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
  • Fatal Ontario motor vehicle – cyclist accident near Nipigon.

    July 23, 2013 – A fatal Ontario motor vehicle – cyclist accident near Nipigon, Ontario has claimed the lives of a cycling couple from North Glengarry Township.

    The two cyclists were avid riders.  Starting in Vancouver, they were cycling across Canada with 23 other riders. On July 23rd the pair was hit by a pickup truck driven by a 60-year-old man from Austin, Texas.

    According to news reports, the daughter of the two victims said she spoke to them the night before. They were worried about the upcoming stretch of road due to hills, curves, and overall terrain conditions.  When news of the accident reached home, the daughter thought the accident might have been caused by terrain issues. The pickup driver might not have seeing the couple until it was too late. There could have been a hill or sharp curve in the road that blocked his vision. However, when looking at the stretch of Ontario  Highway where the accident took place, it is completely straight.

    After a fatal Ontario motor vehicle – cyclist accident, what rights do you, the family, have in seeking compensation?

    As the family member of a victim who was killed in a motor vehicle – cyclist accident you can often claim death benefits under SABS. SABS are the statutory accident benefits claims that everyone is entitled to under their own insurance. The death benefits provide compensation to both spouses and dependants while helping cover death and funeral costs.

    Family members may also have a claim (lawsuit) against the at fault driver. However, there are time limitations to file your claim. All time limitations are different, depending on your specific case and situation.  To find out the limitation period for your case, your best option is to call us at 613-860-4529 and set up a free consultation. The personal injury lawyers at our office deal with many cycling accidents and fatal accidents.

     

    Ottawa Lawyer: Rollover on Highway 416 near Roger Stevens Dr.

    Ottawa Accident Lawyer:  On December 24, 2010 in the morning a woman in her 40s was taken to hospital after her car rolled over on Highway 416 near Roger Stevens Drive.  It was reported that the driver was ejected from the vehicle.   The woman is reported as suffering from a head injury.  There was no suggestion of a second vehicle’s involvement.

    Remember, if you have suffered a single vehicle accident, you have access to statutory accident benefits including medical rehabilitation benefits.  Contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation if you require assistance accessing your benefits.

    Accident Benefits Lawyer: What is a Catastrophic Injury?

    Accident Benefits Lawyer: What is a Catastrophic Injury?

    An injured person in Ontario who suffers an impairment after a car accident can apply, often with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, for a determination of whether their impairment qualifies as a “catastrophic” impairment under Ontario’s accident benefits.

    Catastrophic Impairment means:

    a) paraplegia or quadriplegia;

    b) the amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of both arms or both legs (after September 1, 2010 a single amputation is sufficient)

    c) the amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of one or both arms and one or both legs

    d) the total loss of vision in both eyes

    e) brain impairment that, in respect of an accident, results in,

    (i) a score of 9 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale; or

    (ii) a score of 2 (vegetative) or 3 (severe disability) on the Glasgow Outcome Scale

    f) any impairment or combination of impairments that results in a 55 percent or more impairment of the whole person, in accordance with A.M.A. Guide’ or

    g) any impairment that results in a class 4 impairment (marked impairment) or class 5 impairment (extreme impairment) due to mental or behavioural disorder, in accordance with the A.M.A Guide.

    Here are some of the differences in benefits for those who are Catastrophically Impaired insured, versus those who aren’t:

    1) Attendant Care payable at $6,000 per month (up to a maximum of $1,000,000) if you are insured, instead of $3,000 if you aren’t

    2) Those who are insured receive a maximum of $1,000,000 for life in Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits,

    3) The Medical and Rehabilitation benefits are also for life, instead of just for 10 years.

    To learn more about Statutory Accident Benefits, order our free book Injured Victim’s Guide to Fair Compensation.

    Ottawa Car Accident Lawyer is Cited in Several US Blogs

    Ottawa Car Accident Lawyer is Cited in Several US Blogs

    You will recall our early blog posts about Ottawa personal injury lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth’s interview about the changes to the statutory accident benefits and their likely negative impact on many accident victims in Ottawa and elsewhere in Ontario.  Here, again,  is the link to the interview.

    Our interview has been cited by the leading personal injury attorneys at Bisnar | Chase in this blog.  Prominent Kentucky personal injury lawyer Mike Schafer posted a blog about the intereview here.  Successful personal injury attorney Kenny Christenson of Salt Lake City, Utah posted about it here.

