Mind the money! Keep all receipts after a car accident in Ontario

After an accident it’s important to have a paper trail. A couple ways to do this are to make sure the police are called after your accident so a police report gets filled out, to visit your doctors so your injuries are documented, and to keep all receipts!

Yes, all those receipts from physiotherapy, housecleaning, and equipment to help with your injuries need to be kept. Even if you’re not sure you need to keep a receipt, do it just in case.

Why Keep Receipts?

Even if you are receiving benefits through your insurance there are other costs that may not be covered whether through them or OHIP. For example, if your injuries keep you from driving and you have to take a taxi instead, you’ll want to keep a record of your losses. Also, if you’re home needs to be refitted, or you need new equipment to help with your mobility, you’ll need to keep a record of how much this costs. All the ways that your life alters after an accident need to be written down, as well as the expenses that come with it.

Pro Tip!

Don’t worry about sorting through your injury expenses and receipts – bring them to us instead! Many people don’t know this, but when you hire a personal injury lawyer we go through all the paperwork so you don’t have to. Just store all your receipts in a bag or envelope, mark down what they are, and let us handle the rest.

Have a question about an accident you were in? Call us for a free consultation at 613-233-4529 and we’ll book a consultation with 24-48 hours.

Brain injury basics: Learn to recognize the signs of a concussion

We hear about concussions so often in sports entertainment and in our daily lives that it’s easy to think they’re no big deal. Quite the opposite, concussions are considered a type of traumatic brain injury  and are really quite violent.

What is a concussion?

Concussions are caused by a blow to the head or body that results in the brain moving rapidly back and forth. Your brain is made of a mushy substance that is easily damaged by this type of movement against your strong (and quite pointy) inner skull. This bouncing can cause stretching on the brain cells and can have various side-effects. Concussions are serious. Even though they are not usually life threatening, they can do damage!

What are the signs?

Some of the common signs of a concussion are:

  • confusion
  • clumsiness
  • forgetfulness
  • slow response time

Some of the medical effects can be:

  • headache
  • vomiting or upset stomach
  • vision problems

Head to the emergency room if someone has:

  • trouble speaking
  • pupils that are different sizes
  • passed out
  • seizures

What should I do?

Get the person to stop participating in whatever activity they are doing, and don’t let them return until they have been given the okay by a medical professional. Even if they aren’t experiencing emergency room symptoms, head to the hospital or your local medical centre to get them reviewed.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident, call Auger Hollingsworth at 613-233-4529 to book a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. 

Drowsy driving is impaired driving

Here’s the scary truth: according to the Canada Safety Council, 20% of Canadians have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel, even if just momentarily. Even scarier, according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation approximately 26% of all fatal and injury crashes are related to fatigued driving.

We spend a lot of time focusing on drunk driving in Canada, but driving tired can be just as bad. In a study done by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, 92% of Ontario police officers surveyed said that they had stopped a driver who they thought was impaired only to discover that they were tired instead.  Driving tired and driving impaired can look very similar, yet the repercussions are not the same. Currently there is no charge for tired driving, so if there are no secondary effects (such as negligent driving, zig-zagging, etc.), then all a police officer can do it tell someone to pull over to sleep. Needless to say, a warning isn’t very deterring!

Where’s the stigma?

Driving while fatigued can have serious consequences, yet drowsiness lacks the stigma of driving under the influence. Without a blood level or drink count to measure, or severe laws to make sure people toe the line, it’s hard to create a culture where driving tired is unacceptable. How do we measure how tired someone is? At what point do you tell a friend that it’s not okay for them to drive home? Driving tired may not be as black and white as driving impaired, but if you notice someone losing concentration, yawning, or showing other signs of tiredness, really think about telling them not to drive.

Drowsy driving needs to be taken seriously

In a recent article in the Montreal Gazette, one coroner recommended tougher penalties for tired drivers, and stated they should be just as severe as those issued to drunk drivers. The facts back this up! It’s estimated that someone who has not slept for 18 hours is just as impaired as someone with a 50 mg% blood alcohol level.  More importantly, driving tired is something that is in your hands. You can choose to get more sleep or not, so it’s an accident that can be easily avoided.

