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.

Rise in number of Ottawa accidents involving animals on the roads.

Avoiding Ottawa Accidents

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth .  The Ottawa Police have been warning drivers in the Ottawa area to slow down and be careful on Ottawa roads.  We are in the season where they are seeing an increase in motor vehicle accidents involving collisions with animals. In particular, there are a high number of accidents involving deer on the roads.  According to the Ottawa Police,  October and January are the highest risk times for car accidents involving deer.

Ottawa Police reported that from 2006 to 2012, more than 94%  of reported collisions between vehicles and wildlife involved deer.

What you can do to avoid accidents involving deer (and other wildlife.).

  1. Watch for road signs warning of deer.
  2. Drive with caution and  below the speed limit in high risk areas.
  3. be extra careful during high-risk periods such as  morning and early evening.
  4. Whenever possible and safe, use high beam headlights. The highbeam headlights will help reflect the eyes of the deer. If you spot a deer on the road, immediately dim your highbeams, not to startle the animal and have them frozen in fear.
  5. Do not suddenly swerve to avoid hitting an animal. There is the potential of oncoming traffic and ditches around.
  6. If safe and possible, apply brakes sharply and stop if there is no vehicles behind you. Immediately turn on your hazard lights.
  7. Remember that dear travel in packs. If you have seen one, there are likely more around so be careful.


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 police cruiser accident sends two Ottawa pedestrians to hospital with serious head injuries, neck injuries and back injuries.

Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.

2 Ottawa pedestrians were seriously injured on Friday when an Ottawa police cruiser hit them just before noon.  The Ottawa pedestrian accident occurred at the corner of  Elgin St. and Sparks St. One pedestrian was a woman in her 70s and the other injured pedestrian was a male in his 40s.  When Ottawa paramedics arrived to the accident scene, both pedestrians were conscious and in stable condition but needed to be rushed to an Ottawa hospital for serious neck injuries, head injuries and back injuries. The cause of the accident is still unknown and when an accident involves a police cruiser, the  Special Investigations Unit comes involved. They will collaborate with the Ottawa Police to determine the cause of the accident.  My thoughts are with both accident victims at this time. I hope their injuries are not as serious as in the initial reports and that they are able to recover from this accident.

All pedestrians have rights to compensation whether or not they have their own insurance. Most pedestrian accidents  result in serious long-term injuries or catastrophic injuries.  Injured pedestrians can claim  compensation by filing an Ontario accident benefits claim as well as through a tort claim. A tort claim is a lawsuit  filed against the person responsible for the accident’s insurance company.  The  Ontario insurance regime allows accident victims to  file an accident benefits claim  at the same time as a tort claim.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident it’s important you know your rights.  We can help you by coming to you and explaining the best course of action to make sure that you receive the medical treatments you need as well as maximum financial compensation to make sure your needs are taken care of now and moving forward.


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 !


OC Transpo bus accident sends woman to Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus in critical condition.

OC Transpo Bus Accident

Ottawa Bus Accident Lawyers.  A woman is in critical condition in an Ottawa hospital last night after she tried to board and OC Transpo bus and seriously hurt herself.  The 53 year old woman was hit by an OC Transpo bus on Rideau Street close to  William Street mall shortly after  5 p.m. Ottawa paramedics rushed to the accident scene and treated the woman for  severe multi-system trauma, which  included a broken pelvis.  When Ottawa paramedics arrived , the woman needed advanced life support to stabilize her enough  to rush her to The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus in critical condition. Thankfully, Ottawa Police later released that her condition was upgraded to stable condition late last night.  The Ottawa Police are investigating the accident.  I wish her a full recovery and I hope her condition continues to improve.

If you have been involved in an accident and are injured, you may be entitled to benefits and compensation.  What many people don’t know is that regardless of whether or not you have your own insurance or not, Ontario Accident Benefits can cover your expenses.  Once you have healed enough, contacting a top personal injury lawyer should be a priority. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you make informed decisions.  Many of our clients have been injured in an OC Transpo bus accident.  We have helped people by informing them of their options and making sure they understand all of their legal rights when it comes to accident compensation and personal injury lawsuits.

Ottawa rollover accident Meadowlands and Claymore results in severe head injury and wrist injury.

Ottawa Accident

Personal Injury Lawyers Ottawa Ontario.  A terrible accident this morning sent 5 people to a Ottawa hospital.  The vehicle they were travelling in rolled on Meadowlands Drive , close to Claymor Avenue at 3:35 a.m. The 4 passengers travelling in the car suffered injuries and were brought to the hospital in stable condition. The 19-year-old driver however suffered a serious head injury and wrist injury. Thankfully , he was in stable condition when he arrived at the hospital. Ottawa Police are investigating the accident. If you have any information that could help, please contact the Ottawa Police. I hope this young man is able to recover fully from this accident and that his head injury is not life-altering.  My thoughts are with him and his family.

Our accident lawyers have helped thousands of families who have had someone in an accident.  We can counsel people on how to commence a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario and what the stages of a lawsuit are.  Our lawyers also can help families decide which are the best options in order to receive maximum compensation for injuries.  We understand people who have suffered an injury need support.  Other than friends and family, we help put those supports in place.  We help people find the right physiotherapists, psychiatrists, , medical specialists, support workers and other professionals that can help rebuild lives following an accident.



Winchester accident sends 2 to Ottawa Hospital Trauma Unit with critical head injury, leg injury and fractures.

Winchester Accident

An accident in Winchester Ontario has left 2 men in the Ottawa Hospital Trauma Unit following an early morning accident yesterday morning.  The Winchester accident occurred on County Road 31 when one vehicle is believed to have crossed a centre line and hit another vehicle. Police are investigating why the van may have crossed the line but still have not determined why. Ottawa paramedics were second to arrive at the Winchester accident after they were asked to help the Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Paramedics.

Both drivers of both vehicles were trapped in their vehicles and were eventually freed by the Winchester rescue crews. One man was rushed to the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus with severe trauma including a critical head injury and critical leg injury. The other man was also transported to the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus with several traumatic injuries and multiple fractures and is in serious, but thankfully stable condition.

I wish both men in this accident a full recovery. They have both suffered very severe injuries and will have a long road ahead of them. County Road 31 will be close for Police investigation. If you witnessed this Winchester accident and have any information that may help Ottawa Police, please contact the Police immediately.