Ottawa Train Accidents

OC Transpo Bus – Via Rail Train Accident

September 18, 2013-  Today’s fatal accident involving a double decker OC Transpo city bus and a Via Rail train has left Ottawa in shock.  At least 40 families are facing the grief and sorrow that accompanies a fatal motor vehicle accident or one involving serious personal injury.

If you were involved in today’s bus – train accident at Woodroffe and Fallowfield, here are 5 things you need to know right now:

1.  Apply for Accident Benefits

If you were a passenger on the bus and you have your own car insurance policy, or live with a family member who does,  you should notify your car insurer immediately.  This will be a surprise to most people,  but that is how Ontario’s no fault accident benefits work.  Your own car insurance will pay for any non-OHIP medical or rehabilitation expenses.  Your own car insurance will also pay you an income replacement benefit up to a specified maximum if you can’t work for more than 7 days after the accident.  Have questions about accident benefits after an accident involving an Ottawa bus and Via Rail?  Call us at 613 233-4529.

2. If You Don’t Have Accident Benefits, OC Transpo will Provide Them

If you do not have your own car insurance policy, the City of Ottawa will cover your accident benefits.  You do not have to sue the City of Ottawa or OC Transpo in order to access accident benefits.  Our law firm can help you contact the City to get the application forms.

3. Accident Benefits include funding for Psychological Counseling

Many people involved in a mass transit accident will need psychological assistance.  This is a very traumatic event.  The accident benefits available to bus passengers will provide funding for psychological treatment, even if you did not suffer a physical injury in the accident.

4. You Should Give Notice of a Potential Claim within 120 Days

If you are seriously injured, you may have a claim for damages (compensation).  You do not have to decide whether or not to sue right away.  However, there is a requirement to give notice of a potential claim to the city of Ottawa within 120 days.  If you hire a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer  can provide notice for you.  If you wish to give notice on your own, you can write to the Clerk of the City of Ottawa to alert the City of Ottawa to the potential claim.

5.  Don’t Wait to Seek Medical Attention After Today’s Bus-Train Accident

You should seek medical attention after the accident if you are injured.  Waiting to report your injuries for days, weeks or months is a serious impediment to getting proper compensation.  It may also slow your recovery.

Need more information or want to discuss your options after the OC Transpo Via Rail Accident, call our office at 613 233-4529 or call Brenda Hollingsworth directly at 613 851-4529.  We are here to support you.


Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer on the Radio

Auger Hollingsworth is delighted to announce that lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth will be live on 580 CFRA on Saturday, August 18, 2012.  That’s 580 on the AM radio dial.

Brenda will be answering live calls about all things personal injury.  If you have a question or comment, we hope to hear from you.  The show runs for an hour starting at 2 p.m.

We hope Ottawa listeners will take this opportunity to ask questions about the personal injury process, how to get fair compensation and when you might be entitled to compensation.

If you have a question or comment, and can’t wait for the radio program or want to speak directly to our law firm, call 613 233-4529.  We look forward to speaking to you.



Renfrew families Grieve after Sudbury area Accident

January 3, 2012 was a terrible day for Renfrew, Ontario families whose teens were killed in a tragic car accident on Highway 17.

Keegan Melville, 18, and Zabrina Rekowski, 19, of Renfrew were killed when the Ford minivan they were travelling in crossed the centre line and collided head-on with a Jeep near Hagar, Ont..  The accident happened about 50 km east of Sudbury.

The driver of the minivan, Hillary Afelskie, 19, ofAdmaston-BromleyTownship, Ont., died in hospital the following day.

Emily Olmstead, 19, of WhitewaterRegionTownship, Ont.,  is the sole survivin passenger of the minivan.

The two people in the Jeep, Walter Rancourt, 72, and Patricia Rancourt, 71, both from Sturgeon Falls, Ontario., were transported to hospital with serious injuries.

Our condolences go out to the friends and families of the injured and the deceased.

Do I need to see a Medical Specialist After my Ontario Accident?

If you have been injured in an Ontario accident, you have likely seen your family doctor for a medical assessment.  While it is a good idea to visit your general practitioner about your injuries, it is also wise to seek additional medical attention and advice from specialists. If a doctor who specializes in your particular injuries has seen you and diagnosed your injuries, your case will be stronger and more credible.  Generally speaking, your case will likely settle for a higher amount if you have seen an appropriate specialist.

Many injury victims see physiotherapists for rehabilitation for their injuries.  Physiotherapy can be an excellent resource for injured persons and can be of great benefit.  However, records from your physiotherapist are usually not enough to prove that you have a specific injury and the details regarding your injury.  This is because physiotherapists are not able to officially diagnosis an injury.  They are able to treat symptoms and help you recover from your injuries, but their records do not carry the same weight as a medical specialist.

Insurance companies and jurors tend to place more importance on statements and records from medical specialists, rather than those who have helped you in your recovery, such as a physiotherapist.

After seeing your family doctor for your initial medical assessment after your injury, your doctor may refer you to a specialist.  If they do not automatically do so, consider asking them if you could get a referral to an appropriate specialist.  A good general practitioner should be happy to help you find the medical treatment you need, whether that is to receive a second opinion, or because your injuries are so severe that a more specialized doctor is needed.

Regardless of your injuries, seeing a medical specialist, such as a neurologist, surgeon, podiatrist or ophthalmologist, can greatly benefit your case.  Remember that you should receive all of the medical treatment necessary to recover from your injuries and you
want to do all you can to present a strong legal case.

