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Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie

Injuries Expected to Escalate in Alberta Following Cannabis Legalization

The Canadian government is expected to legalize cannabis this summer. Alberta has passed legislation that will meet that deadline by setting out rules and guidelines for how cannabis will be sold and consumed within the Province.

Alberta has set the minimum age for the purchase and consumption of cannabis at 18. Those that are of this legal age will be able to purchase cannabis products from retailers that will receive their products from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (“AGLC”).

This distribution system will be similar to the system currently in place for alcohol in Alberta. Only licensed retail establishments will be allowed to sell cannabis under strict regulations and the AGLC will operate online sales. Furthermore, in an effort to safeguard children and limit second-hand exposure, public smoking or vaping of cannabis will be restricted to individuals’ homes or public spaces where smoking tobacco is allowed. In Alberta, the consumption of cannabis will be banned in all motor vehicles.

With the legalization of cannabis approaching, the Injury Prevention Centre (“IPC”), an Alberta Health funded organization, recently released a report stating that Albertans can expect an increase in cannabis-related injuries, including traffic fatalities, child poisonings and burns, once legalization takes place.

The IPC reviewed injury rates in various American jurisdictions where cannabis has been legalized and provided several recommendations on reducing the rate of marijuana-related injuries.

PREVENTING CANNABIS-IMPAIRED DRIVING

Research has shown that Colorado and Washington, the first two states in which marijuana was legalized, have experienced increases of approximately 9% for drivers testing positive for cannabis and/or alcohol and drugs in comparison to pre-legalization. Fatalities have increased from 49 to 94 in Colorado and from 40 to 85 in Washington, suggesting that more individuals are driving while impaired by cannabis.

The IPC proposed various recommendations to prevent cannabis-impaired driving, including:

  • Imposing administrative sanctions at a lower limit than Criminal Code impairment;
  • Imposing zero tolerance for THC for Graduated Drivers Licence drivers;
  • Increasing sanctions for individuals impaired by simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis;
  • Separating cannabis and alcohol retail outlets;
  • Supporting research to improve enforcement tools;
  • Applying sufficient resources to training and enforcement; and
  • Conducting public education regarding cannabis-impaired driving.

PREVENTING INGESTION OF CANNABIS BY CHILDREN

Research has shown that in Colorado unintentional exposure to cannabis by children 9 years of age and younger had increased more than five times following the legalization of cannabis (which in that state took place in 2012).

Almost half of all cases (48%) involved infused edible products such as cookies, brownies, cake and candies. These numbers suggest that children in Alberta are at risk of unintentional ingestion of cannabis following legalization this summer.

The IPC provided the following recommendations to prevent the unintentional ingestion of cannabis by children, including:

  • Encouraging the Federal Government to implement packaging restrictions and institute them at a provincial level;
  • Mandating warning signs in retail outlets regarding safe and proper storage of cannabis to prevent child poisoning; and
  • Conducting public education on cannabis poisoning.

PREVENTING BURNS DUE TO COMBUSTIBLE SOLVENT HASH OIL EXTRACTION

Following the approval of medicinal marijuana, Colorado started to endure incidents of hydrocarbon burns due to the extraction of hash oil from cannabis. These incidents continued to increase in number following the legalization of recreational cannabis. These burns result from explosions and fires and many caused injuries to the upper extremity, neck and head.

The IPC proposed the following recommendations to prevent burns due to the extraction of hash oil from cannabis, including:

  • Prohibiting the production of cannabis products using combustible solvents; and
  • Conducting public education regarding the dangers of producing cannabis products using combustible solvents.

PREVENTING OTHER INJURIES DUE TO CANNABIS-IMPAIRMENT

Cannabis is known to cause impairments in reaction time, information processing, motor co-ordination, motor performance, attention and tracking behaviour.

Research in jurisdictions which have legalized recreational use of cannabis shows that young adults are both the most active participants in high risk sports and the largest users of cannabis products. If these individuals participate in risky pursuits while under the influence of cannabis it is likely that the impairment of their abilities will result in increased rates of injury.

Therefore, the IPC recommends public education about the dangers associated with certain higher risk activities while impaired and information about the increased perils should also be shared with organizations providing activities that may put participants in jeopardy.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident causing serious harm, we can help. At Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers, we have the dedication and experience to help injured people. For a free initial consultation with one of Calgary’s award winning personal injury lawyers, please contact our office online or at 403-571-0555 today.


