Ontario’s Regulations Regarding Pedestrian Accidents

Sadly, all across the province of Ontario, pedestrian accidents are quite common. Whether it’s a motorcyclist or a driver that’s going to be the cause of an accident, or the pedestrian himself, the unfortunate truth is that these accidents tend to happen a lot more often than they should. That is why specific laws deal with these accidents related injuries and can be exhaustive, ranging from slip and fall to vehicle hits.

In any case, they occur on roadways, crosswalks as well as intersections and parking lots – basically almost everywhere. The frequency of these accidents increases dramatically as the weather conditions get worse or the lighting on the street fails. In any case, this is something that has to be taken under the most serious consideration as pedestrian accidents almost always result in terrible orthopedic injuries and in some instances even in death.

The Duty of Care Owed to Pedestrians

Motorists and other drivers owe a duty of care to the pedestrians on the streets. This is due to the fact that the traffic is regulated by the provisions which are dully set forth within the Highway Traffic Act of the province of Ontario and there is a thorough and reverse onus for these sorts of pedestrian accidents. This basically means that if a pedestrian accident occurs, the law is automatically assuming that the driver or the motorist was at fault. As you can imagine, this makes it a whole lot easier for pedestrians to make their claims, even though it’s not as easy as you might want it to be. This is due to the fact that there is a lot of paperwork to be filled out and a lot of documents to be drafted and filed within the appropriate authorities. If you want to take the matter to the court, you’d have to file a compensatory claim and its best if you go ahead and get a consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer in the province of Ontario.

The Complexity of the claim

The truth is that the complexity of the claim comes from the Insurance act and the Rules of Fault Determination, respectively the No Fault rule set forth in the province of Ontario. The latter stipulates that the insurance company is going to take care of the damages done by the insured regardless of whether or not he’s at fault or not. This means that your monetary damages are going to be compensated by the insurance company of the one who caused the accident – the motorist or the driver. However, if you want to pursue them to the fullest extent, you’d have to file a civil lawsuit and take the compensation that you’ve already received out of the equation as you won’t get money in excess to what you are entitled to. This might lead to a lot of confusion and potential complications.

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!

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Understanding the Short and Long Term Disability Claims

Injuries which occur to one’s bones, joints as well as the abundance of supporting structures such as the ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles would most often result from some sort of trauma which has been caused by an accident. The accidents which pose significant interest to the area of personal injury law are car accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites as well as slip and fall accidents amongst many more. However, it’s also worth noting that orthopedic injuries would often require surgical intervention which may lead to some permanent disabilities or the necessity of adding artificial objects in the person’s body such as plates, screws or other orthopedic hardware required for the proper functioning of the problem area. You have to understand that these injuries are incredibly serious and they could lead to both short term and long term disabilities, both having different legal consequences.

Short term disabilities

There are a lot of provisions set forth by different acts such as the Insurance Act, the Occupiers’ Liability act and even the Dog Owners’ Liability Act which govern short term disabilities and the way they are recovered by the at fault party. Depending on the premise that they derive from, the orthopedic injury is going to be subjected to a different order of compensation and it would lead to a different amount of legal responsibility which is going to be imposed and taken by the at fault party. However, if a trial is sought after and it ends successfully, monetary compensation is going to be awarded in all cases. These traumas are typically not that serious or at least they don’t have a permanent effect on the body of the victim. However, you can file for compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer and cover the cost of medical bills and other compensatory damages.

Long term disabilities

These are also known as permanent disabilities as there is less to no chances at all for full recovery of the one who is suffering from them. Loss of sight or other senses, for instance, as well as loss of limbs or other body parts will always lead to long term disabilities and they have to be treated as such.

The main thing about this type of injuries is that they lead to cases which seek monetary compensation in the form of a disability benefit, or pension, which has to compensate the loss of income of the victim in a manner which would allow him proper and dignified living. However, these cases are incredibly hard to go through as there is a lot that has to be proven and that’s why you should definitely rely upon the services of a reputable attorney with a lot of relevant experience and dully proven track record to get you the compensation that you rightfully deserve. These cases often take quite a long time prior to being settled by the court.

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!

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Dealing With The Aftermath of Fatal Car Accidents In Ontario

The truth is that fatal car accidents in Ontario are rather common. The loss of a beloved member of your family or friend is always going to be tremendously devastating. However, the truth is that it could be even more traumatic when it has happened suddenly and it was particularly caused by someone else’s incompetence. However, the sad truth is that these accidents remain quite common in the province of Ontario. While it’s only natural and incredibly understandable that you are going to need to take your time to mourn the loss of the loved one, you owe it to your family to and to yourself to seek the reparation of the tremendous harm that’s been caused.

How is compensation sought after in Ontario?

In the province of Ontario, when someone has tragically passed away as a result of fatal motor vehicle accidents, his family members are fully entitle to make a wrongful death claim and seek compensation for their losses. They can get quite extensive as they include a majority of things such as compensation for loss of care, companionship, guidance, support a well as service. As you can see for yourself, these involve both emotional and fully physical damages and that’s the main differentiation. However, it’s also important to understand that some of the damages are going to be covered by the insurance company as the Insurance Act of Ontario is in force and it would take effect in cases like that.

Claiming damages from an emotional essence

Compensation for loss of guidance, companionship and support, for instance, are the typical emotional damages which are being sought after in the majority of fatal car accidents in Ontario. However, there are quite a few things that have to be taken into consideration. First of all, the exact amount of damages which is going to be awarded is fully dependant on the discretion of the judge. He is the only one entitled to make this a reality and he is going to take every circumstance in thorough consideration. They can’t be proven with physical documentations and they should be assessed as a reflection on the mentality and the consciousness of the surviving family members.

Claiming physical damages

These are the pecuniary damages and they have a more explainable nature which is far easier to comprehend. These are the damages that the surviving family members had to sustain as a direct result of the loss of their loved one. They might include pre-mortal medical bills as well as the costs for the funeral and also the loss of financial support, provided that the member who’s passed away played an active role in supporting his family with finances.  If that is proven then you as next of kin is eligible to get compensated by the defendant or their insurance company.

However, it is important to have a good lawyer’s support to ensure there are no loopholes to be exploited by the other 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!

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Understanding Your Rights in a Long-Term Disability Claim

In cases where an individual has been injured in an accident and sustains a temporary disability, they are usually covered by short-term disability benefits.  Furthermore, there are certain rights that protect you while you’re disabled and you need to be aware of them.  If you aren’t, your personal injury lawyer and his or her legal team will explain them to you.

You need to test for total disability when the individual is not in a position to complete the tasks of everyday living because he is not physically capable of doing it. When there are injuries that render an individual unable to work or do anything, it is classified as total disability. Amputations, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries are just some of the reasons that you might need to file for total disability. You might need to hire a lawyer, to ensure that your rights are protected. In Ontario Province, there are 4 separate types of disability benefits, each of which is made up of a different set of procedures and rights.as follows:

CPP (Canada Pension Plan) disability benefits – assuming you meet all medical test requirements, these benefits cover you from the time you are injured up until retirement.  Once you turn 65 years of age, this coverage transitions into your pension benefits.  The amount you are paid is based on what you have contributed to your pension fund.

ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) – this covers individuals who are in dire financial straits or have been unable to work since they became disabled.  You are required to prove that you are in financial need.  You have several rights to be aware of under the ODSP including:

·         The right to an in-person meeting with your case worker (you can have an injury lawyer with you)

·         The right to appeal decisions that are made regarding your case

·         The right to obtain additional medical and prescription medication benefits

·         The right to obtain written decisions about your case

Private insurance long-term disability benefits – benefits are available by virtue of a contract with your employer or that you have obtained personally.  The procedures and a portion of your rights are dependent upon the insurance company’s contract.

WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) – company employees pay into this government-based insurance.  It covers them should they be injured and disabled in a work-related accident.  Since this is no-fault insurance, you give up your right to sue your employer.

If any of your rights under the long-term disability programs listed above have been violated, you have several recourses available to you.  You can file an appeal with your insurer or file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  If your benefits have been dramatically reduced or terminated, retain the services of a personal injury lawyer and their legal team to represent you and commence litigation.  Don’t let the legal process overwhelm you and give up.

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!

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What is the Liability of the Dog Owner?

Strictly speaking, the municipalities of Ontario are responsible for the overall animal control in the province. This means that if a person has a particular complaint about the dog of someone else, he should contact the local office of animal control and make his case. However, if the situation is an emergency, he should consider contacting the police.

However, if someone is bitten by a dog, for instance, he has the full right to sue the owner of said dogs for the damages that he had incurred. It won’t much matter if the person who owns the dog is negligent, at fault or, in fact, has any knowledge of the occurrence of the dog bit. If the lawsuit is held successfully and the court orders him to pay the damages, he’d have to do so regardless of anything else. On top of all that, there are also additional precautions that have to be taken into thorough consideration – the owner has to put a lead or a muzzle on the dog or said dog is going to be legally destroyed, which is basically the worst case scenario.

Additionally, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario makes every single dog owner responsible for the damages which are caused by bites of his dog to another person or to other domestic animals. In fact, if the case is serious enough, the victim might file an application to the court, requiring the dog to be destroyed or euthanized if it’s considered severely vicious. The court is also entitled to order the owner of the dog to exercise extreme precaution by putting the dog on a tight leash, getting it muzzled or confined to a strictly secure area with particular and clear warning signs. The court can also prohibit the dog owner to own a dog for a specific period of time if found appropriate.

Prohibition on pit bulls

There is also an interesting provision in the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario which specifically prohibits pit bulls from being imported, bred or even transferred throughout the province. However, if you’ve owned a pit bull prior to 2005 you don’t have to worry as those animals are exempt from the provision. In any case, you are allowed to have a restricted pit bull which has to be thoroughly leashed, sterilized and muzzled. An offence of these regulations can just as well result in a severe penalty of up to $10,000 and even jail time of up to 6 months. The state takes this restriction seriously as pit bulls are considered to be more dangerous than other dogs due to the nature of their bite and their overall temperament. In any case, the regulations are thorough and extensive and easy to follow.

Thus, as a dog owner, you need to be conversant with the current laws and regulations so that you are not caught off. This will help you stay protected and others too.

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!

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What You should know about Disability Insurance Coverage

Long-term disability insurance coverage offers some financial protection if you are unable to work and pay your bills after sustaining injuries in an accident.  Basically, this coverage provides a portion of your earnings so that you are able to pay your monthly bills as well as your medical and rehabilitative treatment.  The intention of disability insurance is to counteract any financial hardship that could arise if you have sustained serious injuries that prevent you from doing your job. The amount varies depending upon your requirements and it is best to discuss it with your lawyer.

Long-term and Short-term Benefits

In most cases, you will be paid disability benefits for up to 2 years if you are unable to work and meet the requirements of your employer.  However, disability benefits are usually classified into 2 categories – long-term and short-term disability coverage.  Long-term disability provides a more permanent solution for income replacement when you are unable to work due to your injuries or medical condition.  Short-term benefits replace the income you lose when you are temporarily disabled and not able to work.

Different Types of Disability Insurance

There are several types of disability insurance coverage that are available to residents of Brampton, Burlington, and Mississauga.  These include:

  • Critical illness coverage – provides you with financial support in the event that you’ve been diagnosed with one of up to 20 critical illnesses including cancer, heart attack, heart disease, or stroke.  Regardless of whether or not you can return to your job, you will still receive these benefits.  Once you have been diagnosed with a critical illness, you must survive for 30 days.  However, you will be paid in a single lump sum once you have survived that 30-day period.
  • Disability mortgage coverage – should you become unable to work, this coverage provides financial support in order to cover a portion of or all of your mortgage payment up to a certain percentage every 2 weeks or monthly.  However, there is a 2-month waiting period before you start receiving your benefits.  There are also limits imposed on the amount of coverage you’ll be provided the duration of your benefit coverage.
  • Long-term disability coverage – in the event that you are disabled or sick and you are physically unable to work, long-term disability provides a percentage of your earnings that will help pay for living expenses, medical treatment, rehabilitation therapy, etc.  You are considered eligible if you can prove that you are physically unable to work during the first 2 years.  After 2 years, you must prove that you are unable to perform any type of work.
  • Short-term disability coverage – provides temporary replacement of lost income when you cannot work due to a specific medical condition such as a serious illness or injury.  Normally, short-term disability benefits are available for a maximum of 4 months (120 days).  Employers typically purchase short-term disability coverage for their employees.

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!

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What can I sue for and Who can I sue in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

When a prospective client approaches a personal injury lawyer in Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga, they typically have a lot of questions to be answered in their initial consultation.  While personal injury law is oftentimes a very complex area of the law in general, the primary goal of your lawyer is to determine what you can actually sue for as well as who you should sue based on your case.  The end goal is get the compensation you are deserving of while at the same time ensuring that your rights are protected.

What can I sue for?

For all intents and purposes, personal injury lawyers in cities like Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga and throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can represent you in cases involving the following:

    • animal attacks and especially dog bites
    • catastrophic injuries (spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries)
    • defective product/product liability cases
    • motor vehicle accidents
    • orthopedic injuries
    • pedestrian accidents
    • public transit accidents
    • slip and fall accidents

They can examine your case in order to determine what caused your injuries as well as whether or not someone else is responsible for them.  If you were seriously injured in an accident that was caused by another individual’s careless, negligent, or reckless actions or behavior, you may be entitled to compensation.  In some cases, injury victims have sued municipal governments and property owners and won substantial compensation.

Who can I sue?

When consulting with your personal injury lawyer for the first time, it is recommended that you tell your story to the fullest.  In other words, discuss as many of the facts that are relevant to your case.  It is very important that you and your lawyer determine who or which parties to sue in your case.  In some cases, you may discover that there are other parties who played a role in the cause of your injuries.

There may also be a concern about suing the other party until you find out whether or not they are insured.  For instance, in a personal injury claim of product liability (suing for injuries sustained by using a defective product), there are a number of parties that can be found liable including:

  • Designers
  • Manufacturers
  • Wholesalers
  • Distributors
  • Suppliers or vendors
  • Retailers


In other words, anyone who is involved in the supply chain could be held liable if you are injured when using the product in question.  A person can sustain injuries because of failure on behalf of the manufacturer to instruct the consumer on product usage, flaws in the design, improper inspection of the product, manufacturer’s error, and so on.  The bottom line is that you should always retain the services of a personal injury lawyer in Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga.  This will give you a better chance of getting the compensation you deserve and ensure that your rights are protected. Talk with an experienced lawyer today.

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!

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Valuing Long-Term Disability (LTD) Claims

Personal injury lawyers in Mississauga, Brampton, or Burlington, field lots of questions from prospective clients, one of which is “How much do you estimate my long-term disability case is worth?” Since every LTD case is complex and different, it is very difficult to answer this question. However, most of the lawyers refer to a host of things to come up with an approximation.

Factors to Consider

Whenever a lawyer is evaluating a claim to determine what it is worth, there are a number of factors that must be considered such as:

  • all source maximum deduction in effect?
  • any bad faith on behalf of the insurer when handling the claim
  • any surveillance conducted by insurance company?
  • arrears or back payments owed to the LTD insurance carrier
  • claimant’s age
  • claimant’s education, training, and work level experience
  • duration of payment on the policy benefits
  • employment potential of claimant
  • insurance company doctor’s evaluation of injuries and return-to-work prognosis
  • is claimant fluent in English or French?
  • is insurer entitled to any “set-offs” (Canada Pension Plan, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board)?
  • nature and extent of injuries
  • value of monthly benefit
  • your doctor’s prognosis on returning to work

In large part, the long-term disability claim’s value will be based on the above and how any questions relevant to that are answered.  Plus, that the insurance adjuster will look at any unique factors relative to your personal injury case.

Unlike other accident and injury claims, long-term disability claims are commonly valued by using mathematical equations.  The formula used for determining the LTD benefit’s value is calculated as follows:

value of the LTD benefit – any offsets / number of months of arrears and

future benefits owing = insurance company’s maximum exposure owed

For instance, in a motor vehicle accident case, the compensation for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering is based subjectively on precedents set in past cases.  There are different Damages categories for personal injury claims in Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga which commonly include:

  • attendant care
  • family law act (e.g. loss of care and companionship)
  • housekeeping
  • modified home or vehicle
  • out of pocket expense
  • pain and suffering
  • past and future care cost
  • past and future income loss

As you can clearly see, there are a number of damage categories that could potentially be awarded in a motor vehicle accident case on the tort end.  However, when it comes to long-term disability claims, many of those damage categories don’t exist.  Basically, these are defined as “contract” claims.  In other words, if there is no insurance contract, there cannot be a claim.  They are based on what’s contained within the wording inside your auto insurance policy.

For more clarification and guidance throughout your LTD case, you should consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who specializes in the type of accident you experienced and the injuries you’ve sustained.  Remember, your lawyer may be the only assurance of getting the compensation you deserve and ensuring that your rights are protected.

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!

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Beware! The Insurance Companies can use Social Media against You

It’s not uncommon to hear insurance companies advertise how they’re the best because they are always there for their policyholders when they need them.  While they may be there to defend a claim, they will quickly become your opponent in a personal injury lawsuit in Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga.  The reality is that they care about their own interests only – not yours.  This is something that the plaintiff should always keep in mind whenever they are posting their goings-on on social media sites.

Hiring private investigators

The truth of the matter is that a defendant’s insurance company will hire private eyes or investigators to survey the plaintiff’s activities.  Basically, they want to catch you doing something that goes against your injured condition in order to invalidate your claim and not settle with you fair and reasonably.  This is not to say that some plaintiff’s don’t “overstate” the seriousness of their injuries.  However, the insurance companies treat every plaintiff in similar fashion, whether they have misrepresented their injuries or not.

As an example of this, let’s say you have filed a personal injury claim after you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga.  According to your claim, your injuries were serious enough that you were unable to work.  Then the defendant’s insurance company’s investigators take photos of you participating in an activity that your injuries have supposedly rendered you incapable of doing.  Should this evidence be presented during litigation, it would undermine your credibility.

Use of social media scrutinized

Consequently, you’re not going to be awarded the settlement you had hoped for.  In recent years, investigators have started perusing plaintiff’s profiles on different social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for this reason.  Today, it’s become common practice to apply for access to a person’s photos and posted content on social media sites in personal injury cases held in Brampton.  So what is the lesson that accident victims should learn from this?

Whenever you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, you have to realize that whatever you post on social media websites could come back to haunt you during legal proceedings.  In addition to this not being used as evidence against you, you should be cautious about any statements you make relative to the photos you post on these sites.  Otherwise, you will jeopardize your case proceeding in your favor. Thus, it is best to shun social media as far as possible because you don’t really know what could go against you in court

This easiest way to keep your case uncomplicated and your personal injury lawyer working in your favor is to ensure that your social media usage doesn’t complicate matters for you.  You can always resume your activities once your case has been settled in court or negotiations.  Ultimately, the smartest way for you to protect your own interests in is to be honest about your physical impairments and demonstrate your truthfulness in your activities.

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!

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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!

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