Auger & Hollingsworth

  • You have amazed me with you talents... and won for me settlements that I did not believe were even real wishes. Thank you... you and your company were the ones that gave us peace of mind and a future in the end. Thank you so much!

    Sheldon Fraser, Motor Vehicle Accident Client
  • 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.

    Why is the legal process of my Ontario personal injury claim so long?

    After clients have filed their Ontario personal injury claim,  they can be surprised by the length of time it takes to see any real action. Clients want to know why their lawsuit is taking time to unfold and what is currently being done.

    To have your questions on the claim process answered, call Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers at 613-860-4529.  We can explain the process of information gathering, tracking records, and why these factors contribute to the time it takes for you to see progress.

    For the first 6 months of a claim, we do a significant amount of work behind the scenes that clients do not see.

    Watch as Lianne Laing and Brenda Hollingsworth talk about the process of an Ontario personal injury claim.  We describe in detail  the steps involved in information tracking and authorizations that help to build your case toward success on CTV Morning Live.

    If you have suffered an Ontario personal injury and would like to receive advice on how to proceed with a claim contact Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers at 613-860-4529. They can start your claim and get you on track towards the compensation you deserve.

    Client Earns More Compensation with an Ottawa Lawyer

    OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – An example from yesterday reminds me of how vulnerable most accident victims are when it comes to asserting their rights to accident benefits. We have a seriously injured Ottawa man whose accident took place in the late fall 2008.
    He came to see us because he had not received any housekeeping assistance. Little did he know how much he was actually entitled to…
    We sorted through his file and determined there were multiple benefits that he had not accessed and we initiated the process. The insurance adjuster, very friendly, writes back and says “Yes, you are entitled to these benefits, but you did not submit receipts so you won’t get them. We look forward to receiving your receipts from now on.”

    Excuse me? How does he get receipts for benefits he does not know exist? How does he pay for those benefits with money he has not received?

    Most lay people, I believe, would take that answer at face value and give up on four months’ benefits. However, we were able to write a letter citing the case law that told the adjuster that her position was wrong and that she had to pay the back benefits.

    The result? A letter OF APOLOGY (yes, you are reading right) from the adjuster indicating that she was not aware of the law on that point and indicating that she was recommending that the insurer make payment.

    That issue has two positive offspins: First, the client gets the money which he really needs. Second, and also important, the power balance shifts. Now we have an adjuster who, within the first few weeks of dealing with me, has had to apologize and admit she knows less than I do.

    Have you been injured in an Ontario accident? A top personal injury lawyer can help you make a claim for the insurance compensation you need. For more information, contact the Ottawa injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email info@ottawalawfirm.ca or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

    Ottawa Lawyer | Comments on the FSCO Recommendations

    OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER -The long-awaited five year review on car insurance was released today by the Superintendent of FSCO. FSCO is the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the body that oversees insurance in Ontario.

    In the report are 39 recommendations for the reform of auto insurance. The changes are focused mainly on creating savings from statutory accident benefits. Statutory accident benefits are the no-fault benefits available after an accident, regardless of fault. Many people think they are too expensive and too cumbersome.

    We are still reading the 5-year review, however, one important recommendations urges the government to consider easing the restrictions on the ability of injured victims to sue the people who caused an accident. The Superintendent suggests:

    1. Reducing the deductible on non-pecuniary general damages from $30,000 to $20,000. This is very important! Right now if your damages for pain and suffering are less than $100,000, the insurance company does not have to pay the first $30,000. Talk about a “tax on pain”;

    2. Reducing the deductible on Family Law Act claims from $15,000 to $10,000.Also important. If your loved one loses your care and companionship, the insurance company does not have to pay the first $15,000. Given that these awards are very low to begin with, the deductible often wipes the damages out altogether.

