An Overview Of The Personal Injury Deriving From Motorcycle Accidents In Ontario

As soon as the summer kicks in and we start to approach the hot months, it’s safe to say that people in Ontario hop on their bikes and motorcycles and turn this into the preferred method of transportation. And, quite frankly, you can’t really blame them – the open air is definitely persuasive. However, the more people get on the road, the more accidents start to happen and that’s most definitely unfortunate. That’s why this blog intends to familiarize bikers with the things they need to be aware of.

Insurance Matters

Now, the first thing that you need to know is that if you have decided to ride your bike, you should have proper insurance. This is determined and duly laid out in the Highway Traffic Act as well as in the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t in a car – your bike should have coverage as well. If you aren’t abiding by this then you are just asking for trouble. It’s also worth noting that getting the compensation in cases of accidents can be daunting, even if you have the right insurance, let alone if you don’t. However, if you have a reliable injury lawyer on your side, things will get much easier.

Helmets – that’s right – you should wear those

How many times have you seen a biker without a helmet? Okay, it’s true that motorcycle riders are almost always equipped with the helmet but the same goes for those who ride a bike. Not only that, the law specifically says that the helmet itself needs to be tightly and securely fastened under your chin.

Sure, it may not seem fair but it is what it is. You will definitely feel the importance of the helmet in case something happens, which we thoroughly hope it won’t. Now, the truth is that you need to follow helmet safety instructions because they are prerequisite for compensation. Of course, the court isn’t going to deny you compensation because you failed to equip your helmet, but that’s something that could play against you.

Safety of Passengers

One of the things that you need to consider, especially as a motorcycle rider, is that you aren’t allowed to carry passengers less than sixteen years of age. This applies unless the passenger has a helmet which is in full compliance with the regulations and he has a chin strap that’s put in place conveniently. With all this in mind, these are just some of the things that you should take into account. Keep in mind that failing to comply with all these is going to get you a fine – that’s for sure.

And in case, you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to consult a qualified and licensed personal injury lawyer. They will be able to guide you about the best way to seek and win compensation.

How Does An Injury Lawyer Assess Damages In Catastrophic Accidents?

Catastrophic injury claims are particularly devastating in Kitchener. From the perspective of an injury lawyer, this is the most difficult type of case that they deal with. The ring to the word catastrophic itself is determining when it comes to it. However, when it comes to the law, this term has a specific meaning, as it is defined in the Insurance Act which is in full force in Ontario.

With this in mind, if you are subjected to compensation for catastrophic damages under the act, you will be eligible for an amount which is greater than the usual. Of course, this sounds a bit abstract, so let’s go ahead and take a more particular and precise look:

1. $1,000,000 in medical as well as thorough rehabilitative benefits – under the Minor Injury Guideline you would be only entitled to $50,000.

2. Up to $1,000,000 in care benefits for attendants, instead of the inconsiderable $36,000 under the aforementioned guidelines.

3. Furthermore, you can claim up to $100/week for housekeeping as well $250/week for a caregiver as well as $50 more for each dependent. Guess how much the guidelines specified above allow for this? Zero!

As you can see, the difference is more than just significant. If your accident is characterized as a “catastrophic” then you would be able to claim a substantial amount of money. However, how to understand whether that’s the case or not? Well, the law is precise.

In order for your accident to be classified as catastrophic, a licensed and practicing doctor has to submit a form OCF-19. This is the shorter name for the Application for Determination of Catastrophic Impairment. There are quite a lot of different criteria which have to be met under the 4th Edition of the AMA Guidelines.

However, one thing that you should consider is that this is a complex and difficult process mainly because the specifications are particularly challenging. A lot of doctors do not feel comfortable filling out the OCF-19 because they are unfamiliar with the language to a certain extend. Furthermore, it is also worth noting that in order to fill it out, the patient needs to have undergone significant and particularly comprehensive medical and more precisely – orthopedic examination.

The best thing that you could do is to go ahead and have an injury lawyer, as well as doctor on your side for this one. It might be an investment, but refer to the numbers outlined above to see whether or not it’s worth it. This form could be the reason for half a million dollars on top of your compensation.

This is precisely, why it is important to hire an injury lawyer to represent your case instead of trying to do it on your own. Most people lose out on the much needed compensation because they decide to represent themselves. Don’t make that mistake but hire a good lawyer.

