Should you settle your personal injury lawsuit out of court?

Settling Personal Injury Lawsuit Out of Court

If you have been injured in an accident and are considering a personal injury lawsuit you may be somewhat familiar with the process – accident, evidence, lawyers, court rooms, trial and compensation. But what about settlement? Most accident victims don’t consider settlement, yet the majority personal injury cases do not go to trial. Most are, in fact, settled out of court.

Ottawa personal injury lawyer referrals

Our personal injury lawyers in Ottawa will work closely with you to ensure maximum compensation.

A settlement happens when both parties involved in the suit come to an agreement. The victim is offered compensation and the trial process can be avoided.

Knowing the ins and outs of the settlement process will help to decide if it is an option to consider. Either way, the decision always remains with the victim as to whether or not they will choose to settle. There are many reasons why it may be an option depending on the circumstances of case.

Trials are very time consuming. Appearing in court means time off work, travel expenses and hours of preparation. Some personal injury cases can take years to settle.

Trials are very unpredictable. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, and assessing the circumstances, evidence and witnesses, a good lawyer can usually tell how things will go in a settlement. When the case goes to trial, the outcome is in the hands of the judge and jury.

Trials are expensive and they take a long time, which means higher fees for lawyers, expert witnesses and specialists. A settlement reduces the amount of all of these expenses.

Settlement hearings are private, whereas, a trial is open and can be very stressful. Appearing in front of strangers, answering personal questions and sharing the details of your injury can be a huge strain for some.

Some may see accepting a settlement as taking the easy way out, but depending on the circumstances, it may be the best course of action. If you are considering legal action in a personal injury case, call us for a free consultation.  Our personal injury lawyers will work with you to help you get the best outcome possible and maximum compensation, whether through settlement by going to court. 


Accident while travelling? Prepare yourself before you leave.

Accident while travelling? 

Avoiding an accident while travelling is so important. Another blast of winter weather has hit the capital enticing more and more people to travel south to escape the cold and snow. A word of caution to those travelers, take a good look at your travel insurance policy. Know your own health conditions and

Accident while travelling ? Get the right travel insurance.be clear about the details of your trip.

Each winter thousands of Canadians travel south for a little of sun and fun. Unfortunately, many of them will be injured while on vacation. Their injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to quadriplegia and worse. Sadly, for these travelers and their families, obtaining full and fair compensation can be difficult.

As Canadians, we tend to make assumptions about health care coverage. We buy a travel insurance package and think that, like OHIP, all we have to do is present our card in case of emergency, no exceptions, no upfront costs. Unfortunately, this notion has cost Canadian travelers a lot of money and heartache. Resulting in an accident while travelling not being covered. 

By definition, traveler’s insurance protects you in case of unexpected medical emergencies and related expenses that may happen while you are travelling outside of your home province or country.

Risk takers and binge drinkers beware. Traveler’s insurance may not cover accidents that happen as a result of participation in extreme activities. Skydiving, bungee jumping and cliff diving may not be covered under your policy. In addition, accidents that happen when travelers are overly intoxicated may not be covered.

Traveler’s insurance may  not cover pre-existing medical conditions and pregnancy-related conditions may get limited coverage, this may include apremature delivery.

Travel insurance is not the same as liability insurance

Traveler’s insurance is not liability insurance. If you damage someone’s property while away on vacation and they sue you for damages, traveler’s insurance will not cover you. Separate policies need to be considered for liability.

Cross you Test and dot your Is because if you are found to have given false information on your insurance application, your claim can be denied.


Ottawa personal injury lawyers discuss host liability.

Our Ottawa injury lawyers share what you need to know for the upcoming holiday season. barliability

It’s that time of year again, house parties and office parties. People want to get together. It’s a wonderfully festive time. You may be attending your office party, ringing in the new year with friends or just getting together with family.  Many of these types of parties often involve alcohol consumption. Here are a few things our Ottawa personal injury lawyers believe you should know:

Hosting the party: Social Host Liability

If you plan on being the host, it’s important that you take some very important precautions.  It’s always best to hire a third party if possible.  Hiring a catering company or bartending company, allows the host to circulate freely with their guests and not worry as much about monitoring guests alcohol levels and consumption. As a host, you may also be indulging in alcohol and if you are the one responsible for monitoring people’s intake, your judgment may be impaired. This is not safe.  A bartender is trained to to recognize people who may have had too much to drink. It goes without saying that if you are hosting a party, you want your guests to have fun, while at the same time, are safe and free from injury.

