Success stories

We’ve handled hundreds of serious personal injury cases of all kinds. Below are a few examples.

Identifying details have been altered for privacy.

 


 

 

Sarah’s Story 
PEDESTRIAN-TRUCK COLLISION

Ttwenty-four-year-old Sarah was pulling her son in a wagon when she arrived at a crosswalk. At the green light, she began to cross. As she did so, the driver of a heavy truck began to turn left into the crosswalk. He struck Sarah and her son.

The driver later explained that he was behind a vehicle that caused a bright reflection, which had distracted him. 

Although Sarah’s son was not seriously injured, Sarah’s injuries were severe.


Sarah’s Traumatic Injuries
When paramedics arrived, Sarah was unable to speak coherently. Blood poured from her ear. Paramedics assessed her Glasgow Coma Scale at 9/15.

When paramedics arrived, Sarah was unable to speak coherently. Blood poured from her ear.

——

At the local hospital, Sarah had two seizures. Cerebral spinal fluid leaked from her right ear. Her Glasgow Coma Scale dipped to 6/15. She was flown to the trauma center in the city by helicopter.

Sarah’s injuries were significant. She had: 

  • A closed head injury with hemorrhagic contusion to the left temporal lobe;
  • A fractured right mastoid process with transient dysfunction of the facial nerve;
  • A comminuted fracture of the right clavicle; 
  • A pelvic fracture consisting of undisplaced fracture of the right ischemia, left
  • inferior pubic ramus and left acetabular region; and
  • Seroma in the left hip.

While at the trauma centre, Sarah was having difficulty remembering information and she kept repeating herself. She took a neuropsychological assessment and was referred to the acquired brain injury clinic.

After more than a month, Sarah was discharged to her local hospital at her request. At the local hospital, Sarah developed a pulmonary embolism, for which she required medication.

Our team helped Sarah:

• Organize a team to plan her hospital discharge and rehabilitation

• Attain funding for: all medical therapies and clinical work, attendant care, housekeeping, childcare and more

• Complete all paperwork required for the Statutory Accident Benefit Claim

• Coordinate getting expert medical opinions for the lawsuit

• Calculate economic losses based on medical opinions and school records to get the maximum settlement

• Prepare for a successful legal process

• Break her examination into several short days to prevent cognitive exhaustion

• Win a settlement to support her needs for her lifetime

How Our Firm Helped Sarah


While Sarah was at the local hospital, Sarah’s family contacted Auger Hollingsworth. Owner and co-founder Brenda Hollingsworth met with Sarah and her family twice in the hospital.

When Sarah chose our firm to look after her case, we began organizing a team to help plan her hospital discharge and rehabilitation. We introduced Sarah to a company that worked to prepare her home. Sarah lived in a two-story home but could not walk again yet. The rehab team set up a room for Sarah on the main floor with funding that our firm secured for her.

Her case manager was a nurse and helped organize all of Sarah’s appointments and coordinate her care. Sarah began to work with occupational therapy, physiotherapy, orthopedic surgery and the acquired brain injury clinic. Sarah needed 24-hour attendant care, housekeeping assistance and childcare for her son. 

Over the next two years, Sarah participated in speech language pathology to work on cognitive communication. She was referred to a psychologist and continued occupational therapy. Specialists at the acquired brain injury clinic determined that Sarah’s brain injury was in the moderate to severe range.

Sarah relied on electronic devices to stay organized and remember details. She required a companion to attend appointments for herself and for her son to ensure that she understood everything and to ensure that recommendations were implemented. 

With our help, all these services were funded for Sarah through the Statutory Accident Benefits.

Sarah’s Loss of Income
At the time of the accident, Sarah had been finishing a few high school credits. She had intended to attend college and learn a profession.

After the collision, Sarah’s rehab team helped her return to completing her high school credits and Sarah received her diploma. However, given the accident her team did not feel that a college program would be a success and that Sarah’s ability to earn was significantly compromised. While she may have been able to do some part-time work in a structured environment, she was not going to be competitively employable.

Sarah’s Lawsuit
Our lawyers began a lawsuit against the driver of the truck who struck Sarah. The insurance company for the driver appointed a lawyer to defend the case on the driver’s behalf.

