Accident Information

If you have had an Ontario accident, there is a variety of information you need right now to answer your questions. In this section, we answer basic questions for people who have been injured in an Ontario accident. We also have links to helpful U.S. lawyers whom we recommend. Need more specific information? Call now at 613 860-4529.

Winter Driving: Personal Injury Lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth on CTVMorningLive

As the winter driving accidents start to pile up, Auger Hollingsworth personal injury lawyers founder, Brenda Hollingsworth, spoke to Annette Goerner about safe driving in winter conditions.

Did you know?

The number one reason our personal injury lawyers hear from at fault drivers who caused a collision is that they did not see the other vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist.

  • Clearing all the snow and ice off all your windows is required for safe winter driving.
  • Using windshield washer fluid is required for safe winter driving too.

When our personal injury lawyers ask at fault drivers why they hit our client’s vehicles, they typically tell us they “just could not stop in time.”

  • Having snow tires increases your ability to stop in winter conditions.
  • Anticipating long stop runways in winter conditions decreases the likelihood of a collision.

See Brenda Hollingsworth speak to Annette Goerner on Ottawa CTV Morning Live about avoiding winter driving accidents.

Winter Driving with Auger Hollingsworth Injury Lawyers

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 613 233-4529!

It’s Not Big Brother Watching… Just a Private Investigator!

If you’ve been in an accident and begun your injury case, there is a good chance that you will be the subject of some surveillance by a private investigator.

When you make a personal injury claim, it is the insurance company’s job to make sure that your story is accurate. One aspect of the investigation will be looking at medical records and history, but another option will be surveillance.

During surveillance, an investigator will record video footage of you doing your daily activities, but you will probably never know when it’s happening. The investigator is looking for discrepancies between what you say you can do and what they see you doing.

Avoid surveillance issues by keeping your lawyer and insurance company in the loop about the state of your injuries. If your condition changes, always provide updates.

Remember, surveillance cannot hurt your case if you are honest about what you can or cannot do as a result of your accident. Accuracy is key!

Q: What do you call an alligator in a bullet-proof vest?
A: An investigator.

3 Things to Know When Working with an Adjuster

Many people deal directly with an adjuster at the insurance company when injured in an accident to get fair compensation. In a large number of cases, you might not need a lawyer if you have a small injury or if the loss is straightforward. Here are a few things you must know about working with an adjuster.

  1. Your adjuster does not work for you. They work for your insurance company. This is true whether they are an employee of the insurance company or an “independent” adjuster who looks after your injury case.
  2. An adjuster may also be called a “claims representative” or a “customer service representative.” That changes nothing; they still work for the insurance company.
  3. The insurance adjuster’s job is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible. Their job is not to ensure that you receive all the compensation that you may deserve.

The majority of adjusters you meet will be professional and pleasant. However, keep in mind that their job is to settle fast and settle for the least amount possible.

Defensive Driving: What to Do If You Get a Flat Tire While Driving

This post was originally published on Sep 2nd, 2012 and updated on June 16th, 2020.  

There is nothing worse than a flat tire. Especially at night! Ugh!

Have you heard the ominous “thump thump thump” while driving?  You know that noise means your vehicle is now operating one wheel short of the full set. Getting a flat tire is never much fun, but a blowout while driving at high speed, such as on a highway can be extremely dangerous.

Your safety and that of your passengers and those travelling in vehicles around you depend on your ability to keep calm, think quickly, and carry out the steps below.

What steps should you take immediately after you realize you have a flat tire?

