Category: Personal Injury

Offers to Settle in Nova Scotia Personal Injury Claims

by John McKiggan

I have been a personal injury lawyer in Nova Scotia for 23 years. So I have been involved in countless cases where the parties have been able to settle their claims and avoid the risk and expense of trial.

But offers to settle can also have significant legal impact even if a case doesn’t settle before trial. That’s why this article by Matt Maurer was of interest, since it provides a perfect illustration of the strategic use of offers to settle.

Formal Offer to Settle

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.

What Does Hulk Hogan Have To Do With Car Insurance?

by John McKiggan

Hulk Hogan and the Lovely Liz

My youngest son is a big fan of wrestling. So when my wife Liz and I saw superstar wrestler Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) at a restaurant in Florida, I just had to ask him if I could get a photograph of him with Liz and an autograph for my son.

As you can see, Mr. Bollea was very understanding and patient with my wife and I (and all the other fans who wanted to pose with him for a picture).

Pfizer Zoloft Birth Injury Claims – When is a risk too small to explain?

by John McKiggan

Last month 10 couples filed birth injury lawsuits against Pfizer, who manufactures the antidepressant Zoloft. They claim severe birth injuries suffered by their children are a consequence of the mom’s taking Zoloft during their pregnancy.

Failed to Warn of Risks

The argument is Pfizer failed to warn of the risks to unborn children, and further that Pfizer did not adequately test the product.

New Advances in Concussion Testing Helps Protect Athletes

by John McKiggan

The hottest topic of conversation among my friends and neighbours the last two weeks has been their kids amateur hockey tryouts. The other day, I was contacted by a parent whose son suffered a serious concussion during a practice session.

Sport-induced concussions are serious business. As Sidney Crosby can testify, they can have long lasting effects, particularly if they are not diagnoses promptly and the athlete is returned to the game. As I have posted previously, there are a number of different mechanisms for diagnosing concussions: Brain Injury Claims: New Guidelines to Diagnose Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

An article posted by my colleagues at Slater Vecchio discusses a new baseline test for athletes before the season begins.

Motorcycle Accidents: How they happen and what you can do to avoid them.

by John McKiggan

Motorcycle Accident Compensation Claims

I am in the middle of preparing for a trial involving a motorcyclist (my client) who was injured in a motorcycle – car collision. The driver of the car made a left turn in front of my client while my client was driving through a green light. The injuries the motorcycle rider suffered were more serious than you tend see in a typical car-car collision.

While motorcycle collision cases form a relatively small part of the cases I am asked to handle, the injuries in those cases tend to be more severe and complicated. So if you spend any time on the road, as I’m sure all of you do, here is some important information regarding motorcycles and motorcycle injuries.

Nova Scotia Introduces New Insurance Reforms: Halifax Personal Injury Lawyer Explains

by John McKiggan

Today Graham Steele, the Minister responsible for Nova Scotia’s Insurance Act announced new legislation to improve automobile insurance coverage in Nova Scotia. The Fair Automobile Insurance (2011) Act, will be introduced in the legislature today.

I was part of the Review Committe that provided advice to the province regarding what improvements needed to be made to Nova Scotia’s Insurance system: McKiggan Appointed to Provincial Insurance Review Committee

Highlights of Changes

Chinese Toddler Dies and Creates Storm of Controversy

by John McKiggan

Last week staff at Guangzhou Military District Hospital announced that Wang Yue had died of the injuries she suffered when she was run down in a hit and run collision in China.

The collision, which was caught on video by a security camera, has raised a storm of controversy around the world because while she lay bleeding in the street almost 20 people walk or drive by the little girl and ignore her.

The video has raised questions about cultural differences between China and North America, legal issues about so-called Good Samaritan laws and moral questions about personal autonomy and our obligations to others.

Product Recalls are not Proof of Negligence: Johansson v General Motors of Canada Limited

by John McKiggan

Defective Products and Negligence

If a defective product is recalled does that prove that the product was negligently manufactured? That was one of the issues that Justice Murphy of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court had to decide in the recent case of Johansson et al v. General Motors of Canada Limited.

Driver Injured in Car Accident

Whiplash Injuries and Nova Scotia’s “Minor Injury” Compensation Cap

by John McKiggan

Since 2003 Nova Scotia has had some form of a cap on the amount of compensation innocent accident victims are entitled to receive for their non-pecunaiary damages (what most people refer to as “pain and suffering”). For more information you can read:

Nova Scotia’s Cap on Compensation for ‘Minor Injuries’ in Car Crashes (2003 – 2010)

Although the cap has been in place now for eight years there are few reported decisions where the courts have interpreted what the definitions in the legislation actually mean. As a result, there is still debate between lawyers and insurance adjusters and defence lawyers about what injuries are “capped”.