Broken Bones After an Ontario Accident | Toronto, ON

Broken bones after an Ontario accident

Broken bones or fractures are very common after accidents involving motor vehicles and also where people have fallen. In our Toronto personal injury law practice, we regularly see clients with fractures ranging from skull or facial bones to ankles feet and toes and everything in between!

It is generally easier to get compensation for broken bones or fractures than it is from other types of injuries because, in most cases, these injuries are objective and show up on an x-ray or other scan.

Some commonly seen fractures after accidents are:

  • Spinal vertebrae in the back or the neck. These bones can break during a rear end collision a head on collision or a T-bone collision as your body is impacted by your seatbelt, airbag, or headrest. They can also be fractured as a result of a hard fall or a fall from a significant height.
  • Clavicle which is also called the collarbone. This runs across the top of your rib cage and is quite fragile. We frequently see fractured clavicles as a result of cycling accidents involving motor vehicles.
  • Ulna and Radius.  These are the most common bone fractures we see from clients who have fallen on their outstretched arms or hand.
  • Pelvic bone. Pelvic bone fractures are quite serious and can immobilize a client for a significant amount of time.  We see pelvic bone injuries most commonly during motorcycle accidents.
  • Hip bones.  We often represent clients who have fractured their hips in slip and fall or trip and fall accidents.
  • Lower leg (fibula) and upper leg (femur). Broken legs are quite common. These are strong bones but can be fractured when the force of a collision crashes the vehicle into the body.
  • Ankle fractures.  Our law firm often sees these fractures as a result of a slip or trip and fall accident.
  • Cranial or skull fractures. These fractures require immediate attention because they can also sometimes indicate injury to the brain. Skull fractures can happen when our client hits his or her head on the dashboard window or steering wheel.  We have also had clients suffer skull fractures in cycling accidents.
  • Facial bones. Clients who are struck by an airbag or whose face meets the dashboard,  steering wheel or window may suffer a fracture of the nose, jaw, cheekbones or the bones around the eyes.  Clients may also suffer this type of injury if they strike something on the way down during a trip or slip and fall.
  • Sternum and ribs. The sternum is the flat bone in between your ribs. They are sturdy bones intended to protect your internal organs. These bones may be fractured by a client’s seat-belt or by the movement forward when struck in a motor vehicle collision.

If you have any one or more of these types of fractures,  our Toronto personal injury law firm can help you. We can help you get the rehabilitation you need to make maximum recovery to get back into your life. Where the injuries are more serious and will require an adaptation of your home , vehicle and other aspects of your life, our experience law firm can assist you with all of those changes to help you make the best of your new reality and continue to live your best life.

Contact Auger Hollingsworth for a free consultation about your bone fracture or other injury resulting from an accident.

Slip and Fall FAQs

Slip and Fall FAQs

Should I sue after a slip and fall accident?

A slip and fall accident can have a range of injuries from minor to serious. Either way, a fall can severely impact the way you go about living your day-to-day life while trying to recover. However, is it practical for all slip and fall victims to seek compensation for your injuries?

 Not every time you slip and fall is there a claim.  However, if you can prove there was negligence by someone in control of the property where you fell, you may have a claim. For the most part, if the injuries and discomfort are minor and completely disappear within a few days to three weeks you may not want to follow through with a claim. However, if your pain persists for more than a month you may have a valid claim.   The injury lawyers at Brenda Hollingsworth’s office can provide you with a free consultation to explain your rights and current situation.

Lianne Laing and Brenda Hollingsworth answer a caller’s question on CTV Morning Live about suing for an Ontario slip and fall accident and what the best course of action is depending on the severity of the injuries.

 

How do I know if I have a slip and fall claim?

During these snowy and slippery Toronto winter days, it is common for many of us to lose our balance and maybe suffer a fall.  Most of the time such situations don’t involve other individuals or fault of any kind, but on occasion, a fall can be attributed to someone’s action, or inaction.  Legally speaking, a slip and fall case is one where an individual is injured after a “slip and fall” which was due to the intent or negligence of another person.  An individual who suffers this kind of injury may be entitled to compensation.

