Other Ontario Accident Issues

Suffered an Ontario Accident? There is no end of questions you may have. Read the important information below to discover more about the claim process after a serious accident.

Can I Get Sued If I Give Someone COVID-19?

There has been recent media discussion about possible lawsuits against Ontarians who host social gatherings over the holidays.  Some news outlets suggest that if a guest contracts COVID-19 after attending your house party, you could be found liable in negligence as the host.

Our firm does not recommend breaching local and provincial laws and rules about social distancing and gatherings.  It makes sense to take every step to keep you and your loved ones safe. Plus, the possibility of fines is real!

Can I get sued for giving someone COVID-19 at a Christmas party?

The injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are doubtful that a flood of lawsuits against party hosts will be successful given the current state of the law and the widespread knowledge and warnings about the risks of gathering inside over the 2020 holiday season.  Civil liability for COVID-19 from a private party?  We think that is far-fetched for the following four reasons.

  1. Proving the Host is At Fault.  First, how would you prove where you contracted the virus?  Unless you are be able to prove that you had zero risk of exposure from anything else you did over the previous 14 days, how could you conclusively say that you got the virus at the party? Have you been to the grocery store? Outside? The gym? School?  Has anyone you live with been any of those places?  If other guests at the party also contracted COVID-19, how would you prove that they did not catch it from you?  As the plaintiff in a civil law suit you have the burden to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your illness.  We think that would be a very difficult burden.
  2. Ontario’s Laws Protect Social Hosts.  Second, look at how the courts have treated social host liability in other contexts.  For example, to date, party hosts who allow drunk guests to drive home from a party have not been found responsible for injuries caused by the drunk driver.  From these cases, there is a strong indication that no liability will be found unless the host actually does something intentionally harmful.  Following these precedents, it is unlikely that a party host would be responsible for someone’s COVID-19 infection unless the plaintiff could prove that the host intentionally withheld information that a guess was not feeling well.
  3. You Assumed the Risk of Illness.  Third, Ontario has a defence called the “voluntary assumption of risk”.  If a person engages in an activity, and they accept and are aware of the risks inherent in that activity, they cannot later complain of injury during the activity.  Although the host will have the obligation to prove that the guest was aware of the risk and accepted them, in the context of the well-publicised risks of the pandemic, this burden would not be difficult to meet.  This is a complete defence.  If the host shows you voluntarily assumed the risk, you lose your lawsuit.
  4. You were negligent too.  Even if you were to prove that the host was somehow responsible for your infection, you would also likely be held to be contributorily negligent.  What that means is that you share the responsibility for your infection.  A court would then decide what percentage you are at fault for your own situation.  Your compensation would be reduced by that percentage.  Given how well known the risks of social gatherings are, and that you chose to participate in the face of those risks, the percentage of your own responsibility would likely be very high.

If you have questions about your specific situation related to COVID-19 or other illness or injury, please contact us.

In an Eastern Ontario motor vehicle accident how am I compensated if I need to be retrained for work?

If you are a victim of an Eastern Ontario motor vehicle accident and you are left unable to perform your work duties, you may need retraining or modified tasks in your job.  Any time your livelihood is impacted by an accident, you should look to a personal injury lawyer for advice. The Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office often get asked what compensation accident victims have when they cannot return to work.

After an Eastern Ontario personal injury where retraining is required, you may have funding under the Ottawa no-fault benefits.  These benefits are also called SABS, ABs or Statutory Accident Benefits.   Retraining can involve working with a vocational rehabilitation therapist, an occupational therapist and several other health care professionals.

When your career is jeopardized and results in a loss of income,  you may also be able to claim the loss of income in a law suit against the at-fault driver, provided that you can provide adequate proof of the loss and job path.  An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to build the income loss portion of your case.

Kurt Stoodley and Brenda Hollingsworth talk about income loss and Ontario accident compensation when a victim needs retraining for work.

For more information you can also request a copy of our book Injured Victim’s Guide to Fair Compensation.

If you have been left unable to perform work duties due to an Eastern Ontario motor vehicle accident and want to have your case evaluated by a personal injury lawyer contact the Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office at 1-888-574-4529 for a free consultation.



Perth Car Accident Follows Police Chase

April 10, 2013 –  Three teens were seriously injured in a car accident near Perth, Ontario on Wednesday morning.    The accident happened when the vehicle crashed into a hydro pole in the area of County Road 10 between Richardson Side Road and Ford Road.

The vehicle had earlier been involved with the Lanark Ontario Provincial Police.  A police cruiser had attempted unsuccessfully to stop the vehicle before the collision with the hydro pole.

The teens were transferred to the Ottawa Hospital for care of their major injuries.

What Legal Rights Do the Injured Passengers Have?

