Questions and Answers

/Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers2018-11-09T16:29:49+00:00

We have listed below some initial questions which in our experience many clients have when they first contact our experienced injury lawyers.

The questions below can address many initial concerns you may have.

If you don’t find the answers here, you may contact us for answers to more complex questions or questions specific to your case. Consultations are always free.

Don’t see your question below? Feel free to e-mail us your question directly at: mquinn@ottawalawyers.com.

Important Note: The information contained on this web site including the articles and Q&A questions and answers are provided solely for information purposes only and is not legal advice. Since the law changes frequently, the information contained on this site should not be accepted as up to date current law. To obtain current information and advice on your specific situation, you should consult an injury lawyer.

Winning a Slip and Fall Case in Ottawa, Ontario – Occupiers Liability2018-11-12T14:32:14+00:00

Winning a Slip and Fall Case in Ottawa, Ontario – Occupiers Liability

Slip and fall and trip and fall cases fall under what is called Occupiers Liability torts. Tort is a legal term and means a wrongful act (assault, negligence for example) or infringement of a right (charter breach for example). Occupiers’ liability is a field of tort law. Occupiers liability is concerned with what duties of care are applied to property owners and occupiers as it relates to persons who use property owned or leased by others. If a duty of care is established, the court will apply a standard of care to the property owner or occupier when determining liability. The court will hear evidence and make findings of facts. If those facts support there being a duty of care owed and a breached of the standard of care owed, the Court will award damages to an injured person who can prove that the breach of the standard caused them injury.

What evidence is needed to win your slip and fall personal injury case depends on the facts of your particular case and specifically what caused the slip and fall.

In general terms however, the Courts have interpreted and applied the provisions of the Occupiers’ Liability Act of Ontario and those cases provide some guidance in slip an fall liability cases. In Ontario, the Occupiers’ Liability Act is the main statute that creates a duty on property owners and occupiers (such as tenants) to ensure their properties are safe.

In a recent slip and fall case, the Court set out some basic principles to be applied in Occupiers Liability cases. They include the following:

  1. To succeed in a claim against an occupier for injuries sustained in the slip and fall, a plaintiff must “pinpoint some act or failure on the part of the occupier that caused the plaintiff’s injury”;
  2. The duty of care on the occupier does not extend to the removal of every possibility of danger;
  3. The Occupier’s Liability Act does not impose strict liability;
  4. The standard of care is not perfection, but rather reasonableness;
  5. The duty of care established by the Occupier’s Liability Act must not be confused with a presumption of negligence; and
  6. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that the defendant was in breach of a positive duty of care.

The specific section of the decided case [ Hamilton v. Ontario Corporation #2000533 o/a Toronto Community Housing Corporation, 2017 ONSC 5467] is as follows:

“D. The Duty of an Occupier

[30] The duty of the TCHC as an occupier of the Building derives from the Act, section 3 of which states as follows:
Occupier’s duty

3. (1) An occupier of premises owes a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises, and the property brought on the premises by those persons are reasonably safe while on the premises.

[31] To succeed in a claim against an occupier for injury sustained in a slip and fall, the plaintiff must “pinpoint some act or failure on the part of the occupier that caused the plaintiff’s injury”: Nandlal v. Toronto Transit Commission, 2014 ONSC 4760 (CanLII), 2014 ONSC 4760 (Ont. S.C.J.) per Perell J., at para. 8, citing St. Louis-Lalonde v. Carleton Condominium Corp. No. 12, [2005] O.J. 2721 (Ont. S.C.J.), at para. 27; Gemelus v. Ecole Secondaire Catholique Renaissance, 2010 ONSC 4232 (CanLII), 2010 CarswellOnt 6802 (Ont. S.C.J.), at para. 21 [“Gemelus”]; Miltenberg v. Metro Inc., 2012 ONSC 1063 (CanLII), 2010 CarswellOnt 1588 (Ont. S.C.J.) [“Miltenberg”]; Gohm v. York, 2013 ONSC 7118 (CanLII), 2013 CarswellOnt 15704 (Ont. S.C.J.), at paras. 20—21 [“Gohm”]; Whitlow v. 572008 Ontario Ltd, [1995] O.J. No. 77 (Ont. Gen. Div), at para. 33, which states as follows: “[a] plaintiff must still be able to point to some act, or some failure to act, on the part of the occupier which caused the injury complained of, before liability can be established.”

[32] The duty of care on the occupier does not extend to the removal of every possibility of danger. The Act does not impose strict liability. The standard of care is not perfection but rather reasonableness: see George v. Covent Garden Market Corporation, 2007 ONSC 29276, [2007] O.J. No. 2903 (Ont. S.C.J.), at para. 35; Garofalo v. Canada Safeway Ltd., [1998] O.J. No. 302 (Ont. S.C.J.), at para. 28 [“Garofalo”]; Gohm, at para. 22; Nandlal (Ont. S.C.J.), at para. 10; Miltenberg, at para. 33. As stated in Waldick v. Malcolm, 1991 CanLII 71 (SCC), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 456, at p. 472:
After all, the statutory duty on occupiers is framed quite generally, as indeed it must be. That duty is to take reasonable care in the circumstances to make the premises safe. That duty does not change but the factors which are relevant to an assessment of what constitutes reasonable care will necessarily be very specific to each fact situation — thus the proviso ‘such care as in all circumstances of the case is reasonable’.

[33] The duty of care established by the Act must not be confused with a presumption of negligence: see Gohm, at para. 20; Gemelus, at para. 21. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff: “The onus is on the plaintiff to prove on a balance of probabilities that the defendant was in breach of a positive duty of care”: Garofalo, at para. 30; see Canada (Attorney General) v. Ranger, 2011 ONSC 3196 (CanLII), 2011 CarswellOnt 3697 (Ont. S.C.J.), at para. 33, which states: “[o]f course, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that, nevertheless, the burden of proof of a breach of the statute rests with the plaintiff.””

To read the actual wording of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, click here (Occupiers’ Liability Act of Ontario).

In the end, simply because a person was injured as a result of a slip and fall does not necessarily mean that the property owner or occupier will be held liable. However, if an injured person can prove all the necessary elements of their case, damages will be awarded. The elements in general terms are: a duty of care existed, the standard of care applicable was breached, the breach of the standard of care caused the injuries alleged, the result of the breach of the standard of care was foreseeable.

As personal injury lawyers, our job is to gather the evidence to prove the elements of your case. We work hard with experts such as engineers and accident re-constructionists who often are needed to prove negligence.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall incident, or a trip and fall incident, we can assess your case for free.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa slip and fall lawyer
613-315-4878

In Ottawa personal injury cases, what is joint and several liability and what is contribution and indemnity?2018-11-09T16:25:30+00:00

In Personal Injury Cases, What is Joint and Several Liability?

What is contribution and indemnity?

“Contribution and indemnity” is a means by which a Judge or a Jury can determine which defendant is liable and for what amount when a plaintiff alleges more than one person is responsible for an accident that caused them injury. Contribution and indemnity is intertwined with principles of joint and several liability.

In a personal injury court action, there are situations where more than one person may be responsible for the injuries the plaintiff suffered. In cases where there are more than one defendant, the Court can hold each defendant severally liable or jointly liable. A defendant that is held severally liable must pay an amount in proportion to their liability (25% severally liable, must pay 25% of total damages). Where two or more defendants are held jointly liable, the injured person can recover 100% of the damages from any of the defendants.

Joint and several liability is a principle of law that applies where more than one person is at fault for the accident that caused someone else to suffer injury. In law, persons who are joint and severally liable are equally responsible to pay the full amount of damages awarded to an injured person, even if they are only 1% at fault. This legal principle applies most often in car accident cases. For instance where the driver of the vehicle in the injured person was a passenger was speeding and collided with another vehicle who ran a red light.

Why is contribution and indemnity important?

In applying the joint and several liability principle, the law seeks to ensure that the injured person is wholly compensated for their injuries. In cases of serious injuries suffered in a car accident for instance, one of the defendants may have limited insurance coverage. The injured person can trigger additional insurance coverage by proving more than one person was responsible to different degrees for the accident and injuries and so can look to more than one insurance policy to satisfy a judgment for compensation.

Before the injured victim is awarded damages from more than one defendant, they must prove that each of the defendants were responsible for the accident. The burden is on the injured person to prove negligence in most cases.

Principles contained in the Negligence Act of Ontario

In Ontario, th principle of joint and several liability is embodied in the Negligence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1. That Act sets out the following:

Extent of liability, remedy over

1. Where damages have been caused or contributed to by the fault or neglect of two or more persons, the court shall determine the degree in which each of such persons is at fault or negligent, and, where two or more persons are found at fault or negligent, they are jointly and severally liable to the person suffering loss or damage for such fault or negligence, but as between themselves, in the absence of any contract express or implied, each is liable to make contribution and indemnify each other in the degree in which they are respectively found to be at fault or negligent. R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, s. 1.

Recovery as between tortfeasors
2. A tortfeasor may recover contribution or indemnity from any other tortfeasor who is, or would if sued have been, liable in respect of the damage to any person suffering damage as a result of a tort by settling with the person suffering such damage, and thereafter commencing or continuing action against such other tortfeasor, in which event the tortfeasor settling the damage shall satisfy the court that the amount of the settlement was reasonable, and in the event that the court finds the amount of the settlement was excessive it may fix the amount at which the claim should have been settled. R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, s. 2.

Plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence
3. In any action for damages that is founded upon the fault or negligence of the defendant if fault or negligence is found on the part of the plaintiff that contributed to the damages, the court shall apportion the damages in proportion to the degree of fault or negligence found against the parties respectively. R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, s. 3.

Where parties to be deemed equally at fault
4. If it is not practicable to determine the respective degree of fault or negligence as between any parties to an action, such parties shall be deemed to be equally at fault or negligent. R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, s. 4.

Adding parties
5. Wherever it appears that a person not already a party to an action is or may be wholly or partly responsible for the damages claimed, such person may be added as a party defendant to the action upon such terms as are considered just or may be made a third party to the action in the manner prescribed by the rules of court for adding third parties. R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, s. 5.

Jury to determine degrees of negligence of parties
6. In any action tried with a jury, the degree of fault or negligence of the respective parties is a question of fact for the jury. R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, s. 6.

When plaintiff may be liable for costs
7. Where the damages are occasioned by the fault or negligence of more than one party, the court has power to direct that the plaintiff shall bear some portion of the costs if the circumstances render this just. R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, s. 7.

How do defendants apportion damages among themselves?

Where an injured person alleges that two or more defendants are jointly and severally liable, any defendant may claim contribution and/or indemnity from the other defendants.

Indemnification

Indemnification is the right of one defendant to collect from another defendant all the damages awarded against them in favour of the injured party.

Contribution

Contribution applies to have the defendants share the damages awarded. Where two or more defendants are held jointly liable, one defendant can seek contribution from another defendant. By applying the principle of contribution, one defendant can ensure that another defendant pays their fair share of the damages.

In personal injury court actions, contribution will allow one defendant to pursue another defendant for part of the total damages awarded. A defendant will do this when they believe they are only partially at fault for the accident.

In personal injury court actions, by claiming indemnity, one defendant can pursue another defendant for the entire amount of the damages awarded. This applies when one defendant believes they are not at fault for the accident at all.

It is important to retain an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer who understands legal principles that apply to your case such as contribution and indemnity claims among defendants. We offer free consultations. We work on a no fee until you win basis.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
613-315-4878

Why Do Dogs Bite or Attack? Top 15 Reasons Why Dogs Attack2018-11-06T13:14:04+00:00

Dogs are animals and like all animals their behaviour can not be predicted in many cases. Dogs will attack or bite someone for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons we have experienced in Ottawa dog bite cases are as follows:

  1. The dog was trained to attack by its owner.
  2. The dog was playing and the bite was part of the play but caused injury.
  3. A person interfered with the dog while eating.
  4. The dog is abused by its owner and has a propensity to attack in self defence.
  5. The dog was defending its territory.
  6. The dog was defending an object such as a toy or food.
  7. The dog was defending its owner.
  8. The dog was provoked by aggressive behaviour of the victim.
  9. The dog suffers from anxiety or stress.
  10. The dog was frightened.
  11. The dog was startled.
  12. The dog felt threatened in some way,
  13. The dog is sick.
  14. The dog is injured.

In Ontario, pursuant to the Dog Owners Liability Act, dog owners are strictly liable for their dogs and any injury caused to a person or damage to property. If you can identify the dog and dog owner and also prove that dog injured you, you will receive compensation. If you have been injured by a dog, we can help. Contact is for a free consultation at 613-315-4878.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa personal injury lawyer – Ottawa dog bite lawyer
over 20 years of experience

What is an Infant Settlement Motion?2018-10-31T17:35:39+00:00

What is an Infant Settlement Motion?

When a settlement has been reached that involves a person under the age of 18, that child must be represented by a “litigation guardian”. A Litigation Guardian is a person over the age of 18 who has authority to instruct legal counsel throughout the litigation and make decisions about the child. The Litigation Guardian is presumed to make all decisions in the best interests of the person under disability and is usually a child’s parent or trusted family member.

In personal injury litigation, it is not uncommon that the injured person is under the age of 18 and is represented by a Litigation Guardian. When the child’s claim is resolved and a settlement is reached, the Litigation Guardian and the other side will sign “minutes of settlement” which will likely state that the settlement is “subject to approval by the Court”. This is a normal condition since under the Rules of Civil Procedure which governs the conduct of and steps in litigation, all settlements involving minors must be approved by the Court. Therefore, while the Litigation Guardian is able to make decisions in the litigation and agree to a settlement on behalf of the child, the settlement requires approval by the Court. No settlement involving children is binding without court approval.

Since the majority of cases settle before reaching trial, it is likely that an infant settlement motion will be required if you have started a court action on behalf of a child. If no litigation was commenced and the settlement was reached prior to initiating a court action, then the approval would be filed by way of a court application as opposed to a court motion.

The motion to approve settlement must be filed under Rule 7.08 of the Rules of Civil Procedure which states as follows:

APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT
Settlement Requires Judge’s Approval

7.08
(1) No settlement of a claim made by or against a person under disability, whether or not a proceeding has been commenced in respect of the claim, is binding on the person without the approval of a judge.

(2) Judgment may not be obtained on consent in favour of or against a party under disability without the approval of a judge.

Exception

(2.1) This rule does not apply to a settlement or judgment respecting the appointment under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 of a guardian of property or guardian of the person.

Where no Proceeding Commenced

(3) Where an agreement for the settlement of a claim made by or against a person under disability is reached before a proceeding is commenced in respect of the claim, approval of a judge shall be obtained on an application.

Material Required for Approval

(4) On a motion or application for the approval of a judge under this rule, there shall be served and filed with the notice of motion or notice of application,

(a) an affidavit of the litigation guardian setting out the material facts and the reasons supporting the proposed settlement and the position of the litigation guardian in respect of the settlement;

(b) an affidavit of the lawyer acting for the litigation guardian setting out the lawyer’s position in respect of the proposed settlement;

(c) where the person under disability is a minor who is over the age of sixteen years, the minor’s consent in writing, unless the judge orders otherwise; and

(d) a copy of the proposed minutes of settlement.

(4.1) If there is no litigation guardian and the settlement that is the subject of the motion or application is in respect of a matter under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 to which this rule applies, the affidavit referred to in clause (4) (a) shall be provided by the moving party or applicant (as the case may be), and the affidavit referred to in clause (4) (b) shall be provided by his or her lawyer.

Children’s Lawyer or Public Guardian and Trustee

(5) On a motion or application for the approval of a judge under this rule, the judge may,

(a) direct that material filed on the motion or application be served on the Children’s Lawyer or on the Public Guardian and Trustee; and

(b) direct the Children’s Lawyer or the Public Guardian and Trustee, as the case may be, to make a written report stating any objections he or she has to the proposed settlement and making recommendations, with reasons, in connection with the proposed settlement.

MONEY TO BE PAID INTO COURT
7.09 (1) Any money payable to a person under disability under an order or a settlement shall be paid into court, unless a judge orders otherwise.

(2) Any money paid to the Children’s Lawyer on behalf of a person under disability shall be paid into court, unless a judge orders otherwise.

The motion seeking approval of the settlement will be filed at court and a judge will review the motion. The motion is usually done in writing and simply filed for a judge to review. The judge will either approve the terms of the settlement or not approve it and give directions on what additional information is needed to approve the settlement.

After the judge approves the settlement, the settlement funds are typically paid into court to be administered by the accountant of the Superior Court of Justice. It is possible to obtain an order to have the settlement funds administered in trust by someone other than the accountant of the Court (such as an investment advisor). In such a case, evidence will need to be provided to the judge as to why that option would be in the child’s best interests. The judge may also release some of the funds to pay for the child’s care such as medical expenses or school related expenses.

There are significant differences in procedure when representing a child. You should seek the assistance of an experienced injury lawyer that has experience dealing with child injury cases.

We offer free consultations.
Call us at 613-315-4878.
Marc N. Quinn – Ottawa child injury lawyer

What can I do as a parent of a child who is pursuing damages for an injury suffered in an accident?2018-10-31T17:14:23+00:00

What can I do as a parent of a child who is pursuing damages for an injury suffered in an accident?

As a parent of a child who has suffered injuries as a result of an accident, there are many things you can do to assist your child in receiving help and compensation needed to recover from the incident. Here is a list of things that you can do:

  • Let your child know you love them, care about them and that they are safe.
  • Take care of your child’s medical needs by ensuring the child attends all of the medical appointments recommended by the family physician. In our experience, you have to take charge of the medical care your child gets because doctors are too busy to keep track of all their patients’ needs.
  • Ask the family physician if there are any specialists that should be consulted to assist in your child’s recovery or for assessing any other possible injuries.
  • Let the treating physicians know about all of your child’s symptoms and complaints.
  • Keep a diary of your child’s medical treatments, with dates, times, names of the doctors and their contact information.
  • Keep a diary of the symptoms your child has exhibited, with dates and times.
  • Keep receipts for any medical expenses, including prescription and over the counter medications, medical devices, travel, parking and other expenses associated with your child’s treatment and care.
  • Take photos of your child’s injuries as soon as possible after the incident.
  • Keep taking photos of the injuries as time passes by to show how your child’s injuries have healed, or to document permanent scarring.
  • Be mindful of emotional and psychological injuries that might not at first be apparent. Talk to your child’s doctor about the possible need for a psychological assessment or referral.
  • Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses.
  • Take photos of the location where your child was injured as soon as possible after the accident.
  • If the injuries were caused by a criminal act, contact police and report the crime.
  • If the injuries were caused by a dog bite or attack, try to identify the dog owner and obtain their address.
  • If the matter involves a dog bite or attack, contact the local by-law department of your municipality and report the incident.
  • Let your child’s school know about the incident and ask the school staff to keep a look out for your child at school who may be showing signs of anxiety, stress or post-traumatic stress disorder, etc…
  • Do not sign any statements if asked by anyone except the police.
  • Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer about your child’s rights. An experienced and qualified child injury lawyer will be able to provide you with guidance and advice about your child’s possible claims and offer legal representation.

Our child injury lawyers have helped thousands of children in Ontario know their rights and obtain fair compensation for their injuries. Our lawyers are compassionate and understand that representing a child requires sensitivity to the particular needs of the child and their family. We offer free consultations.

Call us at 613-315-4878.

Marc N. Quinn – Ottawa child injury lawyer

Do I need an experienced child injury lawyer if my child is injured?2018-10-31T13:49:23+00:00

Do I need an experienced child injury lawyer if my child is injured?

The injury or death of an infant or child is what parents fear the most. Accidents do happen and sometimes no one else is at fault. However, in cases where the accident is as a result of negligence, carelessness or intentional act of another person, the child has the right to sue for damages and be represented by informed experienced legal counsel.

In some cases, the injuries sustained by a child is because of a lack of supervision or inadequate safety measures being put in place. Our lawyers have helped hundreds of children pursue their rights. When a child is seriously injured through no fault of their own, that child has the right to seek compensation from all persons who might have caused or contributed to the accident.

There are many situations where children can suffer injuries. Examples of cases we have handled are as follows:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Clergy sexual abuse
  • Foster care neglect
  • School bullying accidents leading to injuries
  • Defective toy or product accidents
  • Drowning accidents
  • Slip and Fall accidents
  • Cuts and bruising accidents
  • Poisoning accidents
  • Animal Bites and Attacks
  • Burn accidents
  • Motor vehicle Accidents
  • School trip incidents
  • Faulty equipment accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Day care accidents
  • Playground accidents
  • Wrongful death accidents
  • Shopping mall accidents
  • Grocery store accidents
  • Escalator accidents
  • Bicycle accidents

 

Child Injury Cases are Complex

Representing children involves complex legal procedures and there are certain specific requirements and restrictions in place when representing a child in a court action or when advancing a claim for compensation involving a child. Children must be represented by a litigation guardian appointed by the Court, which is usually a parent. Any settlements obtained relating to the child must be approved by a Judge. Settlement monies obtained for the child must be held in trust by the court (accountant of the court) until the child reaches the age 18, unless the litigation guardian applies for release of some or all of the settlement funds to assist the child. For example, the need to pay for expensive medical or rehabilitation expenses or school expenses.

Our lawyers have experience dealing with all of the special and intricate aspects of representing children in and out of court.

Our lawyers are trained to obtain the best possible settlement for our injured clients and are mindful of the special needs of our child clients. Our lawyers work with medical and financial experts to assess and determine what the child’s needs are currently and moving into the future. Future expenses are considered and all needs of the child during their lifetime are considered. The true long term impact of injuries suffered by a child often requires expert investigation, assessment and opinion.

It is difficult to deal with knowing your child was injured because someone else was negligent, reckless or careless. We understand that parents go to great lengths to protect their children from all types of harm. We understand that despite taking every precaution, your child might have nevertheless suffered an injury because of the negligence, carelessness or recklessness of someone else.

 

You Need More than Empathy – You Need an Experienced Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer

If your child has suffered an injury as a result of an accident, your family needs more than empathy, your family needs understanding, compassion, well informed experienced legal advice and representation in order to obtain compensation and financial security. Our lawyers provide your family with the necessary legal advice to secure justice for your injured child.

Our experienced legal advocates will explore every possible avenue of compensation for you and your child. We will negotiate with all involved lawyers, adjusters, wrongdoers, insurers and since litigation and trials are stressful, we will take your child’s case to trial only if absolutely necessary. Our lawyers will work hard to hold those responsible for your child’s injuries accountable and seek justice for your child.

Our Ottawa child injury lawyers are committed to representing your child. Our lawyers are sensitive to the delicate impact on a child who could be involved in the legal process and work closely with the parents to ensure the impact is minimized.

If your child has sustained an injury in an accident and you want compassionate experienced child injury lawyers on our side, contact us for a free consultation at 613-315-4878.

We will assist and support you at every stage of the claims process. We promise to keep the interests of your child at the forefront of everything we do to assist your child and your family.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer
613-315-4878

My child was injured in an accident. Can I pursue a claim for my child?2018-10-31T13:06:59+00:00

My child was injured in an accident. Can I pursue a claim for my child?

Every year children are injured in accidents. When someone else’s carelessness or negligence has caused your child to suffer an injury, you have the right to pursue compensation for your child. As a parent, you would act as your child’s agent by being appointed a “litigation guardian” and you would make decisions involving your child’s claim. In Ontario, the Rules of Civil Procedure allow parents to be appointed litigation guardians so their children may pursue their claims. As the litigation guardian and parent, you can pursue a personal injury claim for compensation for your child.

Other than there being a litigation guardian, the process to advance a child’s claim is the same as for an adult. The main differences are that the child is represented by a litigation guardian (usually a parent), any settlement reached must be approved by a Justice of the Superior Court of Justice and the settlement funds are held in trust by the Court until the child turns 18, unless an order is obtained releasing the funds to a parent, for instance to pay for the child’s medical needs.

Representing a child who is injured does require an experienced injury lawyer who knows the complexities of injuries suffered by children. Often, the injuries are psychological or emotional and there can be long lasting consequences for the child. This element should be fully investigated by the right medical experts for a fair assessment of possible damaged to be completed. In some cases, economists and actuaries must be hired to calculate long term losses of income and future care costs.

Our lawyers are qualified child injury lawyers and can meet with you free of charge to discuss your child’s case. All of your answers can be answered in the meeting. At the end of the meeting you can decide what is best for your child. Our lawyers take on child injury cases on contingency which means that no fees are charged until and unless there is a settlement.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer
613-315-4878

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Cheque After A Settlement is Reached?2018-10-30T17:37:14+00:00

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Cheque After A Settlement is Reached?

Most personal injury cases are settled. In most cases, it will be an insurance company paying the settlement as most injury cases involve a situation where there is a liability insurance policy which covers the claim.

Once you have settled your personal injury case, you will be likely asked to sign a form called a “release” (sometimes called a “full and final release”) promising among other things never to sue over the accident again and acknowledging that the settlement is full and final. This is normal.

If you commenced legal action, you will be likely asked to consent to a court order dismissing your court action. This is normal.

There will be a waiting period after settlement is reached as the insurance adjuster will need to report to their superiors and requisition the settlement cheque. The insurance adjuster will then send the settlement cheque to their lawyer and their lawyer will send your lawyer the settlement cheque with a release for you to sign and likely a draft order and consent form dismissing your court action if one has been commenced.

Once your lawyer has received the settlement cheque, the cheque will be deposited into your lawyer’s trust account and usually, seven days are needed for the insurance cheque to clear. Your lawyer can then prepare his or her account and release the settlement funds to you after deducting their legal fees, disbursements and HST. At that time, your lawyer will provide you with your documents, a reporting letter, the account for legal services rendered and your settlement cheque.

Although all cases are different, the period of time it takes for all of the above to occur is about 30-45 days from the date the settlement is reached.

Here are some things to think about when settlement is reached:

  • Your lawyer will need to review the “release” the insurer wants you to sign. Sometimes there may be a dispute over the wording of the release and it may take some time for the lawyers to work out an agreement on what should be contained in the release. Insurers may want you to keep the settlement confidential and if there are confidentiality provisions contained in the release, your lawyer will need to explain to you what this means. When you are given a copy of the draft release, you should read it very carefully and ask your lawyer questions about anything you do not understand. Releases are final and they are legally binding contracts.
  • If an order dismissing your court action is required, documents must be prepared and submitted to the Court. There may be a short delay in the Court processing the documents.
  • Most banks require funds to be held for at least seven business days to make sure the cheque deposited has cleared and is not a fraudulent cheque. This is unfortunately a fact of banking and while the delay is frustrating, it is a necessary step in the process.
  • When you deposit your cheque, you can expect that your bank will not allow you to access the funds for at least seven business days as well. You can ask your lawyer to certify the cheque issued to you and this will reduce the waiting time for you to have access to your funds. There is usually a banking charge (ranging from $10-$25) for certifying cheques.

Our lawyers do all they can to make the final steps of your case easy and efficient. While there are necessary steps involved after a settlement is reached, you eventually receive compensation and can feel confident that your case was resolved amicably and no further litigation is needed.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa Accident Lawyer
613-315-4878

What Does a Free Consultation With a Lawyer Mean?2018-10-30T17:13:04+00:00

What Does a Free Consultation With a Lawyer Mean?