    3. Eliminating the $15,000 deductible on fatal accident claims; This one should be pretty obvious!

    4. Revoking the regulation defining the “Verbal Threshold”. Right now you can only sue if you have a serious and permanent injury The Verbal Threshold are those words “serious” and “permanent”. (The requirement is more complicated than that, but this is a blog post so that will have to do!) A few years ago the government published a regulation that attempted to narrow who could sue by defining “serious and permanent” in a restrictive sense. The regulation was particularly restrictive for injured people who were not in the workforce, such as retirees, homemakers and the unemployed.

    If these changes came to pass, Ontario would have a more fairer tort claim system. Tell your member of provincial parliament that you support the tort reform proposed in the 5-year review! They need to hear from you.

    UPDATE: As I continue to research the recommendations by the FSCO Superintendent, I note other interesting recommendations.
    Insurance companies may like these:
    • a single health professional to direct a claimant’s rehabilitation. The concept is that this will reduce the chance of a multiple treating professionals making interventions in the claims process. Simplify.
    • capping the cost of completing forms (including any assessment required to complete the form) at $200, and capping all other assessment costs at $2,000. This one can be tricky. You can’t get treatment if you can’t get it approved. You can’t get it approved if you don’t get an assessment. You don’t get an assessment if the practitioner won’t do one for the insurance company’s rate;
    • limiting availability of in-home assessments to seriously injured claimants only. Hmm…What does serious mean? In home visits by occupational therapists are sometimes the life line for injured victims; and
    • converting mandatory housekeeping and home maintenance expenses and caregiver benefits into optional benefits that can be purchased or not. This suggestion makes sense as long as the insurance brokers who sell accident benefit policies are well educated on advising their customers about the options.
    In addition to the reduction in the thresholds discussed in the post below, accident victims will like:
    • Further consultation with experts in the field to amend the definition of “catastrophic impairment.” This definition is tricky and somewhat mysterious. The level of accident benefits you receive after an accident depends on whether or not you are “cat”. And yet, unless you are paraplegic, quadriplegic, blind or in a few other specific categories, it sure is tough right now to know if you qualify for the higher level of benefits.
    • The accident benefit forms and application process will be simplified. Halleluja! The forms are basically impossible for anyone without a law degree. And even then…; Many, many people show up on my office doorstep simply because they cannot complete the forms. I suspect a pleasant offshoot of this reform for insurance companies will be fewer lawyer involvements.

    Have you been involved in an Ontario accident and obtained injuries? An Ottawa personal injury lawyer knows the most up-to-date information on your insurance benefits. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email info@ottawalawfirm.ca or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

    Ontario’s Auto Insurance Deductible Hurts You

    OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – It was a great week last week for three of my injured car accident victims in Ottawa. Their injury cases all settled, relatively early in the process, and all clients were pleased with the outcome. I was happy too. I felt like each of the clients achieved a fair settlement considering Ontario’s compensation framework.

    The case I want to discuss, however, highlights the issue with the deductible that applies to general damage awards under $100,000. General damages refers to the money you get to compensate you for pain and suffering.

    The case is covered by confidentiality clause so I can’t spell out the detail. But I can give you enough of the gist to make the point.

    My client was an older individual who was injured after being rearended by a small truck. We settled on the basis that he would receive damages for pain and suffering and past and future housekeeping and attendant care. Given his age, his future care costs would all be covered by the accident benefit carrier so were not an issue.

    His three adult children each contributed very significantly to his care post accident and it was agreed that they would be awarded family law act damages for their efforts. Family Law Act damages refer to damages received by family members for the loss of care, guidance and companionship between the family member and the injured person.

    When all was said and done, what deductible do you think applied to the case? First, the gentleman’s damages for pain and suffering were less that $100,000, so there was a $30,000 deductible right there. Second, the damages awarded to each child as family law act damages were reduced by the $15,000 deductible, for a total additional reduction of $45,000.

    All in all, this client’s settlement was $75,000 less than it would have been if it were not for the deductibles.

    If you think there is a problem with this picture, why not let your Provincial Member of Parliament know how you feel? The provincial government in Ontario is currently reconsidering the deductible. My own MPP has indicated that he does not think Ontarians care about this issue because no-one (apart from me) had ever raised it with him.