It is very common for inexperienced teenaged drivers to have single car accidents while their friends are in the car.  This is a major worry for all parents once their children reach driving age.  If your child is a passenger in a single vehicle accident, here are some important steps to take as soon as practical after the accident:

  1. Contact your own insurance company to advise of the accident.  Many people don’t realize that your no fault accident benefits come from your own insurance company, even if your own vehicle was not involved in the accident.  Typically, your children will be covered by your accident benefits if they live with you or are your dependents.
  2. If your teen is not completely independent after discharge from the hospital, speak to a personal injury lawyer about getting an attendant care assessment.  Your accident benefit insurer may pay to have you, or a professional care giver, to look after your teen.
  3. Make sure you keep your family doctor in the loop.  Sometimes when the hospital has been dealing with the injuries at the emergency stage, families forget to involve the G.P. in the early recovery process.  It is vital that emergency records and other reports be copied to your family doctor to ensure continuity of care.
  4. Don’t “promise” your teen that you will not take legal action against the driver of the vehicle.  Your teen may have serious, long term effects from the accident.   The driver’s liability insurance was purchased to compensate for the type of injuries your teen has suffered.  If your child’s career path is impacted, or his / her quality of life significantly reduced, any insurance money recovered will be very important.

At Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers we have experience explaining the legal process to young people.  We would be happy to explain the options to you and your teen.  To meet with us for a free, no obligation consulation at your home, hospital or our office, call us at 613 -860-4529.



Winchester Car Accident Hospitalizes Two Men

Two drivers were hospitalized after a morning car accident on April 11, 2013 at about 6 a.m.  The accident happened on Highway 31, south of Winchester, between county roads 38 and 43.

News reports indicate that both drivers were trapped in their vehicles and that both had serious injuries.

The two drivers, both in their 20’s, were reported to have suffered head injuries, among other injuries.

The Winchester car accident was described as a head on collision between a pick up truck and a mini van.

Next Step After the Winchester CarAccident

If you or your loved one was involved in a head on collision like the April 11th accident, there are important steps you should take to protect your legal rights.

  • Contact your own auto insurance company and request the forms for the statutory accident benefits.  These benefits will assist you with the expenses while you are in hospital.  They also provide income replacement benefits and other significant funding.
  • Keep track of all of your expenses (receipts, etc.)
  • Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer BEFORE you speak to a representative of the other insurance company.  At Brenda Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers we provide a NO OBLIGATION, FREE consulation before you speak to the adjuster.

Please feel free to call at 613 860-4529.  We would be pleased to provide our advice.

Ottawa Police Pilot Electronic Car Accident Report Forms

According to this article,  some Ottawa police vehicles are now equipped to process motor vehicle accident report forms electronically.  Introduced as a cost saving measure, this initiative is intended to reduce the time police officers spend at the scene of Ottawa motor vehicle accidents.

Currently, the motor vehicle accident reports are prepared by hand.  The officer collects all parties’ information, including insurance information, prepares a sketch and notes what charges, if any, are laid.  Witness names and contact details are also often included on the form.   Drivers of all vehicles involved in the Ottawa accident are supposed to receive a carbon copy of the portion of the form with the insurance details.  The balance of the report can be purchased from the police station for approximately $50.

Why is a Motor Vehicle Accident Report Important after an Ottawa Accident?

If you are injured, even slightly, we recommend calling the police to the accident scene.  Remember, what feels like a twinge or minor ache moments after the accident, can develop into a serious injury over the next 48 hours.   The motor vehicle accident report form prepared by the police is often very useful at documenting the location of the vehicles and other information that is important for determining who caused the accident.

There is also a perception held by insurance companies that if you do not call the police, the motor vehicle accident was not serious.  They will wonder how you could be seriously injured when you did not even call the police to the scene.

At the scene, in addition to the motor vehicle accident report form itself, the police officer attending will often interview or get statements from witnesses.  These statements are not included in the report itself, but can be obtained by requesting them through access to information processes.  When we are retained to help our clients following an accident, we typically request all of this information.

How do I obtain a motor vehicle accident report?

If you are handling your claim on your own, you will want to attend at the police station to request a copy of the report.  With a relatively short wait, and approximately $50, you can leave with the full report.

If you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your accident claim, your lawyer will obtain the motor vehicle accident report, as well as the complete police file, for you.

For more information about hiring an Ottawa personal injury lawyer to represent you after a serious motor vehicle accident, contact us at 613 860-4529.  We are happy to speak to you about your rights and entitlements without any obligation.


How to Prepare for a Defence Medical Assessment or an Insurer’s Exam

Here are four easy steps to help you get a fair medical assessment by doctors hired by an insurance company in your Ottawa accident case.


