Parking lot accident results in compensation for twisted ankle.

parkinglotaccidentPersonal Injury Lawyer Ottawa

Accident Scenario:

Parking lot injuries can be very serious. Parking lot accidents seem to be reported less often. This is typically because parking lot accidents often result in minor injuries; however, they can be every bit as debilitating. The most common parking lot accidents involve a motor vehicle either hitting a pedestrian or a motor vehicle hitting another motor vehicle.  Another type of parking lot accident is when a pedestrian slips, trips or falls in a parking lot.  The Occupier’s Liability Act S. 3(1) clearly states that an occupier of premises owes a duty to ensure the safety of those on and entering the property. This means that if the property was not properly maintained in a manner that did not ensure safety, the owner of such property can be help liable for injuries. Perhaps there was black ice, uneven pavement, poor lighting, or uneven ground ? These conditions are often the cause for many parking lot accidents and serious injuries.  Once day, we received a call from a woman who had suffered such an injury. We worked closely with “NB” to ensure she received maximum compensation for her injuries. NB was a 71 year old woman from Gatineau, Quebec. One day she was walking in a parking lot and twisted her ankle in a pot hole which caused her to fall.

Injuries Resulting From Accident:

NB’s injuries were serious and included a  torn tendon in her shoulder and facial bruising. A tendon injury is painful and often persists for a long period of time. It causes a great deal of physical and mental distress for both you and your family and is an unpleasant injury to deal with.

Compensation for Injury:

After tough negotiation we were able to get the insurance company to settle at mandatory mediation session. This means our client did not have to go to court or trial, which was of great relief. If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, it’s important you know your rights and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you are able, at the scene of the parking lot accident,  take photos showing your injuries, the conditions of the parking lot accident site, where the accident occurred, what time of day it was and what the  weather conditions were at the time of the accident. If there were witnesses, try to get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed your accident or the conditions surrounding your parking lot accident.  Try to write out an detailed report of what happened and keep records of all medical appointments and expenses, along with dates of medical appointments and any medical professionals who treated you. Bring all this information with you when you meet your personal injury lawyer for a free consultation . 

*Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and that the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.


Ottawa accident results in soft tissue back injury.

Our personal injury lawyers are proud to help our clients and their families. Recently, our team helped a man who was suffering from soft tissue injuries.

Accident Scenario

back injury lawyer david hollingsworth

Our Ottawa personal injury team worked closely with “AA” to ensure he received maximum compensation for his injuries. AA was a 58-year-old man from Ottawa, Ontario. One day, he was driving his vehicle when suddenly his vehicle was T-boned by another vehicle.

Injuries Resulting From Accident

AA suffered soft tissues injuries to his lower back. Prior to this collision AA was involved in another motor vehicle accident several years prior and was suffering from chronic pain symptoms.

Compensation for soft tissue back Injury

After the mediation, our Ottawa injury lawyers were able to negotiate on our client’s behalf and the insurance company to settle without having to take the matter to trial. This was very good news for ou client as he really did not want to drag out his case any longer and was happy that the matter was able to settle quickly and fairly. AA received $51,000.00 from the tort action. Our client also received accident benefits, inlcuding income replacement benefitsand medical/rehab benefits. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers were also able to settle his accident benefits file for approximately $20 000.

Soft Tissue Injury

Soft tissue injuries are typically categorised depending on the time frame of injury and the healing processes that are occurring at that time. The stages of a soft tissue injury are commonly referred to as:

1) Acute

2) Sub-Acute

3) Late-Stage

4) Chronic Phase

How Does Treatment Vary ?

Depending on the nature of the injury, treatments will vary depending upon the severity of an injury.  A physiotherapist would be the best person to diagnose and treat soft tissue injuries. Upon examination and diagnosis, a physiotherapist can determine the best plan for recovery and treatment of the soft tissue injury.

