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Motor Vehicle Accident Case Study: Stephen

Stephen, a husband and father in his late 20s, had been drinking at a bar with a friend. Afterwards, he got in the car with his friend. His friend was intoxicated and crashed the car into a cement wall. When police arrived, they found Stephen bleeding profusely. He showed signs of facial trauma and a broken leg. The ambulance rushed him to the trauma centre.

Stephen’s Traumatic Injuries

Stephen required 15 hours of surgery and remained in intensive care for almost 3 weeks. Stephen suffered many serious injuries and was diagnosed with cognitive communication deficit. Stephen needed multiple therapies and rehab and was referred to an acquired brain injury clinic.

How Our Firm Helped Stephen

A colleague of Stephen’s wife recommended us to Stephen. Stephen contacted our firm while he was still in the rehab centre.

Our team ensured that Stephen’s Statutory Accident Benefit Claim was started and that he was labeled as catastrophically injured. We assembled a rehab team to prepare Stephen for his eventual discharge. We ensured that his home could accommodate his injuries. With our help, all of Stephen’s care was funded through his Statutory Accident Benefits.

Stephen’s Lawsuit

Stephen did not have car insurance to cover the loss, but our team located an insurance policy that followed the owner of the vehicle. We also sued the bar that overserved Stephen and the driver. The case proceeded to examination for discovery. Our team helped Stephen prepare for this. Stephen went to a neuropsychologist for an opinion of his recovery and a prognosis. This report supported that he was unlikely to be competitively employable.

The case did not resolve at mediation; the gap was too wide. Our lawyers continued to fight for Stephen. We ultimately achieved a seven-figure settlement that would provide him with the security he and his family needed.

Long-Term Disability

The Long-Term Disability company cut Stephen off its benefit after Stephen enrolled in school as part of his rehab program. Our firm sued the company, and the claim settled successfully for a lump sum.

A Tribute to Dads

Every client who walks through our door has a story to tell and had a life before an accident changed everything.

This month, and on June 20th in particular, we honour the fathers who have suffered serious injuries but have persevered for the sake of their kids. For example, we think of Carlos who suffered a traumatic brain injury when his vehicle struck a building. A brand-new father, he spent months away from his new baby and wife while he worked on recovery. The family of three spent Baby’s First Christmas in the Ottawa Rehab Centre. Five years later, against all odds, Carlos had a college diploma and a meaningful future thanks in part to his settlement. In large measure, he wanted to be someone for his daughter. And he is. Happy Father’s Day Carlos.

We honour the fathers who have received the unthinkable call– from the police or the hospital. Their child has been severely injured. For example, we think of Samson whose son suffered a life altering spinal cord injury. Samson and his wife Dorothy gave everything they had to make their son’s life all that it could be. Although nearing retirement after a bone wearying career, Samson would work all day and then travel to his son’s home to provide care all night. There is nothing that father would not do for his son. Happy Father’s Day Samson!

“Fathers are men who dared to place the world’s hopes and dreams in their children.”

Happy Father’s Day.

Motor Vehicle Accident Case Study: John

3-year-old John’s life was significantly changed one day, while crossing the street on his way to the local splash pad in Cornwall. The child was walking roughly 10 meters behind his mother when he was struck by a van. Paramedics arrived on scene and noted head/brain trauma as John’s primary injuries. John was distraught and bleeding from his head. The paramedics score John as a 13/15 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. They transported him to the hospital in Cornwall for further assessment.

At hospital, his GCS was reassessed at 10/15, putting him at greater risk of falling into a coma. A CT scan showed a small contusion and a small hematoma on his right frontal lobe. He was intubated and sedated with a combination of Ketamine and Succinylcholine for the two days following the accident. X-rays of his shoulder showed a minor fracture of his left clavicle. Over the next few days at the hospital, his situation deteriorated and he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and placed in the pediatric intensive care unit.

John’s quality of life was significantly disrupted by the collision. From a behavioral and social perspective, he now gets very emotional and often shows a lack of remorse. The collision disrupted his childhood and delayed his development. As John gets older, his impairment will likely be magnified and his ability to live a normal life will be limited. So far, John has undergone several blocks of speech and language therapy. He also had to significantly alter his schooling. He no longer participates in recreational activities, gym class, or daily recess at school.

Our firm helped John and his family receive compensation based on his inability to work for the rest of his life, his future need of attendant care, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We also helped his father receive compensation based on his wages forgone to care for his son. Our firm filed a lawsuit against the driver of the car and an accident benefits claim against the insurance company. We hired an engineer to recreate the accident scene, based off photos and other evidence provided by the police.

They concluded that the car was travelling between 25-46km/hr in a school zone. The engineers established that the driver had enough time to stop and brake safely, had she been paying attention. The case did not settle at mediation, as both parties could not agree on a fair amount of compensation. At pre-trial, a judge assessed the case and recommended the defendants offer our client more money. John and his family were happy to receive both an accident benefits and a lawsuit settlement. The money means that they no longer must worry about an uncertain financial future resulting from the accident.

Meet Our New Associate Lawyer, Paolo Negro

Paolo hails from Ottawa but now calls Toronto home.

