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Questions & Answers Related to
Personal Injuries (Excluding Car Accidents)

  1.   Where do I start?
  2.   Are there any time limitations?
  3.   What can I sue for?
  4.   What is my claim worth?
  5.   How long will it take to settle my claim and will I have to go to court?
  6.   What are your fees?
  7.   What is your office's approach?
  8.   What are the different steps in a court action?
  9.   What do I need to bring to our first meeting?

Answers

  1.   Where do I start?
  A.   If your accident has just happened:
  1. If you are suffering from the injuries sustained in your accident, then contact your family doctor immediately to schedule an appointment. It is important to keep your family doctor notified of your injuries and follow through on any medical recommendations such as physiotherapy, medications and other treatment. If you do not have a family doctor then seek treatment at the nearest walk-in medical clinic or the local emergency room.
  2. Notify any disability insurer if you are unable to return to work. You can contact your disability insurer through your human resources department at work.
  3. Take photographs of the area of the accident immediately. Be sure to take photographs of the injuries that you sustained at the time of the accident also. Once we have met with you, we may arrange to have a forensic engineer attend at the scene of the accident to do a liability assessment.
  4. If it was a slip and fall or trip and fall accident then preserve the footwear that you were wearing at the time of the accident. Take pictures of the treads and do not wear the shoes again.
  5. Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident, anyone that provided you with assistance and/or any other party that has discussed the accident with you or are familiar with the area of the accident.
     Review our online assessment form, complete it and send it in to us. One of our Personal Injury lawyers will be pleased to provide you with a legal assessment of your claim. Our Personal Injury lawyers are able to provide you with some idea as to the nature of your claim and what the next legal steps would be in your case in order to preserve your right to bring a claim at a future date. We will be in contact with you by the next business day with our assessment and to arrange an appointment. If you are unable to attend at our office one of our Personal Injury lawyers will come to you.
    
OR
     Contact our office immediately for a legal assessment of your claim. It is important to review with a Personal Injury lawyer what steps have been taken to date and to ensure that you have not missed any important steps and that you have not lost your right to bring a claim to recover damages.
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  2.   Are there any time limitations?
  A.   A general rule is that you have two years from the date of the accident to bring a claim against the party that injured you. It is important to review the matter with one of our Personal Injury lawyers as soon as possible to make sure that you have not missed your opportunity to sue for compensation.
     If you are past the two year anniversary date of the accident you should contact our Personal Injury lawyers immediately to review whether you may still bring a claim for damages and losses that you have suffered. It is possible that your right to sue may survive the initial two year limitation date but this should be reviewed right away.
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  3.   What can I sue for?
  A.   Your claim can include damages for a number of different areas. Some of the damages include:
    