  • Be very clear during the medical assessment about what your pain is in terms of how you describe it to the medical assessor. Use words like sharp, throbbing, dull, aching, constant, intermittent etc.  Think about how you are going to explain what aggravates your pain and what soothes it.  Organizing your thoughts and how you will express yourself before the examination is important.
  • Relatedly, if you are used to being asked to rate your pain on the pain scale (i.e. out of 10), try to be consistent from assessment to assessment.


  • Respond truthfully to all questions.  Do not deny prior injuries, prior accidents or past psychological treatment.  If you were having stress at work before the accident, it is likely documented somewhere.  Concealing it if asked will only look like you are being untruthful.


  • Email your Ottawa accident lawyer immediately after the assessment to describe the  actual physical examination, including how long it took.  If there are any questions that strike you as odd, mention that to your lawyer as well.


  • Keep in mind that the medical assessor or his / her staff will watch you  out the window before the appointment.  They will watch you in the waiting room.  They will compare how you are in the parking lot and waiting room to how you are during the examination to try to detect symptom magnification.  A classic sentence in a medical assessment report describes how the plaintiff’s movements were “guarded” in the assessment room, but that the plaintiff moved freely in the waiting room. That is insurance company “code” for: this plaintiff is exagerating.


Apart from these pointers, every assessment is different so it is hard to predict how it will unfold.  Being truthful but not minimizing for symptoms are the key to success.

If you have a serious motor vehicle accident case and would like to discuss your case with a lawyer, call the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  613 860-4529.  We will visit you at home or in the hospital.  We offer phone consultations as well.


Fatal Accident Near Carlsbad Springs

Carlsbad Springs–  Sadly, a 78-year old woman died in a serious motor vehicle accident near Carlsbad Springs on Sunday, November 25, 2012.  The fatal car accident involved two cars at the intersection of Devine and Frontier Roads.

The accident happened around 5 p.m.  Read more about the motor vehicle accident in this CBC article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/11/26/ottawa-fatal-crash-carlsbad-springs.html

Steps to Take After a Fatal Accident

After a fatal motor vehicle accident, a family member should apply for no fault benefits (statutory accident benefits), usually through the accident victim’s own car insurance.  There is a death benefit that will be paid to dependants, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

There is also insurance coverage to help pay for funeral costs up to a set amount.  An Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you access these benefits and make sure your family receives all the benefits.

If the person who died in the accident was not at fault for the motor vehicle accident, family members may also have personal injury claims.  Compensation is available for loss of care, guidance and companionship and also for the deceased person’s loss of income and loss of household services.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you bring a fatal accident claim.

At Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation, we regularly represent family members who have lost loved ones in tragic car accidents.  Our initial consultation is always free.  If you are looking for information after a fatal motor vehicle accident, call Auger Hollingsworth at 613 233-4529.  We will help you through this difficult time.

Driving Anxiety After My Ottawa Car Accident

The screech of tires, the sound of metal hitting metal, the echo of shattering glass, the smell of burnt rubber from hastily braked tires… the aftermath of your Ottawa car accident involves much more than just the physical scars. The memories of a traumatic collision can haunt victims leaving them fearful or even unable to drive. Even being a passenger in a car can cause physical reactions and mental stress. Overcoming accident-related anxiety depends on your ability to recognize the signs, get help, and receive treatment that will allow you to live your life to the fullest once again.

Feeling depressed, lost, and jumpy are all signs of anxiety, as are insomnia, irritability, and flashbacks. When these symptoms are triggered or exacerbated whenever the patient thinks about being in a vehicle or attempts to drive, it’s easy to pinpoint what’s causing the stress. People with driving anxiety may experience a rapid pulse rate along with sweating and trembling at the thought of driving or being in a moving car. To avoid a future filled with fear and public transportation, seeing a qualified neuropsychologist or psychiatrist who can properly assess your disability and help formulate a treatment plan is absolutely essential.

Different kinds of therapy can be effective in treating anxiety disorders:

  • Behavioral therapy focuses on reinforcing positive behaviors and eliminating negative ones in order to achieve a lasting change in behavior.
  • Exposure therapy introduces patients to the source of their anxiety in a controlled, safe manner. The goal is to change the perception of danger that activity holds for the patient. For those with driving anxiety, this could mean driving classes or relaxation techniques.
  • Virtual reality therapy is an emerging technique using virtual imaging devices to expose the patient to relevant stimuli and gauge the subsequent reactions. For example, a movie that emulates a driver’s view of the road could reacclimatize them to the sights and sounds of the road – in a safe and controlled manner.


As scary and debilitating as driving anxiety after your Ottawa car accident can initially be, there is help. You can drive again, and without the fear you may be currently experiencing.

An experienced accident lawyer knows how to help you achieve the best outcome after your accident. Reach out to the experienced personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  In addition to providing legal expertise, we can help connect you with the person in our network of professionals best suited to helping you and your case.  Call our law firm today 613 233-4529.