A slip and fall can occur on private, public, or commercial property.  If you have suffered an injury due to a neighbour’s icy driveway, the parking lot at work, or the pavement outside of a restaurant, it is possible that you have a slip and fall case that can be legally pursued.  Commercial property owners in particular have a responsibility to keep their properties safe for the public.  If a property owner fails to maintain safe conditions outside his or her establishment, they can be held responsible for compensating those injured due to their negligence.  If you think you may have a slip and fall case, the first thing to do is to contact a personal injury lawyer who can help you identify the key aspects of your case and can help you determine if your situation can be legally pursued.  Your lawyer will collect evidence, speak to the property owner, and possibly interview witnesses of the event, which will help to strengthen your case.

Walking in Toronto can be a dangerous endeavor during the winter, especially since we can sometimes get rain, snow, hail and extreme temperatures during our winter months.  These weather factors can create the ideal conditions for a slip and fall so be careful when you’re out walking your dog, pushing a stroller or meeting friends outside a cafe.  In the event that you suffer a slip and fall, think about contacting a lawyer and finding out if you may be entitled to financial compensation.

 

What do I do after a slip and fall accident on municipal property?

During the winter after an ice storm, or rapid temperature drop, slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence.  However, a question that arises is how to properly go about reporting the accident when it is on municipal property.

When an Toronto slip and fall accident occurs on municipal property you have 2 years to file a claim. However, there can be shorter notice periods. You need to file a notice with the municipality indicating you were hurt and that there is a possibility of a claim. You should do this before anything else.

Watch as Lianne Laing and Brenda Hollingsworth answer a caller’s question about a slip and fall accident on municipal property and the right course of action to take on CTV Morning Live.

 

Can I file a claim for a pelvis fracture after a slip and fall accident?

A fractured pelvis is very debilitating.  Because the pelvis houses so many internal organs, pelvic fractures can result in significant internal bleeding. The pelvis is also vital in daily activities such as walking, running and biking, but when it is fractured, mobility is severely limited.

For the elderly, the most common cause of a pelvic fracture is a slip and fall.  For younger folks, the pelvis must be directly impacted by a strong force in order to fracture. Car and motorcycle accidents are leading causes of pelvic fractures because there is such a strong force created when two cars collide at high speeds.

The pelvis is composed of three bones that are connected at the base of the spine by connective tissue.  The pelvis is the structure that connects the lower body to the legs.

Check out this video which demonstrates the triage sequence for a patient where a pelvic fracture is suspected.

If you have suffered a pelvic fracture in an accident caused by someone’s negligence, you may have a serious claim for damages.  Contact a personal injury lawyer for more information about your claim.

Answering your Questions about Toronto Long Term Disability Denial

If you have been injured or are sick and can no longer do your job, long-term disability benefits can be essential to your family’s well-being. The very last thing you want on your mind when you’re dealing with injury or illness is how you’re going to support those who count on you financially. Long-term disability benefits allow you to make your medical recovery your number one focus.

The world of long-term disability can be overwhelming and confusing when you are trying to figure out what you’re entitled to, while also facing health challenges. We are going to answer some of your basic questions in this article.

What is the difference between long-term disability and short-term disability?

First, the amount of insurance coverage and the length of your coverage depends on the specific insurance plan for policy that you have purchased. If you were part of a group disability plan through your employer, your employer will have selected whether or not to provide both long-term disability and short-term disability.

What is short term disability?

Short term disability (STD) is insurance that covers part of your salary for a limited duration. A typical percentage is 70% although it can be higher or lower than that amount. A typical duration is between 16 and 24 weeks. However, some policies have short term disability for a full year.

In Ontario, some employers rely on the Employment Insurance (EI) program through the federal government for their short term disability. Employment insurance sick leave may provide up to 15 weeks coverage.

What is long term disability?

Long-term disability benefits typically start after short term disability or EI benefits run out. If you are not able to return to work during the time stipulated in the short term disability policy or the 15 weeks of EI benefits,  your long-term disability benefits may kick in.

Long term disability may last two years, or to a fixed date. Most often long-term disability lasts until you turn 65,  as long as you continue to meet the disability test.

The amount that your long-term disability insurance company pays you may be reduced by other sources of disability income. For example, your long-term disability insurance company might require that you apply for Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits or WSIB benefits. If you qualify for those benefits, they will be subtracted from the amount your long term disability insurance company pays.

