Most personal injury lawyers in Ontario do not charge any legal fees until the case is settled. The arrangements are called contingency fee agreements. Usually, the lawyer will be paid a percentage of whatever is recovered in damages from the insurance company representing the at-fault party. The percentage that lawyers charge varies depending on the circumstances of the case. In Ottawa and many other parts of Ontario, the usual contingency fee is now 30% or more. Whether 30% is appropriate in any particular case should depend on the facts and the complexity of the case. In most settlements, the insurance company for the defendant will also pay some amount in compensation for the legal costs of the injured party.
If you have been injured in an accident, or an insurance company has denied your claim for benefits, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. There are strict time limits to advance personal injury and insurance claims in Ontario. Personal injury lawyers usually provide free consultations. If you have a claim for damages or compensation, a personal injury lawyer will then discuss whether he or she can take on your case. If an experienced personal injury lawyer is willing to take on your case, you can then discuss how the personal injury lawyer will be paid. Most personal injury lawyers work on the basis of contingency fee agreements, so it will not be necessary to pay your personal injury lawyer until your case is settled.
Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are known in Ontario as “general damages”. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to review all of the evidence and provide an opinion as to the reasonable range for such damages in your case. Damages for pain and suffering in Ontario and the rest of Canada are subject to a cap or upper limit. The upper limit was set many years ago and is now approximately $370,000.
Any physical or psychological injury or impairment can be a personal injury. Common physical injuries include concussions or brain injuries, spinal cord or back injuries, fractures, and strains or sprains. Psychological injuries can include posttraumatic stress disorder or shock. It is very common for people who have suffered a physical or psychological injury to develop other impairments, that are caused by the injury. For example, someone who suffers a back injury and develops chronic pain is at higher risk of developing symptoms of depression or anxiety. In that case, the person or persons responsible for the back injury are also responsible for the damages and impairments that developed after the back injury. If the impairment or condition would not have developed except for the accident or original injury, the person who caused the accident or original injury will be legally responsible for those consequences.
You can switch personal injury lawyers. Switching personal injury lawyers should not be done lightly. However, it does happen that the relationship between a personal injury lawyer and his or her client breaks down and the client decides to switch lawyers. If the client is determined to switch lawyers he or she should consult with another lawyer and if the new lawyer is prepared to take on the case, arrangements will be made for the file to be transferred from the old lawyer to the new one. In Ontario, arrangements are usually made between the lawyers or law firms for the smooth transfer of the file. It is usually done without the client having to pay the original lawyer anything out of pocket. In cases where the original lawyer has incurred out-of-pocket expenses (disbursements) the new lawyer will usually pay those reasonable disbursements before the file was transferred. When the claim is ultimately settled, arrangements will then be made to pay the original lawyer a fair and reasonable amount in fees for the work that they did on behalf of the client.
Insurance companies in Ontario do not publish these statistics. The money paid to settle personal injury claims is to compensate the injured parties for their losses and damages, and also for some of their legal costs. The amounts of those settlements vary depending on the seriousness of the injury and any ongoing impairments. In cases where the injured party requires ongoing care and treatment, the damages paid out by insurance companies can be in the millions of dollars.
Personal injury lawyers represent injured accident victims and their families. Their goal is to ensure that injured accident victims are properly compensated for their pain and suffering, their past and future medical costs, and their economic or financial losses. Personal injury lawyers and their teams investigate the causes of accidents to figure out who caused it and who is legally responsible for the accident. Personal injury lawyers organize all of the evidence in relation to how the accident happened and what the damages are. If necessary, a personal injury lawyer will commence legal action against the at-fault party or parties. In most cases, those parties are represented by insurance companies and their lawyers. When it is possible to do so, the personal injury lawyer then assesses the damages and make recommendations to the client about when and for how much to settle the claim. The majority of claims are settled “out-of-court” and do not require a trial with a judge and/or jury. In a small number of cases, the personal injury lawyer will need to prepare the case and go to trial. In those cases, the ultimate decision of legal responsibility for the accident and for the damages caused will lie with the judge or the jury.
First, it is important to meet with more than one personal injury lawyer. Identify two or three personal injury lawyers or law firms that focus on personal injury law and have good reputations. Then arrange to meet with the lawyers to discuss your claim and to find out more about them. Ask questions about the lawyer’s experience and their trial experience in particular. Insurance companies know which lawyers will take a case to trial in which lawyers will not. It is important to be represented by a lawyer and a law firm that will take your case to trial if a reasonable out-of-court settlement cannot be achieved. It is also important to have a candid and open discussion about legal fees. Ask the lawyer how much he or she intends to charge. Most personal injury lawyers charge a percentage of the amount recovered in damages (under what are known as contingency fee agreements). It is important to ask the lawyer what percentage they propose to charge and why it is reasonable in the particular circumstances of your case. Finally, choose a lawyer you are comfortable with and can communicate with.
You need a personal injury lawyer if you have been injured in an accident or your claim for disability or accident benefits has been denied. You need a personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights are. Even if you believe you are responsible for an accident, or that it was “nobody’s fault”, consult with a personal injury lawyer and find out what your rights are. You may have a claim and there may be a way to obtain compensation for what you and your family are going through.
