Why should I hire a lawyer?
When you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to make a claim against the person(s) or institutions you hold responsible for your injuries. You may be able to make claims for your pain and suffering, health care expenses, loss of income, and other losses. Paul Hosack’s main focus of practice is helping people receive the compensation they are entitled to. Whether it is a car accident, slip/trip and fall, dog bite, defective product, physical and/or sexual assault, wrongful death, or malpractice, Paul will use his knowledge and experience to provide you with appropriate legal advice for your circumstances. When you are injured, there may be other areas of law which come into play, such as, Disability Benefits, Workplace Safety Insurance Board or Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits. Paul practices in all of these areas and can provide you with comprehensive legal advice as to your best course of action.
How do I know if I have a case?
During your free consultation, we will carefully assess your case and advise you if we think you should proceed on the matter. We will ensure that you are getting the compensation you are entitled to through your contract of insurance, and if you should be making a claim against any parties who are negligent for your injuries.
I have “no fault” insurance. Can I still sue?
Yes. If you are not at fault for the accident, your injuries meet the threshold, and surpass the deductible, you may be able to sue the person(s) and institution(s) that you hold responsible for your injuries. “No fault” insurance refers to the benefits included with your auto policy. Whether or not you are at fault for the accident, you will be able to make claims to your own auto insurer for your treatment, loss of income for your time missed from work, and other expenses. Contact us for your free consultation to learn about your rights.
What if the accident was my fault, do I still have a case?
If the car accident was your fault, you may still be entitled to certain benefits from your auto insurer if you require treatment for your injuries, or are off work because of your injuries. In cases where liability for the accident is questionable, we will be able to provide you with advice as to whether or not it is worth your while to pursue a claim for your injuries and what benefits you are entitled to through your auto policy.
What are my rights?
When you are involved in a car accident, you have potentially two ways to claim compensation. Firstly, you are entitled to certain benefits through your auto policy, or through the auto policy of the vehicle you were riding in, or struck by. Secondly, if you were not at fault for the accident, you may be able entitled to compensation from the person(s) or institutions who were at fault for the accident. To pursue compensation from the at fault person(s) or institutions your injuries must meet the threshold and surpass the legislated deductible. Paul Hosack will discuss your rights in detail with you at your free consultation.
Can my family members make claims too?
Yes, in some circumstances. If you were involved in a car accident, and as a result your family member has suffered a psychological or mental injury, he/she may make a claim for any loss of income for time missed from work, and for treatment they may require. In addition, your family member may have a Family Law Act Claim for loss of your care, guidance, and companionship.
Are there time limits to make a claim?
Yes. If you were involved in a car accident, you must notify your auto insurer within 7 days of your accident, and you have 30 days to complete the Application for Accident Benefits package and submit it to your auto insurer from the date which you receive the package. If you are pursuing a claim against the person(s) or institution(s) you hold responsible for your injuries, you have two years from the date of your accident. For example, if your accident was on December 31, 2014, you will need to commence legal action by December 30, 2016.
If you feel that the Municipality or Province contributed to your accident by poor road maintenance/construction, you must put the Municipality/Province on notice, in writing, within 10 days of your accident. We will help you with this.
For slip/trip and fall claims, you have two years from the date of your injury to commence legal action. However, if the injury occurred on Municipal or Provincial property and you are alleging that the negligence of the Municipality or Province contributed to your injury, you must put the appropriate institution on notice of your potential claim, in writing, within 10 days of your injury.
If your long term disability claim has been denied, we will need a complete copy of the actual disability policy to determine the appropriate date by which you have to commence legal action.
As a general rule, although all rules have exceptions, you have two years to commence legal action for most claims. However, you should set up your free consultation as soon as you think you may need a lawyer to receive appropriate advice and ensure that you do not miss your limitation period to commence legal action. If the limitation period is missed, you may be statute barred from pursuing a claim.
What fees will I have to pay?
In most cases, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay for his services until your file settles. Typically, if you retain us on a contingency fee basis and no settlement is reached, you will not have to pay any fees.
How long will it take to resolve my claim?
This depends on a number of factors, such as, who you are suing and the nature of your injuries. No two cases are alike. We do not settle files prematurely just to get paid. We will ensure that you are getting everything you are entitled to. Once you have reached maximum medical recovery, meaning you are not getting any better and not getting any worse, we can request any necessary expert reports to assist with quantifying your claim.
How much is my case worth?
Every case is different and depends on the injuries you sustained, and your losses. We will not be able to give you a number range until we see how you heal, what ongoing treatment you may need, and if you are going to be able to continue to work. Predicting a settlement figure before these questions are answered is almost impossible.
What should I bring to my initial free consultation?
If you were in a car accident, bring with you your copy of the police report, photographs of your injuries and vehicle damage, any correspondence and forms you have received from the insurance company, any medical documentation you have copies of, your Health Card, and Driver’s Licence. We will also be asking you for details about your employment, prior medical history, details of the accident, details of your injuries and treatment you have/are receiving.
In all other matters, bring with you any correspondence you have written or received in regards to the matter, photographs of injuries or location of injury (if relevant), any medical documentation which you have a copy of, any documentation which you feel may be relevant to the matter, your Health Card, and Driver’s Licence. We will also be asking you for details about your employment, prior medical history, details of the incident, details of your injuries and treatment you have/are receiving.
Will someone help me fill out the insurance forms?
Yes, we will assist you with completing the insurance forms. In the case of a car accident, some insurance companies send out forms which are no longer in use. We can ensure that you are only completing the forms which you are required to, and not any forms which are discontinued. An example of an expired form which is often provided to claimants to complete is the Activities of Normal Life (OCF-12). This form was discontinued in September 2010.
What should I do if I receive a call from an insurance company?
In most cases, your insurance company will want to set up a time for you to speak with the adjuster on your file to obtain a statement from you. Be aware that anything that you say will go into your file and may impact any future claims. You should obtain legal advice and be informed of your rights before you speak with the adjuster. If you choose to hire Paul Hosack to represent you, he will advise you if you need to provide a statement, and will ensure that you are represented when your statement is being taken.
My insurance company said I don’t need a lawyer. Do I?
Your insurance company is in the business of making money. Therefore, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to tell you that you do not need a lawyer and attempt to settle your claim for less than what it may be worth. Contact us for a free consultation to learn about your rights.
My insurance company had terminated or denied my benefits. What should I do?
You should immediately contact us to determine what your rights are. You may be able to dispute the denial or termination of benefits through the mediation process regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).
Will my insurance premiums increase if I make a claim?
If you are not at fault for the accident, legally your insurance company cannot increase your premiums. However, if you are at fault for the accident, your insurance company may increase your premiums.
What if the accident happened while I was working?
You may have to choose between pursuing a claim through the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) or your own insurance company. Contact us to set up a free consultation to be informed of your rights.
I slipped and fell on ice, is there anything that should I be doing immediately?
If you are injured, you need to seek medical attention. Ensure that photographs are taken, as soon as possible, of the location of the incident. If you fell on Municipal property (for example, a sidewalk) you need to provide written notice to the Municipality within 10 days of your injury. Be sure to include your name, contact information, the approximate location of where you fell/were injured, and a brief description of your injuries. You will need to preserve your footwear by putting it in a safe place and not wearing it again. Contact us for a free consultation and learn about your rights.
I was injured by a defective product. What should I do?
Seek medical attention for your injuries. Be sure to keep the defective product in its present condition. If possible, locate and preserve the receipt for the item you purchased. Contact us for a free consultation to learn about your rights.