13 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes Car Accident Victims Make The purpose of this curated list of common personal injury claim mistakes is to alert you
Car Accident Lawyer
As a Toronto car accident lawyer, Mariya Verkhovets, managing partner at Verkhovets Law recently noted, “personal injury lawyers are a dime a dozen … almost.” Many personal injury firms claim to have the best car accident injury lawyers around. So, when you have been involved in a car accident, or other motor vehicle accident, how do you choose from among those claiming to be the best accident lawyers in Toronto? As Mariya Verkhovets, an Ontario auto accident lawyer and managing partner of Verkhovets Law explains: “Our clients benefit from personal service. We understand what you are going through. We know how you feel; the pain, the financial uncertainty, the stress of a drawn-out car accident insurance claim.”
Every experienced car accident lawyer Toronto will admit this to car accident injury victims: “Personal injury law is complicated.” There are three different categories under which you can claim compensation. There are limitation periods, meaning you need to file a claim within a certain period of time. And that’s not all: most insurance companies operate on the principle that you have to prove you are injured before you see any money from them.
Because there are so many personal injury firms vying for your business when you have been hurt in a car accident, our Ontario auto accident lawyers thought it would be a good idea to provide those hurt in car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents, with straightforward information about the personal injury claim process, what types of losses you may be intitled to claim, as well as some tips on how to pick the right personal injury lawyer for you.
Ms. Verkhovets, an experienced and respected car accident lawyer Toronto, will tell you that many of her clients wonder: “When will I get back to normal?” or even “Will I ever get back to normal?” At Verkhovets Law, lawyers for car accidents, our clients benefit from our vigorous and compassionate advocacy to help you get your life back on track.
Our lawyers for car accidents at Verkhovets Law believe that educating car accident injury victims makes them better clients, because then we work together toward a common goal: to get you the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and damages. We believe we are among the best accident lawyers in Toronto. And the results we get for our personal injury clients speak for themselves.
The real reason why you need an experienced car accident lawyer Toronto
Most people are shocked to learn that the real reason they need an experienced car accident lawyer Toronto is to fight with their own insurance company. Fight for what? For the benefits they thought they were paying for through their car insurance policy and their monthly insurance premiums. Insurance companies often deny treatment that is necessary for you to get better. The best car accident injury lawyers know this to be true.
At Verkhovets Law, each car accident lawyer Ontario understands how personal injury victims have been let down by the Ontario insurance system.
Ontario implemented so-called “no fault” car insurance in 1989 to try to lower the dollar value of claims put through the system.
It has not worked out that way.
So, rather than suing the insurance company of the other driver who collided with your car, today plaintiffs are fighting with their own insurance companies for rehabilitation benefits, physio, medical devices, costs for personal support workers (PSWs), and so on as they try to get well and get their life back on track. A car accident lawyer Toronto at Verkhovets Law can make the process to get compensation you deserve for your injuries much smoother while you focus on your health.
3 Types of losses we can help you recover: Ontario auto accident lawyer
Mariya Verkhovets, an Ontario auto accident lawyer and managing partner of Verkhovets Law, knows that the aftermath of car accident is a stressful time. You may not realize the full extent – or even the types – of losses you have incurred. We can help identify the many kinds of financial and personal losses you may be eligible to recover.
And since the Statutory Accident Benefits System is mandatory under your insurance, there are a number of standard losses we know you are entitled to recoup.
Certain benefits are provided for victims, no matter who is at fault – the rest are sought with a lawsuit that your car accident attorney Ontario can help you with. Losses from a car accident can be grouped into three categories: Accident Benefits, Property Damage, and Tort Claims. Each group compensates for losses associated with a car accident or motor vehicle accident.
Category 1: Accident Benefits
- Childcare assistance for catastrophically injured victims or those with access to optional benefits
- Treatment of disfigurement and scars
- Cost of psychological treatments and therapy
- Funeral and burial expenses of up to $6,000, in the event of death
- Housekeeping and home maintenance benefits of up to $100 a week for the rest of your life (depending on your policy)
- Loss of income; Income Replacement Benefits of up to 70 per cent of gross wages. This is capped at $400 per week as an accident benefit. You can also file a tort claim (see Category 3, below) that has no maximum.