The case proceeded to examination for discovery where our lawyers were able to question the defendant driver. He admitted that he had made the turn when Sarah had the right-of-way as a pedestrian.

The lawyer for the defendant also asked Sarah questions about the effect of her injuries on her life. Sarah was well-prepared for the questions but the process would cognitively tire her after a few hours. We helped to break her examination into several short days to prevent exhaustion.

After the examination for discovery, we sent Sarah to our medical experts for an opinion about her long-term recovery, and we relayed that information to the defence. We hired experts to calculate Sarah’s economic losses, such as her loss of income and her future care costs. Our firm was able to collect evidence from her high school program that Sarah had mapped out a plan for her future, so we were able to help project her loss of income. The defence lawyer sent Sarah to their paid defence experts who gave an opinion about Sarah’s likely recovery.

After the examination for discovery, the next step was mediation. Our lawyers successfully reached a strong settlement for Sarah of a confidential amount. We arranged for Sarah to meet with financial planners to make sure that she could manage the funds to last her lifetime.

Sarah’s Statutory Accident Benefit Claim
Our firm also represented Sarah on her Statutory Accident Benefit Claim.
First, we helped Sarah complete the application form while she was still in hospital.

Then, we ensured that the insurance company had all the paperwork and medical information they needed to place Sarah in the Catastrophic Injury category.

We helped Sarah to engage a case manager and worked with the insurance adjuster to ensure that Sarah received all the medical and rehabilitation assistance she required. 

Finally, we helped Sarah achieve a settlement of her catastrophic injury claim so that she and her family could make decisions about her care without needing permission and approval from the accident benefit insurance company.

 

Melissa’s Story 
PASSENGER COLLISION

One spring day, a high school student with a G2 license invited three friends to ride in his very old car on a school day at lunch. Seventeen-year-old Melissa was in the back seat when the driver made a left hand turn in front of an oncoming car. The results were very serious for her.

Melissa was rushed to the children’s hospital by ambulance. She was diagnosed with the following injuries:

Melissa’s Severe Injuries

  • A collapsed right lung,
  • A lacerated kidney,
  • A lacerated liver,
  • A fractured vertebrae at L5,
  • A fractured pelvis (2 fractures),
  • 4 fractured ribs, and
  • Various broken teeth.

Melissa was in intensive care for 10 days where she was put into an induced coma. She had high levels of agitation. She remained in hospital for nearly three months.

Before the accident, Melissa had been a social, active teenager with a boyfriend and a part-time job. After the accident, Melissa became withdrawn and fearful of leaving her house without a parent. 

Our team helped Melissa:

• Organize a rehab team to plan her return home from the hospital

• Attain funding for medical therapies and rehab

• Complete all paperwork for the Statutory Accident Benefit Claim

• Receive an income replacement benefit based on her lost wages

• Coordinate getting expert medical opinions for the lawsuit

• Calculate economic losses based on medical opinions

• Prepare for a successful legal process

• Win her maximum settlement

How Our Firm Helped Melissa

Melissa’s parents contacted Auger Hollingsworth while Melissa was still in hospital. We met with the family at the hospital and agreed to coordinate the planning for when Melissa was ready to return home.

We engaged a rehab team for Melissa and helped her family file for the Statutory Accident Benefit Claim. We also arranged for Melissa to receive an income replacement benefit based on her lost wages from her part-time job.

With funding from the accident benefits, Melissa received significant rehab, including physiotherapy and psychotherapy. Understandably, Melissa struggled to adapt to her new normal, which included chronic pain, breathing difficulties as well as other chronic medical problems relating to her damaged organs.

Melissa’s Lawsuit

Our firm started a lawsuit on behalf of Melissa as well as her parents and sister, each of whom had suffered a loss of Melissa’s care, guidance and companionship.

We sought compensation for Melissa’s pain and suffering, medical and rehabilitation costs not funded by OHIP, future loss of income due to her limitations among other claims.

We sued the driver of the vehicle Melissa was in, as well as the driver of the oncoming vehicle. We believed that driver’s speed contributed to the collision and its severity. Both drivers had insurance and both drivers’ insurance responded to defend their insureds.

