FAQ

  1. Q: What is a limitation period?
  2. Q: I was involved in a motor vehicle accident and I have been injured. The other driver was at fault. What do I do?
  3. Q: What are accident benefits?
  4. Q: What happens if I am denied an accident benefit that I apply for?
  5. Q: Why does the insurance company get to take back $30,000.00 from the damages that they owe to me?
  6. Q: Who pays my legal costs – I’m the innocent party?
  7. Q: How long is my case going to take?
  8. Q: Can the insurance company pay part of my settlement now?
  9. Q: Who pays my legal costs – I’m the innocent party?
  10. Q: Why is the other lawyer allowed to ask me personal questions in my lawsuit?

Q: What is a limitation period?

In Ontario, there are legislated rules that say how long a person has after a certain event before they have to start a lawsuit, or lose their rights to pursue that matter. For example, the limitation period after a motor vehicle accident is 2 years from the date of the collision. This is another reason why it is important to consult with a lawyer immediately after an injury or other event giving rise to a claim.

Q: I was involved in a motor vehicle accident and I have been injured. The other driver was at fault. What do I do?

You must exchange personal information with the other driver and call the police. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be taken by ambulance to a hospital or you may attend on your own at a hospital or a doctor’s office for medical attention.

You must report the accident and your injuries to your auto insurance company within 7 days. Usually, there are 2 items that have to be attended to immediately:

1) The damage to your car; and

2) Your application for accident benefits.

You have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurer, and they will be asking you for information. However, you also have the right to get legal advice, and I would strongly recommend that you do so at an early stage. If you are contacted by the insurer of the at-fault driver, you do not have the same obligation to provide them with information, and it would be wise to speak to a lawyer first.

Q: What are accident benefits?

In Ontario, a person injured in a motor vehicle accident has the right to claim certain benefits from their own auto insurance company for loss of income, medical and rehabilitation benefits, attendant care benefits, and other such benefits. The entitlement depends on the nature of the injury. These benefits are often referred to as “no-fault benefits” because the injured party is entitled to claim them whether they are at fault for the accident or someone else has caused the accident. “

Q: What happens if I am denied an accident benefit that I apply for?

As a result of an amendment to the law passed on November 20, 2014, disputes concerning accident benefits will be handled by the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). If that procedure is set up in a way similar to the previous system (the details have not yet been released), then the claim must be mediated, and if mediation fails, then you can apply to the LAT to have the matter arbitrated. In mediation, the mediator does not have the power to make a decision but rather to assist the parties to try to find a solution. In arbitration, the arbitrator makes a binding decision. The assistance of a lawyer is extremely important with respect to these disputes. Sometimes they can be negotiated and settled without having to go through a mediation or an arbitration hearing.

Q: Can the insurance company pay part of my settlement now?

An injury, sickness or loss of job can put you in a difficult financial position. It depends on the situation, but sometimes it is possible to get an advancement of your settlement from the insurance company.

Q: Why does the insurance company get to take back $30,000.00 from the damages that they owe to me?

It is a deductible, like you have for collision coverage but much bigger. It doesn’t apply in all cases, but if it does, there may be other types of damages that you may be able to claim that will offset this deductible.

Q: How long is my case going to take?

This is a difficult question to answer because each case is unique. There are many factors that can delay a case from concluding. These factors may include: the stage of your case – whether it is ready to be settled or go to trial; waiting for an expert’s opinion; court schedules; availability of witnesses; and the degree of cooperation on the other side. I will strive to get your matter resolved as quickly as possible taking into account the unique factors associated with your case and developing a strategy to deal with them in the most efficient manner.

Q: Who pays my legal costs – I’m the innocent party?

In Ontario, the unsuccessful party in the action is responsible for some of the successful party’s legal costs, but not all of them. This may seem unfair, but that is how our system works. In other places, the successful party does not get back any of their legal costs.

Q: Why is the other lawyer allowed to ask me personal questions in my lawsuit?

No one likes to be asked personal questions. However, litigation is personal – it’s about you. I work hard at preparing my clients for what is going to happen at each stage of the case including discussing with them the types of questions that can and will be asked at of them.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for obtaining legal advice. You must meet with Gary E. Flaxbard in order to retain his services. Accessing the information on this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Gary E. Flaxbard assumes no liability for incomplete or inaccurate information that may be contained in this website

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