Before entering law, Paolo worked as an English teacher abroad for several years. He spent time living in Turkey and South Korea where he was able to travel extensively, see the world, and experience different cultures. He enjoys reading at quiet cafes, walking through city streets, and sightseeing when he is not at home spending time with friends and family.

Paolo’s career in personal injury began soon after graduating from law school in 2018. He started as an articling student at a boutique personal injury firm in Toronto and stayed on as an associate lawyer after being called to the bar in June 2019. There, he quickly gained a reputation for being a fierce advocate for his clients and for his successes in the courtroom. In 2021, Paolo won a very significant motion on an important question relating to slip and fall lawsuits. The decision in this case will help many people injured on municipal property who are unaware of the dangerous short notice periods.

At Auger Hollingsworth, Paolo brings this same drive and dedication as he strives to obtain the best possible results for his clients. Paolo grew up in Ottawa’s east end attending French school and prides himself on being able to offer legal services in both English and French. His proficiency in Italian is another reason why many clients feel comfortable obtaining legal services from him.

Meet Our New Associate Lawyer, Zachary Goncalves

Zach was born and raised in Toronto.

He is proud to be a plaintiff-side personal injury lawyer. He prides himself in thoroughly preparing his cases so that his clients can stand-up against large insurance companies and corporations. Following Zach’s undergrad at York University, he enrolled in law school at the University of Windsor. Zach graduated from Windsor Law in June 2016 and was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2017.

As a law student, Zach developed a particular interest in the practice of civil litigation. He was an active member of Windsor Law’s Community Legal Aid Clinic, where he worked as a Caseworker and Group Leader, providing various legal services to disadvantaged individuals in the Windsor-Essex area. Following law school, Zach articled and practiced for close to five years at a large Toronto-based personal injury firm. During that time, Zachary successfully negotiated and recovered millions of dollars in fair compensation for countess accident victims.

Zach joined Auger Hollingsworth in March of 2021 and remains committed to helping accident victims across Ontario. Outside of work, Zach enjoys sports (particularly soccer), travel, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends. Zach is proud of his Portuguese heritage and is eager to help Portuguese speakers with their accident claims.

Motor Vehicle Accident Case Study: Samantha

Don’t think a personal injury lawyer can make a difference? Check out what we did for our client, Samantha, after she suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident.

Samantha was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left her with severe injuries and an inability to care for her family.  As she passed through an intersection, a car that failed to stop at a stop sign fully forcefully struck Samantha’s driver-side door. On impact, the airbags were deployed, and she felt immediate and excruciating pain in her back, neck, shoulders and hips. Samantha was rushed to the hospital for further assessment of her injuries.

Samantha’s Traumatic Injuries

Earlier in her life, Samantha struggled with both mental and physical health issues. However, immediately before the accident, she was healthy and happy. After her car crash, Samantha was diagnosed with a labrum tear in her left hip and experienced a sharp decline in her mental health. Medical experts stressed that her physical and mental health symptoms were very tied together. Before the accident, Samantha was an extremely active person. She was a runner, weightlifter, yogi, and coach on her children’s hockey teams. Since the collision, she is no longer able to participate in the physical, social, and family activities that were her passion.

How our Firm Helped Samantha

We helped Samantha along the recovery process, including arranging some rehab, such as meetings with psychologists and specialists. Before her accident, she spent many hours per week cooking and cleaning for her two children. We helped arrange and secure funding for a cook and cleaner for her following the injury. We also helped her secure compensation for her pain, suffering, and overall loss of quality of life.

Samantha’s Lawsuit

Our firm opened a lawsuit and accident benefits claim against the driver who hit Samantha at the intersection. The lawyers prepared her for discovery and then mediation. Both parties were able to agree on a settlement at mediation. She also received compensation from her accident benefits claim. Her kids and husband received compensation because of their loss of care, companionship, and guidance due to the injury. Samantha received funds for her loss of income and need for rehab care and house cleaning.  Our client was happy with her settlement, knowing that her family was taken care of and she would no longer have to worry about missing work due to her injury.

Motor Vehicle Accident Case Study: Noah

Think your life is over after a serious motor vehicle accident? Noah was surprised to learn that there is life after disability—if you choose the right lawyer.

On a cold January morning, Noah was stopped at an intersection on his way home from work. Suddenly, a car rear-ended him, propelling his car into the vehicle stopped directly in front of him. Paramedics and police officers rushed to the scene, and although Noah did not initially visit the hospital, he later realized the severity of his neck and back pain.

Noah’s Traumatic Injuries

Following his accident, Noah was diagnosed with migraines, whiplash, back and shoulder pain, headaches and anxiety. His injuries severely impacted his quality of life and caused lots of suffering for him and his family. Before his accident, Noah was a social person who enjoyed spending time with friends and going to the movies. Now, he feels uncomfortable gathering with friends since they do not understand his struggles.

How our Firm Helped Noah

We helped Noah and his family receive compensation for their pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life as well as income replacement based on his lost wages from work. We also helped Noah secure funding for his increased childcare and housekeeping costs since the accident.  Under the Family Law Act, we assisted his wife in receiving compensation based on her loss of companionship, support and increased responsibilities following the accident.

