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FAQ

General Legal Information

Answers To Common Questions You May Have

Below are a sample of some of the most commonly asked questions we receive.

For more in depth information, we and our associates can answer all your questions during a complimentary consultation.

What if I’m injured on someone else’s property? 

Those injured by a negligent owner or possessor of a premise may recover damages for their injuries, including, loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact us immediately so that we can begin assessing your case. Also, consider consulting with a lawyer before interviewing with insurance adjusters or investigators hired by insurance companies. Knowing your rights is beneficial in every case.

What if I don’t have my own car insurance?

There are many different avenues to take if you are not currently insured. Your accident benefit claim may proceed through the at fault driver or alternatively through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. Ask the lawyer which avenue applies to you.

What if I was involved in a car accident, which was not my fault, but I do not have any insurance? Do I still have a case?

Yes, so long as the party at fault has insurance. His or her insurance company will pay for the damage to your vehicle and for your pain and suffering. Your medical bills will be paid at the conclusion of your case from the settlement proceeds.

What if the accident was my fault?

If the accident was your fault, you are still entitled to accident benefits. Speak to the lawyer about your rights to accident benefits under your insurance policy.

How much can I expect to receive for my injuries?

This is a common question that most of our prospective clients ask during their initial consultations. 

There are several factors to consider before we can estimate the value of your case. By gaining a better understanding of your injuries, we will be able to determine if there are going to be any future considerations. For instance, an injury that is minor today can become quite serious in the future. As a result, there would be medical bills, lost opportunities and lost wages (past & future) to consider, all of which would factor into determining the true value of your case. We can discuss your situation at length during your initial consultation.

What if I am unable to go back to work?

You are entitled to income replacement benefits through the accident benefit provider. They will pay up to 70% of your gross loss to a maximum of $400.00 a week depending on your insurance policy. You may be entitled to further benefits if you have a privately held or group insurance policy. Ask the lawyer about all of your options.

Who will pay for my medical bills?

The insurance company should pay for any and all reasonable necessary medical and rehabilitation benefits incurred. The amount of benefits will depend on the nature of the injury and whether or not you have suffered a “catastrophic impairment”. If the person is not catastrophic, you are entitled to a maximum of $100,000.00 in medical and rehabilitation expenses. Please ask the lawyer under which category your injury falls.

How much are your legal services going to cost me?

Our firm works exclusively on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay unless there is a settlement.

What are the general areas I can seek to recover in a lawsuit?

  1. General Damages - damages for pain and suffering
  2. Income Loss - damages for lost income as a result of an accident or loss of competitive advantage
  3. Out-of Pocket Expenses - expenses incurred as a result of an accident (ie: housekeeping help, prescriptions,   medical rehabilitation)
  4. Bad Faith damages - damages awarded if the opposing party has done something so “high-handed” that it warrants damages over and above all other headings

Is it true that ‘Facebook’ can damage my personal injury claim?

Many of you are aware of social networking sites such as  ‘Facebook’ or ‘Myspace’ on the Internet. These sites allow users to post information on the web about their personal life, including pictures, blogs, messages and even updates on day-to-day activities. Although these sites may seem private, they can have a damaging effect on your legal case.

Under the Rules of Civil Procedure, rule 30.06 states that “a party has a positive obligation to disclose every relevant document in a party’s possession…”

Until recently, defence lawyers in personal injury actions had to prove that there was relevant material on a social networking site to ask for the content of that network page; However, a recent decision handed down at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Leduc v. Roman 2009 CanLII 6838 has clarified the Court’s position.

Justice Brown heard an appeal from Master Dash’s Order, stating the following: Material on ‘Facebook’ may be relevant to a personal injury action. Although information contained on the profile, may speak to the activities and health of the plaintiff before and after the alleged injuries, the evidence provided by defence counsel with respect to content of those pictures, was purely speculative and therefore not ordered.

Justice Brown reviewed Master Dash’s decision and quoted the “Terms of Use” posted by ‘Facebook’. It stated that the site “is a social utility that connects you with the people around you”. Justice Brown went on to state that “Although web-based social networking sites like ‘Facebook’ and ‘Myspace’ are recent phenomena, posted content constitutes data and information in electronic form as documents under the Rules of Civil Procedure.” Furthermore, it was decided that this electronic information was in possession and control of the plaintiff as he had the ability to post and remove information at his own will.

The Court found that a person who maintains a private profile is in no different position than someone with a public profile. Both parties would be obliged to produce all the information in the profile. Because ‘Facebook’ is a utility to share information with others, all information posted would not be considered privileged.

However, the one shining light that a plaintiff may take from this case is that the mere existence of a ‘Facebook’ profile does not entitle a party to gain access to everything on the site. Most evidence relating to the existence of evidence on these sites will be determined at Examinations for Discovery. However, if defence counsel asks the plaintiff about their network profiles; the answers may conclude that there is enough evidence to produce the complete profile.

CONCLUSION

It is important that you are aware of the above noted decision given your case at hand. We recommend that you do not publish material on the site while you are involved in a personal injury action, and should consider deleting or suspending your profile indefinitely until your case is resolved. However, if you insist on keeping a profile on one of these sites, be aware of what is being posted by you and your friends, as it may have damaging consequences to the outcome of your case.

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