What is arbitration and how to prepare for a FSCO arbitration.

What is an arbitration and how can one prepare ?stepsarbitration

If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit and are trying to reach a settlement with your insurance company you may end up at the arbitration stage . Arbitration at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is a bit of a last resort when the insurance company and the insured cannot come to an agreement. It is less formal than going to court but one step further than a mediation at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) . Before an arbitration, a mediation involving both parties will have taken place and will have failed. Only the insured can apply to have the dispute go to arbitration . Insurance companies cannot make this request.

Are there time limits involved? 

Yes, if a mediation fails and the insured decides to apply for arbitration, the application must be made within TWO YEARS after the insurance company denies the insured  the accident benefits claimed, or within 90 DAYS after the mediator gives a ” Report of Mediator” , whichever is later. It is crucial to follow these time limits as you don’t want to be denied what you may be entitled to.

Do you need a personal injury lawyer ?

No, you do not need a lawyer for a dispute resolution at FSCO; however we strongly recommend you use one. Often times, a personal injury case becomes complicated and insurance companies are represented by lawyers.  It is best to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.  Our lawyers know the ins and outs of a FSCO arbitration and will be able to steer the arbitration in the right direction.

How do you apply for a FSCO arbitration?

Your personal injury lawyer will counsel you on whether or not applying for a FSCO arbitration is wise or not.  If it’s in your best interest, your personal injury lawyer can apply on your behalf by sending the appropriate, completed forms ( Application for Arbitration – Form C) as well as any related reports such as the Report of Mediator. There is also a fee for applying; however,  in most cases your personal injury lawyer will cover this cost as part of a contingency arrangement.   The request is then sent to the insurance company and within 20 days, the insurance company must send you ( or your personal injury lawyer ) and FSCO a completed Response by Insurer to Application for Arbitration. There are again fees associated with this response. There will also be other costs in preparing for an arbitration such as medical reports, expert reports etc. Again, depending on what arrangement you entered into with your personal injury lawyer, these fees are typically covered by your personal injury lawyer as part of the contingency fee arrangement.

 What is an arbitration pre-hearing conference ? 

Given that the goal is to reach a resolution,  a pre-hearing conference is scheduled before the arbitration. This pre-hearing can be done in person or by telephone conference.  The pre-hearing arbitrator will schedule a hearing date and try to help both parties resolve the dispute and prepare for the arbitration.

What happens at the arbitration ?

If there is still no resolution, then the arbitration will take place at FSCO or at an agreed upon location. The arbitration hearing itself is somewhat like a court hearing ; however less formal .  The arbitrator listens to both sides present the facts of the case , reflects on the findings and then provides a written decision  backed up with reasons for the decision , based on the evidence and Ontario law. At this stage, the arbitrator may decide who is paying for which expenses.  He/she may decide to have the insurance company for the expenses, the insured pay the insurance company’s expenses or decide that each party pays their own expenses. The arbitrator can take many things into consideration when deciding about fees. He or she will evaluate the overall arbitration and look to see which side made offers and  how each side conducted themselves in the arbitration.

What happens after an arbitration?

If either party is not satisfied with the arbitrator’s findings, they can appeal an arbitrator’s order on a question of law within 30 days of the decision.  It is best that you  discuss with your personal injury lawyer whether or not to appeal the order. Experienced personal injury lawyers will have insight on what is your best move at this step.
If you are proceeding on your own and wish to consult with one of our personal injury lawyers, we would be happy to answer any questions for you free of charge.  We have decades of experience in personal injury are here to help. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

How much information should you share with your personal injury lawyers ?

How much information should you give your personal injury lawyer?