- Non-earner benefits
- Medical costs and costs associated with purchase of medical and/or assistive devices
- Home remodeling and improvement
- Personal care needs including the cost of hiring a caregiver if you are unable to care for yourself
- Physio and other rehabilitation, including case management services, occupational therapy and rehab support workers
- Medical equipment
- Visitor expenses to cover eligible costs arising from the attendance of a parent, grandparent, sister, brother, spouse, child, and/or grandchild.
Category 2: Property Damage
- Costs of repairing or replacing your car
- Property damage, in addition to that of your car that resulted from a car accident
- Cost of replacing dentures, glasses and other orthodontic and/or dental treatment arising out of injuries sustained in a car accident
Category 3: Tort Claims (claims against the at-faulty party)
- Funeral and burial expense claims in the event of wrongful death (there is no maximum).
- Housekeeping and home maintenance claims for beyond what is provided for by Accident Benefits carrier.
- Attendant care services (personal support worker) over and above that funded by the Accident Benefits carrier.
- Loss of income above and beyond what is provided for though Income Replacement Benefits (IBR).
- Loss of competitive advantage and loss of business opportunity
- Costs associated with future care for the injured person
- Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident
- Cost of treatment over and above what is covered by accident benefits provider
How to pick an auto insurance lawyer Toronto: 4 tips
Insurance companies start off with almost a default position: “Prove to us that you are injured.” Or put another way, “Prove to us that you are not faking your injuries.” More than one auto insurance lawyer Toronto at Verkhovets Law has witnessed the behaviour of insurance companies when they are faced with honest car accident claims from people who are truly injured.
So, the reason you need auto insurance lawyer Toronto is not only to sue the driver who caused the accident, but also to fight your own insurance provider because at the end of the day, you have a contract with your insurance company under which they are responsible for certain expenses. You bought a car insurance policy, you paid your monthly car insurance premiums, and now you need to access those benefits to get well again. The reality of the situation is a car insurance policy is a contract: and when one side defaults on the contract — your insurance company — you can fight them through Canada’s legal system.
The lawyer for motor vehicle accident Canada you choose to represent you is critical. There are many lawyers for car accidents to pick from. The best car accident injury lawyers recognize the credentials and qualities below as critical of the right lawyer for you, to help you win your case.
So, how do you choose? Here are some tips to help you decide:
- Experience handling hundreds of car accident claims. Ask how many personal injury claims your car injury lawyer has handled. Thousands? Hundreds? Four?
- Negotiating skills are important. Ask the car accident attorney Ontario about their track record. Generally speaking, lawyers who are better negotiators will negotiate a better settlement for you, meaning higher compensation.
- The talent of a specific car injury lawyer is important, too. An auto insurance lawyer Toronto has specific talent: how to position your accident claim, how to ask questions of your doctors and other medical specialists, and how to speak to the auto accident lawyer working for the insurance company.
Ask about results. How much money they obtained for their clients? Some lawyers for car accidents boast about how much money they obtained right on their website. It may turn out that two clients received huge payouts 10 years ago … everyone else received relatively average settlements. You won’t know until you, the client, ask the question of an auto insurance lawyer Toronto.
to get your car accident claims started by our a personal injury lawyers at our firm, arrange your free consultation now.
You’ll be glad you took the first step.
Not hiring the right Ontario auto accident lawyer has a price, too
The Ontario auto accident lawyers at Verkhovets Law also represent people in tort claims, which are claims against at-fault party. That’s when having lawyer is a must because these cases go to the Superior Court of Justice. It is not wise to appear at the Superior Court of without a personal injury lawyer. It is risky to appear before the Superior Court of Justice as a “Self-Represented Litigant” (SRL) because legal procedures are complex and consequences of getting it wrong may be irreversibly damaging to your case.