In general, a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer means the following:

  • The lawyer will meet with you at his or her office and sometimes at your home or hospital if you are unable to travel.
  • The lawyer will answer your questions.
  • The lawyer will obtain important information about the facts of your accident and also ask several background information questions.
  • The lawyer will provide you with information about the legal process involved in pursuing any claims you might have.
  • The lawyer will explain what law applies to your case.
  • The lawyer will provide you with information about how your case may be settled. Many personal injury claims resolve without going to court.
  • If your case is not settled, the lawyer will explain what “litigation” is and the various steps involved in the litigation process.
  • The meeting will result in you obtaining valuable information about your options after being injured in an accident.
  • The lawyer will explain how hiring a personal injury lawyer, you increase your chances of recovering compensation and improve your chances of succeeding in your claim.
  • If you have no realistic chances of winning your case, your lawyer will explain why.
  • At the end of the meeting, you will be given an option to retain the lawyer. Our lawyers will be up front with you about how legal fees are charged.
  • If you chose to retain the lawyer, you will be asked to sign a contingency fee retainer agreement.
  • The agreement will be explained to you prior to signing it and you can ask as many questions as you like about the agreement.
  • You can decide not to retain the lawyer, retain the lawyer or take some time to review the contingency fee retainer at home and then make a decision.

Our lawyers provide hundreds of free consultations each year and in the vast majority of cases, our lawyers are retained at the end of the meeting. Our Ottawa injury lawyers have represented thousands of injury victims all over Ontario and take the initial consultation meeting very seriously. It is an opportunity to gain a good understanding of your situation, provide you with valuable legal advice and answer common questions people have after an accident.

If you retain one of our lawyers, our legal team will immediately start the comprehensive evaluation of your claim and determine the best course of action moving forward. The plan of action will be explained to you and you will be given an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. You will be asked to provide information and sign documents such as directions allowing us to speak with your doctors and obtain important documents like income tax returns, witness statements and medical records.

At each step of the process, your lawyer will explain what is happening with your claim. You are free to contact the lawyer regularly to get updates about your file.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa Accident Lawyer
613-315-4878

Optional and Standard Car Insurance in Ontario – Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) – Coverage that Matters!2018-10-30T13:34:24+00:00

Optional and Standard Car Insurance in Ontario – Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) – Coverage that Matters!

Motor vehicle accidents often cause significant and catastrophic injuries. It is only when you have a car accident in Ontario that you think about insurance coverage. Like most people in Ontario, you likely purchased standard insurance coverage and have basic accident benefits available to you.

No fault benefits are called accident benefits in Ontario. In Ontario, insureds have the right to buy additional accident benefits insurance (called optional coverages) and that matters when you have been seriously injured in a car accident and need rehabilitation and medical care. Every car insurance policy issued in Ontario must have accident benefits. That is the law and it is mandatory to have car insurance in Ontario. Those accident benefits cover things like income replacement, medical treatment, rehabilitation and other expenses. Expenses quickly add up and not having sufficient insurance can be devastating to a family who is left with having to pay for needed medical care and insufficient income replacement to pay usual living expenses.

Like most people, you hope you never have to claim insurance coverage. However, car accidents happen regularly and if you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, you will benefit greatly from accident benefits and will be thankful if additional optional coverages were purchased. If injured in a tragic car accident, you are entitled to claim accident benefits coverage from your own insurer. The injuries sustained in car accidents can be catastrophic and require tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical and rehabilitation costs. In many cases, car accident victims are left with life-long debilitating disabilities, needing medical care for life.

If you sustained a serious injury, your benefits may not be adequate to pay for all of your needed medical and rehabilitation expenses. Buying optional benefits at a relatively low cost could provide much more security to you and your family.

Mandatory Coverage in Ontario

To legally drive a vehicle in Ontario, your auto insurance policy must include: Third Party Liability; Accident Benefits coverage; Uninsured Automobile coverage; and Direct Compensation-Property Damage coverage.

Where to claim Accident Benefits?

If injured in a car accident as a driver, passenger or even as a pedestrian or cyclist, you should first claim accident benefits through your own motor vehicle insurance and if you don’t have motor vehicle insurance, you may claim accident benefits from the insurance company of the driver of the other motor vehicle involved in the accident. If that other driver does not have insurance as well, you could apply for benefits through the Ontario government’s Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund -MVACF (where no person involved in the accident has car insurance).

So, what is covered in standard accident benefits, where no optional coverage has been purchased?

The SABS sets out the maximum amount of coverage available as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The SABS separate injuries into categories as being minor, non-catastrophic and catastrophic. Coverage depends on where your injuries fall within each definition of category of injury. Benefits available are typically as follows: Medical & Rehabilitation, Non-Earner Benefits, Income Replacement, Housekeeping & Home Maintenance, Attendant Care, Caregiver and cost of Medical Examinations.

Why is it important to purchase optional accident benefits coverage?

In case of serious injuries, the basic coverage can quickly be used up, leaving you with huge medical bills. Not all medical treatments in Ontario are covered by OHIP and buying the minimum income replacement benefits and insufficient medical coverage may leave you unable to pay your usual bills and living expenses. Life can become difficult and spin out of control.

What are the optional coverages?

In Ontario, insurers must offer you optional coverages.

There are other optional coverages that you could buy, but these are the major ones:

Third Party Liability:

Coverage may be increased to $500,000, $1 Million or $2 Million.

Income Replacement Benefits:

Weekly benefits maybe be increased to $600, $800 or $1,000

Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care benefits:

Non-catastrophic Injuries (examples: sprains, broken bones, whiplash) and Catastrophic Injuries (examples:, loss of limb, quadriplegia or paraplegia, traumatic brain injury):
Non-catastrophic Injuries: May be increased to $130,000 or increase $1,000,000 for all injuries, for a total of $2,000,000 for Catastrophic Injuries and increase combined all injury benefit to $1,000,000 and increase Catastrophic Injuries to $2,000,000.

Caregiver Expenses:

Benefits may be extended to include all injuries.

Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses:

Benefits may be extended to include all injuries.

Death and Funeral Expenses:

Benefits may be increased to $50,000 to your spouse, $20,000 to each of your dependants, and $8,000 for funeral expenses.

Dependant Care Benefits:

Covers care for your dependants if you’re employed and injured in an auto accident up to $75 per week for the first dependant, and $25 per week for each additional dependant.

Indexation:

This optional coverage provides for an annual adjustment of your benefits to account for inflation. Adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index of Canada (CPI).

In our law practice, we regularly come across cases where our clients have sustained serious injuries and the SABS coverages are insufficient to pay for all of the needed expenses associated with the injuries sustained. Buying optional coverage is always recommended.

Added Security

As added security, buying disability insurance through a private insurance company is also recommended.

Tort Claims

In many cases, motor vehicle accidents allow the injured to pursue the driver responsible for the car accident. This is called a tort claim. In tort claims, injured parties can claim additional compensation which is not available in accident benefits claims, such as compensation for pain and suffering also called general damages. Other claims such as income loss and medical costs can also be claimed in tort law suits.

To read the SABS, go to our government link on sabs: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/

The content of this article is intended to provide information only and is not legal advice. SABS change frequently and so you really need to consult a lawyer to know what your rights are in respect of car accidents and coverages that may apply to you.

Ottawa Injury Lawyer
Marc N. Quinn
613-315-4878

How do I prove a dog bite case in Ontario?2018-10-30T13:37:47+00:00

How do I prove a dog bite case in Ontario?

Dog bite cases fall under what is called strict liability law. The strict liability rule provides that liability that does not depend on proving actual negligence or intent to harm. While dog bite victims don’t need to prove the dog owner was negligent, the courts will however review the circumstances to determine of the dog bite victim was in part responsible for the incident.

Statutory Authority for Liability

In Ontario, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act (as at October, 2018) sets out the law as it relates to holding dog owners and others responsible for injuries sustained by dog bite or attacks. That Act states as follows:

Civil Liability

Liability of owner

2 (1) The owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal.

Where more than one owner

(2) Where there is more than one owner of a dog, they are jointly and severally liable under this section.

Extent of liability

(3) The liability of the owner does not depend upon knowledge of the propensity of the dog or fault or negligence on the part of the owner, but the court shall reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault or negligence of the plaintiff caused or contributed to the damages.

Contribution by person at fault

(4) An owner who is liable to pay damages under this section is entitled to recover contribution and indemnity from any other person in proportion to the degree to which the other person’s fault or negligence caused or contributed to the damages.

The Act in essence provides that a dog bite victim does not need to prove that the dog owner acted negligently or even carelessly. In simple terms, once the victim proves that they were injured by a dog and identifies the dog owner, the owner will be held liable and compensation will be ordered for the injuries sustained by the victim.

If the dog owner is able to establish based on the evidence that the victim did something that contributed to the dog attack incident, under section 2(3) of the Act, the Court can reduce the amount of compensation ordered. This usually involves the victim having provoked the dog attack in some way (overly exciting the dog, taking food away from the dog, hitting the dog etc…). Each case is decided based on their own facts.

Who can be held liable in dog attack cases?

Generally speaking, the dog owner will be held liable. In some cases, property owners and landlords can be held liable under the Ontario Occupiers Liability Act. It is rare but it is possible. In other circumstances, the person who was in possession of the dog at the time of the attack or who “harboured” the dog may be held liable. Each case will be assessed based on its own facts.

Can I still obtain compensation if I contributed or caused the dog attack?

In short, generally yes. The amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages and were found 25% at fault, your damages would be reduced to $75,000 (25% reduction).

Can I claim damages if my dog or other pet was injured by a dog?

Yes, compensation can be awarded for injuries sustained to your dog or other pet if attacked and injured by another person’s dog.

Also, dog owners may be held responsible for damage to property caused by their dogs.

The dog owner says they own the dog jointly with someone else, who do I sue?

In such a case, the Act provides that all dog owners are liable and so you would sue all dog owners. They are each liable to pay your damages and the Court will determine to what degree each is responsible. However, you can claim the full amount awarded from any of the dog owners. The dog owners will claim contribution and/or indemnity from each other.

The dog owner was unaware that their dog would attack and there was no prior history of aggression by the dog, can I still get compensation?

Yes. The fact that the dog owner had no prior knowledge that their dog would be aggressive or if there is no history of prior aggression, it is irrelevant because dog owners are strictly liable in dog bite or attack cases. It also does not matter of this was the first time the dog attacked anyone.

Why is it important to hire a lawyer in dog bite or attack cases?

Dog bite liability cases can be complex. It is important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after the incident so that important evidence can be obtained and preserved. It is important for your lawyer to obtain witness statements, identify the dog owner and anyone else that may be responsible in the eyes of the law. Your lawyer will quickly obtain police reports, incident reports and a copy of the by-law officer’s file. Your lawyer will quickly mail out notice letters.

Your lawyer will be able to comprehensively assess all the types of damages you may be entitled to receive and work hard to obtain all the documents needed to support your claims, including medical records and expert reports from treating physicians.

Your lawyer can ensure that you meet any important deadlines and limitation periods that may apply to your case.

Your lawyer can also investigate the availability of insurance coverage for your damages.

Your lawyer can guide you on what to do to better your chances of success in your case and what evidence you should gather to support your claims.

If you have been injured in a dog bite or dog attack case in Ottawa or anywhere in Ontario, we can help. Call us for a free consultation, or send us an email with any questions you may have about your situation.

Marc Quinn
Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer
613-315-4878

How Do I Find The Perfect Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer to Handle My Dog Attack Case?2018-10-30T13:37:48+00:00

How Do I Find The Right Dog Bite Lawyer to Handle My Dog Attack Case?

The handling of a dog bite or dog attack case requires a certain level of experience that not all lawyers possess. In Ontario, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act is the statutory law that applies to dog bite and attack cases. There are also local municipal by-laws that may impact a dog liability case, but those by-laws do not displace the Dog Owners’ Liability Act which is the primary law in Ontario. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite or dog attack, it is important that the injury lawyer you select has experience dealing with dog bite and attack cases. The provisions of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act have been interpreted by judges and it is important to know about and understand those rulings, called “case law”. The law changes frequently and so knowledge of the new leading cases is important. Our injury lawyers keep well informed about new cases regarding dog bite and attack matters and regularly attend personal injury seminars and conferences.

As a victim of a dog bite or an attack, your likelihood of being fairly compensated often rests in the hands of your injury lawyer who should be able to understand the law of animal attacks – dog bites and also understand the intricacies and complexities of the injuries suffered by dog attack victims. For instance, while physical injuries heal over time, the psychological and emotional impact of the dog attack incident can last a lifetime and in many cases the damages and compensation awarded for emotional and psychological injuries can far exceed the damages one would expect from the physical injuries alone.

Knowing if and what specific type of experts are needed in dog attack and bite cases is an important element. In many cases, experts include surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, future care assessors, lost of income and opportunity experts, actuaries and economists. An experienced dog bite lawyer can navigate through the evidence and provide important and vital advice on which experts to retain and when to retain them.

The cost of experts can sometimes be in the tens of thousands and so it is important to know that your dog bite lawyer can afford to pay for these experts and thus has the financial resources available to process your case through to the end. Hiring experts, completing the investigations, completing examinations and other steps can be expensive and it requires that your dog bite lawyer can afford the cost of the litigation. Your dog bite lawyer’s ability to afford and take a case to trial is important.

In dog bite cases, like most injury cases, an experienced injury lawyer will take many steps to protect your rights and interests including the following:

  1. Meet with you and discuss your options and explain the law.
  2. Gather important information.
  3. Gather vital documents to support your claim.
  4. Interview witnesses as soon as possible and secure witness statements.
  5. Place the dog owner on notice in writing right away.
  6. If the owner is unknown, take steps to identity the dog owner.
  7. Obtain and review your medical records.
  8. Hire needed experts.
  9. Secure other vital evidence.
  10. Take photographs of the injuries.
  11. Identify persons, other than just the dog owner, that may also be liable for the incident.
  12. Solicit and obtain incident reports such as police reports and the entire police file.
  13. If the local municipality was involved, secure their entire file.
  14. Complete case law research to support your claims.
  15. Investigate all applicable heads of damages you may be entitled to.
  16. Make contact with insurance companies.
  17. Establish a good working relationship with the assigned insurance representative or lawyer involved in the case.
  18. Etc…
  19. The outcome of a dog bite case is often directly related to the level of experience of your dog bite lawyer. When interviewing a dog bite lawyer, ask them how many similar cases they have handled and what steps they intend to take to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.

Contact one of our dog bite lawyers for a free consultation at 613-315-4878.

For more information on dog bite law in Ontario, read my article by clicking the link here: dog bite law in Ontario.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer

Do I need a lawyer to settle a small injury case?2018-10-30T14:05:14+00:00

It is true that you do not always require a lawyer for every injury claim involving a slip and fall or other type of injury case, where the injuries are very minor. However, there is always value in consulting a lawyer. In some cases, if the injury is small and damages are limited, it may be possible to settle an injury case without a lawyer.  We would, however, never recommend finalizing any settlement without at least consulting a lawyer. While a smaller personal injury case may generally not have significantly impacts on a person’s quality of life, small injuries can sometimes develop into long term problems – only the appropriate health care professional can make the adequate assessment. A personal injury lawyer can investigate the issues relating to consequences of any injury, even smaller ones, with the assistance of medical experts.

If you have determined that you want to settle your small injury case yourself and do not want to consult a lawyer, these are things to keep in mind before making that decision on a final basis:

  • While an experienced injury lawyer may not take on a truly very small injury cases, you may be able, for a small fee, to have a lawyer review the terms of settlement to see if the settlement is at least fair.
  • Adjusters working for insurance companies are not there to increase your compensation, they work for insurers and their job is to limit the amount the insurer will pay to compensate victims of injuries.
  • There are some considerations you should be aware of before accepting an offer from an insurance company, such as the finality of the settlement, regardless of any changes in your medical condition in the future.
  • When reaching a settlement, if you require future care, you will not be able to make another claim since you will be asked by the insurance company to sign a full and final release.  Therefore, you need to know the full nature and extent of your injuries and whether any further medical treatment will be necessary before agreeing to a settlement.
  • The purpose of a full and final release is to forever bar any further payment, even should your medical condition become worse or be far more serious than originally believed.
  • Therefore, do not settle unless you are absolutely certain you will not require any further medical care and you have fully healed from your injuries.
  • You should consider whether the amount of money you agreed to settle your injury case is enough to properly compensate you for all your damages such as physical and emotional pain, suffering, scarring, disfigurement, emotional distress, loss of the enjoyment of life, loss of income and out of pocket expenses, etc..
Types of personal injury2018-10-30T13:58:49+00:00

At Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers, we deal with personal injury everyday.  We have the skills and knowledge needed to maximize your recovery.

In Ontario, there are many types of personal injury which may result in a compensable claim in which an injured person can obtain fair and reasonable compensation.

Here are a few different types of personal injury in which persons can obtain compensation:

Bodily Injury 
Bodily injuries are the most common injuries from which persons claim compensation. This type of injury allows a person who has suffered injuries to his or her brain, spine, skeletal system, organs, body or even suffered from a disease as a result of someone else’s negligent behaviour.

Economic Injury
There are certain acts and omissions which can lead to someone suffering only economic damages such as loss of income. However, economic injuries usually form part and are a result of someone suffering a bodily injury as well. In some cases, the person doesn’t actually suffer physical injury. For instance, if someone’s negligence leads to another’s real property being worthless (i.e. trees cut down in error), this situation would be considered an economic injury.

Injury to Reputation 
This is the area of personal injury law where cases such as slander and libel claims would be classified. Some consider these economic injury cases. In libel and slander cases, generally, the person who has suffered the loss most show actual harm to his or her reputation and that this harm has led to actual physical or economic loss in order for a claim to be successful.

Intentional Injury
In these cases, negligence is really not the substance or foundation of the claim. Rather, the person who is injured advances a claim based on someone’s intentional act such as assault and battery or the person was grossly negligent (i.e. driving very carelessly) such that intent could be assumed. Examples of claims under this classification would be assault and battery. Often, the act can be classified as both an intentional act and negligent act.

Injury Claims and Limitation Periods
There are several different types of personal injury cases. The above is only a small summary of the types of injury cases we handle. In the end, if you’ve suffered any type of injury or damages as a result of an act or a failure to act by someone else, you need to contact us immediately to protect your rights and interests.

Your first consultation is free of charge. There are limitation periods in Ontario which provide that you only have a specified amount of time to commence a claim before the law prevents you from doing so. Delay on your part can result in your claim being statute barred.

Types of compensation and damages2018-10-30T13:58:51+00:00

Our Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers investigate all possible types of damages to obtain fair compensation for our clients.

Injured Persons are entitled to many types of compensation and damages. This is a summary of what is available.

These damages are classified as non-monetary losses:

Pain and Suffering Compensation
You can receive compensation for the physical pain you are suffering and will suffer in the future, and for extreme psychological stress.

Loss of a Body Part 
If a person loses a body part, they can receive money for the physical loss and also for the psychological impact of having a missing body part.

Reduced Life Expectancy 
If an injured person can prove that their life expectancy is reduced because of the accident, he or she can be compensated for the lost years of life.

These damages are classified as monetary or economic losses:

Loss of Earnings or Income
In the event you suffer a loss of wages or other income (such as business or professional income or opportunity) because of an injury, your losses from the time of the accident projected for the rest of your life, can be recovered. This is usually calculated on the basis of past and future loss of income.

Cost of Medical Care and Rehabilitation
An injured person is entitled to recover the costs of all medical care or rehabilitation costs and expenses because of your injury sustained.

Costs of Living with a Disability 
Someone who has suffered an injury that requires an adjustment to lifestyle, such as renovating a home to accommodate a wheelchair for example, the cost associated with this adjustment is compensable. Home care or extensive care assistance is also another good example.

Out of Pocket Expenses
Any out of pocket expenses such as travel costs, medication costs and health care product costs are also compensable.

The insurance adjuster is asking me for information and wants to meet, why?2018-10-30T13:54:05+00:00

Think meeting the insurance adjuster wihout a lawyer is a good idea?  Think again.  Why do they want to meet?

It is the insurance adjuster’s job to find ways to reduce the value of your case or get rid of it entirely. The more documents they have the more chances they will find something to hang their hat on in order to deny or reduce your claim.

Insurance adjusters much prefer dealing with injured persons who don’t have a lawyer. Why do you think they call you the same or day after you are injured, sometimes only a few hours after the accident? They want to get to you before you know your rights and interests and definately BEFORE you speak to a lawyer. They want to control the file and specifically, control the evidence. They are not your lawyer and have minimal legal duty to you. They give you a card stating that they represent the opposing party’s insurer, not you! Their job is not to give you legal advice, but to investigate the accident. Adjusters know how to manipulate you they will not necessarily manipulate the evidence, but they can take a completely different interpretation of the, against your favour. The moment you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer, that manipulation ends.

Don’t believe us? Try this. When the adjuster calls to meet with you and obtain a written statement and authorization to obtain information from your doctors and your employer, ask them if you can meet with the owner of the property where you fell or the driver that hit you so you can ask them questions and obtain a written statement. Ask the if the meeting can be held completely on a “without prejudice” basis, meaning whatever you discuss and give them  by way of documents can never be held against you.  The answer may be – are you crazy? No way. It’s a one way street.

The less an adjuster pays on a claim, the better their worth to their insurer.  Their value increases with less pay-outs.  When you think about it, in a commercial – profit goal world, this makes perfect sense.  Adjusters can hardly be blamed for this.  It is, after all, their job.

Insurers make millions and millions of dollars in profit every year. They are corporations who’s primary focus is profit. The longer you don’t know your rights and interests, the more serious damage can be done to your claim – the more interaction with an adjuster, without a lawyer, the worse your case can become.

Our experience is that, if you have held meetings with and have had discussions with the insurance adjuster and have provided them with documents and information, without the assistance of a lawyer,  by the time the insurance adjuster is willing to make an offer to settle your claim, they offer pennies on the dollar.  Alternatively, the situation could be even worse, no offer at all.

Why? You dug your own grave – provided the insurer with a written statement or recorded statement – provided the insurer with access to all your records, medical, financial or otherwise – you took no steps to obtain and preserve your evidence – you took no steps to obtain your own witness statements – you took no steps to obtain a lawyer to know your rights, interests and risks – and so on… Your case has been destroyed. By the time an offer is made, if one is even made, the insurance adjuster has ample documents, information and reasons to justify making no offer or making a ridiculously low offer.  Do yourself a favour.  Meet with one of our lawyers, free of charge and in complete confidence.

Should I tell the truth – Always?2018-10-30T14:05:36+00:00

Absolutely – Always! The truth will always set you free.

If you don’t lie, you can rest easy. Lawyers, judges, adjusters etc… are all trained in cross-examination and ability to judge character and credibility. It is a rare case that a liar is not found out, through skillful cross-examination.

10 things an insurance company may not tell you2018-10-30T13:54:10+00:00

1. If you are injured in any accident, you have the right to sue and seek compensation.

2. If you intend to sue, there are limitation periods that can prevent you from suing and you must therefore start a court action within the set time limits, otherwise, you will forever lose your right to sue and seek compensation.

3. You should consult a lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured. Many personal injury, accident and disability law lawyers offer free consultations and will take on cases on a No Fee Until You Win basis. At the initial meeting, the injury lawyer will explain all of your rights and interests, assess your case, and describe your options relating to your claim.

4. Insurance adjusters, while regulated with standards of practice, work for an insurance company and their job is to investigate claims and obtain evidence that will assist the insurance company to limit or deny claims. Only your personal injury, accident and disability law lawyer will work to protect your rights and work to maximize your recovery. Although insurance companies are government regulated, they are in the end private businesses and their focus is not on paying you compensation.

5. Statements given to insurance adjusters and companies can and will be used against you in a Court action.

6. You can obtain witness statements and talk to all witnesses. You have just as much right as insurance companies to interview witnesses and obtain witness statements.

7. If you are partly at fault for the accident, you can still claim and receive compensation. The amount of compensation may be reduced, but compensation will nonetheless be paid.

8. If you are totally at fault for the accident, you can still obtain some compensation. For instance, in car accidents, regardless of fault you can apply for and receive accident benefits to pay for medical and rehabilitation expenses and receive some lost earnings. Also, many private extended health care plans will pay benefits regardless of fault. Also, disability policies often apply and pay benefits regardless of fault.

9. You do not need to go to Court to receive compensation, most cases settle out of Court.

10. Lawyers charge too much and require down payments. Most personal injury lawyers do not charge for the initial consultation and assessment of your accident case. Also, most personal injury lawyers will take on cases on a No Fee Until You Win basis, meaning that they charge nothing until you win. They receive a percentage of the settlement instead, at the end of the case.

To learn more about how a personal injury lawyer, accident lawyer and disability law lawyer can assist you, contact us at 613-315-4878 or 613-315-HURT. Marc-Nicholas Quinn, Ottawa personal injury lawyer, mediator and law instructor. One phone call can change everything!

How to lose your case – 10 things not to do!2018-10-30T13:54:12+00:00
  1. Take no time to document what happened at the accident, as soon as you are able.
  2. Take no time to take notes during your recovery so that you remember how much you suffered.
  3. Don’t listen to your treating physicians, especially regarding treatment needed.
  4. Fail to seek needed medical treatment at all.
  5. Meet with the insurance adjuster and sign a statement or agree to a settlement without obtaining legal advice.
  6. Retain a lawyer who does not focus on personal injury cases.
  7. Lie to your lawyer.
  8. Mislead, be dishonest or exaggerate your injuries or pre-existing injuries or how the injuries affect your life.
  9. Don’t cooperate with your lawyer.
  10. Don’t provide the documents your lawyer requests.
What is Spoliation of Evidence in Injury Cases?2018-10-30T13:58:55+00:00

What if spoliation? Spoliation in general terms is the intentional destruction of relevant evidence. If a court finds that a party intentionally (and sometimes unintentionally) destroyed relevant evidence, the opposing party be entitled to certain remedies.

Spoliation is a rule of evidence. Courts are sometimes mandated to deal with the issue of spoliation of evidence at trial. The types of evidence that are sometimes destroyed include physical evidence, electronic evidence, video evidence or other types of evidence that may be relevant to an issue in the case. The Supreme Court of Canada has dealt with the common-law principle of spoliation of evidence and has said that the destruction of evidence carries with it a rebuttable presumption that the evidence destroyed would have been unfavorable to the party who destroyed it. This presumption can be rebutted by evidence that spoliator did not intend by destroying the evidence to affect the rights of any party in the litigation.

The law in respect of spoliation was summarize by the Alberta Court of Appeal as follows:

Spoliation refers to the intentional destruction of relevant evidence when litigation is existing or pending.

The principal remedy for spoliation is the imposition of a rebuttable presumption of fact that the lost or destroyed evidence would not assist the spoliator.

The presumption can be rebutted by evidence showing the spoliator did not intend by destroying the evidence to affect the litigation.

Other possible remedies include things like the exclusion of expert reports and denial of costs.

In general, the issue of spoliation and whether or not it has occurred is left to the trial judge who can consider all of the evidence before making a ruling on the issue.

Generally, the criteria that must be met for the court to draw an adverse inference from the destruction of evidence is as follows: that there be an intentional destruction of relevant evidence, that the destruction occurred when litigation was existing or pending, and it is reasonable to draw the inference that the evidence was destroyed to influence the outcome of the litigation.

If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another person and there has been destruction of relevant evidence that may have assisted you in proving your case, the role of evidence of spoliation can assist you. Contact one of our lawyers for free consultation in relation to your injury. Our lawyers work on a no fee until you win basis.

