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The OCF-10 Election Form is important for your car accident case in Ontario. By completing the OCF-10 Election Form, the injured accident victim is telling the insurance company which benefit they are choosing to receive.

Completing the OCF-10 Election Form incorrectly, or late; can hurt a car accident case and prejudice your right to claim and recovery accident benefits which you will need to help make you whole.

Without further a due, here are Goldfinger Injury Lawyers’ Top Tips on completing the OCF-10 Election Form.

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I looked outside my window today and saw SNOW! Yuck. That means it’s slip and fall season in Ontario. A large proportion of the personal injury cases at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers are slip and fall cases. A large proportion of those slip and fall cases arise from slip and falls on snowey/icey/slippery surfaces caused by lack of, or improper maintenance. In many of those cases there is no maintenance at all which adds significant exposure to the Defendant property owner.

Given that it’s slip and fall season in Ontario, the team at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers would like to keep you up to speed with some do’s and don’ts for your slip and fall case. On this list are some common misconceptions when it comes to handling these cases.

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It’s that time of year again. Halloween! I loved Halloween as a kid, and still do! The idea of going door to door and getting free candy still astonishes me. It can bring a community/neighbourhood closer together.

Each year I put out a blog post regarding Halloween safety tips, and this year is no exception. The only caveat is that I’m getting out this installment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog out a bit later than I would have liked; but emergencies have a tendency of popping up and ruining well intentioned plans.

One of the common threads of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog around this time, is that my law firm sees a spike in calls post Halloween related to pedestrian/car accidents (essentially trick or treating accidents).

I had no scientific data to back up my claims other than the internal call tallies we keep at my law firm regarding the nature and circumstances of the calls coming in year after year around this time.

But UBC issued a proper scientific road study finding a 43 per cent higher risk of pedestrian deaths on Halloween night than on other nights near that date. Kids aged 4 to 8 faced the highest risks in the new study: There were 55 Halloween deaths in this age range compared with just 11 on control days. Deaths peaked near dusk, around 6 p.m.

The study was based on four decades of U.S. traffic data, including 608 pedestrian deaths on 42 Halloweens. I found this study in the Owen Sound Sun Times through the Associated Press. A link to the Owen Sound Sun Times article can be found here. More on Owen Sound a bit later, but very quickly, thanks for all of the calls coming in from Owen Sound and Bruce-Grey County. We are enthusiastic to enter the market and look forward to serving the community as best we can.

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Completing the Application for Accident Benefits is the single and most important step in any car accident case.

Without a completed Application for Accident Benefits, your car accident case; both for tort and accident benefits won’t get off the ground.

Failure to complete an Application for Accident Benefits can nullify your claim, no matter how legitimate that claim might be.

So where does one start? Good question!

After you’ve been involved in a serious car accident; or accident arising from the use or operation of a motor vehicle (motorcycle; bike/car; car/pedestrian; truck), you will first need to contact your own insurance company.

Sounds crazy right! Why on earth would you have to call your own insurance company to report a car accident that wasn’t even your fault.

But that’s how Ontario’s no fault system of accident benefits works. Regardless if the at fault driver was drunk driving, while texting and smoking cannabis all at the same time causing him to run a red light; you will still need to contact your own insurance company to make an accident benefit claim.

Your own insurance company is responsible for paying those accident benefits. It gets trickier if the injured party is a pedestrian, cyclist, or a passenger without insurance. It gets even tricker if none of the vehicles involved in the car accident didn’t have car insurance. That’s what insurance lawyers and personal injury lawyers are for. Sorting out those tricky and ever complex coverage disputes which insurers seem to love to argue over.

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October 17, 2018 will go down in history as the day which Canada legalized recreational cannabis (and mark the beginning of the Kwahi Leonard era began for the Toronto Raptors).

Some cheered. Some geered. Many were indifferent.

There is certainly a strong case to be made for the decriminalization of recreational cannabis when looking at our criminal justice system.

What does that mean? It means that your average Joe/Jane won’t get charged or risk having a criminal record for smoking a joint or having a few grams of marijuana on his/her person. It means that our criminal Courts and valuable judicial resources won’t be clogged up hearing smaller marijuana cases, so they can focus on more pressing matters. It means that organized gangs which control the underground cannabis and drug market won’t have as much power peddling their products (or perhaps they will have more power depending on who you ask. Looking at Ontario Cannabis Store prices and selection, you can see why…).

There is also a strong case to be made when looking at the tax revenues generated by the regulation of recreational marijuana.

What does that mean? It means that now that the government controls the sale of cannabis, they can tax the hell out of the product. There are high sin taxes for alcohol and cigarettes. The same sin taxes apply to recreational marijuana. Those taxes will generate millions and millions in revenues for the government to use one way or another to presumably benefit the Canadian people (let’s hope).

