Car accidents in Ontario are unfortunately rather common. So far, they are the most common type of accidents which cause personal injuries. As such, they deserve a very special approach and place in the legislation. However, there are quite a lot of different things which may lead to car accidents. And while some are going to provide the driver with a chance to seek reparations, others are going to put him under the stand. Driving under the influence, for instance, belongs to the latter type. This is something that you need to take into account. Read More
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.
If you take a look at the statistics in the province of Ontario, you will quickly find out that almost no car accident cases actually go to trial. Instead, the parties, in their attempt to avoid high court taxes as well as to stay away from the particularly time consuming procedure that is going through trial, would prefer to settle the case. This is essentially a mutually beneficial agreement struck between both parties prior to or after the trial has begun.
In order to do this effectively, your best bet would be to present a very persuasive strong argument in the demand letter to the insurance company and follow through in the negotiations afterwards. In this particular piece, we will show you a few helpful tips on how to properly settle the car accident claim.
The demand letter – things to be careful with
The demand letter is the statement of the injured which is going to lay down the facts as well as the circumstances revolving around the accident. Furthermore, this is where you should lay out the medical treatment that you’ve received. This is the letter which is designated to set the stage for the negotiations. Consider this as your opportunity to seek a chance to settle the case outside of the court and present your strongest case to the insurer.
Negotiations – an important stage
Once the letter is drafted and reviewed by the insurance company, the latter is likely to make an initial offer. Now, they are always going lowball you – something that you shouldn’t be accepting at all. Of course, the insurer is going to make strong arguments but they are almost always nil, especially if you have enough grounds to go on with. That’s why you should reject the first offer. Don’t worry, though, the insurer doesn’t want to go to court just as much as you and he’s going to make you another offer.
Of course, this is all rather relative and based on common assumptions. Your case might lack the merit to seek stronger compensation and you might decide it’s a good idea to accept the first offer. What is more, the circumstances might push you towards a decision of the kind – all situations are strongly individual and they need to be accounted for properly.
In any case, it’s very important that you get the advice of a professional lawyer with experience in the field of handling adjusters. Keep in mind that insurance companies are well equipped to prolong and delay this for as long as they need to and you have to be able to respond in kind. The experienced lawyers understand how insurance companies work and that is why they can negotiate better and even take the matter to trial if the amount offered is low. With plenty of lawyers available in Ontario, you will need to discuss your case to know more about how to settle your claim.
So, unless you have been thoroughly living in a desert or under a rock, you must have heard of Pokémon Go – the augmented reality mobile game which took the world by a storm. We have never observed something like it and it’s certain that we are unlikely to observe it soon again. In case you don’t know what this game is about, let us walk you through it.
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile application which sets up you up to start catching all-time favorite Pokémon critters. Nothing strange so far, right – keep reading. In order to catch those critters, you would have to physically go outside and start searching for them. That’s right; the game uses a high-powered and augmented version of your actual location pinned down on an actual map. You walk the streets as you are supposed to in search for Pokémon’s and all that happens in real life.
However, as it turns out, people have quickly found a way to rig the game beyond its intentions. There are rewards which require you to walk a certain amount of distance in order to get them unlocked. So, why walk when you can drive, right? That’s right – people started using their vehicles in order to get more miles on the game and to unlock more rewards. Do you see the point towards where we are headed?
Pokémon Go has caused a dramatic amount of distracted driving accidents. Just go ahead and type “Pokémon Go accidents” in Google and you will quickly see what we are talking about. The sheer amount is astonishing. However, it raises the question – is distracted driving really less dangerous than drunk driving? Sure, a drunk driver can’t control himself and the process goes on so long as the driver is actually operating the vehicle while a distracted driver can stop at any given second, should he just put away his phone. However, statistics show that people tend to prefer not to.
The police in Ontario have limited resources to handle situations of the kind. That begs the question – is it really worth it to pull over someone and spend the time and effort to write him a ticket for playing a game on his phone? It’s sure worth it from a social standpoint, but when you look at how the resource is spent, the answer is completely different. Instead of watching for particularly dangerous situations and preventing them on the streets, police officers are forced to pull over distracted gamers who are busy playing a game instead of watching out for their own safety, let alone the safety of others. Just a bit of cautious – that’s all it takes to prevent hundreds of accidents on a regular basis.