Can a parent be held liable for the acts of their children?2018-10-31T13:07:01+00:00

Parents must take reasonable steps to properly supervise their children. Failing to do so could result in the parents being liable for the results of wrongful or negligent acts of their children.

For instance, if a child bullies another causing harm to another person, parents could be held liable for the result of the bullying if they did not take reasonable steps to supervise their child. In many cases, insurance will not cover the claim made against the child who is the bully and his/her parents,

Generally, a parent will not be held vicariously liable for the acts of their children simply because there is a parent – child relationship. Vicarious liability is a tort doctrine that imposes responsibility upon one person for the failure of another, with whom the person has a special relationship such as parents and children or employers and employees.

In Ontario, parents can be held liable for the acts of their children through the usual principles of negligence law. In such a case, a parent could be held legally responsible for damage or injury caused by their child if the parent failed to supervise or instruct their child and that failure caused or contributed to the injury or damage allege to have been caused by their child.

As an example, imagine a child uses a bow and arrow owned by their parent and injures another child. The parent could be held liable for failing to properly instruct their child not to use the bow and arrow that was meant to be used by adults or children under supervision in hunting.

As another example, imagine a child bullies another child and the parent is aware that the bullying is occurring. The child being bullied becomes depressed and is unable to attend school and requires treatment for the effects of the bullying. The parent could, under the laws of negligence, be liable for the acts of their child by virtue of the fact that they were aware their child was bullying and took no reasonable steps to prevent it from happening, such as taking disciplinary steps against their child, educating their child, supervising their child’s activities etc…

So, if you are a parent, you have a duty to take reasonable steps to supervise your children’s behaviours. Otherwise, you may be held liable for any injury or damage caused by your child and your insurance policy may not cover the damages claimed against you and your child.

If you have been involved in an incident involving liability of children or parents, we can provide you with a free consultation. Call us at 613-315-4878.

Ottawa child and parent liability lawyers.

What type of car accident cases do you handle? – All Types.2018-10-30T14:05:37+00:00

Hiring the wrong accident lawyer can cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation!

The lawyers of Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP have extensive experience handling cases for individuals who have suffered personal injury as a result of car accidents. We handle all types of car accident cases and all types of motorized vehicle accident cases. Motor vehicle law is without a doubt the most complex area of personal injury law. There are countless substantive and procedural pitfalls. Inexperienced lawyers can make mistakes which can cost their clients tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.

Most of our clients come to us referred by other lawyers or our former clients.

There are many different types of car accidents. There are single vehicle collisions that only involve one car or another vehicle. There are multi-vehicle accidents which involve two or more vehicles.

Our Ottawa law firm handles virtually any type of accident or collision involving a motor vehicle, including collisions with other cars, objects, pedestrians or cyclists.

Some common car accident cases we handle include the following:

  • Rear-end accidents
  • Head-on collisions and accidents
  • Intersection accidents
  • Parking lot accidents
  • Side-impact accidents
  • T-bone accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Accidents involving distracted drivers
  • Car-truck accidents
  • Car-bicycle accidents
  • Car-motorcycle accidents
  • Car-pedestrian accidents
  • Car-bus accidents
  • Minor accidents
  • Fender bender accidents
  • Freeway or highway accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Taxi accidents
  • Accidents involving auto product liability
  • Etc…

Our lawyers have significant experience handling complex personal injury and wrongful death cases, including complex car accident cases. Our firm has the experience, the knowledge and the resources to best handle any car accident case resulting in personal injury or wrongful death.

Initial consultations with our law firm are always free, and our cases are handled on a no fee until we win your case basis (called contingent fee basis). Please call us at 613-315-4878 or 613-563-1131

Choosing the right personal injury lawyer who has experience with these cases is vital to successfully obtaining compensation. Personal injury is our specialty, which is all we do, every day. We are considered one of the best personal injury Boutique law firms in Ontario.

Ottawa Car Accident Injury Lawyers of Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP (Marc N. Quinn). There is no fee until we recover money for you.

What types of motor vehicle accident claims can a person in Ontario advance?2018-10-30T13:34:26+00:00

In Ontario, car accident victims can receive compensation from two main sources, claims for accident benefits and tort claims.

Accident Benefits

Car accident injury victims (including passengers, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists) can claim accident benefits from their own motor vehicle insurer under their own motor vehicle insurance policy. With Ontario’s no fault auto insurance system, accident benefits are available to victims regardless of who is at fault in a car accident. The benefits include medical and rehabilitation expenses, compensation for income loss and care services. If you have no insurance, you can claim the benefits from the at fault party’s insurer.

Accident benefits are available even in cases where victims are injured by under-insured, uninsured or by unidentified drivers.

Tort Claims – The Legal Threshold

In addition to accident benefits, car accident victims can claim compensation in what is known as a Tort claim, meaning a claim against the at fault party. Injury victims can claim compensation from the at fault party or parties on the basis of negligence. A tort claim can provide compensation for additional income losses not covered by accident benefits, such as, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, out of pocket expenses, financial losses, pain and suffering damages and more.

While every person who is injured in a car accident in Ontario has an accident benefits claim, not every accident victim will have a tort claim. The person advancing the tort claim has the onus of proving that the at fault party was negligent and then also that they meet the threshold set out in the Insurance Act that they are seriously and permanently injured.

The car insurance system in Ontario is intended to limit tort actions to more serious claims. The Insurance Act provides that a deductible is applied against awards of general damages for pain and suffering. The amount of this deductible is significant (currently $30,000). The deductible does vary depending on some factors such as the date of the accident and the amount of the award is relevant since if the amount of general damages award exceeds a stated amount (currently $100,000), the deductible does not apply.

The threshold means that the injured person must have met a certain high level of impairment from the injuries sustained in the accident before they can receive damages for pain and suffering. In general terms, the “threshold” requires the injured person to have suffered an injury that results in serious and permanent impairment. The interpretation of the threshold definition in the Insurance Act is constantly evolving as a result of judge made laws and cases coming out of the Ontario courts. The test also changes when the regulations under the Insurance Act are amended from time to time.

If you meet the threshold, you can claim pain and suffering damages and advance a tort claim for other losses such as income loss, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, health care expenses, house keeping costs, home maintenance expenses and various other out of pocket expenses.

Limitation Periods and Notice Periods

There are strict time lines applicable to anyone who wishes to commence a tort action. Currently (2013), if an injured person intends to advance a tort claim against an at-fault driver, they must start the court action within 2 years of the date of their accident. There are also notice requirements to be met and the limitation period changes if you are suing your own insurance company.

If you have been injured in a car accident, regardless of the type of motor vehicle accident, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine your interests and rights.

We offer free consultations and no fee until you win retainers.

What are statutory accident benefits?2018-10-30T13:34:28+00:00

Motor vehicle accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian / car accidents and any other type of motor vehicle accidents – Statutory Accident BenefitsMotor vehicle accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian – car accidents and any other type of motor vehicle accidents can have long lasting and devastating financial, social, emotional and psychological consequences for the injured person and their family. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should obtain legal advice from a personal injury lawyer and get to know your legal rights and interests. Your personal injury lawyer should be knowledgeable in motor vehicle law.

What is the difference between statutory accident benefits and a tort claim?

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you are entitled to apply for Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS) regardless of fault. You are also entitled to claim tort damages, meaning compensation (damages) from the person at fault for the accident. A tort claim is a law suit in which you claim monetary damages as compensation against the persons responsible for your accident and injuries. In order to claim compensation from the negligent person who caused you injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you must meet a legal test. Under the current “no-fault” insurance system in Ontario, in order to successfully sue someone for damages / compensation, you must meet two criteria, known as the “threshold” which means that: You must have sustained a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function or have sustained a serious and permanent disfigurement and your injuries must exceed the statutorily prescribed deductible which is currently $30,000.00.

We can help you obtain compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, medical expenses, expert expenses and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

What does no fault mean?

No-fault insurance means that if you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident, then you deal with your own insurance company for coverage and indemnification (compensation), regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

What are Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS)?

Statutory accident benefits (which is also referred to as “no fault-benefits”), are statutory benefits provided to persons in Ontario injured by the use or operation of a motor vehicle. They are governed by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, which is a regulation made under the Insurance Act of Ontario.

Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS) are the no fault component of the Insurance Act when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. These are accident benefits which provide compensation for expenses incurred to treat you, to provide care for you and also to replace your income while recovering from an accident. You are entitled to all of the benefits from your own insurance company. The types of benefits include: income replacement, non earner benefits, disability benefits, caregiver benefits, housekeeping benefits, attendant care benefits, home maintenance benefits, medical benefits, rehabilitation benefits and other expenses related to the injuries you sustained in a car accident.

The accident benefits in Ontario are set by the provincial government by amendments to regulations made under the Insurance Act of Ontario. While you can purchase additional optional accident benefits, for most people, the benefits are what is governed by the standard motor vehicle insurance policy. It is definitely worth reviewing the optional accident benefits because in many cases, the cost is minimal compared to the benefit. The additional optional insurance must be purchased before an accident occurs. The types of increased coverages you can buy include, more caregiver benefits, more income replacement benefits, more medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits and more death and funeral benefits.

Who can claim Statutory Accident Benefits?

Every person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario is entitled to claim accident benefits. Accident benefits / “no-fault” benefits are claimed from your own motor vehicle insurance company.

What if I do not have motor vehicle insurance?

If you do not have motor vehicle insurance (not insured), you are entitled to claim accident benefits from the motor vehicle insurer of the other person involved in the motor vehicle accident.

If there is no available insurance at all, you may advance a claim for accident benefits to the government’s Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund which provides accident benefit coverages for uninsured situations.

What are the different types of Statutory Accident Benefits?

Currently, the accident benefits available include:

Income Replacement Benefit: 80% of net weekly income up to maximum of $400.00 per week to a maximum period of 104 weeks. A 7 day deductible applies.

Non-Earner Benefit: The entitlement is $185.00 per week to a maximum period of 104 weeks. A 6 month deductible applies.

Caregiver Benefit: $250.00 per week for 1st child and $50.00 per week for each subsequent child to a maximum period of 104 weeks. Th benefit only applies for children under the age of 16.

Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Benefit: $100.00 per week to a maximum period of 104 weeks.

Attendant Care Benefits: $3,000.00 per month maximum to a maximum period of 24 months. The monthly amount payable is determined in accordance with a Form 1, as prescribed under the Insurance Act of Ontario.

Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits: $100,000.00 maximum. There is a 10 year maximum period.

Other Benefits: Depending on your circumstances, you may also be entitled to other benefits. For example, benefits to pay for visitors’ expenses, repair or replacement of eyeglasses or clothing damaged in the accident, or case manager services.

If I am injured in an accident, do I automatically qualify for all accident benefits?

You do not automatically qualify for accident benefits. Each benefit has its own qualifying criteria. Examples of needed qualifications needed are as follows:

Income Replacement Benefit: This benefit is for insured persons who were employed for at least 26 out of the last 52 weeks prior to the motor vehicle accident and who, as a result of the accident, suffer a substantial inability to perform the essential tasks of their employment.

Non-Earner Benefit: This benefit is for insured persons who were not employed at the time of the motor vehicle accident and who suffer a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of the motor vehicle accident.

Caregiver Benefit: This benefit is for insured persons who are the primary caregiver of a child or children under 16 years of age and who, as a result of the motor vehicle accident, suffer a substantial inability to engage in the care giving activities in which they were engaged in at the time of the accident.

Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Benefit: This benefit is for insured persons who incur expenses as a result of an accident for housekeeping and home maintenance services and are payable if the insured person suffers a substantial inability to perform the housekeeping and home maintenance services that they normally performed before the accident.

Attendant Care Benefit: This benefit is for insured persons who incur expenses as a result of an accident for services provided by an aide or attendant.

Medical and Rehabilitation Benefit: This benefit is for insured persons who require treatment as a result of a motor vehicle accident such as physiotherapy, chiropractic services, etc.

Motor vehicle law experts

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we can handle your accident benefits claims and deal directly with your insurance company, help complete the many forms required and guide you through the maze of procedures, forms and details needed to obtain the benefits you are entitled to receive.

As soon as possible following an accident, you should consult a lawyer who will fight for your rights. Do not rely on the insurance company or adjusters to assist you. Their job is to benefit the insurance company, not you. Only your personal injury lawyer will look out solely for your rights and interests.

How do I pursue a claim against an unidentified or underinsured motor vehicle driver?2018-10-30T13:34:28+00:00

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario and the at-fault party is not insured, you can still receive compensation.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario and the at-fault party is under or insufficiently insured, you can still receive compensation.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario and you cannot identify the at-fault party, you can still receive compensation.

Under Ontario law, where the at-fault party is not insured, under-insured or un-identified, you can still seek compensation. In some cases, the compensation will be paid by your own motor vehicle insurer while in other cases, it will be your own motor vehicle insurer and the at fault driver’s motor vehicle insurer (under insured cases) both contrinuting; while in other cases your compensation will come from the Ontario Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

According to their web site, the MVACF provides the following (http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca):

The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) is considered to be the “payer of last resort” as it provides compensation to people injured in automobile accidents when no automobile insurance exists to respond to the claim.

The major functions of MVACF are:

  • to provide statutory accident benefits directly to persons involved in an automobile accident, who have no recourse to automobile insurance;
  • to provide compensation for personal injury or property damage to victims involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured or unidentified driver or a stolen vehicle when no liability insurance exists; and
  • to recover from the owners and drivers of uninsured vehicles monies paid out on their behalf, where legally permissible.

If you are not sure about your options and would like a free consultation, contact one of our experienced car accident lawyers at 613-315-4878. Free consultations and no fees charged unless you win.

Do I need to file a police report to make a claim with my insurance company?2018-10-30T13:59:03+00:00

While you do not require a police report to file a claim with your insurer or start a personal injury claim, a police report is usually very useful and provides vital information that can assist you pursue remedies for your injuries. For instance, it will likely provide the name and address of the other driver and owner of the vehicle that collided with you or your vehicle in an accident, their insurance particulars and the name of the investigating police officer.

Your insurer will not require a police report but will ask for one if one has been prepared. Our recommendation is to always contact the police for any accident and always obtain a police report. If someone is hurt in the accident, if the accident is serious, if there is any damage to any vehicle or if there is suspicion of wrongdoing such as drunk driving, racing or criminal act of any kind (i.e. dangerous driving), you should call the police. If you do not call the police, you should report the incident to a local police accident centre and obtain a case number. Even if you do not report the accident to police, you should report it to your insurer. Your insurer may want you to report it to the police for technical and legal reasons. Always obtain the name of the other driver and obtain his/her insurance information regardless of police involvement. Your insurer will ask for this information.

Is interest paid on litigation loans recoverable from the Defendant?2018-10-30T13:59:04+00:00

A recent New Brunswick Court of Appeal decision allows an injured person to claim interest on a litigation loan to be recovered as a disbursement in the court action. In Leblanc v. Doucet 2012 NBCA 88, a plaintiff was seriously injured when he lost control of his motorcycle due to another vehicle crossing the center line. The injured person was not able to finance his lawsuit claiming compensation as a result of his injuries. Accordingly, he approached a litigation lender who loaned him more than $26,000 to finance his court action. The loan incurred interest exceeding $12,000. The injured plaintiff sought to recover the interest from the defendant.

The New Brunswick Court of Appeal held that interest could be recoverable as a disbursement item in a court action. In reaching this conclusion, the Chief Justice, writing for a unanimous panel wrote: “the appellant, Francis Leblanc, lacked the means to finance his action in damages against the respondents. His impecuniosity compelled him to take out loans from an independent third party to cover litigation expenses, all for the purpose of securing access to justice. While there is no provision in the rules of the court that expressly allows interest on such loans as a “disbursement”, sub-para 2(14) of the Tariff “D” of Rule 59 fills in the gap. It suffices that those loans were necessarily incurred to secure the just determination of the proceeding and that the interest rates were “reasonable”.

This case represents a move in the right direction in allowing injured parties to recover reasonable expenses incurred in the normal and usual conduct of a personal injury action.

At our Ottawa accident law firm, our clients occasionally seek funding from lenders to support their court actions. Our lawyers routinely seek to recover the interest paid on the loans from the defendants.

Our law firm focuses on personal injury and accident cases and provides free consultations to victims of accidents. We work on a contingency fee basis which allows any injured person access to justice with our qualified and experienced personal injury lawyers. For a free consultation and to learn more about our no fee until you win retainer agreements, call us at 613-315-4878.

What are future loss of income assessments?2018-10-30T13:59:09+00:00

Let us presume that a victim suffers an injury to her wrist in a slip and fall accident. The resulting fracture is severe and recovery from the injury takes about a year. During the year that it took to recover, the victim was unable to work as effectively in her job. Nevertheless she forced herself to go to work as she was self employed and staying home was not an option. Consequently, her income dropped by 30% The drop in income was calculated by comparing her immediate pre-injury annual income with the immediate post accident annual income. Other evidence demonstrates that she was unable to work as much nor as effectively due to the injury.

In the second year, post accident, income levels returned to normal levels as compared to pre-accident earnings and based on income earned, it appears that the victim was back to “normal”. Does this mean that the ability to recover damages for loss of future income is concluded? The argument against recovery of additional damages is that there is a full recovery from the injury, income levels have returned to normal, and any future losses are speculative in nature.

Why then does the victim still want to pursue future income loss after a full recovery? The answer lies in the fact that full recovery from a severe injury is unlikely. Even if recovery is such that for a period of time there is little or no apparent impact of the injury (i.e. the victim seems fine), the reality of most serious injuries is that there is a risk of reoccurrence of impairment from the injury at a future date. A prime and common example is the occurrence of arthritis some time after the healing of broken bones.

The risk of reoccurrence of impairment from the injury and the loss of income that it may cause is a matter that must be compensated when resolving a claim.

The legal test in determining whether there is a compensable prospective future income loss (in the circumstances described in this post) is whether there is a real and substantial risk that future pecuniary loss will occur. The argument for loss of future income loss will not be successful if the exercise is purely speculative.

Given the legal test of real and substantial risk, it is imperative that in preparing a claim that time is taken to obtain expert evidence establishing what may arise in the future as a result of the injury a well as the likelihood of that happening. To successfully claim future income loss (as discussed herein) it is critically important to consider the elements of the real and substantial risk test and to marshal evidence that squarely addresses the evidentiary burden in proving that the injury will have symptoms that will likely materialize and those symptoms will cause an impairment that causes damage (i.e. income loss). The goal in presenting this evidence is to assist the Court in assessing the severity and likelihood of the risks that may materialize from the injury in the future.

Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC considers the availability of damages for this kind of loss in each case. Injury victims should not be deprived of these types of damages just because it seems like there has been a full recovery from the injury. For this reason it is important to work closely with an injury victim’s doctor(s) and to seek expert medical opinion with respect to not only what has happened, but indeed what may happen in the future. By: Michael K.E. Thiele.

What are future care costs, needs assessments and life plan assessments?2018-10-30T14:02:34+00:00

Serious illness or personal injury can present a significant financial burden to an individual and/or their families. Future care expenses can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in the worst of cases, sometimes millions. In order to assess the costs of future care, personal injury lawyers turn to experts who complete thorough assessments of the associated costs an injured person is likely to incur in the future. Future care cost and needs assessments are completed based on published standards of practice for Life Care Planning. The assessments provide assessment and support of the costs of future care for an injured person’s current and projected services, medical treatment, medical needs, equipment, therapies, interventions etc… The assessments are usually completed on the basis of attempting to assist an injured person to maximum independence, prevent functional deterioration and provide replacement services for those tasks the injured person is no longer able to complete.

The reports solicited summarizes a client’s future medical needs and expenses. Future care costs and needs assessments are valuable tools your personal injury lawyer can use during negotiations with opposing counsel, insurers and adjusters in or out of Court, at settlement conferences and in mediation sessions. The report, in addition to other valuable information, synthesises valuable medical and expense information from all data sources, including medical documents and quantifies recommendations to establish a comprehensive life care plan.

Costs of future care assessments involve a detailed assessment of the client’s functioning in areas such as medical needs, rehabilitation requirements, equipment needs, home support needs, renovation needs, attendant care requirements, medical devices needs, adaptation needs, vocational needs and environmental modification requirements.

Cost of Future Care Assessments consist of a comprehensive report based on a full functional assessment. They often involve full in home evaluation and consultation by health care professionals who help determine an appropriate plan of future care with all associated costs that entails. In turn, as personal injury lawyers, our job includes using the reports as one tool to obtain fair and reasonable compensation for our injured clients.

At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, we are committed to providing expert advice on the legal issues relating to our injured client’s matters and when needed, we will retain the services of medical experts, rehabilitation and consulting services experts to assess the needs of the clients who retain us. Our team of legal professionals has extensive experience in planning and providing excellent legal services including the value of consulting other experts needed to maximize our client’s financial recovery and well being.

Future care cost and needs assessments and life planning reports are used for settlement and rehabilitation planning purposes. Our law firm is able to provide a unique and valuable service to our clients by locating and retaining experts who can complete the assessments and reports.
We refer such needed expert assessments to reputable multi disciplinary experts who consist of any combination of the following: social workers, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other medical experts. These experts can provide valuable expert opinions and guidance based on their experience, training and research Our law firm provides reliable access to outside expert health care specialists who provide consultation, assessments, opinions and reports.

To learn more about how Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki can assist you contact us by e-mail at mquinn@ottawalawyers.com or call 613-315-4878 / 613-315-HURT. We offer free legal consultations and No Fee Until You Win arrangements where we charge nothing unless you win your case.

What do I need to prove to win my personal injury case?2018-10-30T13:59:12+00:00

In order to succeed in your personal injury claim, you must be able to prove to the court that the person who caused your injuries was negligent. Specifically, you must prove the elements of negligence which are established on the basis of evidence. The elements of negligence are as follows:

Duty of care: A reasonable person is held to a legally recognized duty of care. Such a person must take reasonable steps to prevent harm to another by their actions or inactions.

Breach of duty: The duty of care is breached when the person responsible for the harm has failed to meet the standard of care. The failure is fact specific. Examples are failing to apply salt to ice which causes a slip and fall, failure to install proper lighting or handrail causing a trip and fall, speeding causing a motor vehicle accident, failure to warn of a danger or otherwise failing to keep the injured person or any other conduct or omission that caused the injury.

Causation: Causation is likely the most difficult element to prove. An injured person must prove that the acts or omissions of the person responsible for their injuries was the direct or “proximate” cause of their injuries. Courts often use the “but for” test to make this analysis which means: the injuries would not have been caused “but for” the act or omission of the person who caused them.

Damages: An injured person must prove that as a result of the breach of the duty, they suffered harm and suffered damages, expenses and losses. For example, in special damages like loss of income, this is done by providing documents proving lost wages, business income etc…

If I am partially to blame for an accident, can I still receive compensation?2018-10-30T13:59:12+00:00

Contributory negligence is a common law defense to a claim based on allegations of negligence, applied in the area of tort law. It applies to circumstances where a Plaintiff (person injured) through his/her own negligence in part causes or contributed to the accident and harm suffered. A good example is not wearing proper footwear in winter and falling as a result of unattended accumulated snow or ice on someone else’s property.

If a person is contributory negligent, the amount of the compensation will be decreased proportionate to the level of contribution. However, compensation can nevertheless be paid.

Can I receive compensation for a dog bite or dog attack, whether I suffered a mental, physical OR psychological injury?2018-10-30T13:40:22+00:00

If you have been bitten by a dog or attacked by a dog in Ontario and you have suffered a dog bite mental, psychological or physical injury, you are protected by the law in most cases. In addition to provincial and local prosecution pursuant to local by-laws and the provincial Dog Bite Owners’ Liability Act, you are entitled to seek compensation for injuries sustained in dog bite cases. The remedies available include compensation for pain and suffering, reimbursement of medical expenses, reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, reimbursement for medical treatments such as counselling and reimbursement for loss of income. These remedies can be exercised with the involvement and support of one of our personal injury lawyers.

After being attacked or bitten, it is vital that you identify the dog owner. Identifying the responsible person means that the police and local municipality can prosecute the dog owner. Also, it allows your lawyer to immediately contact the dog owner and place them on notice of your claim so that any policies of insurance that may cover the loss is triggered. Sometimes, identifying the dog owner is an onerous task, especially if the incident occurred in a public place and you do not know the owner. It is important that you speak to witnesses on the scene right away, as dog owners have a habit of disappearing.

Once you have obtained medical attention, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who deals with dog bite and dog attack cases. Special legislation applies to dog bite and dog attack cases and special rules of law apply as well. Your dog bite liability lawyer will want to obtain a description of the dog attack or bite, photographs of the injuries and the name and address of the owner of the dog or dogs in question.

In Ontario, legal responsibility and liability for dog bites and attacks are generally governed by the provisions of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act . As the case law as interpreted the provisions of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, dog owners are held to a high standard and they can be liable on the basis of strict liability, which provides dog owners with very limited defences to claims for compensation by victims.

This standard protects victims of dog bites and attacks. A person who has suffered any type of injury by reason of a dog bite or attack simply has to identify the dog and its owner and prove that the dog caused the injuries and the dog owner must pay compensation.

It is important to note that, in most cases, claims for compensation arising from injuries sustained as a result of dog bites or dog attacks are generally covered by the owner’s home insurance policies or tenant’s insurance policies.

Once notified of the claim, the dog owner merely places their insurer on notice and the insurer appoints an adjuster to resolve the claim or a lawyer to defend the claim. The insurance coverage applies whether the dog bite or dog attack occurred at the dog owner’s property/home or somewhere outside their home.

In terms of prosecution, the dog owner can face many consequences, including having the dog put down, fines, penalties, muzzle orders, jail time and other protective orders.

In simple terms, if you have been injured by a dog bite or dog attack, the owner of the dog must provide compensation, whether or not they have insurance. At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC, LLP, we will make the dog owner pay, one way or the other. Contact us for a free consultation. If we do not settle your case, we will charge you nothing. We only get paid if you receive compensation. Call 613-315-HURT or 613-315-4878. Marc-Nicholas Quinn, Lawyer, Mediator and Author.

What is the impact of pre-existing medical conditions on my personal injury case?2018-10-30T13:59:13+00:00

As personal injury lawyers, we often see clients who are injured in a variety of ways. Often the injuries are entirely new injuries. Other times, the injuries are exacerbation or worsening of pre-existing medical conditions or of prior injuries.
The question arises: Should you disclose the existence of pre-existing medical condition and will disclosing the pre-existing medical condition or conditions hurt your personal injury case?

In short, all medical evidence that is relevant to any of the issues in the personal injury matter must be disclosed. The existence of pre-existing medical conditions or injuries does not necessarily hurt a personal injury case. There is no need to hide any medical evidence because the law protects persons injured, even those with pre-existing medical conditions. In reality, a pre-existing medical condition that is aggravated by an accident is arguably a new injury in and of itself and is compensable – meaning you can receive compensation for an old injury made worse by a new accident. In some cases, the compensation can be more because if you had recovered from the pre-existing injury and it is aggravated, the injury sustained is often much worse.

How does the legal principle of exacerbation of a pre-existing medical condition work?

If a person is injured because of another person’s negligence, the injured person can recover damages and compensation from the person responsible. That person is called a tortfeasor. The tortfeasor will be held liable for the aggravation of the pre-existing medical condition and for any new injuries sustained.

