Ottawa Lawyer | A Parent Faces A Child’s Injury

A Parent Faces a Child’s Injury

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – When your child has been injured, there is the impatience to know what your child’s injuries are and what the future holds. That may be followed by the agony of having to make vital decisions for your child’s health care with no real rational way to determine if you are doing the right thing. Basically, it is blind faith in doctors and nurses who are total strangers that will guide you through that process. You will have highs and lows as your child’s medical condition changes. You face exhaustion because you have not slept and because staying positive when your child is hurt is so tiring when all you want to do is cry.

When the parents come to me they have been there and felt all that. By the time they come to me, their child’s condition, for better or for worse, is stable. Now it’s time to get to business. Now it is time to deal with the piles of papers and the message slips to phone insurance adjusters who have already “popped in” to see you at the hospital and who want to follow up with you “when you are feeling a bit more like talking”.

The parents have managed to pull themselves together to get to my office. They have changed out of the t-shirt with the 3-day old cafeteria soup stain on it. The dad might have shaved. The Mom may have lipstick on for the first time in weeks. But the truth is, it is really, really tough. Telling yet another stranger the story is hard. It feels really strange and uncomfortable telling the story to a lawyer. The parents are worried. The lawyer is going to think we want money because our child is hurt. She is going to think we’re in this for the money. It feels wrong somehow.

But the truth is, the lawyer knows that all you want is for your child to get better. If your child could get better and be fine, or even almost fine, you would not be that lawyer’s office. You are only there because your child is not fine. Your child is going to need whatever help is available. And, you have learned from the hospital that the help your child needs costs money. In some cases, lots of money will be needed to cover your child’s basic medical needs that will not come from OHIP. You are at the lawyer’s office because you know that you need expert advice to make this right, or close to right, for your child.

It is a very difficult thing to call a lawyer about making a claim when your child has been seriously injured –a very difficult thing that is superimposed on an extremely difficult situation. Difficult, but important. Your child deserves to receive all of the available resources to ensure that he or she recovers to the full extent possible and participates in life as quickly, fully and comfortably as possible. To the extent that complete recovery and participation is not possible, your child deserves compensation for that loss. So you take a deep breath and you do it.

Has your child been injured in an Ottawa accident? A top personal injury lawyer can help you make a claim for children’s injury compensation. For more information, contact the Ottawa child injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

The Accident Blame Game and Resolving Your Ottawa Accident Case

The Accident Blame Game and Resolving Your Ottawa Accident Case

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – Most personal injury lawyers are quite adept at naviagting though the injury waters. We can speak about compression fractures, and depression, rotator cuff tears and brain injury. What you don’t hear much about is what happens when it is not clear who, or what caused an accident.

What do you do if the injuries are serious, but it is not 100% clear who is at fault? That can happen if people’s injuries are so serious that they cannot recall what occured at the accident scene. Sometimes, fault is unclear because two or more drivers involved have different stories.

In Ontario, we have the principle of contributory negligence. If you are partly at fault, your damages are reduced to the extent that you are at fault. For example, if your damages are $200,000 and you are found 50% responsible for the accident, you would collect $100,000. That means that for serious injuries, it can certainly still be worth advancing a claim even where some contributory negligence is likely.

There are a number of issues we look at when considering who is at fault in an accident:
*The Motor Vehicle Accident Report prepared by the police will indicate if a ticket or other charges were laid. That can be a helpful piece of information.
*Old fashioned leg work. Our investigators canvass for witnesses and collected statements, often recorded.
* In more serious cases, the police produce an elaborate report known as a Technical Traffic Collision Investigation (TTCI). They can exceed 1000 pages. These reports will provide the police measurements, comments and conclusions about the accident and its causes. To obtain a copy of these reports, you need to pay the police force that prepared it. They can be pricey.
* An accident reconstructions expert we hire can prepare an accident reconstruction. These reports often include computerized recreations and mathematical calculations of issues such as speed, visibility, vehicle motion and other factors that permit the expert to explain how an accident happened. While expensive, these reports can be the determining factor in some cases.

If there is a dispute over who caused the accident, some clients believe that it is impossible to settle a case. However, if both parties are flexible, a dispute over liability is not necessarily a barrier to a negotiated resolution to your case. In most cases, settlement will require the client to take a discount to account for the risk of losing on liability. The amount of the discount will usually be proportionate to the risk of losing.

Cases where liability is in question are certainly more challenging than many other cases. However, if the injuries are serious, an accident victim may not have a choice but to look for compensation.

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 [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Ottawa Lawyer | A Housekeeping “Expert”? Give me a Break!

A Housekeeping “Expert”? Give me a Break!

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – A client asked me a legitimate question today about why I feel the need to hire an expert occupational therapist to evaluate her housekeeping capacity when she has already testified about it and, well, it’s not like it’s rocket science. Given the report will not be cheap, and given that the defence has indicated an interest in settlement, is it really worth it?