Two of the other passengers in the vehicle with Melissa were also injured and brought lawsuits. One of those passengers had a small injury but the other passenger received life-altering, catastrophic injuries.  All three passengers had to be compensated out of the same “pot” of insurance funds.

The case proceeded to examination for discovery. The driver of the vehicle Melissa was travelling in explained that he had followed another car turning left, without taking the time to look to see if the lane was clear. He was clearly at fault. The other driver of the oncoming car denied that he was at fault.  According to him, he was travelling at the speed limit and could not have avoided the collision.

Melissa was also examined for discovery. Our lawyers met with her several times before her examination to practice and to make sure she was comfortable about the process. When the day came, Melissa answered the questions very well. 

After the examination for discovery, we sent Melissa to expert doctors for opinions about her recovery from her injuries as well as what impact her injuries would have on her future career. With the help of the experts, we estimated Melissa’s economic losses (such as lost wages and future care needs), and her non-economic losses (such as her pain and suffering).

This case went to mediation but did not settle. Although the defendants offered all their insurance policy limits, it was difficult for Melissa and the other injured parties to determine what an appropriate split would be.

Our lawyers continued to prepare the case for trial. At the pre-trial, the judge reviewed each of the three injured parties’ cases in detail. Eventually, we reached a settlement that all the parties could accept. Melissa could move forward with her life, knowing her funds were secure and that her future was protected.

Stephen’s Story 
PASSENGER IN DRUNK DRIVING COLLISION

Stephen, a husband and father in his late 20s, had been drinking at a bar with a friend. Stephen intended to walk home, but as a result of the amount of alcohol he was served at the bar—and his level of intoxication—he got in the car with his friend after they left the bar. 

His friend, who was driving, was intoxicated. They were not in the car very long when the vehicle slammed into a cement wall next to a bridge. The cement wall was demolished and the car burst into flames. The driver of the vehicle was later convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm and served time in jail as a result. 

The cement wall was demolished and the car burst into flames.

——

Nearby residents pulled Stephen from the vehicle. When police arrived, they found Stephen bleeding profusely from his head. Paramedics assessed Stephen’s Glasgow Coma Scale rating at 3/15 which meant that he was totally unresponsive. He had visible signs of facial trauma and an obviously broken leg. The ambulance rushed him to the trauma center. 

Stephen was still unconscious when he arrived at the trauma center. His Glasgow Coma Scale had risen to 5/15. That meant there was a slight increase in Stephen’s responses, but he was still essentially unresponsive. He was showing some motor response but had no verbal or eye response.

Stephen’s Catastrophic Injuries

Stephen was diagnosed with:

  • A right side brain bleed, 
  • A right frontal orbital plate fracture, 
  • Right eye ejection from socket,
  • Facial laceration, 
  • Aortic dissection, 
  • Two fractured vertebrae, 
  • Right hip dislocation, 
  • Left pulmonary contusion, and 
  • Fractures to his left tibia and fibula. 

Stephen required 15 hours of emergency surgery, including a craniotomy to remove pooled blood on his brain. As a result of his aorta injury, he developed high blood pressure and required medication for that.

Stephen remained in the intensive care unit for almost 3 weeks. Later he was transferred to a rehabilitation center. Stephen was diagnosed with a moderate cognitive communication deficit, which made it difficult to multitask, express abstract information and organize language. At the rehab centre, Stephen received occupational therapy, language therapy and physical therapy. He was referred to the acquired brain injury clinic.

One of the biggest challenges for Stephen was the drastic change in his personality. He became irritable and short tempered. Stephen needed extensive therapy relating to these symptoms of his injury.

Our team helped Stephen:

• Organize a rehab team to plan his return home from the hospital

• Attain funding for all medical therapies and rehab

• Complete all paperwork appropriately for the Statutory Accident Benefit Claim

• Coordinate getting expert medical opinions for the lawsuit

• Calculate economic losses based on medical opinions

• Prepare for a successful legal process

• Break his examination into several short days to prevent cognitive fatigue

• Win him a seven-figure settlement

How Our Firm Helped Stephen

A colleague of Stephen’s wife had worked with Auger Hollingsworth before and recommended us to Stephen. Stephen contacted our firm while he was still in the rehab centre. Our lawyers visited with him several times to start the work on his case.

