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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

General Personal Injury Questions

What makes for the best personal injury lawyer?

Finding the lawyer who is best suited to your personal injury case can be a bit of a tricky business.

Right out of the gate, you can look at some basic information like their history with past cases, their trial experience, their win record, and their disciplinary record to see if they have had any serious complaints filed against them.

You also want to get an understanding of their focus. What is their specialization, if any, within the scope of personal injury law? Do specifically handle the type of case you’re dealing with? Do they have a broad approach, or are they highly specialized?

While credentials and experience are important when choosing any sort of lawyer, it’s also important to find a lawyer who you can establish a real rapport with. Communication is vital to getting effective legal representation. Find a lawyer who can effectively answer your questions and who takes a real interest in understanding the details of your case. Equally important is their office and staff: are they responsive? Easy to work with?

Take all of these factors in mind as you choose a lawyer. Don’t be afraid to shop around. It’s a good idea to spend some time interviewing your potential lawyer during your initial consultation. 

Taking the time to find someone you feel comfortable working together with will go a long way towards getting you the legal representation you need and deserve.

Which are the largest personal injury law firms in Canada?

Canada has a number of very large personal injury law firms. While there are some benefits to dealing with a large law firm (namely, the large amount of resources at the firm’s disposal,) size definitely isn’t everything when it comes to finding effective legal representation.

More important than how large or how resource rich a law firm is how much attention they give to your individual case. While it is true that a larger firm might theoretically have more resources to devote to a case, they are also likely to have a much larger workload. As a result, your case might actually be getting less attention than it deserves when you choose to work with a larger law firm.

Instead of trying to assess a law firm based on its number of cases or employees, it’s much better to do some diligent research into finding a law firm with excellent trial experience, a great win record, and a hands-on approach. 

It’s not as simple as saying that larger firms are bad and smaller firms are better. The amount of care and energy devoted to your case isn’t directly tied to the size of the firm. You need to find a law firm that works closely with you and puts your needs first and foremost. Take your time to talk to potential firms and don’t be afraid to grill them a bit with questions and challenges to see how they respond.

I’ve been injured in a car accident. What should I do next?

The most immediate concerns after a car accident are your health and your legal liabilities.

First, you should be evaluated by a physician for any injuries. Not all car accident injuries are obvious. Brain injuries can be essential invisible, and other conditions may not show symptoms for hours or days after a car accident due to adrenaline and shock.

Next, you want to collect as much information about the accident as possible. Get all relevant information such as license plate numbers, names, location, insurance providers, and other details and organize it. If there were any witnesses present at the scene, collect their contact information.

After you’ve gathered the relevant information, reach out to a lawyer specializing in car accident as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you towards your best options for recuperating your losses and assess the situation regarding legal liabilities. 

A good car accident lawyer can also help you negotiate the frustrating process of dealing with the insurance agencies involved. They will act as you advocate to ensure you are paid the full amount you are entitled to from your or the other parties’ insurance company.

If necessary, they will also be able to represent you should the case go to court when dealing with the other party and/or any insurance agencies involved.

What is the best way to get an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you?

The first step is to do some research on your options. You can begin by using search engines like Google to locate lawyers in your area who specialize in personal injury law. 

Don’t be afraid to use some old school methods as well. Your local phonebook likely has some listings, and you can also consult any friends or relatives for word of mouth recommendations.

Next, you can continue your online research by looking up reviews and testimonials of your potential options. You can also consult the law firm for specific details regarding their experience, their history (such as win record and disciplinary record,) and ask about their current availability.

After narrowing down your candidate selection, you should ask for an initial consultation. This will give you the opportunity to actually meet face to face with your potential lawyer and get to know each other. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, especially about the lawyer’s past experience on similar cases.

Once you’ve found a lawyer with relevant experience within your price range, you can ask them to represent you in the matter and begin moving forward with your new legal representation.

What is a personal injury? Why would I need a personal injury lawyer?

A personal injury is any injury to a person’s body as the result of an accident or incident. In legal terms, personal injuries relate directly to injuries to a person’s body, mind, or emotions, not damage to a person’s property.

Personal injuries can have devastating consequences. They can result in permanent disability, the need for costly medical procedures, result in lost earnings due to time off work, and cause a cascading series of effects which result in the injured party suffering far beyond their bodily injury.

If you’ve been in an accident or incident that involved another person (such as a car accident or  workplace injury) it is possible that the other parties involved may have some liability. In this case, a personal injury lawyer can help assess the case and take the proper legal measures to ensure you are compensated for the damages associated with the accident.

A good personal injury lawyer assists injured clients when they need help the most. Their services allow injured persons to refocus their energies on recuperating from the injury by easing the legal burden and ensuring that the injured party is justly compensated for any injury which other parties may be liable for.

