Ottawa Accident: Rear Facing Car Seats for Toddlers

Ottawa Lawyer: When my kids were babies, I could not wait until they reached 20 pounds so I could switch them into the front facing car seat.  I felt it was easier to keep an eye on them since I was always convinced that they might be choking or otherwise in danger.

For both my boys, that was well before their first birthdays.  Today there is a movement a foot to have the regulations changed to ensure toddlers face the rear for much longer than is currently required.

I was skeptical until I saw this Swedish public service video on You Tube:

Why wouldn’t we err on the side of caution and keep our toddlers as safe as technology permits?

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.

Ottawa Accident Lawyer: Are your kids safe Pedestrians?

Are your kids safe Pedestrians?

Ottawa pedestrian accidents involving children are among the most traumatic car accidents.  Unfortunately, as we know from our personal injury law practice, these accidents are all too common in Ottawa.

Your child may be vulnerable to a motor vehicle accident simply by virtue of inexperience and (it’s true…) your over-estimation of their knowledge and skill in traffic.  Consider the following 8 factors that make your kids more prone to be struck as a pedestrian:

1.  Your child may believe that if he or she can see a vehicle, the vehicle’s driver can see him or her.

2.  Your child may believe that a car driver will always stop at a crosswalk.

3.  Your child may not realize that a car cannot brake on a dime.

4.  Your child may be preoccupied with play and dart out after a pet or a toy.  Similarly, Ottawa children are vulnerable to toboganning into traffic.

5. Your child’s peripheral vision may not be as developed as an adult’s.

6. A child lacks the experience to judge a car’s distance and speed.

7.Your child may believe that a vehicle will always stop at a red light, or that it is always safe to cross on a green light.

8.  Your child may not be able to tell the direction from which sound is coming.

As parents, we want to do everything to protect our children.  Teaching our children to be safe in a way that factors in their cognitive, developmental, behavioural, physical and sensory abilities will enhance their safety on Ottawa streets.

Read our articles on child car accidents in Ottawa for more information about what to do if your child has been in a serious motor vehicle accident as a pedestrian.

Ottawa Child Brain Injury Lawyer: What Parents Need to Know

Ottawa Child Brain Injury Lawyer: What Parents Need to Know

Ottawa– As Ottawa personal injury lawyers we know that paediatric brain injuries are, unfortunately,  very common in Canada.

The impact of a traumatic brain injury is often permanent.  For some children, a brain injury will result in a lifetime of required medical and other care. A child’s traumatic brain injury may be due to the negligence of another person or business.

Where the injury was caused by someone else, the child may have a valid claim for compensation and damages.  For serious brain injuries, the amount of damages awarded can be quite high.  The lifetime cost of care for a brain injured child is significant.  A lifetime of lost wages, or reduced wages can also amount to significant damages.

Child brain injury may be cause by:

1)         Falling –  Falls are among the leading cause of brain injury for everyone, most notably kids under age 4.

2)         Car Accidents– Motor vehicle accidents cause many brain injuries.

3)         Struck by/Against Events– Sports-related injuries such as being hit with a ball or bat are also cocommon causes of child TBI.  For example, many young hockey players suffer from head injuries.

4)           Assaults–  Less commonly, child brain injuries arise from assaults.

If you are the parent of a child who has sustained a traumatic brain injury, also known as an acquired brain injury, you should locate an experienced Ottawa brain injury lawyer to discuss your client’s claim.  Compensation can be significant assistance to both the child and the family.

Ottawa Lawyer: Your Child and the Legal Process after an Accident

Ottawa Lawyer: Your Child and the Legal Process after an Accident

This is an article written by Seattle, Washington  personal injury lawyer Christopher Davis.  We have reproduced it for our Ontario accident readers with permission because it communicates very important information about children’s injury cases.

It is a dangerous practice to wait to settle a claim or file a lawsuit right before the statute of limitations period expires. If a lawsuit is filed right before the deadline and if the defendant cannot be found, or if the wrong defendant is served, the case could be dismissed and the plaintiff gets nothing. For this reason, it may be prudent to hire an attorney well before the statute of limitations expires. Many attorneys will refuse to accept a case when the statute of limitations period is about to expire because there may be insufficient time to investigate the case, file suit and locate and personally serve the proper defendant.

[In Ontario, the limitation period is usually two years from the date of the accident.  For a child it is usually two years from the date of the injured child’s 18th birthday.  However, waiting can still be prejudicial as evidence, and defendants, are harder to locate.]

After the lawsuit is filed and the defendant is served, both sides participate in a process of asking for and exchanging information about the case. This process is called discovery. Each side is allowed to investigate what evidence and witnesses may be introduced at trial. The discovery process may entail sending or answering written questions (called interrogatories) and requests for production documents and other tangible materials that are relevant to the case. In cases involving minor children, the defendant’s attorney will be allowed to access the child’s medical and school records.

The discovery process may also include a deposition. A deposition is a face-to-face meeting where the attorneys are allowed to ask a witness questions under oath while a court reporter transcribes the session. Any witness that may offer testimony at trial can be deposed, including the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s doctors, and the plaintiff’s friends and family. In cases involving the deposition of a child, certain conditions may be requested by the attorney and ordered by the court. The purpose of these conditions may be to implement certain safeguards and limitations for the protection of the child, like how long the deposition will last, what subjects may be inquired into, and where the deposition will take place. The attorney should speak to the child and the child’s parents and guardians about what to expect at the deposition. The guardian and/or parents will usually want to attend the deposition as well.

[In Ontario it is only in very unusual circumstances that someone other than the parties to the lawsuit may be examined for discovery.]

The deposition is a very important legal proceeding that should involve preparation with the attorney and the person or child who is going to be deposed.

