Vancouver BC Personal Injury Lawyers - Stephens and Holman

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Protect Yourself From a Slip-and-Fall Accident

When a residence or a business doesn't keep their premises safe, they may be liable if someone gets injured. There may be circumstances beyond their control, but it is important to know the warning signs so you can protect yourself from a dangerous accident.

You want to be mindful of all of your surroundings and their current state. If there are wet floors or stairs, be sure to avoid them and make their existence known to the owner of the business or residence.

Here are some warning signs of areas where a slip-and-fall accident may occur:

  • Unsafe or uneven floor
  • Chipped, cracked, or uneven concrete
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Wet surfaces
  • Obstacles that may have to walked around
  • Stairs that aren't safe

A slip-and-fall accident may cause severe injuries to bones, tissues, tendons, and muscles. In some cases, these accidents may lead to concussions and brain trauma or even death. Ensure that you keep a keen eye on your surroundings in order to avoid such an accident.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, please contact Stephens & Holman. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the lawsuit process. We serve clients Surrey and Vancouver, British Columbia. Call us today at (866) 200-3575.

posted by Admin at 10:40 AM

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What to do if You're Injured in a Car Accident

 You find yourself sitting in traffic at a red light and all of the sudden are lurched forward as someone behind you rear-ends you vehicle. In this moment of panic, you need to remember some basic steps to ensure that you will be able to handle this situation properly.

The first thing to remember when you've been a in car accident is to remain calm. Contact the police and be sure to document everything as best as you can. Take pictures and get insurance information from the person that hit you. Before determining how you feel or if you're injured, you need to see a doctor. Some injuries from a car accident may not manifest themselves for several weeks or months.

Some other steps you can following to ensure a good, fair outcome after a car accident :
  • Never admit fault because it may get documented
  • File an accident report with the police
  • Contact your insurance company

The ICBC can be a difficult entity to deal with as their job is to find ways save the insurance company money. It is best to allow your attorneys to handle communicating with  the ICBC. The attorneys at Stephens & Holman have the experience required to talk with the ICBC for you. 

If you've been injured in a car accident and are in the Vancouver or Surrey area, please contact Stephens & Holman today. Call us at (866) 200-3575.

posted by Admin at 10:39 AM

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bike to Work Week

 Every year we celebrate cycling and encourage the good environmental practice of biking to work with Bike to Work Week.

When biking to work there are a few rules of the road to remember.
  1. Look at the signs. Cyclists should not ride on a sidewalk or a crosswalk unless directed to do so by a sign.
  2. Ride on the right (not left) side of the road
  3. If riding at night make sure to have a white headlight (visible from 150m), a red reflector, and a red rear facing light.
  4. Use hand signals to indicate right turn, left turn, or slowing speed.
  5. Wear your helmet—it’s mandatory.
When accidents arise.
  1. Stay at the scene
  2. Provide your name and address to the injured person (or get the contact information of the party contributing to the accident if you are the injured person)
  3. Take pictures of the accident and document exactly what happened
  4. Seek necessary medical attention immediately
Generally, the same rules of the road which apply to vehicles also apply to cyclists (with a few exceptions and additions). Make sure to follow the appropriate cycling laws when riding your bike because when an accident occurs rule-breakers may be held partially liable, even when the rule breaker is the injured party. For example, if a motor vehicle turns right and hits a cyclist who is riding on a crosswalk the cyclist may be considered part, or even half, at fault since he or she was inappropriately riding on the crosswalk. The same is true from cyclists who are riding their bike on the sidewalk or riding at night without a headlight.

On average, nearly 1,000 cyclists sustain injuries from May to October in B.C. Bike accidents cases can be multi-layered and the law is complex. Even if as the cyclist you contributed to the accident leading to your injury, you may still be able to receive compensation. At Stephens & Holman we will examine the facts of your cycling accident and fight to get you the best possible outcome. Contact one of our 14 office locations today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We serve Langley, Vancouver and all of British Columbia.

posted by Admin at 8:03 AM

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Public Policy in B.C. and Zip Lines

In a decision released last week the Court of Appeals determined that allowing a motor vehicle owner or operator to waive liability for personal injuries is against public policy in B.C.

The Whistler zip line is a large attraction for B.C. tourists. People enjoy the thrill of zipping through the air, hundreds of feet above the ground.  However, before this thrilling experience most adventure companies will ask you to complete and sign a waiver. This waiver will say that you acknowledge the inherent danger of the activity and you release the company from liability in case an accident or injury occurs. But what happens when someone safely survives the zip line, but is injured while being transported back from the zip line site? This is exactly what happened to a teacher visiting B.C. from Australia who engaged in a Ziptrek Ecotours Inc. activity.

