Rules of Fault Determination in Car accidents

Now, it’s worth noting that the majority of registered vehicle related injuries in Ontario are all associated with car accidents. This is the most common type of motor vehicle accident, regardless of how many people like to ride a motorbike. In fact, the comparison could be driven even further to determine that car accidents are responsible for more deaths than any other type of transport accident. That’s right – you are much more likely to be involved in a car accident than any other type of transportation device which shatters the common fear of flights, for instance.

There are a lot of orthopedic injuries which are likely to be the result of a car crash. Broken bones, torn ligaments, traumatic brain injuries and many more alike are just on the tip of the toe. However, what’s more traumatic is the suffering related with this particular type of accident. This is one of the most horrific incidents that one could be involved in and it leaves people mentally damaged for life. Some of them can’t travel in a car for a long time without constantly looking over their shoulders. That’s why the regulations set forth by the province of Ontario provide according compensation possibilities for those who’ve suffered traumatic injuries as a result of a car accident.

The province of Ontario is subjected to the Rules of Fault Determination which are set forth by the Insurance Act. These provisions are specifically enacted in order to provide swift reparation of damages – both inflicted to your property or to you bodily. However, when it comes to significant injuries which cause terrible damages, the victim is provided with the chance to file a civil lawsuit against the driver at fault in order to claim compensation over that which is offered by the insurance company as a result of the application of the Rules of Fault Determination.

However, it’s important to note that as per the current legislation of Ontario, if the claimant is awarded with compensation above that provided by the insurance company, there’s going to be a $30,000 deductible from the amount. In any case, the compensation is awarded by the judge and he is the one who should determine the presence of pain and suffering. He’s also the one who’s going to determine the specific amount that corresponds to this pain and suffering.

In any case, there isn’t a universal formula and two identical cases might end with different compensation. The choice is left to the judge and he’s got the final word for it. Of course, the overall conduct of the victim as well as the representation provided by his personal injury lawyer is going to have a great impact on the decision. You might want to discuss the details of this Act with your lawyer to understand more about how it can benefit you in your current situation.

 

How Are Orthopedic Injuries Compensated Under Different Acts

Orthopedic injuries find a broad application in the field of personal injury law in Oakville. That’s quite logical and only natural. The main reason for this is that personal injury law relates to accidents in Toronto which most commonly result in an orthopedic injury or in even worse consequences such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord traumas. In any case, the accidents that could lead to said injuries are numerous and that’s why it’s important to know which legislative statutes to follow and to navigate by when suffering from an orthopedic injury. This would mostly depend on the type of accident that you’ve been in. Read More

Negotiating a Settlement in Your Personal Injury Case

Most individuals who seek legal representation for their personal injury case in the cities of Oakville, St. Catharines, or Waterloo are unaware of the fact that roughly 90% of all cases are settled out of court.  A settlement is basically an agreement made between the defendant, plaintiff, and their lawyers thereby ending the legal process.  In most cases, a settlement is negotiated by the defendant agreeing to compensate the plaintiff with an agreed upon sum of money.

 

Prior to the Settlement

 

The two parties engage in negotiations prior to reaching a settlement at which time the following usually transpires between them:

 

·         They each state their case

·         They make claims

·         They respond to each other’s claims

·         They make settlement offers

 

The best case scenario is for settlement negotiations to proceed as quickly as possible.  That is why you need a good personal injury lawyer that is not only aggressively perusing your case but is not intimidated by the other party. However, this will depend on 3 factors:

 

·         the circumstances

·         the offers involved

·         the willingness of the parties to settle

 

Unfortunately, negotiations can oftentimes break down or drag out until both parties wind up in front of a judge and jury because of their inability to reach an agreement out of court.  When it comes to negotiating a settlement in a personal injury lawsuit in Oakville, St. Catharines, or Waterloo, there is no single one-size-fits-all formula coming to a fair and reasonable agreement.  Basically, the defendant’s and plaintiff’s lawyers will negotiate back and forth until they can agree.