There is a well established legal principle in Canadian law called “a tortfeasor takes his victim as he finds him” and therefore, anyone who suffers an aggravation of a pre-existing injury can recover damages and compensation. That legal principle applies hand in hand with the principle of a “thin skull” Plaintiff (a Plaintiff is the injured person in a law suit). That principle applies in cases where someone is particularly weak and suffers a much greater injury than other people may have suffered in a similar accident. For example, many people fall and are not injured. Some other people may fall and fracture their leg, simply because they are more prone to injury than other people, perhaps because of weak bones or pre-existing injuries or particular disabilities such as arthritis.

Are the rules applied the same in every case? Showing symptoms versus no symptoms prior to accident.

In practical terms, the rules will be applied differently depending on whether, before the accident, the injured person demonstrated symptoms of the pre-existing medical condition. In the event the injured person’s pre-existing medical condition is aggravated, the tortfeasor will have to provide full compensation, despite there being a pre-existing medical condition. In the event the injured person’s pre-existing medical condition is aggravated, but the injured person was experiencing pain or other symptoms prior to the accident and new injury, the tortfeasor will have to provide some compensation, despite there being a pre-existing medical condition. The amount of compensation is directly proportionate to the level of aggravation of the pre-existing medical condition.

This article provides a summary of the principles at play where pre-existing medical conditions is in issue. The matter is more complicated than explained in this article. At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we regularly deal with issues such as this and we are happy to provide free consultations for any personal injury case. The information in this article is not intended to replace legal advice. For more information and a free consultation on your accident or personal injury matter, contact us at 613-315-HURT or 613-315-4878.

What is a Life Care Plan and why do I need one?2018-10-30T13:59:15+00:00

A life care plan is documents prepared by a health care expert as a way to assist injured persons assess their various medical needs. The written plan outlines the steps in an organized thought out and professional way which are needed to fulfil the care needs of an injured child or adult. It provides details on what specific medical and other care is needed, which professionals will provide the care and sets parameters like time lines so that an effective managed care program can be implemented by the various health care providers involved.

A life care plan is essential because it assists the injured person and their lawyers to accomplish two main goals: the first is to develop a care program which can assist the injured person deal with all life issues arising out of the injuries sustained such as type and nature of care services needed and the costs associated with those care services; and secondly, it assist the injured person’s lawyer in arriving at the proper and adequate compensation needed to implement the care plan. Properly assessing medical needs and all of the expenses that arise after a life-altering injury is greatly improved with a life care plan.

The various issues addressed in a life care program include but are not limited to:

  • assessing and listing care services required
  • assessing and listing expert care services required
  • setting time lines for implementation of care services
  • assessing impact on schools and education activities
  • listing needed medical equipment and devices
  • assessment of needs regarding social interaction
  • assessing home modification needs
  • addressing respite care needs
  • assessing physical therapy needs
  • assessing other various needs
  • setting out an implementation strategy

Life care plans are usually used in serious personal injury cases such as serious orthopedic injuries, head injuries, brain injuries, spine injuries and other profound and serious injury cases.

Creating a life care plan with advice from both medical experts and legal professionals is a means to protect our clients against unexpected care and other costs that can appear in the future. There is much less chance of missing an important expense when a life care plan is created by a qualified professional. There is a greater chance of obtaining higher compensation settlements and court awards with a life care plan in place.

My injury lawyer wants me to see doctors he hired, is this normal?2018-10-30T14:05:16+00:00

You should generally follow the advice of your personal injury lawyer but it is perfectly acceptable to ask for clarification of any issue that comes up. In many cases, medical issues arising out of your personal injury matter require the assistance of medical experts who can review, analyze and provide professional medical – legal opinions on your medical condition which will assist in the settlement of a personal injury claim.

It is quite normal for your personal injury lawyer to suggest that you see a physician or other health care provider s/he recommends. The professional written opinion obtained can be used as evidence supporting your case during the negotiation phase and at trial if needed. The medical report is usually served on the opposing party (or their insurance company) and, if the matter is in litigation, also then filed with the Court in various contexts and in accordance with Rules of the Court and the Ontario Evidence Act. The opinions expressed by the medical and other experts retained by your personal injury lawyer can be independent supporting your case or also reply to the opinions obtained by the health care providers or other experts retained by the insurance company or lawyers representing the person responsible for your injuries.

In virtually all personal injury cases, medical evidence, usually in the form of clinical notes and records, independent test results and medical – legal reports, are obtained to support your case.

To learn more about your rights and interests in personal injury cases, contact us for a free consultation at 613-315-HURT. 613-315-4878. Marc-Nicholas Quinn, Accident and Injury Lawyer and Mediator, specializing in injury and disability cases. Ottawa Injury Lawyers.

What are the steps needed to settle a personal injury case?2018-10-30T13:59:17+00:00

If you have been injured because of someone else’s fault, you have every right to commence a lawsuit and fight for fair and reasonable compensation for your losses, damages and pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can be a valuable resource to turn to if you have questions about commencing a lawsuit or how to go about reaching an out of court settlement of your claims. A personal injury lawyer can provide you with an assessment and estimate of what your case may be worth and then work towards obtaining an out of court settlement for you. As personal injury lawyers, we are trained in alternate dispute resolution techniques which includes settlement negotiations.

The length of time it takes obtain a fair settlement in a personal injury case depends on the particular facts of each case. This article focuses on cases that do not go to Court and are settled outside of the court process.

For more complicated cases with several injuries and/or long term consequences such as permanent disability, it will take longer to settle the case than the typical straightforward single fractured limb or minor injury case that heals in 4 to 8 months.

These are some of the usual steps taken in a personal injury case and some of the factors that are to be considered when estimating the amount of time a settlement will be obtained:

Steps in a typical personal injury case

1. Initial call to a personal injury lawyer to set up a meeting to discuss the case.

2. Initial meeting with a personal injury lawyer to discuss the facts of the case, the legal principles applicable to your case and an assessment is completed of your rights and interests. Although we conduct an in depth interview at the initial meeting, we will obtain more detailed information as the case progresses.3. If the case is sound, the lawyer is retained in writing, usually on a contingency fee basis where the lawyer is paid only if he recovers a settlement for you. The lawyer will formally open a file at the law firm.

4. We will begin by organizing the file and the facts that we have obtained and we will begin preparing as if your case was going to proceed to trial. We prepare each file as if it was going to trial, even though approximately 95% of all cases are settled short of an actual trial occurring. We do this so that we do not miss any relevant information or issues on your case. At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we tale no short cuts.

5. The lawyer writes and delivers a formal “notice” letter to the person or persons who caused your injuries. These persons are called “tortfeasors”. That letter politely provides notice of your intention to sue the tortfeasors unless reasonable compensation is paid as a result of the injuries you sustained.

6. The tortfeasors will send the notice letter to their insurer who will appoint a lawyer or an insurance adjuster to take over carriage of the claim, investigate the claim and hopefully settle it.

7. The lawyer or insurance adjuster will contact your lawyer advising that they have carriage of the personal injury case and will want to arrange for a meeting with you and your lawyer. That meeting takes place at your lawyer’s office (unless you are unable to travel due to medical reasons in which case, the meeting can be held at your home). The purposes of the meeting are for the insurance adjuster to assess your credibility, obtain your version of the events and to discuss the progress of the file, such as obtaining medical documents and other documents supporting your claims such as income tax returns, medical receipts etc…

8. In some cases, the insurance adjuster may want you to see doctors they hire to complete an independent assessment. These are called independent medical examination or defence medicals.

9. As you recover, we write to the hospitals you attended and to the treating physicians who cared for you, notify them that we have been retained as your personal injury lawyers and ask for copies of their entire files. We ask your physicians not to disclose information to any third parties. We also hire experts that are needed to support your claims such as actuarial consultants to prepare loss of income reports, doctors to provide medical reports and accountants, etc… The medical reports we seek are highly specialized and answer specific medical legal questions and addresses specific medical issues.

10. If necessary, and after discussion with you, a private investigator may be hired to assist us in gathering information and witness statements.

11. We consult with you throughout the process to obtain information on how the injuries affected you personally and changed your life and also how it affected members of your family.

12. We also contact witnesses and obtain witness statements.

13. We also attend the scene of the accident and take photographs of the scene, if needed.

14. In many cases, we also take photographs of your injuries.

15. Your personal injury case should be settled until you have reached maximum medical recovery or what we call in the industry “crystallization” of your injuries, all investigation has been completed and all relevant medical documents and other supporting documents have been obtained.

16. It may be impossible to obtain all the necessary medical information because your health care providers are unable to provide answers to many questions we have until your treatment has been completed. In this case, we have to wait to receive a final medical report from your health care providers who can provide us with a professional opinion about your medical condition and possible future medical treatment and expenses.

17. Once you have reached a point where you are fully recovered or have reached maximum medical recovery or what we call in the industry “crystallization” of your injuries, we start determining more specifically the values of your claims. Crystallization means that you will not get any better or worse medically speaking than the status at that point in your recovery.

18. As soon as the investigation has been completed, all necessary medical information is obtained and we have received all of the supporting documents (medical reports, expert reports, test results, income information, out of pocket expense documents, impact statements, photographs, witness statements, etc…), we will complete a full evaluation of your case. We explain our assessment to you and we never settle your case without your consent.

19. As part of the assessment, we complete comprehensive legal research researching all aspects of your case and review what we believe a Court would award if your case went to a trial and you won. This is an assessment of the value or quantum of your claims.

20. We then prepare a comprehensive settlement brief which includes all the material facts of the incident, the impact of the incident on you and your family, a summary of the clinical notes and records obtained from your health care providers, a summary of the medical legal reports obtained, a summary of the expert reports obtained, a summary of any witness statements and of your account of the events causing the injuries, details of the legal research completed, an assessment and detailing of all of your claims in terms of the value of each of the claims (pain and suffering, loss of income, out of pocket expenses, special damages etc..)and supporting facts and documents and finally, a proposal for a comprehensive total settlement. The settlement brief is reviewed by you before being submitted to the other side.

21. That medical brief is submitted to the relevant insurance companies, adjusters and lawyers involved and they review the proposal.

22. Once the relevant insurance companies, adjusters and lawyers involved have reviewed the proposal, we either meet with them in person or discuss the case by telephone in an attempt to settle your claims. If the settlement amount discussed falls within the acceptable range you would be happy to accept, we confirm the settlement with the insurance adjuster.

23. The insurance adjuster then forwards the settlement cheque to our office with a full and final release which is a document in which you sign and promise that you will never sue over the incident again.

24. We usually wait 10 business days for the cheque to clear (normal banking clearing rules) and then, after deducting our agreed upon costs, we deliver the cheque to you with a full reporting letter outlining what has occurred on your case together with a copy of relevant documents.

How long does it take to settle a personal injury case?

The length of time it takes to reach a settlement of a personal injury claim depends on many factors, including the following:

1. How fast you are able to respond to your lawyer’s requests for various information and documents relevant to your case.
2. Any difficulties your lawyer experiences with the insurance company or adjuster.
3. How long it takes you to recover from your injuries.
4. How long it takes for your health care providers to provide a prognosis which is a professional opinion on the nature and severity of your injuries going forward.
5. How long it takes for your health care providers to provide the requested medical legal reports and clinical notes and records.
6. If necessary, how long it takes for the insurance adjuster to arrange for independent medical testing and examinations.
7. How long it takes for the insurance adjuster to review the file and settlement proposal, seek instructions from their principals (usually a boss at the insurance company and provide a position on settlement.

Each case is different. On average, it takes 8 to 16 months to obtain a settlement, providing the healing time is about 4 months.

If you need a respected and experienced personal injury lawyer, contact us at 613-315-HURT or 613-315-4878. Marc Quinn, Mediator, Personal Injury Lawyer, Law Instructor. Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Network Founder

Can I receive compensation for scars and disfigurement?2018-10-30T13:59:20+00:00

Scars and disfigurement provide special challenges when it comes to assessing general damages for pain and suffering. These type of injuries can have lasting consequences and cause significant emotional psychological trauma in addition to the obvious physical pain and suffering. The types of consideration in terms of damages for scars and disfigurement are different than other types of injuries and can include damages for loss of interdependent relationship, negative impact on employability, loss of self esteem and self confidence etc…

In addition, cases involving scars and disfigurement can include additional medical expenses such as plastic and reconstructive surgery, services of a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. These types of medical and health care services are very expensive and the costs associated with them are compensable. In cases of scars and/or disfigurement, lifestyle is impacted in significantly different ways, facial scars and disfigurement in particular are difficult to handle by injured persons. There are self confidence and esteem issues that may require psychological assessment and treatment which can be life long.

There are many people express a sense of significant embarrassed by their scars and disfigurement and this has an impact on them emotionally, socially and psychologically. Scars can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to feel confident about their appearance. People who suffer disfigurement and/or scarring often tell us they have profound feelings of anger and embarrassment. Their personal relationships suffer or they have an inability or difficulty with new relationships. They feel isolated and alone. Psychological and emotional treatments can help but they are expensive.

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, our experienced personal injury lawyers assist clients obtain the compensation that is needed for their physical, emotional and psychological treatment. When necessary, our lawyers work with medical professionals to fully understand our clients’ injuries and assess the additional costs of health care services and the additional compensation for pain and suffering associated with scar and disfigurement cases. We prepare each case carefully, consider all elements of the pain and suffering and additional and special costs/expenses incurred and likely to be incurred. We are very effective in representing clients who have suffered the lasting effects of scars and disfigurement.

Scars and disfigurements can occur as a result of any type of accident. In Ottawa, the lawyers at Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC have helped clients recover damages as a result of all types of injuries, including accidents causing scars and/or disfigurements from accidents at work, car accidents, accidents in restaurants and other businesses, burns form all sources, birth injuries, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, unsafe properties and general negligence of others.

Are witness statements important?2018-10-30T13:59:22+00:00

In personal injury cases, obtaining witness statements can mean the difference between reaching settlement and having to litigate. In many cases, the version of events between the injured person and the person alleged to be responsible for the accident can be extremely different. In such cases, courts, injury lawyers, insurance lawyers and insurers look to corroborating and independent evidence, independent eye witness accounts.

Witness statements can be important for determining liability and damage in a personal injury case. The injured person is one witness. In order to buster or support an account of events causing the injury, obtaining and disclosing a statement of what occurred provided by a third-party witness to the incident is very useful. The best witness statement is from a person who is not involved in the incident in any way except as a witness, is not related to any party to the incident and is otherwise credible. Obtaining witness statements early in the case is also important – witnesses’ account of events are more reliable if obtained at the time or near the time of the accident.

Can I receive compensation for a shoulder injury?2018-10-30T13:59:25+00:00

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we see many clients each year who suffer shoulder injuries from a variety of causes – car accidents, assaults, trip and falls, slip and falls and sporting injuries. Shoulders are a very flexible and obviously useful part of the body. The joints in the shoulders are very useful in particular and used in many daily activities. However, they can be injured quite easily it seems. Shoulder injuries include strains, sprains, rotator cuff injury and usually tears, fractured shoulder bones, dislocation of shoulder, subluxation of shoulder, bruises to muscles, shoulder separation, nerve injury, and other soft tissue injuries. Shoulders are especially vulnerable to injury in motor vehicle and car accidents since they are supported by seat belts that strap across the shoulders. The impact can cause significant injury to the shoulders.

Because of the nature of shoulder injuries, they tend to last a long time and cause permanent disability of varying degrees. Also, given the type of injuries shoulders sustain, they usually result in a requirement of physical therapies such as physiotherapy. Recovery from shoulder injuries can be frustrating. Try getting dressed by yourself with a shoulder injury.

Like other injuries, some shoulder injuries can seem minor but then become more serious over time. Symptoms may first be mild and then develop into severe pain and agony. Shoulder injuries can develop into chronic medical conditions, causing significant pain and disability.

At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC, LLP, Ottawa Accident and Injury Lawyers, our trained personal injury lawyers have experience in dealing with all types of injury cases, including shoulder injury cases. We have helped many clients throughout Ontario receive fair compensation for shoulder injuries.

If you have suffered a shoulder injury in an accident, contact us at 613-315-4878 or 613-315-HURT, for a free consultation. We will discuss your case with you at no cost. We work on no fee until you win basis (contingency fee retainer arrangements). Marc-Nicholas Quinn, Partner, Lawyer and Mediator.

Can I get compensation for a minor back injury?2018-10-30T13:59:28+00:00

Back injuries are very common and often result from a sudden blow to the body like motor vehicle accidents or falls such as slip and fall or trip and fall incidents. With back injuries comes back pain. Back pain is caused by a range of conditions that affect muscles, tendons and soft tissues; also from a serious injury to the spinal cord, or nerves. Back pain is also caused by nerve damage or pinged nerves such as sciatica. Feeling jolting pain in the lower back affects emotions and causes significant stress and it is not uncommon for injured persons to also develop depression secondary to a back injury.

In most cases, back pain disappears quickly (within days or weeks) since it does not normally involve serious damage to the back or a related disease. In other cases, back injuries result in permanent disability and complete inability to work. The degree of back pain or injury has no real affect on an injured person’s right to bring a back injury claim. However, the amount of compensation will vary depending on the severity of the injury, its affects on the injured person and the duration of the pain and injury.

A trip and fall or slip and fall related back injury can be extremely painful and is one of the most common types of injury we see in fall cases. Suffering a back injury can have devastating consequences and affect every aspect of a person’s life. We also often see our clients who injure their back in a motor vehicle accident unable to work for months and years after the incident. In addition to being unable to work, back injuries can result in the inability to perform normal daily tasks and activities.

The back is an important part of the human body. It supports and assists many other body parts to function and any injury to it can be serious and life-threatening given that damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis and death. Some of the most common back injuries we see in our personal injury law practice include: slipped disks, herniated disks, injured nerves, sciatica, broken vertebrae, spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries to the muscles, tendons and other soft tissue in the back and development of arthritic medical conditions.

If you have suffered a back injury, contact us at 613-315-4878 or 613-315-HURT for a free consultation. We offer No Fee Until You Win agreements. We focus on personal injury cases and can get you the compensation you deserve.

Do you handle sexual abuse cases?2018-10-30T13:59:29+00:00

Yes we do. We understand that because of the nature of the claims advanced, sexual abuse cases require special attention.

Our Ottawa sexual assault and sexual abuse lawyers offer victims of assault, sexual assault, rape and sexual abuse a legal means of obtaining fair compensation and an opportunity to exact justice against the abusers. We provide compassionate and respectful guidance and representation in all aspects of a court action against the all those responsible for the sexual assaults.

Victims of sexual abuse can often pursue their abusers long after the acts were committed. If you were abused as a child, teenager or an adult, we can provide meaningful guidance and explain to you your rights against the individual (strangers, former friends, co-workers, family members) institutional (schools boards, churches, camps, care facilities and their employees, agents and assigns) and governmental (children’s aid societies, government departments and department heads) abusers. Through legal principles such as tort law, contract law and fiduciary obligations, we can help you obtain compensation from the abusers. Pursuing civil remedies against abusers through the civil courts is different than pursuing them in the criminal courts. As a victim, you have the right to pursue the abusers regardless of the outcome of any criminal proceedings.

The compensation we seek on behalf of our clients will never satisfactorily address the profound wrong done, but it can help alleviate some of the stresses such as expenses needed therapies, living expenses, loss of income and medical expenses. The goal is to have our clients put back as close as possible to the financial position he or she would have been in had the abuse not occurred. It is never possible, though money alone, to remedy the act of abuse or the impact of abuse; compensation is one way the justice system can assist victims. The types of compensation that may be awarded include general damages for pain and suffering, therapy and counselling expenses, losses of income, our of pocket expenses and legal expenses. In many cases punitive and aggravated damages can also be awarded to particularly punish the abuser.

The consequences of sexual abuse are complicated, devastating, profound and long term. It is impossible to compare the impact of sexual abuse to any other form of personal injury. That is why at our law firm, we handle sexual abuse cases with particular care and compassion and take steps specifically assessed for sexual abuse cases.

If you need the help of experienced, dedicated, compassionate and understanding personal injury lawyers to obtain the compensation you deserve because of the wrongful and criminal act of another, contact us for a free consultation. We often take on sexual abuse cases on a No Fee Until You Win basis. Call us at 613-563-1131, Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers. By: Marc-Nicholas Quinn.

What is a brain injury?2018-10-30T13:59:30+00:00

A head injury is any trauma that leads to injury of the scalp, skull, or brain. The specific injuries can range from a minor bump on the skull to very serious brain injury causing comas, paralysis and even death. In general terms, head injury is classified as either closed or open (penetrating the skull) head injury. A closed head injury is usually caused by a blow to the head from striking an object (be it an item such as the sidewalk, street, ice, floor, fallen object or a blow by a hit such as a punch or ball in sporting accidents), but the blow did not result in a break of the skull. An open (or penetrating) head injury results from a blow to the head that breaks the skull and entered the brain. This type of injury often occurs from serious car accidents where a person travels at a high rate of high speed and their head comes into contact with the windshield or dash of the car. Other common causes are blunt hits or gunshot to the head.

Brain injuries are very serious. There are several types of brain injuries. Examples are concussions, which is the most common type of traumatic brain injury we see. A concussion results form a shaken brain, often resulting from a fall, such as a trip and fall or slip and fall on ice. We also see a lot of contusions, which is a bruising of the brain.

Head injuries occur often and fortunately, most are minor since the skull provides the brain with significant protection. Experiencing symptoms of minor head injuries are serious nevertheless, but it seems that they often go away on their own. Other symptoms are more serious and long term and sometimes require hospitalization and surgery. Some head injuries are permanent and cause non reversible brain damage and permanent disability, often caused by bleeding in the brain or brain tissue damage. Examples of serious consequences of head injuries are coma, chronic head syndromes, cognitive deficits, paralysis, loss or change in sensations in vision, hearing, taste and smell, speech impairments and seizure disorders.

The most common causes of head injuries we see are car accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, strikes to the head in an assault, hits during sporting activities and fallen objects.

If you have suffered a head injury due to an accident, please contact us at 613-315-HURT or 613-315-4878 for a free case assessment and free consultation. Our firm takes on cases on a contingency basis and we do not charge any fees unless we win your case. Marc-Nicholas Quinn, founder of the Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Network, Lawyers of Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP.

What is pain and suffering in a personal injury case?2018-10-30T13:59:31+00:00

Whether you are injured in a car accident, slip and fall, trip and fall or other accident due to the negligence of someone else, chances are that you have suffered pain and suffering and are entitled to receive compensation. The extent of pain and suffering depends entirely on the person injured and the severity of the injuries.

Pain and suffering is the legal term for the physical, psychological and emotional stress caused from an injury or injuries sustained due to the wrongdoing of another. It is a type of monetary damages that an injured person can recover for physical, psychological or mental pain that results from a wrong done, usually in the form of an injury to the person. Pain and suffering is a non economic loss, unlike loss of income or out of pocket expenses that are more easily calculated, and is meant to compensate someone for the kinds of distress and discomfort felt and endured from a wrong done by someone else.

Placing a specific value on pain and suffering is probably the most difficult task for a judge and jury in any personal injury case, aside from determining liability. For personal injury lawyers, a large part of the legal research focuses on pain and suffering and its monetary value. A great deal of investigation goes into providing an opinion on the monetary value of the pain and suffering damages is fair and reasonable in the circumstances. In reality, there is no pure or scientific formula, table, chart or reference to use in calculating pain and suffering. The specific facts of the case and particulars of how the injuries or wrong has affected a person’s life in every respect and prior decided cases (case law) are the most useful tools in assessing the value of pain and suffering. Every injured person and every injury is different and each case deserves a specific assessment and thorough evaluation. Everyone reacts to injury differently; two people can have almost identical injuries but suffer completely differently and to completely different degrees.

What are the most typical ways children are injured?2018-10-31T13:07:02+00:00

Children and Injuries in Public Places

Shopping is a part of everyday life. We all shop and eat out from time to time. We take walks on public walkways, streets and parks. Whether it is for entertainment or necessity, we all use public places and our children do as well. Our children accompany their parents and other adults on outings and excursions. In the process, they are exposed to the everyday risks associated with life and they can be injured. Because of their size, injuries to children can have greater impact and can be very serious and permanent.

Typical Ways Children are Injured

Other than injuries in motor vehicle accidents, which is the subject of another article of the Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Network, the most common injuries sustained by children we see are slips and falls, trip and falls, falling objects from store shelves, escalator injuries, sporting injuries, playing – rough play injuries, play structure injuries, falling down stairs, incidents in stores and malls, incidents at friends homes and parking lot injuries such as trip and fall in pot holes.

Children can trip on items located on store or other establishment floors; they may slip on wet or uneven surfaces, trip in pot holes located on private or municipal property; usually the slips are caused by wet surfaces from spilled substances. Trips are caused by items dangerously placed in open areas, uneven surfaces or holes in floors and other places.

In all cases, owners and occupiers of the stores and establishments are responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone, including children, by creating a reasonable maintenance program and adhering to it. They must keep aisles of stores free of objects, keep surfaces even, shelves safe, clean floors, remove spillages and take whatever other steps needed to ensure children are safe and so as to prevent potential injuries .

If the dangerous condition existed for a long enough period of time when the incident happened, the owner and/or occupier of the premises will be held liable. They will be held liable for known dangers and liability is also possible where they did not know, but should have known of the dangerous conditions, through reasonable inspection steps.

In some cases, items fall on children seriously injuring them. We often see extremely heavy objects – merchandise in large stores (bulk stores), stored 5-20 metres high. These items are extremely dangerous. If an item falls and injures a child, store owners and/or occupiers will be held responsible and will have to pay damages.

Other common ways children are injured are trips in pot holes and shopping centres are often the place where you can find pot holes. Parking lot injuries are common since most people drive to the big shopping malls and must walk from the lot to the mall.

In the end, whatever the cause of the injury, be it a trip or slip and fall or fallen object, owners and occupiers of stores, restaurants, business establishments, shopping malls etc… owe a duty to everyone, and including children of course, to ensure the premises are safe. The owners and occupiers are legally responsible for protecting the health and safety of customers on their premises.

Free Consultations – No Fee Until You Win Agreements

If your child is injured because of a store owner’s fault, contact Ottawa Personal Injuries Lawyers – We are Experienced in Children and Injuries cases. We provide free legal advice regarding your legal rights and the rights of children to seek fair compensation for their injuries. We work on a NO FEE UNLESS YOU WIN basis (contingency fee basis).Call us at 613-315-4878 or 613-315-HURT. Marc Quin, Lawyer, Mediator, Personal Injury Law Author.

What are the risks of settlement of a personal injury case too early?2018-10-30T13:59:33+00:00

If you are a victim of a slip and fall, trip and fall or car accident and want to seek compensation for injuries you sustained, it is never too early to advance a claim against the legally liable person, business, corporation, municipality or group of people who was negligent. Liability will include damages for general pain and suffering, special expenses, out of pocket expenses, medical expenses, future care expenses, medical devices, loss of income etc…

While it is never too early to start a claim (give notice of your intention to seek compensation and perhaps sue), it is in many occasions too soon to settle the case. Most personal injury cases should only settle once the injuries have “crystalized”, meaning the full extent of the injury is known and a medical expert has opined that you will not get any better or any worse so that a final prognosis and full understanding of disability, if any, is known.

