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!

Assessing Damages in a Personal Injury Claim – Part II

The ensuing content will provide information regarding family member claims and how a plaintiff’s actions or in actions can have an impact on their personal injury claim.  While 90% of these cases usually settle out of court, it is still advisable to hire the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Burlington and their team of legal assistants to represent you until a settlement is reached. The fact is that without an experienced lawyer an out of court settlement will never give you maximum compensation as the insurance company will low ball you in settling for less.

Family Member Claims

Pursuant to the Family Law Act (FLA) of Ontario Province, a family member is allowed to sue for any financial losses associated with the care, companionship, and guidance that they have suffered due to the plaintiff’s injuries.  Eligible family members of the plaintiff include:

 

      • brothers and sisters
      • grandchildren
      • grandparents
      • parents and children
      • spouses

According to the FLA, the following types of claims are recoverable in these types of personal injury cases:

    • Actual expenses that have been incurred for the injured or deceased individual
    • Compensation for the loss of care, companionship, and guidance that the claimant expected to receive had the person not been injured or passed away
    • Monetary reimbursement for the injured or deceased individual’s lost income
    • Reasonable allowance for lost income or the value of housekeeping, nursing, and other services
    • Reasonable travel expense reimbursement for those eligible family members who visit the injured individual while undergoing treatment and/or recovery
    • Reasonably incurred funeral expenses

While this will give you an idea of what the family members of the deceased or injured plaintiff may be able to claim, it is recommended that you rely on the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer and their team of legal assistants.

Impact of a Plaintiff’s Actions or In actions

In Ontario Province, there are some cases where the injury victim’s or plaintiff’s actions have played a role in causing or contributing to the accident.  Furthermore, there are also cases where their in actions after sustaining their injuries could diminish the size of the damage award in their case.  In this case, the term “inaction” refers to not getting proper medical care or treatment.

If the plaintiff has not taken reasonable precautions for their safety or their negligence contributes to their losses, this is known as “contributory negligence” and will reduce their claim for damages.  Some examples of court-imposed reductions include:

 

    • Alcohol or drug impairment – contributory negligence of 25% to 45%
    • Failure to wear helmets while riding bikes or motorcycles – contributory negligence of 10% to 15%
    • Failure to wear seat belts in vehicles – contributory negligence of 15% to 25%

Keep in mind that an injury lawyer in Burlington will not only help you receive a higher settlement in claim than what you would on your own, they will ensure that your rights to that compensation are protected during the legal process.

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!

Assessing Damages in a Personal Injury Claim – Part I

In Burlington where an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by another person’s careless, negligent, or reckless behavior, a personal injury lawyer can ensure that they are compensated for damages.  In most circumstances, when the defendant or at-fault party is legally responsible, an insurance company will compensate the plaintiff or person who has been injured in the accident.  The actual dollar amount is established before personal injury cases end up in court.

 

However, in Ontario Province, over 90% of all personal injury claims are settled out of court and never go to trial.  For the victim, this means that they will be receiving their settlement relatively soon, whereas they could be waiting for months or even years before their claim is settled by a judge and jury.  This is also true when you consider the fact that personal injury cases can be very complex and take years to resolve when large sums of damages are at stake.

 

Compensatory Damages

 

There are a number of factors that must be considered in these types of cases, one of the most important of which is compensatory damages or monetary compensation that is intended to make the person financially whole again.  While some compensatory damages are relatively easy to quantify such as reimbursing the person for their medical expenses, others are considerably more difficult to determine.  For instance, what is a person’s pain and suffering worth? From a legal perspective a personal injury lawyer in Burlington and their legal teams are skilled at quantifying these amounts.

 

Common Damages in Personal Injury Claim

 

While there are numerous types of damages, there are several that are fairly common throughout personal injury lawsuits including:

 

    • Attendant care
    • Family member claims
    • Home maintenance and housekeeping
    • Lost income including future income
    • Pain and suffering
    • Property loss
    • Reimbursement for current and future medical treatment expenses

 

If an individual sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, they will need to meet certain criteria or requirements, known as the “threshold”, in order to be awarded any damages for their pain and suffering.  In these types of personal injury cases, the injuries that a person has sustained must have led to one of the following:

 

      • death of the plaintiff
      • permanent disfigurement (amputation, scarring, etc.)
      • permanent impairment of important functions (physical and psychological)

 

If your pain and suffering claim meets the threshold listed above, it will be allowed. Talk with your lawyer about the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive. They will be able to judge the merits of your case and help you get the guidance you require.

 

The importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim cannot be overstated.  The assessment of damages is a key element in personal injury cases.  In Part II, you will find information on family member claims and how a plaintiff’s actions or in actions can impact the outcome of their personal injury 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!

Are Pain and Suffering an Essential Component of Personal Injury Law?

For any personal injury lawyer and their legal teams, the concept of pain and suffering is an essential component in the cases that they represent.  Whenever someone has been injured in a motor vehicle or a slip and fall accident that occurred because of another person’s negligence, they will usually file a claim for damages in Mississauga.  If they are awarded damages (compensation), this will pay for their lost income, medical expenses, and any pain and suffering that is attributed to their injuries.

 

Furthermore, the fact that your injuries have caused you a great deal of discomfort in no way guarantees that you will be compensated for your pain and suffering.  From a legal perspective, pain and suffering is emotional as well as physical.  While certain damage claims, such as lost income or medical expenses, are easy to quantify, others are not.  Personal injury laws that apply to pain and suffering allow injury victims (plaintiffs) to receive compensation for their anguish and emotional distress.

 

How Pain differs from Suffering

 

A personal injury lawyer in Mississauga knows that there are numerous injuries that can leave a person suffering with chronic pain as well as overwhelming emotional stress.  From a legal perspective, pain and suffering are two different things even though it is treated as a single claim.  Pain is described as a physical sensation that you suffer with.  This includes aching muscles, sharp abdominal pains, or a throbbing knee.

 

Conversely, suffering is described as the emotional or psychological aspects that are attributed to your injuries.  For example, if you become severely depressed because of your injuries, that is considered suffering.  Suffering is attributed or connected to pain.  For instance, you could be stressed out and worried because you have been in chronic pain since your accident and medical treatment.  Interestingly enough, suffering is not always attributed to pain.  For instance, you could be traumatized by a family member dying in the same accident.

 

How do You calculate Pain and Suffering?

 

As was mentioned above, pain and suffering can be difficult for a personal injury lawyer in Mississauga to quantify or calculate because it is not a tangible entity.  So unlike lost income or medical expenses, it is somewhat vague.  Since no two personal injury cases are ever alike, the compensation awarded for a person’s pain and suffering will vary from one claim to the next.

 

You will have a greater chance of filing a successful claim for pain and suffering if your injuries are well documented and you have received proper medical care.  Additionally, your chances of being successful will improve with documents that detail your diagnoses, injuries, and medical treatments.  Be aware that Canadian citizens must also pass a verbal threshold when seeking compensation for their pain and suffering. It is best to let an expert lawyer handle the details and guide you through the complexities of legal jargon.

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!

Mistakes Made By Victims of Car Accidents

Even though the government and the provincial authorities are trying their best in order to raise as much alertness as it’s possible, it is still quite common for victims of car accidents to make a lot of mistakes. This is generally due to the fact that they are not well aware of their own rights and with the procedures that need to be followed in an event of this kind. The city of Toronto which is located in the province of Ontario is the largest city in the country and it has a population of nearly 3 million people. As you can imagine, there are a lot of car crashes which take place every single day and here are some of the most common mistakes that most of the drivers make.

They don’t call the police.

Now, it’s true that most the law clearly states that if the damages on the car are for less than $1,000 the driver doesn’t have to call the police. Now, this is a controversial provision for one particular reason. While it may seem as logical not to waste time of the authorities for inconsiderable damages, it is simply impossible for the driver to assess the cost of the damage at the time of the accident. It usually takes some time for the car to get repaired and the mechanics are the ones who would give you your total bill. Of course, if it’s about a scratch or a simple dent in the car, you can probably assess it on the moment but this also depends on the type of car that you are driving. Getting the police to document the accident is crucial and it serves as a proof in court. The report is what you will use in order to claim damages from the opposite party and it’s the document which states the parties in the trial.

They fail to seek medical attention

Regardless of the damages, seeking medical help is mandatory. If the accident wasn’t serious enough you might initially fail to feel any strong pain and you can only feel uncomfortable. However, make sure to visit the doctor in order to get a quick brief on your condition and to determine whether or not there are some internal damages.

They talk with the opposite insurance company

The insurance company of the driver at fault is likely to ask the victim about the accident. You don’t have a duty to provide them with any information – they have to get it themselves. Keep in mind that whatever you say can be used against you, if there is a trial brought up. This is why it’s better not to converse with them at all. Let your lawyer deal with the insurance company and the defendant. That is because they will consider all of the statements and communication in the legal light before replying. This helps to be within the purview of law.

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!

Dangers That Hide Behind A Slip & Fall Accident

Mississauga is a city which has its location in the southern part of the province of Ontario and it has a population of a little over 650,000 people. The city is considerably large and it is regulated by the rules set forth by the province of Ontario. A particularly interesting subject which is up for discussion in the city of Mississauga is the slip & fall accident. When the common person hears about such an accident the first thing that pops into his mind is a slip that happens due to snowy or icy conditions. However, it’s important to understand that you can slip on a lot of different surfaces due to a lot of different reasons. Common examples are slippery floors in shops and malls due to recent cleaning, residual detergents or even a loose rug that you trip on when you enter.

If you are involved in an accident of this particular kind, the first thing that you should consider doing is to seek medical attention. It’s not uncommon for a lot of people to feel rather embarrassed and humiliated about having to seek attention due to a slip, but this is the most important thing that you should do. This would allow you to properly identify the injuries and take the necessary steps towards your own recovery.

Implementing duty of care

From a legal standpoint, it is termed as duty of care. This is the necessary duty that every occupier is obligated to provide in order to keep people on his premises safe at all times. Now, the law states that the people should be reasonably safe which means that there shouldn’t be any conditions which may cause accidents or at least the visitors should be aware of the risks. The obligations of the occupier as per the Occupiers’ Liability Act consolidated back in 1990 are as follows but definitely not limited to:

  • Keep the floors and the stairs in a proper condition
  • Keep the walkways clear of any ice or other slippery things
  • Keep your floors free of water and slippery detergents
  • Maintain an adequate lighting

A lot of people forget how crucial lighting actually is. There are regulations set forth which determine the amount of light that has to be provided in commercial establishments. It is also the responsibility and at the same time obligation of the occupier to make sure that the building codes are as per the legislation. Most importantly, he has to make sure that the codes are properly abided by. Of course, he could authorize another person to do so but that wouldn’t relieve him from the liability, but he would share it with the responsible party.

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!

Filing A Lost Wage Claim In Brampton

As unfortunate as it may be, the majority of accidents involving vehicles in the city of Brampton, Ontario, often result with some disabilities. This means that the person that had to go through them is often going to experience short or long term disability. This has a lot of harmful consequences on the mentality of the person but it will also result in a loss of income. The reason for this is that he won’t be able to provide the same amount of workforce and his income is going to be reduced respectively. Sometimes the person is not going to be able to work at all and he won’t be able to continue his job and he might be left without his salary at all. It is crucial that situations like this are not left unattended and that they are treated properly because people in position like this should be able to live the normal live that they are entitled to. This is where the legislation of Ontario allows the victim to file the so called lost wage claim.

Statutory Accident Benefits

The claim can be filed towards the auto insurance company, provided that he has an actual and legal insurance contract. Drivers who are insured are entitled to actually get Statutory Accident Benefits from the insurance companies that they have a contract with. This offers them a variety of different benefits in the event of a car accident and one of them is the income replacement benefit. The victim is going to be required to file a claim with the company. However, this claim would recover you to go through a lot of paperwork and to fill out a bunch of forms.

Before you get your hopes all up, make sure to note that you won’t be entitled to the entire amount of the income that you have lost. With this in mind, you are going to be able to get up to 70% of the weekly gross income. There is also a limit of $400 a week. Of course, the victim might have decided to purchase additional coverage which means that the limit of $400 is going to get higher, according to the additional insurance clauses.

It’s also important to note that the period during which you are going to be entitled to receiving this benefit is different. This would depend on the severity of your injuries and the possibility of you getting back your job. Generally the period is for up to 2 years, but if you had to go through incredibly serious traumatic injuries and you won’t be able to work again, this period can get beyond 2 years, depending on every case individually. It is best to hire the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer so that your case gets the right light.

Statistics Regarding Brain Injuries In Ontario

Brain injuries are definitely amongst the most traumatic that a person can go through. At the same time as unfortunate as it may be, they are some of the most common injuries out there. The city of Burlington is located in the province of Ontario and the statistics that are going to be presented here are accounting for Burlington as well. Every single year more than 150,000 citizens of Canada are suffering from brain injuries. The last year of 2015 in Ontario alone, more than 800 children were victims of these severe injuries. However, it is important to know that there is a clear differentiation between traumatic and non traumatic brain injuries. The latter are also referred to as acquired brain injuries.

Brain injuries due to accidents

These are injuries which are the result of a non traumatic event. This means that the acquired brain injuries exclude causes like accidents or direct hits to the head and focuses on degenerative diseases such as cancer, tumors and many more. This is the main difference between both. It’s important to be aware of this fact because when it comes to proving the injury it is crucial to establish that the brain damage was a direct result of the accident and it wasn’t present before that.

If you fail to do so and it turns that it was an acquired brain injury your compensatory claim is going to get dismissed in this particular part. However, here are some facts which regard brain injuries in order to understand why they are so important to the field of personal injury.

  • Brain injuries are 10 times more common than any other spinal cord injury.
  • Canadians which were involved in an accident which caused them a brain injury have suffered from disabilities and have died more than from any other injury out there.
  • More than 12,000 brain injuries are registered in the province of Ontario every single year which lead to disabilities of all kinds.
  • More than 800 people in the province die of some sort of a brain injury every single year in Ontario.
  • It is highly likely that a female person is going to suffer from a brain injury more often than a male.
  • As every other year during 2015 as well the primary cause of a brain injury was a motor vehicle incident.

As you can see, brain injuries happen and they are incredibly relevant. This means that lawyers should be properly informed as to how to address those issues in order to provide their clients with proper legal representation. Make sure to stay updated with the statistics in order to build a stronger case in court. Hiring an experienced lawyer to work on your case ensures that you get the best legal assistance. Most of the brain injuries require specialized treatment and years of rehabilitation and that is why compensation is higher in such cases.

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!

Foundation Of Personal Injury Law In Burlington

Burlington is a relatively small city in the province of Ontario with an approximate population of about 180,000 people. However, one of the main legal fields of expertise for the majority of lawyers is the personal injury one. This is due to the fact that it seems to be the most lucrative and at the same time there is a variety of different cases which pose an interest to most of the attorneys. The area is governed by the local provincial laws of Ontario if they do not contradict to any governmental regulations. However, it is important to understand that personal injury law in Burlington is based upon several factors.

Liability

All of the compensatory claims are usually revolving around the basic concept of the responsibility. To put it into a simple prospective, a person is going to be liable for something if he or she is effectively found guilty of actually causing the injury from which the compensation derives. The injury could be caused consciously or as the result of a negligent behavior. During the trial run, the victim has to prove that he or she has taken all possible measures in order to avoid the accident. This means that if the accident proves to be set-up or caused by the claimant himself, he wouldn’t be awarded any kind of compensation at all.

Coverage of the compensation

Compensatory claims can relate to both pecuniary and non pecuniary damages. The first ones are the direct damages while the latter represent the so called pain and suffering. As you can see, there isn’t a differentiation between both as far as grounds for a case go. However, it’s important to know that the damages that you can claim are limited to a certain amount. Back in 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada issued an effective ruling which basically restricted courts from awarding compensatory claims for more than $300,000. This means that if you want to file a compensatory claim for your personal injuries your non-pecuniary or emotional claim can be somewhere in the range between $1 and $300,000.

Exceptions

Drivers and owners of motor vehicles can’t be brought on charges for non-pecuniary damages unless the accident has resulted in severe damages. Examples are scarring and permanent disfigurement as well as other severe impairment of the health of the victim. Compensation depends upon the level of injuries.

Limitations

There are certain limitations which apply to personal injury law as per the Statute of Limitations. The solution is rather fair but it’s different for every single case, depending on the cause of the accident and the category that it falls within. With this in mind the terms can range somewhere between 6 months and five years.