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.

Things To Consider If You Want To Settle A Car Accident Claim

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.

How Does Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Fault In A Wrongful Death Case?

Now, the truth is that the institute of wrongful death has undergone through some changes over the decades. Just to provide you with an idea of what it used to be – prior to the creation of the survivor statutes as well as the entire legislation surrounding wrongful death, claim of the kind couldn’t be filed. The reason is quite surprising – the claim died with the plaintiff as he was the only one entitled to sue for damages.

Of course, the current Canadian legislation can’t afford it any longer and it has managed to take care of it conveniently. Now, under the Family Act of Ontario, the direct relatives as well as the spouse of the deceased are capable of claiming damages on behalf of the deceased. Of course, they aren’t all the damages that one would be able to claim as personal injury as this would be highly unethical. For instance, damages for pain and suffering on behalf of the deceased are absolutely off the table as this would suggest that someone else was able to actually understand the feelings, pain and suffering of another person which is wildly inappropriate.

Proving Fault In The Wrongful Death Case

There are a few things which need to be said when discussing responsibility for wrongful death. First off, the death might have been caused by negligent behavior but it also might have been caused entirely on purpose. This needs to be accounted for. As we are regarding personal injury, let’s lay the attention towards negligence as it’s a primary factor in all cases.

Proving The Duty Of Care

As it is with every personal injury case, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant has had some sort of duty of care. This is an individual state from the entire process of proving.

Breach of the duty of care

Consequentially, in order for the defendant to be liable, he must have breached said duty of care and thus unleashing the consequential sequence which followed.

Proximity

This is the necessary proximal cause – the link between the breach of the duty of care and the death of the deceased. Anything in between is going to make matters more complicated so if there is a direct link the task of proving is going to be easier.

Claiming Damages

There are a number of claimable damages which could be sought after in a wrongful death case on behalf of the deceased. Damages for medical bills, loss of income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering on behalf of his inheritors and many more are all claimable.

Of course, you need to make sure that you have a good personal injury lawyer in order to ensure that your rights have been properly protected. They understand all aspects of wrongful death and how to go about the case so that the next of the kin are compensated adequately for the loss of a loved one due to negligence or carelessness.

Statute Of Limitation For Medical Malpractice Cases

Being involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit is without a doubt tremendously bothersome and quite overwhelming. However, there are things that you would need to take into account apart from the injuries and the burden of proving the integrity of your claims. This is the time frame within which you are entitled to actually file your claim. Missing those deadlines is particularly dangerous for your case and in certain situations the terms are preclusive which means that you wouldn’t be able to file for them.

The Regulated Health Professionals Act

As it is with everything, there is a certain piece of regulatory provision which is going to set forth the rules determining the time frame. When it comes to medical malpractice claims and the specifications around the terms, the Regulated Health Professionals Act is the one that you should be taking a look at.

Now, the truth is that there are quite a lot of different claims that you can bring forward and all of them have different terms ranging from 1 year to 3 years post-discovery. The important thing is that you should act as quickly as possible in order to ensure that your rights are protected in the best possible way. With this in mind, here is why you should take care of the terms.

You might end up deprived of your right to sue

Certain preclusive terms are going to preclude the right to seek compensation. This is only logical. The opposite party can’t go on living with the expectation that he might be slapped with a lawsuit any day and it’s only logical that the legislative authority precludes this tremendous burden with a certain time frame.

You might fail in the investigation

Medical malpractice cases are particularly complicated and they require a great deal of attention and considerations which are deriving from thorough legal investigations. If you fail to bring this to light ahead of time, your lawyer might not have the necessary amount of time to carry a proper and in-depth investigation.

Losing only certain rights

Some claims are consisted from more than one demand. Basically, there are claims within the claim. These are also precluded by certain time deadlines and you need to take this into account. That is why as soon as you find that there has been neglect or misdiagnosis, contact a personal injury lawyer so that they can handle your case professionally and look at all aspects that you may not know about.

So, don’t be surprised if you fail to get the compensation that you are legally entitled to if you don’t act responsibly and hire a lawyer in time. Keep in mind that the lawyer is going to take care of the majority of things and all you need to do is get in touch with him. Failing to do it on timesmay have some very undesirable consequences.

Trespassers and Dog Bites – Liability of The Homeowner

Believe it or not, dog bites encompass a wide part of the personal injury claims in the province of Ontario. Unfortunately, quite a lot of people disregard this matter and throw it away as unserious while in reality this is a very complicated legal matter which could lead to quite a lot of complications.

There are quite a few things that have to be taken into account as per the Dog Owner’s Liability Act of Ontario and they are all capable of influencing your case tremendously. So, let’s take a look at what happens when a dog attacks a trespasser and how is this going to affect the personal injury case.

Who’s A Trespasser?

It seems only logical that we begin by identifying the stature of the trespasser as he’s going to be particularly important for the topic. This is a person who is unlawfully entering your property. However, there are quite a lot of things that you would need to take into account as not every entrance without permission is considered trespassing. For instance, a salesman might have implied permission to enter, provided you don’t have a “no soliciting” sign or a locked gate.

