Impaired driving is a leading cause of deadly car accidents in British Columbia. With the winter holidays ahead of us, many people will be celebrating with friends, colleagues and loved ones, and it's inevitable for alcoholic beverages to be present at many of these celebrations. Remember one of the most important ways to prevent these accidents is to plan ahead. If you think you may be drinking when you go out, be sure to plan for how you will get home via taxi, ride-sharing, a driving service, public transportation or a friend who has agreed to drive sober. Although you cannot do anything to prevent the behavior of other...
Stephens & Holman Blog
Serving Greater Vancouver and Nearby Areas of British Columbia
As lawyers who have been advocating on behalf of accident victims in Vancouver for many years, we know that there really is no such thing as a standard or typical car accident. While they may seem similar to an uninvolved third party, accidents are incredibly personal and painful to the people involved in them.
While your car crash will have outcomes unique to your situation, there are several things that are common to many catastrophic accidents:
- Severe physical injuries
- Extensive vehicle damage
- Immediate need for medical care
In our vehicles seatbelts hold our bodies back in the event of a crash. But our heads and necks are unrestrained. As a result, whiplash is a common accident injury. It's also very common for whiplash to have hidden symptoms – that is to say, symptoms that do not appear until later. Twelve of the most common signs of whiplash are:
1. Neck pain
2. Neck stiffness
4. Decreased range of motion in your neck
5. Exacerbation of pain when you turn your neck
7. Dizzy spells
8. Back, shoulder and/or upper arm pain
9. Numbness or tingling in your arms...
Serious injuries can have a profound effect on your life. Disability, pain and trauma are just some of the ways an injury can affect you. In some of the most tragic personal injury claims, someone's wrongful death is the outcome.
Our lawyers have experience handling many types of claims on behalf of our clients, including those involving the following catastrophic injuries:
- Injuries to the back, neck, head and spine
- Brain injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Chronic pain
When a severe injury happens to you, the costs associated with...
Impending winter in British Columbia means you can expect seasonal weather conditions soon. Snow, ice, wet roads and fog are all possibilities. To prevent the risk of causing an auto accident this winter, consider these tips:
- Slow down. Posted speed limits apply to dry, clear roads. When the road surface becomes wet, snowy or icy, it's a good idea to slow down. Your tire traction is compromised under these conditions, so slower speeds help you maintain control of your vehicle.
- Consider snow tires for your vehicle. These tires have much better grip in the snow. They'll help you...
Spinal injuries tend to be very serious. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury, you already know how life-altering it can be. Limbs, muscles and organs may have compromised function, and sensation may be affected as well.
At Stephens & Holman, our lawyers have been handling these types of injury claims for many years. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies to pursue maximum settlements on our clients' behalves. Spinal cord injuries come from many sources, such as:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Unsafe premises...
As part of being a better driver, you can prevent the likelihood of causing a car accident by informing yourself of the reasons they occur. Here are four common reasons:
1. Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a widespread problem. It only takes a few moments of glancing at your phone or typing out a message to dangerously distract you from the road.
2. Drunk driving. An average of 78 people are killed every year in accidents involving impaired driving in British Columbia, according to ICBC.
3. Risky driving behavior. Failing to drive carefully and...
As the rain continues to fall across Vancouver, now is an opportune time to brush up on your pedestrian safety awareness. The days now are much cooler, darker and the extended forecast is typical for this time of year: rain and clouds. If you travel on foot, remember these tips from the Vancouver Police Department:
- Make eye contact with drivers and people approaching on bicycles. If you successfully make eye contact, it's much more likely that they see and recognize you.
- Cross at designated crossing points. Drivers are much more likely to be prepared for your presence at these...
Texting remains a major source of distracted driving these days. But it's not the only source. While it's important not to text and drive, it's also useful to remind yourself that there are other behaviors that take your eyes, hands and mind away from the task of driving (and that could potentially lead to a serious auto accident):
- Brushing your hair, brushing your teeth or other personal grooming behind the wheel
- Applying your mascara, lipstick or other cosmetics as you drive
- Reading a map or other physical text while driving
- Viewing, adjusting or otherwise being overly preoccupied with the GPS...