The discovery phase may also include a request by the other side that the child submit to a medical examination, or a psychological or neuropsychological evaluation, or all three. When a lawsuit involves a claim for personal and psychological injuries, the law permits the defendant to use a doctor or psychologist chosen by the defense to examine and evaluate the injured person. This can be a very stressful event, particularly in cases involving children. The attorney representing the child will want to make sure there are certain safeguards and limitations in place before the examination goes forward. Oftentimes those conditions may be contested by the defendant’s attorney and this will necessitate a judge to decide the matter. Sometimes these conditions may include having the examination videotaped, allowing a representative for the child to attend the exam, as well as other conditions to make sure the exam is fair and does not unduly burden or distress the child. For instance, in my office we have a fairly specific stipulation that must be signed by the defense attorney which imposes several conditions and restrictions on how the examination may proceed.

Christopher Davis is an excellent Washington attorney.  His site is

If you need help with your Ontario child injury case, contact the experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  Email us at [email protected] or call us at 613 233-4529.

Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer: Protect Your Child from Dog Bites

Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer: Protect Your Child from Dog Bites

As personal injury lawyers we know that a  dog bite injury can be devastating.  Yet, a dog can be a child’s very special friend.  The National Companion Animal Coalition together with the Canada Safety Council have created this resource to ensure the reduction of dog bite incidents, especially in children under the age of 10.  Read about it here.

To read more about Auger Hollingsworth’s dog bite practice, click here.

Ottawa Lawyer: Build a better bike helmet to avoid head injury

Ottawa Lawyer: Build a better bike helmet to avoid head injury

Avoiding child head injuries and child spinal cord injury is a pressing issue for all Ottawa parents, especially when those parents are also personal injury lawyers who see the damage a bike accident can cause.  There is progress toward this shared goal.  Researchers have been working towards a new design for a bicycle helmet which would more effectively prevent injuries to the spinal cord. This new design is made to lessen the compression that occurs in the vertebrae. Would you wear one?

The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have successfully represented children who have been injured while riding their bicycles.  If you have a question about your child’s bicycle accident, contact us at [email protected]

Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer: Trampoline Safety Tips

Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer: Trampoline Safety Tips

We are personal injury lawyers but parents too.  We know kids love bouncing! Recently some doctors have been recommending that children be banned from playing on trampolines.  They are seen by doctors as unsafe, causing many minor serious injuries to young children.

Injuries can come in various forms.  Children may sustain spinal injuries, head injuries, neck or back injuries, broken or fractured bones, cuts and bruises or sprains, to name a few.  These injuries can even result in death or permanent damage, such as paralysis.

If you own a trampoline or if your children have friends who do, you need to be aware of the ways they can be injured so you can stop your child from getting hurt.  Following easy safety precautions can make jumping pain free.  Trampolines can be a great source of fun for children, but only if they’re used in the right way!

Take Your Child to the Doctor After Any Motor Vehicle Accident: Ottawa Lawyer

Take Your Child to the Doctor After Any Motor Vehicle Accident: Ottawa Lawyer

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer — Parents!  Remember the importance of taking your child to the doctor after a car  accident, even if it is apparently mild. It is important for a child to get a doctor’s check up after any car accident, especially one that has left a bruise or visible injury. It is always possible that some internal injuries may have been inflicted.

If your child has been injured in an accident, consider consulting an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer by calling 613-233-4529 or emailing [email protected].

Avoid Child Injury Using Booster Seats | Ottawa Lawyer

Avoid Child Injury Using Booster Seats

Booster seats are mandatory for children who are too big for car seats and too small for ordinary adult seat belts. Children who are too small for booster seats must use a car seat by law. The specifics are as follows:

  • Babies up to 9 kg must be in a rear-facing car-seat away from all active airbags
  • Toddlers between 9 and 18 kg must be in a forward-facing car seat with a tether strap
  • Children between 18 and 36 kg must use a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt

And just to make sure that this law is taken seriously, a fine of $110 and two demerit points are slapped on drivers who do not take this important step. This law applies to anyone who carries children in their car, whether they are parents or just the babysitter.

One of the reasons why this law came into being was the growing number of injuries attributed to seat belt syndrome. While seat belts certainly proved to be helpful for adults, a number of youngsters were sustaining serious internal and abdominal injuries due to lap seat belts. This is mainly due to two factors. One is that seatbelts are mainly designed with adults in mind, not children. Secondly, in a number of cases seat belts themselves have been found to be defective.

Many parents think that just because a child is physically big, they are ready to use ordinary seat belts. But the truth is that a child’s body is very different from an adult’s body. The stress and strain that an adult’s body can take could have serious repercussions for a child. For example, during impact, an adult might sustain whiplash but a child’s body could actually jackknife. When this happens, the seat belt can actually cause extensive internal injuries.

Ontario’s recent booster seat legislation seems to be working, with studies showing that they actually increase child protection by nearly 60%. Now a number of other Canadian provinces are looking to follow Ontario’s example.

Children might not like booster seats initially, especially if they think it is just a ‘baby seat’. But it is important to make it clear that the booster seat is there for their safety. Furthermore, tell the child that they can only ride in the car if they sit in the booster seat. If the child has older siblings, encourage them to be supportive about using the booster seat. That booster seat could mean the difference between slight scratches and massive internal injuries if an accident occurs.

If your child is injured in an accident and was not properly restrained in the appropriately-sized safety seat, your child will have a claim against the driver of the car—even if the driver is a family member. A consultation with a personal injury lawyer will assist you to determine your child’s rights.

To speak with an Ottawa personal injury lawyer at Auger Hollingsworth call us at 613-233-4529, email us at [email protected] or use our contact form.

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