Playing it safe: Playground safety tips for children in Ontario

Once your commute is planned, and your child is safe at school, the next thing to consider is playground safety. Here are three things to consider:

1) Play Structure Injuries

One of the most common accidents that happen on school property is play structure injury. We see lots of broken arms, and sometimes ankles, that get injured from either jumping or falling off of the play structure. The playground can be a rowdy place, but sometimes accidents can be avoided. At most schools that go from junior kindergarten to grade 6 or grade 8, there are several play structures that are made to suit the size of children. If your child is supposed to stay on the junior play structure make sure he or she knows why.

2) Repairs and Refills

Once your child knows the rules of the playground, make sure it’s a safe place. As a parent, take a look around the playground when you drop your kids off in the morning up pick them up after school. One thing we see with the clients that have come to our offices is that play structures don’t always have the appropriate amount of sand or cushioning. At the beginning of the season the grounds are usually prepped and ready to go, but by mid-season with all the wear and tear the wood chips or sand may need refilling. Same goes for the up keep around the school, such as basketball courts and cement walks. If you see something that makes you think, “someone is going to get hurt on that,” someone probably will! Tell your school’s principal.

3) What Should I Do?

The problem with a lot of school property issues is that everyone knows about unsafe areas, but no one does anything about it. If you notice something astray on the playground, whether it’s broken equipment or a dangerous area, let the principal of the school know. The school principal is ultimately responsible not just for the school but the schoolyard.

For more information on these types of injuries, catch Ottawa personal injury lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth discuss schoolyard safety on CTV Ottawa Morning Live.

If you have a child that was injured on school property, learn more about your rights by booking a free consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth at 613-233-1529.

3 Safety Tips For Your Child’s Commute

Whether your children walks, bikes, or take the school bus, it’s always a good idea to review their commute with them to make sure they’re both following the rules of the road and staying safe on their way to school. The responsibility of keeping our kids safe is a group effort that includes parents, teachers, schools, and property owners. Help keep the school commute safe with some of these tips.

Getting to School

Whether your child is walking, biking or taking the bus, there are many safety precautions to consider. Cycling accidents, for example, tend to occur on the way home when both children and adult drivers are tired and ready to relax. One way to prepare is to ask your child about the path they take on the way home from school and go over any roads, stoplights, or other traffic signals that he or she need to pay attention toyou’re your child is younger, consider biking or walking the route with him or her to help them get familiar with the steps to take, and what to watch out for.

Helmet Safety

We all know that children should be wearing helmets, but as young teens move up into grade 7, 8, and 9, sometimes they stop listening to the safety rules and need a reminder. Lay down some ground rules. What are the consequences if you find out they weren’t wearing a helmet? Make sure they know what the repercussions are and that they take helmets seriously, even if their friends don’t!

Parking Lot Safety

We all look out for the school bus traffic arm that pops out when children are about to walk across the road, but what about near schools? Lots of accidents occur during the period when both buses and cars are driving up for pickup. Children can dash between buses, and stray from the crowd. If you live near a school zone, or pick up your child at the end of each day, be wary of any hidden corners or areas out of view.

It’s important to note that even if the injured child darted onto the road, or disobeyed traffic laws, it is usually ultimately the driver who is held responsible for an accident. So it’s really important to stay alert, and expect bikers and children on your commute.

For more tips to ensure your child has a safe commute, catch Ottawa personal injury lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth discussing safe school commutes on CTV Ottawa Morning Live. 

If you have a question about an accident your child was in, or would like more information on the claims process. Call the Auger Hollingsworth offices at 613-233-4529 to book a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers.

Update: Transportation Safety Board says bus in VIA rail train collision was travelling over the speed limit

Investigations by the Transportation Safety Board into the OC Transpo bus that collided with a VIA Rail train last September in Ottawa killing 6 and injuring others have found that the bus was travelling over the speed limit at the time of the crash. Aside from speed, it was also found that the driver may have been looking at a monitor at the time of the accident, and was possibly distracted. The Transportation Safety Board has said that the bus was in working order at the time, but that breaks were only first applied 2 seconds before the accident.

The report states that there are many monitor screens in the driver’s cockpit, and though drivers are told not to stare at them, even glancing at them shortly can take their attention off the road. It is thought that glances to these screens may have been contributing to OC Transpo accidents.

Investigations are still ongoing and the final report will come later. Currently, the Transportation Safety Board is suggesting lowering speed limits near rail crossings and a review of the usage of monitors and screens in the driver’s area.

If you or a loved one has been injured on or by an OC Transpo bus, and you have questions, call our offices for a free consultation at 613-233-4529. Appointments can be booked within 24-48 hours.

Ontario Guide to Dog Bites: What to do and who to call

What do you do when man’s best friend bites? Get to know your Dog Owners’ Liability Act! In this article we cover some dog bite basics and answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

What you need to know as a dog owner

In Ontario we have the Dog Owner Liability Act that stipulates that if your dog bites someone else, you are held responsible. It doesn’t matter if the dog was being trained, if it was at the dog sitters, or if it escaped. The Dog Owner Liability Act is a strict liability statute.

For this reason, it is very important if you are a dog owner that you tell your home insurance or tenant insurance that you have a dog. If a situation arises where your dog bites someone, and that person needs compensation, you want to know for certain that you will be covered.

