Thank you Ottawa Police, Ottawa Pathway Program, Right bike and Citizens for Safe Cycling for trying to reduce Ottawa cycling accidents.

Bicycle Accident Lawyer Ottawa

I want to personally thank the Ottawa Police, the Ottawa Pathway Program, Right Bike and the Citizens for Safe Cycling. Yesterday they were involved in a fantastic Ottawa safety initiative. 200 bicycle lights were handed out yesterday to cyclists who did not have proper lighting on their bicycles. This is part of a bicycle safety awareness campaign that had Ottawa Police Traffic enforcement officers  stopping cyclists who do not have the proper lights on their bicycles.  Many volunteers from Citizens for Safe Cycling, Right Bike and the City of Ottawa Pathway Patrol Program provided the  free lights and bells and also went as far as showing cyclists how to install them properly.

Cyclists need to be visible when cycling. Cyclists share the road with other cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. Now that it is getting darker, these safety measures become much more important.

Common causes of Ottawa Cycling Accidents

Did you know that the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) states that all cyclists must have  a working front light and minimum  rear reflector,  as well as a working bell?   The lack of proper lights and bells are the two most common offences Ottawa Police have come across when they have ran enforcement blitzes with a focus on cyclists.  Seems to me, there is an easy fix here.

Do what it takes to avoid an Ottawa bicycle accident

Please, ensure that when you are cycling you have taken all precautions for a safe ride.  We have lost far too many cyclists here in Ottawa to preventable accidents.  On the flip side, to everyone sharing the roads, cyclists, drivers and pedestrians, please be aware that you are sharing the roads and remain in control. Any accident can happen in a split second and can be life-altering.  Ride, drive and walk safely.

 


Ontario personal injury, What is a mediation? Ottawa injury lawyer explains…

Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth.. What is a mediation? How does a mediation affect an Ontario personal injury lawsuit?  Not all Ontario personal injury lawsuits get to the mediation stage.  Some may settle before that.  A mediation in an Ontario personal injury lawsuit is a step that both sides agree to take in order for a speedier resolution and hopefully have the Ontario personal injury lawsuit settle before going to court, which could take years.

In a personal injury mediation, both sides agree on using a mediator. The mediator’s job is to  help both sides come together and reach a settlement.  Mediators are neutral and are there to help both sides reach an agreement.  A personal injury mediation in Ontario is a step before court, whereby both parties can speak directly to one another and are really able to share with the other side what their needs are. It really is a very valuable part of the litigation process and typically results are fair.  Most accident victims find that because of the mediation process, they are able to avoid dragging out their personal injury case and avoid going to court. As an Ontario personal injury lawyer, I have found that almost all personal injury cases truly benefit from the mediation process.

Before going to the mediation, Ontario personal injury lawyers are required to prepare the mediator with the facts from their case.  Both sides will prepare their own version of this document known as a “mediation brief”. The mediator will typically begin the mediation by stating the facts, as they know them and then turn the floor to the  lawyers , who each get a turn to make their opening statements to both the mediator and the other side. In an Ontario personal injury case, the other side is the insurance companies’ lawyer; not the individual driver.

In Ontario, personal injury clients must be present at the mediation; however they are not required to speak. Their Ontario personal injury lawyer is there to represent them and speak on their behalf. Many accident victims like the fact that their lawyer speaks for them; while others do not.  At a mediation, the personal injury client is able to speak whenever they feel comfortable, they just don’t have to.  This includes answering any questions from the insurance company. The insurance company does not have their client there.  In fact, in most cases, the other driver is completely uninvolved in the lawsuit and has no idea as to what amounts or details there are in the case. The settlement cheque does not come from the driver, it comes from the insurance company. The insurance company also does not report back to the driver the amount that was reached at settlement.

Once all of the information has been presented by both lawyers; both sides will typically break off in separate locations to discuss freely and openly what offers they will accept and what offers they would like to make in the hoped of settling the case.  The mediator will flow back and forth between both rooms and offer counsel and suggestions to help both sides reach an agreement.

Most Ontario personal injury cases will settle at the mediation stage but not all do. In the case where it does not settle, the mediation process still helps forward the case along as both sides were able to share information and truly get a sense of where the other side is coming from. Sometimes, the mediation allows both sides to leave with some time to think about things and then over the course of the next little while, they are able to reach a resolution, as they have had some time to let things settle and they have had time  to simply think. And that is a good thing.

