Personal Injury Claims and Limitation Period for Underinsured OPCF 44R Policy Claims

Ontario Personal Injury Lawsuits and Statutes of Limitations

disability claims lawyer

by: Brent Meadows

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied leave to the Lombard General Insurance Company in a case involving the determination of the limitation period with respect to OPCF 44R claims.

OPCF 44R Family Protection Coverage is an optional endorsement to the standard Ontario automobile insurance policy in Ontario. It provides protection to the named insured and her/his spouse or dependant relative in the event that they are faced with a situation where there is an insufficient amount of insurance proceeds to compensate for injuries sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident. A shortfall in insurance proceeds typically occurs when someone is catastrophically injured and the policy limit amount is insufficient to fully compensate the injured party. Other scenarios that give rise to a situation where there is an insufficient amount of proceeds occur when the other driver is uninsured, or where the driver of another vehicle flees the accident and their identity is unknown to the injured party making the claim (ie. a ‘hit and run’ scenario).

Ontario Court of Appeal and limitation periods

Earlier this year the Ontario Court of Appeal in Schmitz v Lombard released its decision on the issue of when the limitation period begins to run for claims under the underinsured motorist coverage provided by the OPCF 44R. The limitation period is the period of time that a person may commence a legal proceeding. Ordinarily, under the Limitations Act, 2002 the limitation period is two years from the date of the accident. Once the limitation period expires a person is statute barred and can no longer pursue their claim. The OPCF 44R does however create a limitation period of 12 months and it is very important to recognize when the limitation ‘clock’ begins to run.
Lombard in its statement of defence pleaded that the plaintiff commenced the claim after the expiry of the OPCF 44R’s 12 month limitation period. The parties brought a Rule 21 motion for the determination of the limitation issue. The Court of Appeal held that the OPCF 44R’s 12 month limitation period begins to run the day after the demand for indemnity was made. Lombard sought leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada but was denied this month.
It is crucial that you and/or counsel understand when the OPCF 44R limitation ‘clock’ begins to run. Getting this wrong might be fatal to your claim. If you have been seriously injured in an accident and the other driver is uninsured, has minimum policy limits, or their identity is unknown it is very important to recognize any limitation issue that might arise. If you are unsure , we recommend you contact an Ottawa personal injury lawyer . Our lawyers are happy to offer you free advice. Consult any of our lawyers and we would be happy to assist. Email [email protected] and we can help.

 

disability claims lawyer

Ottawa lawyers explain your options and disability claim.

 

 


“Thank you very much for advocating on my behalf” . An Ottawa injury lawyer review from a personal injury client.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth..

We are so lucky to be able to be in a profession where we are able to help make people’s lives better. Most of our clients have had traumatic accidents in their lives and we are able to help them rebuild their lives following their accident.  Often times, it is not just our clients that we are taking care of, it’s also their family.  A family can be hugely impacted by an injury and family members also need support and compensation.

This week Denis Alisic, one of our  Ottawa personal injury lawyers received this email:

“Thank you very much for advocating on my behalf. During the past 2 years I have come to appreciate your amazing work and what you and your colleagues do to help people during a very vulnerable time in their lives. “

GC, Ottawa

Here is another testimonial from a personal injury client:

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

CC, Ottawa

We work tirelessly for our clients and we know the difference we can make in their lives.  It’s what motivates us to help in every way we can and fight for maximum compensation for our clients. We understand, we care, we’re here to help and our track record proves it.

David Hollingsworth and our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are here for you. We love to hear from you.  The feedback we receive motivates us to continue striving for the very best for the families we work with .

If we have helped you in the past, we would love to hear from you.  Please provide our Ottawa personal injury lawyers with feedback and help us serve the Ottawa community as best as possible. We would really appreciate it. Email or call us and we would love to chat.

