If you’ve been injured in an accident; you may have some of the following questions listed below. For more specific information related to your unique case, don’t delay, call now. One of our lawyers is available to answer any questions you may have right away.
1. What type of lawyer do I need?
You should look for a lawyer who deals only with the kind of legal issue you have. A real estate lawyer can help you buy or sell your house; if you are separating or getting a divorce,a family law lawyer is the best choice. If you have been injured in an accident; a dedicated personal injury lawyer experienced in litigation is advised.
2. Can I make a claim for personal injury compensation?
You can make a claim for personal injury compensation if you suffered an injury which was caused or contributed to by someone else’s carelessness. The other person may be responsible for your injury either because they did something or failed to do something which resulted in your injury.
Many people think that they can only recover personal injury compensation when they are involved in an car accident. This is not true. Compensation can be recovered in the event that you suffer an injury as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, including:
- Snowmobile accident or collision
- Boating accident injury
- Slip and fall accident injury
- Injury resulting from a dangerous building, place or activity
- Injury resulting from an unsafe product
- Medical malpractice
- Assault injury
- Animal attack or dog bite
The law is concerned with compensating people for their losses, however they are caused.
Personal injuries include physical and psychological injuries. The law does not distinguish between injuries we can see and those that are not visible.
If the injury took place while you were working, then special rules apply. You may be required to make a claim through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Speak to one of our personal injury lawyers.
You can still make a claim even if you are partly responsible for your injury. The law will apportion fault between you and the other persons. You will recover compensation calculated according to the other person’s degree of fault.
If your injury involved an car/automobile, then, in addition to your claim for personal injury compensation, you can also recover benefits from your own insurance company. You are entitled to these benefits, regardless of whether you or someone else caused the car accident. These benefits are often called no-fault or accident benefits. The No-Fault Accident Benefits are explained below.
It is important that you review the circumstances surrounding your injury with a skilled personal injury lawyer. We will review with you the facts leading to your injury and explain your rights. We will assess your case for free and let you know whether you are entitled to make a claim.
3. How much is my claim worth?
In Ontario, our courts award compensation for personal injury based on the principle of loss.
Those who suffer more significant losses recover more compensation. Future economic losses, such as those arising out of a loss of the ability to work or through the need for future health care and support generate the largest compensation awards.
Contact The Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm and speak with a lawyer who will meet with you and asses your case. We will help you understand the value of your losses and how best to recover the injury compensation you deserve.
4. What compensation can I recover?
An injured person is entitled to recover compensation for their losses resulting from the injury.
These losses fall into one of three categories of “damages”. The courts will award damages for
(a) loss of enjoyment of life (pain and suffering),
(b) loss of earning capacity and
(c) future care costs.
Damages for loss of enjoyment of life compensate the injured person for the pain and upset which the injury causes. These damages also compensate the injured person for the loss of their ability to participate in their usual and enjoyed recreational activities. Losing the ability to play sports, socialize with friends and family and pursue a beloved hobby is significant.
The courts will award damages to compensate the injured person for these losses.
Loss of earning capacity damages compensate the injured person for the affect which the injury has on their ability to earn an income. For a person who is already part of the workforce, these damages focus on their loss of actual income and their loss of future income.
When dealing with an injured child or a student, the focus is on the affect which the injury will have on their ability to succeed in school and pursue a career.
Damages are awarded to compensate the person for the income they could have expected to earn had they not been injured.
The courts also award damages compensating injured persons for the care costs they will incur. Care costs include the cost of obtaining the services of rehabilitation professionals like a physiotherapist, a psychologist or a case manager.
Care costs also include goods which the injured person requires like a wheelchair or home and vehicle modifications to help improve accessibility. Care costs also compensate the injured person for the cost of an aide or attendant to help provide necessary hygiene care, supervision and to help replace the services around the home which the injured person, if healthy, would perform.
Family members are also entitled to compensation for their losses resulting from the injury. These damages focus on the family member’s loss of their relationship with the injured person.
5. Can I still recover compensation if I am partly responsible for my injury?
Yes. Your losses will be evaluated and your responsibility for your injury, expressed as a percentage of the whole, will be deducted. For example, if you suffered injuries in a car accident and you and another driver were equally at fault, your damages would be reduced by 50%.
Your right to car accident benefits would not be affected.
6. How long will it take to resolve my claim?
This is the most common question we are asked by our clients. Although it is not possible to predict with certainty when your claim will be resolved, our experience tells us that most serious cases are resolved within two to three years of the date of injury.
Cases with fewer contested issues can be resolved more quickly than complicated claims.
We can assure you that we will develop and resolve your claim aggressively and as quickly as is in your best interest. See our car accident litigation timeline chart.
7. What do I need to do to protect my rights?
Your rights and obligations depend on the circumstances and severity of your injury.
You will need to consult with an experienced injury lawyer. One who specializes only in personal injury law that can help explain your rights and let you know what needs to be done to protect them.
The Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm will meet with you at no cost and assess your case and explain your rights and let you know what needs to be done to protect those rights.
We will take the required action to protect your rights. Our personal injury lawyers will promptly prepare and file the legal notices and claims required to initiate the personal injury compensation process.
