When it's Time to Get Help

“Oh No – Is that Snow?!” – Safe Driving Tips for the Winter Season

by Mark Raftus

November 16th marked the first substantial winter snow fall in the Halifax area for the 2018 winter season.  I awoke, looked out my front window and sadly noted snow covered streets with heavy, wet snowflakes falling. The radio forecast called for the snow to turn into ice pellets and later into rain. A very greasy day awaited and I suspected the roads would be very slippery.

As I set out for the drive to the office I prepared mentally for the trek ahead reminding myself to drive cautiously,  approach intersections a bit slower than normal, pump my brakes if I started to slide and to make sure I looked twice at every car around me before proceeding into an intersection.

I still knew, however, that despite all of my caution it was going to be “the other guy” I had to be mindful of… the guy who would make no mental driving precautions, who would approach every intersection as if the pavement was bare, who would tailgate me and perhaps even try to pass me on a two lane street if he perceived I was driving too slowly.

Autumn Changes – Advanced Pedestrian Lights and the new Traffic Safety Act

by Mark Raftus

As summer moves into fall, many seasonal changes take place. Children return to school, days are not as warm or long, leaves change color and we prepare for the long winter ahead.

Change is a constant and quite often, is for the good. The positive aspect of change can be seen in recent developments implemented by HRM and the Provincial government aimed at protecting pedestrians and motorists in Nova Scotia.

HRM statistics reveal in the first eight months of 2018 there were 120 vehicle-pedestrian collisions in HRM with 61 percent of them happening in a crosswalk. In an effort to improve safety for these pedestrians, HRM has installed what they refer to as “advanced pedestrian lights” at six high-pedestrian traffic intersections in the City – five in Halifax and one in Dartmouth.
Allowing Pedestrians a Head Start
These new lights came into effect on Thursday, October 11, 2018. How they work is the green pedestrian “walking man” signal comes on for several seconds before the green traffic light changes permitting vehicle traffic to proceed ahead through an intersection or turn. In this way, pedestrians are given a head start to proceed forward into the crosswalk and establish their presence. Vehicle drivers will see the pedestrians more readily and allow them to complete their right-of-way crossing. HRM advises they will monitor this initiative and if it works to reduce collisions HRM will add more of these advanced pedestrian lights at other intersections in the City.

Living like “A Normal Family”: Raising a Child with a Birth Injury

by John McKiggan

In a landmark victory for 7 year-old plaintiff Cullan Chisholm, Dr. Alison Ball and the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority have agreed to pay a total of $6 million in damages to Chisholm in what has been reported as the largest personal injury settlement in Nova Scotia’s legal history.

Represented by McKiggan Hebert’s John McKiggan, the case is significant because “it goes a long way to recognizing the very significant harm and huge associated costs that go with caring for a catastrophically injured child.”

“It’s fair to say that physicians, nurses are human. We all make mistakes,” John says. “But when someone makes a mistake that violates the standard of care — in other words when someone makes a mistake that was preventable — then they should be held accountable for that and that’s why we brought the claim.”

Posted in: Child Injuries

Largest LGBTQ Settlement Ever Proposed Secured by John McKiggan and LGBT Purge Legal Team

by John McKiggan

A landmark settlement in a case to compensate LGBTQ members of Canada’s military, RCMP and civil service who were investigated and/or discharged due to their sexual orientation was recently approved by Federal Court Justice Martine St-Louis on June 18, 2018.

The terms of settlement, first proposed in November 2017, finally puts a decades-long battle between LGBTQ-identifying members of the Canadian military and oppressive policy to rest, as well as opens the door to forgiveness and equality to all current and former service members.

The Settlement

Posted in: Uncategorized

The Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia needs our help!

by John McKiggan

This morning, a story was featured on CBC’s Information Morning by legislative reporter Jean LaRoche on the province’s lack of action on the promised Acquired Brain Injury Strategy.

Here’s a link to the story on the CBC website.

The report was informative and raises some serious issues about the lack of services for brain injury survivors in Nova Scotia.

Posted in: Uncategorized

How much time do I have to file my injury claim in Nova Scotia? Dyack v. Lincoln

by John McKiggan

What is a statute of limitations?
Every province in Canada has a law ((statute) that sets time limits for how long a plaintiff has to file a claim. This type of legislation generally referred to as a statute of limitations although it goes by a different name in various provinces. In Nova Scotia it is called the Limitation of Actions Act.

In September of 2015, the legislature significantly changed Nova Scotia’s Limitation of Actions Act. The changes significantly reduced the amount of time that plaintiffs have to file various claims. You can read more about it here.

The changes to the statute of limitations, in particular the shortened limitation periods, raised the potential that claims that would not have been barred under the old act could run out of time under the new Limitation of Actions Act.

Supreme Court of Canada says psych report not required to recover damages for mental injury: Saadati v. Moorhead.

by John McKiggan

The Supreme Court of Canada released and interesting decision today ( Saadati v. Moorhead) that will be relevant to anyone who claims to have suffered psychological injuries as a result of car accident, medical malpractice, or any other type of personal injury claim.

The plaintiff Saadati was injured in a motor vehicle collision. He sued the other defendants in negligence seeking compensation for income loss and nonpecuniary damages (pain and suffering). The plaintiff claims he suffered psychological injuries in the accident that resulted in personality changes and cognitive deficits that made it difficult to concentrate.

However, at the trial the plaintiff did not call any evidence from medical experts to indicate that he had ever been diagnosed with any type of psychiatric illness. Instead, the plaintiff relied upon testimony from friends and family members who said that after the car accident Saadati’s personality had changed.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Good news from the Supreme Court of Canada for injured victims of underinsured drivers

by Mark Raftus

What is SEF44 coverage?

In an article and video on the McKiggan Hebert website John McKiggan discussed how the SEF44 Family Protection Endorsement works. But a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada has made some important rulings that impact how SEF44 coverage can be used to protect you and your family.

Sabean v Portage Mutual Insurance Company

Is my Nova Scotia “Minor Injury” claim capped at $7500.00?

by John McKiggan

Minor Injury Cap

This is a question I get asked a lot. Some people have heard that Nova Scotia has a law that places a “cap” on the amount of compensation that people can receive if they have been injured in a car accident.

The law places a cap on the amount of compensation that you can get for what lawyers refer to as  “non-pecuniary damages”. Everybody else calls it compensation for “pain and suffering”. We explain this in more detail in my article: What is my Nova Scotia Personal Injury Claim Worth?