We often meet with clients who are injured in an accident and don’t know what to do.  Initially we walk through the steps to take in getting a claim started and start getting support at home .  Throughout the first few months following an accident , there are a lot of changes in one’s recovery and health.  It’s important to remember to keep your personal injury lawyer abreast of these changes. If your recovery is not moving along as expected or if you feel your health is in fact declining, it is important to seek proper medical treatments as soon as possible.  The longer you wait, the worse it may become.  You are doing yourself any favors by “toughing it out”.   Once you have received proper medical treatment and are taking care of yourself, it is important that you share with your personal injury lawyer any changes in your health and recovery.  If you are referred to a new doctor or a specialist, it is important to keep your personal injury lawyer informed of such referrals.  Your personal injury lawyer will want a copy of all medical reports and any developments in your treatment plan.  The more information your personal injury lawyer has, the better they can prepare your case. In the long run this will help your case, as there will be no surprises. You may think you are bothering your injury lawyer, or they are too busy, or that you will be billed every time you contact them . In most cases, all it takes is a simple email.  Most personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency so you don’t pay anything until your cases is resolved so you need not worry about being charged. Your personal injury lawyer will want to know what you are going through.  The more they know, the more they can help.  In our initial meetings with clients, we try to make this message clear; however, often times down the road we will have clients say things like ” I didn’t want to bother you…”.  Trust me, it would bother us more if we didn’t know !

It’s important that you are honest and open with your doctors, nurses, social workers , health practitioners and injury lawyers.  We all understand that what you are going through is not easy and at times you may wish to remain private.  This is completely understandable and normal; however it is not what’ s best for you.  You need to be as open as possible and accurately describe your pain and symptoms.  The best way to recover is to properly diagnose that needs recovery.  As experienced personal injury lawyers, we are actively involved in your recovery.  We often will attend meetings with your health team and give input on what we think that can in your recovery.  We have helped hundreds of people rebuild their lives following an accident and we can help you.

Contact us at no charge and we can discuss your personal situation and how we can help you and your family.   Leave this to us so that you have the time and energy to focus on your self, your recovery and your family.

 


Ottawa students and back to school. What you can do as a driver to help ensure they get there safely. Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth asking you to help.

Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates.  Many teachers have headed back into school this week and some school boards have already begun.  Students in the Ottawa area are heading back to school ! Among many other things, what this means is that we need to be extra vigilant on the roads and watch out for the little ones as they head back to school.  Many of them are out of routine, so they may not be looking as they cross the streets.  It’s our job as drivers to be cautious out there on the roads as these next couple of weeks will be busy with children reminding themselves with the rules of the roads as they walk, bike, scooter and blade to school. We all need to be watching out for the children as well as being cautious around school buses , as a lot of this will be new to many children.

The beginning of September brings a wave of emotions ranging from fear, excitement, and stress for children and parents alike.  As parents, we are often rushing around trying to adjust to the new schedule of having kids back in school and we too are distracted. This is the exact type of distraction that could lead to accidents.  We all need a good reminder to slow down and focus on driving when we are behind the wheel. Our commute to work may take longer with the increase in traffic but we are all in the same boat and we all need to arrive to our destination safely.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, the City of Ottawa has implemented signage at high-traffic intersections to help remind Ottawa drivers about the start of the school season and the need to be extra cautious when driving near school zones and school buses. The Ottawa Police will also be focusing some efforts as well on driving safety when it comes to back to school and school zones. There are also many wonderful organisations in Ottawa such as the “Safer Roads Ottawa Program” which is a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health, and the Public Works Department. These amazing organisations work together to prevent road deaths and injuries in the Ottawa area.

Happy back to school ! Let’s work together to make it a safe and successful return to school for everyone.

 

 


Ottawa injury lawyers help determine what is maximum compensation for pain and suffering in Ontario.

David Hollingsworth ‘s injury team:  Ottawa Injury Lawyers since 1999.

What can you claim for damages for Pain and Suffering ?

Almost every accident leads to pain and suffering.  The level of pain and suffering will vary. There is the initial pain and suffering you feel immediately after an accident and the pain and suffering moving forward. You may require surgery moving forward and that also brings a new level of pain and suffering. In many cases,  injuries never fully heal and you may be living in various levels of pain for the rest of your life. We understand that living with constant pain and suffering changes your life forever and we make sure that you get all the support and compensation you need to help you as best as possible.