In some cases, an injured person believes their injuries are minor, but then find out that surgery is required or that the pain is permanent will never go away. All injured persons should obtain a full diagnosis by a health care provider prior to settlement. Do not make the mistake of rushing into an early settlement. Once a settlement is obtained, it can not generally be undone absent proving things like fraud; settlements are final and legally binding; courts will enforce settlement agreements. In signing as settlement, you release the liable party or parties from any and all liability of any known and unknown damages associated with the accident. Patience goes a long way in personal injury cases and we always recommend waiting a few months after you believe you have healed fully; then obtain a medical assessment confirming it; only then settle the case.

To better illustrate the point, consider these facts: You suffer a fractured leg in a slip and fall or car accident. You have initial surgery and are placed in a cast. After 3 months, you feel wonderful and the cast comes off, you then proceed to settle so as to quickly receive money. You sign a full and final release and get your settlement cheque. Some time later, you resume your normal routine but something is off; you are re-assessed medically; you are told that the injury requires more surgery or long term therapy because the pain has returned and it seems that you have developed a slight walking deficiency. You then hire a personal injury lawyer who assesses the case and informs you that s/he could have obtained a settlement more than ten times the amount you settled the case for on your own but the release is binding and there is nothing that can be done; no further compensation can be claimed. We see this scenario occur many times in our practice each year.

If you have been injured in an accident, invest in a meeting with one of our personal injury lawyers, the consultations are free. We take on personal injury cases on a no fee until you win basis so you have little risk when it comes to our fees. We do not charge unless we win for you.

What is personal injury mediation?2018-10-30T14:01:58+00:00

Personal injury mediation can occur before or after a court action is commenced. Mediation may be mandatory under the Court Rules (personal injury actions commenced in Ottawa must go to mediation) or elective such as in family law disputes. While in a personal injury court action the parties may be required to attend mediation, neither party is bound to come to an agreement. If, however, they do come to an agreement, the agreement reached at mediation will become legally binding.

Since the process of litigation is extremely costly and can take many years to resolve, mediation is now required to be completed at an early phase of the court action. The parties must attend mediation before their case can even proceed to trial.

A mediation is carried out with a trained mediator, usually over a half a day (3 hours) or a whole day (6 hours) in an attempt to bring the parties together and reach agreement on the issues in dispute. The lawyers for each party file with the mediator and exchange with each other a statement of issues setting out the important facts and legal issues of the case and attach any important supporting documents.

Mediation usually occurs in one room with each party presenting their views separately after the mediator gives his opening statement. At some point, the parties usually separate into different rooms and the mediator handles the mediation by going back and forth between the parties trying to find common ground to resolve all the issues between them. If an agreement is reached, the parties agree to cease the litigation and a settlement agreement is signed and adhered to.

Mediation is informal in that you can speak openly since mediations under the Rules of Civil Procedure are confidential (closed mediations). Mediation is a great way to resolve disputes in a civil and expeditious manner at the least expense to the parties.

Ottawa Mediation Services

Ottawa mediation services was formed by the mediators practising at Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, Lawyers and Mediators – Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle all types of mediations, but focus on personal injury mediations and family mediations. Our experienced and skilled roster of mediators are ready to assist you with any conflict resolution needs you may require. Our mediators are trained and listed as court connected mediators with the Ministry of the Attorney General. Our mission is to work with parties who are in dispute (whether out of court or court connected) to resolve their diffrences and move forward with their lives, by providing competent, caring, comprehensive and professional mediation services. We are an affordable alternative to litigation. We are able to assist organizations, businesses, government and families with conflict resolution by offering non adversarial means of resolving conflict. We offer a wide range of conflict resolution services with multiple options to resolving disputes. Some of your questions may be answered by reading the information on this web site. If you have any further questions or want to discuss how mediation can assist you, feel free to contact us in confidence at 613-315-4878 or by e-mail at mquinn@ottawalawyers.com.

What is a soft tissue injury?2018-10-30T13:59:33+00:00

As personal injury lawyers, we represent clients who suffer all types of injuries from a great variety of sources. In most cases, in addition to other injuries, our clients suffer some form of soft tissue injury.

What is soft tissue injury? We hear the term used frequently but the term is often misunderstood. Physicians and sports injury experts use the term often to describe a injury, but what exactly is an injury to the soft tissue?

In general terms, soft tissue refers to ligaments, tendons and muscles throughout the body. Soft tissue injury refers to injury to ligaments, tendons and muscles throughout the body. Soft tissue injuries are painful and often takes a long time to heal. In many cases, soft tissue injuries are permanent.
Some soft tissue injuries are caused by a single impact to the body or multiple blows to the body and is usually caused due to stress placed on a joint and/or muscles. Soft tissue injuries can also be caused by overuse of the body (tennis elbow for instance). In personal injury cases, we usually deal with multiple or single blows to the body causing soft tissue injuries which is what you expect to see in slip and fall, trip and fall accidents or car accidents.

No matter how the soft tissue injury is caused, the end result is still the same – pain and disability. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, redness, and instability. Soft tissue injuries can be minor or severe and it is important that the injury be properly diagnosed and treated by a physician experienced in dealing with soft tissue injuries.

There are all kinds of injuries that constitute part of the soft tissue injury group. These most common soft tissue injuries we see as personal injury lawyers are sprains, strains, contusions, tendinitis and bursitis. A sprain is caused by a stretched or even torn ligament. A strain is the stretching and tearing of soft tissue, specifically associated with tendons and muscles as opposed to ligaments. A contusion is a bruise (broken blood vessels). Tendinitis is caused by overuse of muscles, usually secondary to a greater injury. Bursitis is simply an inflamed bursa (or sac) that helps relieve friction in your joints.

Soft tissue injuries can cause significant pain and fatigue. It is not uncommon for our clients to feel depressed because of severe soft tissue injuries. We have often seen clients become completely debilitated by soft tissue injuries.

What is an insurance adjuster and should I talk to them?2018-10-30T13:54:09+00:00

If you have a personal injury lawyer, you should never talk to the insurance adjuster without your lawyer present. If you do not have a lawyer and are dealing with an adjuster, you should hire a personal injury lawyer before you agree to sign any documents, give any statements or settle your case.

A personal injury adjuster is an insurance company employee or insurance representative hired by the insurance company who is assigned responsibility to investigate and assess insurance claims. An adjuster also determines if a payment should be made under an insurance claim. In most cases, the insurance company will appoint an adjuster who will handle the entire insurance claim and deal with your personal injury lawyer directly. If the claim is not settled, the insurer then appoints a lawyer (defence counsel) who then works with the adjuster to either settle the claim in negotiations with your personal injury lawyer or proceed to a trial.

Adjusters are regulated professionals and must adhere to a set code of ethics and conduct, meaning they must act honestly and fairly. However, you should know that the main goal of the personal injury adjuster is to protect the interests of the insurance company. Adjusters will assess and pay compensation for legitimate claims but, like any business, adjusters will do what they can to pay the least possible. In determining if a claim should be paid, the adjuster will review the evidence, discuss the facts with their insured and person claiming compensation, interview witnesses, obtain witness statements, obtain relevant documents, assess the proper value of claims, negotiate a settlement with a personal injury lawyer or refer the matter to defence counsel.

Because the insurance adjuster does not work for you, you should be mindful that the adjuster may want to do things that benefit the insurance company to your detriment. For instance, insurance adjusters may not advise you of your rights and interests, will not represent your interests, will want a written or oral statement from you (which can be used against you in a court of law) and will want to minimize the compensation paid.

In our experience, hiring a personal injury lawyer almost always results in our client receiving much more in compensation, even after our bill, than the adjuster was willing to give in the absence of a lawyer being involved. We often see unrepresented clients receive offers from adjusters which are far too low and settlements which results in underpaid claims.

When should I hire a lawyer, I have been handling my injury case on my own and the insurance company wants to settle?2018-10-30T14:05:18+00:00

If you have been handling your personal injury case on your own, you should know that, chances are, you are not fully informed of all your rights and interests. You may be negotiating a settlement for an amount which is lower than you are entitled to receive. Without a lawyer, you are taking some risks in agreeing to a settlement which is potentially unfair.

Our law firm does not charge for consultations so you can meet with one of our lawyers free of charge and ask questions about your case. We can assess your case and give you advice on what we think is a fair settlement. You can then decide if you want to hire our personal injury law firm to pursue your remedies.

In every personal injury,. accident or disability case, we suggest you hire a lawyer. If any of the following circumstances occur while you are handling your own personal injury, accident or disability case, we suggest you consult and retain a personal injury lawyer.

1. You do not understand the documents the insurance company has given you;
2. Your claim has been rejected by the insurance company;
3. Your claim has been unpaid by the insurance company;
4. The settlement seems low to you;
5. The insurance company is ignoring you;
6. The insurance company wants you to see health care providers they have selected;
7. The insurance company wants you to sign a document such as forms or a statement;
8. The insurance company wants a sworn statement from you;
9. The insurance company wants to orally record or videotape a statement from you;
10. The insurance company is seeking documents from you or other people involved in your life such as your family, health care providers, employer etc…
11. The insurance company has surveillance on you;
12. The insurance company is obtaining statements from witnesses;
13. Your injuries seem to be permanent;
14. Your gut feeling is something is wrong; or
15. You are confused or not knowledgeable about the process or simply want to know your rights and interests.

Warning!! Every case has a limitation period, after which you will be forever barred from ever claiming damages from the person responsible for your injuries. The limitation periods are amended by statute from time to time.

How are personal injury cases settled?2018-10-30T14:05:38+00:00

Personal injury cases resolve one of three ways. They are either settled in Court following a trial; settled before or during a trial; or prior to litigation being commenced. Out of court settlements refers to settlements obtained without any litigation necessary. Most cases settle on a out of court settlement basis. It is uncommon for personal injury cases to reach trial. Based on most statistics, only 5% of ALL cases filed in Court actually reach trial; most (95%) are resolved prior to trial.

If litigation is necessary, cases settle at either the end of the exchange of pleading (documents starting the court matter and the defences) stage, mediation stage or settlement conference stage. Litigation involves parties who are unable to settle the case without litigation. This happens for many reasons: either the compensation sought is too high, the injuries are too serious, the injuries are ongoing and not fully known, there is a dispute over responsibility for the accident (i.e. legal liability) or the quantum of damages claimed.

If the person responsible is not willing to settle, there are really two options left: A. Walk away from the claim or B. Commence legal action against the responsible party or parties. The hope with filing a personal injury action is to obtain fair compensation. After an action is commenced, there is hope for settlement; after hearing the facts, receiving documentation supporting the allegations of negligence and supporting the damages claimed, the responsible party may acknowledge fault for settlement purposes and offer a suitable amount of compensation to settle the case.

Why would someone settle only after an action is commenced? There are various reasons and the most common is simply a difference in views on legal responsibility or a strategy being employed in that they wait to see if the injured person will actually follow through and commence a court action. With litigation, there is risk for everyone involved. The general rule is that the losing party must pay their own legal expenses AND also the legal expenses of the winning party. Litigation tends to include complex legal procedures and law that can also result in unpredictable results which makes settlement the better option for all involved.

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we will litigate any case if necessary. We have experience in litigation and WILL NOT BACK DOWN. However, we ALWAYS encourage pursuing settlement because of the risks and stress involved in litigation. The most important reason behind attempting settlement is that the parties will finally dispose of the issues. We always try to have the parties acknowledge that the matter should be resolved without a trial. In the end, no party to litigation wishes to incur unnecessary legal expense and deal with the stress associated with the court process.

The process of obtaining a personal injury settlement is not as easy a process as it appears to be. The injured person must prove several elements of their case. They include:

1. They were, in fact, injured;
2. They were injured due to someone else’s act or omission;
3. There existed a duty for the responsible person to act or omit to act;
4. The act or omission was the direct or foreseeable cause of the injury;
5. The injuries must be proven by reliable and admissible medical evidence;
6. The alleged negligence must be proven by reliable and admissible evidence, usually by direct evidence of witnesses and sometimes by a mix of lay witness evidence and expert evidence in complicated personal injury cases;
7. The expenses, damages and losses must be proven by reliable and admissible evidence such as health care providers, actuaries, accountants, other professionals and experts;
8. All of the above must be proven by facts and solid reliable admissible evidence;
9. The amount of the claims for compensation must be based on acceptable and proper evaluations, opinions and estimations demonstrating, in a reliable way, the quantum of the claims; and of course,
10. Professional legal advice is needed to assess and opine on all of the above.

Any case can be settled without a lawyer. However, a personal injury lawyer can provide vital legal advice in every aspect of the case and, our experience is, that settlements obtained are much higher with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. The guidance of a personal injury lawyer is very important in many aspects. Advice on the list above for instance. A personal injury lawyer can encourage and negotiate a settlement on an injured person’s behalf at any stage of the process. A personal injury lawyer can compensate for the injured persons’s inexperience in legal matters and lack of legal knowledge and information.

A personal injury lawyer can assess and assist in obtaining the needed facts and evidence to make a stronger case for settlement and trial. Examples are (a) obtaining the right medical evidence such as clinical notes and records, independent test results, medical legal reports and finding reliable and fair medical experts to provide professional opinions; (b) documenting the incident with authorities; (c) filing claims;. (d) obtaining witness statements; (e) obtaining photographs of the scene of the accident and injuries; (f) assessing income and other special losses; (g) assessing the full extent and severity of the injuries and impact of the physical, mental and psychological injuries on the client’s life; (h) assessing the value of the compensation and various damages based on case law (I) assessing any other evidence needed to present a favourable case for settlement and, if needed, court appearances and eventually trial.

The content of this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be comprehensive legal advice. This article is a summary only.

If I am injured in a public place, can I sue and receive compensation?2018-10-30T13:44:50+00:00

Injuries caused by accidents in the public places such as retail establishments, shops, stores, shopping centers, malls, restaurants and other public property have special considerations in terms of the applicable law. For instance, the standard is different if you have been injured on municipal property such as sidewalks or roads. It is more difficult to find a municipality liable than a retail store owner for example. The governing statute for retail establishments and businesses is the Occupier’s Liability Act.

All public locations such as stores, business premises, offices, retail establishments, shopping centers, etc… are required to be safe and reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the safety of people using the premises. For instance, the premises must be free from any type of slipping or tripping hazards, there should be proper lighting and security and a regular system of maintenance must be in place. Owners, occupiers and managers of public places have a positive responsibility to ensure that appropriate and adequate monitoring, maintenance, cleaning and reparation processes are in place and that the system and processes in place are reasonable.

Amy danger such as obstacles in aisles, fallen objects, a wet floor due to spillage, uneven surfaces, non completed repairs or needed cleaning must have a proper sign that is visible so as to alert the public of the danger and hazard. In many cases, having a sign is not enough, the danger or hazard must be actually removed.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident in a store or business, you may be entitled to advance a personal injury claim and we can help. We offer free legal advice and work on a No Fee Until You Win basis. Give us a call at 613-315-4878 / 613-315-HURT and we will be happy to discuss the matter with you free of charge. Ottawa Accident Lawyers. Marc-Nicholas Quinn.

Where can I learn more about slip and fall, trip and fall and property liability cases?2018-10-30T13:44:46+00:00

If you are a visitor, tenant, customer or any other person who is injured on someone else’s property, you have the right to seek compensation provided you can prove negligence and/or breach of contract. If you have been injured because of a negligent property owner, property occupier, negligent landlord or negligent business owner, you have the right to claim compensation.

Property owners and occupiers owe a duty to anyone entering onto their property to take reasonable steps to ensure the security and safety of those who attend their property. Property owners and occupiers must ensure the property is safe and they must take steps to warn of known safety hazards and dangers and also to regularly maintain and inspect their property to ensure it is safe. In Ontario, the primary law that applies is the Occupier’s Liability Act which provides that an injured person has the legal right to compensation if injured due to the negligence of a property owner or occupier who have breached the reasonable standard of a property owner to keep their property safe.

At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, we have built a solid reputation for achieving great results for our clients who have been injured in property liability cases, be it a slip and fall, trip and fall, lack of security, assaults, unsafe premises etc. Other lawyers in our community who do not specialize in personal injury cases refer their clients to us. We specialize in personal injury, accident and disability case.

We have a team of personal injury, accident and disability lawyers, paralegals and law clerks who focus on obtaining compensation for injured persons injured due to accidents. Our lawyers will meet with you free of charge and put you at ease about dealing with a lawyer. Our lawyers will explain, in plain English, French, Polish, Croatian or German, the legal process, review your case and give you options on your personal injury, accident or disability case so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not to pursue compensation. If you choose to pursue the case, we will handle every step and work on a No Fee Until You Win basis.

Whether your case is a slip, trip or stumble case (whatever the case such as slippery surfaces, broken steps, uneven steps or surfaces, dangerous sidewalks, uneven landings or stairways, standing water, ice, snow, mud, spillages, inadequate lighting, disrepair, general hazards etc…) causing a fall and injuries, a car accident, dog bite, or other type of accident resulting in injuries caused by the carelessness or negligence of others, we can assist you. If your injury was caused by the negligence of someone else, we will give you valuable information on your rights and interests. The negligence can be anything from lack of maintaining the property to reasonable standards of safety, failure to warn of hazards and dangers, failure to take precautions to keep people safe from hazards and dangers or ignoring hazardous conditions, we can pursue a case for compensation for you.

At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, we have technologically advanced offices, using the latest in software to assist our clients. If you are injured and unable to travel to one of our offices, we will come to you and explain your rights, free of charge.

What should I do after a fall accident?2018-10-30T13:59:36+00:00
  1. It is important that you gather evidence right away.  However, you should first seek immediate medical attention.
  2. Provided you are medically able toy, re-attend (or cause somene to attend for you) at the scene of the fall, preferably with a friend or family member and take pictures of the location where you fell and take pictures of what caused you to fall (ice, snow, pot hole, uneven sidewalk etc…).
  3. Take as many photographs as needed to easily identity the location of the fall and what caused the fall.
  4. Obtain, if possible, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses.
  5. Review your documents and speak to your employer to see if you have any private insurance that may cover short term disability claim or medical expenses such as physiotherapy or rehabilitation.
  6. Record all trips to health care providers.
  7. Keep all receipts for any expenses you incur as a result of the accident.
  8. Contact PQTLaw as soon as possible. Depending on where you fell and who owns and occupies that property, you may have as little as 7 to 10 days from the time you fell to give formal notice to the owner of the fall.  Failing to give notice can adversely impact your claim.  We can prepare and deliver the formal notice on your behalf.
If I caused the accident can I still collect for my injuries?2018-10-30T13:59:37+00:00

This depends on whether you were wholly or partially at fault. You can be held partially responsible which means the amount you receive would be lower. However, you can still receive compensation, when partially at fault. You can collect for your injuries even if the accident was partly your fault.

There is a legal principle of “contributory negligence”. This is negligence on the part of the person who was injured which, when considering the negligence of the main person at fault, caused the accident.

An example of this is wearing running shoes in winter and slipping and falling on ice. Boots should have been worn and in not doing so, that injured person contributed to their own injury. Contributory negligence, if any, on the part of the injured person does not bar recovery of monetary damages, but the amount of monetary damages to which the injured person would otherwise be entitled to will be reduced, usually in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to that injured person.

If I fall and hurt myself on someone else’s property, can I receive money?2018-10-30T13:44:49+00:00

If you fell because of someone else’s fault or negligence, you are likely entitled to compensation. It really depends on why you fell.

To be successful and obtain monetary damages, you need to prove that the property owner was negligent. Common situations which cause someone to trip or slip and fall involve pot holes, failing to install railings, loose railings, poor lighting, ice, snow, uneven surfaces, barriers, hidden objects, wet floors etc….

There countless other unique situations which can cause someone to fall.

Each case has to be evaluated based on its individual facts. We can tell you if we believe you have a case. Free of charge.

My lawyer wants me to keep notes of my injuries and recovery and keep a diary, why?2018-10-30T14:05:19+00:00

This is a complex issue because of the evidentiary issues that arise from keeping any notes or a diary. You will receive different views on this issue from lawyers who tend to disagree on whether it is a good idea to keep notes and a diary. In some cases, you may be required to provide the opposing lawyer (the insurance company’s lawyer) the notes you kept. The notes, like other evidence, can be used in Court to contradict anything you say orally in Court. For instance to point out that your oral statement in court during examination is different from your notes. In other words, you can be cross-examined on your notes.

As personal injury lawyers, we can assist you in how to keep notes that may be kept confidential under legal doctrines called “litigation privilege” and “solicitor client privilege”. Litigation privilege is a type of immunity given for certain statements taken in connection with the pursuit of litigation. It generally covers such things as retaining expert reports and the privilege may be qualified or absolute. Solicitor client privilege is a common law principle which protects all communications between a lawyer and his or her client from being disclosed to anyone without the permission of the client.

Some tips in keeping notes. Your notes and diary should be prepared on the request of your lawyer. Your diary and notes should be addressed to your lawyer. This will assist in claiming privilege over the notes and diary. Also, your health care providers keep notes arising from visits with you. You should make sure that you let them know that their notes are important because you are involved in a personal injury matter and the notes could be used in Court. You should always tell your health are providers about your injuries, symptoms and how it is affecting your life, so that they can keep notes of what you said and then make comments on what their findings are after meeting with you. For instance, you mention that you are in great pain and the health care provider can complete an assessment which confirms the pain and then document it.

Should I take photos of the accident scene?2018-10-30T13:59:38+00:00

Photographs are always helpful, especially photographs of the location of the incident depicting the state of the property at the time of the accident and also photographs of the injuries are valuable.

Never place yourself in a situation of risk or danger when taking photographs.

However, if you have a camera available it would be a good idea to take photographs of the accident scene and of your injuries.

If you are unable to travel to the scene and take photographs, we can arrange for someone to attend on your behalf.

Why does OHIP take part of the settlement and how does that work exactly?2018-10-30T13:59:41+00:00

My personal injury lawyer says that part of my settlement must go to OHIP because they have a subrogated interest claim, what does this mean?

Ottawa car accident and personal injury lawyers provide explanation of your rights and interests when it comes to OHIP’s subrogated interest claim.

When you receive indemnity (meaning compensation) as an injured person in Ontario, the law recognizes that you should be fully indemnified (meaning receive full compensation). It also recognizes that third parties, such as OHIP, should be reimbursed for their expense associated with your care.

Associated with the legal principle of “indemnity” is the reciprocal principle of “subrogation”. In such cases, a third party such as OHIP (meaning the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care) has a right by statute under the Ontario Heath Insurance Act to recover from the injured person what they paid to provide care services to the injured person. The injured person in turn recovers the amount from the person who caused them injury. The principle of subrogation exists in part because, in general, the law recognizes that the injured party is not entitled to “double recovery.” An injured person only pays this if it receives it from the wrongdoer. However, the injured person and their injury lawyers must advance a claim for OHIP at the same time it advances a claim for the injured person.

How does it work? In practice, as long as there is no conflict of interest, your personal injury lawyer will also be hired by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to advance a claim for reimbursement of the expenses OHIP paid to care for you as a result of your injuries. When the case settles, the wrongdoer (or their insurer), will provide compensation to you and also have to pay OHIP’s subrogated interest claim.

What does the Ministry say about their subrogated interest claim?

This is what the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has to say about their subrogation interest.

“Personal Injury Accidents: Recovering Health Care Costs

If a person is injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, and makes a claim for damages or initiates a lawsuit, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care can recover its costs for health care and treatment.

Each year, the ministry recovers over $12 million from insurance companies through subrogation. Subrogation is a legal term unique to Insurance Law. It means “the right to recover costs for an injury caused by the fault or negligence of another person.” The ministry’s right to subrogation is enforced through legislation.

By being familiar with the principle of subrogation, those representing an injured person can ensure costs for appropriate health care and treatment are included in claims for damages.

Providers of health care services should read the fact sheet, Who Pays for Health Care: Injuries from Motor Vehicle Accidents to ensure costs for services are billed appropriately.

The most common examples of personal injury accidents for which the ministry recovers health care and treatment costs are :

  • slip and falls
  • boating, air and rail accidents
  • product liability or manufacturing defects
  • medical malpractice or professional negligence
  • dog bites
  • municipal liability
  • assaults
  • some motor vehicle accidents
  • class actions.

The ministry is notified by the injured person, their legal counsel or by the at-fault party’s liability insurer. The ministry’s right of recovery applies to any incident regardless of the location. This includes other provinces, and foreign jurisdictions that allow subrogation or other reimbursement rights.

The ministry can recover costs for :

OHIP insured services including :

physician services;
hospital services including in/out patient, acute and chronic care;
air ambulance; out-of-country/out-of-province medical and hospital services;
Extended care services typically arranged or provided through Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) in the home, school or community including :
professional services such as nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work or nutritional services.

non-professional services :

personal support including assistance with personal hygiene and homemaking services such as house cleaning, laundry, banking, shopping, preparing meals;
attendant care services such as assistance with personal hygiene and activities for daily living;
long-term care accommodation and services in nursing homes, charitable homes and homes for the aged (accommodation costs cannot be claimed in other facilities such as supportive housing).
community support services such as meals and transportation, caregiver support, adult day programs, home maintenance and repair, social or recreational services.

Recovering Past and Future Health Care Costs

The ministry recovers the cost from insurance companies (or at-fault parties) for all OHIP insured health services provided up to the time of settlement or judgment. It also claims the costs for future insured health care services that an injured person may need.

Where an injured person has been assessed for long-term care services and benefits, funding is provided on a bridge or interim basis until settlement funds have been received. The ministry’s claim includes these costs, and the subrogation unit endeavours to contact CCAC or other funding agencies upon settlement.

Subrogation does not apply for future non-professional health care services or benefits (such as attendant care, personal support and homemaking). The injured person must include a claim for the cost of these services in his or her personal claim for damages. Once settlement funds are received, he or she can then purchase these services directly. (source: www.health.gov.on.ca).”

OHIP at the moment (February, 2012) does not claim subrogated interest claims in cases of injured persons who are injured due to motor vehicle accidents in Ontario.

Health Insurance Act of Ontario

The relevant section of the Health Insurance Act is section 31 which reads as follows:

Subrogated claim included in action

31. (1) Any person who commences an action to recover for loss or damages arising out of the negligence or other wrongful act of a third party, to which the injury or disability in respect of which insured services have been provided is related shall, unless otherwise advised in writing by the General Manager, include a claim on behalf of the Plan for the cost of the insured services. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.6, s. 31 (1).

Recovery paid to Ontario

31. (2) Where a person recovers a sum in respect of the cost of insured services, the person shall forthwith pay the sum recovered to the Minister of Finance. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.6, s. 31 (2); 2006, c. 19, Sched. L, s. 11 (5).

How long will my case take?2018-10-30T14:05:40+00:00

The length of time it takes for each case to settle depends entirely on the facts of each case. It is difficult to answer this question at the beginning of a case because so many facts are unknown. It will depend on the type of injury, the delay in obtaining documents and expert reports, the degree and extent of the injury, wether the insurance company and adjuster wish to settle and the period of time it takes for the injured person to recover from the injuries.

It is no surprise that what you and your lawyer thinks is a reasonable assessment of the value of the claim and what the insurance company assesses it to be, is often quite different. This difference of opinion causes some delay and sometimes, in order to have the insurance company provide reasonable numbers for settlement, a court action must be commenced. Sometimes, a claim in court must be commenced in order to meet a time period such as a statute of limitations [every case has a time period by which you must start a court action or otherwise give up your tight to sue].

