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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.
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.
Canadian Pension Plan Disability Benefits Exempt from Excess Insurance Payments
A win for accident victims and no insurance claims
Accidents happen and sometimes there is no insurance. A recent court decision of the Supreme Court of Canada is considered a win for accident victims across Canada. The decision, reached in a Nova Scotia case, ruled that an insurer could not deduct a man’s Canada Pension Plan Benefits from his excess insurance payments according to the Family Protection Endorsement
Essentially, this decision allows accident victims to get the benefits they deserve without threat of deductions from the insurance company.
What happens when there is no insurance ?
In Ontario, when a driver is involved in an auto accident and the other driver does not have insurance, the Family Protection Endorsement can provide the victim with additional benefits through a fund called the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund to make up for the lack of insurance available from the other driver.
The problem is that the endorsement allows insurance companies to deduct, from their coverage, any future benefits that they victim would receive from their disability. This could include other insurance policies or benefits provided by the Canadian Pension Plan.
With this decision, anyone involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver can not only collect the Family Protection Endorsement benefit (if eligible), but can also be assured that any future benefits or insurance coming to them would never reduce the amount of that benefit.
This decision is significant in the wake of last June’s accident benefits reform announcement that reduced attendant care and medical and rehabilitation services coverage. To learn the details of this case, refer to Sabean v. Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Co.
Our Ottawa injury lawyers encourage everyone to purchase as much auto insurance as they can. It’s always best to cover yourself as much as possible. We hope you never need this insurance but if you do, you won’t ever regret making that purchase. However, if insurance is not available , there are other options.
Being involved in a cycling accident can be an absolutely dreadful experience. When the other driver fails to remain at the scene of the accident even the simplest collision can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Hit and run accidents are all too common. People driving without insurance, driving under the influence or driving without registration are likely to flee rather than face the music when an accident happens.
Any driver involved in an accident of any kind is required by law to stay at the scene of the accident and help the other driver as much as possible whether it’s another car, a cyclist of a pedestrian. Failure to remain at the scene of an accident is a crime.
Hit and Run Cycling Accident
If you are involved in a hit and run accident, try to record as much information as you can while it is still fresh in your mind.
· The make and model of the car.
· License plate number if you can get it.
· The names and numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Look around to see if there are any cameras on buildings near you or if the accident has been recorded by an onlooker.
If you are not able to track down information on the driver of the vehicle, head to a collision reporting centre to file a report and then check in with your local hospital to get report a medical report.
Cycling Accident and Insurance Claims
Typically, an accident involving a car and cyclist falls under no-fault insurance. Many cyclists will not have their own insurance policy, but could be covered under a family member’s car insurance if they are dependent. Without insurance, or information about the other driver, a cyclist involved in a hit and run accident can make a claim under the Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Fund.
If the collision causes serious damage or the cyclist is seriously injured, the cyclist can also sue.
Amusement parks and safety
We have all seen the horrific videos of innocent thrill seekers thrown from amusement park rides while spectators below watch in disbelief. Most recently, a young man at the Ohio State Fair fell to his death when a faulty part caused him to be ejected from the ride he was on. The disturbing video was seen across the internet causing many to question the safety of these carnival rides.
Canada and amusement park safety
How safe are Canada’s amusement park rides? Very safe according to the Technical Safety Standards Authority (TSSA). In fact, Canadian amusement park accidents are rarely the result of mechanical or operator error. Only four per cent of reported accidents in Canada can be attributed to the equipment or the operator. Most often these types of accidents are caused by the actual rider.
Riders who do not use the safety restraints, who stand up on the rides and who do not follow the instructions of the ride operator are more often the cause of the accident. According to a TSSA safety report, amusement ride injury occurrences have increased from 213 in 2012 to 556 in 2015, with the vast majority being minor in nature. Of the 556 injury occurrences in 2015, only 22 were reported as permanent.
Unlike the U.S., in Canada the TSSA enforces and monitors safety inspections. Last year, they reported over 2,000 inspections for rides. These inspections were carried out by certified experts. In addition, ride operators in Canada undergo mandatory training and certification. On site, operators are required to perform daily inspections of the equipment and rides they operate.
For the time being, enjoy the rides at Canada’s late summer fairs and amusement parks but follow these guidelines protect yourself from personal injury.
Follow all weight, height and age restrictions placed on individual rides. Always keep legs, arms and head inside the ride while it is in motion. Read all ride safety rules that are posted near the ride entrance.