Third Party: Commercial Host Liability

Commercial host liability differs from both social host (you) and employer liability (work functions). The Liquor Licence Act and its regulations have detailed statutory requirements that drinking establishments must comply with when they are serving alcohol. This is not to say that the drinking establishment that overserves will be held 100% responsible. In many cases, the courts will determine the percentage of liability.

Work parties: Employer Liability

There is an onus on employers to ensure their staff’s safety. It’s important for employers to not only provide a safe party environment but also ensure that any staff leaving their party who they believe may be intoxicated, does not drive. Employers can provide taxi chits, arrange drives etc…Employers can be held liable when their employees leave a work party intoxicated and subsequently becomes injured. As an employer, our personal injury lawyers recommend that employers provide taxi chits, host their parties at a third party location, offer non-alcoholic beverages as an option.

Our Ottawa injury team wishes you a safe and happy holiday season. Enjoy your time with friends and loved ones and please drink responsibly.

 


Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth interviewed in Advocate Daily legal magazine.

What do we know about Ontario personal injury law ? Advocate Daily personal injury magazine

Our Ottawa injury lawyers are often asked to provide insight and advice on current issues in Ontario personal injury law.  Recently, our very own Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth, was interviewed by Advocate Daily magazine and was asked to offer up some advice on setting up clear expectations and guidelines during an initial meeting with a personal injury client.  Of course, this advice can be used in any type of meeting; however David focused primarily on Ontario personal injury cases.

What are Ontario Accident Benefits ?

In particular , David discusses what is to be expected when it comes to Ontario Accident Benefits. There are many myths associated with Ontario Accident Benefits and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help sift through what is important and what isn’t and what is to be believed and what isn’t. There are many different Accident Benefits available to people who have been injured in a car accident in Ontario; however not all Accident Benefits apply to each case. Depending on the nature of the accident, the extent of the injuries and the particular insurance policies, different accident benefits are available to different people.

Can I sue for…?

Another common misconception that David addresses in the article in Advocate Daily is the myth of everyone who is in an accident is entitled to sue.  He goes to highlight and explain what responsibilities lie on which individuals.  In other words , can the individual prove fault? If not, can they sue? Can they show that they are seriously injured? Are their injuries permanent? Any experienced Ottawa injury lawyer can answer these questions for you.

How much compensation for injuries?

Probably one of the most common misconceptions David discusses is the amount of compensation people feel they are entitled to.  David believes this is a very important expectation to set out.  By being honest and setting reasonable expectations with the clients at the onset, there are no surprises.  Most people do not like surprises, especially when it comes to the amount of compensation they are going to be receiving.

The articles goes on to discuss other common misconceptions and serves as a reminder to us all that it’s always bes to be up front and honest .  In the initial meeting, people need to be given as much information as possible and know what to expect in the months and years to come.  Click on the link if you wish to read the full article in Advocate Daily.

 

 

 

 

 


Compensation for sports injuries? Where does the line get drawn ?

Sports injury compensation claims                                   skating injury

 
By: Brent Meadows
 
Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are seeing more and more legal disputes in relation to recreational sports injuries.  One of our lawyers recently posted an opinion piece on this topic when we discussed the Leighton v Best case. This case involved a recreational hockey player who was found liable for punching another player.
 

Compensation awards for sports injuries

In R v MacIsaac, a criminal case, the accused was convicted of one count of aggravated assault for an on-ice collision that occurred during a recreational hockey game. On August 31, 2015 the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a  new trial. It is also reported that Mr. Casterton, the injured hockey player, commenced a civil lawsuit against MacIsaac for damages caused by the on-ice collision.
 
