Making a Claim after an Accident While on Vacation

The last thing you want is to get injured on vacation.  It happens.  Fairly often, in fact!

  • Injured in the United States?

Most of the time if you are injured in the U.S., it will not be that difficult to figure out what to do.  In many states there is no shortage of personal injury lawyers who line the highways with billboards.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have many great connections to excellent trustworthy American lawyers.  If you need a referral to a lawyer in any U.S. state, please call us.  We will happily listen to your story and refer you to someone we know and trust.  There will never be a fee for this service.  Call us at 613 233-4529.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in the U.S. and you have car insurance in Ontario, or live with a family member who has car insurance, you should contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer.  Most often,  your own auto  insurance company will be involved in cases involving U.S. car accidents, even if you were not at fault in the accident or were just a passenger, pedestrian or cyclist.  This is true even if your own vehicle was parked in your garage in Ottawa while you had your accident in Nebraska or Idaho. (Okay, probably Florida, we know.)

For example, you will have access to statutory accident benefits to cover some of your health care costs, lost wages and related expenses.

You will also likely have access to the Family Protection Endorsement (also known as OPCF 44R).  Many drivers in the U.S. have much lower insurance policy limits that we have in Ontario.   The OPCF 44R will require your own insurance to “top up”  your compensation if the American at fault driver’s insurance is not enough to cover your loss.  Yes, you should have a lawyer for this.  No, it will not affect your insurance rates.

  • Injured Outside Canada and the US?

Accidents at Caribbean resorts, Mexico or in Central or South American countries present more complicated issues.  You will almost always need a lawyer to navigate the issues if you are looking for compensation.  Questions you need to ask include:

o   Can I sue for damages in this country?

o   What can I be compensated for?  Pain and Suffering?  Lost wages? Medical Expenses?

o   How can I find a lawyer?

o   Is there a limitation period?  This is very important.  Some countries have VERY short time periods in which to bring a claim.

Keep in mind that the laws of your host country will apply to any law suit.  You will only be able to recover compensation if the company or person you are suing has assets or insurance.

Often, it will be unwise to count on being able to sue a foreign person or company for injuries they cause, even if they are actually negligent.  To safeguard your financial well-being before heading out on vacation,  review your disability policies and travel health insurance to make certain that they are valid and adequate to meet your needs.

If you are renting a car or other motorized vehicle outside of Canada and the U.S. make sure you purchase insurance.  Find out if the insurance offers protection to you in the event of an accident in the form of accident benefits, uninsured motorist or unidentified motorist coverage.

  • Can I sue in Ontario for Injuries Suffered Abroad?

The Supreme Court of Canada actually looked at this issue in April 2012 in a decision called Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda.   The case involved two separate (unrelated) accidents in Cuba.  In one case the vacationer was very seriously injured.  In the other case the vacationer was killed.

The Court ruled that the injured person (or his family) could sue in Ontario if one of the following factors existed:
• The vacation company was established in Ontario
• The vacation company was doing business in Ontario
• The injury happened in Ontario
• A contract connected with the dispute was made in Ontario.

Practically speaking, if you use an Ontario travel agent and / or an Ontario tour company, you are more likely to satisfy this test.  Being able to sue in Ontario is a very significant advantage when compared to having to travel to the foreign country (while injured or grieving) to litigate.  This is particularly true where there are language and cultural barriers.


If you want more information about your rights after an accident while you were on vacation, call us at 613 233-4529.

Getting Health Care after An Accident Out of Ontario

It’s almost March Break!  After the winter we’ve had, who wouldn’t want to get out of dodge and onto some sunny tropical island.  It is time for vacation.   The living is easy….until…uh oh… you have had an accident while on vacation outside Ontario.

  • Get Appropriate Medical Care

Naturally, you will want to get medical care immediately.  Do you have proper travel health insurance?  The Government of Ontario warns Ontario residents that there is “very limited” coverage for out of country health care.

OHIP does not pay for out of country ambulance services, transportation costs or drugs or prescriptions.