 


Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth on CTV news at noon. Send me your questions

 David Hollingsworth offering free legal advice on CTV news

I am pleased to share with you that I have been invited to appear on CTV’s news at noon on Wednesday, June 26.  I will be meeting with Ottawa’s very own dynamic Leanne Cusack who hosts the show. We hope to cover as many questions as possible that relate to laws in Ontario.  Feel free to email me any legal question you need answered.  I am able to help out with most legal topics including wills and estates, insurance questions, liability, safety, business, landlord tenant and if I don’t have the answer, I will get it for you ! I have to admit, I enjoy the variety of questions that come in and love hearing about different people situations and am then able to help them. There’s something to be said when you can help someone one and relieve them of stress and it required very little effort, just simply answering some questions.

As many of you know, Leanne and I have done these legal segments in the past on CTV news . Click here to see some of our previous episodes that focus on personal injury topics and a call in question period.

http://www.youtube.com/user/davidhollingsworth70 . I’m really looking forward to the next episode and hope you can tune in. Please send me your questions ahead of time, as the studio cannot take incoming callers at this time on the live show. Email me at [email protected] and I will answer your question on the show on Wednesday.  Hope you are able to join us. I you miss it, we will have it posted shortly on our YouTube channel, as well as CTV keeps the Ottawa lawyer advice episodes on their site for a few months.

Hope to hear form you on the air…no question is a bad question..

 


Slip and fall accident results in $125 000 in compensation for bulging disk.

Ottawa Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

Compensation for bulging disk

We were pleased to be able to help another Ottawa woman who was recently injured in a slip and fall accident.  A few weeks after her slip and fall accident, she was in severe pain and needed help.  It became apparent that the pain in her lower back was causing her great pain and she would need compensation. We stepped in and took over and had the insurance company pay her $125 000 to compensate her for a bulging disk in her lower back. Our client was very happy with the way was settled without having to go to court.

How to determine the amount of compensation

It is difficult to determine the amount of compensation a certain injury will receive. In fact, it’s not just the injury that determines the compensation amount. The injured occupation, family, dependants, education, recovery, treatments, age, income, etc.. also help determine what amount of compensation will be needed to enjoy a comfortable quality of life moving forward, following the accident.

The role of a personal injury lawyer

We are Ottawa personal injury lawyers who help people like this every day. We know what to do to ensure our clients get maximum compensation for their injuries.  We hire and pay for experts to prepare a detailed analysis of all the costs that your injury is causing and will cause in the future.  These reports are incredibly important when it comes to the future and critical for maximum compensation. We’ve helped thousands and we can help you.

Experienced personal injury lawyers will offer you a free consultation and help you determine what your best course of action is. Maximum compensation for injuries such as a bulging disk can vary , but a top personal injury lawyer should be able to give you some indication in your initial free consultation.

What are you waiting for?


Ottawa accident electric bicycle results in serious head injury and leg injury.

E-bike Accidents

Is an e-bike considered to be a motor vehicle?

No, to operate an e-bike:

  • a driver’s licence is not required
  • there is no written test required to operate an e-bike
  • there is no vehicle registration or plate required for an e-bike
  • there is no motor vehicle liability insurance required
  • to operate, ride or be a passenger on an e-bike you must be older than or 16 years of age
  • requires drivers and riders  to wear an approved bicycle/ motorcycle helmet.

If you have been injured in an e-bike accident, you may be entitled to accident benefits as a cyclist would be . Regardless of whether or not you have your own insurance policy you have rights as an e-bike rider and passenger should you be in an accident. Our personal injury lawyers travel throughout Ottawa and eastern Ontario offering free consultations and helping people determine what their options are in a personal injury lawsuit.

In most instances, the initial meeting is simply a meeting to share the details of your accident and the extent of injuries. This information is enough for experienced personal injury lawyers to provide your with the insight you need and give you all the information regarding your personal injury lawsuit and the amount of personal injury compensation you might be entitled to.

