Auger & Hollingsworth

  • Brenda and her staff have been there with legal advice from beginning to end. They are fast and efficient in all areas of the claim. I would most certainly recommend this firm to anyone that needs their services after an accident.

    Linda Bimm, Motor Vehicle Accident Client
  • Blog

    What to Expect if You Hire a Disability Insurance lawyer?

    • Your lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth will help you understand the basis for the insurance company’s denial of your claim.  Whether it is short term disability, long term disability, Canada Pension Plan Disability or ODSP, our lawyers can explain, in plain English, why you have been denied.
    • Once we have determined why you have been denied, we can help you decide the right course of action.  Sometimes you need more medical support for your claim.  Sometimes your employer has not sent in the required information.  Sometimes you have missed a deadline or have applied too early.  Regardless of the problem, we will provide you with the advice you need.
    • Depending on the insurance company (or government body), we will give you advice on what to do next.  Sometimes, we will write a letter of appeal on your behalf asking the insurer to reconsider its decision.  Sometimes we will send a detailed medical brief.  Sometimes, there will be no alternative but to start a law suit against the insurance company.
    • If we need to start a law suit to get you the benefits you deserve, we will support you the entire way and prosecute your claim vigorously.   Most disability claim files settle without a trial.  However, if you need a trial to get your benefits, we will take your case to trial.

    Along the way, if you have questions, we’ll have answers.  Every client in our office is assigned three points of contact.  There are at least 3 people who will know your file and be able to answer your questions.

    Want to discuss if Auger Hollingsworth can help you get the disability benefits you need and deserve?  Call 613 233-4529 today.

     

    5 Things You Can DO Today to IMPROVE your accident case

    5 Things you can do today to improve your car accident case

     

    If you have recently been in a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do.  As Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we have had many clients ask us about what they can do to help their case.  There are five simple ways that you can contribute to the success of your car accident claim.

     

    1. First, whether you have minor or serious injuries, it is important to keep all of your medical appointments.  This may seem obvious, but going to all of your scheduled appointments with doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, etc. demonstrates that you take your injuries, and your case, seriously.
    2. Secondly, seek all the medical attention necessary, and in doing so, use the maximum of your employment health benefits.  Not only will this give you the maximum benefit of medical care, but it demonstrates your efforts to address your injuries using all of your resources.
    3. It is also important for you to describe your symptoms consistently and accurately.  In order to improve the likelihood of having a successful claim, there must be a record of your all of your symptoms and injuries.  Each detail contributes to an accurate and complete description of the injuries you suffered in the accident.
    4. Just as it is important for you to seek all necessary medical advice, it is also essential that you follow all treatment recommendations.  Only by following the recommendations of your doctors will you begin to heal from your injuries.  It also improves your car accident case if you pursue all treatment options.
    5. Lastly, a good personal injury lawyer can provide important legal advice and guidance.  As experts in the field of car accident claims, the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth offer invaluable experience to help you make a successful claim.  By following all of these steps, you can be assured that you are doing everything you can to improve your case.

     

    Call Auger Hollingsworth at 613 233-4529!  We will come to you or meet with you at one of our convenient Ottawa locations.

    Making a Claim after an Accident While on Vacation

    The last thing you want is to get injured on vacation.  It happens.  Fairly often, in fact!

    • Injured in the United States?

    Most of the time if you are injured in the U.S., it will not be that difficult to figure out what to do.  In many states there is no shortage of personal injury lawyers who line the highways with billboards.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have many great connections to excellent trustworthy American lawyers.  If you need a referral to a lawyer in any U.S. state, please call us.  We will happily listen to your story and refer you to someone we know and trust.  There will never be a fee for this service.  Call us at 613 233-4529.

    If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in the U.S. and you have car insurance in Ontario, or live with a family member who has car insurance, you should contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer.  Most often,  your own auto  insurance company will be involved in cases involving U.S. car accidents, even if you were not at fault in the accident or were just a passenger, pedestrian or cyclist.  This is true even if your own vehicle was parked in your garage in Ottawa while you had your accident in Nebraska or Idaho. (Okay, probably Florida, we know.)