What do you think? Should Ontario laws get tougher on tired drivers? If your answer is yes, let your MP know! Laws only change when we encourage them to.

If you were injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, get the help you need to recover by contacting the Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth at 613-233-4519.

Serious Pedestrian Accidents in Ottawa Act as Reminder to Watch Out!

Last night there were two pedestrian accidents in Ottawa with serious injuries. Even more worrisome is that both of these accident happened in the downtown region.

The first incident occurred after 8:00 in the evening at the intersection of Rideau and Waller, an intersection that is unfortunately known for an earlier fatal pedestrian accident that occurred in February. In the event last night, the man was hit by an OC Transpo bus and suffered serious head injuries as a result.

The second accident occurred in Centretown around 10:30 in the evening and left the pedestrian unconscious and with serious head injuries as well as injuries to his neck and legs. Even worse, the driver of the car left the scene.

These horrible accidents are a huge reminder of the importance of watching out for pedestrians at night. We know they are hard to see at times, but they are out there. Make sure you stay on the lookout especially in the downtown areas that have heavier pedestrian traffic.

If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, call us for a free consultation with on of the Auger Hollingsworth personal injury lawyers at 613-233-4529. All consultations are booked within 24-48.

Need an Injury Lawyer in Ottawa? Look No Further

We have 5 great Ottawa personal injury lawyers dedicated to your Ottawa personal injury case

The only thing better than having your personal injury case handled is knowing that there is whole team that has your back. At Auger Hollingsworth, there isn’t just one lawyer on your case; there is a whole team of personal injury lawyers who can work together to figure out tough problems. Don’t rely on the expertise of one, get the whole team!

Our paralegals and law clerks are highly trained and spend all day every day doing personal injury law

One of the major benefits of being a personal injury firm is that everyone is experienced with what a personal injury case needs, and I mean everyone! From the moment you step in the door, everyone you meet from our office administrator to our law clerks, paralegals, and lawyers, all work for personal injury clients. This focus gives our team a competitive edge. Our experience means fewer surprises and a better outcome for you.

We have two convenient locations to serve you, or we’ll come to your home or hospital

On top of our experience and personal injury specialty, we are very client-focused. We know that hiring a personal injury lawyer is about making your life easier, rather than adding a new thing to your to-do list. This past year we added a second location in the downtown Ottawa area, so that we’ll be easier to access for client in the Ottawa core. Also, if you’re finding it hard to travel because of your injuries, we’ll come to your home or hospital. So don’t worry about travel, we’ll come to you.

To book a free consultation at one of our offices, or at your home or hospital, give us a call at 613-233-4529. We’ll do an initial intake, and tell you right away what your best options are. Come see us today, we book most consultations within 24-48 hours!


Picking a Car Accident Lawyer in Ottawa? Here’s What You Need to Know

Not all Ottawa personal injury lawyers have the same experience

Pick the right car accident lawyer. There are many Ontario lawyers who practice personal injury law as well as real estate law, commercial litigation, employment law and family law. You wouldn’t want a family doctor handling your specialized organ transplant. Why would you want a generalist lawyer handling your injury case? Ontario personal injury law is constantly changing and evolving, and you need someone who spends enough time working in the field to keep updated on the changes.

Not only that, but we have experienced a broad range of personal injury cases, and have seen a huge caseload. Because of this, issues are less likely to come up because we know how to prepare and what to look out for. It’s not our first rodeo, so there are fewer surprises.

Ontario insurance companies know the fighters 

Lawyers, especially those in personal injury, have reputations. There are the ones who are known to always settle, and there are the ones who will go to court to get you what you deserve.

At Auger Hollingsworth, we have a major advantage. One of our lawyers, Richard Auger, has a lot of experience in criminal cases and medical malpractice. Criminal cases go to court all the time, and do so much more often than personal injury. Ontario lawyers beware: Auger Hollingsworth has fighters!

