FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers to Some of the More Commonly Asked Legal Questions

HOW LONG WILL MY CLAIM TAKE?

There are many factors that come into play so it is difficult to predict exactly how long any given case will take. However, the majority of my personal injury and disability cases resolve within 12 months to 2 years from the date of the incident or claim.

HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST ME?

Most personal injury and disability cases we handle are done by way of a Contingency Fee Agreement. In short, this means that you do not pay us any legal fees until we successfully resolve your case. We also take care of all expenses until the matter is completed. Everything is explained fully and in writing so there will never be any surprises to you.

ARE THERE ANY TIME LIMITS TO BRING MY CLAIM?

Most personal injury actions – such as car accidents and slip & falls – must be brought within 2 years from the date of the incident. In some cases, you must also give early written notice to the potential defendant(s). Therefore, it is prudent to call a lawyer right away after any incident in which you hurt yourself.

WHY ARE YOU SO GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO?

Great question – thank you. I have a real passion for the practice of law and, more importantly, helping people. Not only do I love what I do, but I have many years of study and education within and related to the legal profession. On top of this, I have handled a countless number of personal injury cases over the years and this has given me the practical experience a lawyer needs to excel in this business.

If someone is injured and needs legal assistance, I will be there for them. Then I will do everything possible to ensure that their life is made easier and the claim is successful.

HOW MUCH IS MY ONTARIO PERSONAL INJURY CASE WORTH?

Every case is different. However, generally speaking, in personal injury cases you are entitled to compensation (money) for such things as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, past and future loss of income, loss of ability to earn income, loss of competitive advantage, past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of housekeeping capacity, and other various special damages.

Our goal is to maximize the overall compensation you receive from your personal injury claim, however the damages are characterized.

Contact us at any time for a free evaluation of your personal injury case. ​

WHAT IS AN EXAMINATION FOR DISCOVERY?

If you have started a personal injury lawsuit, you will likely have to attend an Examination for Discovery at some point during the course of the litigation.

The Examination for Discovery is a pre-trial examination that allows the lawyers to find out what each side has to say about the case. Every answer is recorded and a transcript of your testimony is prepared. It is important to understand that what you say may be used against you at the trial of your action. The examination will usually be held at an official court reporting office, i.e., not in a courtroom. Typically, only you, your lawyer, the opposing lawyer, and a court reporter will be present at the examination. An examination can last for several hours and you will be asked a number of questions about your personal injury claim, including questions about liability (the facts of the incident or collision) and damages (your injuries or losses).

WHAT IS A MEDIATION?

In Ottawa, the Court system mandates that the parties attend a mediation. A mediation is an opportunity for the parties in a personal injury lawsuit to get together – with the assistance of a mediator, a neutral third party – to discuss the case in a confidential and relatively informal setting. A mediation typically presents a good opportunity to settle the case on a full and final basis.

WHAT IS A PRE-TRIAL?

If the parties do not settle at the mandatory mediation (or at any other prior point), then the parties will request a trial and Pre-Trial date. A Pre-Trial is a very important step in a personal injury lawsuit and the last major event before the actual trial of the matter. At a Pre-Trial, a judge (or master) will review the most relevant material, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the case and, typically, will provide a specific recommendation for settlement. Many matters will settle at the Pre-Trial with the assistance of the judge. If the matter does not settle, then at least the parties have heard how a judge views the case and, therefore, hopefully have a better idea of what might happen at the trial of the action.

HOW WILL A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT AFFECT MY INSURANCE RATES?

If a motor vehicle accident is your fault, your automobile insurance rates may increase. If the accident is not your fault, your insurance rates should not increase (even if you make a claim for accident benefits). You should also check your specific auto insurance policy or verify with your broker to get further information. For example, some policies state that a person’s premiums will not go up for a first accident, even if the accident is that person’s fault.

WILL I HAVE TO GO TO TRIAL?

The large majority of personal injury cases settle at some point prior to trial. Therefore, you will likely not have to go to trial.

WHY SHOULD I HIRE A LOCAL LAWYER?