If you are the reason for an accident or were a victim, it is best to discuss it with your injury lawyer and they will be in a better position to assist you through the claim for compensation.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in Ontario, regardless of whether it’s a car accident or you’ve been subjected to professional malpractice, you are entitled to follow a Long Term Disability claim. One of the most common questions which the majority of victims are usually going to ask is whether or not they should return to work after a fall, motorcycle or car accident. The answer is, unfortunately, not as definitive as you would like it to be. There are two common pictures that have to be painted here. In both cases your insurer denies payment of the claim and you have to go through trial to get your compensatory money.
Claim Denied By Insurance Company
In the first scenario, after your insurer denies your claim, you decide that it’s high time you start working again. The first thing that you need to do is to consult your physician. You have to make sure that you are in proper working condition and you are capable of executing your professional obligations without this impairing or damaging you any further. This is the best case scenario. Right off the bat, you are going to be receiving 100% of your regular profits instead of the 70% eventual LTD benefit that you are entitled to. Furthermore, your claim becomes easily quantified and your lawyer could get a quicker settlement agreement on the table. The insurer might also be more inclined to go for the settlement, now that the case has gotten much more comprehensive and easy to handle. It’s the best opportunity that you’d have to leave this particularly dark chapter of your life behind and move on with your day-to-day affairs.
Unable To Work
The second scenario is a bit more interesting. We’d like to call it the failed attempt at getting back to work. While it might seem a bit grim at first, this is by far the best thing that could happen to your lawyer. He’s now capable of making the case in front of the court that you had the absolute desire to get back to work in order to start earning and providing for your family, but your medical condition doesn’t allow it because of the accident. This is going to tip the scales in your direction considerably and it’s at this point that the majority of insurers are going to bend their knees and settle for as much as you want below the estimation of the verdict. This is due to the fact that they are well aware that they are likely to lose the case in court and they don’t want to risk having to pay considerable legal fees and court taxes. That is why it is important to talk with the lawyer about the pros and cons of the claim before filing for it.
Now, even though the majority of the accidents and the personal injury claims as a result are going to be a matter of insurance, most of these would never even reach the courtroom. But it’s still important to understand that an investigation is going to be carried out. There are some things that have to be considered and even though Ontario is governed by the “no fault” rule pursuant to the Rules of Fault Determination in the Insurance Act, an investigation and assigning of fault would be carried out. However, it would be done by the insurance company. This is done so that it could be thoroughly reflected in the amounts of the monthly premiums.
Rules of Fault Determination
The process of the entire investigation is consisted of quite a few steps along the way. However, it’s important for the insurer that it’s completely factual and true in order for it to reflect properly on your insurance record and on your premiums.
The first thing that’s going to happen is that the insurer is going to open a file for your case and all of the pertaining documents are going to be collected within it. This is logical as all of the paperwork has to be handled correctly. After that the insurer is going to get the information out of the insured – his explanation of the case and the circumstances around it.
The next thing that the company is going to do is to contact the police department or the local department of motor vehicles and get the official records of the accident. They are then attached to the file as part of the documentation. Responding to the particular claims comes afterwards. Of course, this step is strongly optional as claims might not have been filed.
Afterwards the insurance company is going to try and understand everything that they are dealing with by investigating the injured parties. Of course, getting the medical records of the injured is also crucial and essential for the insurance company as it’s going to potentially determine the amount of the owed compensation. Your personal injury lawyer is going to work to ensure that you get maximum amount of compensation.
After this is through, the insurer is going to determine the particular value of the accident and of your injury and he’s going to make you a settlement offer which you aren’t obligated to accept. You can, however, accept it and file a civil lawsuit towards the “at fault” party if you feel like the compensation isn’t enough. However, you also have the claim to dispute the offer and request an adequate one from the insurer himself. In any case, you want to make sure that the entire record is factual and true as this is going to reflect on the overall offer that the insurer is going to make you.