There is no cost unless you win at trial or receive a settlement

Most personal injury clients choose to handle fees through a contingency retainer. That means that we get paid only if we win your case and you get paid. This is called a contingent fee because our fee depends on whether we win your case. If we do not win your case, then we don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that!

Have questions about an accident you were in? Call our offices today at 613-233-4529 and ask about our free consultations.

Get Your Personal Injury Questions Answered!

A Q&A Session with Brenda Hollingsworth and Richard Auger

Q: What can Auger Hollingsworth do for me?

A: During our consultation, our personal injury lawyers will tell you what steps we can take to access insurance money for you in the shortest time with the highest likelihood of success. If you agree, our accident lawyers will prepare the documents and details needed to persuade the insurance company to compensate you fairly.

Q: How can a lawyer help after an accident?

A: Hiring a lawyer means you can get back to focusing on getting better and let us take care of all the paperwork. When you choose Auger Hollingsworth it means there will be no more worrying about whether you are making a mistake on your case; wondering if the insurance company is treating you fairly; dealing with the insurance adjuster; or tracking down your records.

Q: Why is it important to choose a lawyer who focuses on personal injury?

A: There are many Ontario lawyers who practice personal injury law as well as real estate law, commercial litigation, employment law and family law. You wouldn’t want a general surgeon handling your specialized heart surgery. Why would you want a generalist lawyer handling your injury case? Ontario personal injury law is constantly changing and evolving, and you need someone who spends enough time working in the field to keep updated on the changes.

Q: What do you need to evaluate my claim?

A: Sometimes we meet with clients who have no paperwork. That’s okay! Here is what we’d like, ideally. Our accident lawyers need to know how the accident occurred. Immediately after the accident, you should write down all you remember. A police officer investigating the accident will write down some important information in the accident report. We will get the report. We will also need to see your medical records, or at least the records you have, if you are still being treated by your doctor.

Q: Can you help with expert witnesses and investigators?

A: Yes, we have qualified, experienced professionals we depend on in many different fields. No matter which experts we need to hire on your case, our personal injury lawyers take care of everything with no up-front costs to you.

Q: Will the insurance company pay for my injuries?

A: The answer depends on the type and size of your claim, as well as how quickly you take action. If you call our Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we’ll ask you a few simple questions over the telephone. Then we’ll explain how to protect your legal rights and the steps we should take to make the insurance company pay you the money you deserve.

Q: When is the best time to call?

A: Call us as soon as you notice injuries from an accident. Even if you think it is only a “minor” injury, if you notice that it is not healing or going away, get in contact with us. When it comes to injuries, it’s always better to act sooner than later.

Time is of the essence, but getting your questions answered is much easier than you might think. Auger Hollingsworth, and most law firms in Ottawa, offer free consultations. So if you are injured and have been thinking about speaking to a lawyer, take the step, stop worrying, and get the information you need today.

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

Top 5 Subscription Services For Your At-Home Recovery!

Turn your accident recovery into a stay-cation with these fantastic subscription services.

1 ) For the Film Buff Netflix

When you sign up for Netflix you go through a questionnaire of the types of television shows and movies you have liked in the past. From there, Netflix recommends a list of shows and films you’ll love.

2 ) For the Trend Setter –

Want to receive a monthly package from your favourite celebs – such as Bill Nye, Pharrel Williams, Timothy Ferris, and so many others? Then Quarterly is for you. Read what they’re reading and try out the gadgets and gizmos they love.

3 ) For the Book Lover - Just the Right Book

Just the Right Book is like Netflix for books, but with a personal touch. Fill out a questionnaire and their reading experts hand-select the book just for you!

4 ) For the Craftster - Whimsey Box

Whimsey Box sends subscription boxes each month with a new craft project. Each box contains a guided how-to as well as all the materials that will be needed to complete it.

5 ) For the Techy - Fancy Gadget Box

Can’t reach the shops? The Fancy Gadget Box sends you a fun box each month full of new tech toys. Get the latest gizmos delivered right to your doorstep.