 

The Demand Letter

 

After a personal injury lawyer has investigated your case in order to determine what exactly happened, they will prepare a demand letter for the defendant and their lawyer.  Keep in mind that an investigation of the circumstances could take days, weeks, or even months.  However, the goal of these efforts is the drawing up of the demand letter.  This is simply a formal, legal document claiming that you sustained injuries because of the defendant’s careless, negligent, or reckless actions.  Furthermore, your lawyer will also ask for a specific dollar amount as compensation for any and all damages.

 

Negotiating with Insurance Company Adjusters

 

While the demand letter is, for all intents and purposes, the first settlement offer in your personal injury case, it is rare that a settlement will be achieved without negotiations.  In most personal injury cases, the defendant has an insurance policy that will cover them.  Once your demand letter reaches the insurer, it is turned over to an adjuster who will evaluate the case and determine what they feel is a fair settlement amount.

 

You should be prepared for a lowball offer.  Your lawyer will make a counteroffer and at that point, the adjuster will either agree to a settlement or propose another settlement amount slightly higher than the initial one.  With any luck, this process will not repeat itself too many times before a fair and reasonable settlement amount if agreed upon.

A Detailed Look at Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Law

In personal injury cases that take place in Ontario Provincial cities such as Oakville, St. Catharines, or Waterloo, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for what is called “pain and suffering”.  According to the Legal Dictionary, pain and suffering is defined as:

 

“The physical and mental distress suffered from an injury, including actual broken bones and internal ruptures, but also the aches, pain, temporary and permanent limitations on activity, potential shortening of life, depression, and embarrassment from scarring, all of which are part of the ‘general damages’ recoverable by someone injured by another’s negligence or intentional attack.”

 

In personal injury law, you may be compensated for what you have endured as well as if your pain and suffering continues.  These are commonly referred to as “non-pecuniary general” damages in a personal injury cases.

 

Compensation Limits

 

Nearly 40 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada established limits on the amount of compensation awarded for an individual’s pain and suffering.  With the addition of inflation since that time, the amount is roughly $340,000 but only in the most severe instances.  The cap amount was established because of the Supreme Court‘s opinion that pain and suffering damages were not compensatory in nature and that no amount of money will provide actual restitution.

 

Consequently, the damages awarded are seen as the provision of additional funds in order to make a person’s life easier to endure.  According to personal injury law, injury victims or plaintiffs will be compensated for future care expenses and lost wages.  The actual reasoning for the establishment of the cap was based on the case of “Andrews v. Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd.”

 

Meeting the Threshold

 

If a personal injury claim stems from an auto vehicle accident in the cities of Oakville, St. Catharines, Waterloo, your injuries must meet the threshold (legal requirements) in order to claim pain and suffering damages.  If the threshold is not met, then you won’t be entitled to damages.  In order to meet or pass the threshold, your injuries must have resulted in:

 

·         Permanent serious disfigurement e.g. amputation of a limb, scarring, etc.

·         Permanent serious impairment of mental, physical, and psychological functions

·         Your death

 

Unless you meet this threshold, a claim for pain and suffering will not be allowed.  On the other hand, any claims for loss of earning capacity or income are not affected by this threshold.  Furthermore, a deductible amount of $30,000 will be subtracted from the compensation for damages that you are entitled to.  The rules governing pain and suffering claims are oftentimes complex and difficult to interpret.

 

This is why it is vital that you rely on the experience and expertise of a qualified personal injury lawyer in Oakville, St. Catharines, or Waterloo to represent your case.  Keep in mind that you have a better chance of getting a fair and reasonable settlement for your injuries when you have a lawyer representing you.  Most importantly, your lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

How to file for CPP Disability Claims?

If you have been injured and are need to file for disability claim on a temporary or permanent basis, you can do that through your employers under the purview of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).Although many companies offer long term disability policies, it is best that you have your own personal injury lawyer to look after your legal requirements. The injury lawyer will walk you through the CPP disability claim procedure if you want.