  1. Slow down – Slowly! Do not slam on the brakes. With three tires instead of four you will have reduced traction with the road.  You certainly do not want to make a bad situation worse by causing the car to spin or slide into traffic. Instead, take your foot off the accelerator and gently apply the brake.
  2. As you decelerate, steer the car into a safe zone like an adjacent parking lot (if you’re on city streets) or the side of the road (if you’re on the highway).
  3. Know the safety zones. If possible, pull your car off to the RIGHT side of the road, unless crossing multiple lanes of traffic is impossible or unsafe. Once off the road, stop your car as far away from the roadway as possible.
  4. Turn on your flasher lights – especially if you’re unable to get far away from the flow of traffic. This is an immediate alert to other drivers that you are in distress and could mean the difference between getting rear-ended while stopped and avoiding a devastating collision. Popping your hood also sends a similar message.
  5. If you’re able to change the flat tire yourself, only change the tire if you can work safely. Otherwise, call roadside assistance or the non-emergency police number for assistance.
  6. Wait safely. If you’re waiting for help, stand back from the road.
  7. Avoid tires if you can. It’s impossible to completely eliminate the chance of a flat tire, but adding a few items to your car’s inventory while you’re doing routine maintenance can make dealing with one a little easier.
    1. Always carry a spare tire and equipment to help install it, like a jack and lug wrench.
    2. Foam sealants are a cheap quick fix for a flat, but should only be used in emergencies as some tire shops will refuse to repair a tire because sticky residue the sealant leaves behind. Still, in an emergency when you need to get back on the road in a hurry, having foam sealant handy can be a temporary fix.

If you’ve been in an Ontario car accident and need the advice of an accident lawyer, reach out to the experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  We will provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about compensation in your case.  Call our law firm today 613 233-4529.

August Long Weekend Can be Dangerous

Stay Safe During the Civic Holiday!

If you live in a place with heavy winters like we do in Ottawa, you would probably expect that most car accidents happen in the snowy icy months.  However, both statistics and our own experience tells us that August is the most brutal month of the year for serious collisions.

  • Is it speed?
  • Is it more people on the road?
  • Are people likely to drink or consume cannabis at this time of year?

The reasons are various but the results are clear.  August is dangerous on the roads.  Long weekends and Fridays are the worst.

Friends, please take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.  Please drive safely, watch for cyclists and pedestrians and take transit if you are partying.

Have a great long weekend from your friends at Auger Hollingsworth.  We are in your community and on your side.  Call our firm at 613 233-4529 if you need help or advice after a collision.

Summer Driving

Be safe behind the wheel in August. 

Cycling Deaths Lead to Calls for Increased Ottawa Bicycle Infrastructure

Two Ottawa cycling deaths this summer, combined with multiple Ottawa cycling injuries and countless close calls have left Ottawa bicycle enthusiasts spinning. If we accept that we are in a climate crisis (and how can we not?), surely we must do everything in our power as a City to promote and protect citizens who travel without fossil fuels. In a city as geographically large as Ottawa, cycling is one of the few no-emission options.

Some Improvements in Local Roads

The City of Ottawa has taken a number of strong steps to make cycling safer. The “complete streets” on Churchill Avenue and Main Street are good starts. However, aren’t they kind of complete streets to nowhere? More needs to be done so that cyclists can travel around the city safely on a consistent and integrated system of bikeways.

Consequences of Cycling Accidents

As personal injury lawyers, we see the aftermath of cycling collisions with motor vehicles on a daily basis. In fact, the firm’s first ever personal injury case was a dooring case. The three most common bicycle- motor vehicle collisions we see are:

* Dooring –> when a bike is struck by a door opened from a park car. This can happen on the driver or passenger side. Backseat passengers are also potential culprits.
* Right Hooks –> when a bike is going straight through an intersections and a right-turning vehicle t-bones them.
* Sideswipes –> when a vehicle passes the cyclist too closely on the right, striking the cyclist or running them off the road or both.

Cycling collisions can result in life threatening injuries and death. Cycling accidents can also cause fractures, chronic pain, concussion, road rash and lacerations. Many of our clients who are injured as cyclists suffer a loss of income and require health care services that are not covered by OHIP, such a physiotherapy.

How Auger Hollingsworth Can Help

At Auger Hollingsworth, we help injured cyclists by helping you access accident benefits and by pursuing compensation from the vehicle that struck you, typically by negotiating a settlement with their insurance company.

If you would like to speak to a personal injury lawyer about an injury you suffered as a cyclist, contact us by calling 613-233-4529.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Started my Injury Case

Having served 1000’s of personal injury clients in Eastern Ontario, we have seen many local injury victims experience the legal system, and the accident benefit system in Ontario.  Today we outline 5 tips we’ve garnered from hearing their stories.

