When it's Time to Get Help

Update from Halifax Teacher of the Month Winner

by John McKiggan

Our November teacher of the month winner was St. Joseph’s A. McKay teacher, Christina Cann. Christine Cann teacher of month Christina recently sent us an update to let us know how she spent the Staples gift certificate.
“I was able to purchase a colour printer and scanner for my classroom! We only have a black and white copier in the school and the kids really respond well to colour prints. Also, now I can scan a document and display on LCD for all the kids to see rather than holding up the small copy. It was on sale from staples for $49 so it was perfect!

Younger students (and especially primary level students) need a lot of visuals and picture references. The colour printer will help with that. High schools and other schools may have the document readers and fancier equipment, but in some elementary schools they are hard to come by so that is where the scanner will come in. It is also wireless, so I plan to share that with the other classes on the same floor as my class.”
It is wonderful to see the award is being put to such good use. Thanks for the update Christina!

Nominate a Teacher for Teacher of the Month

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Good news in the battle against pedestrian-car collisions.

by John McKiggan

(By Mark Raftus)

Pedestrian-car “accidents” are decreasing in Halifax!

As reported in my December 23, 2014 post “Pedestrian-Car Collisions: An Epidemic in Nova Scotia” the number of pedestrian-car collisions in Halifax [and indeed throughout Nova Scotia] increased from 2013 to 2014 with the attributed causes ranging from poor weather to poor visibility such as dark lighting conditions. In order to combat this rise in “accidents” I suggested increased vigilance on the part of both pedestrian and car drivers. One consumer advocate suggested that if more tickets were issued collisions would decrease based upon data from other provinces who went the route of issuing more tickets. I will keep an eye out for updated information on that front.

Let’s Try This Standing: Car accident victim’s one woman show a triumph.

by John McKiggan

(Review by Mark Raftus)

Being a personal injury lawyer means we see countless cases where injured victims overcome huge odds in their recovery. It is rare that the details of these inspiring stories become public.

But a new play running this week at Neptune Scotiabank Studio Theatre provides a glimpse into the experiences of one motor vehicle accident victim and how she dealt with, and prevailed over, the injuries she suffered in the collision.

Halifax has the Worst Drivers in Canada: AllState Insurance Report

by John McKiggan

According to a new report released by Insurance Company AllState Canada looking at communities across the country drivers in Halifax have the highest collision rate in the country. In other words, we have more accidents per capita than any of the communities across the country that were studied.

The AllState Canada safe driving study ranked Spruce Grove Alberta as the safest place to drive in Canada with a collision rate of 3.43% per 100 cars. Halifax ranked dead last in the study with a collision rate of 7.12% per 100 cars.

The representative from AllState insurance, Deanna Lumax speculated that the increase in collisions in Halifax may have been due to the terrible driving conditions we had as a result of our brutal winter last year as well as the increasing use of cell phones and distracted driving.

McKiggan named one of Best Lawyers in Canada

by John McKiggan

I am proud to say that I have been selected to be included in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of personal injury litigation.

I have been included in Best Lawyers for many years. One of the reasons I am so proud of the nomination is that, unlike some “recognitions” you can’t just pay to be included. The Directory has been called “the most credible and definitive guide to legal excellence in Canada.” Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a peer review survey of fellow lawyers across the country.

I’ll do my best to continue to live up to the honour.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Happy Crosswalk Safety Awareness Day!

by John McKiggan

(By Mark Raftus)

Did you know that today, Wednesday, November 4, 2015 marks the second annual Crosswalk Safety Awareness Day?

red hand-thumbI have been following the issue of pedestrian collisions and traffic safety for some time. For example, on December 23, 2014 I posted PEDESTRIAN – CAR COLLISIONS: AN EPIDEMIC IN NOVA SCOTIA.  A few months later after we started getting socked by some nasty winter weather I posted WEATHER WATCH – WINTER WALKING AND DRIVING IN NOVA SCOTIA.

Asking Siri for Directions is not Distracted Driving (in Nova Scotia)

by John McKiggan

Using Voice Activated Navigation Isn’t “Using” a Phone?

In a recent decision Justice Jamie Campbell acquitted Ajirogho Enakeno Ikede of distracted driving. Ikede was holding his iphone and asking Siri for directions when he was pulled over by a police office. Police ticketed Ikede for distracted driving contrary to Section 100 of the Motor Vehicle Act. That section of the act states:
It is an offence for a person to use a hand held cellular telephone or engage in text messaging on any communications device while operating a vehicle on a highway” [emphasis added]
The defendant Ikede had been acquitted by Justice Claudine MacDonald and the Crown appealed. Justice Campbell dismissed the Crown’s appeal and confirmed that Ikede was not guilty of distracted driving. Campbell J. was concerned that the word “use” was not defined in the legislation.

Justice Campbell was of the opinion that using the voice activated GPS function on a phone was not the same as using the cell phone to make a telephone call. Justice Campbell stated at paragraph 4 of his decision:
“Use” does not encompass all interactions with handheld devices that have cellular telephone functionality. When the driver, without looking at the screen of the device, engaged a voice activated navigational system related directly to the safe operation of the vehicle through a handheld electronic communications device, he was not “using” a cellular telephone.”
Voice activated systems are still distracting!

How do I get my medical expenses paid after a car accident?

by John McKiggan

One of the most common reasons I am contacted by people who have been injured in car accidents in Nova Scotia is because they are concerned about all the medical expenses they have piling up and they are confused about which insurance company should be paying their medical expenses.

The answer depends on whether you were a driver or passenger or a pedestrian or cyclist. It also depends on whether you have private medical expense coverage through work or through a spouse.

Who pays?

New Limitation of Actions Act in Nova Scotia will impact victim’s rights!

by John McKiggan

As of September 1, 2015, Nova Scotia has a new Limitation of Actions Act.  This law creates time limits for how long injured victims have to sue for compensation. The time limits are different depending on the type of claim.

There are some important changes in the new Act that injury victims need to be aware of. The one that may have the greatest impact on personal injury claims is the new rule that establishes a two year time limit for many claims.

Exceptions to the two year time limit

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