A local personal injury lawyer – a lawyer who lives and works in Ottawa – will have certain advantages over out-of-town lawyers. A local lawyer will know the best doctors, practitioners, hospitals, clinics, and experts in the community. A local lawyer will also be very familiar with the other lawyers in the area, as well as with the judges and the Ottawa court system. This specialized knowledge will be used to your advantage. On top of this, you can visit your local lawyer in person at their office at any time. A client in Ottawa cannot do this if their lawyer is from Toronto.

WHAT ARE ACCIDENT BENEFITS?

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to certain financial and medical benefits which will assist you while you are recovering. The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (or SABS) is a comprehensive provincial regulation of benefits which are standardized among insurance companies in Ontario. Accident Benefits provide treatment, compensation and other benefits if you, your passengers, or pedestrians suffer injury in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

DO I HAVE TO ATTEND AN EXAMINATION UNDER OATH?

I was in a car accident and now my auto insurance company has asked me to attend an Examination under Oath. Do I have to attend?

In most cases, yes, you do have to attend. However, your insurance company must make reasonable efforts to schedule the examination for a time and a location that are convenient for you. Further, you are entitled to have your own legal representation at the examination with you.

IS A GOLF CART AN "AUTOMOBILE"?

No, but sometimes yes. In the case 16-001683 v. State Farm, the Arbitrator found that the golf cart in question was not an automobile. The Arbitrator stated that the golf cart was being operated on a private golf course – not on a public or common highway – and the golf cart did not require automobile insurance; therefore, the golf cart was not an automobile. This decision suggests that if the golf cart was being operated on a public highway, the finding would have been, yes, a golf cart is an automobile.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT?

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should first come to a safe and complete stop. Then, check yourself and your passengers to see if anyone has been hurt. Call an ambulance if required. Report the accident to the police. You may have to move your vehicle to allow for continued traffic flow. Take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene. Get contact and insurance details regarding the other driver, as well as any witness information. Report the accident to your insurance company right away. Seek medical attention as needed. Finally, contact a Personal Injury Lawyer if you have been injured in an accident.

DO YOU HANDLE CASES IN AREAS OUTSIDE OF OTTAWA?

Yes, I do. My primary office is located in Ottawa and I handle all sorts of personal injury cases in Ottawa. However, I also handle personal injury cases and help people in places such as Cornwall, Kemptville, Mountain, Morrisburg, Rockland, Hawkesbury, Pembroke, Pettawawa, Arnprior, Renfrew, Lanark, Brockville, Gananoque, Kingston and many other locations throughout Ontario.

MY INSURANCE COMPANY HAS DENIED MY CLAIM FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS - WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You should contact an experienced lawyer right away. Many times a claim for disability benefits is wrongfully denied. Do not trust the insurance company’s decision to deny your claim to be the right one or the final one. You have a right to seek legal advice and to be fully informed. Once retained, we are usually able to get a person’s benefits approved and paid.

CAN MY LTD INSURER DEDUCT CPP DISABILITY PAYMENTS?

Yes, in most cases. Nonetheless, be sure to request and carefully examine a copy of your LTD policy. Make sure it is the actual policy, not just an informational pamphlet or booklet. The policy governs most dealings between you and your LTD insurer. If the policy is silent on the deductibility of CPP, then the LTD insurer should not be able to deduct those payments. However, most LTD policies specifically allow for the deductibility of CPP Disability payments from the LTD benefit payable.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY INITIAL FREE CONSULTATION?

Some items which will be helpful include:

-Police motor vehicle accident report or incident report

-Driver’s License

-Health Card

-X-ray reports and any other medical records or reports which may be available to you

-List of out-of-pocket expenses together with any available receipts

-List of medical practitioners you have seen related to the accident

-Recent pay stubs or Notices of Assessment

-Any photographs of the accident/incident scene, your injuries or damage to property

DO YOU HANDLE CASES INVOLVING OC TRANSPORT BUS CRASHES?

Yes, including helping those who may have been injured – physically or psychologically – due to the horrific crash which happended recently in Ottawa (Westboro).

If You've Been Injured

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Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer

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