Cuming & Gillespie Wears Jerseys for Humboldt

On Thursday, we joined thousands of Canadians across the country and wore jerseys in a show of solidary with the victims and survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Jersey Day was organized by a group of B.C. women in support of Humboldt. Across Canada, people showed up to work and in school in sports jerseys. It was important to us to show our support for all those who have been affected and donning our jerseys was the least we could do.

To us, Jersey Day was more than just a hashtag. Just like many Canadians, a lot of us at the firm grew up in hockey families either playing ourselves or watching siblings play. Both of our partners played competitively in their youth, one for a Junior A team in Olds and Red Deer.

Our thoughts are with the players and families of the Humboldt Broncos.

We are all #HumboldtStrong.


Alberta Permits Sikhs To Ride Motorcycles Without Helmets

Beginning on April 12, 2018, turban-wearing members of the Sikh religion who are over the age of 18 will be able to freely express their religion by riding a motorcycle without the use of a helmet in Alberta. The Vehicle Equipment Regulation in the Traffic Safety Act is being amended through a Ministerial Order.

British Columbia and Manitoba have already passed similar laws exempting turban-wearing Sikhs to ride motorcycles without helmets for religious reasons.

According to the 2011 census, Alberta has the third highest Sikh population in Canada with more than 52,000 individuals identifying themselves as part of the Sikh religion.

SAFETY CONCERNS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS

Unfortunately, with the thrill and excitement of riding a motorcycle comes great risk to the rider’s safety. While many motor vehicle accidents are very dangerous, a motorcycle accident may be life threatening. Doctors in Alberta have voiced concerns about the huge risks to public safety that may arise by not wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle.

Motorcycle accidents tend to cause more severe injuries than an accident in a motor vehicle because the motorcyclist does not have the protection of the car body. According to Transport Canada, in 2015 there were 200 motorcyclists killed in collisions (10% of all driver deaths) and 1,243 motorcyclists who sustained serious injuries (12.1% of all drivers who sustained serious injuries).

Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable road users. Operating a motorcycle exposes the rider to a variety of hazards including wind, rain, hail, unexpected snowfall, extreme heat and other hazards including collisions and losing traction. Statistics show that a disproportionately high number of catastrophic injuries, such as brain damage, broken bones, paralysis, and death, are sustained by motorcyclists.

Wearing an appropriate motorcycle safety helmet is one of the most important factors in preventing or reducing head injuries. Thus, the law requires motorcycle operators and passengers to wear an approved motorcycle safety helmet. Operators must also ensure that passengers under the age of 16 also wear a proper safety helmet.

CHECKLIST FOR BUYING A HELMET

The following are some pointers to assist when purchasing a motorcycle helmet:

  1. Choose a helmet that meets DOT, Snell or ECE helmet safety standards.
  2. Ensure that the helmet displays the proper label and meets safety-helmet labelling requirements.
  3. Choose a full-face helmet, which provides the best protection in a collision and protection from wind, dust, rain, insects and debris.
  4. Choose a bright colour to provide better visibility or add reflective tape to the sides and back for greater visibility.
  5. Choose a helmet that feels snug around the entire head. Try it on for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that no pressure points develop, which may cause headaches while riding.
  6. Ensure that the helmet chin strap is easy to fasten, release and adjust and be sure that it can be fastened securely.
  7. Avoid buying a used helmet. If the used helmet has been involved in a crash it may have some damage that is not obvious. Motorcycle helmets are not designed for multiple impacts.
  8. It is important to replace your helmet if it has been dropped, involved in a crash or showing signs of wear. Helmets have an expiry date. It is recommended that helmets be replaced every five years, even if it has not been involved in an impact.

SPRING SAFETY CONCERNS ASSOCIATED WITH MOTORCYCLISTS

Now that spring has finally sprung, motorcycle riders are itching to get back out on the road. In Alberta, the spring weather can make the roads more challenging due to potholes and loose gravel.

Potholes

In the beginning of spring, potholes can be found throughout Alberta’s roadways. Potholes are caused by snow melting and re-freezing throughout the winter.

Motorcyclists are encouraged to always look well ahead for potholes and never follow a vehicle too closely to prevent noticing a pothole at the very last second. As a motorcyclist, it is best to avoid potholes. If you cannot avoid a pothole, it is recommended that you slow down as much as possible and drive in a straight line over the pothole, standing up slightly to allow your knees to absorb the shock.

