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 motor vehicle accident 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.

 

Serious Car and OC Transpo accident in Nepean

The Ottawa Sun is reporting a very serious OC Transpo accident in the area of Meadowlands between Indian Road and  Viewmount in Nepean, Ontario. The accident was on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 around 11 pm.   Three occupants of a car that collided with an OC Transpo bus were injured, one critically.

The critically injured passenger was said to be unconscious at the scene of the OC Transpo accident.  The injuries were reported to include serious head injuries.  The extent of the other passenger’s injuries is not clear, although they may also be serious and include fractures and a possible spinal cord injury.  One of the passengers is said to have been partially ejected from the motor vehicle.

The Sun article was not clear about the cause of the OC Transpo accident.  However, the CBC quotes sources suggesting that distracted driving may have been an issue.

What happens in an OC Transpo Accident?

An OC Transpo accident involving an actual collision with another vehicle is treated the same as a regular car accident.  Anyone injured in the motor vehicle accident will be entitled to Statutory Accident Benefits (no fault benefits).  This will include funding for medical and rehabilitation expenses, as well as a small income replacement benefit (max. $400 per week).

For passengers of either the bus or the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident, there may also be a claim for pain and suffering and other compensation.  A driver of a motor vehicle who is not at fault in the accident may also have a claim.

The best course of action after a serious accident involving a collision between a bus and a car is to contact an Ottawa personal injury lawyer for a free consultation and explanation of your rights and the process.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth at happy to help you.  Call us at 613 860-4529.  We will come to your home or hospital to answer your questions.

 

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.

 

Staged Ottawa Car Accidents | Ottawa Accident Lawyer

Last week the Ottawa Citizen ran an article about staged auto accidents.  A staged car accident is one where one vehicle intentionally creats a car accident in the hope of defrauding one or more insurance companies.   The article describes a typical scenario where the defrauding vehicle waves an innocent vehicle into traffic and then intentionally strikes the innocent vehicle, making it appear to be at fault.   Sometimes a rehabilitation clinic is involved in the scam.

While staged car accidents are not a serious problem in Ottawa, they are elsewhere in Ontario.  In particular Toronto faces serious issues with this type of insurance fraud.

Are Staged Ottawa Car Accidents a Victimless Crime?

Staged car accidents hurt everyone and are not a victimless crime.  For starters, the driver and passengers in the innocent vehicle may be hurt in the collision.   Even small impact accidents can result in serious injuries if someone has an underlying vulnerability or is sitting in an awkward position at the time of the crash.

Also very important, insurance fraud is used by the insurance industry to justify reducing benefits to everyone and for conducting lengthy and expensive investigations which delay the payment of claims and increase overall claims costs.  Our firm will not represent any one we suspect may be involved in this type of scam.

If you have knowledge of someone staging a car accident in Eastern Ontario, notify the police.  In the long run, eliminating fraud helps us all.