If you have any questions, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss what Ontario accident benefits you may be entitled and how to receive maximum compensation for your injuries. There are many areas involved in accidents and insurance claims. E-bikes are relatively new to the laws and it is critical that anyone driving an e-bike, as well as their family members , are informed as to how it works when it comes to insurance and accident claims. It’s not always clear and best that you sit with an experienced lawyer and allow them to walk you through it all. 

 

 

 


Ontario accident benefits and indexation. Should you purchase additional accident benefits?

Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyers David Hollingsworth

In September 2010, The Ontario government through the Financial Services Commission of Ontario made significant changes to Ontario insurance plans. Not only did FSCO significantly reduce the accident benefits available to Ontario drivers, it introduced a 2 tiered approach for Ontario drivers. All Ontario drivers are required to purchase insurance.  How much insurance you purchase is up to you.

Top up accident benefits

There are several “top ups” that can be purchased in the event that you or a loved one is in an accident in Ontario. Indexation is an additional Ontario accident benefit that can be purchased. This optional benefit provides for an automatic adjustment over time of several  different accident benefits including income replacement benefits, medical and rehabilitation benefits, attendant care benefits and other Ontario accident benefits.  The indexation of these accident benefits is determined by the changes in inflation based on Consumer Price Index of Canada.​ Basically, it’s an extra insurance policy that ensures that your benefit dollars keep up with the times.

Accident Benefits and Indexation

In other words, a dollar today is not going to be worth what a dollar tomorrow will be worth. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I know how important Ontario accident benefits are to my clients.  Often times, people are unable to return to their previous life before the accident and are left with their insurance claim and accident benefits to carry them throughout the rest of their lives. I know that Ontario insurance premiums are already very high, so paying even more is frustrating; however, if ever you need to access these accident benefits, you will need them.

Our personal injury lawyers are constantly meeting with people who regret not having “topped up” their insurance coverage.  It’s a personal decision and not a decision that should be taken lightly.

Something to think about…

 

 


What are Ontario Accident Benefits ? Are family members entitled to accident benefits?

Ontario Car Insurance Claims and Accident Benefits. Who can access Ontario benefits?

Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS) are provided by law in every Ontario auto insurance policy. All Accident Benefits are standard and equal among insurance companies, unless you opt for “top up” coverage. Ontario  Accident Benefits provide compensation, regardless of who is at fault, for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and family members who suffer personal injury or death caused by an accident in Ontario or any accident if you are a resident in Ontario. The following accident benefits are the standard Ontario Accident Benefits and are available to most accident victims in Ontario:
  • Income Replacement: Just like it says…the income replacement benefit compensates  for lost income/wages.
  • Non-earner benefit: The non-earner benefit applies when you are unable to carry on a “normal life” and do not qualify for either an Income Replacement benefit or Caregiver benefit.
  • Caregiver benefits: Compensation for expenses incurred when a member of your home needs care and someone is hired to care for them because you no longer can.
  • Medical benefits: Covers medical expenses that occurred as a result of the injury.
  • Rehabilitation benefits: Covers rehabilitation expenses incurred as a result of an injury.
  • Attendant Care benefits: Covers some of the expense incurred by hiring an aide or attendant.
  • Compensation for Other Expenses: These accident benefits pay for some expenses such as monies put out by family members costs in being with you during visitation and recovery. Often times some housekeeping and home maintenance is also covered , as well as lost or damaged articles during accident. ie: computer in car etc…
  • Death benefits: Family members may collect this accident benefit on behalf of a deceased family member.
  • Funeral benefits: These accident benefits help cover funeral expenses.

There are many more Ontario accident benefits available to Ontario drivers.  If you are unsure of whether or not you are receiving everything you are entitled to from your Ontario insurance company, it is best you consult with an Ontario injury lawyer.  We meet daily with people and walk them through their best options. Often times all they need is a little advice.  Unfortunately most insurance companies will not tell you unless you ask and most people don’t know what to ask for.  We know Ontario accident benefits inside and out we have experienced staff who specialize in Ontario accident benefits.  We can help.