Driving on Gravel

The City of Calgary (and many other cities/towns in Alberta) uses a combination of salt and gravel in the winter to provide traction for drivers during the slippery months. Once the snow melts and temperatures rise, the salt and gravel mix leaves behind residue on the roadways. This residue can be hazardous, especially to motorcyclists.

It is recommended when riding on gravel that motorcyclists avoid making sudden or sharp adjustments and avoid braking on sand or gravel, if possible. If the rider cannot avoid braking on residue, it is suggested that riders apply even, light pressure to their brakes. Riding in existing tire tracks is also highly recommended during the spring season, if possible. Furthermore, riders should keep their centre of gravity stable and balanced and should not look down to avoid losing control of their bike.

If you or a loved one were the victim of a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. Please contact the award winning lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers to get started with a free case evaluation either online or by calling 403-571-0555. We are dedicated to providing you with the legal help you deserve.

 

 

 

 

 


Newly Introduced Bill Will Permit Disabled Albertans with Trust Funds to Qualify for AISH

The Alberta government has proposed new legislation to provide families with more options for financial support for children with disabilities without jeopardizing their entitlement to provincial benefits.

The Bill seeks to exempt assets in trusts when determining whether someone is eligible for funds under the existing Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (“AISH”) program.

BILL 5: AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN FINANCIAL SECURITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

The government of Alberta has proposed to pass Bill 5, an Act to Strengthen Financial Security for Persons with Disabilities, to amend current AISH legislation.

If passed, this new legislation would allow families, guardians and AISH beneficiaries to set up trusts to provide for individuals with disabilities without adversely affecting the individual’s eligibility for the AISH program. This would then provide individuals with disabilities authorization for a living allowance, child benefits and personal benefits under the AISH program, while also allowing families to plan for their disabled child’s future.

The Minister of Community and Social Services, Irfan Sabir, stated, about the proposed legislation:

All Albertans should be able to plan for their children’s future. This legislation will provide Albertans receiving supports from the AISH program and their families with the time and tools to plan for their children’s financial future and security.

At this time, the AISH program can recover, or even deny, benefits if a recipient has a trust account valued at more than $100,000. This may be worrisome to families as parents plan for their disabled child’s future after their deaths.

The purpose of the proposed bill is to provide “peace of mind” to those with disabilities and families attempting to provide for their disabled child’s future following the parents’ death.

WHAT IS THE AISH PROGRAM?

The AISH program provides a living allowance, health benefits and supplementary benefits to eligible adult Albertans with a permanent disability that substantially limits his/her ability to earn a living. Almost 60,000 Albertans currently receive AISH benefits.

Individuals with disabilities who depend upon AISH receive living allowances of up to $1,588 a month. AISH beneficiaries may also receive $100 per month for each dependent child and health benefits (i.e. prescription drugs, dental, optical, diabetic supplies and emergency ambulance) for themselves, spouse/partner and dependent children. AISH beneficiaries are also eligible to receive personal benefit expenses for specific needs beyond their monthly living allowance for such things as health related personal benefits (i.e. addiction treatment, equipment maintenance for wheelchairs and scooters, medical alert service), funeral benefits, moving benefits to set up a new home and benefits to help deal with an emergency situation.

Notably, as mentioned earlier, under Alberta’s current law, those disabled individuals with assets totalling more than $100,000 are not eligible to receive AISH (although there are exceptions for matters such as principal residence and a vehicle adapted for the applicant’s disability).

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION?

The proposed legislation provides clarity and options for disabled Albertans by exempting both discretionary and non-discretionary trusts as assets when determining eligibility for AISH.

If passed, the bill would establish a one-year grace period to allow Albertans time to move an inheritance or lump sum payment, which are considered non-exempt assets, into a trust so individuals do not lose their benefits. This would allow an AISH applicant/beneficiary or their cohabiting partner sufficient time to make financial decisions instead of immediately becoming ineligible for the AISH program.

Currently, only people with non-discretionary trusts are eligible for AISH benefits. Individuals that hold discretionary trust assets, regardless of whether they receive payments from the trust, are prohibited from the AISH program. The new legislation would exempt trusts as assets when determining eligibility for the AISH program.

A discretionary trust means that the recipient has complete control over the money they receive, whereas a non-discretionary trust comes with rules on when and how that money is distributed.

