Ottawa School Barrel Explosion Investigated

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour is investigating the fatal explosion at Mother Theresa High school, according to CBC.   The explosion took place while students in shop class were building barbecues out of used metal drum barrels.  Questions have been raised about where the barrels were acquired and what safety precautions were taken.  This tragedy resulted in the death of a popular student and hockey player, as well as injuries to a number of other students and a teacher.

An accident like this raises fears for all parents who trust that school is a safe place for their kids.  Likewise, educators need to know that they are working and teaching in a safe environment.   Hopefully, the provincial investigation will answer key questions and develop new protocols so that no future Ontario student or teacher faces this type of danger.

For more information on school board liability for accidents on school premises or at school sanctioned activities, read this post or contact Auger Hollingsworth at 613 – 233-4529.

Ottawa Accident: Can You Sue A School for Negligence?

OTTAWA- After a serious fatal  accident like the explosion this week at Mother Theresa Catholic High School, a number of people have asked if there can ever be liability on the part of a school for negligence where something like an explosion happens in a school shop.   Of course it would require an investigation to determine if there was negligence in the case of the fatal injury at Mother Theresa.  However, in general it is certainly possible, and indeed fairly common, for schools to be held accountable for negligence which causes injury to Ontario students.

Just like a home or auto owner, school boards have liability insurance that responds to negligence claims that arise on their premises or as a result of school-sanctioned activities.   This is good news because it means that premises liability claims for compensation do not come out of the school’s budget and do not impact the classroom.

Having said that, not every student injury will give rise to a successful claim, however.  In order to recover damages for the injury, or the death of a student, the claimant has to prove that there was negligence.

If your child has suffered an accident at school and you think there may be a claim against the school, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can assist you to evaluate the claim and prosecute it if required.

Ottawa Lawyer: Common types of bicycle collisions and how to avoid them

OTTAWA- Now that we are beginning to see some nicer weather and summer feels like it is just around the corner, we are likely going to see more and more bicycles on our Ontario roads.  While bicycles are a great way to get around and enjoy time with family and friends, they can also be dangerous.  Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are fairly common and can happen very quickly.  Although accidents can occur in a number of different ways there are a few most common types of accidents.


One kind of bicycle collision is a driveway ride-out.  This occurs when a cyclist rides out of his or her driveway without first checking that there is no nearby traffic and is hit by a vehicle.  This is a simple but potentially very dangerous mistake to make.  Although many of our streets in Ottawa, particularly those in more suburban areas, seem safe, it is always important to take a good look at the road before you ride out of your driveway.  It is a good idea to make sure that there is nothing around your driveway that obstructs your view of the road, such as trees and bushes.  These obstructions make it more difficult for you to see the road and for any motorists from seeing you exit your driveway.


Another kind of bicycle collision occurs when a cyclist fails to stop at a stop sign.  This is another very dangerous mistake.  While it may be frustrating to have to stop and start at every stop sign cyclists are expected to follow all of the rules of the road, just as motorists do.  Drivers have the expectation that cyclists will obey traffic signs such as stop signs and ignoring these traffic rules can lead to collisions.  It is important to stop at all stop signs and proceed only when the way is clear.


Many bicycle accidents occur when a cyclist makes a left-hand turn without checking for traffic.  Since bicycles ride on the far right side of the road (to the right of motor vehicle traffic moving in the same direction) it is very dangerous to attempt to make a left hand turn without first making sure that there are no cars close behind you.  If you need to make a left turn make sure that there are no vehicles nearby and use the proper signalling technique to indicate that you are turning left.


Another way in which a bicycle collision can occur is when a driver attempts to pass a cyclist when they shouldn’t, such as on a narrow or winding road.  This can also occur if a driver or cyclist swerves unexpectedly or if the driver misjudges the amount of room there is between himself and the cyclist.  To try to avoid this kind of accident, make yourself visible to drivers.


Cycling accidents can also occur when a driver turning right on a red light collides with a cyclist to their right or travelling on a cross-street.  To avoid this kind of collision, always travel on the right side of the road and be aware of vehicles turning right and adjust your speed so as to allow the vehicle the room to turn.


If you have suffered injuries due to an Ontario bicycle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and our lawyers can help you with your case.

Ottawa Accident Lawyer: Ontario Bicycle Safety Tips

While it may be impossible to completely avoid being hit by a vehicle while riding a bicycle, there are a few things that cyclists can do to reduce the chances of an accident.  Just as motorists are responsible for obeying the rules of the road and driving safely, cyclists should also do all they can to help prevent bicycle accidents from occurring.  The following guidelines can help you as a cyclist do your part to keep Ontario roads accident-free.