—-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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What happens mediation? Ottawa personal injury lawyers, Ontario personal injury lawyers, Mediation process Ontario


Ontario Brain Injury , Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer, Ontario Head Injury Lawyers: As an eastern Ontario brain injury lawyer, I continue to be shocked at the brain injury statistics that come out each year as most brain injuries are preventable. A Brain Injury is an invisible personal injury, unlike a cut or a bruise. A brain injury is a catastrophic injury and trauma to the brain is not visible. Often times  victims of a brain injury or head injury appear to be uninjured and go about their lives. However; often times someone with a brain injury is suffering and is not showing it. Typically friends, family members, co-workers and employers start to notice small changes…The incidence of brain injury is high in Canada:

Head injury from trauma  occurs every 500 out of 100,000 individuals yearly.

Head Injury outnumbers  breast cancer, spinal cord injury and HIV/AIDS. headinjury

It is estimated that there are some 27,000 children with Acquired Brain Injuries in Ontario schools.

  • people who wear helmets suffer fewer head injury rates (an average of 25% lower) .
  • Bicycle injuries are one of the leading causes of injury for children ages 10-14 years old, and traumatic brain injuries account for close to one third (29%) of all cycling-related hospital admissions.
  • Research shows that 20% of people in psychiatric settings appear to have a history of brain injury.
  • Helmets use reduces head injury by 88%.

Each year, 50,000 Canadians suffer an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). In Ontario, 44 people sustain a brain injury daily.

  • Close to 500 000 people in Ontario are living with an acquired brain injury.

795 children out of 100,000 individuals suffer a brain injury each year

456 people suffer a brain injury daily in Canada — this amounts to one person injured every 3 minutes.

Most head injury occur in males aged 16 to 24.

Brain injury from trauma is the greatest killer under the age of 45;

The greatest cause of disability under 44;

and kills more children under 20 than all other causes combined

As an Ontario head injury lawyer and one of the top Ottawa brain injury lawyers, I urge everyone out there to slow down, buckle up, put a helmet on ,be alert and be safe out there.  A brain injury is life altering and can happen to anyone in an instant.


What do after an Ontario Car Accident, Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

What to Do After A Car Accident in Ontarioaccident checklist

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, it’s important that you take care of the right things, right away. Our personal injury lawyers have prepared a brief list of some of the very first things you can do to ensure a speedier recovery and maximum compensation for your injuries.

 

Immediate steps to follow after a car accident

Get medical care promptly.  Don’t diagnose yourself, let trained medical professionals diagnose your injuries.

Inform the police of the accident and record the attending officer’s name and badge number and ask for a copy of the police report. Tell the police only what you know, do not speculate and stick to the facts.

Record the names of other drivers involved in the accident, any witnesses and all those directly or indirectly involved in the accident;

Write down as many notes as you can about the accident. Take pictures with your phone/camera if you can

Contact your family doctor;

Consider meeting with a personal injury lawyer before you give a statement to your insurance company

Contact your insurance company within 7 days and request accident benefit forms

File your completed accident benefits application within 30 days;

Report your personal injury to your employer or school;

Check for health and injury coverage provided through your employer, health and benefit carrier, credit card company or any other source;

Record the names of all attending healthcare professionals;

Keep all receipts for related expenses, items lost or broken in the accident- including those incurred by family members helping the accident victim;

Keep a detailed record of all your health problems and do not minimize your ailments or pain; and

Keep family close by and meet with your trusted team of healthcare providers.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Do not sign anything related to your accident until you have discussed it with an  experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact us at www.ottawainjury.ca

 


Check your car tires..Ottawa Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth Ottawa Accident Lawyer..Wishing everyone out there a great and safe long weekend.  Please drive, swim, bike, ride and boat safely !  According to Department of Transport Road Accident Statistics, the number of  car accidents caused by weather and snow covered roads increase in winter by 267 percent. Obviously we can’t control the weather conditions but  we can reduce car accident statistics considerably by replacing the tires according to the weather conditions.