To be clear, all income from the trust is considered as “income” to be reported to the AISH program. Under the AISH regulations, trust income is considered “partially exempt” income. The first $200 of income is exempt, plus 25% of the remainder of the income.

If you or a family member have been injured in the Calgary area, don’t try to settle your case with the insurance companies on your own! At Cuming & Gillespie, you can discuss your case with award winning, experienced Calgary personal injury lawyers who can provide the knowledge and insight you need to get the compensation you deserve. For a free initial consultation with one of Calgary’s most trusted and qualified personal injury lawyers, please contact our office online or at 403-571-0555 today.


Statistics Reveal Albertans Among the Most Likely to End Up In Hospital From Slip and Falls During Winter

We all know how important it is to keep up our regular physical activity throughout the year.  However, during the winter season, activities such as walking outside can be difficult due to treacherous weather conditions.

Statistics from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) covering 2011 to 2016 reveal that nearly 41 per 100,000 Albertans were hospitalized after slip and falls.  Alberta’s hospitalization rate is nearly three times the number compared to Ontario.  Only Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island reported higher hospitalization rates.

According to these statistics, “hospitalization” is defined as requiring the patient to spend at least one day in the hospital due to an injury.

These statistics also reveal that falls on average kill 219 Albertans each year, with approximately 4% of these deaths related to falls on ice or snow.

Although there is no single reason to explain Alberta’s high hospitalization rate, it is a likely due to the province’s winter weather patterns and the condition of the streets and sidewalks.

WEATHER PLAYS A MAJOR FACTOR

Icy conditions are likely to be more persistent throughout the winter in Alberta, compared with southern Ontario.  Once ice forms it tends to remain because of the bitter temperatures or because of the fluctuating temperatures on a daily basis between above freezing and below freezing.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SNOW AND ICE CONTROL

Homeowners and businesses are responsible to keep the sidewalks adjacent to their properties clear of snow and ice.

In Calgary, the city is responsible for clearing 249 of the 5,658 kilometres of public sidewalk.  Calgary Parks will also clear 400 km of its 850 km pathways within 24 hours of when the snow stops falling.  A spokesperson for the city has advised that $2.43 million is reserved for sidewalks out of a $38.1 million snow-and-ice control budget.

According to City of Calgary spokeswoman Sheila Johnstone,

Under the bylaw, home and business owners have 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling to clear their sidewalks.  The city does not have a time limit, but we do strive to get our sidewalks done within three days.

In Calgary, owners and occupants of a home are responsible for removing snow and ice from the pathways and sidewalks in the front or to the side of their property within 24 hours after snowfall has ended.

The city of Calgary will send property owners a Warning Notice if their sidewalk hasn’t been cleared within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall.  If a property owner doesn’t comply within 24 hours of receiving a letter, the city can remove the snow itself and send the owner an invoice (cost of $150.00, plus GST and an administrative fee).

In comparison, in Toronto, the city is responsible for plowing 6,000 of its 7,900 kilometres of sidewalk.  Canada’s largest city will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow have fallen.  Property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow within 12 hours after a storm.  Failure to do so could result in a fine.  Toronto has reserved $17.5 million of its $90.7 million snow budget this year to clear for pedestrians.

CALGARY PROPERTY OWNERS OWE A DUTY OF CARE

As a homeowner or property owner, or even a renter, you are responsible for keeping your property reasonably safe for others.  Property owners owe those lawfully on their property a duty of care to keep those properties in a reasonably safe condition.  This includes cleaning your driveway, sidewalk and walkways from snow and ice.  If property owners are negligent in this duty, they can be held responsible for any injuries.

If you have been injured in a fall due to snow or ice, please contact the experienced lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie online or at 403-571-0555.  It is important that you call us promptly so we can help you understand your rights and the potential to recover compensation for your injuries.  Call our office for a free consultation to determine how we can help you following a slip and fall injury.


Trampoline Park Injuries Are No Child’s Play

Trampoline parks have increased in numbers worldwide to more than 1,000 by the end of 2017.  With this increase in facilities, there has been a comparable increase in emergency room visits and reported trampoline park injuries.

In Canada, 4,247 incidents of trampoline injuries were treated in the emergency departments of 15 hospitals between 2005/2006 and 2009/2010 according to the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP).