Noah’s Lawsuit

Our firm started a lawsuit and accident benefits claim against the car driver who rear-ended Noah on his family and his behalf. The lawyers helped Noah prepare for the examination for discovery. The liability was clearly on the driver who rear-ended him. With the help of experts, we estimated Noah’s economic losses, including lost wages and future care, and non-economic losses, including pain and suffering. The case did not settle at mediation because not all parties could agree on a fair amount. So, the case proceeded to pre-trial, where a judge reviewed each parties’ case in detail. Eventually, we reached a settlement that all parties were happy with. Noah received compensation from both the accident benefits settlement and the lawsuit. Noah was delighted, knowing that he and his family would no longer have to worry about an uncertain financial future stemming from his injury.

Motor Vehicle Accident Case Study: Liam

What if hiring a personal injury lawyer after an accident could change your life? Liam’s life was changed when he hired Auger Hollingsworth after a serious bike accident.

On his bike ride to work at a coffee shop, Liam was struck by a taxi driver trying to overpass another car. The collision knocked Liam off his bike and damaged both the car and bike. His injuries worsened over time and have prevented him from returning to his job at the coffee shop. Many specialists diagnosed Liam with life-altering cognitive, psychological and physical injuries.

Liam’s Traumatic Injuries

Liam suffers from daily headaches, poor memory, vision problems, bladder and bowel problems, dental problems, body pain and anxiety.  Before his accident, Liam was an active sportsperson who participated in cycling, golf and roller bladder. He even had plans to participate in a cycling race later in the year of his accident.  Now, his recreational activities have stopped completely. His family and marital life have also suffered significantly. Before the accident, he had plans to marry his girlfriend, but they are now distant. He explained how being a 30-year-old with a scooter and cane can hurt his self-esteem.

How our Firm Helped Liam

Our firm helped Liam receive income replacement based on his inability to work and compensation for his pain and suffering. We also helped arrange some of Liam’s rehab needs, including chiropractic care and physiotherapy. Due to his injury, Liam cannot take care of his house, so we arranged a maid service to visit his house weekly and secured funds for housekeeping costs.

Liam’s Lawsuit

Our firm opened a lawsuit and accident benefits claim against the taxi driver who hit Liam. The lawyers prepared him for the examination for discovery and mediation. The liability was clearly on the taxi driver, who did not check before making a turn. Both parties agreed on a settlement at mediation involving both the tort and catastrophic accident benefits claim. In the end, Liam received both an accident benefits and lawsuit settlement. Liam was happy that he no longer had to worry about his inability to work or take care of his house.

Mental health matters

A serious accident commonly takes a toll on the body and mind. Seek help so you can begin to feel better sooner. Here are some common issues our clients face:

Depression. If your life circumstances have changed significantly, you may feel deep despair and hopelessness. If this lasts a long time and you find yourself losing interest in things you used to enjoy, ask your doctor.

  1. Sleeping too much or too little. The right amount of sleep is critical to your recovery. If you find yourself consistently sleeping too much or struggling to sleep enough, consult a doctor.
  2. Changes in eating habits. Similar to sleep, eating enough healthy foods is important to your health, but sometimes can shift after an accident throws your life out of balance. If your eating habits have changed, talk to a doctor to identify the underlying issue.
  3. Loneliness. Feeling lonely is very common right now during a pandemic, but when you’re recovering from an injury, you can feel even more isolated from social connections. You may feel that others do not understand your situation or abilities. Talk to your health professionals to see how you can find connection in a safe, fulfilling way.
  4. Forgetting things. Feeling distracted and forgetting things is understandable after an accident, when suddenly you may have more appointments and changes in your lifestyle. Our legal team is here to help keep your recovery process organized. But if you feel that you are experiencing more significant memory loss or brain fog, it can be a sign of something else. Talk with your doctor.
  5. Mood swings. After an accident you may find that sometimes you lash out and get angry suddenly, while other times you may feel suddenly sad, and still other times you feel emotionally fine. Talk with a doctor to see what can be causing these mood swings and how you can manage them.

 

A little spring into your step

Now that spring is finally here, many of us are enjoying more time outdoors. Enjoy the fresh air, but be safe when walking, especially when near roads or paths! Between 2004 and 2008, thirty-two individuals were killed in vehicle-­pedestrian accidents in just Ottawa.

If you are ever injured in a pedestrian accident (involving a car, truck, or another type of motor vehicle), protect your rights by making smart choices at the scene of the accident.

DO:

Insist that the police come to attend the scene

Obtain the driver’s name, license plate number, and insurance information

Get the medical attention you need

Call YOUR OWN insurance company to report the accident (it won’t affect your rates.)

Get advice from a personal injury lawyer.

 

DON’T:

Tell everyone at the scene that you’ll be fine. The adrenaline is pumping. You don’t know for sure.

Leave without witness information and the driver’s info.

Wait to contact a lawyer. Witnesses vanish. Memories fade.

Personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are here to help ensure that you are afforded fair and just compensation as a result of a potentially life-changing incident. Call us with any questions, anytime.

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