    Cutting the medical rehabilitation benefits in half is just too harsh for those who do not have extended health care benefits through their jobs.

    Ottawa Lawyer: Don’t let your adjuster RIP YOU OFF!

    Ottawa Lawyer: Don’t let your adjuster RIP YOU OFF!

    Yet again this week our Ottawa personal injury lawyer received a telephone call from an Ottawa accident victim who told us that he cannot get more physiotherapy through his accident benefits because his adjuster has “closed his file”.

    Meaning what, exactly?  She put it in a drawer?  She is storing it in another cabinet?  Remember, as long as you have not exhausted the policy limits, and as long as ten years have not expired and as long as you have not entered into a settlement agreement, your file cannot be closed.  It just doesn’t matter what the accident benefit adjuster says.

    For accidents before September 1, 2010, most people have $100,000 in medical / rehabilitation benefits.  For accidents after September 1, 2010 the amount you have may be less ($50,000 or $3,500 depending on a variety of factors)  However, as long as it is reasonable and necessary, you can spend your total policy amount on physio, chiropractic, psychological services, occupational therapy services etc., etc.  within 10 years of the date of your accident.

    Don’t let the adjuster short change you by using meaningless words like “closing your file.”   If you are not sure, take advantage of the free consultation offered by most Ottawa motor vehicle accident lawyers.

    Ottawa Lawyer: Ontario Makes Cuts to Auto Accident Insurance Coverage

    Ontario Makes Cuts to Auto Accident Insurance Coverage

    Ottawa  Personal Injury and Accident Lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth discusses coverage changes on CBC TV (click to view)

    Ottawa Personal Injury and Accident Lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth discusses the changes on CBC Radio’s “All in a Day” (click to listen)

    OTTAWA LAWYERS – Effective September 1, Ontario’s government has made drastic cuts to basic benefits provided for auto accident victims.

    These new cuts, which will impact Ontario drivers after their next insurance policy renewal, affect all areas of recovery including medical and rehabilitative benefits, attendant care benefits, and other coverage.

    Under the new coverage system, an accident victim who (prior to September 1) would have been eligible to receive $100,000 in accident benefits over a 10-year span, is only eligible to receive half of that. If they fall into one of seven injury categories, including potentially serious injuries such as torn muscle tissue, they are only allotted $3,500 to cover all of their rehabilitation costs.

    Individuals without workplace-provided insurance and benefits will likely be hit the hardest by these changes, but they will affect any victim’s ability to afford non-medical costs such as necessary home adjustments.

    If you are concerned about how these changes will affect Ontario’s drivers and accident victims, we urge you to contact your Member of Provincial Parliament and let your voice be heard. Visit the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s helpful Contact an MPP web tool for your representative’s detailed contact information.

    If you or someone you know have been in a car accident, and would like information on your rights and benefits, contact the Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email info@ottawalawfirm.ca or telephone 613 233-4529.

    Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits- What are they and How do you get Them

    Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits-  What are they and How do you get Them

    If you have been in a car accident in Ontario, ask an experienced personal injury lawyer about your entitlement to statutory accident benefits (SABS).  Until they are in a motor vehicle accident, most people in Ontario do not realize that they have no-fault accident benefits which provide rehabilitation and other significant benefits to accident victims.  The benefits are actually prescribed by law and form part of every auto policy in Ontario.

    We are including the entire regulation here because we know some people like to see what they are eligible for directly.  Not an easy read…so please feel free to give us a call at 613-233-4529 or email us at info@ottawalawfirm.ca if you have questions.

    Auger Hollingsworth represents motor vehicle accident victims across Ontario including in Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Cornwall, Perth, Manotick, Napanee, Kingston, Hawksbury, Vankleek Hill, Tweed, North Bay, Lombardy, Toronto and many places in between.  For a free initial consultation please contact 613-233-4529 or info@ottawalawfirm.ca.

    Getting Compensation if You were At Fault in an Accident | Ottawa Lawyer

    HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT?  Did you cause the Accident?

    Please do not assume that you cannot benefit from an Ottawa personal injury lawyer’s advice because you think, or the police think, that you caused the accident. Do not dismiss the possibility of recovering damages in a single car accident.

    #1: Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits, also known as “No-fault benefits”

    Very significant accident benefits are available for seriously injured drivers, regardless of who or what caused the accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you get the most money from your accident benefit claim.