There are legal and non-legal definitions of the word “serious” when it comes to personal injuries. For most people, and for personal injury lawyers, a serious injury is one that results in pain and suffering and ongoing impairments. It is important to remember that people can develop serious problems even though the original injury did not appear to be “serious”. In some cases, serious impairments developed from injuries that did not seem terribly “serious” when they occurred. Through no fault of their own, people can go on to develop chronic pain, depression, and anxiety from an original injury that might have seemed minor at the time. If you have been injured in an accident, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. He or she will be of the tell you whether your injury or your impairments justify a personal injury claim against anyone responsible for the original accident or injury.
Experienced personal injury lawyers do go to court when necessary. In Ontario, the majority of cases are settled “out-of-court”. That is, eventually the lawyers and the insurance companies involved are able to work out an agreement rather than try the case before a judge and a jury. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have been to trial before and will be prepared to take on tough cases that might not be settled before trial. It is important to be represented by a lawyer who is prepared to take your case to trial if the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer.
Insurance companies in Ontario do not publish these statistics. The car accident claims in Ontario have two components. The first is what is known as an accident benefits claim for benefits that are paid irrespective of fault. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, you will be entitled to certain basic benefits if they are reasonable and necessary in your case. In addition, injured accident victims in Ontario can sue the at-fault driver or drivers involved in the accident for various damages, including pain and suffering damages. The money paid to settle personal injury claims is to compensate the injured parties for their losses and damages, and also for some of their legal costs. The amounts of those settlements vary depending on the seriousness of the injury and any ongoing impairments. In cases where the injured party requires ongoing care and treatment, or cannot return to work, the damages paid out by insurance companies can be very significant.
Whiplash injuries can be very mild or very serious. As well, someone suffering from a whiplash injury can go on to develop serious impairments including chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Pain and suffering damages for people with whiplash injuries can range from $20,000 to $200,000 depending on the circumstances. If the whiplash injury results from a motor vehicle accident, pain and suffering damages can be reduced by statutory deductibles of up to $39,000. If you have suffered a whiplash injury you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. He or she will be able to assess your damages, including pain and suffering and other damages, and make recommendations to you about when and how much to settle your case for.
At the scene of the accident, it is important to wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Even if the accident is “minor”, make sure you get the driver’s identification and the vehicle identification (registration) before you leave the scene. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the vehicles including the damage done to the vehicles in the position of the vehicles before leaving the scene. If there were any witnesses to the accident, obtain their names and contact information.
After the accident, get appropriate medical attention immediately. If you are not transported to the hospital by ambulance, go to an emergency clinic or hospital. Document your injuries with photographs if you have visible bruising or other signs of injury. Contact your insurance company immediately. They will open an accident benefit file. If you need medical and rehabilitation benefits, or if you cannot return to work immediately, you should be entitled to some compensation for your own insurance company.
If there is any indication at all that you have suffered a serious injury, contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.
In Ontario injured accident victims have access to accident benefits, usually through their own insurer. If you have medical and rehabilitation needs, or if you are missing work due to an accident, you will need to claim these benefits through your own insurer.
If your injuries are serious and you have ongoing problems, you may have a claim against the at-fault driver involved in the accident. In the event that your injured as a result of the negligence of a driver who fled the scene (an unidentified driver) or a driver who did not have adequate insurance, you may be able to pursue a claim against your own insurance company for those damages.
If you have suffered a serious injury in an accident, or if you’re having persistent problems that affect your ability to function, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.
If you have caused or contributed to an accident and your passengers injured, yes your passenger can sue you. Automobile insurance is mandatory in Ontario and your insurance company will pay for a lawyer and defend the claim against you if you are sued by your passenger.
If you cannot identify the driver or owner of the car responsible for the accident, you can make a claim under your own insurance policy. Automobile policies in Ontario include protection for injuries or damages caused by unidentified drivers or drivers who were not adequately insured at the time of the accident.
In the event that your injury was caused by an unidentified driver, and you do not have access to any other automobile insurance, claims can be advanced against the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident the best course is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer and to find out what your rights are.
Claims arising from car accidents are usually advanced against the at-fault driver(s) and the owner or owners of the vehicles involved. In some cases, claims are advanced against of the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident when the real fault is with the owner of the vehicle, for failing to properly repair or maintain the vehicle for example. Figuring out who is legally responsible for an accident is something that personal injury lawyers do. If you have been injured in an accident, consult with a personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights are.
Once your claim is reported to your insurer, you will be contacted by a claims adjuster assigned to your file. In some cases, the adjuster will want to meet with you in person. To support your claim, you may also be required to complete a claim form (an OCF-1). You will also need to have your doctor or other health care provider complete a disability certificate (an OCF-3). If you are unable to return to work within one week, you will need to have your employer complete another form (and OCF-2). Your claims adjuster will determine the extent to which the claim is covered by your insurance policy, explain the coverages provided by your policy, and help guide you through the entire claims process. If you have ongoing problems from a motor vehicle accident, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer to make sure that your insurer (and your claims adjuster) is dealing with you fairly. Do not hesitate to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers provide free consultations and can help you understand your rights.
The lawyers at McNally Gervan LLP understand the system and are here to help accident victims get the support they need and the benefits they deserve.
If you have a question or need assistance, our team of personal injury lawyers is here to help. We know every personal injury case is unique and we work hard to make sure our clients are fairly compensated.
If you are unable to travel to our downtown Ottawa office, one of our lawyers or paralegals can come to meet you at your home or some other convenient location. During the free consultation, we will get to know you and to understand the nature of your injuries, as well as the impact the accident is having on you and your family. Contact us for a free Consultation. We know it’s personal.