How much are personal injury lawyer’s fees?

A personal injury lawyer’s fees will vary from law firm to law firm and from case to case. While it is difficult to give a generalized answer, it is helpful to know that many personal injury lawyer’s work on a contingency basis. 

This means that the law firm will only take a percentage of the settlement once the case has ended. Working on a contingency basis typically means that the client is not responsible for any fees upfront. Initial consultation and case work is done at no expense to the client and the law firm is only paid once the case has been settled.

What percentage of the settlement is collected by the law firm can vary widely and is determined by a variety of different factors. It often depends on the severity of the case, how long the case takes, how much work the case generates for the firm, and the monetary amount of the settlement.

If you need a personal injury lawyer but are concerned with legal fees, look for a firm operating on a contingency basis. This is the best way to ensure you get the legal representation you deserve without taking on undue financial burden just to begin the proceedings.

What are the responsibilities of a Canadian personal injury lawyer?

The primary responsibility of a Canadian personal injury lawyer is to see that their client receive justice and compensation for their injuries.

A personal injury lawyer will represent their client in all legal matters relating to their personal injury claim. They will file legal complaints, prepare legal documents, perform relevant research and discovery, offer legal advice and council, and represent the client in court. It is the personal injury lawyer’s duty to understand and assess the case and help the client understand the best options for recuperating their losses. The personal injury lawyer may seek to settle the matter out of court with the other party, or take the case to trial to be decided by a court of law.

Personal injury lawyers will seek compensation for their clients losses, which can include medical bills incurred as a result of the injury, loss of wages or earnings due to the injury, and any other form of monetary losses which resulted from the injury.

A personal injury lawyer also has the responsibility of ensuring that their client is properly compensated and not caused further suffering from entities such as insurance agencies who may be involved with the injury or accident. 

Where can I find the best personal injury lawyers in Toronto?

Finding the right personal injury lawyer means finding the right lawyer for your specific case. While reviews and recommendations can help put you on the right course, the most important factor is finding a lawyer who truly understands your issue and has the available time, resources, and knowledge to pursue the justice and compensation that you deserve.

Your selection process should go much deeper than looking for the “best.” While the lawyer’s reputation can mean a lot, your first and foremost goal should be finding effective representation, not trusting to hearsay or reviews.

Some information about the law firm’s track record can be helpful. Details like their experience handling cases like yours, or their overall win record can be important. However, these details aren’t always readily available and can sometimes obfuscate deeper truths.

Take your time to shop around and carefully consider all of your options. Talk to each potential lawyer. Make use of any free consultations offered to get a handle on how different lawyer’s approach things, how responsive they are to your needs and questions, and how knowledgeable and experienced they are with relevant legal matters.

How many personal injury lawyers are there in Canada?

Personal injury law is a broad field and one of the most practiced legal specialties. Though exact numbers on how many personal injury lawyers are practicing in Canada at any one time can be hard to pin down, it’s obvious that there are hundreds — if not thousands — of different options for personal injury lawyers in Canada.

This can make selecting the right lawyer for your personal injury case a bit tricky. But there are two key factors to look for as you begin assessing which lawyer you should get to represent you:

  • Specialization: While “personal injury” is in itself a specialization, many personal injury lawyers are even further specialized. For example, some personal injury lawyers only deal with cases relating to automobile accidents, while others only handle workplace injuries. Finding a personal injury lawyer with a specific focus in your type of case is a great start. If you’re talking to a personal injury lawyer with a broader focus on personal injury in general, ask a lot of questions about their experience with cases relating to your specific type of injury.
  • Location: While there are many personal injury lawyers across Canada as a whole, there might be only a few in your area. A local law firm will be the best option for dealing with the specific laws in your area. They will also be much easier to get face to face contact with. 

 

Narrow down the selection pool, then take a look at the reviews and testimonials for the remaining candidates. Finally, get a consultation with multiple potential lawyers and take the time to question them and see if you can develop a rapport with them.

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

Many of you are aware of social networking sites such as  ‘Facebook’, ‘Instagram’ or ‘Snapchat’ 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 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.

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

How much are your legal services going to cost me?

For personal injury services, Diamond and Diamond Lawyers LLP works on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay unless there is a settlement. For other legal services, including: real estate, corporate and employment, Diamond and Diamond Lawyers LLP works on a flat fee and/or hourly retainer depending on the type of work.

Learn more about our fees >>

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 $50,000.00 in medical and rehabilitation expenses or $3, 500 if you are considered to be in the minor injury guideline. Please ask the lawyer under which category your injury falls.



Free consults and contingency fee arrangements apply to all personal injury cases only and to select wrongful dismissal cases, but do not apply to other types of commercial and civil litigation.



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