Car tires and car accidents

Many Ontario residents and those who live in colder areas, change their car tires prior to start of winter season and again in spring or summer. This is done for the sake of safety as the experienced car drivers know that the ambient temperature is directly related with their tires performance.  The research also indicates  that ambient temperatures below 7 degrees celcius  potentially trigger hazardous driving conditions. Insurance companies statistics also support this view stating that the increase in car accident damage insurance claims increases drastically with the onset of colder weather. This is why it is extremely important to ensure you have tires that are in good condition.   Test rides have proved that whenever temperatures go below 7ºC, tire rubber become  hard and that results in less road grip. Fitting cold weather tires to our vehicles before winter season is the best solution to drive safely, even during the winter, rainy or snowing season, when temperatures are likely to go down below 7C. Cold weather tires provide better mileage while normal tires reduce the mileage up to 20 %. Cold weather tires contain more rubber that minimizes the hardening effect and gives extra grip in wet, cold or icy conditions. As a result, we get shorter breaking distances. Although it may be a hassle,  spending a few minutes for tires replacement at the change of weather twice a year for the sake of  safety is not only justified, it is essential. Even after adapting this practice, don’t forget to continually check the tires condition and pressure regularly.


Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyer David Hollingsworth: SABS Accident Benefits

Ottawa accident Benefits Lawyer David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Accident Lawyers.

Who is entitled to Ontario Accident Benefits? Ontario Accident benefits are available to people suffering from personal injury in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario. Often after being discharged from an Ottawa rehabilitation centre, (The Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre, The Ottawa Hospital-Civic Campus or Elizabeth Bruyere, in Eastern Ontario) , people with personal injuries will  return to their homes only to find that their home needs modifications and their home  cannot accommodate them. The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) is available to motor vehicle (car accident, boating accident etc.. victims in Ontario to help with these modifications.

Accident Benefits Schedule: Typically,  Ontario car accident victims can receive accident benefits. Normally, these accident benefits are covered by the injured person’s own insurance company. However, accident benefits also provide coverage for people who do not have their own insurance. Typically, statutory accident benefits are there to replace lost wages, attendant care benefits, rehabilitation and medical benefits as well as wrongful death benefits.

Housing: The insurance company must pay the injured person for all reasonable and necessary home modifications and home devices, including communication aids. Ontario’s statutory accident benefits  permits an injured person to buy or renovate  a new home to meet his or her needs where that is the option that makes more sense than renovating an existing house. Having said that, the money alloted for the purchase of a home cannot be greater than the estimated cost of any renovations that would be needed to meet the injured victims needs.

The medical and rehabilitation benefits are supposed to pay for all reasonable and necessary expenses that arise because of the accident. Home modification comes under the medical / rehabilitation category.

After September 2010, this information will change.  For now, if the injured person did not suffer a “catastrophic impairment” as that is described in the Accident Benefit regime, the total amount of the medical / rehabilitation benefit is $100,000 and the benefits expire after 10 years from the date of the accident. If the injured person did suffer a “catastrophic impairment” the medical / rehabilitation benefit increases to $1 Million and last for the duration of the victim’s life.

Timelines: It is important you notify your insurance company that you have had an Ontario accident within 7 days of the Ontario accident, or as soon as possible, and you must complete your application for Accident Benefits within 30 days of the Ontario accident.

What is an assessment? The assessments give suggestions to assist a person who is injured how to live safely and comfortably in their home if possible. The assessment focuses on returning the person who is injured to a level of function that approaches his or her pre-accident state to the extent that that can be done safely.

People who suffer a catastrophic injury may also need additional assessments .  The assessments will result in a report. After the report is written, another form called a “OCF 18: Treatment Plan” will be submitted to the insurance company, outlining the proposed cost of the recommendations in the report. If the OCF 18 is approved, the work can begin.

Are home modifications limited to catastrophic injuries? Sometimes.  Where the injured person has suffered personal injury that cause impairment but are on the less serious end of the spectrum, and if the renovations are not going to be extensive, an occupational therapist can perform a home assessment.

An assessment of the activities of daily living of the injured person is included in a home assessment. This assessment looks at personal care, housekeeping, home maintenance and care giving tasks. The report written by the occupational therapist will outline a list of any assistive devices and changes required to the home. For example: a  railing, raising or lowering a bed or counter or adding hip-level storage in a kitchen.

If the recommended renovations included in the report are complete, it  is submitted to the insurance company together with a Treatment Plan costing the recommendations to the insurance company for approval. If a person has serious personal injury and needs significant home modifications like ramps, additions, elevators, walls moved, a home accessibility report is required. For more information regarding Ontario insurance claims, visit www.ottawainjury.ca .

 

 


Slip and fall accidents lawyers Ottawa

Ottawa Slip and Fall Accidents Lawyer David Hollingsworth…It’s really snowing out here today Ottawa…Watch where you step and walk !

Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth shares his recommendations for the winter season and slip and fall injuries.

