Social Media Impact on Personal Injury Cases

Whether you realize it or not, social media is having far greater than average involvement in our everyday life. Almost every other person has a social media account and they use it for interactions with friends, colleagues, family and many more. Having an online presence is truly great in certain aspects. It helps you get in touch with people from across the globe; you can reunite with those you haven’t seen in a while and many more of the kind. However, there are certain things that you would have to take into thorough considerations. Let’s take a look.

Social Media Posts

Social media posts can be used as leverage in certain personal injury law cases. The most common situation would be for someone who is in the middle of an insurance claim procedure to post a picture of him/her looking completely fine. Now, this is bad for you for a few different reasons but let’s start with the most obvious one.

Insurance companies are closely following your profiles, especially if you have filed a compensation claim against them. This is already being accepted as a common practice so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Once you post a picture of yourself looking as healthy as ever, they are going to leverage that against you and make their case that you don’t need the compensation value because you aren’t suffering from the pain you claim you are. And they are going to win it. The reason is quite simple – you don’t seem to be suffering and for any jury this is going to be enough.

Key Considerations on Social Media Behavior

However, there are considerations to be taken. Being involved in a single photo doesn’t mean that you aren’t actually in pain. A lot of arguments could be made here but you have to act timely. Of course, once this happens, you should be ready for court because no insurance company would allow you compensation, or at least not in the same amount that you are claiming. They are going to use your picture as leverage and they would be right to do so, at least in their eyes.

Now, it’s also important to understand that you do have a way out of this mess but once you get to court you never know. The jury always has the final word. This is why improper social media behavior could be the difference between getting a significant compensation and getting cents on the dollar. In any case, you should most certainly refrain from things of the kind.

This raises a lot of questions – is social media becoming the new, fully legit surveillance? Well, it sure does look so. While it’s not regulated as such, it provides a lot of grounds for getting easy information. You might want to talk with a personal injury lawyer, to get further details about the compensation that you are eligible for.

Understanding the Reasons for Delay in Personal Injury Claims

There are quite a lot of things which have to be considered when it comes to moving a personal injury case through with the court authorities. One of the most common question that a plaintiff is going to ask his lawyer is how much time would it take for the case to get settled and for him to get the money. Well, the truth is that if you don’t settle with your insurer, you are likely to wait quite a lot of time before even getting a verdict, let alone receiving any compensation what so ever. The reasons for this are versatile.

Not Enough Court Space

There is just not enough court room space in Ontario. There is also a lack of court clerks and judges which will hear your personal injury claim and process it in a timely manner. As a matter of fact, delays of hearings could reach up to two years after the filing of the motion. With this in mind, it’s important to understand that courts tend to give priority to other types of cases in the field of family law and criminal law.

Furthermore, it’s important to receive an accurate answer to the aforementioned question because it’s strictly dependent on your particular condition. If your injuries aren’t healed yet, the lawyer can’t move forward to settling the case because the results are still uncertain. You might get worse with time and having the settlement signed is definitely not going to do you any good.

Role of Insurance Company

Another incredibly important factor to take into consideration is the willingness of the insurance company to settle as well. Keep in mind that if your case is lacking in any manner, you are definitely not getting the settlement offer you are hoping for. The insurance companies are on the market to make money for their shareholders. That’s the simple truth. They aren’t fending off your claims because they have something personal against you – it’s just business for them. If they paid out every single claim at the highest rates which you might legally be entitled to, they wouldn’t be able to stay in business or they wouldn’t be able to make as much money as they would if they fought your claims off.

That’s why in the majority of cases the insurance companies have the upper hand because you are the one in rush and if you fail to have the strongest arguments you can risk waiting trial and the uncertain result of the verdict or you can settle for a lesser amount of money. The system definitely has some issues that need taking care of. However, if you trust the right personal injury lawyer he might be able to get the compensation you are entitled to within a reasonable amount of time. That is why it becomes important to hire a personal injury lawyer.