Who receives long term disability?

In order to receive long-term disability insurance, you must have a policy in place at the time that you are injured or become ill.

Either, you are employed by a company that has purchased a group insurance policy or you have personally purchased a disability policy on your own. Every disability insurance plan has specific disability requirements that determine if you qualify for disability benefits.

In other words, whether you are going to have coverage depends on the fine print in the policy available to you. There are many different definitions for disability depending on the policy you or your employer purchased.

Is my condition covered by LTD?

Typically long-term disability insurance covers a broad range of conditions spanning from traumatic brain injury to broken bones or cancer. There may also be coverage for mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. In most cases the policy will cover you As long as you are totally disabled as defined by your insurance policy. That means you are unable to perform your duties at work or elsewhere.

Do you have a pre-existing condition?

If you have a pre-existing condition at the time you enter into your long-term disability insurance agreement with the insurance company, coverage for disability that is caused by that pre-existing condition might be excluded. In order to know whether that’s the case it is necessary to look at the specific wording of your policy. Pre-existing conditions generally include any physical mental or emotional condition that prompted you to see a medical professional for treatment before you obtained coverage. Common pre-existing Conditions include arthritis, depression or anxiety, asthma or cancer.

What does own occupation, or any occupation mean?

Many disability insurance policies distinguish between “any” occupation and “own” occupation. Typically, when you first apply for disability benefits you only have to demonstrate that you are in capable of performing your own occupation, that means the job that you are currently doing at the time that you become disabled.

However, many disability insurers have a new test for disability after a certain length of time, commonly two years. After that time elapses, you may only be entitled to long-term disability benefits if you cannot work at any job whatsoever for which you are suited. Many people who receive long-term disability after an illness or accident face a challenge at the two-year mark when they must prove that their condition prevents them from doing any reasonable occupation. Very often, our law firm sees denials at this stage.

How can Auger Hollingsworth help with your long-term disability?

Our injury law firm has helped many clients like you obtain long-term disability benefits after an insurance company has denied or terminated benefits. We have a successful track record and our clients our highly satisfied with our long-term disability services. If you would like to know whether we can help with your long-term disability denial, please reach out to us for a no obligation free consultation. We will listen to your story and read your long-term disability policy to help understand your rights and entitlements. If you’ve been denied improperly, we can describe what we will do to get your benefits reinstated or to get you a lump sum settlement in appropriate cases.

Is there a Difference between Short Term and Long Term Disability?

After a disabling injury or a serious illness, many clients find it hard to fulfill their job responsibilities. In that situation disability benefits provide income replacement and peace of mind while you pursue your recovery.

Many Ontario employers offer group disability insurance plans. But very few employees actually read through their disability policy or understand the nuances of what those policies provide. The only time most employees think about their disability policies is when they have in fact become disabled.

When will you use short term disability?

If you are hurt or sick, you will usually start by using up your sick days. Maybe your employer provides only the sick days under the Employment Standards Act. Maybe your employer provides a certain amount of paid sick leave above that Act. In either situation, once those paid sick days are gone you will look to see what your options are if you can’t return to work. If your company offers short term disability, or if you have purchased a disability policy yourself, you will look to your short-term disability benefits to cover your income.

Different policies provide for a different duration for short term disability and a different percentage of the person salary. It is not uncommon to see a percentage ranging from 65% of a salary to 75%. Occasionally you will see a policy with a percentage that is higher or lower.

Some employers do not offer short term disability insurance. Instead, employees will rely on Canada’s Employment Insurance for 15 weeks of EI medical benefits.

What if I am denied STD?

If you are denied short term disability under a group policy or an individual policy, you should consider contacting a lawyer. If your medical situation continues beyond the time when you can self-fund, and you do not get legal advice, you may find yourself in difficult a situation where you have no recourse.

Long Term Disability

After a certain period that will be specified in the disability policy (contract), if you still cannot work you will apply for long-term disability. Again, long-term disability benefits typically provide a percentage of your earnings.

Often, there will be an initial entitlement for up to 24 months when you were unable to do the specific job that you had at the time you were injured or became ill. In your policy this might be referred to as “own occupation” coverage. This is where the insurance covers you for your own job. Many policies change the test for disability after 24 months on long-term disability benefits. The definition will change from your own occupation to “any occupation”.

