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
  • Statutory Accident Benefits

    If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, including as a pedestrian or cyclist, you may be entitled to statutory accident benefits. This is true even if you have caused the accident. This section of the website addresses the questions asked by people like you who have suffered Ontario car accidents. Need legal advice? Call us at 613 860-4529.

    Completing Statutory Accident Benefits Forms

    If you have had a motor vehicle accident, you will probably receive forms from your insurance company to complete.  Alternatively, you might download the forms from the FSCO website.  These forms relate to your application for Statutory Accident Benefits, also known as “no-fault” benefits in Ontario.

    In order to claim Statutory Accident Benefits, you MUST complete these three documents:

    • Application for Accident Benefits (OCF-1)
    • Employer’s Confirmation (OCF-2)
    • Disability Certificate (OCF3).

    You will also receive a Permission to Disclose (OCF5), and Expense Claim (OCF6), a Treatment and Assessment Plan (OCF18)  and a Treatment Confirmation (OCF 23).  These forms are not mandatory and are not needed to start your claim.

    Timelines for Completing the Statutory Accident Benefit Forms

    There are timelines for completing the statutory accident benefit forms, but being a little but late will usually not cause problems, especially if there is a good reason.

    The Application for Accident Benefits, OCF1, should be submitted within 30 days from the day you receive the forms.

    The Disability Certificate, OCF3, should be submitted within 10 days of the completion of the Application for Accident Benefits.

    Who Should Complete the Statutory Accident Benefit Forms

    The Application for Statutory Accident Benefits, OCF1, should be completed by the person applying for accident benefits.  That person is referred to as the “claimant”.  A lawyer or a paralegal can help the claimant complete the form.  Auger Hollingsworth regularly assists clients with this form.

    The Employer’s Confirmation, OCF2, has a section that is completed by the claimant.  The balance of the form is to be completed by the claimant’s employer.  If the claimant has had more than 1 employer over the past 52 weeks, each employer should complete a copy of the OCF2.

    The Disability Certificate, OCF3, has a section that is completed by the claimant.  The balance of the form is to be completed by a health practitioner.  This includes a physician, chiropractor, dentist, occupational therapist, optometrist, psychologist, physiotherapist, nurse practitioner and speech language pathologist.  We highly recommend whenever possible that your PHYSICIAN complete the form.  He or she can submit an invoice for completing the form together with the form.

    Where do you Send the Forms

    If you received the forms directly from your own auto insurer, the return address is probably stamped on the forms, or identified in the cover letter that accompanied the forms.  Send them there.

    If you downloaded the forms, you will have to determine where to send them.  Remember that where you send your forms is not dependent on who was at fault for the accident.  Consider:

    • If you have your own car insurance on your own car, send it to that insurer.  That is true even if your own car was not involved in the accident.
    • If you are listed as a driver on an insurance policy, send it to that insurer.
    • If you are dependent on someone or the spouse of someone who has his / her own insurance or is listed on an insurance policy, send it to that insurer.
    • If you do not have insurance and are not a spouse or dependent of someone with insurance, send the forms to the insurance company that covers the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident.
    • If you do not have insurance and are not a spouse or dependent of someone with car insurance and were struck as a pedestrian or cyclist, send the forms to the insurance company of the vehicle that struck you.
    • If you do not have insurance and are not a spouse or dependent of someone with car insurance and the vehicle you were in does not have insurance, send the forms to the insurance company for any other vehicle involved in the accident.
    • If all else fails, send the forms to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

    Need Help Completing your Statutory Accident Benefit Forms?

    At Auger Hollingsworth we help accident victims complete Accident Benefit forms on a regular basis.  Why not give us a call to see if we can help you?  Call us at 613 233-4529 for a free no obligation appointment.

     

    Ontario’s 2015 Budget is Bad for Accident Victims

    Last week the Ontario provincial government released its 2015 budget.  Although it did not get a lot of attention, an entire section of the budget is dedicated to proposed changes to how injured victims are treated after a motor vehicle accident.