Know of another subscription service our injured clients might enjoy? Let us know at

Have questions about an injury? Give us a call at 613-233-452 and ask about our free, no-obligation consultations.

Will I be sued if someone was injured in my swimming pool?

After our segment on CTV Morning Live on July 9, 2014, a viewer wrote in to ask why she would be held responsible if someone was injured while acting “foolishly” in her swimming pool.  This is a great question.

It is very important to remember that under Ontario’s legal system, anyone can be sued for almost anything.  It only costs $181 dollars to file a Statement of Claim with the court.  When I am asked by someone if they “could be sued”, I always answer “yes” because there is no gatekeeper at the court who forbids the filing of claims that are doomed to failure.

Of course that does not mean that every law suit will be successful.  Nothing could be further than the truth.  The real question is, if some was injured while acting foolishly in your home pool, could you lose a lawsuit or be ordered to pay damages.  Every case is different and fact specific.  However, it is certainly true that you could be successfully sued if someone were injured in your pool.  As a pool owner it is very important to ensure that you have a decent amount of liability insurance.    Catastrophic injuries including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are frequent tragic consenquences of swimmimg pool accidents.  If there is liability, damages could be very high, into the multi-millions.

In Ontario, all property owners and occupiers are responsible for taking reasonable care to see that people on their premises are reasonably safe. This duty is set out in the Ontario Occupiers’ Liability Act and is similar to the usual common law duty of care  in a regulae negligence case. The duty is based on an objective test of reasonableness.    For pool owners, this duty likely includes a duty:

  • to ensure that your pool complies with all local by-laws and other safety codes,
  • to ensure that the pool and surrounding is in a safe condition.
  • to warn about where the deep end starts, and what that depth is
  • to provide a ring buoy or rescue hook or other rescue supplies.

The owner / occupier’s duty is even owed to tresspassers –like the midnight fence jumpers pool owners worry about!

If someone is at your home and acting foolishly around your swimming pool, you may well have a duty to intervene to save them from themselves.  Certainly, you would have a duty to control children and teens in and around your pool.

If a guest at your home is injured while acting foolishly, that foolish behaviour may result in a reduction of his or her damages based on contributory negligence.   However,  in high damage cases any percentage at fault could leave a home owner’s assets at risk without property liability insurance in place.




Why Are You Calling it an Accident When it Was Preventable?

After our segment on CTV Morning Live on July 9, 2014, a viewer emailed Brenda Hollingsworth to comment that all this talk of “accidents” was misplaced.  All the boating and swimming pool incidents we were discussing were not accidents, he argued, but preventable events.  Some clients have a similar reaction when we refer to their motor vehicle collision as an accident.

Here is Brenda’s explanation. You may or may not agree.

First, “motor vehicle accident” is a term of art.  All of the precedents, legal treaties, police paperwork etc, refer to motor vehicle accidents or MVAs.  Basically, the use of the word “accident” is so prevalent in my business that it rolls off my tongue without too much thought.  I did try to use motor vehicle collision for a while, but it didn’t stick.  In the U.S., many of the personal injury lawyers I know refer to car accidents as car “wrecks”.  That is certainly descriptive, but too harsh or graphic for me.

Second, when lawyers say “accident” what we mean is that the negligent actor / at-fault person / defendant did not INTEND to cause harm.   We sue for negligence.  We don’t prosecute intentional crime or assaults when we represent injured people in our office.  Our compensation model in Ontario focuses on the degree of injury to the victim, not the degree of fault or moral culpability of the wrong doer.  You don’t get more money if the accident was easliy preventable.  The quantum of damages is based on the severity of the victim’s impairments, assuming the other party caused the injuries.

From my perspective, the fact that an incident was preventable does not mean it wasn’t an accident.  Most accidents are preventable.  We spend a lot of time in our newsletter and on our website promoting safety and accident prevention.

What do you think?  Should we scrap the term accident? What word should we use instead?

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