After the 24 months, the employee will have to prove that they cannot do any occupation for which they are otherwise suited. Every policy is unique and looking at the exact definition of disability in your specific policy will be important.

How can a lawyer help?

Once an insurance company decides to deny short term or long term benefits, it will be difficult to change their minds without a lawyer’s help. Insurance policies are complex. Plus, you are injured or suffering from an illness and your energy will be better spent focused on recovery.

A personal injury lawyer who has a focus on long-term disability or short-term disability can ease your burden significantly. We can help you understand your policy and your rights under that policy. If you have been denied benefits, we can help you make a strong claim and increase your chances of getting approved.

Defensive Driving: What to Do If You Get a Flat Tire While Driving

If you get a flat tire, your own safety, the safety of your passengers and those travelling in vehicles around you depend on your ability to keep calm, think quickly, and carry out the steps below.

Here are six steps to consider when you realize you have a flat tire.

Step One: Slow down –But brake slowly! With only three tires on the road, you will have reduced traction. Don’t make a bad situation worse by causing the car to spin or slide into traffic. Take your foot off the accelerator and gently apply the brake.

Step Two: Steer into safety. As you slow down, steer the car into a safe zone like a nearby parking lot (if you’re on city streets) or the side of the road (if you’re on the highway).

Step Three: Pull off to the right.  If you can, pull your car off to the RIGHT side of the road, unless crossing multiple lanes of traffic is impossible or unsafe. Once you are off the road, stop your car as far away from the road as possible.

Step Four: Turn on your flasher lights.  This is very important if you’re unable to get out from the flow of traffic. Flashers are an immediate alert to other drivers that you are in trouble and could mean avoiding a serious hit from behind. Raising your hood also sends a similar message.

Step Five: If you’re able to change the flat tire yourself, only change the tire if you can work safely. Otherwise, call roadside assistance or the non-emergency police number for assistance.

Step Six: Wait safely. If you’re waiting for help, stand well back from the road.

BONUS: It’s impossible to eliminate the chance of a flat tire but adding a few items to your car’s inventory can make dealing with one a little easier.

  1. Carry a spare tire and equipment to help install it, like a tire jack and lug wrench.
  2. Foam sealants are a cheap quick fix for a flat, but should only be used in emergencies. Some tire shops will refuse to repair a tire because sticky residue the sealant leaves behind. Still, in an emergency when you need to get back on the road from a remote location, having foam sealant handy can be a temporary fix.

If you’ve been in an Ontario car accident and need the advice of an accident lawyer, reach out to the experienced personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  We will provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about compensation in your case.  Call our law firm today 416 445 3529.

How Long Will it Take to Settle My Ontario Accident Case?

We are personal injury lawyers who meet with hundreds of accident clients every year.  We know that if you have been in a collision involving a motor vehicle, either as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, you want to know how long it will take for your case to result in compensation for you.

Every case is different but here are four facts that will dictate the timeline you can expect.

Fact One: What type of injury do you have?

Not all injuries are the same when it comes to measuring the time involved to get to a personal injury settlement.  Some injuries are more obvious than others.  For example, fractures or other “objective” injuries have a somewhat predictable recovery.  Their lasting effects are easy to predict because they are so common.  If you have an objective injury like that, it may be easy to settle your case early because we can assess what your case is worth without waiting to see what ultimately happens to you.

Other injuries may result in a longer timeline. If your injury is progressive so that you have not reached maximum medical recovery, we may have to wait.  If it is unclear whether you will need surgery, we may have to wait.  In these situations, there is a risk of being short-changed if you settle before this type of injury has stabilized.  You do not want to settle your case too early and be under-compensated if your medical recovery is worse than you hoped or predicted.

Fact Two: Have you returned to work?

Loss of income or lost wages can be the most important and most valuable part of a personal injury claim, so it is vital to maximize this aspect.

If you have returned to work, it may be possible to settle your case earlier because it is not necessary to predict or guess what your total loss of income will be.