    By and large, the news is not good.

    The first proposal is to change the standard benefit level for medical and rehabilitation benefits to $65,000 (from $50,000) and to include attendant care services under this benefit limit.  Although this looks like an increase, it is actually a decrease.  Attendant care services of $36,000 are currently in place for the standard benefit package.  What happened to that $21,000 of coverage?  Gone!

    The second proposal is to include attendant care services with the $1 million medical and rehabilitation benefit for catastrophic impairments.  Again, catastrophically injured victims currently have access to $1 million for EACH of medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits.   The Premier was asked why Ontario was making this change.  Her answer was that Ontario has very “generous” benefits.   Generous is relative.  If you are a young person with a severe spinal cord injury, you will very quickly learn that $1 million is not very much money.  There was no reason provided to explain why the insurance companies require this change.

    The third proposal is to reduce the standard duration of medical and rehabilitation benefits from 10 years to five years for all claimants except children.    Given the long wait times for MRIs and some types of orthopedic surgeries, there will be some accident victims who will not get proper rehab after their accident because the benefits will expire before they have time to use them.

    The fourth proposal is to eliminate the six-month waiting period for non-earner benefits and limit the duration of non-earner benefits to two years after the accident.  In order to qualify for non-earner benefits, you have to be completely unable to live a normal life.  Only the most injured people qualify for this benefit.  Currently, there is a 6 month waiting period to qualify, but the benefits last until age 65 and then decrease in amount to age 70.  This is a very significant cut that will hurt Ontario’s most vulnerable.  The benefit is currently $185 per week.

    There are other proposed changes that will negatively impact accident victims.  For example, the $30,000 deductible on damages for pain and suffering is going to be indexed to inflation.  That deductible applies to pain and suffering awards under $100,000.  That $100,000 number is also going to be indexed to inflation.  Indexing to inflation seems reasonable.  However, where the dollar figures are to the benefit of accident victims, there is no proposal to index for inflation. For example, the income replacement benefit under the Statutory Accident Benefits has been $400 per week for more than a decade.  The non-earner benefit is $185 per week.   How about a little indexing there?

    Overall, this budget is a kick in the teeth to people who have already been kicked in the teeth!  And really, there is no explanation for why these changes are necessary or assist Ontarians.   The government seems to want to be congratulated  for lowering insurance premiums.  However,  it is no great feat to get a lower price for a lower quality insurance policy.

    Ontarians will be getting less coverage for (maybe, it remains to be seen) lower premiums.  If you want to maintain your level of coverage, you have to pay for upgrades, i.e. pay more for the same.

    Why no uproar?  Primarily because the people who will be negatively impacted by these changes do not know it yet.  These are accidents waiting to happen.

     

    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.

     

    What are the New Changes to Statutory Accident Benefits in Ontario?

    The government recently made changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits that will affect personal injury victims. There are three major changes that will have an impact on the following aspects of personal injury law:

    • how pre-existing conditions are dealt with under the Minor Injury Guideline
    • attendant care benefits for family members
    • the ability to alter benefits if the injuries are designated catastrophic

    Change #1: Pre-existing Injuries and the Minor Injury Guideline

    The first major change is an alteration to the Minor Injury Guideline. When you are placed in the Minor Injury Guideline, it means you will be given no more than $3,500 to recuperate from your injuries. With many injuries, you want to avoid the Minor Injury Guideline because $3,500 is not enough to help you fully recover. Previously, if you already had an injury that prevented you from reaching maximum recovery, then the Minor Injury Guideline (including the $3,500 insurance benefit limit) would no longer apply. Under the updated regulations, if your doctor has not recorded that you already had a pre-existing injury in your file before your accident then you are stuck in the Minor Injury Guideline. These changes will have a negative impact on those who do not have a doctor, or did not make a visit to their doctor, before their accident.