In my view, it is worth it. Like anything that is a judgment call, you can never be certain what would have happened if you opted not to get the report. However, these are some of the reasons why I think this type of report is important:

Objectivity -By definition a health professional engaged as an expert lends a perceived and an actual air of objectivity to the evaluation of what types of housekeeping activities you are able to handle.

Knowledge -Unlike a doctor or most physiotherapists, an occupational therapist is trained specifically to assess function in the home. They understand the ergonomics involved in specific household tasks. They are trained to evaluate how long those tasks would be expected to take. Anyone else is just guessing.

Valuation – An expert report on housekeeping will also provide a credible market value of the services you can no longer do. Even at a meagre $100 per week, housekeeping is $5200 per year. For a 30 year old with even moderate injuries who needs help with the heavy weekly cleaning and home maintenance functions a supportive report can add significant 5-figure dollars to your claim.

Credibility –The defence lawyer just knows that a jury is more likely to allow a large amount for housekeeping the assessment comes from a professional as opposed to the injured person’s own, uncorroborated opinion that she can no longer vacuum.

Optics -A few well placed reports created reasonably early shows the defendants that you are not afraid to spend money on your case. This signals that you have confidence in your case. It also suggests that you are prepared to go to trial since the ultimate use of one of these reports is at trial. A plaintiff who is willing to go to court will usually do better than one who, the defendants can tell, is unwilling.

In short, this is a straightforward and relatively easy step to take in a case that should show the defendant insurance company that you are serious and that your case deserves serious consideration when it comes time to settle.

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 [email protected] or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

Protect Your Ottawa Lawsuit from Facebook in 5 Easy Steps

Protect Your Ottawa Lawsuit from Facebook in 5 Easy Steps

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – Eight months ago I wrote about the dangers for litigants who post their lives on social media pages. At that time, there were way fewer adults on Facebook and similar sites. My warning, I am certain, went largely ignored. The use of Facebook and now Twitter have increased dramatically since then. So have the consequences for injured people involved in lawsuits.

Here are some facts to consider:

FACT-> While initially people were quite guarded about what photos they posted online and who has access to them, people are gradually becoming more exhibitionist. Your friends may have photos of you, that can be searched by your name, on their pages. In other words, your own privacy settings cannot protect you entirely.

FACT-> The Courts have ordered injured plaintiffs to produce their facebook pages to the insurance company lawyers.

FACT-> Evidence from Facebook has been admitted in Ontario Courts and is used by the police and the traditional media.

FACT-> Every insurance defence lawyer has a law clerk on Facebook who is looking for their opponents’ pages, profiles and pictures on Facebook.

So, does that mean you have to withdraw from the 21st century and avoid social media? As your lawyer, I would like to say, well, yes. Avoid it like the plague.

However, as a human being I recognize that may not be possible. So, what steps can you take to protect yourself?

Step One: Take a critical eye to your social media sites to see if there is anything you would not want the insurance company lawyer to see. Remember that the insurance company will not know the context of your photos or comments. They won’t know if you swallowed a bottle of pain killers to get through that party.

Step Two: Check your privacy settings. Most sites allow you to block certain people altogether from seeing that you even are on the site. Block the opposing lawyer and his / her clerk. Keep in mind however, that there will be law students and others whose names you won’t know so this is not foolproof.

Step Three: Search your name in the search field to see what comes up and make sure it is acceptable.

Step Four: While you are at it, do the same thing on Google and You Tube. Make whatever adjustements are necessary.

Step Five: Don’t accept friend requests or answer emails through social media from people you do not know. On Facebook, if you send a message, you grant the receiver access to your profile for a certain number of days. That is a common device to get access to your profile. Keep in mind that because of the lawsuit process, the opposing legal team knows a lot about you and could send you an email that might make you think you know each other.

If you are in doubt about whether or not your pages are acceptable, speak to your personal injury lawyer about it.

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 [email protected] or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

Ottawa Lawyer | Preserving Your Right to Fair Compensation In Ontario

Preserving Your Right to Fair Compensation In Ontario

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – You may not be surprised to learn that with the current economic crisis upon us, the insurance industry is suggesting that it must reduce the benefits it offers to motor vehicle accident victims. Don’t be fooled. This is the industry’s cry every time there is an economic downturn. Needless to say, the insurance industry does not look to increase benefits when the economy rebounds.

In 2008, the provincial government undertook a review of the Insurance Act which is the law that sets out what benefits and rights injured victims have to pursue compensation after an accident. That review is not complete.

I am an active member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. OTLA continues in its effort to fight for the rights of innocent accident victims by speaking to government officials and educating the public.
Your Help is Needed!

If you care about preserving the benefits and rights available to people injured in motor vehicle accidents, tell your provincial member of parliament. Send them an email, fax or letter explaining that you are concerned about the erosion of available compensation.
Don’t know what to write?