For example, if you are still off work, but you expect and hope to return to work sometime in the future it can be difficult to negotiate enough compensation to cover all your lost future income.  What if you settle on the hope that you will go back to work but your injury prevents you from doing so?  You will be shortchanged.

Another important factor is getting the appropriate medical confirmation of your inability to return to work. We often must wait a long time before your doctors will provide a strong, conclusive opinion that you will not be returning to work.  Settling before you have that information risks under-compensation.

Fact Three: Do you have permanent injuries?

Under Ontario’s Insurance Act, you can only sue for pain and suffering after a car accident if your injuries are permanent.  For many types of injuries, it takes significant time before you will be able to prove that your injuries will meet that part of the legal threshold to sue in Ontario.

Note: this rule does not apply to injuries from other types of accidents such as slips and falls.

Fact Four: Have you contacted a personal injury lawyer?

Involving a personal injury lawyer early in the process after your accident may give the lawyer a chance to make an early settlement with the insurance company directly before you start a lawsuit.  Settling before we start a lawsuit can be a much faster process than a lawsuit, although it is not appropriate or possible in every case.

If you contact a lawyer too close to when the limitation period expires (usually two years from the date of the accident), there may not be enough time to negotiate a resolution with the insurance company’s adjuster.

When we are close to the 2-year deadline, we normally must start the lawsuit.  Once a lawsuit starts, cases do not usually settle before examination for discovery.  This can add a year or more to the process.

 

To speak to an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer call 416 445 3529 for a Free Case Review.

What is a Pre-Trial and Why Do I Need One?

If you have a personal injury lawsuit in the Greater Toronto Area, you will have a pre-trial before your case goes to trial before a judge or a judge and jury.

The purpose of a pretrial is to settle the case through negotiation or to narrow the issues in the case. In a personal injury case, the main issues between the parties are typically: who was responsible for the collision (liability) and what are injuries worth (damages).

Who attends a personal injury pre-trial?

The lawyers for the plaintiff (the injured person) and the plaintiff attend the pre-trial. The lawyer for the defence, usually hired by the insurance company, as well as a representative of the defence, usually a claims examiner or adjuster, will also attend.  Witnesses do not normally attend.

At what point does a pre-trial happen during a personal injury case?

The parties in the litigation (lawsuit) are required to complete all examinations for discovery, produce all the required documents and complete any related motions before they are allowed to have a pre-trial.

How will my lawyer prepare for a pre-trial?

Your lawyer will prepare a pretrial brief which will include a detailed outline of the evidence you will be leading at trial to support your case. This pretrial brief will include important sections from the transcripts from the examination for discovery, important medical records and expert reports. The brief will also identify the witnesses you intend to call at trial and what you expect them to say. Your lawyer will also review the brief received from the defendant.

Do I need to prepare for my personal injury pre-trial?

You will likely meet with your lawyer (either in person or on the phone) before the pre-trial to discuss your settlement position, strategy and any important issues in the case that arise from the defence lawyer’s pretrial brief.

Who presides over a personal injury a pre-trial?

A judge or another court official called a master presides over a discussion of the issues.  That official will review the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case.

What happens during the pre-trial?

Pre-trials can vary quite a bit from judge to judge. Sometimes all the parties, lawyers and the judge will meet in a courtroom. The lawyers will make submissions and the judge will comment and then give an evaluation of the case.

In other cases, the judge will meet privately with the lawyers and go through the case and then come back into the courtroom to speak to the parties about his or her views.

Sometimes the judge does all the talking.

A pretrial may last one hour or it may last several, particularly if the parties are actively progressing to settlement.

What happens after the pre-trial is over?

If a settlement is reached, the case will not proceed beyond the pretrial, apart from the closing paperwork and the deliver of the settlement cheque.

If a settlement is not reached, the judge will discuss the length of the trial with the lawyers and a trial date will be confirmed.

The parties may be disappointed if the case does not settle.  However, having a clear trial date may motivate the parties to continue to negotiate toward settlement.

How Can We Have A Successful Examination for Discovery?

Many plaintiffs in the GTA worry about their examination for discovery.  Examination for discovery is an important part of your case. It is the first time the opposing lawyer hears from you directly. The defence lawyer hired by the insurance company will develop an impression of the strength of your case based on the facts as you recite them.  The lawyer will also be assessing how good you are as a witness. Are you believable?  Are you likeable? A little practice and preparation will help you achieve success at the examination.