    If you have been injured in Ontario and are interested in getting fair compensation from your insurance company, a top personal injury lawyer can help. For more information, contact the Ottawa accident lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email info@ottawalawfirm.ca or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

    Ottawa Lawyer: Settling Your Ontario Accident Benefits on Your Own?

    Settling Your Ontario Accident Benefits on Your Own?

    If you have had an Ontario motor vehicle accident and more than one year has passed, if you are handling your case without an Ontario personal injury lawyer, your accident benefit insurer may approach you to settle your claim.  If you settle your claim, all future accident benfits will cease, even if you get worse.  As a result, it is important to ensure you get enough money in the settlement to cover your reasonable costs.

    AVOID THESE BIG MISTAKES THAT COST YOU MONEY!!!

    When you settle your accident benefits, you will generally be settling all past, present and future claims to benefits arising from the particular accident. Future claims are pretty easy to understand.  No more treatment plans will be approved and there will be no future benefits funded.

    However, there are some pitfalls you can fall into:

    Treatment Plans: Once you settle your accident benefits, the insurer does NOT have to pay to complete already-approved treatment plans, unless that is specifically part of the settlement deal.  In other words, if 12 chiro appointments have been approved, and you have only completed 6, you do not automatically get the remaining 6 treatments funded unless that is a negotiated part of the settlement.

    The insurer will (or should) pay for treatment up to the date of settlement.  Make sure you make this an express term of the settlement.  If you can’t negotiate that term, find out from the adjuster or treatment provider how much is owed to the treatment providers so you know how much of that you will have to pay out of your settlement moneys.  In some cases,  insurers are months behind in payments to your physiotherapist or massage therapist.  Make sure you are informed before you commit to pay out any amounts owing out of the settlement.

    Expenses: If you have already submitted expenses incurred for mileage, prescriptions or other out-of-pocket expenses but have not received payment for them, don’t assume those are on top of the settlement because they were already submitted.  Again, unless they are expressly negotiated, anything already submitted to the insurer will be lumped into the settlement.

    Income Replacement Benefits: If, as is often the case, your income replacement benefits are in arrears, it is not a given that payment will be made for those arrears in addition to the settlement.  This is something you need to make an express term of the settlement.

    Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer – Free Information

    We have had a lot of great articles that have been picked up on the web over the past few weeks.

    Here they are some for starters:

    Let us know what you think.

    Have you been involved in an Ontario accident and are dealing with injury as a result? After receiving the medical treatment you need, it’s important to get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you proceed with your claim. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email info@ottawalawfirm.ca or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

    Ontario Lawyer | You and The Insurance Adjuster- Understanding the Adjuster’s Role

    You and The Insurance Adjuster-  Understanding the Adjuster’s Role in an Ontario Claim

     

    Every month we receive telephone calls from Ontario accident victims who have been dealing directly with the insurance company in an effort to get fair compensation.  In many cases it is possible for a non-lawyer to handle his or her own claim and come out just fine, especially if the injuries are small and the loss is straightforward. 

    However, the most serious mistake injured victims make is believing that the Ontario  insurance adjuster is on their side and is working for them.  This belief is just plain wrong and leads to many problems obtaining fair compensation for your case.

    It is a fact that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company.  That is true regardless of whether the adjuster is an employee of the insurance company or a so-called independent adjuster who has been contracted to look after your case.  It is also true if the adjuster is called a “claims representative” or a “customer service representative”.  The person sent by the insurance company to meet with you or who calls you on the telephone from the insurance company works exclusively for the insurance company.

     

    The mandate of the insurance adjuster is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible.  The mandate is not to ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve.

    When the personal injury lawyers at Ottawa law firm Auger Hollingsworth explain this to injured victims and their families, they are often sceptical.  We are told:  “The insurance adjuster seemed so nice.”   “She came to the hospital with a cheque for our parking expenses.” “She sent flowers.”  All of this may be true.  It does not change what the adjuster is there to do.  In fact, the nicer the adjuster, the more likely you are to agree to whatever proposal she makes. 