A Guide to the upcoming Changes to the SABS

Auto insurance throughout Ontario Province will see some major changes and revisions to the no-fault or Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) as of June 1st, 2016.  So if you live in the cities of Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga, these changes will apply to you.  On August 31st of last year, it was announced that the newly revised SABS will apply to every motorist in the Province when they renew their auto insurance policy after the implementation date of June 1st.

So what does this mean for driver’s throughout the Province and how will they be affected by these revisions? It’s safe to say that these changes and revisions benefit the insurance companies more than those who need these benefits.  Thus, if you have been injured and were receiving these benefits, it might affect your life and treatment. Consequently, it puts additional pressure on the insured to ensure that they have ample coverage.  Here are the more important changes to be aware of.

First and foremost, the benefits afforded by the SABS will be drastically reduced with one of the more severe cuts being to the non-earner benefit.  Non-earners were originally awarded this benefit after a 6-month wait but could continue receiving it provided they could demonstrate an ongoing inability to live a normal life.  Although the waiting period was reduced to 4 weeks, recipients will only be paid this benefit for a maximum of 24 months.

Secondly, statutory accident benefits for attendant, medical, and rehabilitative care have been reduced as well.  If you were injured in an accident and your injuries are classified as non-catastrophic, those three care benefits are combined into one single benefit of no more than $65,000.  Originally, individuals received up to $50,000 for medical and rehabilitative care plus up to $36,000 for attendant care.  So the maximum benefit for all three has been reduced from $86,000 to $65,000 – a total of $21,000!

Furthermore, the maximum time period for receiving these benefits has been cut by 50% from 10 years to 5.  For catastrophically injured individuals, the total attendant, medical, and rehabilitative care benefits was divided into 2 separate funds of $1 million each (a total of $2 million).  With the current changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, the total has been reduced by 50% to $1 million payable in a single combined benefit.  For individuals who truly need these benefits, there is a great deal of concern.

There is also a second optional medical and rehabilitative care benefit of $100,000 and a $72,000 attendant care benefit (also optional).  Both of these have been combined into a single benefit that pays a maximum of $130,000 (a $42,000 reduction).  Basically, insurance companies are going to have more control over the SABS and the benefit amounts that get paid out.  More importantly, they will have additional power when it comes to denying necessary products and services whereas your healthcare provider can approve them under the current system without insurance companies interfering.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

A Comparison of Compensatory and Punitive Damages

In personal injury lawsuits, the injured individual (plaintiff) has to prove that their injuries were caused by another person (defendant) due to their careless, negligent, or reckless behavior.  Whether the lawsuit takes place in Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga, or anywhere else in Ontario Province, the plaintiff may be awarded damages in the form of monetary compensation for any losses that resulted from the defendant’s behavior.  There are two types of damages that are normally awarded in a personal injury case. (more…)

How are Personal Injury Claims evaluated by Insurance Companies?

One of the more intricate aspects of personal injury law is the way in which insurance companies evaluate a plaintiff’s claim for benefits or compensation.  You have to ask yourself how insurers can establish an arbitrary amount on a person’s lost wages, their pain and suffering, and most importantly, their quality of life.  This seems like such a subjective task and yet your injury lawyer and team of legal assistants are confronted by this dilemma on an ongoing basis.

 

It’s important to understand that personal injury claims are not rolled up as one neat and tidy package.  They are more like a melting pot of separate components, yet each one is critical to the outcome of a claim for benefits or damages.  Of particular note is the concept of pain and suffering.  Unlike personal injury claims in the US, the Ontario Provincial Government has established a cap for the amount of damages that can be awarded in these types of cases.

 

In Canada, pain and suffering damages are capped around $340,000 and are awarded to individuals who have sustained injuries in an accident and:

 

  • are incapacitated and can no longer function
  • had an arm or leg amputated
  • have nightmares about their accident or injuries
  • suffer with anxiety and depression
  • suffered a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury
  • take prescription painkillers to ease their suffering

 

The process of evaluating a personal injury claim in Brampton is usually predicated by adding up the all of the damages and losses that apply along with the amount of out-of-pocket costs and legal fees.  At that point, the insurance company will quantify these damages in order to establish a settlement amount.  Naturally, there are going to be variables that must be considered such as:

 

  • causation
  • contributory negligence
  • credibility
  • credibility of the physician
  • liability
  • life expectancy
  • pre-existing condition
  • previous medical conditions

 

So as you can clearly see, these personal injury claims can be extremely complex and require the expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer and their legal teams.  It’s important to understand how the assessment of damages transpires in these types of cases.  First and foremost, the intention of compensatory damages is to make the injury victim and his or her family whole from a financial perspective.