  • Hopefully, You were Vigilant About What Travel Insurance You Selected

Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the travel health insurance you have purchased.  In particular, be aware of the effect of any pre-existing health conditions on your coverage.  For example, if you have a pre-existing health condition that requires medical care while you are out of Ontario, you may have trouble securing coverage if the policy you purchased excludes pre-existing conditions.

Coverage varies a lot from between different insurers.  Different insurers may also have different levels of coverage.  Spend some time investigating what you need before selecting your travel insurer.

Finally, injuries from some high risk or extreme sports may not be covered in your travel health insurance.  Check the fine print before you get on that zip line.

  • Can’t Find Appropriate Medical Care?

If you have difficulty finding appropriate medical care, the Canadian embassy, consulate or High Commission can help.   They can provide you with information about medical care in the area, help you arrange for a medical evacuation, help you contact your family, etc.  However, they cannot pay for your medical care.

If you have had an accident while on vacation out of Ontario, claiming compensation is tricky and almost always will require the assistance of a lawyer to help you figure out where to claim and against whom.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth would be pleased to assist you at this difficult time.  Call us today at 613 -233-4529.


10 Tips To Up Your Chances of Getting Long Term Disability Benefits

Are you applying for Long Term Disability Benefits because you are unable to work?  These 10 pro tips will increase your chances of being approved on the first application.


  1. Meet all the deadlines in your LTD policy.  If you don’t know the deadlines to complete certain paperwork, speak to someone in your human resources department or the insurance broker who sold you the policy.
  2. Get your hands on the ACTUAL policy.  It is important to know the exact test for disability in your situation.  Although most policies have similar wording, they are not all the same.
  3. Share the wording of your disability test with the doctors and other health care providers who are completing forms or writing letters on your behalf.  If they know what the test is, they are more likely to provide the information needed to meet it.  DON’T ASSUME YOUR DOCTORS KNOW THE TEST!
  4. Don’t complain to your doctor or other health care provider about paying for forms or letters.  They are entitled to be paid for their work.  Plus, you will feel more comfortable returning to them with the next round of forms if they are happy and have been treated fairly.
  5. Return the insurance company’s calls and open their letters.  If they tell you they are missing information from your application, take action to complete the application.  Don’t assume that your employer and health care team will just take care of it.  Insurance forms often fall through the cracks.  Be nice, but follow up.
  6. If you are a federal public servant, it is especially important that you follow up with your employer to ensure that all info sought by the insurance company is provided.  The insurer will often need info from BOTH the substantive employer and the HR department.
  7. Be very careful about meeting all deadlines in the policy and in other legislation if your initial application is denied.  There are limitation periods that apply.  Miss them, and you could be out of luck.
  8. Apply for Canada Pension Plan- Disability (CPP-D).  If you have contributed to CPP-D while working, you may be eligible for a federally funded disability pension even if you are not retirement age.  Getting CPP-D is a helpful piece of evidence in support of your LTD claim.
  9. Similarly, you may be able to apply for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).  This is a provincial disability pension that is available to disabled people of limited financial means.
  10. At the first whiff of trouble, call an experienced LTD lawyer.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have had great success getting early approval for denied or ignored LTD claims.  Waiting until you are financially desperate to get legal advice increases your vulnerability and makes it harder for you to make sound decisions about your case.

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your denied application for LTD, call Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation at 613 233-4529.

How waiting too long to meet a lawyer can hurt your Ontario car accident case

Many accident victims wonder how soon is too soon to call a lawyer after a motor vehicle accident.

The truth is, after you have dealt with the police and secured medical attention, a call to an experienced personal injury lawyer is often your next best call.

Speaking to a lawyer early in the process does the following:

  • Ensures you know how to handle your telephone call to the insurance company;
  • Ensures you know what notes to make in the days after the accident;
  • Ensures you have an opportunity to take the right photos before vehicles are disposed of an road conditions have been altered;
  • Ensures that you know how to preserve the motor vehicle’s “black box”.

A lawyer can also help you to provide early notice to the insurer of the at fault vehicle.

Even if you are not certain you want to make a claim, and even if you are not certain that your injuries are serious, getting early advice from a lawyer you can trust can make a very big difference to the outcome of your compensation down the road.