    Auger Hollingsworth is not saying all insurance adjusters are evil.  The vast majority of insurance adjusters are decent professionals who are just doing their job.  Our personal injury lawyers enjoy excellent professional relationships with most adjusters.  The fact remains, however, that their job is to settle your case, and all of the cases they are handling, for the least amount possible.

    Would it make sense to have an Ottawa personal injury lawyer review your claim for compensation to see if you are on the right track?  The personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth offer no obligation free consultations to all injured victims whom we believe we can help.  To schedule a free consultation or to speak to a lawyer about your case, contact us today at info@ottawalawfirm.ca or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

    Important Answers About Statutory Accident Benefits

    QUESTION 1: I was in a car accident. Who Pays my Medical Expenses?

    Ontario has a partial no fault car insurance system. That means that there are certain benefits that are paid to an injured person regardless of whether or not you were at fault in the accident, subject to some narrow exceptions.

    These benefits are called Statutory Accident Benefits.  They are also called, SABS, ABs or no-fault benefits.

    These benefits include some medical expenses that you may face that are not covered by OHIP.  The funding available depends on how serious your injuries are.

    There are three levels of medical / rehabilitation benefits: $3500, $50,000 and $1Million.   Some people purchase optional increased benefits as well.

    QUESTION 2: What Benefits Are Available?

    Some of the compensation you can claim as Statutory Accident Benefits include:

    • Income Replacement Benefit — compensates for lost wages up to a ceiling
    • Caregiver Benefit — compensates where the injured person was the caregiver for a family member
    • Non-earner Benefit — compensates people who cannot carry on normal life but who do not qualify for income replacement or caregiver benefits
    • Medical Benefit — compensates for medical expenses
    • Rehabilitation Benefit — compensates for rehabilitation expenses
    • Attendant Care Benefit — compensates you for expenses when you need a caregiver

    You can also recover benefits for items damaged in the accident, such as glasses or clothing. Also, in some cases you can recover benefits for housekeeping, home maintenance, lost educational expenses and family visits.  Note:  not everyone has all of the coverage above.  Check with your insurance agent  to see what optional benefits you purchased.

    QUESTION 3: Do I Automatically Qualify for the Benefits?

    The benefits are not automatic. You have to apply for them, using a system of forms that will be provided to you by the responsible insurance company upon request. Some of the benefits require your doctor or other health care provider to complete a certificate indicating that you need the services.

    A lawyer or a law clerk can assist you with the forms if you find them difficult to complete.

    QUESTION 4: What Insurance Company is Responsible for My Benefits?

    If you have auto insurance, or are a listed driver on someone’s auto insurance, your own insurance company will answer your claim for Statutory Accident Benefits.

    If you do not have your own auto insurance, you will still be entitled to Statutory Accident Benefits. There are rules for virtually every situation. For example, if you were a pedestrian or a cyclist, your Statutory Accident Benefits will be paid by the company that ensures the car that hit you. If you were a passenger, the Benefits will be paid by the company that insures the car you were riding in.

    In situations where there is no insured driver involved in the accident, there is a special fund available to provide benefits.

    Contact Us

    For more information about obtaining your Statutory Accident Benefits, contact Richard Auger or Brenda Hollingsworth by calling 613 233-4529 or using our online Contact Form

    Ottawa Statutory Accident Benefit Lawyers | Ottawa No-fault Benefits Lawyers

    Ottawa Statutory Accident Benefit Lawyers | Ottawa No-fault Benefits Lawyers

    All Ottawa drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians are entitled to claim for accident benefits if they are injured in a motor vehicle accident. This is true, regardless of  who was a fault for the accident or whether the injured person has his/her own insurance.

    The Statutory Accident Benefits are also known as SABS or no-fault benefits.

