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

Articles Posted in Catastrophic Accident (CAT)

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Winning a car accident case in Ontario is difficult.

It’s not enough to have been involved in a car accident, and that accident is not your fault.

A Plaintiff also has to establish injuries/damages. The Plaintiff must also establish that his/her damages are related to the subject car accident. This is called causation.

At the end of the day, these are called personal injury cases for a reason. There must be an injury, otherwise there will be no compensation.

What makes things particularly difficult in Ontario, is that regardless of fault, the injuries are subject to two giant legal hurdles meant to defeat the Plaintiff’s case and limits their recovery.

The first hurdle is the threshold. Your injuries need to defined as a serious and permanent impairment of an important bodily function. If the injuries are not permanent, then you get zero. If the injuries are not deemed serious, then you get zero. If the injury just lasted 8 months, and then you made a full or close to full recovery, the you get zero.

All of this seems unfair; and I agree with you if you feel this way.

The second hurdle is the deductible. The insurer is entitled to a secret credit on all damages for pain and suffering. The first $38,818.97 of your award vanishes! It’s credited directly to the insurer. Is that fair? No it’s not, but this is the laws that personal injury lawyers have to work with for car accident cases in Ontario.

What’s even more disturbing is that if it’s a jury trial, your personal injury lawyer cannot mention the concept of the threshold or deductible to the jury. If your personal injury lawyer mentions these concepts, the defendant insurer will likely move for a mistrial and seek their legal costs.

Continue reading →

Published on:

People who have been very very very seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident need to know the ins and outs of the OCF-19 Application for Determination of Catastrophic Impairment Form.

If your insurer deems your injuries to be “catastrophic” your benefits will skyrocket from $3,500 under the minor injury guideline, or $65,000 up to $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 (depending on when your accident took place). Not only does the dollar amount of your benefits skyrocket, but so does the duration, along with the types of benefits which are available to catastrophically injured accident victims, vs. non-catastrophically injured accident victims.

The first step to being deemed catastrophic is having your doctor or treating specialist complete the OCF-19 Application for Determination of Catastrophic Impairment Form.

Finding the form can be a bit tricky. It’s not a typical form that insurance companies include in the standard Accident Benefit Package which is sent to injured accident victims.

Your personal injury lawyer will know how to find the form. You can also find the form on the website of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, link here. 

When printing off the OCF-19, make sure that you are printing off the right form.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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:

Continue reading →

Published on:

This is Part 1, of our 2 part series on getting to know your Rehab Team following a serious accident in Ontario. We have to do this feature in two parts on account of its length and we didn’t want to miss anybody. The second part will be released next week.

After a serious accident (car or otherwise), you will be exposed to a variety of medical and rehabilitation professionals. Some you will see in hospital or rehab facility. Some you will see at home. Others you will see at their office.

Either way, understand who these medical professionals are, and what their role is will help you better understand the rehabilitation process.

This installment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog will introduce you to your rehabilitation team following a serious accident (catastrophic accident, brain injury, orthopaedic injury etc.).

The reality is that money is often the main driver of most anything in our society. These doctors and rehab professionals do not work for free. Some are paid through the OHIP system. Some are paid by a private health insurer. Some are paid directly by car insurers. Some get funded through crowd sourcing! Some will defer payment and get paid upon settlement. Understanding how these doctors and rehab professionals are financed will help innocent accident victims better understand some of the finer financial aspects of their case. Continue reading →

Published on:

The most serious types of motor vehicle accidents in Ontario are referred to as “catastrophic“, or “CAT” cases.

Just because the accident is bad, doesn’t necessarily make that the accident is “catastrophic“.

Just because the injuries are serious, also doesn’t make the accident “catastrophic“.

The term “catastrophic” carries a very specific medico-legal definition. It’s a term of art. This definition has been tinkered with throughout the years, over and over again. That’s how important it is for any car accident case.

Currently, in Ontario, in order for your car accident case to be defined as “catastrophic“, your doctor or specialist must find on an OCF-19 Application for Determination of Catastrophic Benefits Form which certifies that your injuries meet one of the following criteria:

Continue reading →

Published on:

First and foremost, I would like to thank all those loyal readers of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog. Your readership, positive feedback and comments are all encouraging. We are glad and proud of keeping you informed and up to speed with the ever changing legal environment for personal injury claims in Ontario.

The focus of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog this week will be on Catastrophic motor vehicle accident claims, or CAT claims as they`re known in the industry.

CAT claims are in the category of the most serious cases we see at our law firm. Not just any run of the mill car accident case will qualify as catastrophic. There is an ever changing medico-legal definition of that it takes for injuries from a car accident to be categorised as catastrophic. The medico-legal definition changed very recently (June 1, 2016 to be exact). Any accident after June 1, 2016 will be tested based on the new CAT test, which is itemised in the OCF-19 Application For Catastrophic Impairment Form as follows:

Continue reading →

Published on:

Did you know that your car insurance coverage for accident claims is changing effective June 1, 2016?

If you’re answer is “NO“, then you’re not alone.

To be frank, the only reason I know about these changes is because I’m a personal injury lawyer and it’s my job to do so. But if you’re reading this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post, chances are you’re not a personal injury lawyer like me, and these changes are new to you.

Why are these changes being introduced in the first place?Good question!

I didn’t ask for them…. You didn’t ask for them…..

The only people who asked for these changes were the car insurance companies and their lobbyist group in order to save them MONEY. These changes aren’t about you ,the consumer. They aren’t about protecting the public. They’re about making MONEY for those large, multi-national corporations who provide insurance services in Ontario.

The logic is that the savings for large, deep pocketed insurers are supposed to be passed along to the average, every day, Ontario motorist. These changes have been coming fast and furious to save insurers money.

Yet, in Goldfinger Injury Lawyers’s informal poll of 10 drivers asked in Toronto; 10 drivers asked in Peterborough; 10 drivers asked in London; 10 drivers asked in Kitchener; and 10 drivers asked in Vaughan; NONE OF THEM REPORTED ANY SAVINGS ON THEIR CAR INSURANCE IN THE PAST 3 YEARS!! The only savings that were reported were from those motorists who stopped driving, or instead of insuring 2 vehicles, they new only insured 1 vehicle. Conducting these polls was very easy for our law firm because we have offices in all of these Cities, with the exception of the City of Vaughan.

Continue reading →

Published on:

The winds of change aren’t just blowing for car insurance in Ontario. They’re howling! Over the past 8 months, Ontario’s government has announced a major overhaul to how personal injury disputes arising from the use or operation of a motor vehicle are dealt with.

Why is this important to you?

For starters, if you drive a car, or a passenger in a car and sustain any sort of injury, then these changes will impact you. Secondly, it’s the LAW if you drive a car or motorcycle to have insurance. If you drive a motorized vehicle without insurance, then you’re breaking the law and you don’t want to do that. Because car insurance is a requirement, then it ought to be GOOD, and not a hollow policy.

In Ontario, we have a no fault system of accident benefits. These accident benefits are there to protect policy holders, like you and me. The intent of the accident benefit system and the surrounding legislation is CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATION. We are getting away from that “Consumer Protection” part as each day goes by.

Here are some of the highlights from the drastic changes which will kick in effective April 1, 2016 and June 1, 2016:

Continue reading →

Contact Information