Protect Yourself After an Ottawa Accident: A Post Accident Checklist

The first week after you’ve been in an Ottawa car accident can be the most critical. While recollections and evidence are still fresh, use our checklist to ensure you’ve taken every step to aid your Ottawa personal injury lawyer in forming your case.

  • Get Medical Attention. Injury after a car accident is common, but many people don’t realize that it can take several hours or even days for the full effects of injuries to manifest themselves. Don’t dismiss your pain; it could be the sign of a more serious problem. Get a thorough work-up at an emergency room or through you primary physician. Time is of the essence, as the sooner your injuries are treated, the easier recovery is likely to be.
  • Collect Witness Names. Even the most crystal clear recollections fade after time, and having corroborating testimony from eye-witnesses can be beneficial to a future personal injury case. Gather information including names, addresses, telephone and license plate numbers from any witnesses at the scene and provide the list to your accident lawyer.
  • Contact Your Own Insurance. Contact your insurance company and report the accident. They will ask you a series of questions detailing the circumstances surrounding the accident. Be honest and as detailed as possible, but remember this is not about fault but about compiling as many objective details as possible. Once you’ve reported the accident and a claim is filed, you are now eligible for coverage possibly including medical expenses, towing,  and car rental, whether or not you are at fault for the crash.
  • Take Photos. Snap shots of the area where the accident occurred, damage to the cars involved, injuries you have sustained – anything and everything that could be important to your case.
  • Preserve any Physical Evidence. Until your insurance company and lawyer have had a chance to evaluate any physical evidence, make sure it is preserved wherever possible. Do not wash or make repairs to your vehicle and document any injuries before and during treatment.
  • Have the Damage to Your Car Documented – Twice. While the insurance company will most likely want to document the damage to your car as soon as possible, they have their own interests to protect as well as yours. Snap your own pictures or hire a neutral third party to thoroughly document any damage your car has sustained.
  • Get It In Writing. Any communication between you and the other party’s insurance company should be in writing, with receipt confirmation. This can be accomplished by sending a registered letter or faxing using a cover sheet. File the delivery receipt with your other accident documents as proof of the communication.

If you have questions about what to do after you’ve been in an Ottawa car accident, reach out to the experienced 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.



Why is Hiring an Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Better Than Handling the Case on Your Own?

 Finding an Ottawa personal injury lawyer in the wake of your Ontario car accident can be a daunting task. After all, putting the outcome of your personal injury case in someone else’s hands requires a lot of trust and faith that the result will be in your best interest. Still, anyone considering handling their case on their own should give serious thought to the benefits a seasoned lawyer can provide before, during and after their personal injury case.


An experienced lawyer knows all the when, what’s and how much’s involved in determining how you should be compensated for your injury. Timing is important, as even though you may be under financial strain, settling your case too soon may result in a settlement  not in your favor. Seemingly minor injuries can become major, treatment options can change and long-term effects may not show up until some time has passed. In the meantime, pressure from your insurance company and bill collectors can make you feel obligated to settle before it is time. A personal injury lawyer can tell you when it is time to settle, how much you’re reasonably entitled to and who owes you for your time and trouble.

Having an Advocate

If you are considering hiring an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, chances are you’re suffering from physical, psychological or emotional injuries that interfere with your ability to function on a day-to-day basis as you normally do. Dealing with the many people involved with an accident claim can be confusing and exhausting when healthy, let alone while you’re trying to recover. Hiring a personal injury lawyer means they will field the calls and coordinate communication between medical providers, insurance companies, etc., so you won’t have to. At a time when you can feel very alone, a lawyer can be your support system.

Experience is Crucial

Hopefully, you will only be in one accident in your lifetime, whereas personal injury lawyers have seen dozens if not hundreds of similar cases through from the very beginning to a favorable end. They know what to reasonably expect in terms of compensation, what evidence a court will expect in order to prove your case and can prevent you from making medical, personal or legal mistakes that could drastically affect the outcome of your case.

They Don’t Get Paid Unless You Do

If you’re concerned about paying attorneys fees, consider that most personal injury lawyers work on contingency, meaning they don’t get paid unless they recover damages for you. Even then, most lawyers have contracts that entitle them to only 30-33% of the total financial reward. In addition, statistics show that the average increase in financial compensation awarded in cases where the victim has hired a lawyer more than covers the fee that lawyer will charge. The bottom line? Hiring a lawyer is a low risk decision, and the compensation they will get you more than justifies the fees you’ll pay out.

If you are considering hiring a lawyer for your personal injury case, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth to schedule a free consultation.  We will provide you with the information you need to make a decision about the representation right for you.  Call our law firm today 613 233-4529.

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