All About The Right To File A Wrongful Death Claim

Unfortunately, wrongful death cases are rather common. They are regarded from two different prospective – from the criminal and personal injury standpoints. There are dramatic differences which need to be carefully laid out. For instance, the only intention of the plaintiff in the civil lawsuit of filing for wrongful death is to get compensation for damages that he had incurred. On the other hand, when the topic at hand is a criminal suit, the intention of the prosecution is to legally punish the victim and put him into a rehabilitation facility which is supposedly going to enable him to do better.

The historical standpoint

Wrongful death claims have undergone a considerable change for the past two centuries. Prior to the 19th century the only one who could claim personal injury damages was the victim himself. Therefore, when the victim, or the potential plaintiff, had died, his relatives weren’t able to claim damages on his behalf. This is obviously inappropriate and it has been therefore changed.

Now, in order to spread the light over the potential confusion – this doesn’t necessarily mean that the person isn’t going to go to jail. In fact, the criminal charges would still be absolutely intact and the person would face the full force of the law. The only thing that was different lies within the fact that the relatives weren’t entitled to compensation.

The modernistic approach

Currently, there isn’t a trace of this particular approach in the legislation of Canada. What is more, the Family Act of Ontario provides clear and legal regulations as to who is capable of filing a wrongful death lawsuit and the damages which are claimable. With this in mind, those who are able to file a claim for wrongful death are:

·         The spouse

·         Immediate family members

·         Distant members of the family (grandparents and siblings)

·         Parents of a fetus that’s deceased

·         Domestic partners

·         People who were directly dependent financially on the decedent

As you can see, the circle of people who are entitled to file a lawsuit is rather wide. This is only logical and legislatively defined. However, it is best to let the lawyer guide you through the process.

The truth is that filing a wrongful death claim is particularly challenging and overwhelming. Not only are your decisions clouded by the emotion that you have to go through because of the loss of a loved one, but there are numerous procedures that have to be dealt with. This is why you need to make sure that you have a reliable personal injury lawyer who is going to handle the entire thing as quickly as possible. The last thing you’d want is to drag this through time and be reminded of the loss on a regular basis.   That is why it is better to hire the legal services of an experienced and let them handle the case and claim to put a closure for your loss.

Information About Different Types Of Medical Malpractice Cases

As opposed to what the majority of people tend to believe, there are quite a few different cases of medical malpractice. There is a common misconception that medical malpractice cases are focused solely towards professionals engaged in hospitals. While they do formulate a major part of the total share, there are also other types of cases. Without any further ado, let’s jump right to it.

Hospital Malpractice

As we mentioned above, hospital malpractice cases formulate a significant part of all medical malpractice cases. This is because they occur at all hospitals across the province of Ontario. The majority of the patients are usually going to receive high-end care but there are those who suffer due to negligence on behalf of the medical experts at hospitals. There are different types of hospital malpractice like ER Malpractice, Cesarean section complications as well as surgical malpractice and many more. In any case, there is no shortage of complaints, that’s for sure.

Dental Malpractice

Orthodontists, dentists as well as endodontists are also subjected to the exact same medical malpractice regulatory provisions as all other hospital doctors. Regardless of whether they practice privately or as part of a hospital, they are required by law to exercise care above the average standard for the certain procedure which is particularly important.

Defective Products

This is a particular type of medical malpractice case. Even though it’s not directly related to negligence on behalf of the doctor, the victim does have a right to file a claim for the complications which derived from the usage of the defective products.

The worst thing about medical malpractice is that it is capable of inflicting tremendous emotional pain. The reason is quite simple – you are in a medical facility and you are expected to get better. Instead, not only you don’t, but your condition actually worsens dramatically. This is something that’s going to leave the patient with absolutely no trust in the medical service, which is definitely impactful.

At the same time, medical malpractice might be particularly devastating because it usually happens throughout a period during which the patient is already exhibiting deteriorating symptoms. This is one of the worst characteristics of these types of cases. However, regardless of the above, filing a claim is absolutely advisable if you are to receive the compensation that you are legally entitled to. The doctor is usually going to be covered by his malpractice insurance which means that you’d have to battle the legal team of a large insurance company. This is why you want to have proper representation and a lawyer with a lot of experience and a sturdy backbone. This is paramount to the eventual success of your case. You can get referrals to hire an injury lawyer who will be able to walk you through the complete process and represent your rights at the court of law.