If you have been injured and are suffering from a soft tissue injury, you may feel like it will heal and eventually go away. It may or it may not. Proper diagnosis and treatments will help with the healing process. It’s important you take a soft tissue injury seriously. You may require many , many physiotherapy appointments and these can add up.  Our personal injury lawyers can help you explain you rights and help get you compensation to cover things such as loss of income, physiotherapy appointments etc.  You owe it to yourself and your children to get informed.

* Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and that the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.


Changes to Ontario Auto Insurance Again…and It’s Not Good News.

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.

Changes to Ontario Insuranceontario accident benefits

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.


What exactly is a minor injury when it comes to Ontario accident benefits?

MINOR INJURY GUIDELINE (MIG) FOR MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE

slip and fall accident

Our injury lawyers have helped thousands of people with their slip and fall accident insurance claims.

per s.268.3 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule – HIGHLIGHTS

This Guideline is focused on the application of a functional restoration approach in the management of minor injuries in the acute and sub-acute phases of the injury.

For the purposes of this Minor Injury Guideline:

a) minor injury means a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation and any clinically associated sequelae. This term is to be interpreted to apply where a person sustains any one or more of these injuries.

b) sprain means an injury to one or more tendons or ligaments or to one or more of each, including a partial but not a complete tear.

c) strain means an injury to one or more muscles, including a partial but not a complete tear.

d) subluxation means a partial but not a complete dislocation of a joint.

e) whiplash injury means an injury that occurs to a person’s neck following a sudden acceleration-deceleration force.

f) whiplash associated disorder means a whiplash injury that:

(i) does not exhibit objective, demonstrable, definable and clinically relevant neurological signs, and

(ii) does not exhibit a fracture in or dislocation of the spine.

Exceptions: An insured person’s impairment does not come within the MIG if the insured person’s impairment is predominantly a minor injury but, based on compelling evidence provided by his or her health practitioner, the insured person has a pre-existing medical condition that was documented by a health practitioner before the accident and that will prevent the insured person from achieving maximal recovery from the minor injury if he or she is subject to the $3,500 limit referred to in section 18(1) of the SABS or is limited to the goods and services authorized under this Guideline.

The MIG does NOT include concussion/TBI, or psychological impairments such as anxiety disorder.

Duration of benefits: treatments provided will not typically exceed twelve weeks in duration following the date of the initial visit

Total funding for benefits: $3,500

Goods and services provided: Assessment, treatments, equipment (therabands, gym ball, lumbar roll), assistive devices.

Treatments to include. Activity Prescription; Education; Reassurance; Home Exercise, treatments for: pain management, increased function, and diagnostic imaging.

Still have a question about the Minor Injury Guideline or Ontario Accident Benefits?

For a complete copy of the Minor Injury Guideline with Fee Schedule for services, please see Financial Services Commission of Ontario website www.fsco.gov.on.ca or www.ottawainjury.ca/insurance-claims/


Do ATVs need a separate insurance policy ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers and the Ontario Court of Appeal – Farmers insuring ATVs

By: Brent Meadows

The Ontario Court of Appeal had to decide whether an unmodified all-terrain vehicle (ATV) owned and used by a farmer for day-to-day farming operations was a “self-propelled implement of husbandry” (ie. vehicle for farming). If an ATV is considered as such, then it would not be subject to Ontario’s mandatory vehicle insurance regime. In other words, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be insured under said regime.

Mr. Matheson, the plaintiff, owns approximately 900 acres of farm land that abuts onto a highway. On the day of the accident he used his ATV to get from one part of his land to the other using the highway. He only intended to drive his uninsured ATV on the highway for a short period of time. Sadly, while driving on the highway he was struck by Mr. Lewis and suffered catastrophic injuries.

The plaintiffs brought, inter alia, a Rule 21 motion (ie. determination of an issue before trial) to determine whether their claim was statute barred by operation of s.267.6(1) of the Insurance Act which provides that a person is not entitled to damages for injuries that occur while operating an uninsured vehicle.