In the U.S., Dr. Kathryn Kasmire studied U.S. emergency room statistics regarding trampoline park injuries between 2010 to 2014.  The figures jumped from 581 injuries in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014.  The study found that males injuries were more predominant.  Dr. Kasmire also found that injuries resulting from trampoline park use often were lower extremity sprains and fractures and rarely open fractures and spinal cord injuries.  The study recommended that flips be restricted and contact between jumpers should be minimized.  It was further recommended that improved padding be provided to protect against landing on trampoline frames.

Alberta Health Services reports there were 105 emergency visits related to trampolines in 2015, and these numbers are on the rise.  Between 2013 and 2015, there was a 30% increase in trampoline related injuries reported at hospitals.  Most of these injuries were fractures related to the foot and ankle, but there were also head injuries.

RECENT CANADIAN TRAMPOLINE ACCIDENTS

In January 2018, Jay Greenwood, a 46 year old Victoria, B.C. father, died after an accident at the Extreme Air Park trampoline park in Richmond B.C.

According to police, Greenwood was injured in the foam pit while “allegedly performing a series of acrobatic manoeuvres”.  The fall caused serious injury and cardiac arrest.  Witnesses report that Greenwood’s face was blue and his neck appeared broken.

Another incident occurred in April 2017 when 8 year old Chelsea Gilbert of Victoria, B.C. broke her back at a B.C. trampoline park.  She is still recovering.

Almost a year ago, Landon Smith (“Smith”), 18 years old at the time of the accident, broke his neck in a foam pit at a trampoline park in Sherwood Park, Alberta, when he performed a front flip into a foam pit.  He broke his neck when he hit the concrete floor below the foam and was left a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.

Smith and his parents have filed a lawsuit against Jump Park Trampoline, the foam pit supplier, the foam pit installer, a manager, supervisor and two employees.  The lawsuit seeks damages for $17.1 million, including $15.1 million for Smith’s loss of past and future income, past and future care costs, modified accommodation costs and loss of earning capacity.  The lawsuit also seeks $400,000 for his pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment for life.  Smith’s parents also seek $100,000 each for pain and suffering and $250,000 each for loss of past and future income, loss of earning capacity and competitive advantage, and costs of past and future care.

REGULATING TRAMPOLINE PARKS IN CANADA

In Canada, trampoline parks are not regulated.  The majority of trampoline facilities in Canada voluntarily adhere to industry standards that are established in the United States because there are no regulations here in Canada.  However, there is no enforcement to ensure the parks meet these same safety standards.

Following Smith’s accident, UCP MLA Wayne Drysdale raised the topic of regulating trampoline parks in the Alberta Legislature.  Drysdale is campaigning for trampoline parks to require an operating permit, annual inspections and standards for installation.  He is also requesting that these facilities keep records of injuries and require that all staff have mandatory first aid training.  Drysdale has met with Health Minister Sarah Hoffman to discuss this important matter and he believes that results will follow.

We will continue to monitor developments in the regulation of trampoline parks in Canada and will blog about changes as they become available.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one have been involved in a serious accident at a trampoline facility or have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, please contact the knowledgeable Calgary personal injury lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie online or at 403-571-0555.  Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.


Students Petition for Safer Crosswalk Following Classmate’s Devastating Accident

On November 20, 2017, Ben Webster, a 13-year-old male, was taken to Alberta Children’s Hospital with serious head injuries after being hit by a Toyota Prius while crossing the road.   The accident occurred at approximately 7:30a.m. in the eastbound lanes of Dalhousie Drive just west of 54 Street N.W.  Webster suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken collarbone, three broken ribs and an eye injury as a result of the unfortunate accident.

Grade 9 students at H.D. Cartwright Junior High School have written more than 300 letters to Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Ward 4 Councillor Sean Chu imploring the installation of a crossing light at the marked crosswalk at the intersection of Dalhousie Drive and 54 Street N.W., where the devastating accident occurred.

Calgary Police Service continues to investigate the accident at this time and no charges have been laid.  Paul Webster, Ben’s father, stated that “[i]t seems like the crosswalk is on a bit of rise of a hill.  It’s not very visible to drivers and I think, from what other students say, there’s been a few near misses there in the past.”

Ben’s parents report that he is improving.  “He’s made a remarkable recovery.  He has surpassed many of the doctor’s expectations and now he’s walking and talking, making a lot of progress.”

WHAT IS A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injuries (“TBI”) refer specifically to brain injury caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head or body.  This can include trauma from a car accident, or from a lack of oxygen or swelling.

The majority of TBIs occur when the brain tissue is bruised, bleeding, twisted or torn.  Damage may occur immediately or develop later as a result of swelling or bleeding within the head.  The brain damage may be temporary or permanent.