    Change #2: Attendant Care

    Family members often choose to stay at home to take care of an injured loved one. This will become difficult to do under the new changes. In the updated regulations, if the care provider is not working in their ordinary employment, then the attendant care benefit will not be more than the economic loss directly sustained while providing care. Overall, more and more families will have to return to work and have their loved one taken care of by health care professionals.

    Change #3: Election of Benefits and Catastrophic Injuries

    Our health changes over time. The goal is that you will heal after your injuries, but sometimes we unfortunately get worse. Previously, if your injuries became catastrophic, then you could have your caregiver benefits updated with 30 days. Under the new regulations, the election of benefits is final regardless of any changes. This hurts personal injury victims by not allowing their benefits to accurately represent their injuries.

    Learn more by watching Brenda Hollingsworth discuss the changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits on CTV Ottawa Morning with host Lianne Laing.

    Have questions about how these new regulations will impact your personal injury claim? Call a personal injury lawyer such as Auger Hollingsworth at 613-233-4529 to book a free, no-obligation consultation.

    How can I claim Ontario no-fault benefits in a motor vehicle accident?

    The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office are often asked about Ontario no-fault benefits and how they can be applied for after a motor vehicle accident.

    The best way for you to get an answer that applies to you specifically is to contact us directly by calling 613-860-4529.  The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office can help you reach your insurance company and get the needed forms sent to you.

    Victims of motor vehicle accidents often get confused about Ontario no-fault benefits because they can be called by various names:  accident benefits, statutory accident benefits, ABs, SABS…. However, these different names all mean the same thing. Everyone has Ontario no-fault benefits through their own car insurance. You can apply for them by contacting your insurance provider and reporting the accident. The insurance company will then send you an accident benefit application form.

    However, even if you do not have insurance, because you do not own a car, you are still able to claim Ontario no-fault benefits.  Contact our office and we will help you determine whose insurer will provide you with accident benefits. 

    Lianne Laing and Brenda Hollingsworth speak about what Ontario no-fault benefits are and the process to claim them on CTV Morning Live.

    If you have questions about Ontario no-fault benefits that you are entitled to and the steps to take to claim them call Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers at 613-860-4529 to learn your rights.

    Ontario limitation periods. How long do I have to file my Ontario personal injury lawsuit?

    The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office are often asked about Ontario limitation periods. Victims of personal injury want to know how long they have to file a claim for their Ontario accident.

    The best way to get an answer specific to your case is to call us at 613-860-4529. Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers can tell you who you need to notify after your accident and how long you have to do so.

    Majority of adults have two years to start the process of a lawsuit after their motor vehicle accident or slip and fall accident in Ontario. When children are injured in an accident the time restraints are usually longer. However, when giving notice of a potential claim the window for notification is much shorter. These time restraints are what we call limitation periods.

    Lianne Laing and Brenda Hollingsworth cover this topic and answer a caller’s question about Ontario limitation periods for her slip and fall accident on municipal property during CTV Morning Live.

    If you have questions after your Ontario motor vehicle accident or slip and fall accident call Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 613-860-4529. We can advise you on the next step to take to file your claim and make sure you have filed all appropriate notifications within the Ontario limitation period.

    In an Eastern Ontario motor vehicle accident how am I compensated if I need to be retrained for work?

    If you are a victim of an Eastern Ontario motor vehicle accident and you are left unable to perform your work duties, you may need retraining or modified tasks in your job.  Any time your livelihood is impacted by an accident, you should look to a personal injury lawyer for advice. The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office often get asked what compensation accident victims have when they cannot return to work.

    After an Eastern Ontario personal injury where retraining is required, you may have funding under the Ottawa no-fault benefits.  These benefits are also called SABS, ABs or Statutory Accident Benefits.   Retraining can involve working with a vocational rehabilitation therapist, an occupational therapist and several other health care professionals.

    When your career is jeopardized and results in a loss of income,  you may also be able to claim the loss of income in a law suit against the at-fault driver, provided that you can provide adequate proof of the loss and job path.  An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to build the income loss portion of your case.

    Kurt Stoodley and Brenda Hollingsworth talk about income loss and Ontario accident compensation when a victim needs retraining for work.