The motion judge held that the ATV was excluded from Ontario’s mandatory insurance regime as it was a self-propelled implement of husbandry. The ONCA however reversed this decision and held that the ATV was NOT a self-propelled implement of husbandry.

The court arrived at this decision by reviewing Ontario insurance regime and its intended purpose.  The court then referred to R v. Van Berlo where it was held that a vehicle must be ‘manufactured’ or ‘designed’ for a specific use in farming in order to be considered a self-propelled implement of husbandry. While the plaintiff exclusively used the ATV for farming, it could not be said that the ATV was ‘manufactured’ or ‘designed’ for a specific use in farming.

Most importantly, with respect to Ontario’s automobile insurance regime, the ONCA held that an ATV cannot be both an off-road vehicle requiring insurance and a self-propelled implement of husbandry excluded from the insurance regime. Moreover, reg. 893 explicitly provides that an ATV is an off-road vehicle and not a self-propelled implement of husbandry.

The Court of Appeal ultimately decided that the plaintiff’s claim was statute-barred by s.267.6(1) of the Insurance Act as he was uninsured, and his claim for statutory accident benefits was barred by s.30(1)(a) of the SABS.

 ATV accidents and insurance

This is undoubtedly an important decision for insurers in Ontario. Now more than ever it would be prudent for farmers to obtain insurance for their ATVs. One question comes to mind: If Honda were to manufacture and design an ATV for a specific use in farming, could it be exempt from the Ontario’s mandatory vehicle insurance regime?

insurance claim

 

 


Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth discusses snowmobile accidents.

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa, David Hollingsworth…

There have been in an increase in snowmobile accidents in the Ottawa area and throughout eastern Ontario.  Our region is surrounded by many snowmobile trails. There is no doubt that snowmobiling is a very popular winter sport. It is however , a sport that comes with it’s risks. There is not only the fact that snowmobile riders are driving a 450 pound machine, they are also driving with very little protection. Then there are also the obstacles in nature such as thinning ice, protruding branches and other obstacles on the roads and trails. Often times these snowmobile accidents  result in serious personal injury such as brain injuries, spinal injuries , broken bones, spinal injuries, concussions and sadly, many die each year from snowmobile accidents.

Many people do not know that a snowmobile is considered a motor vehicle and a snowmobile accident is treated the same as a car accident when it comes to accident benefits and insurance claims. You are not required to have a separate insurance policy for your snowmobile if you are trying to access accident benefits.  If you have been injured in a snowmobile accident and do not have your own insurance policy , you can still have options.

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in snowmobile accidents and know how to access maximum compensation for people involved in snowmobile accidents.  We are here to offer our support and expertise.  Call an Ottawa personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation and help in figuring out what’s best for you and your family. Let’s start your road to recovery.

If you have been in a snowmobile accident and are injured, we can help.  it is imperative you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.  It’s important you know your rights and we get you what you need. Visit our Ottawa personal injury lawyers at www.ottawainjury.ca . We will travel to you.


Has your accident benefits claim been denied ? You have options.

You might be surprised to know that many insurance claims are denied benefits. I often meet with clients who have been told that their expenses will not be covered by their insurance company.  Inevitably, they are provided some sort of reason.  Other times, clients have been receiving accident benefits and are then notified by their insurance company that they their claim is being reviewed and reassessed and that they may be “cut-off”.  Sadly, some people accept this and end up continuing life injured , without access to benefits that are much-needed. Once their benefits are denied they think that they have no other options.

Insurance companies must assess every injury claim and the proposed treatment plan and from there determine what they believe to be necessary expenditures. Often times, the insurance company will conduct their own assessment by hiring their own medical professionals to perform an assessment. Sometimes the assessment from the insurance company are vastly different from our client’s initial assessments. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have seen this many times.  We understand how the system works and we make sure that our medical assessments are also taken into consideration and that our clients are treated fairly.  We know how important it is to show the severity of our clients’ injuries and that proper compensation is awarded.