Determining a dollar amount for someone’s pain and suffering  can be difficult and there are a number of factors that contribute to the dollar amount one receives for pain and suffering in Ontario. The following are just some of the factors that influence the amount of compensation one receives for pain and suffering in Ontario:

  • your age;
  • the severity of  your injuries;
  • any pre-existing injuries you may have had before the accident
  • if/how long it takes for your injuries to heal;
  • the physical limitations caused by the accident;
  • what treatments are required to help treat your injury ;
  • is surgery required ?;
  • how long you were in the hospital;
  • how long you need rehabilitative treatments for;
  • emotional trauma caused by the accident

There are many other factors that help determine what amount of compensation you are entitled to for pain and suffering but these are some of the main factors.  It is imperative that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine all the benefits that you are entitled to and that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries including pain and suffering. Your personal injury lawyer can help calculate the maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering and help you get the medical, rehabilitative and support services you need put in place. Our Ottawa injury lawyers have a tremendous amount of experience in maximizing pain and suffering compensation claims in Ontario.  If you or a loved one is suffering, you owe it to yourself to sit down and hear your options. Our Ottawa injury lawyers offer free consultations. We can sit down with you and your family and make sure that everything is in place before you make your pain and suffering claim. We can make a claim for you and make sure that you receive everything you need and are entitled to. All consultations are free .

 


Concussion symptoms and treatment for concussions. Did you know a concussion can last for up to 2 years ?

Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth  .

The Ottawa Citizen reported on a study recently done through CHEO and Dr Vassilyadi that looked at the after effects of concussions in children.  It described a story of a  boy named Clayton Carter who suffered a traumatic brain injury while riding an ATV and was able to return to hockey, school and a regular life within four months.  There are many remarkable things about Clayton’s story. Firstly the fact that he was so severely injured and could have died and was then  rushed by helicopter to CHEO and had his brain and skull operated on.  He survived and had an amazing recovery in a very short time frame.  Claydon’s speedy recovery with a severe head injury is remarkable.

Dr. Vassilyadi reported to the Ottawa Citizen that Clayton’s recovery was better than many children who suffer a concussion. Dr Vassilyadi is just finishing a study that looks at youths between  11 and 17 who have had a sports-related concussion and still have symptoms at least three months later. In the Ottawa area there have been close to 60 patients who are still suffering from their concussion 3 months later.

There are many more who suffer concussions. In fact, close to 900 children and youth are rushed to  CHEO’s emergency department yearly with a suspected concussion. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, depression, sleeping too much or not enough and declining performance at school. In general, close to 90 % of concussions clear up within  10 days of the impact. Dr. Vassilyadi and his team at CHEO noted that not all parents are aware of the symptoms of concussions, so it’s tough to track what your child may be going through. Often times, parents, coaches and teachers don’t equate a child’s change in academic performance to a concussion but Dr. Vassilyadi noted that it’s entirely possible. The emotional, social and cognitive symptoms are tough to  pick up on and often persist over three months for up to 2 years. CHEO conducted a research project last year “The Concussion Research Project” and found that young patients described their quality of life at almost the same level as undergoing chemotherapy. Dr. Vassilyadi also noted that there is a common misconception that there has to be a loss of consciousness in a concussion and this is simply not true. Early recognition is key to properly treating a concussion.

Unfortunately the treatment for a concussion isn’t always obvious either. Nutrition and rehydration are critical and in most rest, even if that means not returning to school or work. After a head injury, the brain needs to rest and mental stress needs to be avoided. This means eliminating video games, television, reading, texting and getting plenty of rest.