People across Vancouver love to bike – to work, to school, for fun, for exercise. Our area is one of the best for bike paths and improved safety as you pedal around. Unfortunately, bike accidents do happen from time to time, whether it's a collision with a vehicle, another bicycle or an object. Consider the safety tips below to help you avoid these types of accidents.
- Always use hand signals so other road users know your intentions.
- Come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs, just as you would if you were in a car.
- Be cautious as you pedal through an intersection, paying special attention to...
An unexpected injury can create an overwhelming situation. The Vancouver, BC lawyers at Stephens & Holman have been working with victims of severe injury for many years. As a result, we know how expensive and life-altering these injuries can be. Here are just a few of the long-term expenses that are often associated with severe injury:
- Reduced earning capacity because your injury prevents you from performing your former job duties
- Ongoing rehabilitation expenses so you can re-learn certain physical or speech capabilities, or train for a new occupation
- Ongoing medical care to pursue the best...
Distracted driving is a major cause of auto accidents every day in BC. Using a cell phone, especially texting, is one of the most common sources of distraction. Texting occupies your eyes, hands and mind while you drive, all three of which are required to focus on the task of driving.
Here are six ways you can prevent your phone from distracting you while you drive:
1. Power down. When your phone is off completely, you won't be tempted by rings, alerts and what's happening on the screen.
2. Place your phone out of sight and out of reach. If you want to leave your phone on, put it in the trunk, or tucked away in your...
A serious personal injury can encumber many aspects of daily life. For example, as a result of your injury, you may have to contend with one or more of the following:
- Inability to perform your job duties
- Long-term disability
- Need for adaptive or assistive technology
- Need for physical rehabilitation
- Damage to your vehicle or other property damage
These things can have a profound impact on your life. As you work to get a fair settlement from ICBC or another insurance company, you may feel overwhelmed and confused by the process. Our lawyers have...
A wide variety of personal injuries can prevent you from performing your job duties. Car accidents, workplaces accidents and falls are just a few of the things that may have caused such an injury. But how do you support yourself and any dependents you may have while you are unable to work?
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Stephens & Holman may be able to help you get the compensation you need to meet the challenge of lost wages. Here are some things we may be able to help with:
- Payment of disability benefits
- Payment for prescription and treatment costs
- Payment of the balance of your lost...
Tragically, car wrecks can result in death. Sometimes accidents kill drivers or passengers immediately. In other circumstances, the person may succumb to their injuries in the weeks following the accident. Nothing can undo the grief of such a situation, but our experienced car accident lawyers are available to provide clear, accurate information about your potential Family Compensation Act claim during this difficult time. We can help you decide how you want to proceed.
According to the Coroners Service of British Columbia, factors contributing to motor vehicle deaths in 2013 fell into the following...
Car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, as well as minor bumps and bruises. As experienced car accident lawyers, we have witnessed first-hand how devastating these injuries can be. Some of the most common accident injuries are:
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Injury to your neck or back
- Loss of limbs or digits
- Scarring and disfigurement
Physical harm of this nature may mean you are unable to go back to work after your accident. As a result, you may be losing income at the same time as you are facing costs of treatment...
Accidents are a common cause of brain injuries, from mild to the most severe. Any time you are involved in an auto accident, you should seek medical care even if you think you are fine. Many types of injuries – including those to the brain – may not be immediately apparent.
When you receive a blow, jolt or impact to the head, your brain tissue may be injured. The following list of symptoms may indicate brain injury, and while some of them manifest immediately, others may appear in the days and weeks following the accident:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Recurring headaches
Distracted driving is a very common cause of serious auto accidents across Vancouver and all of British Columbia. According to the Canadian Automobile Association, distracted drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash than drivers who are paying attention. Here are some of the most common sources of distraction:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Personal grooming
- Arguing with a passenger
- Adjusting audio or a navigational device
Technically, a driving distraction can encompass any activity or behavior that takes your eyes, hands and/or...