How Should You Deal With The Insurance Adjuster If The Compensation Is Denied?

Now, as soon as you file your claim for compensation with the insurance company, it’s going to be distributed towards a certain adjuster who’s going to handle the investigation of your claim and the further adjustment of the amount. However, there are a few things that you need to know about those special agents.

The fact is that it’s in their best interest to make sure that you don’t get a lot of money. The more they manage to cut back off your compensation, the more profit they will be able to report and hence the larger bonuses they get. That’s right – this is how it works. Insurance companies do not have it at their best interest to pay the full amount of your compensation, even if you are legally entitled to it. This is due to the fact that this way they wouldn’t be able to report any kind of profit to their shareholders. So, naturally, they would try to cut it back or even deny it. So, how to proceed if you’ve been denied insurance that you are actually entitled to?

The first thing that you can do is hire a professional personal injury lawyer in Milton or Kitchener and have him look into the case. As a matter of fact, this is something that you should have done already. However, a lawyer could help you undertake the right trail of action. They have the skill and knowledge about how to deal and handle similar cases and have already won millions as compensation for various other companies and victims.

Furthermore, you can always threaten a lawsuit. If you are entitled to the compensation and you know it, then so does the insurance adjuster. Having two different opinions on a straightforward matter of the kind is impossible. With this in mind, as soon as you file your claim in court and the adjuster gets notified about it, you will see how his overall attitude is going to change immediately. This is due to the fact that they have absolutely no interest in pursuing the matter to court. Sure, it’s going to take a while prior to reaching a ruling but once you get there, it’s definitely not going to be in their favor and the amount of money they would have to pay would have doubled because of attorney’s fees, interest rates as well as higher compensation award.

These are just a few things that you can do in order to get a proper compensation offer from your adjuster and avoid getting ripped off. Even though it’s just business for them, you shouldn’t let insurance companies bully you into situations that are outside of the lawful frames. Make sure that you stand up for your rights and get the necessary help to do so effectively. This way you will get compensated.

Is Filing A Lawsuit Worth It or Not, In Personal Injury Cases?

Now, one of the most common questions that people tend to ask when they get to the attorney’s office in Ontario is whether they need to file a lawsuit. Even though it may seem appealing to do so, remember that there are quite a few things that you need to take into account. Of course, certain situations would require a claim but in the majority of situations, especially when it’s about personal injury deriving from car accidents, this is not necessarily true. So, let’s take a quick look at some of the things that you might want to take into account prior to making a decision of the kind.

·         Lawsuits are expensive

Even though you are likely to have the attorney hired on a contingency retainer and pay him off when and if he wins the case, the court taxes are still there. They are the responsibility of the one who’s initiating the motion. With this in mind, it’s important to know that you are going to get those repaid by the opposing party in the event you win the case but that’s not always going to happen. Furthermore, you will have to handle them in advance in order to initiate the procedure.

·         Lawsuits are lengthy

If you want to file a motion for a lawsuit in Ontario, you can rest assured that it’s going to take a couple of years at best to get resolved. Given the current availability of the courts and the massive amount of motions which are pouring in every day, if you file a motion for a hearing today, you will be scheduled a date for the hearing somewhere in the next 2 years. This is something that you can’t have, especially if you need the money quickly to cover your bills. Your lawyer would be the best one to judge the validity of your claim and advice you accordingly.

·         Lawsuits are risky

Even though you might think you have a solid case, keep in mind that reaching a final ruling means that you are in the hands of the judge or jury. The only thing that’s important is his interpretation of the law and his discretion. If you get your claim dismissed or a ruling against you, you can always appeal the ruling. However, this is going to take a lot more time and resources.

Of course, if the lawsuit is the only possibility, you shouldn’t hesitate and you should undertake it right away in order to rest assured that the matter is being handled. However, you will need to keep in mind that a settlement is always an option and it’s not necessarily the least appropriate one. In fact, you can get a lot more through a great settlement. That is exactly why you need to hire the services of an injury lawyer that is an expert at out of court mediation, negotiations and settlements so that you can be compensated quickly for the amount you deserve.