Ontario insurance fraud affects you. Here’s how you can help…

Insurance Claims Lawyer

Did you know that the month of March has been deemed ” Fraud Prevention Month”.  I wanted to remind all  drivers that they can help to fight auto insurance fraud.
Unfortunately, people do abuse the auto insurance system and often times the insurance companies raise premiums as a result of faulty claims. There are ways to tackle this problem. It’s important to use a licensed insurance company, agent or broker when purchasing auto insurance. Go with someone you can trust. Talk or meet them first and see if you feel like it’s a good fit for you or not. The FSCO offers valuable information and a list of licensed insurance companies and agents in Ontario.  If you don’t know where to start; this is a great place. Suppose you are unfortunately in an accident. There are also steps you can also take to help avoid any insurance fraud being committed.
-Gather as much information as possible at the accident scene. If possible, take pictures.
-Get the contact information of other drivers, their drivers’ licence numbers and their licence plate numbers and insurance information. If possible, take a picture of the information they give you.
-Once your medical needs have been met, immediately file an accident report with the Police or if in a minor collision; the Collision Reporting Centre .You need to make sure that the accident has been legally reported.
-Ensure that you receive detailed repair bills and review them carefully.
If you suspect that someone is involved in insurance fraud, please report it to police. This is a problem that affects us all.
As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I feel very strongly about the abuse of auto insurance. There are people in accidents every day who need to be able to access much needed funds.  When insurance fraud takes place, it makes it more difficult for people to access the funds that really need it.  I also feel that auto insurance rates are so high already and we need to access even more to protect ourselves.  If the insurance companies weren’t raising the rates,more and more people could afford the much needed extra coverage. Most people feel the same as I do and the percentage of people who actually commit insurance fraud is low, I’m sure. If we could reduce it even more, that would be great.

 


Ottawa personal injury lawyers get 64 year old woman compensation for chronic pain and psychological issues

Maximum compensation for pain and suffering in Ontario…

Compensation for Chronic Pain Injury

As Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we were very pleased to have been able to help another Ottawa accident victim get the help and compensation she needed following a serious accident.

Accident Scenario:

“BH” was 64 years old at the time of her accident. She was rear ended by another car and didn’t see it coming. The result was drastic.

Injuries Resulting From Accident:

BH suffered very serious and permanent injuries including chronic pain and psychological injuries. Her life had changed drastically.

Compensation For Chronic Pain Injuries and Psychological Injuries:

BH’s tort claim alone settled out of court for $285 000. The Ontario Accident Benefits side of her file is ongoing and she continues to receive all the accident benefits she needs each month . We are so pleased to be able to help her throughout these very difficult days in her life.

Our Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You:

Our lawyers were very successful in  securing maximum compensation for pain and suffering, despite these injuries being difficult to prove.  We have many systems in place and work with some of Ottawa’s top medical professionals for pain and suffering. We are able to help our clients seek medical treatments and appointments with specialists that they really need to recover. We understand that accidents can be life altering and can sometimes bring on a lifetime of pain and suffering.  Our personal injury lawyers will work with you , your family and your medical team to make sure you are not only getting maximum compensation for pain and suffering, but the support you need to start rebuilding your life.

We are Ottawa personal injury lawyers who devote ourselves to helping Ontario accident victims.  Unfortunately insurance companies won’t always be the ones to tell you your rights and what you are entitled to and that’s where we can come in. We are some of Ottawa’s top Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers . We know exactly what you are entitled to and we will get it for you.  The last thing one needs after an accident is to be worried about dealing with an insurance company that may be looking out for their own interests.

For more information that relates to chronic pain compensation or compensation for psychological injuries visit our website. Our Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa team are experienced and can offer you free advice.

*Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and that the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.


Ontario Accident Benefits Forms Disability Certificate OCF-3 , Ontario Insurance Claims Forms

What is an OCF-3 Disability Certificate?