It’s really snowing here in today Ottawa! Please ensure to watch your step! Many often forget to fully consider the potential for personal injury and the associated ramifications of pain and suffering. Even a minor slip can lead you to much stress and tension on you and your loved ones. A slip and fall injury can result in massive medical bills, loss of work, lost wages and more. If a slip and fall injury happens to you, an Ottawa personal injury lawyer can explain to you what your rights are and make sure your interests are protected.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family:

I deal with a tremendous number and variety of slip and fall accidents on a regular basis each year. Such injuries can happen at any time of the year, and in any location or setting. However, there are certain conditions that render the possibility of injury more likely, so please on to learn how to protect you and your family from the prospect of injury, and to learn what to do in the event that you have been hurt by a slip and fall injury.

Scenario:

There are certain circumstances where the city will be responsible for your injury. For example, imagine you are walking down the street at night. As you try to cross the street, you approach an open man-hole (the city has neglected to put the cover back after working on the sewer system earlier in the evening). Naturally given the lack of light, you do not see the open manhole and fall right through, experiencing broken bones, fractures, and lacerations. Perhaps your injuries are more psychological in nature because you are trapped in the manhole for several hours screaming for help.

Who is Responsible?

The city would be responsible (through the action of one of it’s employees) for their negligence and your injuries. There are many other instances where slip and fall injuries could occur, such as (1)wood  flooring/carpeting in poor repair (2) parking lot surfaces in poor repair (3) ice and snow buildup (4) elevators/escalators/stairways (5) areas with poor lighting, (6) and so on.

Your Compensation:

Depending on the circumstances of injury, your recovery could include compensation to help with stress and tension, medical bills, lost wages, and so on. A good Ottawa personal injury lawyer can give you an idea of what you may be entitled to. Business and property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that people on their establishment or property are safe and not at risk of suffering an injury. If an accident has happened to you, it may be due to the negligence of a property owner who has failed to act according to their due diligence responsibilities to keep you and your family and loved ones safe.

If your slip and fall accident happened in the Ottawa or the Eastern Ontario area because a property owner failed to keep you safe, David Hollingsworth and this team of Ottawa personal injury lawyers can help you recover the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, and awards for pain and suffering. With his knowledge and extensive experience, he is the Ottawa personal injury lawyer that can help get the maximum possible awards for slip and fall injury victims and help them recover as best as possible.
Visit www.ottawainjury.ca or call 613 978-9549 for more information.


Ottawa Accident Lawyer : Ontario Accident Benefits and No fault Insurance Claims

Ottawa accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth explains Ontario No-Fault Accident Benefits

Important: Report Your Accident!

The first step in the personal injury process is to report your accident! If you have been injured in an accident in Ottawa or Ontario, there are specific rules that must be followed to secure your personal injury claim. Your top Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you through this process, to help you gain compensation for your injury, lost earnings, pain and suffering, or simply getting the insurance company to repair or replace your car. Remember, if you do not report the accident, the insurance company will not pay for any of these things enumerated. Top Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth can help you to ensure that you do not risk losing out on the many important benefits expanded upon below.

The “No-Fault” System of Insurance

In Ontario, we have a “no-fault” process or set of rules for auto accidents. These benefits are called “accident benefits” and basically mean that irrespective of who is responsible or “at fault” for the accident, you are still entitled to a large range of benefits to help you in a time when you are most vulnerable and need the benefits most. Generally, this system of insurance was introduced to provide accident victims with a large variety of benefits to foster their rehabilitation and to reduce the number of claims against insurers.

It is important to note, that such benefits do not cover damages for pain & suffering, or future income-loss. A lawyer will need to be retained if you want to claim for a tort action to recover for such things. A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general. A tort action is lodged against the driver who may have caused your accident. To succeed with a tort claim, your injuries need to be of a “serious and permanent” nature. This requirement of “serious and permanent” to claiming in tort is known as the “threshold”, subject to judicial interpretation and defined by the courts. A top Ottawa personal injury lawyer such as David Hollingsworth will the fluency to understand the fluid nature of the threshold, since the judicial interpretation of the threshold changes constantly. Your success depends on the facts of your case, and how the case is presented. Generally, a victim of an Ottawa personal injury or auto accident has two cases: first, a no-fault case against the insurance company and second, a tort case against the person or insurance company for the driver responsible for the accident. There may be an accident benefit claim and no tort claim or a tort claim and no accident benefits claim, and sometimes there is both a claim in accident benefits and tort. In short, your success depends on the facts of your case, the extent of the injuries, and the skill of your top Ottawa Lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help to explain the nature of the threshold, and it’s complexities to you so that you do not lose out on the benefits that you deserve.