What is Examination for Discovery?

Good question! Examination for discovery is sworn testimony (questions and answers) given before a court reporter.  A court reporter is a person who is trained to create a transcript of evidence.  The examination is usually done at a court reporter’s office but sometimes is done virtually on Zoom or Go To Meeting. When examination for discovery is conducted in person, the room is usually like a conference room. Most of the time, all the lawyers involved in the case are there. After the examination, a transcript may be created. The transcript is a verbatim (word for word) version of what was said at the examination.

Normally, everyone who is named as a party in the lawsuit is examined for discovery.  However, although all parties are not usually all in the room at the same time.

Why Do We Have Examination for Discovery?

There are three main reasons why the defence lawyer wants to examine you.

  1. First, as mentioned above, the lawyer and his or her client want to size you up as a witness. How will the jury like you? Do you seem credible and reliable?
  2. Second, the lawyer wants to hear your version of what happened, from your mouth directly.
  3. Third, the lawyer wants to lock into your story. Because you are giving sworn evidence under oath, if you change your answers at trial, you will be cross-examined against what you described at examination for discovery. This is called being “impeached”. It can hurt your credibility and hurt your case if your testimony is not consistent between discovery and trial.

How Can We Succeed at Examination for Discovery?

There are three key tricks to make the most of your discovery.

  1. Most importantly: always tell the truth. Always! The lawyers and insurance adjusters you are dealing with are smart and very experienced. It is highly unlikely that you will trick them with exaggerating or not telling the truth. In a personal injury case, that means you have to admit to past injuries or medical incidents or pre-existing conditions.  You have to be careful not to overstate your injuries.  You also must be honest and forthcoming about your loss of income.
  2. Stay on guard.  Be focussed! Sometimes, lawyers are aggressive. You will have no doubt that this is a formal legal proceeding. Other times, lawyers can be warm and friendly. Try not to be tricked into acting like this is a casual conversation just because a lawyer seems friendly. You are at discovery to answer the specific questions asked and nothing more. When we have breaks, you should avoid talking about anything personal in front of the opposing counsel. There are no exceptions, no matter how nice the lawyer seems. Everything said at discovery is “on the record”.
  3. Listen to the questions. Be attentive.  Remember not to answer a question that you don’t understand. Do not start answering the question partway through. Don’t answer more information than the question asks. If you listen to the question, these rules are simple to follow.

What If We Can’t Answer A Question?

If you are stumped by a question, do not worry.  You answer: “I don’t know”. It is totally acceptable to tell the opposing lawyer that you don’t know the answer to the question. This process is not supposed to test your memory It is also very important not guess to at any answer. Sometimes it is acceptable to approximate. For example, this is acceptable if you are estimating a car’s distance from you. Just be sure to clarify that it is an estimate if you are not totally certain.

Is Your Lawyer Present While You Are Being Examined?

You will always have your own lawyer beside you during examination for discovery. Your lawyer works to make sure that you are treated properly during the process. For example, your lawyer will object to improper questions.  Keep in mind, however, that in personal injury cases these objections are rare. If your lawyer does not object, you should answer the question, even if you don’t like it or if it makes you uncomfortable.

In a personal injury case, there may be subject matters you will be asked about that can be personal or even embarrassing. Sometimes even your sex life can be a reasonable topic in many cases.  Rest assured that lawyers have heard it all!  Don’t be embarrassed and just do your best to answer the questions.  Your own lawyer will make all legitimate objections.

Although your lawyer is with you at examination for discovery, you are not allowed to have a secret or private conversation with him or her during your examination for discovery. It is simply not permitted.  Try to ask all your questions and to raise all of your concerns before you start, in private.

During the examination for discovery another step your lawyer is taking is planning what else needs to be done to build the case. Often the discovery will reveal aspects of your case that development. Your lawyer will be building a list of these areas and planning the next steps.

5 Things You Should Know Before You Settle Your Accident Benefit Claim

Are you thinking about resolving your accident benefit case?

If you are representing yourself on your motor vehicle accident file, or even just looking after your own accident benefit claim, the insurance adjuster may approach you to discuss settling your accident benefit claim.