First, be sure to always follow the rules of the road.  In Ontario, bicycles are considered vehicles and must therefore follow the same traffic signs and lane markers as motor vehicles.  When possible, cycle in a designated bicycle lane and make sure to always obey traffic signs such as stop signs, traffic lights, one-way signs, etc.

Another important rule to obey is to always ride with the flow of traffic.  Always cycle in the same direction as the vehicles around you and never ride against traffic.  Riding against traffic can be extremely dangerous and can surprise motorists.  The safest place for you to cycle is to the far right side of the road close to the curb.


Also, never pass on the right side because in doing so you may place yourself in the driver’s blind spot and they may not be able to see you or know that you are there.  Unexpected movements like passing on the right, place you in serious jeopardy because motorists around you don’t expect you to be in their blind spot.  As much as possible, remain visible to the vehicles around you.

Many cyclists today may enjoy listening to music while they ride but this can be very dangerous.  By listening to music while you cycle, you are unaware of the traffic sounds around you which can increase the chances of an accident occurring.  It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and being able to hear what is going on around you is key.  You need to be able to hear a car horn or the voice of a driver so that you know how to respond in a given situation.

In order to be visible to motorists, make sure that you always wear brightly coloured clothing and if you are riding at night, you should wear reflective clothing.  By wearing the appropriate clothing, you are ensuring that motorists can see you.  If drivers can easily see that a cyclist is nearby, they will be able to exercise caution when driving around you.

If you are cycling in the evening or at night attach a headlight to the front of your bicycle and a red reflector on the back.  Again, this is to increase your visibility so that motorists can see you.

One last important tip is to always use the appropriate hand signals to indicate when you are turning.  It is important to use this method of communicating to other vehicles on the road.  If a driver knows where you intend to go, they will be able to adjust their speed or otherwise prepare.

By taking the necessary safety precautions you can protect yourself and others from dangerous bicycle accidents.  If you are looking for legal advice about a bicycle accident, a personal injury lawyer can help.  Contact the injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth to see if you have a legal case for your injuries.

Ottawa Lawyer: Client Testimonial

We are always honoured when clients provide testimonials after we settle their cases.   This lady from East Ottawa was injured on the Queensway.  We helped her recover from both the at fault driver and her accident benefit insurer.  It wasn’t always easy to deal with a law suit and a serious injury.  But in the end she persevered and was compensated as a result.  Have a look and listen to what she has to say about selecting a lawyer for your Ottawa personal injury case.

Ottawa lawyers launch NO FEE FOR KIDS PROGRAM

The Ottawa injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are delighted to announce the launch of their exciting new program, NO FEE FOR KIDS.  Read all about this community initiative to help injured children after a car accident here.

Talk to a Lawyer if You Need Advice About Your Accident!

Ottawa Lawyer-  I am constantly amazed by the people who take their legal advice from friends, family, co-workers or the person at the bus stop.

If you have legal questions after an accident, including a car accident, slip and fall or other mishap, take advantage of the free consultation that most lawyers offer.  Impartial, expertise from an Ottawa personal injury lawyer who spends her day dealing with insurance companies and defense lawyers is the key to getting the best information about your case.

At our personal injury law office, during your initial consultation, you will learn:

  • the limitation period that applies to your case;
  • the best way to respond to any accident benefit issues you have;
  • the issues surrounding liability in your case (i.e. who is responsible);
  • what documents you will need to obtain in order to settle or try your case;
  • what it would cost to have a professional handle your case;
  • the steps that are needed to resolve your case;
  • information about the reputation of you insurer and adjuster;
  • what medical professionals may be able to assist you (i.e. ideas about specialists); and
  • tips, “dos and don’t” and other information about how to maximize the results in your case.

If you think you would benefit from receiving this information, contact our office at 613 233-4529 to schedule your free consultation without any obligation.

Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer: What you need to know about Dog Bites

What you should know about dog bite injuries: types and treatment

While many dogs are docile friendly animals, some are more easily provoked and unpredictable.  Every year in Ottawa, we hear about individuals getting injured after an encounter with a dog.  Sometimes such incidents are difficult to avoid if the dog acted spontaneously without any warning.  Other times individuals, either knowingly or not, provoke the animal, or the dog’s owner does not adequately supervise the dog.  In any circumstance, injuries suffered after a dog bite can range from a mere scratch to more serious injuries.  Depending on the circumstances of the incident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.  An Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you to determine if you have a legal case to pursue for your dog bite injuries.