Brain injuries do not heal like other types of injuries.  No two brain injuries are alike and the consequence of two similar injuries may have very different results.

Mild TBI Symptoms

A brain injury can be classified as mild when a forceful motion of the head causes a brief change in mental status (confusion, disorientation or loss of memory) or loss of consciousness for less than 30 minutes. These types of injuries are often overlooked at the time of the initial injury.

An individual suffering from a mild TBI may experience the following common symptoms:

  • Fatigue;
  • Headaches;
  • Visual disturbances;
  • Memory loss;
  • Poor attention/concentration;
  • Sleep disturbances;
  • Dizziness/loss of balance;
  • Irritability-emotional disturbances;
  • Feelings of depression; and/or

Individuals suffering from a mild TBI may also experience nausea, loss of smell, sensitivity to light and sounds, mood changes; getting lost or confused or slowness in thinking.

Severe TBI Symptoms

Severe brain injury is associated with loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes and memory loss after the injury for more than 24 hours.

The impact of a severe TBI can include difficulties such as:

  • Cognitive deficits (attention, concentration, distractibility, memory, speed of processing, confusion, impulsiveness, language processing or executive functions);
  • Speech and Language Deficits (not understanding the spoken word, difficulty speaking, slurred speech, speaking very fast or slow, problems reading, problems writing);
  • Sensory Deficits (difficulties with interpretation of touch, temperature, movement, limb position and fine discrimination);
  • Perceptual Deficits;
  • Vision Deficits (partial or total loss of vision, weakness of eye muscles and double vision, blurred vision, problems judging distance, involuntary eye movements, intolerance of light);
  • Hearing Deficits;
  • Smell Deficits;
  • Taste Deficits;
  • Seizures;
  • Physical Changes (paralysis, chronic pain, control of bowel/bladder, sleep disorders, loss of stamina, appetite changes, regulation of body temperature, menstrual difficulties);
  • Social-Emotional Deficits (dependent behaviours, emotional ability, lack of motivation, irritability, aggression, depression, disinhibition, lack of awareness).

Recovering from a TBI varies depending on the individual and the type of brain injury.  It may take months or even years to recover.

PREVENTION

To reduce the risk of brain injury always wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle and ensure that small children are secured in the proper child safety seat or booster seat appropriate for his/her size and weight.  Always avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications, that can impair the ability to drive.

It is especially important to always wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard, motorcycle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle.  It is also important to wear head protection when playing baseball or contact sports, skiing, skating, snowboarding or riding a horse.

For older adults, it is imperative to prevent falls around the house.  Installing handrails in bathrooms, nonslip mats in the bathtub or shower, installing handrails on both sides of staircases, improving lighting in the home, keeping stairs and floors clear of clutter, attending regular vision check-ups and regular exercise are all simple ways to keep accidents from occurring.

For very young children, it is important to take precautions to prevent accidents in the home as well.  Installing safety gates at the top of stairs, installing window guards to prevent falls, putting nonslip mats in the bathtub or shower, making sure area rugs are secure and prohibiting children from playing on fire escapes or balconies are all easy ways to keep young children safe at home.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident or any other type of accident causing serious harm we can help.  At Cuming & Gillespie, we work diligently to help injured people.  For a free initial consultation with one of Calgary’s most knowledgeable personal injury lawyers, please contact our office online or at 403-571-0555 today.


Serious Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents: Grounds for a Legal Claim

A crash in Calgary’s downtown core that left a man in life-threatening condition illustrates the significant dangers of motor vehicle accidents, even those that take place in seemingly nice weather and in good driving conditions.

Shortly after 11:30 A.M on January 17, a truck and car collided in the intersection of 9th Avenue and 2nd Street S.W, just two blocks from our offices. The car rolled onto its roof. Reports indicate that at least one person was rushed to Foothills Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Consider Filing a Claim

Serious injuries, including those caused by an accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, ATV, or other vehicle can permanently change someone’s life. Drivers and others who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident should consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer to obtain guidance and advice about what legal options may be available to them.

Regardless of which driver may be at fault for an accident, anyone can claim certain accident benefits including claiming for medical and treatment expenses as well as income replacement benefits. If another party is at fault for the accident, you can pursue a claim against them for additional economic losses and your pain and suffering.