If a person has been denied a particular benefit, they must apply to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario “FSCO” to mediate the denied benefit.  FSCO is required to schedule a mediation of the dispute within 60 days of receiving the application for mediation. However, many injured people find that the wait time for a mediation date is much longer.

Often times,  it begins with one benefit being denied. What then happens is that  a FSCO mediation is schedule to try to attempt a resolution. At a mediation, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers present the case and negotiate for what is right. Often times , at the mediation stage, the insurance company will offer a settlement amount, which is a sum of money to close out the file. This is where personal injury lawyers make all the difference because not only are they highly experienced in this negotiation process, they are armed with their own reports, prognosis  and medical examinations that can prove the long-term implications of the specific injuries and therefore what amount of compensation is truly needed long-term.

If the mediation is not successful and both parties do not agree, then typically the next step is for a personal injury lawyer to file a ” Statement of Claim” . At this stage, a judge or arbitrator is hired to access the benefits being denied and give a ruling as to whether or not they should be compensated.  Individuals who have been denied accident benefits are in a difficult spot.  They are injured and they need compensation and support.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers spend their days helping people get all the support and maximum compensation they are entitled to.

In every case, the facts will vary. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and it is always best you sit down and discuss your situation. Experienced personal injury lawyers can walk you through the steps and give you an idea of what you might expect.  There are timelines that need to be met and forms that must be filled out and filed.  You don’t need to do this alone.

 


Ontario Auto and Car Insurance Changes : Be prepared -Ontario Personal Lawyer David Hollingsworth, in Ottawa

Ottawa Accident Lawyer- Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth– The Ontario government has made changes to your auto insurance policy that have a direct impact on each and every one of us and come in effect September 2010.

Ontario Auto Insurance Changes:  This summer, all Ontario drivers will be faced with the important decision of  whether or not  to purchase optional insurance -a basic automobile insurance package with reduced statutory accident benefits. My fear is that unfortunately, times are tough and most drivers will most likely opt for basic coverage.
 

Will you be affected? If you are in an accident and suffer a non-catastrophic personal injury, the answer is YES, you will.

Drivers with insurance who are in an accident and are deemed to have a non- catastrophic injury are the ones most negatively impacted by the Ontario government’s changes. The Ontario government is in the process of creating a basic insurance package of statutory accident benefits that lowers compulsory Medical and Rehabilitation benefits coverage to $50,000 from the previous  $100,000. Attendant Care benefit insurance coverage will be reduced in 1/2 to $36,000 with other important restrictions.

As a Ontario personal injury lawyer, I highly recommend drivers to purchase the optional increase in Medical and Rehabilitation benefits for up to $1 million (which would include $72,000 for Attendant Care). Unfortunately the reality is most drivers will probably purchase the basic coverage. This, is in my opinion dangerous.

There are also major reductions in accident benefits for accident victims with a non-catastrophic injury claim. The Medical and Rehabilitation and Attendant Care benefits have been drastically reduced and  Housekeeping and Caregiver benefits (unless you are catastrophically injured) have been completely eliminated. In most cases the at-fault insured driver will bear the costs of the reduction in the accident benefit insurance claim.

The definition(s) of catastrophic impairment has also changed, making it more difficult for accident victims to access their benefits. Assessment costs will now be deducted from the medical and rehabilitation benefits and that change will reduce the benefits available considerably. This means the costs to access your needs will now come out of your benefits, which is now reduced and capped. Meaning again, less compensation for Ontario accident victims.

Also of note, the definition of a catastrophic impairment  changed and now will include single limb amputees and the evaluation of catastrophic impairment will be restricted to those practitioners who have both training and experience with catastrophic injury cases.