Some of the injuries that can result from a dog attack include the following: punctures, lacerations, tissue loss, abrasions, fractured bones, sprains, scars or infections such as rabies.  These injuries can occur anywhere on a person’s body, but injuries to the face are usually the most severe and require additional medical assessment to see if there is any nerve damage.  If the attack is very serious, the injuries can sometimes result in disability or deformity.  While this may be rare, it is a possibility, so it is very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a dog attack.

The treatments for dog bite injuries vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury.  Your doctor will likely perform several assessments in order to determine the nature and seriousness of your injuries.  Most often, individuals suffer from laceration wounds after a dog attack, so your doctor will treat these injuries by cleaning and dressing the wound in order to prevent infection.  You will also likely be asked if you have had a recent tetanus shot, as this is important in preventing rabies.  If you have not recently received a tetanus shot, your physician may decide to administer it.  If it is known that the dog had rabies, you will be treated for this infection.  Your doctor may also order x-rays if a fracture is suspected.  They may also perform tests to determine if any nerve damage occurred.


Experiencing a dog attack can be frightening and many individuals are not aware that they can sue, depending on the specific circumstances of the attack.  An experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer can provide you with the legal assistance you need to determine if you are entitled to compensation.

Ottawa Lawyer: Ontario motor vehicle accidents fibromyalgia

An individual who experiences a serious Ontario car accident may suffer from a variety of injuries.  A recent medical study shows that one of the effects of a car accident could be fibromyalgia.  While it is not an immediate injury associated with motor vehicle accidents, the study demonstrates that car accidents can predict the onset of chronic widespread pain, otherwise known as fibromyalgia.  If you have suffered a motor vehicle accident, you may suffer from fibromyalgia and may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  Working with an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer can help you to achieve this.


The recent study that demonstrates a link between car accidents and chronic pain involved individuals who responded to a questionnaire that corresponded with the American College of Rheumatology fibromyalgia classification criteria.  The study also considered the individuals’ psychological health, behaviour related to their health, and any sleep problems they may be experiencing.  After analyzing the data, researchers determined which individuals were experiencing fibromyalgia and which were not.  Those who did not seem to exhibit signs of chronic pain were then followed up on after four years.  In order to assess whether or not fibromyalgia had developed since the initial assessment, the individuals once gain completed the questionnaire and date about their health and sleeping problems was also collected.  At this follow up, individuals were also asked to explain any physically traumatic events they may have experienced since the initial assessment four years prior.


The results of the study indicate that at of the 2069 individuals who participated in the follow up   (46.6% of the original participants), 241 (or 11.6%) reported having chronic widespread pain.  Over one-third of these individuals reported having experienced at least one traumatic event since the initial assessment and prior to the follow up.  Researchers found that car accidents in particular increased the likelihood of an individuals developing fibromyalgia.  To read about this study in more detail, follow this link:


We can see from this study that motor vehicle accidents in particular, can trigger the onset of chronic widespread pain.  If you have been in a car accident and are experiencing serious pain, you should seek medical attention to find out if you may have fibromyalgia.  In addition, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth would be happy to discuss your motor vehicle accident case with you.

Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer: Effects of a Dog Bite

The effects of being attacked by a dog do not always end with treating your injuries.  Some injuries can have more complex and sometimes lasting effects.  While the Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are not qualified to give medical advice, we feel it is our responsibility to inform you of the issues and help you begin to understand some of the implications of personal injury accidents.

If your injuries included lacerations and open wounds, you will likely have a scar.  The severity of scars can vary and while some are very small, light in colour and are hardly noticeable, others can be darker in colour and more prominent.  Some scars can be so severe that they result in disfigurement and may be painful.  If your scars do not fade away on their own you may be able to receive medical treatment to minimize the pain and appearance of your scars.


In the event that the dog attack was very sudden, frightening and severe, an individual may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  While this may be rare, it is certainly possible so if you experienced a terrible dog bit accident, be aware of the signs and seek appropriate medical care.  If, after getting over the initial shock of the event, you don’t feel like yourself, are exhibiting strange behaviours, or feel nervous, depressed or fearful, contact your doctor.


Individuals who are attacked by a dog can also develop a fear of dogs and possibly other animals.  People sometimes begin to distrust and fear dogs, even though before the accident they felt comfortable or even enjoyed the company of dogs.  A certain amount of hesitancy around animals may be normal soon after experiencing a dog bite, but if your fears grow and become worse, it may be wise to speak with a health-care professional.


If you have experienced an attack by a dog, you are likely on your way to healing and recovering from the incident.  It may benefit you to speak with an Ottawa personal injury lawyer if you think you may be entitled to compensation.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth would be happy to discuss your case with you.

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