    For example, you will have access to statutory accident benefits to cover some of your health care costs, lost wages and related expenses.

    You will also likely have access to the Family Protection Endorsement (also known as OPCF 44R).  Many drivers in the U.S. have much lower insurance policy limits that we have in Ontario.   The OPCF 44R will require your own insurance to “top up”  your compensation if the American at fault driver’s insurance is not enough to cover your loss.  Yes, you should have a lawyer for this.  No, it will not affect your insurance rates.

    • Injured Outside Canada and the US?

    Accidents at Caribbean resorts, Mexico or in Central or South American countries present more complicated issues.  You will almost always need a lawyer to navigate the issues if you are looking for compensation.  Questions you need to ask include:

    o   Can I sue for damages in this country?

    o   What can I be compensated for?  Pain and Suffering?  Lost wages? Medical Expenses?

    o   How can I find a lawyer?

    o   Is there a limitation period?  This is very important.  Some countries have VERY short time periods in which to bring a claim.

    Keep in mind that the laws of your host country will apply to any law suit.  You will only be able to recover compensation if the company or person you are suing has assets or insurance.

    Often, it will be unwise to count on being able to sue a foreign person or company for injuries they cause, even if they are actually negligent.  To safeguard your financial well-being before heading out on vacation,  review your disability policies and travel health insurance to make certain that they are valid and adequate to meet your needs.

    If you are renting a car or other motorized vehicle outside of Canada and the U.S. make sure you purchase insurance.  Find out if the insurance offers protection to you in the event of an accident in the form of accident benefits, uninsured motorist or unidentified motorist coverage.

    • Can I sue in Ontario for Injuries Suffered Abroad?

    The Supreme Court of Canada actually looked at this issue in April 2012 in a decision called Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda.   The case involved two separate (unrelated) accidents in Cuba.  In one case the vacationer was very seriously injured.  In the other case the vacationer was killed.

    The Court ruled that the injured person (or his family) could sue in Ontario if one of the following factors existed:
    • The vacation company was established in Ontario
    • The vacation company was doing business in Ontario
    • The injury happened in Ontario
    • A contract connected with the dispute was made in Ontario.

    Practically speaking, if you use an Ontario travel agent and / or an Ontario tour company, you are more likely to satisfy this test.  Being able to sue in Ontario is a very significant advantage when compared to having to travel to the foreign country (while injured or grieving) to litigate.  This is particularly true where there are language and cultural barriers.

     

    If you want more information about your rights after an accident while you were on vacation, call us at 613 233-4529.

    Getting Health Care after An Accident Out of Ontario

    It’s almost March Break!  After the winter we’ve had, who wouldn’t want to get out of dodge and onto some sunny tropical island.  It is time for vacation.   The living is easy….until…uh oh… you have had an accident while on vacation outside Ontario.

    • Get Appropriate Medical Care

    Naturally, you will want to get medical care immediately.  Do you have proper travel health insurance?  The Government of Ontario warns Ontario residents that there is “very limited” coverage for out of country health care.

    OHIP does not pay for out of country ambulance services, transportation costs or drugs or prescriptions.

    • Hopefully, You were Vigilant About What Travel Insurance You Selected

    Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the travel health insurance you have purchased.  In particular, be aware of the effect of any pre-existing health conditions on your coverage.  For example, if you have a pre-existing health condition that requires medical care while you are out of Ontario, you may have trouble securing coverage if the policy you purchased excludes pre-existing conditions.

    Coverage varies a lot from between different insurers.  Different insurers may also have different levels of coverage.  Spend some time investigating what you need before selecting your travel insurer.

    Finally, injuries from some high risk or extreme sports may not be covered in your travel health insurance.  Check the fine print before you get on that zip line.

    • Can’t Find Appropriate Medical Care?

    If you have difficulty finding appropriate medical care, the Canadian embassy, consulate or High Commission can help.   They can provide you with information about medical care in the area, help you arrange for a medical evacuation, help you contact your family, etc.  However, they cannot pay for your medical care.