5 Factors that Affect the Value of Your Ontario Accident Case

If you are like most of our Ottawa accident clients, you are very keen to know how much your accident case is worth.  Who can blame you?  You are going through this stressful legal process, it makes sense that you want to know whether your case is worthwhile.


Unfortunately, we often can’t tell you what your Ontario accident case is worth until well into file.  However, what we can tell you are factors that will influence the value of your case.  Here, in no particular order are 5 key factors that impact on the monetary value of your case:


  • Do you have a provable loss of income claim?  InOntario, this is often the single biggest component of someone’s settlement or trial judgment.


  • Have you attended your physician on a regular basis since the accident and described all your symptoms at every visit.  Medical records documenting symptoms carry a lot of weight.


  • Has your family physician sent you to specialists to diagnose and / or treat your injury?  Remember that in many cases you have to ask for a referral to a specialist.


  • Where applicable, have you had an MRI, CT scan, ultrasound x-ray or other diagnostic test?  An injury that shows up in medical imaging will usually be better compensated than an injury that does not.  Where there is a “picture” of the injury, the issue of credibility is removed.  If you think you would benefit from one of these tests, ask your doctor.


  • Are you able to identify specific changes to your lifestyle as a result of the accident?  Accident victims who are able to consistently specify activities that they could do before the accident and that they cannot do after the accident tend to do better financially with their claim than accident victims who complain of “pain” but are not limited in their actions.

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.

Burn injuries after an Ottawa accident | Lawyer Ontario

What an Ottawa lawyer can tell you about burn accidents

While burns can be caused by a number of different Ottawa accidents, Ontario personal injury cases most often involve burns incurred during a car accident.  If you have suffered a burn injury due to an Ottawa car accident you may be entitled to compensation.  Burn injuries can have a range of physical effects.  Some are minor and are able to heal completely, while more severe burns can cause permanent scarring.  Like many other kinds of personal injury, burns can result in time off from work and loss of wages, extensive medical treatment and even emotional damage.


Burns incurred during a motor vehicle accident can have a few causes.  Faulty equipment, electrical malfunctions, and gasoline leaks can all cause burn injuries.  Whether the vehicle was hit by another car, ran into a tree or building, collided with a larger vehicle such as a train or bus, explosions can occur and often result in severe injury.  The kind of burn and its severity depends on the cause of the accident and how the burn occurred.


There are a number of different kinds of burns as well as different degrees of severity.  This information is important in determining if compensation will be granted, and if so, how much.   Most burns from car accidents are thermal or chemical, but the circumstances of your accident and a thorough medical examination will be able to determine the nature of your burns.

The severity of burns includes first, second and third degree.  First degree burns are more minor and are usually mostly on the surface of the skin.  Second degree burns are more serious and often result in blisters and other damage to the skin.  Third degree burns are the most severe and definitely require medical attention because they cause damage to deeper tissue.


If you have been burned in an Ottawa car accident you may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries.  In order to determine if you have a case, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer such as those at Auger Hollingsworth.  They will be able to go through the details of your case and of your injuries and advise you about where to go from here.  Call 613 233-4529.

Ottawa Train Accident Lawyer | Ontario Injury Lawyer

Can an Ottawa train accident lawyer help you?

Whether it is VIA Rail’s passenger trains or cargo trains, trains are an important and dangerous part of Ottawa’s traffic landscape.  When there are problems with train maintenance, track control or  when reckless drivers try to beat the train across the tracks, a serious accident may occur. If you have been hurt in an Ontario train accident, Ottawa lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth can help you recover damages for your injuries.

Have you or someone you love been involved in an Ottawa train accident?   Our train accident lawyers have extensive knowledge regarding the consequences of train accidents and can help you win the compensation you deserve.

You may have suffered a train accident as a result of a:

  • Collision with another train
  • Train Derailment
  • Collision with a car, bus, truck, or motorcycle
  • Mechanical failure of the train that leads to an accident
  • Inadequate security on the train
  • Dated and unsuitably maintained tracks
  • Conductor Negligence

In 2009, 1,038 rail accidents were reported to Canada’s Transportation Safety Board, a 12.1% decrease from the 2008 total of 1,181 and a 23.3% decrease from the 2004-2008 average of 1,353.  The Transportation Safety Board also reports that rail fatalities in Canada totaled 71 in 2009, down from 74 in 2008 and the five-year average of 91. Of the rail fatalities, trespasser fatalities was the largest fatality category with 52 in 2009, down 11.6% from the five-year average Crossing fatalities totaled 19 in 2009, down from the 2008 total of 26, and down 32.6% from the five-year average of 28.

Who is Responsible for your Ontario Train Accident?

There may be multiple factors resulting in a railroad accident.  As a result, many people may be held responsible for your injury, loss of income, or pain and suffering. While it’s the responsibility of the railroad company to maintain the tracks and the train you ride, truck and car drivers also have the responsibility of following the laws and not trying to sneak pass the crossbars after they’ve been lowered.

If you are injured in a train accident where you are in a car, truck or on a motorcycle, statutory accident benefits may be available to you.

Can We Help Your With Your Ottawa Train Accident?

The Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth would be happy to answer your questions about compensation following a train accident.  Call us for your free consultation at 613 860-4529.