Those filing for the WSIB claims are eligible to sue the defendant for damages, but if you are contemplating it, talk with your lawyer about it.It is important that you complete the application when you are applying for the disability benefits under Canada Pension Plan. If any other documents have to be attached, ensure that you don’t miss any of the paperwork. This is important because it will form the basis of the compensation claim and you cannot afford to go wrong on the information. If you miss out on any information chances diminish of your receiving the maximum compensation. Some of the essential documents that need to be included are:

Medical Reports and documentation

It is important to get the medical reports and related documents from the physicians that have been looking after you or are familiar with your injuries and disability. You might want to schedule an appointment and discuss the CPP disability claim and get the report filled. Check for inaccuracies before you submit it. You might need other supporting documents from orthopedic doctors, physiotherapists and neurologists detailing your medical condition and how it is affecting your life.

Disability benefit forms

You are required to submit the Questionnaire for Disability Benefits along with the medical report. This will determine the outcome of your claim. You are given a chance to describe the disability, how it has affected you, your limitations. It gives you a chance to explain the ill-effects of the disability and its impact on housekeeping, driving, personal care and social activities that you enjoyed. The information that is needed while filing for CPP application is immense and additional documents that are needed is:

·         Consent for Medical Evaluation

·         Authorization to Disclose Information /

·         Child-rearing Dropout Provision form  (this is needed if you have kids and are out of job)

The date of injury or disability will need to be mentioned and when you stopped working and you had to do that. It is essential to mention whether you were terminated due to your disability or could no longer work. Include any information about your disability as mentioned by your doctor.

Under the section “illnesses or impairments”, it is best to write clearly yet mention the exhaustive list of ailments and disability that you suffer with. For descriptive overview of the disability, you can refer to the doctor’s medical reports.

It is essential to mention additional chronic ailments like diabetes, hypertension, depression or others which may not be leading to disability but can lower the quality of your life. It is better to include the listed therapies (massage, acupuncture, occupational therapy) and medications that have been prescribed.

 

Why is Product Liability Cases Complicated Yet Preferred?

It’s important to begin by explaining that the country of Canada has both governmental and provincial laws. If the latter differ from the former they are going to be preferred and enforced over the particular province. With this in mind, it’s important to note that there aren’t many provinces with legislations which differ from the governmental. However, the province of Ontario is consisted of a lot of different cities and towns. Oakville, for instance, is one located in the Southern parts of Ontario and it is a suburban town. However, the legislation of Ontario is fully enforceable in the city of Oakville as per the rules which were described above.

Significant compensation claims

Product liability poses a great interest in every single law firm. This is due to the fact that the cases are generally aimed towards huge corporations and the compensatory claims are significant. This means that the attorney’s commission is going to be huge and also the potential win is going to have a great impact on their reputation in very beneficial manner. However, there are a lot of things to be considered.

Even though product liability seems to be the overly preferred field of expertise for most of the law firms which practice in personal injury law, it has a lot of specifications. It is important to determine the exact cause for the product liability lawsuit. This is due to the fact that it may be regulated by different areas of the law. For instance, if the product liability case derives from a breach of contract, this is going to be regulated as per the rules of the Commercial law or in some cases as per those of the Common law. However, if there was an additional duty of care implied by the contract and the defending party breached it, the rules that are going to take effect are those of personal injury law. This is why product liability can be incredibly tricky. It requires thorough and sound knowledge of a variety of fields of expertise.

It is also important to note that these cases are commonly going to be pushed towards settlements because generally the corporations don’t want to risk the whole thing going public in trial. This could hurt their reputation and private out-of-the-court settlements are preferred almost always. With this in mind, it is important to take advantage of this situation and demand higher settlements.

After all, the defending party is at fault and it has interest of a settlement – you should most certainly take advantage out of it. This is also the main reason for which most of the law firms prefer to deal with cases of this particular type. Thus, if you have a similar case to file but don’t know how to go about it, contact an experienced legal firm and get the compensation that you deserve.

How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Help Victims With Compensatory Damages?