Standard Of Care Owed To The Trespasser

As much as you won’t believe it, you owe a certain level of care to trespassers. The amount is determined as reasonable. This requires the answers of such questions such as what is reasonable in similar situations and whether the homeowner has executed at least that much care. For instance, a simple warning sign of danger would fulfill your standard of care towards trespassers.

However, there is something that’s particularly important here. If the dog has exhibited dangerous propensities, the owner is going to have strict responsibility, which means that he’d be liable for the injuries regardless of whether he acted negligently or not. Dangerous propensities are also in need of clarification. This means that your dog has already exhibited certain characteristics which can be qualified as dangerous to people.

Exception To This Particular Exception

Now, if you’ve chained your dog or you’ve taken any other methods of precautions and the trespasser has put himself in harm’s way, you wouldn’t be liable for his damages. The trespasser wouldn’t be able to recover any kind of damages. The truth is that when it comes to the liability of the owner in cases of trespassers being attacked by the owner’s dog, the latter can be absolved of liability if the facts line up correctly. This is only logical. However, the law regards this issue very seriously because it’s capable of causing severe complications. Dog bites are dangerous and they need to be taken in proper account by the legal system and everyone involved.

However, it is best to have a personal injury lawyer represent your rights, so that you can get the legal assistance that is needed, especially when you are not at fault.

Understanding the Legal Aspects Of Associated Pain And Suffering From Dog Bites

Did you know that there are approximately 200,000 dog bites which are reported every single year in the country of Canada? Whether you believe it or not, dog bites are not to be underestimated as they are capable of causing severe damages, both physical and emotional. While not every bite is going to inflict tremendous physical injuries to the victim, almost all of them are going to be associated with tremendous amounts of stress, anxiety and emotional pain, especially if the dog was large.

The sheer memory of the attack is capable of making people particularly anxious. What is more, a lot of them aren’t able to fully recover, especially if the attack was with great severity and the animal was particularly ferocious. That’s why compensatory claims pursuant to dog bites oftentimes include demands for costly non-pecuniary payouts. And, to be completely fair, there is a lot of merit behind them. However, prior to claiming damages, you need to find out who is actually liable. Of course, it’s not going to be the dog – it’s his owner.

Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario

Under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario set forth on the 31st of December, 1990, the owner of the animal that carried out the attack is fully liable for all the injuries that it had caused to the victim. The law does not make a differentiation between physical and emotional damage which gives us ground to consider them both. In this particular case, it’s rather clear that your claim has to be directed towards the owner of the dog.

However, what happens if you get attacked by a dog which is not owned by anyone? Homeless animals are not an uncommon sight and even though municipalities are doing everything they can to reduce their number, there are still cases of dog attacks carried out by dogs without any owners. As you may already suppose, these claims are directed towards the municipality as it’s their main responsibility to restrain the number of animals who are capable of inflicting damages to citizens.

What is more, it is the government’s duty to make sure that everything related to the public safety of people is carried out firmly. If a homeless dog attacks you, it’s safe to say that this happened because of the failed attempt, if any at all, of the municipality and the respective control groups to take proper care of this animal and to place it within the specifically designed facilities.

With this in mind, there are tons of things that have to be taken into account when it comes to dog bites but in order to get your process started, you should address your claim properly. Hiring a good lawyer that can stand up to the aggressive insurance company’s legal team is important. Experienced lawyers understand all aspects of dealing with animal attack claims and are successful in getting a good settlement.

How Does Personal Injury Law Relate To Accidents Due To Pokémon Go Players?

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.

FAQs when filing for Long Term Disability (LTD) Claim Settlement

When filing a Long Term Disability (LTD) claim, you are going to trigger a complicated process which includes quite a lot of procedures. One of them includes the insurance adjuster to start asking questions in order to allegedly asses your claim and determine its credibility. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions and the way you should handle them.

Should I answer all the questions that the insurance adjuster asks?

Insurance adjusters have the sole intention of making you jump through tons of hoops before they give you the compensation that you are legally entitled to. That’s how it works. If insurance companies paid out every compensation no questions asked they’d run out of business days after opening. So, yes, you should answer all the questions and you should present all the required paperwork unless you want your claim to get dismissed for non-compliance.

Should I appeal if my claim gets denied?

As far as the history of our law firm goes, we’ve never seen a claim that gets denied on the first instance to get approved after an appeal unless there have been some game-changing circumstances in the health of the claimant. So, in case you get denied in the first instance you should turn to a lawyer right away and stop messing around. The last thing you want is to establish a chain of overturning decisions as that’s what the insurance company wants and that’s what you are going to get if you act rash.

How much is my case actually worth?

We can tell you the total value of your Long Term Disability claim only when all of your expenses have been paid. Without this information, it’s absolutely impossible to provide the client with an accurate estimation. Even though we have years of professional experience in handling cases of the kind successfully, every single long term disability claim is particularly subjective and individual. All the patients respond differently to the same kind of treatments and therefore the intensity can’t be assessed in advance.