Grounds for compensation can include:

  • Wage loss (past and future);
  • Loss of housekeeping capacity;
  • Treatment costs for treatment not covered by provincial or other health plans;
  • Damages for pain and suffering;
  • Damages for loss of amenities of life;
  • Damages for wrongful death.

The amount you may be able to recover will depend on many different factors including how severe your injuries are, how they will impact you long-term (physically, mentally, and financially), the amount of your medical expenses, and the amount of any other expenses related to your injury.

A personal injury lawyer can help you figure out what benefits and other compensation you may be eligible for, will help you navigate the insurance and legal systems, and will help you pursue maximum compensation.

At Cuming & Gillespie, we work tirelessly to help injured people. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident we can help. When you hire us, you can rest assured that you are getting the best and most effective representation possible. Our Calgary personal lawyers have a proven track record of obtaining significant compensation for each our clients to help them continue with their recovery. With a quarter century of experience, our lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and skills to get you the compensation you deserve. You can reach us at 403-571-0555.


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada Light the Night Walk

Each year, in eleven cities across Canada, people come together in order to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). The money raised is put towards:

  • Funding breakthrough therapies for blood cancer patients.
  • Offering education and support to patients and family members.
  • Providing comprehensive assistance through the LLSC’s Information Resource Centre.
  • Offering educational sessions to healthcare professionals.

Cuming & Gillespie is proud to have participated in this year’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada Light the Night Walk. Not only did the firm step up as a sponsor through the Light the Night National Partner Program, but a number of our lawyers, staff and their family members personally raised funds and participated in the walk that took place in Calgary on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

light the night walk canada

Among our group were thousands of others who took part in the 5 kilometer walk along the Bow River. We all carried illuminated lanterns, the colour of which signified our relation to the cause – white lanterns for blood cancer patients and survivors, red lanterns for supports and gold lanterns in memory of loved ones who have been lost to this disease. The thousands of lanterns symbolize bringing light to the dark world of cancer, which unfortunately has touched nearly everyone’s life in one way or another.

We at Cuming & Gillespie are honoured to have played a small role in the fight against cancer and intend to continue our involvement with the LLSC as well as with a number of other local and national causes.

Sponsor TY


Your Right to a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Calgary Accident: Part 2

More from a Calgary personal injury lawyer about your right to representation following a serious accident.

In Part 1 of this article, you learned that your right to a Calgary personal injury lawyer is of paramount importance if your or a family member has been seriously injured in an accident. Your right to consult with and be represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer is key to protecting all of your other rights, and ensures that you have the best possible chance at getting the full compensation you’re entitled to.

Furthermore, you learned that your right to a lawyer also gives you the right to stop being bothered by other lawyers—namely lawyers working for the insurance company(ies) representing the party responsible for your injuries. They may use intimidation or other stressful tactics to encourage you to settle for a lower amount and potentially lose other rights and protections you’re entitled to under the law; as soon as you tell them if have a personal injury lawyer handling your case, they’re legally required to stop contacting you directly and to start working with your lawyer.

An experienced Calgary personal injury lawyer saves you time and stress starting immediately, and protects your long-term rights and interests, as well. If that’s all you got when you exercised your right to a Calgary personal injury lawyer, it would already be well worth your while. But there are still more ways partnering with a lawyer helps your case in and out of the Calgary courts.

A Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer Eliminates Confusion and Costly Errors

Though Calgary’s legal system does not exactly enable lawyers to “specialize” in a given type of case or area of law, there are lawyers and law firms that focus primarily on specific case types with many common elements. Cuming & Gillespie is a dedicated plaintiff-only law firm—we only serve the interests of injury victims and their families. Our legal team brings committed, focused, and abundant experience to pursuing your personal injury claim.

When you have an experienced Calgary personal injury lawyer as your partner, you can be confident that your case will profess as smoothly and effectively, with a sure hand guiding things. Most non-lawyers are understandably confused and overwhelmed when they find themselves facing the legal realities of a personal injury case, and most are likely to make substantial errors in their court filings and other documents that can cause substantial harm to their case. A lawyer who has been there before will help ensure those errors don’t happen, and will make your confusion a thing of the past.

Your Rights Start Today. Call a Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer NOW

We’ll have even more information in Part 3 of this article on how your right to a Calgary personal injury lawyer helps your case. Don’t let your rights get away from you in the meantime! For a free initial consultation with one of Calgary’s most dedicated personal injury lawyer, please contact our office today.


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