 

Furthermore, the quantification of damages will range from relatively easy to extremely complex or difficult.  Damages such as attendant care, home maintenance and housekeeping services, lost income, medical expenses, and property loss are easy to quantify.  Conversely, placing a dollar amount of emotional distress or pain and suffering is far more complicated.  Taking all of the above into consideration, the importance of having the support of an experienced injury lawyer and their legal teams cannot be overstated in Brampton. Thus, start looking today or give a call to the most experienced lawyers in the city and let them handle the case. They will be able to draft a strong case and help you win.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

Recent Legislative Changes Concerning Ontario Auto Insurance and Accident Law

The fact is that as per the alterations in the Regulation of Ontario 491/96 additional changes have been made which impact the possible compensations that the victims involved in motor vehicle accidents can actually obtain. Justice cannot be denied.

Major changes have been made to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule which is also commonly referred to as SABS. These changes have determined the exact amount of monetary benefits that the victims of such accidents can actually receive. In the event of a car accident, the driver is entitled to file a compensatory claim with their insurance company and they are entitled to compensation for the following damages:

  • Benefits for car attendance
  • Benefits for loss of income
  • Benefits for medical treatment and rehabilitation

However, the fact is that the compensation from your insurance company is highly unlikely to compensate you for all the damages that you have gone through. For the example, if you are filing for a replacement of income you won’t get the entire loss covered but only a portion of it. If you want to get the entire amount compensated you can do this by filing a claim towards the driver who was at-fault in the accident. If you decide to do so, you can file for the following:

  • Expenses for medical attendance as well as rehabilitation
  • Income replacement and
  • Emotional damages such as pain and suffering.

Now, it is crucial to note that you can file for these things but the amount of the compensation is going to be reduced with the money that you have already received from your insurance company. The solution is incredibly fair because it serves to enact one of the most important principles of the law – you can’t get more than what you had to suffer through. Thus, compensation is given on the basis of the traumas and injuries sustained.

Ontario’s Insurance Act

The recent changes impact the deductibles which are taken out of your award for emotional damages. As of the 1st of January, the amount of the deductible is going to be published under the subsection of the Ontario’s Insurance Act. The subsection is 268.1, paragraph 1. The last amount of the deductible which was effective up until the 31st of December last year was $36,540. This means that if you receive a compensatory award amounting to $100,000, it is going to be properly reduced by the amount of the deductible for the respective year.

It’s important to follow the most recent and current changes in the legislation if you are to provide your clients with adequate legal representation and protection. This is going to have a great effect on your work and it would increase the ratio of satisfied customers and improve your existing track record.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

How to Evaluate the Person at Fault under Tort Laws

It has been seen that most of the accidents resulting in personal injury are due to negligence or carelessness on the part of the defendant. That is why the person, whose carelessness or negligence caused injury to the victim, is liable to pay compensation. This is the basis of the legal liability which is evaluated in the personal injury case. The following points are considered when evaluating fault in the personal injury case:

  • If a person is injured at the workplace due to the negligence of the employer, the employer is responsible and legally responsible for the accident.
  • If the accident happens on the poorly maintained and under-constructed property, the owner of the property is at fault as they failed to maintain the property.
  • If an accident of injury happens due to a defective product, the manufacturer and the person/business selling it is liable. This is applicable even if the injured victim si unaware of the defect or is able to prove that the injury was due to the defect.

However, there is time, when the victim is not eligible for compensation. This includes situations where it was mentioned or the injured party was aware that they should not be in a place or do something that causes an injury. And if they were injured, the owner or the defendant is not held legally responsible for the victim’s injuries as it was the victim’s error in judgement that lead to the accident and injuries. When the victim is equally at fault, there are cases when the compensation has not been given at all.