Shortly after on September 1, 2015 the  Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Levita v Crew and True North Hockey Canada dealt with a similar matter where Levita claimed that Crew intentionally or recklessly checked him into the boards from behind in contravention of the rules of the league. Levita further claimed that the league knew or ought to have known that Crew was a dangerous player, and failed to take adequate steps to protect players in the league.
 The court in Levita reviewed the history of each player, the waiver they signed with the league, eyewitness testimony, and the league’s Rules, Policies and Procedures, among other things.
 
The court held that the evidence was clear that contact did happen and was an assumed and expected risk of the game.  The style of play was high-level and frequently aggressive. Levita understood the nature of the league and assumed the inherent risk that such injury could occur despite the fact that this was a non-contact and recreational league.  The physical contact between the players that happened during the game occurred in the course of play and fell within the accepted inherent risks that come with this type of sport.
 
The court ultimately held that:
 
Insofar as the contact was intentional, Levita impliedly consented to being body-checked in the course of play, even where that body-check might warrant a penalty. Levita’s team were well aware of Crew’s aggressive manner of play and that the sort of contact which did occur could occur. Notwithstanding that fact, they elected to play this game. As a result, I respectively find that no liability should attach to Crew on the basis of an intentional act to cause injury, or negligence.
 
On one hand we have the Leighton v Best case where a player punched an opponent and was found liable for the injuries. On the other hand,  the personal injury claim in theLevita v Crew case was dismissed by the court where the plaintiff was allegedly hit from behind into the boards. 
 

Is there compensation for sports injuries ?

With these two cases in mind, it is not clear where the law stands with respect to liability in recreational sports. Have hockey rinks, soccer, and football fields become legal minefields that the ordinary weekend warrior should tread carefully on? The court in Levita v Crew arguably dispels this concern as the court relied on the voluntary assumption of risk doctrine. As can be seen in these cases, it is not entirely clear what constitutes a safe or dangerous play warranting civil liability.  So remember, please have fun and play with care.
If you have any questions about an injury you have suffered while participating in recreational sports, contact us for a free consultation www.ottawainjury.ca/contact

 


David Hollingsworth featured in The Lawyers Weekly.

Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth Featured in Lawyers Weekly Magazine

david hollingsworth featured in The Lawyers Weekly

David Hollingsworth is often approached my news and media outlets to give his opinion and speak about issues related to personal injury. Recently, David was contacted by Lawyers Weekly magazine to discuss  some of the very common misconceptions that take place during an initial meeting with personal injury lawyers and new clients.

In a nutshell, David believes the most common misconceptions about motor vehicle accidents are:

  1. Statutory Accident Benefits paperwork is not worth the hassle.   NOT TRUE
  2. People believe that they have been injured in an accident and are entitled to sue .  NOT NECESSARILY TRUE
  3. People believe that if they were injured and not at-fault for the accident, they will be entitled to millions of dollars in compensation. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE
  4. The other side will only rely on the documents that they are given.  NOT TRUE
  5. People believe that there are no risks in starting a lawsuit. NOT TRUE
  6. Insurance companies will want to settle cases quickly and out of court. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE
  7. People believe that they should be able to reach their lawyer any time they want. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE

What personal injury clients need to know…

The full article in Lawyers Weekly can be viewed online. David explains what he has observed over the years as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer . He offers his ideas on what he feels is most important for lawyers to explain to personal injury clients to ensure the success of the case, open lines of communication, realistic expectations and harmonious relationships all around.  Each personal injury case is unique and each outcome is unique.  David and his team all share the same philosophy when it comes to personal injury cases and how best to help their clients.  The main goal is always to help clients and their families get their lived back on track as best as possible.  This is probably the most challenging part of every case.  Many health professionals need to be involved to ensure that clients are being well cared for and a realistic rehabilitation plan is in place. Once a very solids plan is in place, then the focus is to ensure that the maximum amount of compensation will be rewarded to clients. This is critical.  “Most of our personal injury clients have injuries that will continue affecting them for years to come” . These types of injuries require substantial compensation and it’s important our clients don’t need to worry about running out of money in the years to come . Clients need to focus on recovery. That is their job .


Injury compensation in recreational sports ?