Concussion symptoms and concussion treatments are very tough to recognize which is why concussions still remain a tricky area for parents, coaches and teachers. It’s critically important to be aware of your child’s moods, fatigue, and overall feelings and “When in doubt, sit them out,”. It’s not worth the risk because a second or third head injury will be worse. Dr. Vassilyadi is speaking to physicians on Monday night about a new clinic to be opened this fall by Pro Physio & Sports Medicine Centres, which will draw on the services of sports physicians, a neuropsychologist and physiotherapists specifically trained to assess and treat concussions. The owner of the clinics, Mr. Salib focused on concussions because of the large need to properly treat concussions .

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer with many clients who are suffering from concussions and brain injuries, I am so thankful that our community is developing more resources that relate to concussions and head injuries. I have many clients who are suffering so severely from a concussion, they are unable to return to work, be comfortable around their families for extended lengths of time and their concussion has changed their lives and the lives of their families.  The more research and resources that help us with concussion treatments the better, I say !

 


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

Tips for teenage drivers

David Hollingsworth is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa Ontario.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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 insurance fraud affects you. Here’s how you can help…

Insurance Claims Lawyer

Did you know that the month of March has been deemed ” Fraud Prevention Month”.  I wanted to remind all  drivers that they can help to fight auto insurance fraud.
Unfortunately, people do abuse the auto insurance system and often times the insurance companies raise premiums as a result of faulty claims. There are ways to tackle this problem. It’s important to use a licensed insurance company, agent or broker when purchasing auto insurance. Go with someone you can trust. Talk or meet them first and see if you feel like it’s a good fit for you or not. The FSCO offers valuable information and a list of licensed insurance companies and agents in Ontario.  If you don’t know where to start; this is a great place. Suppose you are unfortunately in an accident. There are also steps you can also take to help avoid any insurance fraud being committed.
-Gather as much information as possible at the accident scene. If possible, take pictures.
-Get the contact information of other drivers, their drivers’ licence numbers and their licence plate numbers and insurance information. If possible, take a picture of the information they give you.
-Once your medical needs have been met, immediately file an accident report with the Police or if in a minor collision; the Collision Reporting Centre .You need to make sure that the accident has been legally reported.
-Ensure that you receive detailed repair bills and review them carefully.
If you suspect that someone is involved in insurance fraud, please report it to police. This is a problem that affects us all.
As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I feel very strongly about the abuse of auto insurance. There are people in accidents every day who need to be able to access much needed funds.  When insurance fraud takes place, it makes it more difficult for people to access the funds that really need it.  I also feel that auto insurance rates are so high already and we need to access even more to protect ourselves.  If the insurance companies weren’t raising the rates,more and more people could afford the much needed extra coverage. Most people feel the same as I do and the percentage of people who actually commit insurance fraud is low, I’m sure. If we could reduce it even more, that would be great.

 


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 woman receives injury compensation for slip and fall accident.

Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Ottawa

Our slip and fall accident lawyers are proud to have been able to help another Ontario accident victim.  Last month, we help a 41 year old woman receive $125 000.00 in compensation for lower back pain and a bulging disk after she slipped and fell on private property.  We were able to step in for her and take over the claim with the insurance company who finally agreed to a much larger sum of compensation.  Although our client will continue to suffer from her personal injuries, she will be able to receive some medical support and financial compensation. Our client was so thankful for our help and we were pleased to be able to secure and exceed the compensation she was hoping for.

In Ontario, we have so many slip and fall accidents daily. Some have very few consequences and others have devastating personal injuries. Sadly, our climate  plays a huge role in Ontario slip and fall accidents.  We have very cold and extreme temperatures and consequently our roads, sidewalks and pathways are not always safe.  As a property owner it is your job to ensure your property is as safe as possible.  This means salting, clearing, mopping or whatever it takes to try to ensure that no one is at risk while on your property.

As a property owner, there are many things you need to be aware of to protect yourselves and your guests. Our lawyers are happy to sit with you or chat by phone and just walk you through some of the basic steps you should take to protect yourself. 

If you are unsure of your responsibilities as a property owner or if you have slipped and injured yourself and have a question, feel free to email me david@ottawainjury.ca

“We understand, we care and we’re here to help”