When riding the zip line operator’s bus back to Whistler Village, the bus flipped in an accident and Karen Niedermeyer suffered severe injuries. Initially, the B.C. Supreme Court issued a decision dismissing Niedermeyer’s lawsuit because she had signed the Release of Liability waiver before her excursion. However, the Court of Appeals overturned the earlier Supreme Court decision. In her majority opinion, Judge Garson explained how B.C. has compulsory universal insurance coverage for personal injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents. When a person signs a waiver to engage in an adventurous activity they should not be exempt from recovering damages for their injuries when an accident occurs outside of the dangerous activity. Allowing a motor vehicle operator to be free from liability when the injury occurred during the transportation to the activity and not during the activity is contrary to public policy in B.C. So motor vehicle operators of adventure tour companies are still on the hook for your safety.

If you or your loved one suffered severe injuries from a motor vehicle accident call or email the injury lawyers Stephens & Holman immediately. Even if you signed a contract releasing the responsible party from liability you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries. You can meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Our goal is to serve you!

posted by Admin at 6:28 AM

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rise in Vancouver Speeding Tickets Blamed on Driver Frustration

According to a veteran traffic officer with the Vancouver Police, road construction, bike lanes, and increased traffic are all to blame for a major spike in Vancouver's speeding tickets. As he states, loss of space on the roads contributes to driver frustration, which results in motorists speeding up once they reach an open stretch to recover lost time.

In 2013, Vancouver police issued a total of 28,741 speeding tickets - a record number, and a significant uptick compared to the 18,227 tickets issued in 2012. Although Vancouver Police has increased speed enforcement, that alone cannot account for such a significant increase in tickets.

The speed limit in Vancouver is 50mph, unless otherwise posted. Police are targeting drivers traveling at 75mph, 80mph, and higher, since they pose the greatest risk for a car accident. The higher a vehicle's speed, the less control a driver has over the vehicle, and the longer it takes to stop. In addition to this speeding epidemic, distracted driving has also increased in recent years, further heightening the risk that motorists experience out on the open road.

If you have been seriously injured in a Vancouver accident caused by a speeding driver, please contact Stephens & Holman today or call (866) 200-3575 for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Vancouver spinal cord injury lawyers.    

posted by Admin at 3:22 PM

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Advances in Spinal Cord Injury Treatment: Is Permanent Paralysis No Longer Permanent?

Spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating potential consequences of a traffic accident. Severe spinal cord injury usually results in permanent paralysis, robbing victims of the ability to care for themselves, hold down a job, and even maintain the same relationships they once had.

However, new research is providing hope for victims of spinal cord injury. Experiments performed at the University of Louisville and University of California successfully restored voluntary lower body movement in four patients who were previously told they would never be able to move their legs again. The researchers sent electrical currents through the spine using a device embedded beneath the skin (called “epidural stimulation”). This formed a connection between the brain and legs that was previously thought impossible to restore.

All four men had been paralyzed for two to four years. As a result of this experiment, they were able to:
  • Stand and support their own weight
  • Lift their legs
  • Flex their ankles

Even more surprising was the fact that the men also regained bowel, bladder, and sexual function – even when the electrical device was turned off.

While it is too early to know if all victims of paralysis could benefit from this treatment, it is encouraging to at least know that for some people, paralysis may not be a life-long sentence.

If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness, please contact Stephens & Holman today or call (866) 200-3575 for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Vancouver spinal cord injury lawyers.  

posted by Admin at 2:03 PM

Monday, March 31, 2014

When Should I Accept an ICBC Settlement Offer?

One of the most important decisions you will make regarding your ICBC auto accident claim is when to settle. The answer to this question will depend on the specific facts involved in your claim. Remember, ICBC will attempt to settle your claim as soon as possible after your car accident, because it saves administrative costs for them to close files quickly. Additionally, since initial settlement offers are always low, the earlier you settle your claim, the less money ICBC has to part with.

Once you settle an ICBC claim, you are not entitled to further compensation from ICBC for your injuries. Part of your settlement involves signing a final Release that will end your entitlement to future compensation for your claim. This means that if your injuries end up being more serious than you thought when you first accepted the settlement, it is unlikely you will be able to re-open your claim.

If you want to settle before you have fully recovered from your injuries, you should only do so if ICBC agrees to pay you for future anticipated costs associated with your injuries. Unfortunately, unless an attorney is involved, ICBC will rarely pay out future costs in a claim. This is why it is essential to have an experienced British Columbia auto accident attorney on your side while you are negotiating your settlement with ICBC.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident anywhere in British Columbia, make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. Please contact Stephens & Holman today or call toll free (866) 200-3575 for free advice on your car accident injury claim. We represent injured accident victims in Vancouver, Delta, Langley, Surrey, and throughout British Columbia.  

posted by Admin at 11:27 AM

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