Steps to take after a dog bite if you are the victim

1) Collect names of any witnesses

2) Get the name of the dog owner and, if possible, collar information

3) Get medical attention ASAP

4) Take photos of your wounds

5) Call us 613-233-4529

Will the dog be put down after a dog bite?

A lot of dog lovers who have been seriously injured by a dog bite are hesitant to advance a lawsuit because they think the dog will be put down. Really, advancing a lawsuit is about compensation for your injuries. There’s nothing that happens in the lawsuit process that affects the dog. What bylaw or animal control determines about the dog, and what occurs in a lawsuit for compensation, are two different issues that don’t affect one another. Because of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, if a lawsuit is advanced it is only going to result in an insurance claim, and will not impact the life of the dog.

Have questions about a dog bite? Call us up for a free consultation at 613-233-4529. We can answer your questions over the phone or in person, whichever works best for you.

Rollover Accident on Blair Road at the 417 Overpass

Vehicle rollover accidents are among the most serious car accidents we see at Auger Hollingsworth.  Whether it’s a single vehicle accident or a rollover following a collision between two vehicles, it is rare for the driver and passengers in these serious accidents to all escape unharmed.

Saturday, September 20, 2014 a mother and her two children were in a car that flipped after a collision on the Blair Road overpass.  News sources indicate that both children and their mother were injured in the accident, at least one of them seriously.

Following a major motor vehicle accident like this one, it is important to consult with a local personal injury lawyer promptly.  Before making important decisions about one’s case, or one’s children’s case, it is vital to get unbiased information to help you deal with your own insurance company, as well as the insurance company from any other involved vehicle.

How do you do that?  Most Ottawa personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations to accident victims and their loved ones.  At Auger Hollingsworth, a lawyer will meet you at your home, in the hospital or at one of our two convenient locations– Woodroffe Avenue or O’Connor Street.

Wondering what to do after a serious car accident?  Call our firm at 613 233-4529 and we will provide you with the information you need to protect your rights.




Brenda Hollingsworth Chosen as One of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs

Ottawa, CANADA – September 18th, 2014. Ottawa Lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth has been chosen as one of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs by PROFIT/Chatelaine W100. This year, Ms. Hollingsworth, co-owner and head of the personal injury practice at Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation, ranked 88th in the 16th annual W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, produced by PROFIT Magazine and Chatelaine.

Ranking Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs on a composite score based on the size, growth rate and profitability of their businesses, the W100 profiles the country’s most successful female business owners. Published in the October issue of Canadian Business, the November issue of Chatelaine and online at and, the W100 is Canada’s largest annual celebration of entrepreneurial achievement by women.

“This recognition says as much as of the dedication of the Auger Hollingsworth team as it does about individual entrepreneurship,” said Ms. Hollingsworth. “Any woman business leader knows that success is a group effort, and growth only happens when of all of the pieces of the puzzle come together.”

Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation, an Ottawa personal injury law firm, was founded by Ms. Hollingworth and Richard Auger in 2005. Over the years, Ms. Hollingsworth has established herself as top-tier lawyer in the field of personal injury law and a leader and role model for women in business in Ottawa. This year has been an especially successful one for Ms. Hollingsworth as Auger Hollingsworth expanded from 5 to 13 employees, and added a second office in the downtown core, all under her direction.

The fact that Ms. Hollingsworth is as passionate about entrepreneurship as she is about practicing law and serving injured victims has been demonstrated in the growth of her business. She has been committed to developing new marketing strategies, including the implementation of a sophisticated education- based marketing system. She has stayed on the cutting edge of technological change to help develop business in new and innovative ways.

“This year’s W100 represent the absolute best of Canada’s business community,” said James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of Canadian Business and PROFIT. “Female entrepreneurs are too often stereotyped as ‘mompreneurs’ pursuing part-time hobby businesses. But the W100 demonstrate just how vital they are to driving innovation and growth in the Canadian economy.”

About Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation

Founded in 2005 by Brenda Hollingsworth and Richard Auger, Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation is a personal injury and accident law firm based in Ottawa. Their clients include those who have been injured in auto, pedestrian, or cycling accidents as well as slips and falls and more.

About PROFIT and
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent media brand dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 32 years, Canadian entrepreneurs across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. PROFIT appears inside every issue of Canadian Business and is online at

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving, best-selling and most-trusted business publication in the country. With a readership of more than 750,000, it is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Canadian Business provides concrete examples of business achievement, thought-provoking analysis and compelling storytelling, all in an elegant package with bold graphics and great photography. Canadian Business—what leadership looks like.

About Chatelaine

The country’s leading women’s media brand, Chatelaine makes “Everyday Extraordinary” for Canadian women and has been doing so for more than 85 years. Today, Chatelaine is a six-platform brand: available on television, radio, tablet and smartphone, plus in print and online. Chatelaine has a lively presence on social media sites, and is Canada’s most engaged digital community for women 18+. With a team of “extraordinary” experts, Chatelaine brings together the very best of food (from The Chatelaine Kitchen powered by GE Café), style, decor, health and real life for women who want to look good, do good, feel great and make every day a little bit special. Chatelaine also has a line of retail products. Chatelaine is owned and operated by Rogers Media Inc., a division of Rogers Communications.


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.

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