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Ask Personal Injury Lawyer Brian Goldfinger Anything: Mailbag Edition

We get a lot of questions and queries to the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog. Some serious. Some not so serious. In today’s edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog; Brian Goldfinger himself will answer those questions. Some serious answers. Others not so serious. So sit back, grab a nice hot cup of green tea and enjoy!

Question: Do snow tires actually work?

Answer: Yes they do! Not only that, but your car insurer will offer you a reduced premium if you can show proof that you have installed snow tires on to your vehicle. Keep in mind that personal injury lawyers love to hammer Defendants if they were involved in a winter weather collision and they didn’t have snow tires on their vehicle. They argue that the accident may have been prevented, or may have not been as serious had the vehicle been equipped with snow tires. A driver without snow tires will be frowned upon in the context of a personal injury case. So get them. And yes, they work!

Question: What’s the longest personal injury case you’ve ever been a part of; and why did it take so long?

Answer: 10 years and 2 months! The case took so long because the Plaintiff was a minor when the case began; and it took a while for the Plaintiff’s injuries to crystallize and plateau. It’s very difficult for a personal injury lawyer to recommend a settlement in year 3 of the case; if there’s a lot of uncertainty with respect to the Plaintiff’s health. Add the complication that the Plaintiff was young and growing and you have the recipe for a long drawn out case. This does not even take into consideration the complicating circumstances dealing with liability, causation or contributory negligence.

Question: Why does my personal injury lawyer put things in writing?

Answer: The personal injury lawyer is practicing C.Y.A (Cover Your A$$). This is a great practice. The lawyer can document what s/he said, or did, or what transpired so that they have a record of what happened. This is why you will see lawyers write things like “further to our phone conversation”; or “in response to your query…” or ” this is to confirm that we met on such and such a date”. These sort of letters create an active and ever changing log or history of what’s happening in your personal injury case. It’s the same thing with doctors and their patient charts. Their clinical notes and records provide a history of the patient’s health and treatment.

Question: Is my personal injury case worth a billion dollars?London-Head-Shot-Brian-Goldfinger-201x300

Answer: Chances are, the answer to that question is “no“. I have never seen a run of the mill car accident, slip and fall, dog bite or even a fatality case reach near that level of value here in Ontario. Perhaps in the United States where there are larger judgments, you might see a case reach that milestone. But here in Ontario, the answer is “no” and the odds of a run of the mill personal injury case reaching that level are rather low. Keep in mind that damages for pain and suffering are capped in Canada based on a trilogy of three cases from the Supreme Court of Canada. The truth is that awards in Canada are just not as high as you see as damage awards in the United States.

Question: How will Canada do at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar?

Answer: This is Canada’s first appearance at the FIFA World Cup since 1986 in Mexico where they failed to tally a single goal! This year will be difference. Not only do I predict that they will score a goal, but I am picking them as my dark horse as the darling from the CONCACAF Region to move on to the round of 16. You see,  in each year since 1986, at least one (if not 2 or 3) teams from the CONCACAF region have advanced to the group of 16. This year, the CONCACAF teams are the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada. Odds are that at least one, if not more, of those CONCACAF teams will advance to the Round of 16. This does not necessarily mean that they will win their grop. It just means that they advance. My bold prediction is that Canada moves to the Round of 16. Bold prediction? YES! But you gotta be bold to be great and this team showed the world in qualifying that they are a force to be reckoned with. I’ll be happy with a goal or two as well.

Question: What is your favourite type of personal injury case?

Answer: The case where my client gets paid they compensation which they deserve.

Question: What is your least favourite type of personal injury case?

Answer: The case where there are multiple Plaintiffs, multiple Defendants, liability issues, causation issues and damages issues. Those cases get very messy and take a long time to get through the Courts because there are so many moving parts. Getting all of the lawyers into one room is like herding cats. You need to arrange a conference call between assistants, just to have conference call with the lawyers about the merits of the case. When this sort of thing happens, a lawyer can ask for a Judge to act as Case Manager. The Judge sets a timetable which all of the parties need to follow. Any changes to the timetable need to be approved by the Judge. The Judge won’t be happy if his/her timetable gets altered, so there better be a good reason as to why the timetable the Judge set couldn’t be met. The Case Conference Judge does NOT decide the case. The Judge acts a steward for the case helping it move forward through each stage of litigation. All motions on the case are heard by the Case Conference Judge, so s/he will have a pretty good understand of what’s going on with the case. It’s a handy tool for all personal injury lawyers involved in multi-party and complicated litigation.


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