Assault in Recreational Sports

By: Brent Meadows IMG_2699

Personal Injury and Sports

Recreational sports are a great source of fitness and fun. When we play sports we understand that certain risks may be involved. When people play in any form of organized sports they are consenting to some sort of risk. For example, in hockey, participants consent to some form of bodily contact and the consequential risk of injury that may arise from that. Further, ‘voluntary of assumption of risk’ is a legal principle meaning that incidental or accidental contact that falls within the rules of the game are consented to.
 

Who is responsible for sports injuries?

But what happens when a participant is injured when another player acts well outside of the rules of the game? We know that players are responsible for their actions as evidenced in the Todd Bertuzzi matter. Recreational players should find it reassuring that if another participant acts well outside the scope of the game causing serious personal injuries they will be responsible for any resulting damages including, but not limited to, economic losses.
 

Liability and compensation in sports injuries.

The severe repercussions that an individual may face when acting outside of the scope of the game was recently evidenced in Leighton v. Best where the Superhockey injuryior Court of Justice found the respondent liable in damages for battery on the basis that the punch exceeded the scope of the appellant’s consent. The respondent went bankrupt before satisfying the damage (compensation) award owed to the appellants. Occasionally, when a party goes bankrupt certain debts are eliminated or waived. However, in 2015 the Ontario Court of Appeal in Leighton held that the damage award in this particular circumstance survives bankruptcy.
If you have been injured in a sporting activity, it’s important you inform yourself of your rights.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers would be happy to discuss with you your injuries and options in pursuing compensation.
 

We are Ottawa personal injury lawyers and we can help.

What can our Ottawa personal injury lawyers  do for you ?

Fair question .  We receive calls from clients who are about to settle their insurance claim with their adjuster and simply want to know should they ?  It’s tough for our injury lawyers to answer this question without reviewing the file.  Typically, when we receive a call of this nature, we set up a meeting (no charge) and look through the facts of the case.  It’s important that everything be reviewing in case there have been areas of a personal injury file that were not discovered or covered by the insurance company. Almost every time, sure enough, our Ottawa injury lawyers are able to find many expenses that should have been covered or aspects of an accident benefits policy that were not being utilized .  That’s not to say that the insurance company was deliberately hiding such coverage, it’s just that often times unless the person injured knows to ask for all the right benefits and coverages, some simply do not come up.  ocf form

Ottawa injury lawyers analyze your case.  Are you getting maximum compensation for your injuries ?

Our personal injury lawyers can analyze your case and in some cases discover that the insurance claim is in fact double or triple what the insurance company is looking to settle for.  Thankfully, as long as you have not signed off on the settlement offer, there may still be time to recoup these amounts with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer.  This absolutely makes it worth while to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.  All it will cost you is time; probably close to an hour for this initial consultation.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers make it even easier and will come to you.

If we think your case is worth more, we will advise you not to settle and we can step in to represent you and prepare a claim for you.  It may delay the settlement; however this delay is in our opinion worth it as typically the settlement amount is significantly higher. Not to mention, you will be receiving benefits and treatments you may not have been receiving before our personal injury lawyers stepped in.  This will hopefully speed up your recovery process.

This is a personal injury lawyer’s job…

You owe it to yourself to consult with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. It’s our job to ensure that our personal injury clients are receiving the best possible treatments, as well maximum compensation.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers understand what you are going through.  An accident can change in your life and your family’s life in many ways you never thought possible. Let us help.


Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Client Reviews

How important is the job of an Ottawa personal injury lawyer ?

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are proud of how we help others.  We know how important our job is .  We help change lives for the better.  When we meet with someone, we listen and we put a plan  in place.  No two plans seem to be identical, as each individual and accident is somewhat unique. What’s important is that we tailor a plan specific for what our clients need.  In most cases, the very first thing needed is support.  Usually this involves us setting our clients up with a team of specialists who can diagnose needs and provide our personal injury clients with much-needed support.  We work closely with top specialists such as  psychiatrists, physicians, social workers, surgeons, physiatrists, physiotherapists, psychologists,  therapists and rehabilitation teams.  Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers ensure that we are helping in every way we can.  What’s most important is our clients’ recovery and ensuring that moving forward they are properly compensated for their injuries.