Every diligent Ontario car accident lawyer will explain to clients the risks of appearing in court without a personal injury attorney by their side. Hiring the right car accident attorney Ontario is paramount for getting the compensation you deserve. Personal injury law is not a “Do-It-Yourself” project; if you make a mistake, you could be short-changing yourself severely from the compensation you deserve.
Important deadlines when filing car accident injury claims
When you wish to claim compensation, you need to pay attention to the timelines for Personal Injury claims. Here’s a handy guide:
|7 days||To report the accident to your auto insurance company. Don’t own a car? Then report the accident to the insurer of the vehicle involved in the accident.|
|30 days||To complete and send the Accident Benefits application|
|120 days||To let the at-fault driver know that you intend to sue|
|2 years||To file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver|
Car accident injury lawyers explain fault, negligence, liability, and statute of limitations
Fault – When a car accident injury lawyer at Verkhovets Law launches an action to claim your damages, a key component to be established is fault under the Insurance Act and Fault Determination Rules. Ontario has a “no-fault” car insurance system, but this does not mean that no one is at fault in an accident. Confusing, isn’t it?
The term “no-fault” insurance simply means if you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident, then you deal with your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. You don’t have to go after the at-fault driver for compensation. For example, your car accident lawyer Toronto first files the claim with your insurance company and not the one representing the other driver – even if they’re to blame.
Fault for the accident comes into play when a decision has to be made as to whether or not an injured party can pursue a lawsuit against other driver, or drivers, involved in an accident.
Negligence – Verkhovets Law, car accident lawyers Toronto, will determine if your accident was caused by negligent actions of the other party, and if so, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against that negligent party.
Even if you share blame for the car accident, you can still launch a lawsuit, and your award will be reduced by the percentage of contributory negligence (percentage of fault apportioned to you). For example: if the judge finds you’re 20 per cent negligent, your compensation is lowered by 20 per cent.
While fault and negligence are similar in a way, they are not the same. A person may not be at-fault, but may be negligent and contribute to the accident. For example, if person A was going straight though the intersection and saw someone making a left turn, but didn’t slow down or stop as a result of which an accident occurred, they most likely will not be at-fault as vehicles going straight have a right of way. However, they are still negligent because an accident was likely to happen and took no steps to avoid it.
Statute of limitations – When a car accident injury lawyer at Verkhovets Law launches a lawsuit, we respect the filing limit of your lawsuit – per the Limitations Act 2002, s.4 – that runs out two years after the date of your accident. There are certain exceptions, however. You must also give the other side notice within 120 days. One of the exceptions is if your injury isn’t diagnosed until a later date. There are other exceptions. If you are uncertain whether you can still file your claim, give us a call for a free consultation.
The many types of injury claims we handle: Ontario car accident lawyer
Like snowflakes, no two car accidents are identical. So, it’s important for your case that each Ontario car accident lawyer at Verkhovets Law have a deep well of experience in navigating a variety of potential injury claims. It might surprise you to learn there are many kinds of motor vehicle accidents involving different types of vehicles and a variety of possible injuries. Good news: our Ontario auto accident lawyers are well-equipped to handle the particular facts surrounding the accident that happened to you.
Every Ontario car accident lawyer At Verkhovets Law can help you if you’ve been involved in one of these types of accidents:
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Single-car accidents
Our Ontario auto accident lawyers handle these types of vehicle claims:
And each car accident lawyer Toronto at Verkhovets Law will help you with these types of personal injuries:
Long-term disability claims
Soft tissue injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Whether your claim involves a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or was a pedestrian event, reach out to our Ontario car accident lawyers so we can walk you through all the possible scenarios to identify the type of accident that happened – and where to go from there.
We aim to simplify the process so that you focus on your recovery. Call or email us to review the details of which kind of claim is the best fit, and then determine next steps in your personal injury action.