    If you have had an accident while on vacation out of Ontario, claiming compensation is tricky and almost always will require the assistance of a lawyer to help you figure out where to claim and against whom.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth would be pleased to assist you at this difficult time.  Call us today at 613 -233-4529.

     

    10 Tips To Up Your Chances of Getting Long Term Disability Benefits

    Are you applying for Long Term Disability Benefits because you are unable to work?  These 10 pro tips will increase your chances of being approved on the first application.

     

    1. Meet all the deadlines in your LTD policy.  If you don’t know the deadlines to complete certain paperwork, speak to someone in your human resources department or the insurance broker who sold you the policy.
    2. Get your hands on the ACTUAL policy.  It is important to know the exact test for disability in your situation.  Although most policies have similar wording, they are not all the same.
    3. Share the wording of your disability test with the doctors and other health care providers who are completing forms or writing letters on your behalf.  If they know what the test is, they are more likely to provide the information needed to meet it.  DON’T ASSUME YOUR DOCTORS KNOW THE TEST!
    4. Don’t complain to your doctor or other health care provider about paying for forms or letters.  They are entitled to be paid for their work.  Plus, you will feel more comfortable returning to them with the next round of forms if they are happy and have been treated fairly.
    5. Return the insurance company’s calls and open their letters.  If they tell you they are missing information from your application, take action to complete the application.  Don’t assume that your employer and health care team will just take care of it.  Insurance forms often fall through the cracks.  Be nice, but follow up.
    6. If you are a federal public servant, it is especially important that you follow up with your employer to ensure that all info sought by the insurance company is provided.  The insurer will often need info from BOTH the substantive employer and the HR department.
    7. Be very careful about meeting all deadlines in the policy and in other legislation if your initial application is denied.  There are limitation periods that apply.  Miss them, and you could be out of luck.
    8. Apply for Canada Pension Plan- Disability (CPP-D).  If you have contributed to CPP-D while working, you may be eligible for a federally funded disability pension even if you are not retirement age.  Getting CPP-D is a helpful piece of evidence in support of your LTD claim.
    9. Similarly, you may be able to apply for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).  This is a provincial disability pension that is available to disabled people of limited financial means.
    10. At the first whiff of trouble, call an experienced LTD lawyer.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have had great success getting early approval for denied or ignored LTD claims.  Waiting until you are financially desperate to get legal advice increases your vulnerability and makes it harder for you to make sound decisions about your case.

    If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your denied application for LTD, call Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation at 613 233-4529.

    5 Things you should know before you settle your accident benefit claim

    If you are handling your car accident case on your own, or even just your accident benefit claim on your own, there will likely come a time when the insurance company approaches you to settle your claim.

    Many, many Ontario residents settle their accident benefit claim for too little.  The main reason for this is that you really have no way of knowing what the total amount the insurer could potentially owe you.

    Before you settle your claim, make sure you understand the following:

    • Income Replacement Benefits do not end after 2 years if you continue to be unable to work at all.  Many people believe the insurer only has to pay for the first two years.  This is not true!
    • After 2 years you may be able to apply for catastrophic benefits if you haven’t already settled your claim.  If you are not working and still suffering serious consequences from your accident, you really should consider speaking to a lawyer.  The process for applying for catastrophic benefits is complicated.
    • If you settle your Accident Benefit claim for too little, it can hurt your damages law suit.  The insurance company may be entitled to deduct what you could have or should have received from the accident benefit insurer.
    • Some people don’t realize that any settlement offered by the accident benefit insurer is negotiable.  You should ALWAYS counter-offer, even if they tell you the offer is final.
    • The insurance company will consider your burn rate when assessing the value of your settlement.   What that means is they will look at how much you have spent each year on medical rehabilitation and then use the average of those numbers to predict your future expenses.  You should find out from the insurer what the burn right is.

    In most cases, after you settle your accident benefit case, you cannot go back to ask for more money….so make sure the deal you strike is a deal that is fair to you!

    For help with your accident benefit case, call the experienced personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation.  We can be reached at 613 233-4529.

     

    How waiting too long to meet a lawyer can hurt your Ontario car accident case

    Many accident victims wonder how soon is too soon to call a lawyer after a motor vehicle accident.

