Category: Fatal Injury Claims

Two not-so-secret weapons for ensuring fair compensation for families of wrongful death victims and how one family received $925,000

by John McKiggan

After reading about the three recent fatal accidents on Nova Scotia highways in the last two weeks, I was talking with my law partner, Brian Hebert about the challenges of pursuing wrongful death claims in Nova Scotia. Brian had some interesting views on the issue so I asked him to write an article about wrongful death claims for this blog. So take it away Brian…

Wrongful death claims in Nova Scotia

As a wrongful death lawyer my philosophy is simple. When someone causes the death of another they should compensate the victim’s family for the loss. Most advanced civilizations adopted this moral position centuries ago. To me death is the ultimate loss and deserves the highest compensation. Unfortunately not everyone agrees with me. Law makers, judges and insurance lawyers have kept damage awards low or non-existent for years. You’ve probably heard it said, “It’s better to kill someone than to injure them”. I hate this saying. But the fact is that the families of victims have been under-compensated for years. To fight this trend the wrongful death lawyer has two powerful but oft forgotten weapons.

New Seatbelt Rules Coming for Canada: Using seatbelts is common sense.

by John McKiggan

Have you ever noticed that the middle-rear seat of most cars usually doesn’t have a shoulder seat belt strap? Ever wonder if the side seats that have shoulder straps are safer than the middle seat?

Studies have shown that passengers wearing lap belts alone are more likely to suffer separation of their lumbar vertebrae, causing paralysis.

Three point (shoulder strap) seat belts have been mandatory in all cars sold in the U.S. since September 2007.

Save your tears: No compensation for grief in Nova Scotia

by John McKiggan

Dog Day Afternoon

I was reading an article written by my colleague Brett Emison, a personal injury attorney in Kansas. Brett wrote about an interesting case in Texas that highlights the irony of the law in most U.S. states and in Canada.

In most states and several provinces in Canada, courts cannot award compensation for grief for the loss of a family member.

Child Safety: N.S. to reduce speed limits in school zones – Kids and Cars Canada

by John McKiggan

The Department of Transportation has announced plans to introduce legislation this fall to reduce speed limits in school zones from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.

The goal of the new limits is to protect students and make roads safer.

Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal stated:

Children Should Stay in Rear Facing Seats Longer: Child Safety Experts

by John McKiggan

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 4 and up. Child car seats have been shown to lower the chances of death in a car accident by 28 per cent compared with seatbelts. They have also been found to reduce the severity of car crash injuries.

Most child car seat manufactures recommend that children stay in rear facing seats until they are 1 year old or 9 kilos as a guideline, before being placed in forward facing seats.

Rear Facing Seats Safer
But after reviewing data from injuries due to car crashes over several years that shows that children in rear-facing car seats are more likely to surivive, the American Academy of Pediatrics and U.S. traffic safety officials have teamed up to release new guidelines that recommend toddlers should sit in rear-facing car seats until age two. If a child under the age of two outgrows the weight limits for their infant car seat, they should be moved to a rear-facing convertible car seat and kept in that position until age two.

Nova Scotia Motor Cycle Injury Claims – Helmets Reduce Spinal Cord Injuries

by John McKiggan

Nova Scotia has had a mandatory helmet law for motorcycles (and bicycles) for many years. But there are some jurisdictions in the United States (Florida and Texas for example) where motorcycle helmets are not required.


There are “mountains” of studies that prove that helmets reduce the risk of death and brain injury after a motorcycle accident. But opponents to mandatory helmet laws have claimed for some time that helmets increase the risk of spinal injury because of the torsion laced on the neck by a heavy helmet.

Christmas Tree Safety Message

by John McKiggan

We decorated our Christmas tree today and I noticed the tree was already getting a little dry. Then I came across this public service announcement this evening. Scary!

We all get busy over the holidays and sometimes in the rush we forget to do the little things, like watering the tree.

Christmas tree fires are not common, a few hundred a year in the United States where there would be millions of Christmas trees in homes across the country. But when they happen, tree fires are likely to be serious. On average, one of every 21 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death.

Smoke Detectors May Not Provide Adequate Protection

by John McKiggan

Everyone knows you should have smoke detectors in your home right?

You may even be one of the dedicated few who check them to be sure they are working and replace the batteries on a regular basis.

But did you know that your smoke alarm may not provide you with adequate warning during a fire?

Space Heaters: Safety Tips to Prevent Burns Injuries and Fires

by John McKiggan

The temperature is dropping and more and more Canadians are using space heaters to keep warm.

The first house that my wife and I bought was so poorly insulated that we had an electric space heater in the bathroom so we wouldn’t freeze to death getting ready for work in the morning.
Thinking back it probably wasn’t a great idea to have an electrical appliance like that around so much water.

Since then I have seen many people who have been injured because of faulty space heaters. Or children injured because heaters were not used properly. So I thought it might be a good idea to post these safety tips.

Elderly Drivers: How old is too old?

by John McKiggan

Last week I posted about how many drivers are not aware of the dangers posed by their car’s rear blind spot. Yesterday I asked under what circumstances a persons driving privileges should be restricted.

Today I want to talk about another driver safety issue that is just starting to come to the public’s attention. But it is an issue that is going to become more important in the near future. I also want to provide some information that may help improve the safety of our roads and highways.

Why Do I Care?