when it comes time to negotiating on your behalf, we are overly prepared.

We have many systems in place to help make this process easier on you.  the last thing we want to do is add stress on you at an already stressful time. Once our lawyers have fully prepared your case, we then meet with you and discuss how best to move forward.  Once you are ready, we then approach the insurance company and begin the negotiation process.  This stage of negotiations can sometimes resolve quickly but often insurance companies often want to try to poke holes in any weaknesses that may exist in your case.

It’s important for you to understand that your insurance adjuster is likely a very nice person; however it is their job to try to settle your case for the least amount of money possible. They work for your insurance company.  This puts them in a difficult position as they are not neutral and don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart. It’s important that you are properly prepared , as once you settle a case you cannot change your mind and revisit it later on.  Our Ottawa injury lawyers work closely with you to make sure you not only receive maximum compensation for your injuries but that you are happy and feel good about settling your case.  We will never settle a case on your behalf without your approval.

It’s not easy proving your damages and losses.  We know how to do it and we do it very well. Even if you have been working with your insurance company, it’s not too late to get advice from an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer.  Let us help you.  You have been through enough.

 


Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth shares a thank you note from a personal injury client.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer review and cases.

Close to 15 years ago I decided to focus on personal injury law and helping people who have been injured. I decided to go out on my own and start building an Ottawa law firm that focussed solely on personal injury law.  Thoughout the years, I started meeting other personal injury lawyers who shared in my vision of developing one of the best Ottawa law firms for personal injury. I knew it was the right decision for me and am constantly reminded when I receive emails like this one…

“Dear David,

We just wanted to thank you and your team for everything you  have done. We know that this weekend is the beginning of a new chapter for us.  You helped make this possible and we never thought we would get here. Thank you form the bottom of our hearts. You were amazing. “

I want to thank my clients and their families for allowing me to continue doing what I do best and want to get to work each day so that I can continue helping others. My job is my passion and it is incredibly rewarding knowing what I difference I can make in someone’s life.

Why would you hire us as your Ottawa personal injury lawyer?

-We are honest

-We have over 25+ years experience

-Our lawyers have a high success rate

-We fight for what’s right and ensure fairness

-Our clients refer their friends and family to us.

-We love helping in every way we can

-Our injury lawyers go above and beyond

-We stay informed of all the latest developments and laws in Ontario personal injury law

-We are incredibly dedicated to our clients .

We know what you are going through and we can help .  If you need the help of an Ottawa personal injury lawyer , you have come to the right place.  Our lawyers speak close to 10 different languages and we work with some of the top medical professionals in the Ottawa and eastern Ontario. Let us help you.

 

-David Hollingsworth


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.

 


Are you part of the Ottawa community? What you can do to reduce the number of Ottawa accidents each year. Lawyer David Hollingsworth asks for your help.

Accidents at Schools

I am once again asking all drivers to think about their driving and the decisions they make behind the wheel each day. I am thrilled to share with you that the Ottawa Police are focusing on school bus and school zone safety this month in the Ottawa area. Over the last few years, 9 people suffered personal injury in 41  schools zone accidents.  These accidents were avoidable.

Another area of focus this month for Ottawa drivers will be to reduce the number of drivers making unsafe lane changes. There have been over 5500 Ottawa accidents in the last few years that were caused by unsafe lane changes. These Ottawa accidents resulted in 4 deaths and over 600 people suffering personal injuries.  Again, these are accidents that can be avoided ! Ottawa police are working hard at lowering accidents in Ottawa with the end goal of  preventing or eliminating deaths and serious personal injuries. As an Ottawa community, we all have our part in reducing the number of Ottawa accidents each year, especially school accidents. Let’s all work together.

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have helped many people work through their options following an accident on school property or on a school bus. Sadly, accidents at schools happen regularly and children suffer serious injuries.  You owe it to yourself and especially your child to meet with one of our personal injury lawyers experienced in child injury. We can sit down and walk you through your options free of charge so that you can make an informed decision on how best to proceed with a child injury on school property. Our personal injury lawyers can also help you meet with some of the top medical professionals in the Ottawa area when it comes to child injuries.  Let us get your child maximum compensation and let yourself focus on your child.


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

 

 


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


How an Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you. Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth…Often times I am called to simply give an opinion. Someone has been in an accident and they have been dealing with their insurance companies and their insurance company has offered them a low ball offer to settle.  It makes absolute sense that before accepting an offer from an insurance company, a second opinion would be good.  As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I do this all the time.  Sometimes the insurance company has made a fair offer but often times , it does not favour the accident victim.  It’s important to remember that insurance companies are a business and their bottom line is to save money. Most times I am able to quickly get the facts of the case and give my opinion right away.  I have settled thousands of cases so I am able to give a pretty good idea of what a personal injury case is worth. If you have been seriously injured in an Ontario accident, give us a call. It’s free.  It never hurts to consult with an Ottawa personal injury lawyer.  An Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you decide whether or not you have a case and how much it is worth. You owe it to yourself and your family. Call our Ottawa personal injury lawyers: David Hollingsworth or Denis Alisic.

 – Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer, David Hollingsworth

———————- This  Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. 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: david@ottawainjury.ca (613) 978-9549

Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ottawa injury lawyer

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