From commencement of a court action to trial, it takes about 12 to 36 months on average, depending on a variety of factors, some of which we mention above. If court action is not required, the usual time period for usual injuries from time of incident to settlement is about 8 to 24 months. The timing of settlement usually depends on when you have recovered from your injuries. It makes no sense to settle before the full extent of your injuries are known, including knowing the long term consequences of the injuries.

Once your injuries are fully known and you obtain [we do this for you]an opinion from a medical expert [or experts] stating that your injuries will not get any better or worse, you can consider settlement.

Keep in mind that there are some types of cases in which insurance companies are reluctant to settle, such as professional negligence, medical malpractice and products liability cases. You usually have to sue to recover in these cases.

Can my family members receive money-damages, even if I was the only one injured?2018-10-30T13:59:46+00:00

Yes. Under the provisions of the Ontario Family Law Act, there is provision for recovery to some extent for what is called monetary damages for “the loss of guidance, care and companionship” as well as certain out of pocket expenses and damages for providing medical care to an injured family member.

How do I know when to settle?2018-10-30T13:59:47+00:00

You make the decision to settle. When to settle will depend on how your case is proceeding. We provide you with legal guidance, information and advice throughout the process. All decisions to settle your case are made by you in writing after consulting us and considering all of your options.

We will provide you with our professional opinion on the value of your case, whether we think you should settle, on the strengths and weaknesses of your case and we will discuss with you the pros and cons of going to Court if settlement is not reached.

You can then make an informed decision and instruct us on how you wish to proceed.

If I need an expert, who pays for the expert – I have no money?2018-10-30T13:59:49+00:00

At PQTLaw, unless there are unusual circumstances, we will pay for expert fees. We will retain experts on your behalf. The type of expert needed will depend on the nature of your case. Retaining experts is expensive. However, they are usually needed to prove your case. The insurance industry has their own experts. Your case can be won or lost based on the quality of your expert and this is why we try our best to hire the best expert in the required field.

When can I start my Court Case?2018-10-30T13:59:49+00:00

You can start a court action at any time. However, litigation should always be avoided if possible. Litigation is time consuming, expensive and stressful.

If I need an expert, will you hire and pay for the expert on my behalf?2018-10-30T14:05:42+00:00

Yes. In most cases, we will hire and pay for experts we retain on your behalf in personal injury cases. We will recover the cost of hiring the experts from the settlement proceeds, once the case settles. In most cases, the insurance company representing the person who injured you will agree to reimburse us for the expert costs at the end of the case; sometimes they agree to provide reimbursement as the case progresses.

Suffering a personal injury (or injuries) can have a significant and sometimes life changing impact for the person affected and for their family. In such circumstances, as an injured person, you deserve the assistance of knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyers who will take all steps necessary to secure all compensation that you need and deserve. Your personal injury lawyer should try to achieve the best possible outcome for your personal injury claim. In most cases, this means soliciting the proper experts needed to assist in maximizing the compensation you deserve. As personal injury lawyers, we cannot determine certain aspects of an injured person’s claims without consulting certain personal injury experts. For instance, personal injury lawyers require health care providers to provide opinions on the injured’s person’s injuries, diagnosis, prognosis and treatments completed and to be completed. Injury lawyers require actuarial experts to calculate past and future losses of income and/or business losses. Accident lawyers require experts to calculate future costs of providing medical care. Experts are often needed to prove liability (an engineer who provides an opinion that stairs are defective for instance).

Courts and personal injury lawyers use experts in almost every injury case. Experts provide expert opinions upon which injury lawyers and courts can rely to make certain determinations such as liability, extent of injuries and amount of financial losses suffered. Experts can be qualified because of accreditation, education, experience and training or simply by specific experience in a given field. To give evidence, experts must be formally qualified as an expert by a judge if the matter is at trial. An expert witness, (sometimes called a professional witness) is a witness who, by virtue of their education, experience, training and skill is believed to have sufficient expertise and specialised knowledge in a particular subject beyond that of the average lay person. That knowledge is significant so that others, such as courts (judges) and lawyers can safely and with good conscience rely upon as expert evidence within the scope of the expert’s expertise to assist in making certain determinations about the case.

At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, we will always take every positive step needed to ensure that your claim is handled the right way, including locating and hiring the best experts available to provide expert opinions and testimony required to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for injuries you suffer.

How are my health records used to settle my case?2018-10-30T13:59:51+00:00

If you are injured as a result of an accident or incident caused by the fault of another person, inevitably you will be treated by various healthcare providers who will produce records of your visits with them, including notes of what you have told them. In addition to the healthcare providers’ own notes, they will also keep and produce numerous others healthcare records such as requisitions and test results. The medical or healthcare records produced by your various healthcare providers will include various medical findings, diagnoses and prognosis.

If, as a result of an accident, you seek compensation either directly from the insurance company or in a lawsuit, the insurance company and defence lawyers involved will seek to obtain a copy of all of your relevant healthcare records to substantiate your claim and injuries.

In most cases, your healthcare records are provided to the insurance adjuster to substantiate and support your claim for compensation. If your case is not settled and you commence a court action, as part of the court action you will be required to list all relevant documentation, including all medical records in an affidavit of documents which will be provided to the opposing party. Generally speaking, your lawyer will control the process and write to various third parties to obtain all relevant documentation, including healthcare records so that they can be listed in your affidavit of documents and supplied to the opposing party’s lawyer. In most cases, the opposing party will ask for copies of your medical records both before and after the date of the incident causing your injury. Your lawyer will ask you to sign a medical authorization form or direction allowing your healthcare providers to provide your lawyer with a copy of your records. It is important that your lawyer controls this process so that only relevant documents are obtained and produced.

In addition to standard medical records your lawyer will obtain as part of the court action process, your Ottawa personal injury lawyer will likely also retain (hire) medical experts to examine you and provide medical-legal reports.

Once the lawsuit has been commenced and the parties have exchanged affidavit of documents and document briefs containing all the records that are relevant to any issue in the court action, the medical records can then be used in another step in a court proceeding called examination for discovery. An examination for discovery is a step in a court action which allows each party to ask questions that are relevant to the case, under oath or affirmation. All parties to a court action must attend an examination for discovery. Your Ottawa personal injury lawyer will prepare you for this step. During the examination for discovery, it is very likely that the opposing lawyer will ask you questions about your medical condition and refer you to various medical records. Therefore, it is important that you review all of your records independently and with your lawyer in advance of the examinations for discovery.

In the event your personal injury matter proceeds to litigation and ultimately to a trial, the medical records will be used during the conduct of the trial. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled prior to trial. However, your accident and injury lawyer will prepare your case as if it is proceeding to trial so that if a trial is necessary, your lawyer will be ready to protect your interests and proceed to a trial. If your case reaches trial, many records including healthcare records will be used during the trial in various ways. In some cases, they are filed with the court and submitted to the judge as part of documents which are admitted or filed under the Evidence Act. In other cases, they are submitted to witnesses who refer to the records as part of the testimony.

The use of medical records in a personal injury action is a vital and important component to any successful injury case. The lack of medical records or mistakes with respect to obtaining and tendering of medical records at the early stages of a lawsuit or at trial can cost an injured person significant compensation. As experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we are trained to ensure that all of your records including medical records are obtained as early as possible and properly exchanged with the opposing party and submitted at trial in accordance with the rules of evidence.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to obtain the information and guidance you need. Our lawyers provide free legal advice and consultations. Our lawyers work on a no fee unless you win basis, called a contingency fee agreement. There is no fee unless we win your case. Contact us at your convenience at613-315-4878.

How is mediation used to settle my injury case?2018-10-30T14:01:59+00:00

The effective use of mediation to settle Ottawa accident and personal injury claims.

Aside from negotiations, mediation has become the number one method to resolve personal injury claims. Almost every jurisdiction in Canada includes mediation as part of the court process in an attempt to resolve disputes without litigation. In Ontario, for most court actions, including accident and injury claims, mediation is mandatory. As a result, it is important for personal injury lawyers to become very familiar with the use of mediation as a key tool to resolving personal injury claims. Understanding the mediation process is a must for any lawyer seeking to practice litigation or dealing with any disputes for that matter.

It is important for lawyers to explain to their clients the process of mediation and what is expected of the key players, the mediator, the lawyers and their clients. In mediation, the parties retain the services of a neutral third-party to assist them in resolving their dispute. The mediator facilitates a discussion between the parties in an attempt to resolve some or all of the issues.

Most mediations follow the following steps: the mediator provides the parties with an introduction to the mediation process and invites one of the parties to set out their views on how they see the issues being resolved during the mediation session. The next stage involves one of the parties setting out their case which usually includes an introduction and a recommendation for settlement. The next stage involves the other party setting out their case. Next, the mediator facilitates a discussion between the parties by exploring their views, interests and positions on the issues and together the parties attempt to resolve the issues in contention. If an agreement is reached, the parties usually sign a written agreement setting out the terms of the agreement. In some cases, the mediator will asked the parties to caucus. In caucus, the mediator will have frank discussions with each party and their lawyers separately which can often be very helpful in overcoming impasses that occur during mediation.

It is extremely important for lawyers to properly prepare their clients for mediation and that includes ensuring that they have provided to the opposing party all documents that are relevant to the issues in the action and they have obtained all relevant documents from the opposing party.

The lawyer representing the client at mediation will file on behalf of the client a statement of issues with supporting documentation. This mediation brief is provided to the opposing party and to the mediator but is not filed with the court. Typically, any documents dealing with settlement are not filed with the court so that the court remains neutral at all times.

The lawyer and client should have a clear objective for mediation and a lawyer should have instructions on what the client expects from mediation in terms of settlement.

Mediation is an effective tool in obtaining settlements in all cases including personal injury and accident cases. Our lawyers are trained in various forms of alternate dispute resolution methods including mediation which is the most common form of alternate dispute resolution process. It is important that lawyers representing clients in mediation are effective advocates and are knowledgeable about the process. As lawyers practicing personal injury law in Ontario, we are mandated by the rules of professional conduct to suggest the use of alternate dispute resolution processes to our clients. At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we encourage the use of various forms of alternate dispute resolution processes and have found great success in the use of mediation to resolve personal injury claims.

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, our lawyers offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis since most of the files we handle are personal injury matters. If you or someone you care about has been injured as a result of the negligence of another person, please contact one of our Ottawa personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. Call us at 613-315-4878.

Why do I need “expert” evidence?2018-10-30T13:59:52+00:00

Most personal injury cases will require expert evidence.

The usual types of experts retained by us for you are medical doctors, surgeons, psychologists, psychiatrists, valuators and appraisers. Medical expert witnesses are needed to convince the adjusters that your injuries are what they are. Medical experts for instance assist in explaining in medical terms what your injuries are and how they have impacted your health.,

Experts also assist a judge and jury understand the technical and medical aspects of your case.

In every negligence personal injury case, an injured person must prove that the person who injured them [person at fault] owed them a duty of care to ensure they are safe, that the duty was breached and that the breach caused the damages claimed. This is a simplistic explanation but you get the picture.

An expert will assist the adjuster and judge and jury if the matter is in Court about the “standard of care” required of the particular person at fault. Experts such as actuaries or appraisers can provide evidence as to the value of certain losses [such as loss of income] and can also give evidence in Court about the extent of damages and losses caused by the person at fault.

An expert is not needed in every case. These cases are rare however. Expert witnesses can be expensive, but are needed to prove the vast majority of cases.

At PQTLaw, in most contingency fee cases, we will hire experts for you and pay them ourselves – we recover the cost from the settlement. Usually, the medical experts we retain are also your own treating physicians and surgeons.

Who determines how the accident occured?2018-10-30T13:59:53+00:00

The determination of how the accident happened is determined by your evidence and more importantly, by independent witnesses who can give evidence as to what they witnessed.

Often, the best evidence is videotape evidence of the incident. Sometimes, there is a need for a more thorough analysis of the physical evidence where there are no witnesses and there may be a need for an expert to be retained such as an accident re-constructionist. Each case is different.

The best thing to do is to collect as much evidence as possible as close to the time of the accident as possible such as photographs, witness statements, reports etc…

If you can get the names and contact particulars of witnesses and take photographs of the scene of the accident, do it. This will help significantly.

What does “work-up” my personal injury file mean?2018-10-30T13:59:54+00:00

“Work-Up” the file means the work needed to pursue and prove your case.  It is the investigation of your file.

The full extent of the investigation steps required depends entirely on the type of claim you have

.You can expect that we will need to obtain witness statements, likely tax information such as income tax returns and pay stubs if you are claiming loss of income, medical records such as hospital notes and records and medical reports from treating physicians and medical experts we hire for you. We may also need to hire other types of non-medical experts such as actuarial experts and appraisers.

In automobile cases, we also ask for police reports and in all cases where insurance is relevant, we ask for copies of all policies of insurance. We write directly yo third parties for you to obtain the records – all you need to do is sign our standard form direction authorizing us to obtain the information and documents for you.

We collect and gather the needed documents and we review them, sometimes with the experts we retain for you.

This level of investigation takes time and money. At PQTLaw we handle most cases on a contingent fee basis, which means we get our fee from your eventual settlement or judgment Therefore, you need not be concerned about paying us. We don’t get paid unless you do. We do not charge a fee if there is no recovery.

Will I have to go to Court?2018-10-30T13:59:55+00:00

Probably not. It is our understanding that only 5% of cases actually reach trial. If we try to settle your case and the matter won’t settle, you decide if you want to start a court action. We take instructions from you.

As mentioned, statistically, the overwhelming majority of personal injury cases are resolved without going to a trial. We only recommend commencing a court action if (a) the settlement offered is too low and does not fairly compensate or (b) there is no settlement offered by the other side. Even when court action is initiated, most cases settle and you never have to go to Court.

We will discuss all options with you and provide you with our legal recommendations and opinions on your case before you have to make any decisions to settle or go to Court.

What is the maximum personal injury award in Ontario?2018-10-30T13:59:57+00:00

In general terms, there is no maximum for any type of damages awards in Canada, including Ontario. However, unlike the United States, the amounts in Canada are relatively modest.

There is a maximum amount when it comes to general damages however. General damages are compensation for past, present and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from injuries sustained in an accident.

The maximum is $329,244 as of February, 2010. The amount is indexed for inflation and is currently growing at the rate of about 1.5% per month. The amount can change at any time by an award made by Justice in a Court case.

In cases of car accidents and claims for compensation, there are limits and deductions applicable. For instance, there may be a $30,000 deductible against general damages for cases under $100,000 and loss of income claims (Income Replacement Benefits) are limited to 80% of your net past loss of income, up to a maximum allowed. Other than in car accident claims, there is no such statutory or common law reductions in past or future loss of income claims.

In most cases of personal injury, the most you can realistically expect to receive is the maximum amount provided for in the insurance policy covering the loss, unless the person responsible for the accident has significant assets from which you can collect above and beyond policy limits.

More information on personal injury damages?2018-10-30T13:59:59+00:00

Each personal injury case is different and warrant different amounts and types of compensation. Each case must be evaluated on its own merits.

The general types of damages available are as follows:

1. General damages which are damages provided to compensate for loss of companionship, loss of reputation, and the physical, mental and/or psychological pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life caused by an injury;

2. Family Law Act damages which is compensation for close family members who have lost care, guidance and companionship associated with the injured person;

3. Family Law Act damages which is compensation paid to close family members who have provided care services to care for their injured relative;

4. Past, present and future loss of income, including lost wages, business income, lost profit and any other type of income loss or economic opportunity losses related to the accident and injuries sustained which are reasonably foreseeable;

5. Past, present and future medical, care and rehabilitation expenses;

6. Past, present and future housekeeping and home maintenance expenses;

7. Out of pocket expenses;

8. Punitive and aggravated damages which are special types of damages which serve as punishment to the person to persons responsible for the accident (usually awarded in cases where there is egregious acts, oppression, malice, fraud, bad faith and so on);

9. Pre-judgment and post judgment interest; and

10. Costs or legal fees associated with pursuing compensation.

What types of compensation and damages can I receive if injured?2018-10-30T14:00:01+00:00

Our Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers investigate all possible types of damages to obtain fair compensation for our clients.

Injured Persons are entitled to many types of compensation and damages. This is a summary of what is available.

These damages are classified as non-monetary losses:

Pain and Suffering Compensation
You can receive compensation for the physical pain you are suffering and will suffer in the future, and for extreme psychological stress.

Loss of a Body Part
If a person loses a body part, they can receive money for the physical loss and also for the psychological impact of having a missing body part.

Reduced Life Expectancy
If an injured person can prove that their life expectancy is reduced because of the accident, he or she can be compensated for the lost years of life.

These damages are classified as monetary or economic losses:

Loss of Earnings or Income
In the event you suffer a loss of wages or other income (such as business or professional income or opportunity) because of an injury, your losses from the time of the accident projected for the rest of your life, can be recovered. This is usually calculated on the basis of past and future loss of income.

Cost of Medical Care and Rehabilitation
An injured person is entitled to recover the costs of all medical care or rehabilitation costs and expenses because of your injury sustained.

Costs of Living with a Disability
Someone who has suffered an injury that requires an adjustment to lifestyle, such as renovating a home to accommodate a wheelchair for example, the cost associated with this adjustment is compensable. Home care or extensive care assistance is also another good example.

Out of Pocket Expenses
Any out of pocket expenses such as travel costs, medication costs and health care product costs are also compensable.

Can I get compensation for a broken bone or fracture?2018-10-30T14:00:05+00:00

A bone fracture is a medical condition in which there is a break in the continuity in the bone. Fractures occur from a variety of accidents. They can occur as a result of a slip and fall, trip and fall, assault, car accident, automobile accident, work accident, sporting accident and any other type of accident where unusual force is applied against the body. In many cases fractures occur with associated injuries such as soft tissue injuries, lacerations, bruising and ligament injuries. In cases of accidents causing fractures, the recovery process can be quite long and the pain significant. Some fractures cause prolonged, severe and permanent disability and chronic pain requiring a variety of health treatments. Fractures can occur to any bone in the body, including arms, legs, hands, feet, wrists, collar bone, skull, shoulder, hip, ribs, spine and so on. Fractures – broken bones often take many months to heal. The amount of time depends on the type of fracture, the severity of the fracture and whether there are associated injuries requiring healing as well. In many cases, fractures require surgery and ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation such as physiotherapy to allow the bones to heal completely and properly.

There are various types of fractures, including:

1. Simple fractures, where a bone is broken in one place, but the skin is not damaged;
2. Compound fractures, where the skin is broken by the bone – bones are driven into each other;
3. Transverse fracture, where the bone is broken at a right angle to the bone’s long axis;
4. Oblique fracture, where the bone is broken diagonal to the bone’s long axis
5. Comminuted fracture, where the broken bone results in a number of bone fragments;
6. Complete fracture, where the broken bone fragments separate completely;
7. Spiral fracture, where at least one part of the bone has been twisted;
8. Incomplete fracture, where the bone fracture are still partially joined;
9. Linear Fracture, where the fracture that is parallel to the bone’s long axis; and
10. Greenstick fracture, where one side of the bone is broken, causing a bend in the bone.

Like any injury, if you have suffered a fracture or broken bone as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The amount of the compensation will depend on the total impact physically, emotionally, mentally and financially the fracture has caused the individual person and their family. Factors such as type of fracture, severity of fracture, amount of fractures, associated injuries, surgical intervention, length of time to recover, types of expenses incurred, type of treatments needed are some of the things we consider when assessing the value of a fracture – broken bone case.

At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, Ottawa Accident Lawyers, we assist victims of injuries and explain to our clients their rights and interests, including the right to pursue compensation for all types of damages and expenses such as pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of income and other types of suffering and expenses. At the law firm of Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, our Ottawa accident lawyers provide experienced personal injury representation. We will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to recover from the injuries you suffered.

Injured on a bike path or trail?2018-10-01T21:01:58+00:00

Some law to think about: Injured on a Bike Paths

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP we recognize the need for continued study and keeping up developments in the law. Over time, the law changes either through the passage of new laws by Parliament, Legislatures, local government or also by the interpretation of law by the Courts. Keeping up with these developments is critical to QTMG’s success in representing you. This series, Some Law to Think About, is written to highlight some of the important legal considerations that go into every personal injury case that we at QTMG handle on behalf of our clients. We hope that you find this interesting and feel that it is indeed some law to think about.

Background:

The injury victim was riding his bicycle on a City owned path in a fairly rugged area. When coming over a hill, at an excessive rate of speed, he sees before him two other persons. The pavement on the path is chewed up and quite close to the path are jagged rocks. The injury victim, to avoid a collision with the other persons on the path veered to miss them, lost control of his bicycle, struck his head on the rocks, and sustained an injury that left him a quadriplegic.

Question:

On these facts, what law comes in to play and what is the obligation of the City, if any?

Discussion:

The Court held, which ultimately was upheld on appeal, that the duty of care imposed on the City was under the Occupier’s Liability Act. The law provides that in circumstances like this, where a person knows the area and enters into an activity where it is clear that the risk is assumed by the participant, that liability arises only where it is demonstrated that the City had a duty not to cause an intentional danger nor to act with a reckless disregard to the safety of the persons who are upon the property.

In this case, the Court found that the City was well aware of the chewed up asphalt as well as the presence of rocks and boulders quite near the trail/path. This was found to be a reckless disregard for the safety of the user of the path even though the injury victim was well acquainted with the condition of the trail/path.

The fact that the injury victim was riding too quickly, failed to yell at the persons in front of him to get out of the way, and that he failed to keep a proper look out resulted in a finding that he was 60% responsible for the accident.

Accordingly, the City was found 40% responsible for the losses sustained by the injury victim.

If you are interested in reading further on the issues outlined herein you may wish to consider reading Herbert v. Brantford (City) decided by the Ontario Court of Appeal in February 2012.

What types of personal injury are there?2018-10-30T14:00:06+00:00

At Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers, we deal with personal injury everyday. We have the skills and knowledge needed to maximize your recovery.

In Ontario, there are many types of personal injury which may result in a compensable claim in which an injured person can obtain fair and reasonable compensation.

Here are a few different types of personal injury in which persons can obtain compensation:

Bodily Injury
Bodily injuries are the most common injuries from which persons claim compensation. This type of injury allows a person who has suffered injuries to his or her brain, spine, skeletal system, organs, body or even suffered from a disease as a result of someone else’s negligent behaviour.

Economic Injury
There are certain acts and omissions which can lead to someone suffering only economic damages such as loss of income. However, economic injuries usually form part and are a result of someone suffering a bodily injury as well. In some cases, the person doesn’t actually suffer physical injury. For instance, if someone’s negligence leads to another’s real property being worthless (i.e. trees cut down in error), this situation would be considered an economic injury.

Injury to Reputation
This is the area of personal injury law where cases such as slander and libel claims would be classified. Some consider these economic injury cases. In libel and slander cases, generally, the person who has suffered the loss most show actual harm to his or her reputation and that this harm has led to actual physical or economic loss in order for a claim to be successful.

Intentional Injury
In these cases, negligence is really not the substance or foundation of the claim. Rather, the person who is injured advances a claim based on someone’s intentional act such as assault and battery or the person was grossly negligent (i.e. driving very carelessly) such that intent could be assumed. Examples of claims under this classification would be assault and battery. Often, the act can be classified as both an intentional act and negligent act.

Injury Claims and Limitation Periods
There are several different types of personal injury cases. The above is only a small summary of the types of injury cases we handle. In the end, if you’ve suffered any type of injury or damages as a result of an act or a failure to act by someone else, you need to contact us immediately to protect your rights and interests.

Your first consultation is free of charge. There are limitation periods in Ontario which provide that you only have a specified amount of time to commence a claim before the law prevents you from doing so. Delay on your part can result in your claim being statute barred.

What is a statute of limitation? – How long do I have to sue?2018-10-30T14:00:07+00:00

In Ontario, statute requires every case to be started within a prescribed period of time, failing which your claim could be forever statute barred, meaning you will forever be unable to commence a court case to seek compensation for your injuries.

The Ontario Limitations Act and other statutes limiting rights of injured persons are often amended and the law in this area is very complex. In most, but not all, personal injury cases in Ontario, the statute of limitation is 2 years.

However, the statute of limitation may vary depending on the nature of your case and periods as short as 10 days can have a significant impact on your right to sue.

At PQTLaw, we keep updated on every law that impacts injured persons in Ontario. We keep track of the limitation period that applies to our clients.

What are common property liability claims (falls etc…)?2018-10-30T13:44:50+00:00

Some common types of premises liability claims are (this list is not exhaustive; there are many other ways to be injured on property):

  • Suffering an injury due to a falling object.
  • Suffering an injury due to a slippery surface.
  • Suffering an injury due to an uneven surface.
  • Suffering an injury due to items on aisles.
  • Suffering an injury due to defective stairs.
  • Suffering an injury due to improper lighting.
  • Suffering an injury due to snow.
  • Suffering an injury due to ice.
  • Suffering an injury due to a security guard assault (negligent security cases).
  • Suffering an injury due to improper procedures being followed.
  • Suffering an injury due to breach or violation of standard building codes.

The list of ways a person can be injured on someone else’s property or premises is endless. Often, there is no simple answer to who is responsible for the injuries and a lawyer must complete an assessment to find the proper defendant responsible. Only a consultation with an experienced Ottawa premises liability lawyer, familiar with the law of negligence and occupier’s liability and who has the resources to do a thorough investigation, can provide the best legal advice.

How is negligence established in injury cases?2018-10-30T14:00:09+00:00

In negligence cases, the plaintiff (injured person) must prove on a balance of probabilities that someone else was negligent and that the alleged negligence caused the injuries sustained. While in some cases it may appear that it would be easy to establish negligence given the facts at hand, establishing negligence is rarely an easy task. What establishes negligence in each particular case is often very different. If the plaintiff fails to prove all of the elements of an action in negligence, the claim will fail and no damages will be awarded to the plaintiff.

When assessing negligence, it is the plaintiff’s onus at law to prove that the alleged person at fault owed them a duty of care to exercise reasonable care to the plaintiff. For example, all property owners and occupiers owe a duty of care to all persons who might reasonably be expected to use their property. If a property owner is aware that there is ice on their property for instance, they owe a duty of care to take steps that are necessary, within reason, to eliminate the risk of falls from the slippery surface. This may include removing the ice entirely or simply applying salt or sand. The particular circumstances of the property and its use will dictate the extent of the standard of care. In general, all persons owe duties of care to ensure that they do not harm other people and must act reasonable to avoid injuring other people. The standard of care in each case varies.

In addition to establishing that a duty of care was owed to the plaintiff, the plaintiff must also establish that the alleged person who was negligent also breached the standard of care. Moreover, the plaintiff must also establish that the injury complained about was caused by the breach of the duty of care. If the plaintiff is claiming monetary damages, it must be established that the damages was caused by the breach of the duty of care. In other words, the negligence must cause the harm claimed.

The above is a simplified summary of how the law of negligence may apply to a case involving personal injury. If you or someone you care about has been injured due to the negligence of another person, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. Our lawyers work on the basis of not charging a fee until you win the case, called contingency fee arrangement.

What is the claims process like?2018-10-30T14:00:13+00:00

If you have never been injured in a car accident or dealt with a lawyer involved in a personal injury claim or law suit, you have likely never been involved in the steps necessary in negotiating personal injury settlement. There is a particular process to settlement of a personal injury claim and unless you have been through the process before or trained to handle the claims process, you probably don’t know much about how the settlement process works.