Many claimants in the Greater Toronto Area settle their accident benefit claim for an amount that is not enough for their needs or for what they should get under their policy.  Many people who are not lawyers and who do not work in the insurance industry have no way of knowing what the total settlement amount the insurer could possibly payout.

Do you want to have all the information before settling?  Of course you do! 

Before you settle your claim, make sure you understand the following five tips:

  • First, Income Replacement Benefits continue beyond the 2-year anniversary of your collision if you still can’t work. Many people think the insurance company only has to pay income replacement for two years.  This is incorrect!
  • Second, ask if you are eligible to apply for catastrophic benefits. If your accident benefit claim is still open and you are not working and still suffering serious symptoms from your collision, you should consider requesting a consultation with a lawyer.  The process to apply for catastrophic benefits is not easy and there is a lot at stake.
  • Third, if you under-settle your Accident Benefit claim, it can cause problems in your lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.  The insurance company for the at-fault driver may try to reduce what you could have or should have received from the accident benefit insurer from your compensation.
  • Fourth, did you know that any settlement you are offered by the accident benefit adjuster is negotiable? You should ALWAYS make a counteroffer, even if the adjuster says it is a final offer.
  • Fifth, the insurance company will evaluate your burn rate when assessing settlement amounts.  The burn rate is the speed at which you are consuming benefits.  What that means is the insurance company will assess how much money from the total policy limits you have used each year since your accident on medical rehabilitation expenses.  The insurance company will use the average of those numbers to predict your future expenses.  You should find out from the insurer what the burn rate is before you begin your negotiations.
  • Bonus: Settlement is virtually always final after a 48-hour cooling-off point. In most situations, after you settle your accident benefit claim, you cannot go back to ask for more money….so make sure the deal you negotiate is a deal that is good for you!

If you or someone you love is looking to settle their accident benefits claim and but would like to speak to a lawyer first, contact us 416 445 3529. Or fill out our handy contact form to request a callback.

10 Tips To Up Your Chances of Getting Long Term Disability Benefits

Are you applying for Long Term Disability Benefits because you are unable to work?  These 10 pro tips will increase your chances of being approved on the first application.

  1. Meet all the deadlines in your LTD policy.  If you don’t know the deadlines to complete certain paperwork, speak to someone in your human resources department or the insurance broker who sold you the policy.
  2. Get your hands on the ACTUAL policy.  It is important to know the exact test for disability in your situation.  Although most policies have similar wording, they are not all the same.
  3. Share the wording of your disability test with the doctors and other health care providers who are completing forms or writing letters on your behalf.  If they know what the test is, they are more likely to provide the information needed to meet it.  DON’T ASSUME YOUR DOCTORS KNOW THE TEST!
  4. Don’t complain to your doctor or other health care provider about paying for forms or letters.  They are entitled to be paid for their work.  Plus, you will feel more comfortable returning to them with the next round of forms if they are happy and have been treated fairly.
  5. Return the insurance company’s calls and open their letters.  If they tell you they are missing information from your application, take action to complete the application.  Don’t assume that your employer and health care team will just take care of it.  Insurance forms often fall through the cracks.  Be nice, but follow up.
  6. If you are a federal public servant, it is especially important that you follow up with your employer to ensure that all info sought by the insurance company is provided.  The insurer will often need info from BOTH the substantive employer and the HR department.
  7. Be very careful about meeting all deadlines in the policy and in other legislation if your initial application is denied.  There are limitation periods that apply.  Miss them, and you could be out of luck.
  8. Apply for Canada Pension Plan- Disability (CPP-D).  If you have contributed to CPP-D while working, you may be eligible for a federally funded disability pension even if you are not retirement age.  Getting CPP-D is a helpful piece of evidence in support of your LTD claim.
  9. Similarly, you may be able to apply for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).  This is a provincial disability pension that is available to disabled people of limited financial means.
  10. At the first whiff of trouble, call an experienced LTD lawyer.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have had great success getting early approval for denied or ignored LTD claims.  Waiting until you are financially desperate to get legal advice increases your vulnerability and makes it harder for you to make sound decisions about your case.

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your denied application for LTD, call Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation at 416 445-4529.

 

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