If you have been injured in an accident in Ontario, you will likely need medical help and you may even need legal help.  Your insurance company is often one of the first calls that get made.  Typically, your insurance company will start your claim by sending you a package to complete.  In this package, you will be required to fill out many detailed forms. These forms are extremely important and often are of great importance when it comes time to settling your case.  That is why it is so important to make sure they are filled out correctly. Insurance companies can deny a claim if there is misleading information on the forms.

OCF 3: Disability Certificate

One of the first forms to fill out is the OCF 3; otherwise known as the Disability Certificate  OCF-3. The OCF-3 Disability form needs to filled out by you and your health practitioner (this could be your chiropractor, dentist, occupational therapist, nurse practitioner, optometrist, physician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist or speech language pathologist). Your insurance company  will pay for the completed OCF-3. There is no expense charged to you.

Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyer

If you or a loved has been injured in an Ontario car  accident and you are  applying for Accident Benefits, you must fill out a Disability Certificate. Your doctor will need to fill out a Disability Certificate  OCF-3 from your insurance company. The OCF-3 Disability Certificate form can be found at the  Financial Services Commission of Ontario site. The manner in which this is filled out is extremely important. It is important to be completely honest with your doctor and have your doctor fill out the form in as much detail as possible. It’s important to include all personal injuries on the form, including psychological injuries, any mental injuries, emotional injuries etc.. Be as detailed as possible.  The last thing you want is to be suffering from an injury down the road and have the insurance company deny your claim because you didn’t give all the information at the time of the accident. You may need therapy later on and not know it at the time of your injury. Somethings to keep in mind…

Have you been previously injured in an accident? Do you suffer from pre-existing conditions ? Some pre-existing conditions could affect the outcome of your claim. Your doctor needs to be extremely thorough. What other injuries does your doctor suspect go along with your injury? Do you get headaches? Are you having trouble with bright lights, loud noises? Are there  neurological injuries? Areyou having concentration difficulties? Do you feel pain anywhere else? This all needs to be documented on your Disability Certificate  OCF-3 form.

Where an Ontario Injury Lawyer can help with a Disability Certificate  OCF-3 form. 

Some of the OCF-3 Disability Certificate is fairly standard. You need to complete  your name, date of birth, gender, address, and employment status.

Another section of the Disability Certificate OCF-3 requires you fill out all insurance information. If you were a pedestrian at the time of the car accident,  you are required to fill out the insurance information of the other driver that hit you. This information can also be found on the Police Report. If  neither drivers or accident victims have insurance there is a special fund set up by the government called  Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. It is difficult tobe considered for this fund and it would be best if you ge the help of an Ontario injury lawyer when making a claim to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

The most difficult section of  the Disability Certificate OCF-3  is the third section . It is in this section that accident victims must fill out the details of the car accident and indicate what personal injuries resulted from the accident. You need to make sure that all the information provided in this section is the same information given in your police report. Take your time and fill it out careful.  It is always best to consult with your Ontario injury lawyer to make sure you do not write anything that might jeopardize your case.

The next section of the Disability Certificate OCF-3 form is the section that requires you to enlist the help of your family doctor, surgeons, therapists, physiotherapist, psychologist, speech language pathologist, or any other health care professional listed on the form OCF-3.  Not only do they need to identify your injuries, they also need to give an opinion on your recovery status.  Your health professionals must decide if you are capable to return to work and day in/day out activities. This is particularly challenging as often only time will tell in these situations.

Filing out complex insurance forms can be very difficult and stressful.  It shouldn’t be ! You are already dealing with enough. As some of the most dedicated Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we  help all of our personal injury clients fill out these forms correctly, so as not to jeopardize anything .  There is far too much at risk and we want to help.  We can help.If you have a question,or would simply just like some help filling out your Disability Certificate OCF-3, we would be happy to help. We won’t charge you. These are forms we fill out every day and it is far easier for us to do, than for you to do.  Let us help you and you can focus on your recovery. Feel free to call us at (613) 978-9549 or email [email protected]