  1. general damages for pain and suffering;
  2. past and future income loss;
  3. loss of competitive advantage in the marketplace;
  4. future medical and rehabilitation expenses;
  5. housekeeping and home maintenance services;
  6. special damages which includes out-of-pocket expenses;
  7. claims by family members.
     You should also be aware that OHIP has a claim. The claim arises where, as a result of injuries that you sustained through the negligence of someone else, for which you received medical attention and those services were paid for through OHIP. OHIP is entitled to receive payment for the services.
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  4.   What is my claim worth?
  A.   It is difficult to assess the value of your claim without considering a large number of factors. Some of these factors include the nature of your injury, the cause of the injury and the impact that the injury has on your ability to work and/or on your activities of daily living including homecare and recreational activities.
     Once we have received sufficient medical information from your health care providers, and any medical specialist, then our Personal Injury lawyers will be in a better position to provide you with a more accurate assessment of your claim. We can do this by reviewing the extensive case law available to us, identifying similar cases where previous decisions have been provided by the courts and considering previous personal injury cases that our Personal Injury lawyers have handled.
     The first place to start is to contact our office directly, or through the online assessment form, to speak with one of our Personal Injury lawyers.
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  5.   How long will it take to settle my claim and will I have to go to court?
  A.   A case can settle at any time. However, in order to ensure that you receive proper advice and representation from us, there are many factors that have to be considered before settling your claim. Usually, the more serious the injuries then the longer it takes to settle your claim. The reason for this is we need to obtain the proper medical documentation to support the injuries that we say are due to the accident and the effect that the injuries have on your life presently and in the future.
     It will usually take at least 12 to 18 months before our Personal Injury lawyers are in possession of the information we need to provide you with a proper assessment. Once the proper information has been received, your matter can then settle at any time. It is important to note that no settlement will be arranged until you have provided us with your clear instructions. Our Personal Injury lawyers will obtain your instructions before we make any offer to settle. We will also obtain your clear instructions before any settlement proposal is accepted.
     Most personal injury matters settle before court and do not proceed to trial. It has been said that as many as 98% of claims settle before court. Your matter can settle at any time prior to a final verdict at trial. If a settlement cannot be negotiated before trial, then it could take 3 to 4 years before your matter will be heard in court.
     In most instances the matter settles through negotiations directly with the lawyer for the defence. Another approach is through a private mediation. A private mediation involves the lawyer for the insurance company and a representative of the insurance company along with a private mediator. At settlement mediation both sides present their theory of the case and then there are negotiations between the parties to try and settle the file.
     One of the keys to our Personal Injury lawyers' successes at negotiation, or mediation, is to ensure that there is a thorough understanding of your medical condition, your medical prognosis and the future impact of those injuries on your ability to work and to carry out your usual activities of daily living. This will often require the assistance of medical experts. In most instances it is estimated that to properly prepare your claim, and understand the future impact of your injuries, it will take 2 to 3 years before any settlement. However, each claim is different and our Personal Injury lawyers will be able to give you a better and more accurate assessment once we have more details about your case.
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  6.   What are your fees?
  A.   We understand that when you have been injured in an accident this has a devastating affect on your health and also on your ability to continue to earn income as you had before the accident. You will have the benefit of the experience of our Personal Injury lawyers, and our Personal Injury team, actively working on your case and you will not have to pay any fees until we have obtained a settlement for you. Our fee is based on a contingency arrangement, which means that we charge a percentage of any settlement you obtain. If there is no settlement then you will not owe us anything.
     Our Personal Injury lawyer will review our complete fee arrangement with you at your first meeting. We provide you with a written fee agreement so that you know exactly how much we will be paid for our services on your behalf.
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  7.   What is your office's approach?
  A.   Our office operates on a team approach. A Personal Injury lawyer will be assigned primary responsibility for your matter. Assisting the Personal Injury lawyer will be members of the personal injury team including another associate lawyer and law clerks. Through our network of contacts, we will recommend, depending on your condition and medical needs, health professionals to assist you.
     Our Personal Injury lawyer and the Personal Injury team is working to ensure that you obtain proper compensation for your injuries and we also assist your medical team to help you obtain proper diagnosis and treatment for your injuries. Our team approach allows us to make sure that your file stays active and that you obtain prompt and effective service from our office.
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  8.   What are the different steps in a court action?
  A.   This is a general outline of some of the steps in a court action:
    
  1. Notice letter
    This is a letter that is sent out immediately to the person that caused your injuries. The letter advises the person about your potential claim and that they should notify their insurer about your claim.

  2. Exchange of court documents
    Usually near the limitation date for your claim, a Statement of Claim is filed (issued) with the court and is then served personally on the person that caused your injuries in the accident. The insurance company for the party that injured you will then hire a lawyer and respond with a Statement of Defence.

  3. Examinations for Discovery
    This is a significant step in your claim. An examination is where we have an opportunity to question, under oath, the person that caused your injuries. This is important for confirming the circumstances of the accident and establishing the basis for liability on the part of the person that we claim injured you. You will also be questioned by a lawyer on behalf of the insurance company for the person that injured you. At this examination you will be asked a wide range of questions including your current medical condition, details about the accident, the injuries you received, your pre-accident medical condition, treatments that you have received, the effect that the injuries have had on your work and your ability to carry out your usual activities of daily living including housekeeping, home maintenance and recreational activities.