Here is a sample: I am a constituent in your riding. I care about access to justice and a fair auto insurance program for injured people. Please do not reduce the benefits available to accident victims in Ontario. Please do not reduce our ability to seek compensation if we are seriously and permanently injured.
Don’t know where to find your MPP?

Here is alinkto the contact information for every Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario. If you need help finding your MPP, call my office at 613 233-4529. We will be very glad to help.

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 [email protected] or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

Ottawa Lawyer: Free Book from a North Carolina Injury Attorney

Top North Carolina Injury Attorney Launches New Book

OTTAWA INJURY LAWYER – Finding useful information for a personal injury claim can be difficult, but Attorney Brent Adams’ new book,  “Ten Costly Mistakes That Can Wreck Your North Carolina Cases” eases the process for North Carolina residents.

We have had the privilege to meet Mr. Adams and know him to be an upstanding attorney of the highest ethical standards.   Providing this book for free is an important public service to the North Carolina community.

If you would like a copy of  “Ten Costly Mistakes That Can Wreck Your North Carolina Cases”, visit www.brentadams.com

Ottawa Lawyer: What to Do Immediately After an Ontario Accident

What to Do Immediately After an Ontario Accident

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – When involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to book an appointment with a medical practitioner for a thorough examination.

The Glebe Chiropractic Clinic reports that  “individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents experience minimal or no symptoms for the first few weeks and even months.”  It is important to immediately document injuries to receive maximum compensation for future medical bills from the accident.

A chiropractor (or other health care practitioner) can also determine the extent of the injury or injuries, the number of estimated treatments required to treat your injuries, if referral to another medical specialist is required, if special tests are required (i.e. MRI, CT Scan, etc.) and if you need to take “injury time off” from work (and provide you with a note to present to your employer) which are all important factors when receiving fair compensation for your injuries.

Have you been injured in an Ontario accident? As soon as you’ve received the medical treatment you need, your next step should be speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you make a compensation claim for your injury-related expenses. For more information, contact the Ottawa accident lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

Ottawa Lawyer | What Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

What Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Your Injury Case

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – Richmond Virginia lawyer Wayne O’Bryan has published an important book for accident victims.  Wayne O’Bryan, an attorney from Richmond, Virginia exposes the secrets that the consumer should have before resolving a motor vehicle accident case.  If you live in Virginia and are looking for ways to maximize your compensation from the insurance company, contact Mr. O’Bryan as follows:

By telephone: 1-800-368-6495 ext 4116

By Mail:
O’Bryan Law
1804 Staples Mill Road
Richmond, VA 23230

Mr. O’Bryan has enjoyed a long and distinguished legal career.  We have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. O’Bryan and are confident he will serve you well.

Ottawa Lawyer: How to Avoid Ontario Winter Car Accidents

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER  – In 2008, the Ontario Provincial Police issued a list of important safety reminders to help drivers avoid car accidents and collisions in Ontario during winter.  Please remember to:

  • Reduce the speed of your car and drive to the weather and road conditions;
  • Leave additional space between vehicles. To avoid rear-ending the car in front, note that stopping distances are at least double on snowy roads, and are even longer in icy conditions;
  • Get ready for quickly changing conditions. Blowing snow can instantly reduce visibility in your vehicle, and gusting winds can cause ice to form quickly;
  • Keep track of where you are. Monitor intersections as you pass them in case you need to call for help in an emergency;
  • Check road and weather conditions.
  • Make sure your car headlights work;
  • Keep your car’s windshield clean, inside and out;
  • Replace your vehicle’s wiper blades, as necessary;
  • Replenish your car’s windshield washer fluid;
  • Check your car battery;
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full;
  • Install 4 winter tires on your car;
  • Wear winter clothes while driving; and
  • Maintain a winter survival kit in your vehicle (blanket, flashlight,candle, cell phone and some food or drinks.)

Auger Hollingsworth urges you to stay safe this winter.

Auger Hollingsworth represents people injured in car accidents in Ottawa, Smith Falls, Brockville, Kingston, Perth, Ontario, Hawksbury, Napanee and many places in between.  If you have been injured and want a free case evaluation, contact us at 613 860-4529 or at [email protected].

Ottawa Lawyer | Car Accident Information Released by Ottawa Police

Car Accident Information Released by Ottawa Police

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – Ottawa car accident information was released by the Ottawa Police Service on November 27, 2008.  Reportable car accidents numbered 3,107 in Ottawa in 2007 because of drivers exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions.  Those motor vehicle accidents resulted in 17 deaths and 967 injuries.  These included 57 serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents caused by speed.

Ottawa motor vehicle accidents relating to impaired driving totalled 338 in 2007.  These Ottawa car accidents resulted in 7 deaths and 128 injuries, including 23 serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents caused by impaired driving.

An Ottawa personal injury lawyer at Auger Hollingsworth represents car accident victims who want help getting compensation for their injuries.  For a free case evaluation contact our Ottawa lawyers at [email protected] or by telephone:  613-233-4529.

« Previous PageNext Page »