  • I wish I had checked in with my doctor more often in the first 6 months post-collision

Many of our clients seek medical help right after the collision, but then pursue physio or chiro treatments for many months without checking in with their family doctors.  If you are improving with treatment, this may be fine.  However, if you are not improving, getting worse or — most importantly– experiencing new symptoms, you should check in with your family doctor to report the symptoms and seek guidance.  Maybe it’s time to seek the assistance of a specialist or a different type of therapy.

  • I wish I had kept receipts of my injury-related expenses before I hired a personal injury lawyer

After a collision, you might need to hire housekeeping assistance or pay for parking or take taxis to accommodate your injuries.  In some cases, the expenses our clients pay that are not covered by accident benefits are significant.  It becomes harder (not necessarily impossible) to recover those expenses from the defendant in a law suit without receipts.

  • I wish I had known the government could change the rules part way through my case

If you have had a collision in the last 5 years, the laws impacting the amount of compensation available to you have changed several times.  What is unusual about some of the changes is that the government and the courts decided that those changes would be retroactive.  They applied even if your case was already in the system.  “No Grandfathering.”  When the rules change, it can be challenging to predict what the outcome of a case may be.

  • I wish I had known that I could choose my own treatment providers

Shortly after a collision, your insurance adjuster may recommend a “preferred” physiotherapist.  We’re told that many clients feel like it “almost” mandatory to attend the adjuster’s recommended provider.  In fact, you can attend any licensed therapy providers who accept motor vehicle cases.

  • I wish I had kept track of lost business opportunities before I hired a personal injury lawyer

For people who are self-employed, or who work on commission, lost income is more complicated to claim than for salaried employees.  How do you measure the loss of real estate clients because you can’t hustle or carpentry jobs that you decline because you can’t take on heavy jobs during your recovery.  Carefully recording networking events missed, or clients declined or referred can make a big difference to the amount of compensation you recover.

Avoid wishful thinking by hiring an injury lawyer immediately after your motor vehicle collision.  In Ottawa and Eastern Ontario the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are pleased to turn questions into answers and wishes into reality.  Contact us today to see if you qualify for a free, no-obligation consultation.  Call 613 233-4529.

 

Compensation is Still Available When You Weren’t Wearing Your Seatbelt

Injured in a Motor Vehicle Collision But not Wearing your Seat belt?

If you or a loved one are injured while riding in a car without a seat belt in Ontario, you are still eligible for accident benefits (no fault benefits) and for compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Statutory Accident Benefits Are not Impacted by a SeatBelt Defence

There is NO REDUCTION in accident benefits for failure to wear a seat belt.  You (or your family) are still eligible for death and funeral benefits, medical rehab benefits, income replacement benefits, attendant care and any optional benefits you purchased.  Whether or not you wore your seat belt has NO BEARING on your accident benefits.

Claims Against the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance may be REDUCED but not ELIMINATED by a Seat Belt Defence

If you or a loved one is injured or dies in a motor vehicle collision where the seat belt was not worn, there MAY be a reduction in the amount of compensation.  The amount of the reduction, if any, will be between 5-25% of the total amount awarded.  For example, if the injured person’s compensation has a value of $100,000, the injured person may only receive $75,000 to $95,000.   The Court in Ontario has stated that in most cases and reduction for failing to wear a seatbelt will be closer to 5% than 25%.

The defendant at-fault driver’s insurance company has to prove that the failure to wear a seatbelt actually caused or contributed to the injuries.  The reduction is not automatic, even if the injured person admits he or she did not wear the seatbelt.

Most Claims are Still Worthwhile if No Seat Belt was Worn

If you believe you or your family have a claim after a motor vehicle collision, please call our office at 613-233-4529 or email us at [email protected]  One of our experienced personal injury lawyers will walk you through the process to compensation.