    The truth is, after you have dealt with the police and secured medical attention, a call to an experienced personal injury lawyer is often your next best call.

    Speaking to a lawyer early in the process does the following:

    • Ensures you know how to handle your telephone call to the insurance company;
    • Ensures you know what notes to make in the days after the accident;
    • Ensures you have an opportunity to take the right photos before vehicles are disposed of an road conditions have been altered;
    • Ensures that you know how to preserve the motor vehicle’s “black box”.

    A lawyer can also help you to provide early notice to the insurer of the at fault vehicle.

    Even if you are not certain you want to make a claim, and even if you are not certain that your injuries are serious, getting early advice from a lawyer you can trust can make a very big difference to the outcome of your compensation down the road.

    To speak with an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, at no cost or obligation, call Auger Hollingsworth at 613 233-4529.  We’d be happy to explain your rights, even if you decide you won’t ultimately hire a lawyer.

    21 Excuses the Insurance Company will Make that the Personal Injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can Negate or Neutralize

    1. The injuries you claim to have sustained in your auto accident are actually related to a prior medical condition.  The only way pre-accident medical condition can seriously damage your case is if you conceal it.

    2. We have closed your file.  How about you re-open it?  The only way an insurance company can permanently close your file is if the limitation period expires or you sign a full and final release.

    3. The police report does not indicate that you were injured. Many times the adrenalin from the accident keeps you from noticing injuries at the scene.  As long as you sought medical attention closely after the accident, don’t worry.

    4. You weren’t wearing your seat belt.  Yes, you should have been wearing your seat belt. However, the worst case scenario is that your compensation will be lowered by 25%.  And that’s only if the insurance company can prove that not wearing your seat-belt made your injuries worse.

     

    5. Your car wasn’t in great condition. This will likely only affect your case if the defect in your car caused or contributed to the accident.

     

    6. You didn’t take steps to avoid the collision. As long as you are driving like a reasonable driver, you will not lose compensation because you were not able to take heroic measures to avoid the other driver’s bad driving.

     

    7. You made a sudden stop.  The car behind you has to leave a safe distance in case you make a sudden stop.  There is very rarely liability on the driver who gets rear-ended.

     

    8. You did not go to the hospital immediately after the accident. As long as you seek medical attention within a reasonable length of time after the accident, this won’t hurt your case.

    9. Your complaints to the doctor were minimal. It is not at all uncommon for injured people to focus on what is most bothering them at the time of the appointment instead of giving a shopping list of complaints.

    10.  Your complaints to your family doctor did not match the complaints you gave to the staff in the Emergency Room.  Injuries evolve over time.  Also sometimes the doctor’s notes get it wrong.

    11. No one called the police after the accident. It is better if the police are called but not calling the police is still okay of you have the other driver’s info and report the accident to your own insurance company promptly.

     

    12. You were partially at fault for the accident. In Ontario, even if you are partly at fault for the accident you can still recover damages.  For example, if you were 25% at fault, you get 75% of your damages.

     

    13. No one else was injured in the accident. Super common and so what?  Different positions in the vehicle, different bodies etc. etc.  This is not a defence.

    14. Your name is not listed on the police report. It is surprisingly common for passengers to be left off the motor vehicle accident report.  Make sure the driver tells his or her insurance company that you were in the car.

     

    15. The property damage was not severe.  There are lots of reasons why people are badly injured in accidents where there is not a lot of damage to the vehicle itself.  Our engineers will explain all that.

     

    16. You didn’t take an ambulance from the scene of the accident. Many seriously injured people decline an ambulance and prefer to travel to medical attention with a family member.  People also worru about the cost of an ambulance.

    17. You had no objective injuries– no cuts, no broken bones, no bruises. There is no denying that objective injuries are easier to prove than subjective.  However, lots of invisible injuries are diagnosed and compensated every day.

    18. The type of injury you sustained could not have possibly been caused by the accident.  Insurance adjusters are generally not engineers, doctors or bio mechanical experts.  Your body position in a car explains a lot.