Unfortunately, basic auto insurance coverage does not adequately compensate Ontario accident victims and their families with the costs that are necessary in most accidents. I sincerely hope and recommend to everyone to purchase the extended coverage; knowing that will be difficult for a lot of people to come up with the extra funds each year; but in my opinion, this is an expense you don’t mess around with. I urge you to do what you can do to purchase the extended coverage.

At the best of times, Ontario’s car insurance regime is complicated and difficult to understand. If you are injured in a car accident in Ontario, you are probably entitled to certain “no-fault benefits”, but you may also have the right to sue at-fault parties for your personal injury. The right to sue is not unlimited in Ontario. There are many more proposed changes that will have a direct impact on you.  For a detailed list and more information; feel free to email me for your FREE guide to Ontario’s auto insurance changes.

 

 


Insurance Claims Lawyer – Accident Benefits and the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyer  – David Hollingsworth .  I often get calls asking me what to do if there is no insurance available to accident victims in Ontario.

Is all hope lost if you have been in an accident and don’t have insurance? No, thankfully the government of Ontario has put a fund in place to help people who have been injured in an accident in Ontario and are left with no where to turn to for compensation.

The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund: No Insurance…

The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) is seen as  a last resort as it can sometimes provide financial compensation to Ottawa accident victims and Ontario accident victims with personal injury from car accidents when they do not have  automobile insurance and therefore no insurance policy or compensation.
The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund aims to do the following:
  • to provide statutory accident benefits directly to those with personal injury involved in an automobile accident, who have no access to automobile insurance;
  • to provide financial compensation for personal injury or property damage to victims involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured or unidentified driver or a stolen vehicle when no liability insurance exists; and
  • to recover from the owners and drivers of uninsured vehicles monies paid out on their behalf, where legally permissible.

If you been involved in an Ottawa or Ontario car accident and do not have motor vehicle  insurance,  or if you been in an Ottawa accident  or Ontario accident and other party  does not have insurance, you may still have recourse and be entitled to compensation.  There may be benefits available to you.  I have successfully obtained significant settlements for my clients with personal injury from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. I helped them and I can help you.  Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information or call 613 978-9549.


Drinking and driving related accidents in Ottawa Ontario.

Ottawa Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth urging everyone to be safe out there !

Please, if you are drinking, do not drive!!
-Call a taxi (blue line taxi) 613-238-1111 (WestWay Taxi ) 613 727-0101
-Designate a driver !
-Call responsible choice (613) 248-0444

Don’t let the holidays be ruined by drinking and driving. “The holidays are a time to be especially alert for drunk drivers because alcohol-related accidents traditionally go up this time of year” says Ottawa personal injury attorney,  David Hollingsworth. “It’s a special time of year that brings many parties and festive occasions when alcohol is served during the holidays,” says David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Accident Lawyer “This unfortunately also brings about more alcohol related Ottawa accidents. Drinking and driving is never a good idea. It’s illegal and too often, it’s deadly.” “We are very fortunate in Ottawa that we have many resources available to us to help prevent drinking and driving such as taxi services and responsible choice.”

It seems that the rates for drinking and driving accidents is on the decline, which is great. Still,there are Ottawa accidents and deaths every year that are alcohol related and could be avoided and that’s tragic. Alcohol-related deaths have been declining nationwide since 1982 due to tougher laws and stepped-up police enforcement. “Enjoy a safe holiday with family and friends,” says David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Accident Lawyer. “If you choose to drink, designate a sober driver or call a cab. It could save a life.”

As an experienced  Ottawa Accident Lawyers, I help countless Ottawa accident victims get what they need. If you have been in an Ottawa accident or Eastern Ontario accident and have suffered a serious injury, I can help you get benefits that you may not be aware of. Over the last decade I have helped hundreds of Ottawa Ontario accident victims get the financial compensation they needed for themsleves and their families. If you are suffereing right now, it is hard for you to be dealing with an insurance compnay. I have the experience and a high success rate. Let me help you. Call 613 978-9549.