In negotiating injury settlements, there are many pitfalls. It is always recommended that you retain the services of a personal injury lawyer / accident lawyer to advise you on every step of a personal injury claim arising out of a car accident or any other type of accident such as a general negligence claim, a slip and fall or trip and fall.

There are basic rules and procedures to follow when advancing a claim for compensation arising out of an accident. The initial step is to meet with and hire an accident lawyer – injury lawyer who will write a “demand letter” or “notice letter” which places the person at fault for the accident on notice of a claim being advanced for compensation. In a way, that initial letter formally starts the negotiating process because the insurance company involved will determine based on the basic facts if the claim has any merit at first instance. The initial letter should provide sufficient information to allow the insurance adjuster to commence an investigation into the accident and set aside a reasonable reserve of money to allow for fair compensation to be paid, if liability is accepted and settlement is possible. The letter should provide a concise summary of the basics facts of the person injured and of the accident, list injuries sustained, identify the person at fault and notify the person that compensation is being sought on certain legal grounds, usually on the grounds of negligence.

The demand or notice letter is the starting point to a series of communications between the insurance adjuster and you or your accident lawyer. The initial letter is important and is likely to be referred to at various points in the claims process. In some jurisdictions, pre-judgment interest runs from the date of the initial demand letter. It is recommended that the amount of compensation claimed is never revealed in the initial demand or notice letter. Rather, notice that certain types of damages are sought is sufficient. It is unlikely in any event that the amount of compensation sought is known since at the early stages, injuries have not yet healed and it would be impossible to quantify the compensation. When the injuries and impact on the injured person are fully known, commencing negotiation on the amount of compensation is possible. Remember that an insurance adjuster will never offer a settlement that is more that you request, so it is important that the letter seeking specific amounts of compensation is tendered only when all the facts are fully known and injuries have reached maximum recovery or what is sometimes called “crystallization” (i.e. injury will never get better or worse – maximum recovery has occurred).

Generally, the insurance adjuster will provide a counter-offer which will be lower than your offer. A series of negotiating telephone conversations or letters between your accident lawyer and the insurance adjuster will follow. In response to a counter-offer, it is important to lay out the strengths of your case and the weaknesses of the opposing party’s case as well as address any problematic issues about your case.

In the end, the amount of compensation will depend on many factors such as the quality of your personal injury lawyer, quality of the evidence in support of your case, the types and extent of injuries sustained, quality of supporting documents for each head of damages claimed, quality of any experts retained and quality of their reports and degree of the past, present and future impact of the injuries on your life. Calculating what is fair and reasonable is not easy but a reputable and experienced personal injury lawyer can provide a fairly accurate range for settlement purposes, based on review of your entire file, experience and legal research. Your accident lawyer’s job, in part, is to obtain the highest possible settlement for you based on the facts of your case.

Regardless of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, if you were injured because of the negligence of another person, your case will very likely settle if the proper steps to negotiating a personal injury settlement are followed. The steps outlined in this brief article is by no means exhaustive. There are dozens of other steps which are needed and followed to maximize a personal injury case and ensure fair and reasonable compensation is obtained. An experienced personal injury and accident lawyer will follow all the necessary steps to reach settlement and each case is different – some involve more work and steps than others.

What are damages for loss of quality of life?2018-10-30T14:00:14+00:00

In any personal injury or accident cases, there are different types of damages which may be recoverable from the person who caused the injury, the at-fault party. They include special damages such as lost wages or lost income, out of pocket expenses and medical costs. There is also a type of damage called “pain and suffering damages” which is also sometimes referred to as non-pecuniary or general damages. Loss of enjoyment of life is part of the general damages an injured person can claim as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in an accident.

When a person suffers an injury, their lives are affected in various ways. Every injury impacts on the enjoyment of and quality of life of the injured person. In some cases it is temporary and minor, but in other cases, it is profound, life altering and permanent such as a serious head injury, spinal cord injury, brain injury or other serious injury. The more serious the injury, the more catastrophic the injury, the more this head of damage is relevant and significant. Loss of enjoyment of life is considered a general damage, such as pain and suffering damages.

Calculating the amount of damages for the loss of enjoyment of life, however, is not an easy task and your lawyer uses his or her legal skills to make an assessment in this regard. Your personal injury lawyer will use medical and other evidence, research case law and discuss with you the various ways the injury or injuries has affected your life and those of your family to arrive at an amount that would fairly compensate you for this head – type of monetary damages.

Therefore, you need experienced personal injury lawyers who focus their law practice on injury law. Our firm has this experience and the track record of success you need.

Ottawa serious injury and accident lawyers – Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP – We have a special interest in personal injury, accident and disability cases. There is no fee unless we recover money for our clients. Our consultation is free and confidential.

What are damages for loss of enjoyment of life?2018-10-30T14:00:15+00:00

In any personal injury or accident cases, there are different types of damages which may be recoverable from the person who caused the injury, the at-fault party. They include special damages such as lost wages or lost income, out of pocket expenses and medical costs. There is also a type of damage called “pain and suffering damages” which is also sometimes referred to as non-pecuniary or general damages. Loss of enjoyment of life is part of the general damages an injured person can claim as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in an accident.

When a person suffers an injury, their lives are affected in various ways. Every injury impacts on the enjoyment of and quality of life of the injured person. In some cases it is temporary and minor, but in other cases, it is profound, life altering and permanent such as a serious head injury, spinal cord injury, brain injury or other serious injury. The more serious the injury, the more catastrophic the injury, the more this head of damage is relevant and significant. Loss of enjoyment of life is considered a general damage, such as pain and suffering damages.

Calculating the amount of damages for the loss of enjoyment of life, however, is not an easy task and your lawyer uses his or her legal skills to make an assessment in this regard. Your personal injury lawyer will use medical and other evidence, research case law and discuss with you the various ways the injury or injuries has affected your life and those of your family to arrive at an amount that would fairly compensate you for this head – type of monetary damages.

Therefore, you need experienced personal injury lawyers who focus their law practice on injury law. Our firm has this experience and the track record of success you need.

Ottawa serious injury and accident lawyers – Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP – We have a special interest in personal injury, accident and disability cases. There is no fee unless we recover money for our clients. Our consultation is free and confidential.

What are pain and suffering damages?2018-10-30T14:00:16+00:00

In any personal injury or accident cases, there are different types of damages which may be recoverable from the person who caused the injury, the at-fault party. They include special damages such as lost wages or lost income, out of pocket expenses and medical costs. There is also a type of damage called “pain and suffering damages” which is also sometimes referred to as non-pecuniary or general damages. This is a sum of money that a court can order the at-fault party to pay or which is more often agreed to as part of a personal injury settlement. It is meant to compensate the injured person for the pain and suffering they endured and may continue to endure as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in an accident. These damages are all sought from the at-fault party and in most cases, the at-fault party has insurance to cover the damages.

Calculating the amount of damages for the loss of enjoyment of life, however, is not an easy task and your lawyer uses his or her legal skills to make an assessment in this regard. Your personal injury lawyer will use medical and other evidence, research case law and discuss with you the various ways the injury or injuries has affected your life and those of your family to arrive at an amount that would fairly compensate you for this head – type of monetary damages.

Therefore, you need experienced personal injury lawyers who focus their law practice on injury law.

Ottawa serious injury and accident lawyers – Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP – We have a special interest in personal injury, accident and disability cases. There is no fee unless we recover money for our clients. Our consultation is free and confidential.

Will my injury case settle?2018-10-30T14:00:18+00:00

Well over 95% of all injury cases we handle settle. We are told that only 5% of cases in Ontario actually reach trial. At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, Ottawa Injury Lawyers, we prepare each personal injury case as if it were going to trial. That way, if the case does not settle, we are prepared. If it does settle, we will generally get you more for you money because we have done our due diligence.

What is my case worth (continued)?2018-10-30T14:05:46+00:00

If you have been injured in any type of accident (car accident, slip and fall, trip and fall etc…) and want to claim compensation, you are likely asking yourself what is your injury case is worth?

Figuring out what type and how much damages you can receive for your injuries is a complicated issue even for the most experienced lawyers to determine. Since most cases are settled before going to trial, it is important to hire an experienced accident lawyer who can determine what amount would fairly compensate you for your injuries.

After suffering injuries in an accident, assessing whether or not to advance a claim for compensation and determining which lawyer is right for you can be difficult to determine. Often, dealing with insurance companies and lawyers can be stressful when advancing a personal injury claim. Most clients are not comfortable handling the claim themselves and for good reason choose to hire an experienced accident and injury lawyer. The insurance claim and compensation process can be complicated and has many pitfalls. An experienced injury lawyer can overcome these pitfalls and pursue your claim from the first to the last step.

Our dedicated lawyers handle all types of injury and accident claims such as car accidents, pedestrian accidents, cycling accidents, truck collisions, slip and falls, trip and falls, property injury claims, home owner injury claims and everything in between.

The lawyers at our law firm focus their practices only on injury, accident and disability claims. When accepting injury cases, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and charge no fee until you win. In handling claims, our law firm will seek to protect your rights and interests after an accident, determine the nature and type of claim to advance and the value of your claim, handle the collection of evidence such as medical records, employment records and witness statements, deal with various third parties such as insurance companies, adjusters, opposing lawyers, health care providers and experts, deal with insurance company tactics, fully assess and prepare your compensation claim, negotiate a full settlement and successfully bring your injury case to a conclusion.

When handling your accident case, our lawyers will determine how much your accident case is worth. The proper amount of compensation is a crucial aspect of all personal injury claims. Each case is considered on its own facts. Our lawyers know what insurance adjusters consider in determining the value of injury claims and works with the insurance company to arrive at a fair settlement. Your compensation, determined by your circumstances, will include various types of damages such as general damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, care expenses, out of pocket expenses, past income loss, future income loss, loss of opportunity, business losses, damages for permanent disabilities and disfigurement, loss of amenities of life, damages for stress, emotional trauma, depression, lost life experiences and more.

In law, there is no easy or precise way for lawyers and insurers to accurately determine the value of any case. As lawyers, we determine the value based on the evidence obtained on your file and by comparing your case to cases that have gone to trial. The trial decisions (called the common law or judge made law), provides guidance to lawyers and insurers on valuation of different types of injuries. Because it is impossible to assess in a dollar value what pain and suffering is worth, the best predictor of value is past decisions made on similar facts. In most cases, special damages for things like expenses are agreed to and the issue in contention often becomes the value of pain and suffering damages.

The goal of advancing a claim and determining damages is to fairly compensate the injured person for their injuries and the impact of those injuries they have had on their life. Injury damages are categorized as compensatory, meaning that the money (damages) is meant to compensate the injury victim for their losses, pain and suffering arising from the accident and is meant to put the injured person as close as possible to their position prior to the accident. In other words, the damages are meant to put the victim back to a “whole” position. Trying to accomplish this goal by placing a dollar figure on all the consequences and impact of the accident and injuries is not an easy task.

In some cases, the value of a case is affected by contributing factors such as the injured person’s condition at the time of the accident (influence by drugs or alcohol, improper footwear etc…), or other at fault behaviours. In this case, the amount of compensation can be reduced by what is called contributory negligence.

Because there are so many different factors that come into play in properly as it should be and fully assessing the fair amount of compensation provides no easy or set applicable formula, injury victims should always consult an experienced injury lawyer to assess what would be a fair compensation.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, please feel free to consult one of our injury lawyers by calling 613-315-4878 or emailing mquinn@ottawalawyers.com. We offer free consultations and work on a no fee until you win basis.

What is my case worth?2018-10-30T14:05:47+00:00

All of our clients ask us this question. Valuation of a case is a complex issue which involves a significant amount of work and needed knowledge. Law is not a perfect science.

At QTMG Ottawa Injury Lawyers, we are trained in assessing every type of personal injury and every type of possible damage available for our clients.

The end value of a case rests largely on the facts of the particular case. We consider many factors such as the client’s actual injuries, the impact of the injuries on the client, the permanency of the injuries, any lasting disability, period of time of suffering, extent of suffering, expenses incurred, impact on ability to work, impact on the family, any disability caused by the injury, permanency of the injury, cost of future expenses such as care costs and so on. We also consider legal issues such as nature of liability, shared liability, contributory negligence, assumption of risk and insurance coverage issues. The list of considerations is long and we review them all.

In very simple cases, an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide a general “estimate”, but even then, the estimate can change once all the facts are obtained. No lawyer can tell you what your case is worth at the initial meeting. There are too many unknown facts needed to determine what your case is worth. If a lawyer tells you what your case is worth at the initial meeting, you should hire someone else. That lawyer is likely suspect.

In reality, until all the material facts are known and the factors outlined above (and all others to consider) are know, a lawyer is unable to give you an accurate monetary value of your case. Often experts are needed to assess certain damages such as past and future care costs and loss of income.

If you are still receiving medical care, it will be difficult for a lawyer to give you an accurate monetary assessment of your case.

Once we have all the facts, have analysed the necessary factors and you have recovered from your injuries (or alternatively it is known that recovery will never occur such as in catastrophic cases), we can work with you and arrive at a realistic assessment of the monetary value of your case. We can then work on obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Do I have a good case?2018-10-30T14:05:48+00:00

Understandably, all of our clients ask us this question. It is difficult to tell you if you have a good case without meeting with you and obtaining all the facts. Having a good case depends on many factors. An experienced personal injury lawyer can take a bad case and make it good. Even bad cases settle and we have obtained compensation for our clients who did not have strong cases.

There are two distinct general parts to a personal injury case:

  1. Liability: a determination of who caused the accident; and
  2. Harm/Damages: proving that injuries were suatined and resulted from the harmful act.

If you have both a clear liability picture and serious injuries, then you will probably have a case.

We can tell you that generally, in order to have a good case you need the following elements:

  1. you have been injured (any type of injury, does not matter what type in most cases);
  2. someone else was at fault (they owed you a duty of care and breached that duty of care, or they breached the contract, etc…);and
  3. the fault in question caused you the injury.

How is fault determined? It is determined based on the facts and what the law says about those facts. We can assess fault in your case, free of charge. Fault is a legal question which can be answered once all the material facts are know.

Our lawyers will analyse all of the facts and determine if your case meets the elements needed to advance a case. Most people who call us have a good case.

We will let you konw if you have a good case or a bad case. We are honest with our clients. We provide free consultations.

If I am injured in a store, is the store owner automatically liable for my injuries?2018-10-30T13:44:51+00:00

We have handled hundreds of these cases before. In most cases, the store can be held liable and must pay compensation.

Falls in stores falls under negligence a principle known as occupier’s liability. In Ontario, owners and occupiers of stores are statutorily duty bound to ensure their property is safe and must implement a reasonable system of property maintenance and inspection. Liability will depend on many factors, all of which our lawyers will investigate and review for you. In the majority of cases, we find that the store owner failed to meet the duty they have to their customers and we are able to obtain fair compensation for our clients. We review such things as maintenance logs, videos, witness statements, type of entrant you were (invitee, licensee or trespasser) and in many cases, we send an investigator to the store to conduct an inspection of the property. If required, we also send an engineer to the store to review the scene of the injury and provide a professional expert report.

We are experts in handling store liability cases in Ottawa. The various ways a person can be injured in a store is long. Often, there is no simple answer to know who is responsible for the injuries. Only a consultation with an experienced Ottawa premises liability lawyer, familiar with the law of negligence and occupier’s liability and who has the resources to do a thorough investigation, can provide the best legal advice.

What is premises liability, property liability or occupier’s liability?2018-10-30T13:44:52+00:00

What does the term “premises liability” or “property liability” mean?

“Premises Liability” refers to the duty of a property or land owner or one who controls property or land (such as under a tenant in a lease) to maintain the property safe, including:

Keeping the premises in a reasonably safe condition at all times;
Take steps to correct any defects or hazards that the owner or occupier knew or ought to have known about; and
Warn persons of any latent (not apparent) or other hazards on the property.

The most common personal injury cases we see in relation to premises liability or property liability in Ottawa is slip and falls or trip and falls causing injury. We also see many cases of persons being injured by falling objects or injured because of falling from defective stairs. In most cases, the person was injured because the property owner or occupier did not have a reasonable system in place to maintain the property safe.

What are some common types of premises liability claims?

Some common types of premises liability claims are (this list is not exhaustive; there are many other ways to be injured on property):

  • Suffering an injury due to a falling object.
  • Suffering an injury due to a slippery surface.
  • Suffering an injury due to an uneven surface.
  • Suffering an injury due to items on aisles.
  • Suffering an injury due to defective stairs.
  • Suffering an injury due to improper lighting.
  • Suffering an injury due to snow.
  • Suffering an injury due to ice.
  • Suffering an injury due to a security guard assault (negligent security cases).
  • Suffering an injury due to improper procedures being followed.
  • Suffering an injury due to breach or violation of standard building codes.

The list of ways a person can be injured on someone else’s property or premises is endless. Often, there is no simple answer to who is responsible for the injuries. Only a consultation with an experienced Ottawa premises liability lawyer, familiar with the law of negligence and occupier’s liability and who has the resources to do a thorough investigation, can provide the best legal advice.

What will you charge me to handle my case – You Pay No fee Unless We Win for You?2018-10-30T13:49:19+00:00

We don’t charge you anything unless we recover money for you. For details on our fees see —> Contingency Fees.

What does the “reasonable person” mean?2018-10-30T14:00:25+00:00

In the law of negligence which applies to accident and injury cases, a person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under the same or similar circumstances. The hypothetical “reasonable person” provides an objective by which the conduct of others is judged by the court.

For example, a “reasonable person”, knowing that their driveway and walkway is covered with ice and snow would be expected to take reasonable steps to remove the ice and snow through some reasonable measure such as application of salt or sand. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable and would have to pay monetary damages to anyone hurt in their property because of their negligence.

What does being held “liable” mean?2018-10-30T14:00:28+00:00
The term “liable” generally means that a court has determined that an individual, company or some other legal entity caused, and is responsible for, another person’s injury. When a defendant is found “liable”, he or she is generally obligated to compensate the injured party for their damages. The term “liable” is often confused with “guilty.” However the term “liable” is used in civil cases and the term “guilty” is only is used in criminal cases.
What is negligence?2018-10-30T14:00:31+00:00

The most commonly used definition we see of the law is negligence is the failure by a person to act in a reasonable fashion or acting in an unreasonable fashion so as to cause injury to another person.

Another way to describe it is as follows:

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care or failure to use the same degree of care that a reasonable person would use under the same circumstances. Evidence of negligence is the basis for liability in most personal injury and wrongful death cases.

All legal entities such as persons, businesses, corporations and municipalities can be negligent and be held accountable to pay compensation to an injured person of they are found to be negligent.

We sepcialize in negligence law. Call us for a free consultation at 613-563-1131 or 613-315-4878.

What is a “personal injury” case?2018-10-30T14:00:34+00:00

A personal injury case relates to claim someone makes against another person, corporation or other legal entity (such as an association) seeking monetary compensation for physical, emotional or psychological injuries they sustained as a result of fault by that other person, corporation or other legal entity.

There is a difference between a “personal” injury case and a property case. Personal injury deals with injury to the person, not property. It is not unusual for someone to sustain injury to their person and to their property as well in the same incident.

When a person suffers a physical injury because of another’s fault, it is a personal injury. The injured person is entitled to compensation for the injury. The amount and types of compensation depends on the situation.

At PQTLaw, we take all types of personal injury cases, big and small. We believe that all injured persons deserve to have competent lawyers.

At PQTLaw, we have a team of personal injury lawyers dedicated to evaluating and prosecuting personal injury claims. We will review and assess your case, free of charge and in confidence. We will advise you of your options and chances of success. Our aim is to get you the fairest compensation possible.

Why do I need to sign directions or authorizations?2018-10-30T14:05:49+00:00

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, after helping our clients with thousands of claims, we have come to notice that many of our new clients have very similar questions about the ins and outs of starting a claim and bringing it to a successful conclusion. One of the questions that we are often asked by new clients is ‘What is a direction and why do I need to sign them? ‘ In Ontario, every person has a right to privacy. Therefore, in order for your personal injury lawyer to access records kept about you by other people, your lawyer needs you to sign a direction directed to those other persons allowing them to share their files with or speak with your accident lawyer.

Think of a direction form as a permission slip.  A signed direction is your way of giving permission to third parties such as Revenue Canada and your doctors to share information with us about you and your legal matter. Directions, sometimes also called authorizations allow your personal injury lawyer to contact third parties to obtain the information they need to help advance your injury claim and prove certain elements of your claim such as loss of income or your injuries.

There are many different types of directions because there are many different pieces of information that your personal injury lawyer will need to get you the best settlement possible. Some directions are very general and others are very specific to the type of information that is being requested.

 One of the most common and essential directions is an OHIP direction.  OHIP keeps a detailed record of every time you visit a doctor, hospital or use an OHIP covered service. This record is called a decoded OHIP summary. A decoded OHIP summary allows your personal injury lawyer to find all the doctors, clinics and hospitals that you’ve visited in the last 7 years which makes requesting medical documents much easier. An original signed copy of the OHIP direction is always required to obtain these records and photocopies or fax copies are often not accepted. This helps protect your privacy.

Requesting medical documents from your doctors or records from your insurance company is one of the first steps that we take when opening a new file. Medical or other records of your injuries go a long way to validating your claim to an insurance company.  Directions are required to obtain all sorts of information that your personal injury lawyer will need to pursue a claim including:

  1. Employment records;
  2. Medical records;
  3. Police records;
  4. Government documents;
  5. Income tax documents;
  6. Insurance records; and
  7. School records.

This list is simply a sample. As you can see, the number of documents that your personal injury lawyer may need is extensive.  Each of these requests requires your authorization and as such when you are beginning your claim there are a number of directions for you to sign.  As well, throughout the process of litigation updated records or new records may be required which may require additional authorizations be signed.

Although signing all these directions may leave your hand a little tired, they allow your personal injury lawyer to get to work and start advancing your injury claim. At QTMG we strive to provide our clients with the best possible outcomes and settlements for their personal injury claims. If you have suffered a personal injury, our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to help you. Please contact us for a free consultation at 613-315-4878.

Can I fire my injury lawyer and hire a new injury lawyer?2018-10-30T14:05:21+00:00

From time to time, we are asked by new clients to take over carriage of their personal injury files from another personal injury lawyer. In all cases, the client is very unhappy with their current personal injury lawyer and have reached a critical point where the client and solicitor relationship has deteriorated.

In our experience, the main reasons a client wishes to change personal injury lawyers are as follows:

1. The lawyer will not work on the file and has improperly delegated the file to someone else in the office such as a paralegal or law clerk.
2. The client has tried for weeks and sometimes months to reach the accident lawyer or his assistant, to no avail. No explanation is provided for why the lawyer never calls back.
3. The file is passed from one accident lawyer to the next in the same law firm.
4. The file is not progressing at all.
5. The client receives no updates at all.
6. The delay in the case is not explained at all.
7. There is disagreement on the conduct / steps of the case.
8. The accident lawyer recommends a settlement that the client objects to.
9. The lawyer changes his view significantly on the merits of the case without any explanation.
10. The lawyer refuses to continue with the case.
11. The lawyer is charging much more money than was quoted.
12. The lawyer is rude or lacks compassion.

As a client, one or a combination of the above reasons may trigger you to re-assess your relationship with your accident lawyer. If you experience difficulties in your relationship with your injury lawyer and attempts to work out a solution fails, or if your relationship with your current injury lawyer has deteriorated to the point that you have lost confidence in your injury lawyer for any reason, we would be pleased to meet with you free of charge and discuss your options, including a transfer of your personal injury matter to our law firm.

Is it always appropriate to change personal injury lawyers?

As a word of caution, we mention that it is not always in your best interests to transfer your file to a new personal injury lawyer. In many cases, after reviewing the matter, it turns out, for various reasons, that it is in a client’s best interests to remain with their current personal injury lawyer. For example, after reviewing the situation, the file is actually progressing well, the former lawyer was doing a fine job with the file and the real issue was simply a lack of proper communication between the lawyer and client. If the client had been provided regular updates, all would be fine, or if the client was given an explanation for the delay, all would be fine.

In such cases, a meeting between the client and injury lawyer to discuss the issues often solves the problem. In some cases, the client may have unrealistic expectations about the time-line or result of their case. Again, a meeting with the injury lawyer to obtain answers can sometimes provide the information needed to resolve the lawyer client relationship. In some cases, a meeting between the lawyer and client can clear up any misunderstandings and expectations in the lawyer client relationship and the terms of the continued relationship can be agreed upon.

Every case of a request to transfer the file is assessed and considered on its own merits and once the relevant facts received. If, after considering all the facts, the former lawyer has and is not pursing the injury claim properly, we will entertain a request to transfer the personal injury file to our office.

What are the client’s rights when seeking to transfer the file?

The client has the right to change lawyers. In a lawyer client relationship, as the client, you have certain rights and interests. You have, for instance, the right to a report on the status of your file from time to time and you have the right to request a copy of your file (or rather, you are entitled to your file and the lawyer is entitled to a copy of it). In most cases of a request for a file transfer, the lawyer will wish to impose certain conditions to transferring the file, usually pertaining to a protection of and/or payment of his/her legal account for legal services rendered. The conditions will depend on the nature of the retainer agreement; essentially was the retainer and fee on an hourly rate basis or on a result obtained basis.

There are some added costs to the client in that your new personal injury lawyer will have to review the file and obtain, as best as possible, the knowledge the former injury lawyer has about the file; obtained by a thorough review of the file and time spent with the client reviewing the facts and issues.

Changing injury lawyers is not very complicated, but it takes some times and the proper procedure must be followed.

At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, if we agree to take over carriage of your file we will take all the necessary steps to have the file transferred to our law firm and we will negotiate the terms with your existing personal injury lawyer.

Summary

In summary, the steps are as follows:

1. Notify the former injury lawyer that you have retained a new injury lawyer;
2. Request for the physical file be transferred from your former injury lawyer to your new injury lawyer ( serve him with a direction seeking that the file be delivered to the new accident – injury lawyer );
3. Notify all parties of the change in injury lawyers;
4. If the matter is in court ( a statement of claim has been issued ), notify the court and all opposing lawyers that you have retained a new injury lawyer;
5. If there is objection from your former lawyer to hand over the physical file, negotiate the terms of the transfer of the file;
6. If negotiations fail and your former injury lawyer refuses to hand over the physical file, file a formal complaint with the Law Society of Upper Canada and file an application (or motion as the case may be) seeking a court order compelling your former lawyer to hand over the physical file – order for delivery of the file;
7. File an application for assessment, which is a court process allowing clients to challenge a lawyer’s accounts and claims for liens against files; and
8. Once the file is obtained ( voluntarily or by court order ), review the file.

If you choose to leave your current personal injury lawyer and transfer your injury claim to another law injury law firm, the process can be easy or quite complicated depending on your former lawyer. Your new injury lawyer will need the physical file from your former accident lawyer. Assuming you have paid any account rendered by your former accident lawyer, getting your file should be as easy as requesting it from your former injury lawyer.