     

    19. Your memory of times, speeds, distances is inaccurate.  You are lying.  Where possible, it is better to speak to a lawyer before answering questions posed by the insurer.  However, there are many reasonable explanations for this type of error in a statement.

    20. You told us you were not seriously injured in the accident.  There is danger in giving an early statement to the insurer when your injuries have not fully developed.  However, all personal injury adjusters know that in some cases injuries develop over time.  A medical expert will give an opinion to this effect.

    21. You failed to give proper notice, so your claim is barred.  There can be notice periods that impact your claim.  But, don’t take the insurance company’s word for it.  In many cases there are ways around the notice or ways to compensate for late notice.

    You don’t have to deal with the insurance companies alone, we are here to help! 

    If you’re injured, don’t wonder if you need a personal injury lawyer, call us today at 613-233-4529 to ask about our free, no-obligation consultations. 

    The Reciprocation of Technology and Personal Injury: Oculus Rift

    Part 2 of 3 on new technology entering the personal injury world.

    oculus rift photo

    Oculus Rift is a wearable headset that takes the user out of the real world and into a virtual one. At this present stage, Facebook’s $2-billion project is primarily a virtual gaming device bringing video game scenarios to life.

     

    You are now the quarterback throwing the ball, or Mario jumping over mushrooms. Gone will be the age of the controller. The product is on the market for a few hundred dollars as part of a development kit for content producers to code and develop its platform.  The future applications of this device scope endless possibilities: video games, films, athletics, education, to name a few of the ways it will change the world. But what are the legal issues in the virtual world?

    When you purchase an Oculus Rift, it comes with an array of warnings. When entering the virtual world, users forget their interactions within the real world, which can cause injuries and damage to their surroundings. One Oculus Rift game “Hydra Cover Shooter” actually had to warn users not to interact with objects in the game as users often found themselves leaning on posts and structures within it and subsequently falling down.

    Oculus Rift is full of potential risks and users might experience nausea, disorientation, and involuntary movements. It is still too soon to see what kind of product liability will immerse, but warnings of all sorts must be included as we move further into the virtual world and the inevitable injuries that will incur this year.

    If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall this winter, contact our office for a free, no obligation consultation at 613-860-4529, or ask for a free copy of an “Injured Victim’s Guide to Fair Compensation.” 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Reciprocation of Technology and Personal Injury: Google Glass

     From Google Glass to Oculus Rift and Fitbits, wearable technology will find its way into the courtroom more and more in 2015.

    Google glass photo

    Part 1 of 3: Google Glass

    Google Glass has existed for two years and found its way into the lifestyle and consumer world. It does everything any smartphone can do, but is wearable as an eyepiece.

    A Californian personal injury lawyer has become an early adopter of using the Google Glass at his law firm. He uses it to record interviews of witnesses, throughout depositions, and in all of his day-to-day responsibilities. But his favourite application of Google Glass is sorting through case files as they appear directly in front of him at the court, at home and during meetings as he swipes through the air, taps the side, or tells it the next function.

    Look for Google Glass to make its way into proceedings more and more this year. If there is a dangerous walkway, covered with ice and posing a dangerous threat, you can turn on Google Glass record. If a victim is seriously injured, jurors and insurers will now be able to see a victim’s challenges first hand. Google Glass is a hand’s free – distraction free device allowing for first person recording you wouldn’t otherwise be able to use with a smartphone. Think of 2015 for Google Glass as 2007 was for I-Phone: the year the very early adopters began to switch over from their “antiquated” technology.

     It’s always smart to keep your cell phone in your glove compartment and away from your hands while driving. If you or someone you know are involved in a car accident, if possible- remember to record as much information and take plenty of photos at the location of the accident.

    Contact us for a free “Crash Kit” or call 613-860-4529 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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  • Auger Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers representing injured people in Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Perth, Cornwall, Kingston, Renfrew, Lanark, Pembroke, Petawawa and Hawksbury, Toronto, Peterboroght, L'Orignal. Note: This Website Provides Information but not legal advice. Contact a lawyer for legal advice about your case. Every case is different.
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