How can a Judge help me?

The only thing that a court can do for your case is to order your insurance company to pay you right away. Of course, going to trial is always related to a certain amount of risk as you’d have to thoroughly consider the fact that the decision is within the hands of the judge or the jury and you can only control the outcome as much as the opposite side.

In any case, a Long Term Disability claim is related with quite a lot of variables and consulting with a professional lawyer is definitely one of the first things you should consider. Talk with an experienced lawyer today and let them judge the merits of your case as that would give you a ballpark amount of compensation that you are justified in asking for.

Assessing the Damages In Catastrophic Injury Claims

As you may guess by the sound of it, catastrophic injury claims are definitely the most serious claims that any personal injury lawyer is going to have to deal with throughout his career. As far as the characteristic “catastrophic” goes, it has a special meaning when it is regarded from a legal stand point. The lawyers refer to it as a term from an act which means that it’s of particularly special significance defined by the Insurance Act. If you manage to meet the requirements set forth in the description of the “catastrophic” term, you are going to be eligible for a greater amount of benefits. These include:

·         $1,000,000 in benefits for rehabilitation instead of just $50,000 or $3,500 as specified in the Minor Injury Guideline.

·         As much as $1,000,000 in benefits for attendant care as opposed to the $36,000 allowed for non-catastrophic claims

·         $100 per week for home maintenance and housekeeping as opposed to none for non-catastrophic claims

·         $250 per week for claims for caregiver as well as $50 for every single dependant as opposed to none for none-catastrophic injuries.

As you can see, the differences are absolutely dramatic and tremendous when it comes to it. However, as we mentioned above, you have to meet the description of “catastrophic” in order to be eligible for them. How do you do that?

In the first place, a licensed doctor has to fill out and submit the OCF-19 form. It bears the name Application for Determination of Catastrophic Impairment. Now, the entire procedure is extremely complicated and quite frankly, a lot of doctors wouldn’t be able to complete it, simply because they are widely uncomfortable with the terminology which is used in the OCF-19. So, if you are to go through it, you should most certainly arm yourself with quite a lot of patience as it’s going to take months to set up an appointment with a catastrophic determination professional and even more time to get the report done. Once the report is through and you submit it to your insurance company, it’s likely for them to take their sweet time for another month in order to go through the report and digest the information. Keep in mind that these reports often consist of 200 and more pages.

What is more, you can rest assured that the insurance company is almost always going to disagree with the report. Why? Well, because it is their job to do so. Of course, this shouldn’t discourage you and you should, by all means, pursuit the entire amount of your compensation, especially if you’ve been involved in a catastrophic car accident. However, the procedure could be rather tough.  However, it is good to have a legal expert handling your claim because they understand all aspects of the tort laws. Thus, work with an experienced lawyer that can evaluate your case and offer to work on contingency basis.

How To Proceed With A Claim After A Slip And Fall Accident?

Slip and fall cases are particularly common in Canada, and especially in Ontario. The reason for this is quite simple – winters are long and cold and walkways aren’t as clear as they need to be. This tends to create a lot of slip & fall potential and sometimes, inevitably, you are going to fall for it. Even though people tend to underestimate these types of accidents considerably, they are capable of inflicting tremendous damages. From broken spines to critical brain injuries, slip & falls are to be taken as seriously as any other accident in the field of personal injury law. With this in mind, we would like to provide you with a few helpful tips on how to proceed, from a legal stand point, so that you have the strongest case against the municipal institution responsible for that particular walk way.

1.    Get medical attention as soon as possible.

Now, the first thing that you need to do is to get medical attention. Safety must always come first, regardless of the situations and the potential legal consequences. However, once you do get the attention you need, make sure that you keep the paper trail of the pain. Appearing in court or in front of the insurer and stating that it was painful isn’t going to cut it – you should know that.

2.    Take pictures of the area of the accident.

This is another important thing to consider. The first thing that the insurance company is going to ask is where did the accident occur? If you are unable to definitively answer this, then your case is gone from the get-go. With this being said, taking pictures should be your priority number two.

3.    Secure witnesses.

Even though it may sound a bit strange to ask someone to remember the accident – it’s most certainly incredibly helpful. See if there is an eye witness to your accident and if there is – make sure to get his contact information. Let him know what it is all about and kindly ask for his assistance.

4.    Wear appropriate footwear.

The court is going to be a bit refrained from awarding you the compensation you claim if you were wearing flip flops during the accident. Wearing appropriate winter boots and falling regardless attests that the walk way was in truly terrible condition, which is something that’s going to play in your favor heavily. Furthermore, this is one of the tips that you would want to take into account when it comes to staying safe during cold winter conditions.

In any case, these should give you the merits for a solid case. Make sure to get these done and you are likely to get what you set out to in the first place. It is good to discuss the details with the lawyer and they take a note of it immediately. As time passes, you tend to forget the details and that is why taking action quickly is important.