    #2: Other Possible Causes or Contributing Factors to your Ontario Car Accident

    The cause of an accident may not be clear to you or even to the traffic officer who attends at the scene. A personal injury lawyer, using the appropriate experts, can investigate whether there was any other cause or contributing factor that resulted in the accident. Improper signage, road maintenance or vehicular malfunction issues are just three of many explanations for what could have caused or contributed to your injuries. In all likelihood, none of these was carefully considered by the police.

    #3: Car Faults also Known as Auto Defects

    Even if the accident was technically your fault, it is possible that the extent of your injuries was increased because of your car. Seat belt or airbag malfunction frequently makes injuries worse. Under the right circumstances, we can make a claim against the car manufacturer. Similarly, automobile design flaws leading to a roof that crumbles or a vehicle that is more likely to tip over may give rise to a claim for damages against the car company, even where the accident itself was caused by the driver.

    Contact Us

    For more information about obtaining your Statutory Accident Benefits, or other third party claims, contact Richard Auger or Brenda Hollingsworth using at info@ottawalawfirm.ca.

    SABS: Home Renovations, Work Accomodation, Vehicle Modification

    STATUTORY ACCIDENT BENEFITS: HOME RENOVATIONS, WORK ACCOMODATION AND VEHICLE MODIFICATION QUESTIONS ANSWERED

    INTRODUCTION to ACCIDENT BENEFITS

    People injured in motor vehicle accidents in Ontario generally qualify for statutory accident benefits (sometimes called accident benefits, ABs or SABS).

    Injured people, especially those who suffer mobility impairments, often face the challenge of being discharged from a rehabilitation centre, (The Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre, The Ottawa Hospital-Civic Campus or Elizabeth Bruyere, in Eastern Ontario) only to return to their house, vehicle or job that cannot accommodate them.

    This problem is addressed, in part, by the Accident Benefits which include home, work and vehicle modifications/renovations as some of the benefits available to injured people in Ontario.

    THE STATUTORY ACCIDENT BENEFIT SCHEME

    Generally, people injured in Ontario car accidents can receive accident benefits.  The benefits are usually paid by their own car insurance company.  However, the scheme also provides coverage for people who do not have their own insurance.

    In most situations, accident benefits are available to replace lost salary, attendant care expenses, medical and rehabilitation expenses and death and funeral expenses.

    There is a section in the Accident Benefits regime (section 15) that says that “all reasonable and necessary” rehabilitation expenses are to be paid.  The purpose of the rehabilitation expenses are to reduce or eliminate the impact of a disability caused by the accident.  Home renovations, assistive devices, workplace adaptations and vehicle modifications are all items which may be covered under section 15 of the Accident Benefit regime for “rehabilitation” benefits.

    WHAT EXPENSES ARE COVERED BY ONTARIO ACCIDENT BENEFITS?

    Employment

    The insurance company is required to fund all reasonably and necessary workplace modifications and workplace assistive devices, including communication aids, to accommodate the needs of the injured person.

    Housing

    The insurance company also states that an insurance company must pay the injured person for all reasonable and necessary home modifications and home devices, including communication aids.

    The Accident Benefits regime specifically allows for the purchase of a new home for the injured person where purchasing a new home to accommodate the injured person’s needs makes more sense than to renovate his or her existing home.   However, the amount allocated for the purchase of a new home must not exceed the value of the renovations to the injured person’s existing home that would be required to accommodate the injured person’s needs.

    If the existing home is incapable of being modified to accommodate the injured person, the only limit on the amount available to purchase a new home is the policy limits for this category of benefits.

    Vehicle

    For the injured person’s transportation needs, the Accident Benefit Regime provides that the insurance company has to pay for all reasonable and necessary vehicle modifications to accommodate the needs of the injured person, or the purchase of a new vehicle if it is more reasonable to purchase a new vehicle to accommodate the needs of the injured person.

    WHAT ARE THE POLICY LIMITS?  HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO SPEND?

    The medical and rehabilitation benefits are supposed to pay for all reasonable and necessary expenses that arise because of the accident.

    Home, workplace and vehicle modification come under the medical / rehabilitation category.   Medical expenses are more straightforward to understand.  They include medical expenses that are not covered by OHIP or a personal insurance plan such as physiotherapy, prescriptions, chiropractor, occupational therapy, psychology and other similar expenses.

    For the purpose of calculating how much money is available, the medical benefits and the rehabilitation benefits are combined.