If the court finds that the victim has been careless and has a part to play in the accident, the amount of compensation that they were due to receive is lowered. This has been termed as ‘comparative negligence’. Thus, you cannot fix an amount to the compensation and in each case, it varies. You might need to talk with a lawyer to evaluate the merits of the case. Usually, the cause of the accident, and the level of injuries incurred is considered before filing a claim.The amount of injuries, medical costs, loss of wages are calculated when the amount is being evaluated by the lawyers. You may like to discuss it with us before you file for compensation. This will help you be at an advantage and increase the chances of winning the case.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

How to Claim Damages in Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured in an accident and it was not even your fault, you deserve to be compensated. This is covered by personal injury or tort laws and has a definite period of time during which you can file for justice and compensation from the defendant and the insurance company. Canadian Tort Laws usually classify personal injury cases as general and special damage as encompassed as:

  • Character defamation
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Wrongful death
  • Partial or full disability
  • Loss of consortium

Evaluating Compensation

The special damages cater to the loss of wages, medical bills and other damages incurred in the accident. The amount of compensation depends on the intensity and type of injury you have incurred. If you or a loved one has suffered orthopedic injuries or traumatic brain injuries, it can lead to permanent disability which will require long term treatment and rehabilitation. This involves constant medical costs, loss of wages and loss of consortium.

There is no fixed amount of compensation but personal injury claims will vary as per your case, and the amount of compensation depends upon your level of injury. If you have incurred debilitating injuries, you are eligible to receive higher compensation but if it is just a minor injury, you might just get enough to cover your medical costs.

Long term disability and treatment

However, orthopedic, spinal and brain injuries victims get the highest payouts as the repercussions last a lifetime such as amputation and paralysis. In many cases, the victims can never recover from them but lead a life of an invalid. Such victims have won millions of dollars in compensation to get treated and cover rehabilitation, and daily expenses. They are eligible to receive compensation for loss of amenity, suffering and loss of wages.

In case you are a business owner, apart from being the victim of a personal injury the lawyer will calculate your loss from the injury taking into account the loss in your business profits as you are unable to run it as before. There are many aspects to consider and accounting services are pressed into service for a comprehensive evaluation of the business accounts before fixing the compensation. However, such cases need specialized personal injury lawyers and we are capable of handling such cases. You can call us to schedule an appointment and we can discuss your case.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

What to Ask Personal Injury Lawyers after an Accident

Are you a victim of an accident and you were not at fault? Well, everyday there are numerous accidents that happen for no fault of the victims, yet they are injured or lead to fatalities. The fact is that under Tort laws, you are eligible to be compensated for injuries that are categorized as physical, emotional or mental traumas. The claim is filed on the premise of the victim or plaintiff that the injuries were caused by the defendant’s carelessness or negligence. If it can be proven in court of law you are eligible for the compensation as put forward by your lawyer.
You can ask a personal injury lawyer to get a better picture on your rights and getting the compensation.

Process of claiming settlement

Additionally, you need to know how the process works after the claim has been filed. There are three lawyers that will be involved- your lawyer, the defendants and one from the insurance company to audit your claim.

The lawyer will gather the facts, talk with witnesses and documentation is done and if things work out in the ‘discovery’ process, the claim is settled without going to court. In most cases, an out of court settlement is preferred by both the insurance company and the victim as nobody wants to drag it out in court for months or years. However, don’t think about representing your own case as you will only be offered a low amount but hire a lawyer to protect your rights.

Time duration and court ruling

This is another factor to discuss with your lawyer. Usually the ‘Statutes of limitations’ vary for filing a case. In most cases, it does not exceed beyond two years, but it is essential to file a claim as soon as possible after the accident so that evidence is not lost. However, if you intend filing the claim as an afterthought and the time limit has crossed, even though you might have a strong case, it will not be entertained in the court of law.

In case the ruling is in your favor, you will get the said compensation but there are no hard and fast rules about the total amount. You can claim a said amount, but the final amount is judged according to the injuries lost wages and future treatments. The lawyer will be able to inform you about it.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!