Top Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth can help you to recover accident benefits, including (1) Medical/Rehabilitative, (2) Income Replacement (3) Caregiver Benefits, (4) Housekeeping / Home-maintenance Benefits, and (5) Attendant Care Benefits.

(1) Medical/Rehabilitative Benefits

As the name implies, Medical and Rehabilitative Benefits are designed to deal with costs of treatment for physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, health club, adaptive/assistive devices, aquatic rehabilitation, and generally any other relevant treatments deemed reasonable and necessary for your recovery secondary to your accident. The list of features provided by these benefits is extensive, and can include devices such as therapeutic beds, wheelchairs, canes, ramps and even modified vehicles to accommodate for your accident injuries. A health care professional like a physiotherapist, massage therapist or a doctor must complete a “treatment plan” for you in order to recover these benefits. This is form is submitted to the insurance company for consideration. Generally, accident victims in a “non-catastrophic” cases are entitled to a maximum of $100,000 in benefits over 10 years in med/rehab benefits. Accident victims in “catastrophic cases” are entitled to a maximum of $1,000,000 over the course of a lifetime.

(2) Income Replacement Benefits

Income replacement benefits are designed to replace your income if you are not able to work secondary to your accident. Generally, there is an 80% entitlement to your net pre-accident income (which is averaged from your last year’s pre-accident earnings, or 26 of the 52 weeks before your accident). Generally, the maximum allowable income replacement benefit under a standard automobile insurance policy in Ontario is $400/Week. Issues can arise in claiming income replacement benefits when it is difficult to prove that you were working before your accident, or quantifying your pre-accident income, and so on. An experienced lawyer can help you in this regard because they will know the “ins and outs” of the entitlement opportunties for you.

(3) Caregiver Benefits

Caregiver benefits are designed for individuals who were the primary caregiver for a dependant, such as a young child, elderly person or sick person, at the time of their injury. Due to the injury or accident, these individuals are not able to care for their dependants any longer and require caregiver benefits. Generally, you do not need to show that you made any income prior to your accident. Rather, you are only required to demonstrate your status as the primary caregiver. As to weekly benefits, the caregiver is entitled to about $250/week, with an additional $50 for each extra dependant. A good lawyer will know these details about your benefits and can help you get the benefits you deserve.

(4) Housekeeping/Home-Maintenance

Housekeeping/Home-maintenance benefits are designed to help the accident victim to complete necessary chores, housekeeping or home-maintenance, including the cleaning of dishes, preparation of meals, general cleaning like dusting, mopping, taking out the garbage and so on, which become impossible in situations of physical impairment and injury following your accident. These benefits are generally $100/week and can be claimed by submission of appropriate receipts and invoices to your insurance company. If you do not submit these required documents to your insurer, you will not get these benefits, regardless of how hurt you are. A compassionate lawyer will understand the difficulty you may face with the stress of your injury and can help you to work out a plan so that you are not losing out on any benefits that you deserve.

(5) Attendant Care Benefits

Attendant Care Benefits are designed to compensate for individuals such as your family, friends, loved ones, or whomever is performing attendant care services for you after your injury. These benefits are designed to pay these individuals for their services, which after a tragic injury can include grooming, bathing, grocery shopping, brushing hair, putting on clothes, brushing teeth etc, when the accident victim is no longer able to do so secondary to their accident. As in the other benefits, a lawyer can help you to recover these costs. The process involves enlisting the services of a health care professional (e.g. occupational therapist, etc) to complete a “Form 1”. This form will describe the extent of help and care requirements a victim needs following their injury.

In short, if you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident you may be entitled to many accident benefits from your insurance company. Each year, thousands of victims neglect to see a top Ottawa Lawyer and lose out on many benefits that they deserve that could help them in their recovery. Top Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth can help you to ensure you protect and safeguard your interests by recovering your benefits, which can include (1) Medical/Rehabilitative, (2) Income Replacement (3) Caregiver Benefits, (4) Housekeeping / Home-maintenance Benefits, and (5) Attendant Care Benefits. If you do not have insurance, you may still be entitled to these benefits. As an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer, David Hollingsworth speaks and meets with people daily who have not been properly compensated by their insurance company. David Hollingsworth knows the system and is here to help you. You have been through an accident; you have been through enough. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca or email david@ottawainjury.ca for a free consultation.

-David Hollingsworth, Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer