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Personal Injury FAQ

PERSONAL INJURY QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)

These are the most commonly asked personal injury questions (FAQ’s) received from our Toronto Personal Injury Lawyers.

General Damages

General damages include compensation for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of
life. There is a limit imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada, currently in the approximate amount of $367,236.00.

In car accident claims, there is no recovery for general damages unless the claim meets a “threshold” – permanent and serious impairment or disfigurement. In addition, an injured person’s general damages are reduced by a deductible established by law under the Insurance Act,
currently in the amount of
$39,754.31.

Loss of Income

You are entitled to be compensated for any income which you have lost as a result of the accident, as well as any income which you may lose in the future, subject to certain deductions. You are also entitled to damages for any reduction in your income earning ability or your ability to compete in the labour market.

Other Pecuniary Losses

These include “out of pocket” losses, such as travel expenses, housekeeping or home maintenance expenses, past or future care costs, etc. In some cases, medical expenses not otherwise covered by OHIP or any insurance policy can be recovered.

Family Law Act Claims

An injured person’s family members may also suffer from the accident indirectly. Under Ontario law, family members of an injured person are entitled to claim compensation for their losses that they have suffered as a result of the injuries sustained by the injured relative. These losses include any expenses incurred on behalf of the injured person and compensation for the loss of the care, guidance and companionship which would have been provided by the injured family member had  the accident not happened.

“No fault” doesn’t mean you can’t sue if you’ve been in a car accident.

“No fault” benefits are, by law, included in every automobile insurance policy available in Ontario. An injured party can obtain compensation if they have been injured in an accident. The nature and amount of this compensation is determined by regulations known as the “Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule”. In order to claim these benefits, it is important to enlist the services of a legal professional to guide you through the process and protect your rights. Our law clerks and lawyers are experts in this process.

Even in the “no-fault” system of Ontario, if you have sustained a “serious permanent impairment” or “disfigurement” as a result of the accident, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver.

Don’t speak to the adjuster from the insurance company.

When you consult with us, we will advise you as to your rights and options and we will help you understand your insurance policy and its terms. You may have different options available to you such as suing the other driver or you may be eligible for income replacement benefits and short-term disability. Your DSF legal representative will negotiate with your insurance company to provide you with the best possible recovery for your particular needs.

A lawyer with expertise in personal injury will be able to advise you of the benefits you are entitled to receive through your insurance company. Your claim could be jeopardized if you speak directly with an insurance adjuster before getting legal advice.

As employees of insurance companies, insurance adjusters may not advise you or protect your rights to privacy, compensation, treatment and other important issues affecting you in the short term and in the future. Our lawyers are experts in dealing with insurance adjusters. Your lawyer will provide guidance and preparation in establishing your claim.

You may be entitled to an Income Replacement Benefit or Disability Benefit if you cannot work.

By consulting a lawyer in the area of personal injury, you will be informed of the different options available to you such as accident benefits, short-term disability and long-term disability and other benefits available to you by law.

A limitation period is a legal time limit that forces you to sue within a specific period of time following the incident that caused your injury. Failure to do so will preclude you from suing or filing to recover compensation.

The specific limitation periods for different matters range from months to years. The “standard” limitation period is two years, but there are situations where the standard two year limitation period doesn’t apply. It is essential to consult a lawyer in order to determine the applicable limitation period under the circumstances of each case.

Insurance companies regularly conduct investigations such as video surveillance, interviewing neighbours and employers, and on-line searches (e.g., “Facebook”). The information you show the world about your daily activities (photos, hobbies, comments, etc.) may be used against you in your litigation.

Insurance adjusters and defence counsel in personal injury and disability claims regularly conduct searches of Facebook profiles to discover the plaintiff’s Facebook account. CBC aired a report about a disability insurer who stopped paying benefits on the basis of Facebook photos which they relied on as evidence that the claimant was capable of working. The Courts have held that Facebook photos and descriptions of activities are not private and therefore available to be used against you in your claim.

You should immediately verify that your security settings are set to private so that only friends can see any posts or photos or even who your friends are. You might want to consider taking your social media accounts offline if appropriate.

A claim can take months or years to resolve.

A personal injury or disability claim may settle within months or years, depending on the extent of the disability, the time it takes for your condition to reach a plateau, the prognosis from treating doctors or experts, the age of the injured party, and the complexity of the litigation and number of parties involved. It is important that the claim not be settled until all damages are known and until the medical experts are able to give a reliable prediction as to the future course of the injuries and disabilities.

Devry Smith Frank pursues all claims aggressively and ensures that settlements are concluded as soon as it is appropriate to do so, or that the claim is pursued vigorously to trial if necessary.

Please bring the following documents to your free consultation:

 

  • Police motor vehicle accident report
  • Doctors’ reports
  • Driver’s licence
  • Detailed description of how accident happened
  • Social Insurance Card
  • Health Card
  • Pink insurance declaration certificate
  • Any photographs of the scene
  • X-Ray results
  • List of prescribed medication
  • List of treating physicians and specialists
  • Pay stubs
  • A list of your out-of-pocket expenses

Call us at 416-449-1400 for available options or to