Our team ensured that Stephen’s Statutory Accident Benefit Claim was started and that he was appropriately labeled as catastrophically injured. We assembled a rehabilitation team to prepare Steven for his eventual discharge. We ensured that his home could accommodate his injuries and that he would receive the attendant care and in-home rehabilitation services that he needed. We hired a case manager to help Stephen make the arrangements for all of these therapies. 

We also engaged a vocational rehabilitation specialist who helped Stephen participate in a retraining program at community college. It was clear that Stephen could not resume his previous career. However, with the help of his rehab team, he was able to complete a community college diploma in a field with more flexibility.

With our help, all of Stephen’s care was funded through his Statutory Accident Benefits.

Stephen’s Lawsuit

There were several complicating issues in this case. The driver of the vehicle only had a G2 license; he was not permitted to drive with any amount of alcohol in his system. His insurance company said that they did not have to cover him because he had violated the insurance policy. Stephen did not have car insurance to cover the loss.

Fortunately, our team located an insurance policy that followed the owner of the vehicle. We also decided to sue the bar that overserved Stephen and the driver without any regard to how Stephen and the driver would get home safely.

The case proceeded to examination for discovery. The driver was not examined because his insurance company paid Stephen the $200,000 statutory minimum required under the Insurance Act.

Drawing on our firm’s criminal defense experience, we conducted a very thorough examination of the bar to identify weaknesses in their policies and practices relating to the service of alcohol.

Stephen was also examined for discovery. His examination took place over several days given the cognitive fatigue he experienced. Our team had helped him prepare and he did well during the examination. 

Stephen then went to a neuropsychologist for an extensive assessment of his recovery level and his long-term prognosis. We were able to deliver a strong report to the defence supporting our position that Stephen was unlikely to be competitively employable. The counsel for the defense also sent Stephen for their own assessment.

The case did not resolve at mediation. Both parties made offers but the gap was simply too wide.

Our lawyers continued to fight on Stephen’s behalf and continued negotiations after mediation. We ultimately achieved a seven-figure settlement for Stephen that would provide him with the security he and his family needed.

Stephen’s Long-Term Disability

Stephen’s pre-accident employer offered a group Long Term disability benefit. The LTD payments helped to support Stephen as he recovered. However, after Stephen enrolled in school as part of his rehab program, the LTD insurance company questioned his eligibility and cut off his benefits. 

Our firm sued the Long-Term Disability insurance company. This claim settled successfully at mediation for a lump sum, which Stephen was able to invest for his future.

Stan’s Story 
DRIVER REAR-ENDED IN COLLISION

Stan was a successful salesman in his late 30’s. He was married and had two young daughters. Friends described Stan as social and charismatic. His income, which was based mostly on commission, was increasing substantially year over year.  

One afternoon, Stan was stopped at an intersection when he was struck from behind by a delivery truck. The collision was so forceful that it pushed Stan’s car ahead about 2 metres. Stan hit the car in front of him. Despite his seatbelt, Stan’s body whipped forward and back during the impacts and Stan struck his head on the headrest.

The collision was so forceful that it pushed Stan’s car ahead by about 2 metres.

——

The Ottawa police attended the accident scene and ticketed the delivery truck driver who later pleaded guilty to following too closely.

Stan’s vehicle had $6500 in damage on both the front and back ends. There was relatively little damage to the delivery truck.

Stan’s Traumatic Injuries

Stan declined an ambulance but called his wife, Linda, who came to the scene to pick him up. However, the following day, Stan was not feeling well. He was dizzy. He had pain in his back and neck, as well as severe headaches. Linda took him to an urgent care clinic. 

Stan was diagnosed with:

  • A concussion;
  • A post-traumatic headache;
  • A whiplash injury to his cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Stan was referred to a physician whose practice focuses on concussion and who understood the progression of Stan’s symptoms. For the next two months, Stan rested. Work was out of the question.