Like it or not car accidents happen on a daily basis. Even though the legislation of Ontario which provides the vehicular regulations is pretty stringent and strict, the truth is that car accidents are quite the common occurrence. Some might argue that this is due to the lack of control while others are going to blame the drivers themselves but it’s important to pay attention on the aftermath of this terrible event one that it has already happened. The loss of the one you love or a family member is without a doubt going to be incredibly devastating. However, the truth is that you need to look past your sorrow and understand that the chances are that the accident has happened because of someone’s incompetence. This is why the legislation poses strict provisions which take care of the consequences of a car crash – both physical and emotional.
A regular car accident case
The most common scenario would be for the insurance company to cover the damages but there are certain situations under which this wouldn’t be applicable. There are some scenarios which are dully laid out in the Insurance Act of Ontario under which the driver is going to be responsible for the damages and the insurance company wouldn’t cover them. The most common trial case which involves a car accident would be consisted of two parties – the claimant and the defendant and it’s commonly going to be a civil lawsuit unless there are criminal charges pressed against the one who’s responsible. While this is an unlikely scenario, it’s not completely excluded for the claimant to demand pressing of criminal charges under which circumstances the trial would be led by a prosecutor.
Claiming damages for pain and suffering and physical damages
Now, the majority of the physical damages such as medical bills and other of the kind would likely be covered by the insurance company as they are in almost all insurance contracts. However, when it comes to dealing with damages for pain and suffering or emotional trauma, the situation changes dramatically. The majority of the cases involving claims of the kind are going to be for a significant amount of money and the insurance is most certainly not going to cover them.
Furthermore, they are of entirely different essence than what the regular insurance companies would provide coverage for. However, you have to understand that getting the court to rule a decision which provides the claimant with significant compensation for his pain and suffering is not easy and it requires thorough preparation and a lot of convincing. You need to have perfect grounds for your case and you need to convince the judge that the suffering is indeed real. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to draft a strong case and ensure all bases are covered irrespective of whether the case is mediated out of court or it goes on trial.
The fact is that most people in Canada are killed by car crashed than by anything else. Recent statistics brought up by the Provincial Police of Ontario state that the majority of accidents tend to occur due to the fact that drivers have been distracted. The reasons for this can be numerous such as texting, talking or emailing someone on your handheld mobile devices – the smart phones. It’s also important to note that this causes more deaths than impaired driving, driving under the influence or even driving with a speed above the speed limit.
This is why the legislation is constantly moving in a direction which brings up the charges related with distracted driving. As of June, 2015, everyone who is pulled over for using a handheld device can be fined with as much as $1,000. Another thing that is enacted is the possibility for the driver to be deprived of 3 demerit points on his license which is also rather fair. The fact is that the legislation should be strict when it comes to driving accidents. The fact is that they kill more people than anything else and awareness should be promoted.
In fact, it should be promoted amongst the younger audience because younger and inexperienced drivers are much more likely to get distracted by their mobile devices. The usage of hands-free systems is heavily encouraged as it’s currently the only option to legally use your phone and talk on it while driving your car. Your other option under the current Canadian legislation is to pull over and have your conversation while the car isn’t running.
It’s also worth noting that the legislation is definitely getting stricter. However, other precautions should also be taken in order to make sure that the numbers of car accidents actually goes down because right now it’s just the opposite. Police patrols should be present on the roads with a lot of traffic in order to provide regulation. Most of all, people should start taking responsibility for their own actions. There are a lot of campaigns undertaken and initiated by the Department of Justice in order to show people how serious this actually is.
A car accident can literally lead to any kind of injury. This includes severe brain trauma and spinal cord injuries as well as other kinds of dangerous orthopedic injuries and even death. Serious car crashes often lead to permanent disabilities and terrible disfigurements which can make the rest of the life of the victim incredibly complicated and uncomfortable. The fact is that the cases involving car crashes are demanding and they require a great deal of expertise on behalf of the lawyer in order to get the most out of the compensation.