8. Are there time limits which apply to my claim?
Yes. There are time limits which will restrict your right to claim compensation against the person who caused your injury.
These time limits govern when and how you give the person notice that you intend to bring a claim and they govern when you need to actually file your claim with the courts.
The time limits which apply to your case will depend on when and how you suffered your injury. For example, time limits for car accidents and automobile injuries differ from those for sexual assault.
You will need to consult a personal injury lawyer to determine which time limits apply to your case.
9. I was involved in an car accident and my insurance company adjuster wants to speak with me. What do I need to do?
You are obliged to notify your insurer that you have been involved in a car accident and that you suffered an injury.
Your insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to meet with you and talk about the car accident and your injuries.
When providing your statement you should know that the adjuster will record everything you say. The insurance company may rely on your statement to deny or reduce your claims. For these reasons, it is important that you meet with a car accident injury lawyer before you speak with the adjuster.
We will explain your rights and ensure that you only provide the adjuster with the information they require. If you prefer, one of our car accident lawyers will attend the adjuster meeting with you.
Although you are required to provide your insurer with relevant information, you are not required to speak with anyone associated with the driver that caused your injury.
You should refer any communications to your experienced car accident lawyer who can deal with the insurer.
10. I have been asked to complete many complicated insurance forms. Can someone help me complete my accident benefits forms?
When you are claiming accident benefits, there are several forms that must be completed before any benefits are paid.
The Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm will help you complete these forms and ensure that they are completed correctly and submitted to your insurer in time.
11. What if I was driving my car without car insurance and was involved in an accident?
You cannot pursue a claim against any at-fault driver if you were knowingly driving your car without car insurance. However, you remain entitled to claim medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits.
12. What if the person who caused the car accident has no insurance?
In Ontario, people hurt by uninsured motorists can look to their own insurance company to pay their car accident compensation. If you do not have insurance, then the Ontario government will pay your accident benefits and your personal injury compensation.
In either case, you must commence a lawsuit in order to obtain injury compensation.
13. How will a car accident affect my insurance rates?
If the car accident is your fault, your car insurance rates may increase. If the car accident is not your fault, your car insurance rates should not increase – even if you make a claim for benefits.
14. The insurance company has appointed treatment providers for me. I would like to choose my own. Who gets to select the people who will treat me?
The injured person is entitled to select case managers and other treatment providers as are required to assist with rehabilitation and recovery.
We recommend that you interview qualified health care professionals before you make a choice. Lawyers, social workers and insurers can put you in touch with these professionals.
The Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm helps its clients find qualified and skilled rehabilitation experts to help them through the recovery process.
15. What if the injured person can’t make decisions due to mental incapacity?
Sometimes the person injured is rendered incapable of making decisions for himself. This may be the case if the person is in a coma or suffers a severe brain injury.
In that case, it may be necessary to appoint a loved one to act as guardian and make decisions for the injured person during their incapacity.
The Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm will take the steps necessary to appoint a guardian if one is required.
16. My private disability insurer refused my application. Do I need a lawyer? If so, when should I contact one?
If your insurer has improperly denied your claim or terminated your benefits, you will require the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Limitation periods start to run as soon as the insurer makes a decision about your claim.
These limitation periods restrict your right to recover denied or terminated benefits. You should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as your benefits are refused or terminated. Your lawyer will protect your right to recover these benefits and commence a claim.
17. I am disabled, so why has my insurer denied my claim?
Insurers often deny or terminate claims improperly as it serves their interest to do so. Insurers may claim that they are entitled to refuse to pay your benefits because you have not provided sufficient evidence of disability, because you suffered a disqualifying illness before the onset of your disability or because you have not taken all necessary steps to manage your disability.
The insurer does not have the final say. It is always in your best interests to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who will review your claim and determine whether you are entitled to your benefits.
18. I don’t speak English. Can you help me?
Yes. Many of our clients speak a language other than English. When necessary, The Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm uses the services of a skilled interpreter.
Remember that when picking a personal injury lawyer, it is more important to pick a lawyer with experience and a record of success than it is to pick a lawyer who speaks your language.
19. What should I bring with me to our initial meeting?
It is helpful when our clients bring the following documents to a first meeting. You may have all or none of these documents:
- Your driver’s license and insurance certificate
- Contact information for your insurance company
- The police motor vehicle/ car accident report and any other police documents
- Any correspondence you have received from your insurance company
- Any correspondence you may have received from the other party to the accident
- Any medical reports
- A list of your treating physicians and medical specialists
- Record of your salary, such as pay stubs from your employer, a T4 slip or Canada Revenue Agency Record of Assessment
- An estimate of property damage to your car or vehicle
- Photographs of the scene and your injuries
If you do not have these documents, one of our personal injury lawyers will help obtain them for you.
20. How are legal fees paid?
At the Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm we operate on a contingency fee basis. When we settle your claim, our fees are paid as a percentage of your settlement.
We will explain the terms of the contingency fee agreement with you when we meet to discuss your claim. You will never be required to pay us any legal fees until your injury claim is resolved.