How To Proceed In Complicated Product Liability Cases

So you’ve just bought your new car for which you’ve spent thousands of dollars on. It’s a brand new model, straight from the dealership. However, you take it out for a spin and your break malfunctions leading to a terrible accident. It’s clearly the manufacturer’s fault but what can you do in this case? Luckily for you, this is the perfect representation of a product liability case, which is one of the most lucrative fields of expertise in the entire law. However, filing a claim of the kind requires thorough knowledge of different laws as well as a lot of experience on handling the case itself because it would commonly include a jury which you’d have to convince.

Filing Product Liability Claims

It’s worth noting that as per the current legislation on the territory of the province of Ontario, you can file product liability claims under two separate premises – Contractual and Common law.

Filing a claim in Milton under the grounds provided to you by the Contractual law could be incredibly beneficial. The main reason for which is that you are essentially implying a breach of contract which could lead to some serious compensations. Apart from all of the injuries, you’d also be capable of getting thoroughly compensated for the vehicle itself. This is due to the fact that aside from the regular duty required by the common law, there is also an additional duty of care implied by the sales-purchase contract.

Hidden Defects

This means that the seller is legally obligated to disclose all sorts of information regarding particular defects in the object of the sale. Hidden defects, as in this case, are also grounds for compensatory claims, regardless of whether the seller knew about them or no. In the first case, the claim is going to be dully civil while in the second, depending on the particular situation it could even get to criminal prosecution. However, the case in point which is subjected to personal injury law is a part of the civil law and there aren’t going to be any criminal charges. This is due to the fact that product liability cases seek monetary compensation and not to legally punish the perpetrator through a penalty, provided by the criminal legislation.

It’s also worth noting that unlike seeking reparations under common law provisions, doing so by claiming responsibility set forth through the contractual law, you can exceed the boundaries offered by common law. In any case, the claims which are filed for product liability are going to be extremely high, especially if they involve a fatality. The main reason for this is that they are usually targeted towards influential companies with billions of dollars in capital.

However, there are plenty of personal injury lawyers that have won millions of dollars as compensation for victims of product liability cases and they will be able to help you.

Know More about the Liability of the Dog Owner in an Injury Claim

Strictly speaking, the municipalities of Ontario are responsible for the overall animal control in the province. This means that if a person has a particular complaint about the dog of someone else, he should contact the local office of animal control and make his case. However, if the situation is an emergency, he should consider contacting the police.

Suing the dog owner

However, if someone is bitten by a dog, for instance, he has the full right to sue the owner of said dogs for the damages that he had incurred. It won’t much matter if the person who owns the dog is negligent, at fault or, in fact, has any knowledge of the occurrence of the dog bite. If the lawsuit is held successfully and the court orders him to pay the damages, he’d have to do so regardless of anything else. On top of all that, there are also additional precautions that have to be taken into thorough consideration – the owner has to put a lead or a muzzle on the dog or said dog is going to be legally destroyed, which is basically the worst case scenario.

Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario

Additionally, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario makes every single dog owner in Kitchener responsible for the damages which are caused by bites of his dog to another person or to other domestic animals. In fact, if the case is serious enough, the victim might file an application to the court, requiring the dog to be destroyed or euthanized if it’s considered severely vicious. The court is also entitled to order the owner of the dog to exercise extreme precaution by putting the dog on a tight leash, getting it muzzled or confined to a strictly secure area with particular and clear warning signs. The court can also prohibit the dog owner to own a dog for a specific period of time if found appropriate.

Owning pit-bulls

There is also an interesting provision in the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario which specifically prohibits pit bulls from being imported, bred or even transferred throughout the province. However, if you’ve owned a pit bull prior to 2005 you don’t have to worry as those animals are exempt from the provision. In any case, you are allowed to have a restricted pit bull which has to be thoroughly leashed, sterilized and muzzled. An offence of these regulations can just as well result in a severe penalty of up to $10,000 and even jail time of up to 6 months. The state takes this restriction seriously as pit bulls are considered to be more dangerous than other dogs due to the nature of their bite and their overall temperament. In any case, the regulations are thorough and extensive and easy to follow.

However, if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is important that you consult an injury lawyer in Kitchener.