 

 

Auger Hollingsworth Opens Kanata Personal Injury Law Office

November 1, 2017 –  The personal injury law firm of Auger Hollingsworth is thrilled to announce the opening of its 4th law office.  The new personal injury office is located at 737 Silver Seven Road, directly across from the Kanata Costco.  The new location features free on-site parking and a fully accessible facility.   A full-time personal injury lawyer and staff work at the Kanata location to serve you.

Avoid City Traffic

“This office is a perfect place for clients from Kanata, Carleton Place and the Ottawa Valley (Calabogie, Renfrew, Cobden and Pembroke) to meet with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers,” notes lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth.  “Clients west of Ottawa often want to avoid driving through city traffic to visit their lawyer.  This is an ideal solution.”

Meet Where it is Convenient to You

Founding partner Richard Auger notes, “Our decision to run several offices throughout the city is part of our commitment to personal service.  Our lawyers will come to your home if you’d like.  If you’d like to come to us, we’ll make it as convenient as possible.”

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Auger Hollingsworth Accident & Injury Lawyers is a personal injury law firm representing people injured by motor vehicle collisions, slip and fall, trip and fall and other incidents caused by someone else’s negligence.  If you would like help following an injury, contact us at 613 233-4529.

 

21 Tips for a Safe and Prosperous New Year

Happy New Year!

There is always lots of anticipation as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.  Hope for a prosperous and healthy new year is at the top of most people’s New Year’s wish list.  As we say good bye to 2016 and welcome 2017, here are 21 tips that will help you and your family stay safe both physically and financially for the next 12 months.

Tips for a Safe and Prosperous Year:

  1. Review your auto insurance products.  You want to have the right kind of auto insurance and the right amount of auto insurance. Look at your auto insurance to make sure you have the highest liability policy you can afford.  Check to see what optional coverage you have.  Have you upgraded your accident benefits to ensure you are adequately covered in the event of a catastrophic injury?   Don’t wait until you have an accident to find out you don’t have proper coverage.
  2. Check your home and vacation properties for adequate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.  Start the year knowing that you and your family will be alerted to any fire emergencies in your home by checking for the existence, expiry date and battery life of your alarms.  The peace of mind is worth this very small investment.
  3. Evaluate your disability insurance policy.  This is expensive insurance but it is a lifesaver if you need it.  If you have a policy, have your needs changed since you purchased it?  Had a baby?  Bought a house?  Make sure you have the coverage necessary to meet your basic needs in the event that you become disabled through injury or illness.
  4. Take care of those minor repairs around your home and business that create tripping hazards.  Every single week the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth meet with people like you who have been injured on steps, ledges or cracks that could have been easily repaired.  If you occupy a property, you have to keep it free of hazards or face a potential claim for damages if someone is hurt.
  5. Increase the nighttime lighting around your home and business.  A well-lit property is less likely to result in injuries from unseen hazards.  Lighting is also a major deterrent for intruders.  Having your property illuminated also seems more welcoming to your guests or customers.
  6. Read your homeowner’s liability policy, commercial liability policy and / or tenant’s insurance policy to make sure you are adequately  protected. Among other things, these policies cover you if someone is hurt on your property.  If someone is hurt and you do not have enough insurance, the injured person’s lawyer could claim against your assets.  Think about the number of people who visit your property and what hazards exist.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  Would you have insurance to cover that disaster?
  7. Keep a list of all of the maintenance work you do on your property. Have a binder that records when you inspected your property, what upgrades you did, what service contracts you have, how often you shoveled or salted your walk way.  If someone is injured on your property, you don’t have to show that you were perfect, only that your maintenance was reasonable.  A log will help you prove that you were reasonable.
  8. Choose your footwear wisely.  Almost all of the serious slip and fall injury cases Auger Hollingsworth handles involving icy parking lots also involve pedestrians in running shoes, or worse, flat soled dress shoes.  Want to avoid the slip and fall in the first place?  Wear winter boots.  It’s not a guarantee but it sure improves your odds.
  9. If you have a car collision, or a bike collision, or a pedestrian collision, call the police if you are even slightly injured.  The best way to ensure that you will get the correct info from the other driver and that the other driver won’t change his or her story after-the-fact.  The auto insurance will be easier to deal with if you report the accident too.
  10. Leave more space than you think you need between you and the driver ahead of you.  You have no idea what’s going on in that car in front of you.  Is the driver distracted?  Is it a new driver?   If the driver ahead of you stops suddenly and you are caught off guard, you may be at fault for the accident.  Plus, even if you stop in time, if you are very close to the car ahead of you the driver behind you could knock you into the car ahead.  The more impacts you suffer in a collision, the more likely you are to be injured.
  11. If you are even slightly injured after a slip and fall or an auto collision– seek medical attention.  At Auger Hollingsworth we regularly fight with insurance companies for clients who waited weeks to see the doctor after an injury because they assumed it was just a strain or they assumed they would get better quickly.  They didn’t want to “bother” their doctor.  It is much harder to prove that an injury was caused by a particular event if you wait to seek medical advice.
  12. Keep proper snow removal tools in your car.  In almost every collision scenario the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth encounter, one driver did not see the other driver in time.  Stay safe by ensuring maximum visibility.  Use a broom or a brush to wipe all of your windows, mirrors, headlights, break lights and hood.
  13. Be aware of short timelines if you are hurt.  If you are hurt on government property there can be outrageously short timelines to give them notice of an injury.  Sometimes, as short as 10 days.  If you are hurt, even if you don’t know if you want to pursue a claim, let the City/ town/province know about the incident within 10 days.  Need help?  The personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can help you give proper legal notice.
  14. Wear a helmet while biking, skating, skiing and  skateboarding.  It doesn’t get much more important than your head. Wearing a properly fitting helmet when engaging in sports with a fall or concussion risk just makes sense.
  15. The left-turning vehicle is almost always at fault.  I repeat: The left turning vehicle is almost always at fault.  Turning left is a huge responsibility.  Even if you believe it should be your turn, the oncoming car should stop at the yellow light or you are “positive” you have enough time to turn left, waiting to be absolutely certain is the right move.  The t-bone collisions that happen when a left-hand turn goes badly are almost always serious.
  16. Apply grit to your walkway, sidewalk, driveway and parking lot.  In Ontario in the winter, a lack of salt or sand will almost always result in a slippery surface.  Even if you clear to the pavement, the black ice can wreek its havoc.  Do yourself, your guests and your letter carrier a favour and apply an anti-slip grit after clearing your surfaces.
  17. Use reflectors at night when walking or jogging.  Most of us wear dark clothing when exercising at night– dark leggings, dark shoes and maybe a hat.  The simple addition of reflectors and a night light can make the difference between being visible and safe and a terrible tragedy.  There are great reflecting dog leashes available too.
  18. It’s okay to help.  In Ontario, there is the Good Samaritan Act that states that if you voluntarily provide emergency first aid at the scene of an accident, you cannot be liable for damages arising from that first aid unless you were “grossly negligent”.
  19. Have a good look at the play structure your kids use.  Have your kids avoid playgrounds without proper cushioning underneath.  Wood chips in particular thin over time.  Let the city or the school in charge know if the cushion is wearing out.  Check too for rusty screw heads that have lost their protective cover, latches that don’t fasten properly and other potential hazards.  Every single year the injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth make claims on behalf of children who have suffered broken bones and concussions as a result of playgrounds in a state of disrepair.
  20. Double check that your doggie is covered.  If you have a dog, ensure that your homeowner’s insurance or tenant’s insurance covers injuries caused by your pet.  In Ontario, a dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their dog, not only as a result of biting but also as a result of an “attack”.  Attack has been interpreted broadly.  While most dog owner cases are relatively small dollar cases, there can be very significant exposure in the most horrific dog bite cases that make the headlines.
  21. In the event of an injury caused by someone else, take advantage of Auger Hollingsworth’s free consultation.  We will speak with you over the phone with no obligation to see if you have a case.  If you may have a case, we will meet with you in person, for free, to provide you with info and an assessment of what we can do for you.  We never get paid until you do.

Have questions? Want to speak with one of Auger Hollingsworth’s personal injury lawyers and paralegals?  Call us today: 613 233-4529.  Or email us: [email protected]

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