    For more information you can also request a copy of our book Injured Victim’s Guide to Fair Compensation.

    If you have been left unable to perform work duties due to an Eastern Ontario motor vehicle accident and want to have your case evaluated by a personal injury lawyer contact the Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office at 613-860-4529 for a free consultation.

     

     

    Why should I hire an Ontario lawyer who has a focus in personal injury after my Ontario personal injury accident?

    When searching online or in the Yellow Pages for an Ontario lawyer after your Ontario personal injury accident,  a large pool of potential lawyers will be available. However, not all lawyers have a focus on personal injury cases.  The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office get asked by many accident victims looking for a lawyer why they should look for an Ontario personal injury lawyer and not a lawyer they know,  or one with a strong reputation in another field of law.

    For a personal answer to this case,  your best option is to call us at 613-860-4529.

    The field of personal injury is complex.   You want a lawyer who has a lot of experience dealing with personal injury cases and who knows the law.   Ontario has the most complex system for motor vehicle accidents due to the blended fault/no-fault system.

    Lianne Laing and Brenda Hollingsworth talk about the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer for personal injury cases on CTV Morning Live. Watch as Brenda Hollingsworth also answers a viewer’s question about lawyers who say you do not have a case.  Brenda explains why you need to make sure the lawyer you are talking to is a personal injury lawyer who handles a range of personal injury cases.

    The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office focus exclusively on personal injury and know the best professionals to use to support your case. Every doctor, insurance company, and therapist is different and you want a lawyer that knows which ones will support your case in the most effective way and which ones can be more challenging to work with.

    If you have suffered an Ontario motor vehicle accident or slip and fall accident call Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 613-860-4529.

    Should I sue after an Ontario slip and fall accident?

    An Ontario slip and fall accident can have a range of injuries from minor to serious. Either way, a fall can severely impact the way you go about living your day-to-day life while trying to recover. However, is it practical for all slip and fall victims to seek compensation for your injuries?

    For personalized advice on your Ontario slip and fall accident call Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers at 613-860-4529.

     Not every time you slip and fall is there a claim.  However, if you can prove there was negligence by someone in control of the property where you fell, you may have a claim. For the most part, if the injuries and discomfort are minor and completely disappear within a few days to three weeks you may not want to follow through with a claim. However, if your pain persists for more than a month you may have a valid claim.   The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office can provide you with a free consultation to explain your rights and current situation.

    Lianne Laing and Brenda Hollingsworth answer a caller’s question on CTV Morning Live about suing for an Ontario slip and fall accident and what the best course of action is depending on the severity of the injuries

     If you have been injured in an Ontario slip and fall accident and want to know what your next step should be contact the Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office for a free consultation at 613-860-4529.

    When should I call the Police after an Ontario motor vehicle accident?

    After suffering a motor vehicle accident in Ottawa there are many things going through your mind.  Many people wonder when they should call the Police to the scene.  Is it only when there is significant damage to the car, or are there other considerations to keep in mind?

    If you have been involved in an Ontario motor vehicle accident and sustained injuries resulting in a loss of work or mobility call Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers at 613-860-4529 for a free consultation. We can advise you on the best options for your claim and how to pursue compensation.

    There are a lot of considerations to take into account after an Ontario motor vehicle accident. The amount of damage on a car can be deceiving.  A trailer hitch for example can take a great deal of impact without looking overly damaged. However, the driver could have suffered significant impact from the hit.

    There is never a “bad reason” to call the Police when in a motor vehicle accident in Ottawa. If you feel any pain or think you may have suffered a personal injury,  call the police to attend the scene so that they will file a report. It will help you support your claim later on.

    Watch CTVMorning Live as Kurt Stoodley and Brenda Hollingsworth speak about personal injury claims after an Ontario motor vehicle accidents and when to call the Police.

    Have you suffered an Ontario motor vehicle accident? Call the Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office for a free consultation. They can show you your rights and how to fight for fair compensation.

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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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