    If the injured person did not suffer a “catastrophic impairment”  as that is described in the Accident Benefit regime, the total amount of the medical / rehabilitation benefit is $100,000 and the benefits expire after 10 years from the date of the accident

    If the injured person did suffer a “catastrophic impairment” the medical / rehabilitation benefit increases to $1 Million and last for the person’s entire life.

    HOW DO YOU GET THE BENEFITS?

    You must notify your insurance company that you have had a car accident within 7 days of the accident, or as soon as possible, and you must complete your application for Accident Benefits within 30 days.    While it is not fatal to your application if you miss these deadlines by a small margin, you should submit your applications as soon as possible.

    Once you have successfully applied to the insurance company for Accident Benefits, the first step to get modifications is to obtain a home-site and, if appropriate, a work-site assessment.

    These assessments will provide realistic, practical suggestions to help the injured person to live and work safely and reasonably their houses and at their jobs.  The focus of the assessments is to return the injured person, to the extent it is possible, to a pre-accident level of function as quickly, safely and economically as possible.

    Injured people with catastrophic or near catastrophic injuries may require other assessments as well, including a housing accessibility report, an alternative housing report.

    The insurance company normally pays for the home-site and work-site assessments if they approve the assessment in advance.  To get approval of this type of assessment, the injured party or his or her lawyer has to arrange for the completion of a form called an “OCF-22: Application for Approval of an Assessment or Examination”.   Keep in mind that the person conducting the assessment is often not a regulated health professional and therefore will not be permitted to complete the OCF 22.   An occupational therapist, a case manager or even a family doctor or physiotherapist can complete the form.

    The insurance company will review the OCF 22.  If it is approved, the assessment can take place.  The assessment will result in a report.  Once the report is generated, and if the insurance adjuster requires it, another form called a “OCF 18: Treatment Plan” will be submitted to the insurance company, outlining the proposed cost of the recommendations in the report.   If the OCF 18 is approved, the work can begin.

    ARE HOME MODIFICATIONS PERMITTED FOR NON-CATASTROPHIC INJURIES?

    In some situations, the answer is yes.  Where the injured person has suffered injuries that cause impairment but are on the less serious end of the spectrum, and if the renovations are not going to be extensive, an occupational therapist will perform a home and, if required, a work-site assessment.

    A home assessment is an assessment of  the injured person’s activities of daily living including from before the accident.  This assessment looks at personal care, housekeeping, home maintenance and care giving tasks.  The Occupational Therapist also provides a breakdown of any recommended assistive devices, home modifications and simple home renovations in the report.  Examples of recommendations in this type of assessment include adding a stair railing, raising or lowering a bed or counter or adding hip-level storage in a kitchen.

    A work place assessment examines the physical and mental demands of the injured person’s job and provides recommendations including workplace modifications where required. The assessment should also include an estimated cost of the proposed modifications.

    If the recommended renovations included in the occupational therapist’s report are complete, it can be submitted to the insurance company together with a Treatment Plan costing the recommendations to the insurance company for approval.

    HOW TO ACCESS THESE BENEFITS FOR CATASTROPHICALLY INJURED PEOPLE

    If a person is seriously injured and needs significant home modifications like ramps, additions, elevators, walls moved, a home accessibility report is required.

    A home accessibility report is centered around the injured person’s housing requirements.  The report identifies the client’s housing requirements, a description and pictures or drawings of the current home.  It also outlines the home modifications and renovations that would be needed to meet the client’s housing needs at the current house.

    The home accessibility report includes costs as well as plans for the proposed renovations. The report addresses municipal by-laws and construction issues that are generally outside the scope of practice of an occupational therapist.

    When the report is finalized, and the injured person decides to implement the renovations, a treatment plan is submitted to the insurance company for approval.

    Sometimes the injured person will decide that the proposed renovations do not make sense and are not in their best interest.  In that circumstance, it can be better to simply purchase a new home for rather than try to renovate the current one.

    Factors that may impact the decision to purchase a new home rather than renovating an existing home are the following:

    *Is the current home a rental or social housing?

    * Are the renovations required so extensive that they will exhaust or exceed the policy limits or just not make financial sense?

    * Are the renovation not allowed due to municipal restrictions?

    *  Was the injured person still living with parents at the time of the accident?

    * Is the current home to far from required services for the person’s disabilities?

    The housing benefit under s. 15 of the Statutory Accident Benefit Regulation is one of the largest components of most injured people’s AB claim.  If you would like to speak to an experienced lawyer about this aspect of your claim, contact the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.

  • 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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