 

How Does An Insurance Adjuster Work?

Now, if you’ve been involved in some sort of accident, there is a high chance that you are going to have to deal with an insurance company. Regardless of the case, in the majority of situations the opposite party is likely to have some sort of insurance coverage that will kick in if you decide to sue. On the other hand, if you’ve sustained the injury without the involvement of another person, your own insurance is going to kick in.

With this in mind, it is highly beneficial for you to understand the way that the insurance adjusters work. This is a helpful insight which would enable you to take certain advantages when it’s possible. Let’s go ahead and take a look.

What’s The Motivation of the Insurance Adjuster?

Now, there are two things which are going to get the cash flowing for the insurance adjuster. The first one is to pay you as little as it’s possible and the second one is to avoid going to a lawsuit. Even though it may sound a bit troublesome, that’s the reality – insurance companies are in the business of making money and if they paid off every single claim in full they would have went out of business long time ago. There’s nothing personal – it’s just business. The more they manage to cut off your insurance compensation, the more profit they can report to the shareholders. It’s as simple as that.

On the other hand, they don’t want to go to trial. The reason is quite common – they don’t have the upper hand while at court. The jury and the judge are quite unpredictable which puts the insurance company at a risky position. Furthermore, if they lose the claim, they would have to pay the entire amount of the compensation, the court taxes, the accumulated interest as well as the fees for your lawyer – this could far exceed the amount of the compensation itself.

Damages Taken Into Account

There are a few different categories of damages that the adjuster is going to collect data for and calculate for your compensation:

·         Pain and suffering

·         Damages for emotional distress

·         Actual loss from lost income

·         Actual expenses for medical costs

These are the categories which you need to build upon. So, in order to force his hands, there are a few things you can do.

First, you need to decline low ball offers as they are widely inappropriate and disproportional. Second, you need to show that you aren’t afraid of the court. And third, which is just as important – provide him with the necessary assistance along the way in terms of documents, evidence and calculations. Additionally, everything can smoothen out when you hire the services of an injury lawyer in Kitchener to ensure that they put forth your rights and negotiate it better with the insurance adjuster. This will help you get maximum compensation instead of being intimidated by the insurance company.

Does Liability Stems From Slip And Fall On Ice?

Slip and fall accidents are quite commonly disregarded as being rather harmless. While it’s true that in the majority of times a sore back is all you’re going to get, there are some certain situations in which the circumstances might be rather dramatic. Spinal cord injuries, broken bones, brain damage – all of this aren’t excluded and it’s important to take the matter seriously.

However, when it comes to slip and fall, it’s undeniable that the majority of cases would derive from icy surfaces. These need to be properly accounted for. So, let’s place the emphasis on icy surfaces and how slip and fall injuries can be compensated.

Duty of care in slips and fall accidents related to icy surfaces

The majority of the accidents of this particular type are usually going to take place on sidewalks outside of buildings or on parking lots. This is where the liability needs to be sought after on behalf of the person who is responsible for the care of these premises. It’s almost always going to be the owner of the building or the parking lot.

However, in a lot of situations this owner would have contracted the services of a plow company which is designated to perform ice and snow removal in order to keep said parking lots as well as sidewalks clear and safe for pedestrians. Furthermore, there is also a duty which is owed by the pedestrians themselves that requires them to exercise a reasonable amount of care when they are walking on a surface that’s frozen. For instance, you can’t expect to be able to file for damages if you’ve been walking around in your flip-flops.

Documenting your accident

Once you slip and fall, the first thing that should come to your attention if you are not seriously injured is to document the case. Make sure to take pictures and gather the information about the people who are around you so you can use them as witnesses later on. This is crucial. Of course, you should immediately seek medical attention and get yourself the treatments that you need. However, make sure to keep every single document when it comes to it and ensure that everything is handled thoroughly, neatly and in an organized matter in order to easily build your case against the liable party.

In any case, keep in mind that you are going to be involved in a complicated procedure which requires quite a lot of consideration and understanding of the law. This is why you might want to take advantage of the services of a personal injury lawyer in the province of Ontario. This way you can ensure that your interests are properly taken care of. They are experts when it comes to tort law and usually work on contingency basis to make sure that you do not shy away from seeking legal assistance.