    There are some questions that you may consider quite personal, that are asked at the examination. Most questions are fair game. One of our Personal Injury lawyers will be in attendance with you at the examination and if there is a question that we consider inappropriate then we will object and you will not have to answer unless instructed by us.

  4. Fulfilling Undertakings
    After the examination, there will be a number of undertakings (promises to provide additional information to the other lawyer). It is important that the undertakings are completed as soon as possible following the examination and that the information requested be forwarded to the other side. The information requested includes additional medical information from health care providers you have seen including your medical records from before the accident, employment information and prior income tax information. Our Personal Injury team will follow up on the undertakings and advise you of the information that we will require from you.

  5. Attendance at Defence Medical Examinations
    As part of the court process, the defence is entitled to have you attend their physicians for an assessment. The physician hired by the defence lawyer will then provide the defence lawyer with a medical legal report that will be used by the defence at trial. Depending on the injuries that you have sustained, you may have to attend upwards of three examinations. Before you attend at a defence medical appointment, it is important that you review with our Personal Injury lawyer so you will have some idea as to what to expect and prepare for the appointment. We will talk to you about keeping a written record of your visit noting the time you arrived, who you saw and for how long, how long was your overall assessment and some notes about the appointment and how you felt after the appointment. As with most defence medicals, do not expect the report to be helpful to your claim.

  6. Attendance with our own medical experts
    Our Personal Injury lawyers will arrange to have you seen by experts selected by us to provide us with a medical legal opinion that will form part of our case at trial. Only medical experts will be permitted to provide an opinion at trial about your current condition, the cause of your injuries and the impact of those injuries on your life, now and in the future. The medical experts will be in addition to your own health care providers, including your family doctor and/or your primary treating physician.

  7. Trial
    If your matter is not settled prior to this point, then we will proceed to trial on your behalf. Prior to reaching this stage our Personal Injury lawyer will provide you with a fair assessment of your file, the potential for success at trial and outline any options that are available to you. Our Personal Injury lawyers and our Personal Injury team are more than prepared to take any matter to court on behalf of our clients where we feel that our clients have not been provided with a fair offer to settle by the opposing insurance company and we consider the prospects for success at trial to be good.
  8. For detailed information of the processes involved in a civil case, please visit the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.
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  9.   What do I need to bring to our first meeting?
  A.   At the first meeting, which will take approximately one hour, you will meet with one of our Personal Injury lawyers where we will obtain information about the following:
    
  1. details about the accident;
  2. your current and pre-accident medical condition;
  3. treatments that you have received to date and any that are scheduled;
  4. current and past employment;
  5. the impact of the injuries on your employment and your activities of dialing living, including around the home and recreational activities; and
  6. photographic identification (i.e. copy of your driver’s licence).
     We would like you to bring in all documents that you have accumulated so far in connection with the accident including documents dealing with your medical treatment, any medical assessments, all correspondence with any insurance company and any other related documentation. It would assist if this information was put in chronological order. This information will assist us in providing you with a preliminary assessment at our initial meeting. If these documents are not available we will be able to obtain this information once you have hired our firm.
     The first step towards success in your personal injury matter starts with contacting one of our Personal Injury lawyers. You can call our office directly or send us your information through our simple online assessment form. Our Personal Injury look forward to assisting you with your serious matter.
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Practice Areas

  1. Car accidents
  2. Motorcycle accidents
  3. Automobile accident benefits
  4. Catastrophic injury
  5. Brain injury
  6. Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
  7. Spinal cord injury
  8. Drunk driving accidents
  9. Concussion syndrome
  1. Wrongful death
  2. Bicycle accidents
  3. Disability insurance claims
  4. Slip and fall injury
  5. Fractures or broken bone injury
  6. Pedestrian accidents
  7. Chronic pain
  8. Truck accidents
  9. Amputation and disfigurement

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