As the Christmas season approached, Stan had hoped to participate in family gatherings. He joined a family dinner at the beginning of December, and this triggered a headache that lasted 8 days.  He spent the next month avoiding all stimulation.

Stan was unable to drive, which meant that the full burden of shopping and transporting his children fell to his wife. Stan started to feel guilty and anxious about his inability to contribute to family life. He was also starting to worry about money, as his work required him to work in a fast-paced environment, communicate effectively and travel to meet clients.

Our team helped Stan:

• Organize a rehab team to plan his return home from the hospital

• Attain funding for all medical therapies and rehab

• Complete all paperwork appropriately for the Statutory Accident Benefit Claim

• Coordinate getting expert medical opinions for the lawsuit

• Calculate economic losses based on medical opinions

• Prepare for a successful legal process

• Decide not to take an initial settlement offer that we knew was less than he deserved, and instead continue to build his case

• Win a settlement that was 9 times more than the initial offer

• Win an additional seven-figure settlement from his Accident Benefit Claim

How Our Firm Helped Stan

As the pressure on the family increased, Stan’s wife contacted Auger Hollingsworth. After the call, she convinced Stan to meet with our firm to discuss options. We met in person and, within a few hours, Stan and Linda decided to hire our firm to help them.

Our lawyers contacted Stan’s insurance company to ensure funding for the treatment his physicians were recommending through the accident benefits. We began to help coordinate all necessary arrangements.

Stan tried physiotherapy, but it made him feel worse. Stan’s ability to read and watch TV were impacted.  An eye specialist diagnosed Stan with post-traumatic vision syndrome, binocular vision dysfunction, ocular motor dysfunction, accommodative insufficiency and visual motion sensitivity. Stan started wearing prism glasses and did exercises with his eyes to minimize some of the light sensitivity. This gave him some relief.

Stan also noticed that he was having a hard time following a conversation and remembering things. Our firm funded a neuropsychological assessment. Stan was diagnosed with cognitive impairments, including impairments to his auditory working memory, visuomotor processing speed and fine motor coordination. The doctor also observed major depression and driving-related anxiety.

Our firm also hired a chronic pain specialist to diagnose and identify a proper course of treatment that included a combination of medication, light exercise and talk therapy. 

Initially Stan was reluctant to seek the help of a psychologist for treatment of his symptoms. Instead, he coped by drinking alcohol. As his drinking increased, his family life continued to deteriorate. Linda, who was now managing most of the childcare and household work, could plainly see the alcohol was becoming an addiction. Stan was at risk of losing his family.

Once Stan revealed this additional problem, the rehab team was able to help with it as part of the overall rehabilitation program.

Our lawyers helped to prepare Stan for the lawsuit against the driver who hit him and the company that owned the delivery truck. The examination for discovery was a success. Stan and his wife were able to describe how the accident had impacted his life and what they had lost. The at-fault driver admitted that he was following too closely and did not allow himself time to brake.

Given the success at the examination, we had high hopes for mediation. However, the insurance company came to mediation unprepared. They offered a low 6-figure amount that would not nearly be enough to compensate Stan for his losses. Stan was nervous about refusing the offer, but our team reassured him that his case was worth significantly more.

Determined to help Stan reach a fair settlement, our team continued to build Stan’s case. We spoke to his employer and colleagues to gather additional evidence in support of his substantial loss of future income claim. We asked the court for a pre-trial date and attended a pre-trial with a judge, the insurance company and their lawyer and, of course, Stan and Linda. 

At the pre-trial, we helped Stan reach a settlement offer that was 9 times more than we had been offered at mediation. Stan and Linda accepted.

Stan’s Catastrophic Benefits Claim

After the case against the at-fault driver was over, our team did not stop. We applied to the accident benefit company to see if Stan would qualify as catastrophically injured and arranged for Stan to get an expert opinion. When injuries are deemed catastrophic, the amounts available for medical and rehabilitation benefits increase and last for life. Attendant care, which Stan also needed given his inability to drive, would also be increased. The insurance company’s experts agreed. 

Armed with the catastrophic designation, we were able to win Stan an additional 7-figure amount, further helping Stan and his family to recover from his traumatic incident.