We are more than just lawyers

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are more than just lawyers.  We understand the tough times our clients are facing and we strive to ease the pain and financial burden as much as possible.  Our clients treat as like family.  Throughout a typical personal injury lawsuit, people get to know their lawyers very well, as there are many meetings, texts, emails and phone calls.  These relationships are important to us and always help us determine what is best for our clients.  When you are injured, it is important that you have a strong advocate.  We advocate for our clients, well beyond a personal injury case.

Listen to what our clients say about our Ottawa personal injury lawyers

Here are some of the things we’ve heard lately from our personal injury clients:

“I would like to say thank you ! You have an incredible team of professionals working along your side who provided help, support and advise when I needed it the most”.              CC

” Thanks again ! Your support is greatly appreciated…..We had a great talk which was very helpful and I think I have you to thank ….They’ve been unbelievably caring and kind”     RL

” Thank you very much for advocating on my behalf…I have come to appreciate the amazing work you and your colleagues do to help people during a very vulnerable time in their lives”.      GC

We’ve helped them and our Ottawa personal injury lawyers can help you and your family. Contact us for a free consultation.

 

 


Does a personal injury lawsuit case settle at examination for discovery ?

The simple answer is yes, it can.

In a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario, the plaintiff and the Defendant serve the affidavit of documents to each other ahead of time (there are strict timelines that need to be adhered to in terms of timelines) and then both sides review all the documents and prepare for discoveries.

Each side prepares from their “affidavit of documents”. An affidavit of documents lists all of the documents that may provide information for the lawsuit. At all times throughout a lawsuit, both sides have an obligation to disclose all relevant documents. At times, other documents surface that may be relevant. In this instance , both parties have a duty to share that document with the other side and are able to submit it through the courts by preparing a  “Supplementary Affidavit of Documents” .

It’s imperative that both sides be transparent in a personal injury lawsuit. If a document is not listed in the Affidavit of documents, the courts can decide that it is inadmissible and cannot be used.  This could be detrimental to a case and may result in either side bot being treated fairly.  Further to that, if the courts find that a party is intentionally hiding or burying a document to help their case, they can order the party to pay costs, or worse they can dismiss the personal injury lawsuit.

Experienced personal injury lawyers are very aware of all the timelines and rules surrounding Ontario personal injury lawsuits; so you need not worry about this.  If you find that your injury lawyer has had to prepare a supplementary affidavit of document, don’t worry.  This is not something that will be held against you or anything.  It is a step that has been put in place for this exact situation.

Once all the proper documents have been submitted and both sides have prepared, the examination for discovery takes place. Typically, at this stage of a Ontario personal injury lawsuit, the lawyers then have the opportunity to ask the other side questions that clarify the facts and may help build their case.  This is not an open-ended time frame. Each side has prescribed time frames that they generally need to stick to. Do not be nervous about this.  You lawyer will help prepare you for this and will be present during the examination. If your lawyer feels that a question is inappropriate or something you shouldn’t answer, they will step in and you won’t have to answer. If the lawyer for the insurance company thinks the question is appropriate and still wants an answer , then they can file a motion to the court and the court may order the party to answer the question that was asked. If at any point in the examination for discovery you do not have the answer to the question being asked or a lawyer is requesting a specific document that has not been provided, you can agree to provide the answer to the question(s) or the required documents once the examination for discovery is completed.  This is referred to as an “undertaking” and is very common in the examination for discovery process.

At an examination for discovery, an examiner is also present and he/she transcribes the entire examinations.  Anything disclosed at examination for discoveries is admissible moving forward.  The goal of the examination of discovery is to allow both sides a chance to clarify information and ask questions.  It also allows both sides the opportunity to see the strengths and weaknesses of their personal injury lawsuit.  It is not uncommon that settlement offers are made at this stage. One side may realise that their case isn’t as strong as they thought it was.  Insurance companies can make an offer to settle at the examination for discovery and you and your personal injury lawyer will then discuss and decide if you want to accept the settlement offer or not.

Throughout your entire personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer will be with you every step of the way to answer any questions and clarify the process. We understand, we care and we’re here to help.