COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

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The OCF-1 Application for Accident Benefits is the first, and arguably, the most important form for starting any accident benefit claim following a car accident.

If you don’t know what accident benefits are; you can learn all about them on the Goldfinger Injury Lawyers Website, or the Toronto Injury Lawyers Blog. Our personal injury lawyers frequently discuss accident benefits, what they are, their value and how they work to clients and prospective clients alike. There is a lot of discussion about accident benefits because they’re so important (and confusing too!).

In Ontario, we have a no fault system of insurance following a car accident. These no fault benefits are referred to as accident benefits. They are NOT damages for pain and suffering. Accident Benefits are created by, and legislated under the Insurance Act and the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. These accident benefits are constantly changing because the provincial government is constantly tinkering with them. This results in many amendments to the Insurance Act and to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule which makes things very confusing for consumers, lawyers and insurance representatives alike.

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Goldfinger Injury Lawyers is an Ontario personal injury law firm with a track record of success getting people compensation from damages sustained as a result of dog bites.

Dog bite claims can be tricky, particularly when it comes to finding insurance to compensate the accident victim.

A few tips which come up time and time again from dog bite claims:

1.Get all of the contact information you can for the dog owner, or the person who was walking/handling the dog at the time of the attack. This is very important because unlike a car accident, the police aren’t likely going to come to the scene of the dog attack and make a formal report. While it does happen in some cases, this represents the minority of claims. When a car accident happens, more often than not the police attend at the scene of the accident and get all of the pertinent information of the parties involved in the accident. The same cannot be said in dog bite claims. It’s a bit of the wild west after the dog bite takes place. Some dog owners flee the scene of the dog bite or are totally unaware that their dog just attacked somebody. They leave the scene without a care in the world. If that person gets away and you don’t have their contact information, then how will you, your lawyer or a local Animal Control Office investigate the claim? Photos certainly help. Names, phone numbers and addresses; even the license plate number of their vehicle if they drove can work better.

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The first rule in personal injury law is to make sure that you sue a Defendant with deep pockets. That means the Plaintiff and his/her personal injury lawyer need to be satisfied that the Defendant has the ability to pay out on a potential settlement or judgment. If the Defendant cannot pay, the Plaintiff will not be compensated despite winning the case.

You can’t get blood from a stone. Nor can a personal injury lawyer recover compensation from an impecunious Defendant.

This is a very important concept.

There is certainly vindication on behalf of an injured Plaintiff in securing a judgment against a Defendant who has wronged him/her. The feeling of winning, justice, or simply closure are very important feelings.

But these feelings cost money.

If the Plaintiff has deep pockets, and doesn’t mind spending thousands of dollars in legal fees without a prospect of recovery in order to secure a Judgment; then all the power to that Plaintiff.

But these wealthy Plaintiffs who are prepared to spend the type of money required to secure a judgment in a personal injury action are few and far between.

Most Plaintiffs don’t have deep pockets to pay a lawyer’s hourly rates. On top of that; most lawyers won’t take on cases on a contingency fee basis on a “winnable” case if there is no realistic prospect of recovery.

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Being involved in a motorcycle accident is very serious.

No bumpers. No airbags. No re-inforced steel or plastic to absorb the impact of a serious collision. Add to that the proximity to the hard road and the impact falling off the bike can have. A thousand and one other bad things can happen after a motorcycle accident.

The weight of the motorcycle landing on its driver or passenger.

Not having a seat belt to keep you in place which can lead to the driver or passenger going flying off the bike and landing who knows where.

Helmets work. But how much will a helmet protect its wearer when a collision takes place at high speed.

There is still a negative stigma against motorcylists in many communities. The preconceived notion that bikers are rebels with bad attitudes hasn’t gone away and can work against an innocent accident victim where liability is an issue. This is particularly important when the evidence of independent witnesses is important. This is also important when the police aren’t on the biker’s side in determining fault for the motorcycle accident.

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Wednesday July 1st is Canada Day. Can you believe it?

Because of COVID, most people are uncertain what day of the week it is. Let alone month or date. When it comes to stat holidays? Forget about it! Every day feels like a Tuesday on repeat like some cruel real life edition of the cult comedy Ground Hog Day starring Bill Murray.

For most, Canada Day is full of fond memories like spending time at the cottage, lake, pool, BBQs or at family get togethers. It’s a time to decompress, enjoy the warm summer weather and kick back. It’s also a time where you get a day off work to relax.

This Canada Day will likely be a really weird one because of COVID.

For starters, mass gatherings like those at a community picnic, BBQ, concert or celebration like we see across the nation (particularly in Ottawa) either won’t be happening or will be happening much differently and on a much smaller scale. I don’t expect to see any sort of mass gatherings like we are accustom to seeing for Canada Day 2020.

But this doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to be out and about trying to get the most out of this celebratory day.

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Continuing with our COVID theme of straight facts and no filler or wonky political spin, for this week’s edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog, we will be focusing on Accident Benefit Claims in Ontario.

Why are we doing this?

Because we are finding so much misinformation going around right now during the Pandemic, we want to give people easy to understand legal information which won’t take forever to sort through. It also won’t require the reader to be a political analyst or medical expert to understand.

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Bike Accidents

The Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is going away from catchy titles and trying something new. Our headlines will go straight to the point. The goal of this is not to confuse our readership with fake news or click bait headlines designed to confuse with misinformation. We feel this is very important in given the present state of current affairs dealing with a global pandemic along with racial tensions across North America.

The title of this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post is Bike Accidents, so we are going to focus on Bike Accidents.

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OCF Claim forms can be a big headache.

Car accidents litigation should be simple to understand.

But in Ontario, it’s far from simple.

The forms are intimidating, long, and hard to understand.

It’s scary; especially after you’ve been left seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident when you’re at your most vulnerable.

Goldfinger Injury Lawyers are there to help you every step of the way.

Let’s get started with a quick primer on what to expect.

First, let’s remove from the equation the damage to your vehicle, the interviews with the police (or lack thereof); along with any interactions with your employer, ODSP, or OW case worker.

Let’s just focus on the car accident and the accompanying injuries.

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12 weeks or so and counting of “lockdown” or “kinda quarantine” depending on who you ask. It’s been difficult for everyone. From doctors, to dentists, to lawyers, to tennis pros, teachers, PSWs, general labourers, hospitality staff; you name it. The only people I know who are succeeding, if you can call it that; are those people in the video conference industry. If you work for a company which runs or services video conferencing platforms, I suppose you are busy. Also busy are likely those people who manufacture and distribute PPE. Regrettably, most of those factories are overseas, but that’s another story all together….

So; what’s it like to be a personal injury lawyer during the days of COVID?

It’s not that things have totally shut down. Things are just moving at a much slower pace in a different fasion that personal injury lawyers, defence lawyers and insurance adjusters are used to.

It’s certainly not easy. It’s particularly not easy if you aren’t tech savvy. In fact, if you are a technophobe (someone who isn’t capable or handy with technology), you likely cannot really practice law or get much done during the age of COVID.

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There are few moments in life where a person receives a million dollar lump sum of money. Here are but a few which come to mind.

A good investment.

Winning the lottery.

A very wealthy family member who left you a sizable inheritance.

Cashing in stock options which have appreciated over the years.

Sale of a real estate asset.

A successful personal injury claim.

In all of these scenarios, except for ONE; the money is yours to use as you please; notwithstanding applicable taxes.

The lone exception are the personal injury cases. There is fine print behind those million and multi million dollar settlements which we would like to share with you today.

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