To speak with an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, at no cost or obligation, call Auger Hollingsworth at 613 233-4529.  We’d be happy to explain your rights, even if you decide you won’t ultimately hire a lawyer.

21 Excuses the Insurance Company will Make that the Personal Injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can Negate or Neutralize

1. The injuries you claim to have sustained in your auto accident are actually related to a prior medical condition.  The only way pre-accident medical condition can seriously damage your case is if you conceal it.

2. We have closed your file.  How about you re-open it?  The only way an insurance company can permanently close your file is if the limitation period expires or you sign a full and final release.

3. The police report does not indicate that you were injured. Many times the adrenalin from the accident keeps you from noticing injuries at the scene.  As long as you sought medical attention closely after the accident, don’t worry.

4. You weren’t wearing your seat belt.  Yes, you should have been wearing your seat belt. However, the worst case scenario is that your compensation will be lowered by 25%.  And that’s only if the insurance company can prove that not wearing your seat-belt made your injuries worse.


5. Your car wasn’t in great condition. This will likely only affect your case if the defect in your car caused or contributed to the accident.


6. You didn’t take steps to avoid the collision. As long as you are driving like a reasonable driver, you will not lose compensation because you were not able to take heroic measures to avoid the other driver’s bad driving.


7. You made a sudden stop.  The car behind you has to leave a safe distance in case you make a sudden stop.  There is very rarely liability on the driver who gets rear-ended.


8. You did not go to the hospital immediately after the accident. As long as you seek medical attention within a reasonable length of time after the accident, this won’t hurt your case.

9. Your complaints to the doctor were minimal. It is not at all uncommon for injured people to focus on what is most bothering them at the time of the appointment instead of giving a shopping list of complaints.

10.  Your complaints to your family doctor did not match the complaints you gave to the staff in the Emergency Room.  Injuries evolve over time.  Also sometimes the doctor’s notes get it wrong.

11. No one called the police after the accident. It is better if the police are called but not calling the police is still okay of you have the other driver’s info and report the accident to your own insurance company promptly.


12. You were partially at fault for the accident. In Ontario, even if you are partly at fault for the accident you can still recover damages.  For example, if you were 25% at fault, you get 75% of your damages.


13. No one else was injured in the accident. Super common and so what?  Different positions in the vehicle, different bodies etc. etc.  This is not a defence.

14. Your name is not listed on the police report. It is surprisingly common for passengers to be left off the motor vehicle accident report.  Make sure the driver tells his or her insurance company that you were in the car.


15. The property damage was not severe.  There are lots of reasons why people are badly injured in accidents where there is not a lot of damage to the vehicle itself.  Our engineers will explain all that.


16. You didn’t take an ambulance from the scene of the accident. Many seriously injured people decline an ambulance and prefer to travel to medical attention with a family member.  People also worru about the cost of an ambulance.

17. You had no objective injuries– no cuts, no broken bones, no bruises. There is no denying that objective injuries are easier to prove than subjective.  However, lots of invisible injuries are diagnosed and compensated every day.

18. The type of injury you sustained could not have possibly been caused by the accident.  Insurance adjusters are generally not engineers, doctors or bio mechanical experts.  Your body position in a car explains a lot.


19. Your memory of times, speeds, distances is inaccurate.  You are lying.  Where possible, it is better to speak to a lawyer before answering questions posed by the insurer.  However, there are many reasonable explanations for this type of error in a statement.

20. You told us you were not seriously injured in the accident.  There is danger in giving an early statement to the insurer when your injuries have not fully developed.  However, all personal injury adjusters know that in some cases injuries develop over time.  A medical expert will give an opinion to this effect.

21. You failed to give proper notice, so your claim is barred.  There can be notice periods that impact your claim.  But, don’t take the insurance company’s word for it.  In many cases there are ways around the notice or ways to compensate for late notice.

You don’t have to deal with the insurance companies alone, we are here to help! 

If you’re injured, don’t wonder if you need a personal injury lawyer, call us today at 613-233-4529 to ask about our free, no-obligation consultations.