Filing a personal injury claim is an important step for obtaining justice and compensation if you have been injured because of the actions of another.
The process, however, can be complicated. Many injury victims have several questions about the process and are unsure of what their next steps should be.
To help, our Windsor personal injury lawyers have compiled this list of frequently asked questions about personal injury law, the claims process and the benefits of hiring a lawyer.
For more information and answers to questions specific to your case, schedule a free, no obligation consultation with the barristers at Greg Monforton & Partners.
Do I Have a Legal Case?
When determining if you have a legal case, the most important fact to consider is if another party’s negligence, carelessness or intentional actions caused you harm. This is known as negligence.
Proving negligence was the cause of your injuries requires showing that:
- The other party had a duty to act with reasonable care and not cause you harm.
- The other party failed to uphold this duty by acting negligently or carelessly.
- The other party’s negligent actions directly caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result of your injury. This can include medical bills, lost wages and more.
A personal injury claim can help you hold the at-fault party liable for his or her actions, or inaction.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you think you may have a case or wish to know more about your legal rights and options, you should not hesitate to contact our personal injury lawyers.
We are well-versed in the many personal injury laws in Ontario and can guide you through the process of filing a claim and obtaining fair compensation.
We have decades of experience standing up to insurance companies in their efforts to pay as little as possible for injury claims. Insurers are solely focused on maintaining their bottom line, not on helping you recover from your injuries.
Our lawyers, however, are on your side and are committed to fighting for the justice and maximum compensation you deserve. We will handle the details of your claim so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
How Much is My Case Worth?
Personal injury claims attempt to provide an injury victim compensatory damages, or payment, to help cover the costs associated with his or her injuries.
Every case is unique, however, and it is impossible to determine how much your claim could be worth without assessing the details of your injuries and accident.
To determine the value of your case, our lawyers will evaluate several factors, including:
- The severity of the accident and your injuries
- Your medical bills and expenses
- How your injuries affect your life
- If you are able to continue working
- If you suffered permanent scarring, disfigurement or disability
Depending on these and other factors, you may be entitled to compensation for:
Medical bills often make up the largest portion of damages awarded in personal injury claims. This compensation can include payment for past medical expenses, as well as those a victim is expected to incur in the future, such as:
- Doctors’ visits
- Prescription medication
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Psychological therapy
- Medical equipment
If your injuries affect the amount of income you are able to earn, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages due to a loss of earning capacity.
However, according to the Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c I.8, 267.5, if your injuries were caused by a car accident, you will not be able to obtain compensation for lost income from the first seven days after the accident. From that time through to trial, you will only be able to recover 70 percent of lost wages. After trial, you will be able to recover 100 percent of future lost wages.
It may be possible to obtain compensation for out-of-pocket expenses such as housekeeping and home maintenance services if you have to hire someone to perform these tasks because your injuries prevent you from being able to do them.
What if the Accident Was My Fault?
Even if you are partially responsible for causing your injuries, you will be able to recover compensation. However, as detailed in Ontario’s Negligence Act, the province follows the rule of contributory negligence, which states that your compensatory award will be reduced by your proportion of fault in causing your injuries.
An example of when this law may come into play includes if you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. If your injuries could have been prevented or reduced by wearing a seat belt, your compensation will be reduced.
This also applies to failing to take reasonable steps to limit the financial or physical harm from your injuries by seeking medical care or vocational job replacement.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
The personal injury lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay us unless we recover compensation for you.
We charge no upfront costs and will cover the full cost of investigating and building your claim. You only owe us a percentage of any recovery we obtain for you.
We also offer free consultations to discuss the merits of your claim. There is no cost to speak with a member of our team about your claim to determine if you have a case and how much your case could be worth.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
According to the Ontario Limitations Act of 2002, injury victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury claim. If you were not immediately aware of your injuries after an accident, you have two years from the date you first discovered your injuries.
Depending on who your case is against, the time limits may be even shorter as you must notify the at-fault party within a couple of days or weeks after the accident. This is true for cases against a municipality.
If you miss these deadlines, you will not be able to bring a claim. Although there are rare exceptions in which these deadlines can be extended, it is in your best interest to contact a reputable lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss an important deadline.
How Long will a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
Every personal injury case is unique and will take a different length of time depending on the details of the case. More complex cases typically take longer to resolve.
Depending on how cooperative the insurance company is, we may be able to settle your claim in a matter of months. However, the settlement process could take up to several years.
If we have to take your case to court to obtain the compensation you deserve, it will take much longer.
However, our team is committed to fighting for a quick and fair resolution for your claim. We will do everything we can to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve as quickly as possible.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
A significant majority of Ontario personal injury lawsuits are settled without having a trial. It is generally in the best interest of both parties to reach a settlement prior to having to go through an expensive and time-consuming trial.
However, if both parties are unable to agree on a settlement amount, the case may go to trial. It is important to note that although our lawyers prepare every case as if it was going to trial, we will only take a case to trial if it is in the best interest of our client.
To learn more about how our personal injury lawyers can help you, schedule a free, no obligation consultation.