Complications

Complications can arise because of issues such as whether you owe any money to your former lawyer and whether there is outstanding accounts owed to your former lawyer and whether there will be a dispute over any percentage billing or fee billing of the file (contingency fee agreements). In every case, if the matter is already in Court (a court action has been commenced) the client must notify the Court and all parties of the change of lawyers. As your new personal injury lawyer, we will file the needed documents with the Court and notify all parties. If your claim is not in Court and you are at the pre litigation stage, we will notify all the parties and insurers involved. We handle every step necessary to have the file transferred.

Physical File

The physical file held with your injury lawyer is your property. You are entitled to your property and the lawyer is entitled to a copy of the file. Your new accident lawyer will need your file to continue prosecuting your injury case. Any delay in obtaining the file can, in some circumstances, be devastating. For example, a limitation period may be missed or a court event may be missed such as an appearance at a scheduled settlement conference. The faster you can obtain a transfer of the file, the better. If there is a dispute about the account or contingency fee arrangement, obtaining the physical file often becomes an issue. If you are caught in such a situation, your new injury lawyer has options to assist you: negotiating a settlement of the fee is always possible. Also, if the former lawyer is seeking a percentage of the recovery, that issue can be resolved in various ways (i.e. agree on an amount, agree on a percentage, agree to preserve the settlement funds until there is agreement or a court order determining the issue). If negotiation fails, a complaint to the Law Society of Upper Canada can sometimes assist. Also, an application to Court for delivery of the file and a determination of rights to the file is always available as well as an application for an assessment of the account rendered by the former accident lawyer. You can always ask the former injury lawyer to produce an account under the Solicitor’s Act of Ontario, and then proceed to assess the account.

Why are written retainer agreements important?2018-10-30T14:05:50+00:00

Written retainer agreements are contracts like any other contract. However, a retainer agreement sets out the relationship between the client and the lawyer and can be relied upon at any event of a dispute. It is important for both the client and the lawyer to set out what the expectations of both parties are in relation to their contract. In fact, it is a standard in the industry that relationships between clients and lawyers be reduced to writing, usually in the form of a retainer agreement or a letter written to the client setting out the terms of the retainer. The preferred method is a retainer agreement signed by both the lawyer and the client.

A retainer agreement protects both the client and lawyer throughout the process of the relationship between the two. It clarifies expectations between the parties. If expectations change, the retainer agreement can be amended at a later date. Most importantly, a retainer agreement assists the parties in avoiding problems that can occur as the contract develops. If the retainer agreement is in writing and spells out the relationship and the ground rules between the parties it will assist in avoiding misunderstandings and in some cases litigation.

In order for a retainer agreement to be effective, it should address a few fundamental issues including precisely setting out what the lawyer has been retained to do on behalf of the client, what it will cost the client for the professional services to be rendered and any provisions as to how the relationship can be terminated in an event of a dispute. The retainer agreement should clearly set out who the client is and which lawyer the client has retained. It is not unusual for some clients to believe they retained a lawyer when that was not the case. For example, in many personal injury cases, a spouse may have rights to claim compensation under the Family Law Act of Ontario. That spouse may have attended the initial meeting between the client and the lawyer believing that they had also retained a lawyer to advance their claim for compensation under the Family Law Act. However, without a written retainer agreement, the lawyer may have considered him or herself retained for that purpose.

In some cases, a client may believe that he or she has retained a specific lawyer at a law firm but the file was transferred to another lawyer in the same office. It is therefore important to specify in the agreement which lawyer will have carriage of the matter and whether or not other lawyers or staff at the law firm will be working on the file on behalf of the client. This will also assist in clarifying who will have access to confidential information contained in the client file.

The most sensitive issue often not addressed satisfactorily in the retainer agreement is the issue of how much will the lawyer be paid for professional services rendered. It is important to clarify this issue in the retainer agreement so that there is no misunderstanding between the parties. Both the lawyer and the client have the right to assess the account before and assessment officer, an officer who is a court officer tasked with the duty to determine issues between clients and lawyers including how much a lawyer should be paid for services provided.

While it is clear that having a written retainer agreement is the preferred method of establishing the relationship between a client and a lawyer, not all lawyers use retainer agreements or what is called letters of engagement.

At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, our lawyers offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis since most of the files we handle are personal injury matters. Our retainer agreements clearly spell out the relationship between the client, lawyer and the law firm and sets out in very clear terms that there is no fee charged to the client unless compensation is obtained for the client. It is very clear at the onset of the relationship what the terms of the retainer are including what the lawyer and law firms retained to do and how much the lawyer and the law firm will be paid for services rendered.

If you or someone you care about has been injured as a result of the negligence of another person, please contact one of our Ottawa personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. Call us at 613-315-4878.

Should I sign retainer agreement when hiring a lawyer?2018-10-30T14:05:22+00:00

Yes. A written retainer agreement protects both the client and the lawyer and avoids disputes. It is the best way to ensure that the terms of the agreement reached between a client and lawyer is legally binding. It also is a great way to protect a client’s rights. In Ontario, if the retainer deals with a contingency fee arrangement, it must be in writing to be legally valid. In many cases, the agreements are short, simple and easy to understand. In all cases, you should read the entire agreement and ask for clarification where needed before you sign the agreement.

How does my lawyer value the damages in my accident / injury case?2018-10-30T14:05:22+00:00
Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, personal injury lawyers Ottawa, is always keeping up with developments in the law. Over the years, we have concluded that our clients have common inquiries when it comes to their case and in particular ask what factors are considered by the Court in the assessment of liability in a victim’s personal injury claim, including the assessment of general damages.  This brief article discusses the factors considered in the assessment of a victim’s non-pecuniary damages (i.e., pain and suffering).
The Supreme Court of Canada, established that in 1978, a ceiling for the maximum value of non-pecuniary damages in personal injury cases. The Court’s decisions in the matters of: 1) Andrew v. Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 229; 2) Thornton v. Board of School Trustees of School District No. 57 Prince George, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 267; and 3) Teno v. Arnold, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 287 are referred to as the “non-pecuniary trilogy”. The “trilogy” created an upper limit of non-pecuniary damages.
In the matter of Andrews, the plaintiff was 21 years old when he sustained catastrophic injuries in a motor vehicle collision. In Thornton, the plaintiff was 15 years old when he fractured his back and damaged his spinal cord.  Lastly, Diane Treno was 4 years old when she was hit by a car. In these cases, all 3 plaintiffs suffered from quadriplegia and they were left with little more than life itself. By way of the “trilogy”, the Supreme Court of Canada established a clear upper limit for the amount of money that can be awarded for severe injuries.
In the matter of Andrew, the Honorable Mr. Justice Dickson stated: “I would adopt as the appropriate award in the case of a young quadriplegic the amount of $100,000.00. Save in exceptional circumstances, this should be regarded as an upper limit of non-pecuniary loss for injuries of this nature.”
Thus, the upper limit established by the “trilogy” is the first factor to be considered in the evaluation of the value of a victim’s claim for general damages. A personal injury cannot be worth more than the ceiling established by the Supreme Court of Canada (which amount is equal to approximately $335,000.00 in value for 2012), except in exceptional cases.
Accordingly, a personal injury – whether it is a fractured leg, a fractured arm or quadriplegia – can only be valued in 2012 between $0 and $335,000.00. It is helpful for a victim to understand that the assessment of the value of their general damages is in a way, “locked in” between those amounts. The following factors are then considered to assess whether the non-pecuniary award should be assessed closer to the lower limit or the upper limit.  These factors are non-exhaustive, but are commonly considered and are considered by the Court in the assessment of non-pecuniary damages:
  • The nature of the injury (i.e. are we dealing with a soft tissue bruising, a fractured wrist or a case of severe brain injury);
  • The age of the victim (for how long will the victim have to live with pain and suffering);
  • The severity and duration of the pain (is the pain constant v. transient, did you suffer for 3 months, 5 months or is the pain present every day, is the pain bearable or excruciating, etc…);
  • The level of disability, if any, that the victim must now live with (i.e., can’t use your limb, you suffer from 5% arm impairment, you can’t walk without a cane, etc…);
  • Emotional suffering (has your bodily injury caused you to develop a psychological condition such as depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder);
  • Loss or impairment of life (i.e., did the injury result in death or does the victim now require continuous care);
  • Interference with family, marital or social relationships (i.e., breakdown of the victim’s marital relationship/divorce, victim lost touch with his/her friends and family due to their injury);
  • Impairment of physical and/or mental abilities (i.e., cannot care for him/herself); and
  • Loss of lifestyle (i.e., victim was an active person involved in social, recreational and sports activities and now the injury does not allow them to participate in some or all of those activities.)
These factors are all considered by the Court in the assessment of the value of a victim’s personal injury claim. To learn more about issues affecting victims of accidents and to obtain a free assessment of your case, please contact us.
At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we work with many different specialists. Let our experienced and knowledgeable personal injury and accident lawyers represent your interests and maximize your compensation. We don’t charge until we win your case. We win injury cases every day! We provide free case assessments.
Contact Ottawa Injury Lawyers at Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP today for a free consultation.
Are settlements binding?2018-10-30T14:05:50+00:00

If you settle your personal injury case with the insurance adjuster without a lawyer, can you re-open the settlement at a later date?

In a recent case decided in Ontario is a reminder to personal injury lawyers and their clients that settlement agreements reached between unrepresented claimants and insurance companies will likely be upheld and not reopened at a later date.  In Hanna v. Polanski, the plaintiff was a passenger in a motor vehicle that collided with another vehicle. He claimed damages for injuries sustained in the accident. The plaintiff was not represented by a lawyer and settle this case with the insurance adjuster directly. The insurance adjuster argued that she informed the plaintiff of the definition of the threshold and the implications of a final release being signed upon a settlement being reached. The insurance adjuster alleged that she informed the unrepresented plaintiff to obtain independent legal advice regarding the offer to settle. The plaintiff accepted an offer to settle of $5000, all-inclusive to settle his claim for damages. He was provided with a cheque which was cashed by the plaintiff. The plaintiff sought to set aside the settlement agreement reached with the insurance company directly. The insurance company filed a motion seeking summary judgment and sought to enforce the settlement agreement reached. The court concluded that it was not unreasonable for the insurance adjuster to conclude that the injuries being claimed were minor. There was evidence that the plaintiff did seek some legal advice. There was no evidence of overwhelmingly imbalanced negotiations. There was no evidence to suggest that the insurance adjuster was aware that the plaintiff was particularly vulnerable in some way. The court concluded that the plaintiff failed to meet the criteria required to set aside a settlement agreement on the basis of unconscionability. On the facts, the court concluded that the plaintiff was unable to show that the adjuster owed him a duty of care which was breached. The court also concluded that there was no evidence on grounds upon which the settlement agreement could possibly be set aside.

In general, the courts will seek to enforce settlement agreements reached without clear evidence of unconscionability or duress. This is a reminder for injured persons who choose to negotiate settlements directly with insurance companies without the involvement of a personal injury lawyer. In general terms, once an agreement is reached, the court will seek to enforce the agreement and it is very difficult to set aside a settlement agreement reached.

Our personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and work on the basis of no fee unless a settlement is reached. There is little risk in obtaining legal advice from an experienced accident and injury lawyer when dealing with trying to settle a personal injury claim with an insurance company. In most cases, our experienced accident and personal injury lawyers can obtain more compensation from the insurance company then an unrepresented party could attain without a lawyer.

To learn more about how our injury lawyers can assist you in obtaining a fair and reasonable settlement contact us for a free consultation at 613-315-4878.

What does a personal injury lawyer do to settle the case?2018-10-30T14:05:24+00:00

People are injured everyday through no fault of their own. Often, the injuries suffered arise because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence. In some cases, the injuries occur intentionally.  In all cases, we seek compensation for our injured clients.

Our goal is to make sure that our injured clients receive fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries and that they understand their rights and interests. Personal injuries require personal case management and each personal injury client we take on is important to us.

We assist and assume the responsibility associated with finding medical and other experts needed to prove the elements of your case.

We value each component of injuries suffered and associated affect on your life and calculate the monetary damages that fairly compensates victims of accidents.

We demand payment for those losses from the persons, corporations or other legal entities that are responsible for the accident and the injuries suffered by our clients.

Finally, we research the value of the case and negotiate a fair settlement by using alternative dispute resolution techniques (ADR).  If the responsible person will not settle, we litigate.  We never give up.

Throughout the process, we keep you informed of the developments in your case and explain the progress of the case. We are always only a phone call or email away.

Can you guaranty that I will win?2018-10-30T14:05:51+00:00

No, and any lawyer that does is behaving unethically in our view.  In litigation, there is no such thing as a sure thing.  With litigation, there are always risks that you can lose.  However, most cases are settled even before litigation is commenced.  At PQTLaw, we have the experience and knowledge needed to obtain a fair settlement of your case.  While we cannot guarantee a positive result in every case, we settle most personal injury cases we handle, either at the adjuster stage or at mediation, settlement conference or pre-trial conference.

Do I have to choose a lawyer in the City where I was injured?2018-10-30T14:05:26+00:00

No. You can retain a personal injury lawyer from anywhere as long as he has the authority to practice law in Ontario.

Often, it is preferable to hire someone in the City where the accident happened since most of the evidence will be in that City.

Usually, if litigation is needed, it should be commenced in the jurisdiction where the accident happened.

Why is Your Law Firm Different?2018-10-30T14:05:52+00:00

What’s Different About the Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Network, lawyers of Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, Ottawa injury, accident and disability lawyers?

In two words, we care.

The Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Network, made up of lawyers of Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC Mineault Grodzki PC, Ottawa injury, accident and disability lawyers is recognized in the community as being a strong player in handling personal injury cases. We handle all types of personal injury, accident and disability cases and have made it our business to protect the rights and interests of persons injured in an accident in Ontario. We offer case analysis, negotiation and representation in all aspects of personal injury, accident and disability law cases. We handle a broad range of injuries from the small to the catastrophic.

At the Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Network, we understand that suffering a personal injury can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including their family and there are often devastating, permanent and unforeseen consequences on the lives of injured victims and their family. Suffering a physical injury causes pain; we understand that pain is just a fraction of the distress caused by injury, injuries or disability. We consider the mental, emotional and psychological issues that arise out of suffering an injury. We consider the immediate impact on an injured person’s life and also review the long term effects which often continue for months, years and sometimes are permanent.

So that all aspects of a personal injury case has been fully analysed and considered, we work as a team and every file is reviewed by two lawyers and at least one law clerk. We provide comprehensive services to individuals injured in accidents such as motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, product liability cases, dog bites, professional negligence and any other kind of case involving the negligence of someone else such as a property owner or occupier, irresponsible dog owner or careless driver. We assist people with a wide variety of insurance issues, including claims, denied claims, fire losses, car losses, accident and disability cases.

As part of our service, we offer free consultations and we take on cases on a No Fee Until You Win basis (we do not charge a fee until you win the case – if you don’t win, we do not charge any fees). We commit to reviewing and addressing every aspect of the case and while our injured clients are recovering, we are hard at work, conducting legal research, gathering evidence, obtaining witness statement, viewing the site of the accident, taking photographs, obtaining medical records, hiring medical and non medical experts needed, dealing with insurers and insurance adjusters and their lawyers and we ultimately work towards obtaining a settlement which provides fair and reasonable compensation; if the insurer or person responsible for the accident will not pay fair compensation, we will take the matter to trial.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, contact us for a free assessment of the case. Call Marc Quinn at 613-315-HURT / 613-315-4878 or e-mail us at mquinn@ottawalawyers.com.

How do I choose a personal injury lawyer?2018-10-30T14:05:28+00:00

This is a difficult question to answer because we think we are the best. These are some things to keep in mind when choosing a personal injury lawyer:

  1. Does the lawyer focus on personal injury cases?  We do.
  2. Does the lawyer call you back?  We will.
  3. Does the lawyer answer your questions, free of charge as advertised? We will.
  4. Is the lawyer willing to meet you face to face? If so, this is a good sign. We do.
  5. Is the lawyer willing to take your case to trial if necessary?  We will.
  6. Is the lawyer saying you will win for sure? If so, then think about hiring another lawyer. No lawyer can guaranty success. Our guarantee is that we will support you fully and fight for you always.
  7. Does the lawyer make you feel comfortable – is it a good fit?
  8. Will the lawyer understand the medical issues in your case, and if not, will he retain needed experts?  We will.
  9. Is the lawyer polite?  We are.
  10. Is the lawyer trained in alternative dispute resolution which is always helpful to settle cases?   We are.
Will changing lawyers cost me more money?2018-10-30T14:05:29+00:00

It should not. Your former lawyer and your new lawyer will share the initial agreed upon fee, usually 30% of the value of the settlement, plus GST and disbursements. You should never pay twice for the same case.

Can I change lawyers in the middle of a file?2018-10-30T14:05:30+00:00

You always have the right to change lawyers. Changing lawyers is easy. You can change lawyers at any time.

As your new lawyer, we do all the work needed to obtain your file from your former lawyer and have the file transferred to us.

How to prepare for your first meeting with a lawyer?2018-10-30T14:05:31+00:00

Make a List of Questions

Unless you have had experience dealing with a lawyer in the past, your first visit to a lawyer’s office can be very stressful and intimidating. Keep in mind that the lawyer is there to help you. The first meeting at PQTLaw is free, with no obligation and the meeting is held in complete confidence.

There is no such thing as a stupid question – we value all questions. Part of our job is to explain not only your rights and interests, but also the legal process that will be followed to assist you with your claim.

In order for us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, we will ask you many questions at the meeting. You can ask as many questions of us as you like.

We encourage you to prepare your questions in advance and in writing. It is fine to bring a note pad with you at the meeting, with prepared questions.

Good questions to ask are (a) what are your fees? (b) what is a normal time-line for a case such as mine? (c) what can I do to assist my case? and (d) what is the likely outcome or when can you tell me if you think I have a good case?.

Bring all Important Documents You Have to the Meeting

It is very important to bring all relevant documents to the meeting so that the lawyer can review them. It will assist your lawyer in assessing your case and determining some of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

The documents will also assist the lawyer in understanding the legal issues in your case. Often, the documents you bring makes all the difference and helps relay the needed information that may be missing from poor memory.

Be Open and Completely Honest with Your Lawyer

Anything you tell your lawyer is confidential and protected by solicitor client privilege. Your lawyer cannot be compelled to testify against you. The privilege exists even if you decide not to hire the lawyer. Talk to your lawyer about all facts you believe are good and bad about your situation and case.

All important facts, including those facts that you believe may not be good for your case should be discussed at the meeting with your lawyer. If you want a reliable assessment of your case, you need to be open and honest. Honesty will always place you in a better position.

It is much better for your lawyer to know the facts that are not necessarily good for you at the beginning of the file so that he can prepare to answer that part of your case.

Discuss Fees – What will it cost you?

You are entitled to know what the lawyer will be charging you and how he will be charging you. Is it going to be by the hour or on a contingency fee arrangement? When does the lawyer get paid? When do you receive settlement funds? If the agreement is to pay the lawyer by hours worked, what is the hourly rate and will there be regular bills sent to you – when do they need to be paid?

If the lawyer is taking your case on a contingency basis, which means that he will not charge you until your case is settled and he will take a percentage of any monetary damages you receive, discuss what the percentage will be.

Do I need a Lawyer?2018-10-30T14:05:31+00:00

Are you better off with a lawyer or representing yourself?

Hold on to your seat! You don’t always need a lawyer. If your claim is relatively small, you probably do not need a lawyer. However, our experience has been that having a lawyer always places our clients in a better position. Often, not consulting a lawyer is being penny wise and pound foolish.

From the insurance industry’s view point, they will never want you to have a lawyer. Why? Lawyers are knowledgeable in the law and it has been our experience that our involvement significantly improves the settlement amount. Insurers always prefer to pay less, not more.

What do I do if I can’t afford to hire a lawyer?2018-10-30T14:05:33+00:00

Not many people can afford to hire a lawyer. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can be expensive. However, at Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, we offer No Fee Until You Win retainer arrangements. What does this mean? This means that we will handle your case without any charge to you, no money down. If we recover a settlement for you, we are paid a percentage of the settlement; depending on what the specific case is about, the percentage is 30 to 35%. If there is a settlement, the insurer usually agrees to pay 15% of the amount you pay us. If we do not settle your case, we do not charge you anything. This type of arrangement is legally allowed and authorized by the Law Society of Upper Canada. This type of arrangement is called a contingency fee arrangement and provides access to justice for the thousands of injured persons who cannot otherwise afford to pay a lawyer $200 to $500 per hour to handle their personal injury case.

There is no doubt that taking a case to court is expensive. In personal injury cases, in addition to income loss you may be suffering as well as direct and indirect costs of medical treatments, you have to consider the costs of lawyer’s fees, court filing fees, expert report costs, medical expert costs, clinical notes and records costs etc… In many cases, our clients cannot afford to pay experts the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars requested for their professional assistance, opinions and expert reports. We, in most personal injury and disability cases, will advance our clients the funds to pay for these expert fees. We handle all aspects of obtaining the documents and expert reports needed and we pay for it. We recover the cost from the opposing party or insurer when the case settles.

In most personal injury and disability cases we handle, we do so on a contingency fee basis. Most of our clients believe that they would not have been able to hire a lawyer but for the contingency fee arrangement. Because we take a percentage of the settlement, the bigger the settlement the more you get and the more we get, so you can expect that we will to everything possible to maximize your recovery such as conduct a full analysis, full review, retaining the best experts, reviewing all aspects of your case and negotiating aggressively. Since most personal injury cases are settled, all of our lawyers are trained in advanced negotiation techniques and alternate dispute resolution techniques to effectively bargain a settlement for our clients. Our personal injury lawyers also participate in CLE (continuing legal education) programs and we are always up to do on the latest news and law relating to personal injury, accident and disability matters. We also buy the best software and services available to assist us with handling personal injury cases, such as legal research database services.

We offer free consultations. There is no obligation and no pressure. If you believe you have a personal injury, accident or disability case and want to discuss your rights, interests and hear your options, contact us at 613-315-4878 (613-315-HURT). Marc-Nicholas Quinn, Lawyer, Mediator, Author and Law Instructor.

When should I hire a personal injury lawyer?2018-10-30T14:05:33+00:00
Unfortunately, car accidents are a reality of life and chances are that every one of us will be in one. If you have been in a serious motor vehicle accident, you should consult an injury lawyer right away. Most people are not sure when and if they should consult a lawyer after a serious car accident or any accident. When making a decision to call a lawyer, here are some things to keep in mind:
If no one has been injured in an accident and the property damage is minimal, you likely don’t need to call a lawyer. The typical fender bender accidents can be dealt with quickly and efficiently through your insurance company adjuster.  However, if someone has been injured in an accident, you should consult a lawyer right away. If you have been injured in an accident, your own insurer may seem helpful but they are not always on your side. They may want to minimize the compensation they may have to pay. Only your own car accident lawyer can protect your interests and make sure you receive fair compensation.
You should definitely call an injury lawyer if the car accident resulted in injury to you or someone else, the accident caused the death of someone, caused serious property or vehicle damage, if you are uncertain whether you were at fault or not or the other driver will not share information such as insurance and identification particulars.  You should also contact a motor vehicle lawyer if: fault is an issue, a pedestrian was injured, road conditions were a factor, the accident occurred in a construction zone, you are being charged with an offence or uncertain if you may be charged, the accident report is inconsistent with the accident and you are blamed for the accident, there are legal issues involved, there are medical issues involved, you are experiencing issues with your insurer or the other parties or your insurer hires a lawyer.
Other reasons to contact an accident lawyer includes: you need advice on settlement on the value of your case, you need help dealing with your own insurance company, you need assistance dealing with the other party’s insurance company, you are unsure if there is insurance available, fault over the accident has become an issue, your insurer is giving you a hard time, you don’t feel comfortable negotiating your own file, you don’t understand your insurance policy and what you may be entitled to receive, your insurer or other party’s insurer wants you to sign documents, settlement documents or a release.
Dealing with issues arising out of car accidents is stressful. An experienced injury lawyer can provide you with information, guidance and representation to make the process less stressful. Your lawyer can make sure you are protected from claims and protected from tactics your insurance company or the insurance companies of the other persons involved. An experienced car accident lawyer can represent your interests and obtain fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries.
Our lawyers make sure that you are fairly treated by the insurance companies to receive what you deserve.
Most people know that they should call their insurance company after a car accident. However, it is sometimes not clear if they need to call an injury and accident lawyer. If you have any doubts, call us for a free consultation.
If you have been injured in a serious car accident, call any of our lawyers for a free consultation. If you cannot travel, we can come to you. Our lawyers work on the basis of no fee until you win arrangements (contingency fee arrangements).
What does the first meeting with one of your personal injury lawyers cost – its free?2018-10-30T14:05:34+00:00

There is absolutely no cost for your first, confidential, assessment.

You can tell your story in your own words and we will assess your case and provide you with legal advice.

There is never any obligation for you to hire us as your lawyer. We will assess your case, answer your questions, advise you on your injury and you can go from there.

If we think you have a case, we will gladly ask you to retain us on a contingence basis which means you don’t pay us anything unless we obtain a settlement for you. We don’t get paid, unless you do!

How do I know if I have a personal injury case?2018-10-30T14:05:52+00:00

Quite simply, if you have been injured as a result of someone’s fault, be it because of the acts or omissions of a person, a corporation, an animal or property which caused you injury, you likely have a personal injury case.

Our injury lawyers take all types of personal injury cases, big and small. We believe that all injured persons deserve to have competent lawyers.

We have a team of personal injury lawyers dedicated to evaluating and prosecuting personal injury claims.

We will review and assess your case, free of charge and in confidence. We will advise you of your options and chances of success.

Our aim is to get you the fairest compensation possible.

What do we talk about during our initial free consultation?2018-10-30T14:05:54+00:00
How do the lawyers at the Ottawa Injury and Accident law firm settle files without litigation?
What do we offer as part of our free consultation?
Not all personal injury cases have to go to court. In our experience, most accident and injury claims are settled before having to commence a court action.  Only 2% of our cases reach trial. Most of our clients injured in accidents obtain fair and reasonable compensation without going to Court. Our lawyers are trained and experienced in alternative dispute resolution techniques and most of our cases are settled through negotiations and mediations. As a result of our experience and proven track record, we are respected by the insurance industry and defence lawyers. If your case does not settle through negotiations, you will be given the option to stop or keep going by starting a court action.  Either way, we will support you. We are experienced both as negotiators and litigators.
To learn more about how we settle cases and avoid litigation if possible, please contact any of our Ottawa injury lawyers at 613-315-4878. We offer free consultations and accept most injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning no fee until you win.
What do we offer as part of our free consultation?
1. We meet you face to face.
2. We listen to your story and answer your questions.
3. We ask you questions and obtain all the relevant facts.
4. We explain the law to you in a way that you understand – we limit the legal ease.
5. We explain what the legal issues are and how we can deal with those issues.
6. We review with you the strengths and weaknesses of your case and what we can do to advance your case while still dealing with those weaknesses.
7. We explore and advise you of your legal options.
8. We explain how we handle the case from start to finish.
9. We explain what your role is during the process and what we will need from you.
10. We agree to deal with the third parties such as insurance companies, adjusters, experts and defence lawyers.
11. We tell you how we protect your legal interests and legal rights.
12. We explain how we advocate for your case and what we do to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement of your file without having to go to Court.
13. We openly explain our fees and what we charge for our services.
14. We, in most cases, offer contingency fee arrangements and work on a no fee until you win basis –  – we commit our promise to writing.
15. We offer free consultations and it will not cost you anything to meet with us and discuss your accident.