One of the first things that the majority of people are going to ask their Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakville is how much money are they going to get out of the compensatory claim. The fact is that this question is incredibly hard to answer, especially in the early stages of the lawsuit. In the majority of situations it would be simply impossible to determine the exact cause of said damages because the plaintiff would still have to undergo medical treatment, to receive adequate therapy and to give your body the chance to actually rehabilitate as well. This particular process could be lasting for a couple of months or for a few years and it is likely to be very expensive.

Which are the factors to consider?

Personal Injury Lawyers in Oakville all share the same trait. They deal with cases which result from vehicle accidents in which the monetary damages are paid from one party – the at-fault side called a defendant to the other party – the victim, called a plaintiff. In the majority of cases in which a vehicular accident is involved, there is going to be an insurance company in the middle who is going to take the responsibility for paying the monetary damages as per the contract of the insured. However, the fact is that in the state of Ontario, over 90% of the cases are settled prior to getting into a court room. This is generally considered as incredibly beneficial for the plaintiff.

Compensatory damages

So, basically the most important question to ask the Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakville is regarding the compensatory damages in the particular field of personal injury. They are called this way because the money that would be transferred to the injured party has to get compensated. With this in mind there are two basic types of compensatory damages as per the legislative provisions of the state of Ontario.

·         Medical treatment

The personal injury damages are intended to include the cost of the exact medical care which is associated with the particular accident. The main emphasis is on reimbursing the so called ‘out of pocket’ expenses which are done for the medical treatment as well as for the rehabilitation expenses.

·         Pain and suffering

This is the amount of money that you would receive for the pain and the suffering that you were forced to endure as a result of the particular accident. They are commonly called non-pecuniary damages. However, there is a decision of The Supreme Court of Canada which was issued back in 1978 and it capped the maximum amount of the pain and suffering which is now approximately about $340,000 for some of the most severe examples of pain and suffering. That’s something that you Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakville should council you about in advance.

Why Are Victims Liable To Collect Non-Pecuniary Damages?

Almost all injury lawyers are going to be dealing with cases of vehicular accidents. It’s important to understand the exact purpose of this type of law. As per regulations, the intention behind personal injury compensatory claims is to reimburse the victim for the expenses that he has done consequently to the accident. He is also entitled to seek non-pecuniary damages which are most commonly understood as pain and suffering pursuant to the accident. However, there are different things that have to be considered when determining the exact amount of these compensatory claims. Your injuries are stated to  include physical injuries and mental trauma.

Filing for compensation

If your claim is the result of a motor vehicle accident, in order to succeed with the filing for pain and suffering your damages must meet special requirements. Amongst injury lawyers, this term is generally referred to as a “threshold”. The main thing here is that if at any point of the trial the court finds that your particular injuries are not as per the threshold you won’t be entitled to compensatory damages for your pain and suffering. However, in order for you to pass this limit, the injuries which have been sustained in the exact vehicle accident should have resulted in some of the following:

–          Permanent or incredibly serious disfigurement which is most commonly a scar on a visible body part or a lost limb;

–          Permanent or incredibly serious impairment of a mental, psychological or physical quality such as the ability to speak or see;

–          Death

You won’t be entitled to file for pain and suffering unless you meet some of those requirements. Serious and grievous injuries that can alter the course of life are considered. However, there are also some other certain factors that your Injury Lawyer in Oakville should take into proper consideration as they are part of the Ontario legislation regarding personal injury.

Income

It’s important to know that you may be entitled to file for compensatory damages which have resulted in a reduction of your salary. This is generally characterized as a loss of the capacity to earn money. Most commonly a certain type of worker who has gone through an accident won’t be able to exercise the exact working activities that he used to and this would result in a significant reduction of his salary. The difference between what you were earning and what you are going to be earning is your cause for compensatory damages. The threshold does not apply in these cases.

However, your injury lawyer in Oakvilleshould also inform you that as per statutory provisions you won’t be able to receive more than 80% of your net loss of the income. You can receive a 100% of your gross loss after the trial is through but not any sooner than that.