    Here is a summary of what you could be eligible to receive:

    Weekly Benefits:

    Income Replacement Benefits (Up to 2 years post accident)
    The income replacement benefit (IRB) compensates the insured person for lost income up to $400.00/week if any injury resulting from an automobile accident or other vehicle accident prevents you from working at your own occupation. The benefit is available for up to 104 weeks (2 years). For accidents before September 2010, it is based on 80% of your net employment income.  For accidents after September 2010, it is based on 70% of gross employment income.

    No benefit is payable for the first week following the accident.

    Some insurance policies provide for higher amounts of income replacement benefits benefits.

    Income Replacement Benefits (Post 2 years)
    The IRB continues after 104 weeks of payments if your injuries prevent you from the pursuit of any occupation for which you are reasonably suited by education, training or experience.

    Non Earner Benefit (also called NEB)
    If you were unemployed and you suffer a complete inability to carry on a normal life, you may be eligible to receive a non-earner benefit of $185.00/week.  There is a 6 -month waiting period to receive non-earner benefits.

    Student Non Earner Benefit
    Students who are unable to continue their education may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred before the accident of up to $15,000.00 for lost tuition, books, and room and board.

    Students over 16 may also qualify for the $185.00 weekly non-earners benefit. After 2 years or 104 weeks of payments, the payment increases to $320.00/week.

    Caregiver Benefits
    Caregivers who are unable to engage in their caregiving activities may be reimbursed for additional incurred expenses of up to $250.00/week plus $50.00/week for each additional dependant.  This applies to people caring for children, elderly persons or disabled persons.

    After September 2010, this benefit is only available if you purchased this optional benefits.

    Note: You can only receive ONE of the “weekly benefits”, even if you qualify for more than one.  You will have to the one most favourable to you.

    Other Benefits:

    Attendant Care
    This benefit compensates insured persons for the expense of someone assisting you with your personal care. Unless your policy has an enhanced level of coverage, or your injuries are deemed to be catastrophic, you have up to $3,000.00/month available for these expenses, for a period of up to 2 years.  There is a $72,000.00 maximum for accidents before September 2010.  There is a maximum of $36,000 for non-catastrophic injuries after September 2010 unless your purchased optional benefits.

    If you have suffered catastrophic injuries, you may be eligible for up to $6,000.00/month during your lifetime to a maximum of $1,000,000.00.

    Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses
    This benefit pays for medical expenses required as a result of a motor vehicle accident injury. These are expenses that are not covered by any other medical plan, such as OHIP, another provincial health insurance or supplementary medical expense recovery plans (extended benefits) available through your employer or another family member’s employer’s plan.

    For accidents that happened before September 2010, the maximum amount available for expenses incurred up to 10 years after the accident is $100,000.00, unless your policy has supplemental coverage.  After September 2010, the amount has been reduced to $50,000.

    If your injuries are catastrophic, the maximum coverage available for med/rehab expenses, during your lifetime, is $1 Million.

    Visitors’ Expenses

    Reimbursement or payment is available for certain family members’s reasonable expenses in visiting you during treatment recovery.  This includes mileage, other travel expenses and food expenses. These expenses, with receipts, get submitted to the adjuster on an OCF-6 Form.

    Housekeeping and Home Maintenance
    For accidents before September 2010, you may also be eligible to claim for any additional expenses you must incur for home maintenance and housekeeping activities that you performed before the accident for the period that you can not complete these activities as a result of your injuries.

    The maximum amount available under this coverage for additional expenses you must incur as a result of your injuries is $100.00/week for a period of 2 years.

    For accidents after September 2010, you will only be entitled to housekeeping if you purchased optional benefits.

    Lost or Damaged Personal Items
    There is also limited coverage for the cost of repairing or replacing personal items lost or damaged in the accident, with some restrictions.

    If you need assistance completing your accident benefit forms or otherwise handling your accident benefit claim, contact our office for a free consultation.

  • 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.
  • Mailing Address: 1443 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K2G 1W1 | Downtown Office: 304 O'Connor Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1V7
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