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This edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is from the mind of our founder and directing lawyer; Brian Goldfinger.

Brian spends a lot of time of the phone speaking with prospective clients; existing clients; insurance adjusters; doctors and opposing lawyers. But most of Brian’s time on the phone is spent answering questions from new and existing clients.

One of the most commonly asked questions of Brian Goldfinger is “how long will make case take to settle?

Brian hears this question in a variety of cases spanning from catastrophic car accident cases; slip and fall cases; motorcycle accident cases. But it seems like this question is most frequently asked in the context of long term disability cases. I don’t know why this is. It just is (if that makes any sense).

In the context of a long term disability case; keep this in the back of your mind. If your long term disability insurer liked your case; and believed that you had a claim they would have paid you by now and you wouldn’t need a lawyer. This statement is half true. It’s half true because even if you have a meritorious long term disability claim, some insurers will just deny you for the sake of denying you because they would rather keep their money instead of paying you out in the hopes that you never retain a personal injury lawyer to fight your long term disability case. For many long term disability insurers; denying claims only to have them litigated is part of their business model. This is why they have an army of in house lawyers at their disposal. To fight long term disability cases like yours at minimal cost. Farming the long term disability work to outside counsel became too expensive. Long Term Disability insurers found it far more efficient and cost effective to hire and grow their in house legal teams to fight long term disability claims. The in house legal departments at Sun Life Insurance, Desjardins, Manulife and Great West Life have all (from my perspective at least) appear to have grown in size and scope of practice.

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A recent appeal heard in the Ontario Divisional Court made my blood boil.

Why? Let’s set the context for modern car accident and personal injury law in Ontario.

Being a personal injury lawyer is an uphill battle. It’s a real life David vs. Goliath fight featuring what’s usually an unsophisticated accident victim of limited means who has never litigated a case in his/her life vs. a highly sophisticated multi billion dollar insurer whose litigation costs are a part of its business model.

The Plaintiff is seriously injured and looking to get the compensation they deserve so they can move on with their lives as best they can.

The Defendant is looking to minimize their cost exposure by any legal means necessary. The Defendant insurer will conduct “independent” medical examinations by doctors who are paid directly by the insurer or through third party contractors (also paid by the insurer) to defeat a Plaintiff’s case. The insurer will conduct in person and cyber surveillance to find out what a Plaintiff is up to to defeat their case. The insurer will constantly test and re-test the credibility of a Plaintiff because they don’t believe what they’re saying. The insurer has an unlimited war chest at its disposal.

Those are just some of the pitfalls and hurdles which personal injury lawyers have come to expect from the combative state of modern personal injury litigation in Ontario.

But there are also procedural pitfalls and hurdles which an injured Plaintiff must overcome as well. And it’s one of these procedural hurdles which is the focus of this week’s edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog.

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Goldfinger Injury Lawyers represents clients who have sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of a serious motor vehicle collision.

The term “catastrophic” isn’t thrown around lightly by personal injury lawyers.

The term “catastrophic” has special legal meaning under the Insurance Act. It would be defined as a term of art which carries with it a special medico legal definition.

Under the Insurance Act, a “catastrophic injury” is defined as:

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Recently, our very own Brian Goldfinger made a special guest appearance on the Raptors Republic Podcast. You may know that Goldfinger Injury Lawyers is a sponsor of Raptors Republic, and Brian Goldfinger is a big fan of all of their hard work.

You can check out Brian Goldfinger’s appearance on the Raptors Republic Podcast here:

https://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2018/09/25/raptors-weekly-extra-podcast-the-chronicles-of-uros-slokar/

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The focus of this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post will be on the denial of Long Term Disability Claims.

Of the hundreds of thousands of Long Term Disability Claims which large insurers like Manulife, Great West Life, Sun Life, Desjardins, SSQ, Industrial Alliance etc. handle, why was YOURS singled out for denial?

You’re a good person.

You’ve worked hard at your job for years without taking much time off like some other co-workers who abuse the system.

You’ve paid LTD premiums for years without complaint or missing a premium payment.

So why me? Why was my claim denied and not the other guy who abused the system?

Why are “good people” always getting the short end of the stick?

I don’t have an answer as to why specifically your Long Term Disability claim was denied in particular; but rest assured; you’re not ALONE!

While it may seem like the vast majority of people you know who applied for long term disability, let me tell you that hundreds of thousands of claims go the other way and get denied.

It’s not uncommon for long term disability claims to get denied at first instance, and approved at a later date; or simply denied altogether.

The important thing is to maintain positive and maintain a level head (as best you can). Easier said than done when bills begin to pile up and the collection calls begin to flood in. But doing something drastic in desperate times is never a good idea.

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