When it's Time to Get Help

Vehophobia After a Car Accident

by John McKiggan

Do you
experience fear of driving or get anxious about getting behind the wheel of
your vehicle? Do you have paralysing thoughts of being responsible for an
accident that may cause others injury or loss of life?

An Accident Caused Vehophobia

It was Saturday
morning and “Jim”, had stopped at a stop sign. He was a busy man, but Jim had promised
he would always attend his 6-year-old son’s soccer games. His son sat in the
back seat with a soccer ball in his lap.

Posted in: Car Accidents

PEDESTRIAN-CAR COLLISIONS ON THE RISE IN HRM

by Mark Raftus

This article provides an update to a January 22, 2016 article I wrote for the McKiggan Hebert personal injury blog titled Good News in the Battle Against Pedestrian-Car Collisions”.

In this article I concluded pedestrian-car
“accidents” were on a decreasing trend in Halifax in 2015. Sadly, it does not
appear the trend has continued in the three-plus years since the article was
penned.

In the article I updated the statistics from my December 23, 2014 article Pedestrian-Car Collisions: An Epidemic in Nova Scotia showing the number of pedestrian-car collisions in Halifax had increased from 2013 to 2014 with attributed causes ranging from poor weather to poor visibility.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Five Tips for Negotiating the Best Personal Injury Settlement Possible

by John McKiggan

If you have been injured in a car accident you probably have
a lot of questions. If your injuries prevent you from being able to work, the
pain of the injuries can be aggravated by the stress of wondering how you are
going to pay your bills.

We want to make filing a personal injury
claim as stress-free as possible. We believe that innocent victims of serious
accidents should be fully compensated for their injuries. But the unfortunate
reality is that insurance companies and defense lawyers alike will take every
measure to ensure that they have to pay as little compensation as possible to
you, no matter how serious or life-altering your injuries may be.

The bottom line is that insurance companies want to make
profits and their profits decrease the more compensation they pay accident
victims.

Posted in: Personal Injury

Living with a Brain Injury: What Families and Caregivers Need to Know

by John McKiggan

While the road forward may be challenging, it is important
for families and caregivers to know what to expect when it comes to living with
a brain injury.
Returning home after sustaining a brain injury—no matter how severe—can be a
complex and emotional experience. For many, returning home is a sign of triumph
after rehabilitation, and since home is a place of safety and security, is
where they find their old selves once again.

Brain damage can result in confusion, memory loss, poor
organizational skills, disinhibition and poor reasoning skills and judgment.  Individuals who have been affected by a
traumatic brain injury may appear to have changed dramatically. It is important
that friends, family members and caregivers understand that the individual does
not want to feel or act differently than they did before the injury.

As brain injury lawyers, McKiggan Hebert has represented
hundreds of survivors and helped their families understand the
impact that a traumatic brain injury can have
. With this in mind, we have
compiled a basic list of things that families and caregivers should know when a
brain injury survivor returns home, prepares to return to work and wishes to
return to a normal life.

Posted in: Brain Injury

Tough News Decision from the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Affecting Car Crash Injury Victims

by Mark Raftus

Seriously injured car crash victims will now receive less money in their pockets after trial for loss of future income damages claims given the December 10, 2018 Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision in Sparks v Holland.

In the past, certain types of income replacement benefits received by an injured Plaintiff were not deducted from a Plaintiff’s award for loss of future income. These were referred to as collateral benefits.

In the past, Canada Pension Plan Disability [CPPd] benefits were not deducted from future income loss awards. Unfortunately, the highest Court in Nova Scotia has ruled that future CPPd are not a collateral benefit and are indeed deductible from loss of future earning capacity and loss of future income damages awards made at Trial.

Posted in: Car Accidents

Understanding Whiplash in Nova Scotia Car Accidents

by John McKiggan

No matter how severe a car accident may seem at first, suffering whiplash and whiplash associated disorders (WAD) can quickly escalate what appears at first to be a minor incident into a serious medical emergency. “Whiplash” is the common term for an injury resulting from an abrupt back-and-forth flexing of the neck.

This can cause very painful and disruptive symptoms that can greatly affect your quality of life, your ability to provide an income for yourself and your family, and even lead to depression and social isolation in the most extreme cases. No one should ever have to live with this kind of pain and suffering—especially when it is caused directly by someone else’s actions.

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by another person’s negligent or distracted driving and have suffered whiplash or whiplash associated disorders, you have the legal right to make a claim for compensation. No matter how minor your injuries may appear to be, if you were not at fault the simple fact of being injured entitles you to recover damages from the responsible party.

“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