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.

About the Author: Brenda Hollingsworth

Brenda Hollingsworth co-founded Ottawa’s Auger Hollingsworth in 2005 with her husband Richard Auger. Together, their mission was to create a personal injury law firm for Eastern Ontario that is unrivalled in the province for customer service and legal expertise. Brenda was named an Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 award recipient and took home the Women’s Business Network’s Businesswoman of the Year award in the Professional category. She was also recognized as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s “Top 50 People in the Capital.” She is often quoted as an expert and has appeared in media outlets such as CTV, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Sun Media, CBC, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, CFRA and many legal publications.

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