Toronto car accident lawyers explain what your car accident claim is worth
Experienced Toronto car accident lawyers will tell you that, unlike the U.S., there isn’t a personal injury magic fairy in Canada doling out massive cash awards. Nor is there a handy dandy guideline to consult. At Verkhovets Law, lawyers for car accidents, we’ll figure out what your claim is worth by keeping the upper limit in mind, and knowing the ranges awarded in previous personal injury cases. But there are common elements that come into play: the type of action, negligence factors, and the nature and extent of your damages.
Okay, so what does all that boil down to, dollar-wise? And there’s a cap?
Indeed, the Supreme Court of Canada has capped damages for pain and suffering claims – currently it’s set at $391,453 (the amount grows annually for cost-of-living increases and inflation). In 1978, our top court put a $100,000 lid on what they perceived as extravagant pain and suffering claims – and it’s reserved now for the worst-of-the-worst injuries like paralysis and traumatic brain injury sustained in a car accident.
Additionally, there is a deductible on any award of damages of pain and suffering. Currently the deductible stands at almost $40,000. It increases every year for inflation. The deductible is not applicable in some cases where the injuries are more severe and as a result, pain and suffering damages are higher.
Meanwhile, the Ontario courts have pretty much generally established the other award amounts for personal injury law claims via the outcomes of prior cases (called precedents). Depending upon the particular circumstances of your car accident, apportionment of negligence, projected development of injuries and cost of required care, your lawyer for motor vehicle accident Canada will determine and advise you on the monetary value of your pain and suffering claim. In doing so, each car injury lawyer at Verkhovets Law will use their knowledge of statutory law, case law and extensive experience in assessing, litigating, and settling various types of personal injury claims.
It is important to note that income loss, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of competitive advantage, loss of business opportunity, and future care costs are separate legal claims, in addition to pain and suffering, above. There is no limit of the monetary value of damages that can be recovered. There is also no deductible.
Personal attention from every Ontario auto accident lawyer at our firm
At Verkhovets Law, every Ontario auto accident lawyer will take the complicated legal stuff off your hands while you are dealing with both the physical and emotional pain that you’re suffering because of an automobile accident.
As your dedicated car accident lawyers Toronto, we will ensure the proper steps are taken to file your claim in a timely fashion, and the process flows smoothly. Our pledge is to work tirelessly on your behalf and with compassion – and fight for the maximum recovery you and your family deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though you may feel fine after a car accident, it is a good idea to see a doctor after a motor vehicle accident. Some injuries are obvious: there is a lot of blood or broken bones. Meanwhile, some injuries, like soft tissue injuries or memory problems can take weeks or months to show up. Just because you do not hurt right now, doesn’t mean that you are uninjured. What seems like a mild right now may become a big problem in future.
Your doctor may advise getting additional scans or tests for signs of potential internal injuries, hairline fractures, or concussions. Your doctor will provide two critical components for your personal injury case: 1) look after your health and 2) document any areas of concern, for a medical report you may need later. Without a medical report, your insurance provider will find it easy to dismiss your claim.
A Toronto car accident lawyer at our office has seen signs of PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health issues in the aftermath of a very severe car accident.
A car accident injury lawyer at Verkhovets Law can help you settle your claim by negotiating with an insurance company. Many people are surprised—even shocked—to learn that dealing with an insurance company is not easy or quick to get compensation for what should be a relatively straightforward motor vehicle accident claim.
On the whole, the insurance industry is conservative, bureaucratic, and not in a hurry. All lawyers for car accidents know this; it is not a secret.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and how they maintain high profits for their shareholders is by denying, delaying, and discounting many auto insurance claims. By “discounting,” we mean giving you a mere fraction of what you are entitled to, says a car injury lawyer at our personal injury law firm.
The reality is that when you try to negotiate with an insurance company by yourself, you’ll be up against an auto insurance lawyer Toronto who works for one of the big insurance firms—and you will be at a disadvantage.
For these reasons, many car accident injury victims find it worthwhile to hire an Ontario car accident lawyer.
Many car accident victims pose this question frequently to Ontario auto accident lawyers: “How much compensation can I get?” The answer to this question depends entirely on the severity of your injuries and other losses, or damages.
Compensation is larger for victims of severe accidents. When someone will spend the rest of their days in a wheelchair (or confined to a bed and needing 24/7 care), they will receive more compensation than someone who suffered a broken leg.
There are three things that a car accident lawyer Ontario looks at: 1) the type of action (an Accident Benefits Claim, a Property Damage Claim, or a Tort Claim); 2) negligence factors of the drivers involved, and 3) the nature and extent of your damages.
To give you an idea of the range of compensation for an Accident Benefits Claim:
Minor injuries: up to $3,500
Injuries that range between minor and catastrophic: up to $50,000
Average compensation for a car accident: $10,000 to $30,000
Catastrophic injuries (paraplegia, brain damage): up to $1 million
The lawyer for motor vehicle accident Canada you choose to represent you is critical. There are many lawyers for car accidents to pick from. Experience handling hundreds of car accident claims is important. Negotiating skills are important. And the talent of a specific car injury lawyer is important, too. Hiring the right car accident attorney Ontario is paramount for getting the compensation you deserve.
First, a Toronto car accident lawyer at Verkhovets Law will review what actually happened in the accident, to find evidence of fault of the other drivers, or parties.
Second, we pursue your claim for damages under Ontario’s personal injury rules. Depending on the circumstances of your auto accident, a Toronto car accident lawyer at our firm may file claims on your behalf under three different regimes:
a) Accident Benefits Claims – There is a cap on accident benefit claims.
b) Property Damage Claims – In personal injury law, ‘property damage’ covers a range of items. A damage claim to your car, a rental car, a fence, your garage, your house, or personal care devices or mobility aids such as eye glasses, hearing aids, dentures, wheelchairs, car ramps, and modified vehicles for the disabled.
c) Tort Claims – A tort claim can include suing for lost wages, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. The is no cap for a tort claim against the at-fault driver or party.
Third, we work with your medical team to get you the specialist care you may need in the aftermath of your specific accident. At Verkhovets Law, all our clients receive personal and compassionate service from the among the best accident injury lawyers in Toronto.
Our goal is to get you the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. We do it by direct negotiation with an insurance company, or through a trial when necessary.
To receive statutory accident benefits, you must file a claim within 30 days of the accident.
Based on Ontario’s Limitations Act, you have 2 years after the date of the accident to sue someone for property damage or to file a tort claim.
A car accident lawyer Ontario at Verkhovets Law can advise you on additional lawsuits. Gathering evidence, police reports, witness statements, and medical opinions takes time—and 2 years passes very quickly.
How long a car accident claim takes to be approved (also called settlement) depends on how complex your case is and how willing the other party, usually an insurance company, is to settle.
If your case is a simple one, you may receive money within a year, or less. However, many car accident claims take longer. Catastrophic cases involving spinal cord damage, brain injuries, and paraplegia can take anywhere from 2 to 7 years, and sometimes more. If your case has to go to trial, it may take longer still.
Hiring an experienced Toronto car accident lawyer at Verkhovets Law is a good step in speeding up the settlement process.
First, to receive car accident benefits (in other words, receive real money), you will likely need to provide your insurer company with documentation from your doctors, other medical experts, and your employer stating that your injuries prevent you from working. A car accident lawyer Ontario at Verkhovets Law will help you obtain and coordinate the necessary medical reports.
Second, once your auto insurance company approves your car accident benefits claim, you will start receiving auto accident benefits.
You will not be approved for loss of income benefits for any wages lost during the first 7 days (called a limitation period, explains an auto insurance lawyer Toronto) after the injury-causing collision. You may be eligible to claim for lost income for missed working days after the first 7 days.
Close family members (such as husbands, wives, children) of a person who has been injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident have the right to sue the at-fault driver. They would sue for losses including: loss of care, guidance, and companionship. An Ontario auto accident lawyer can provide guidance on how to do this.