Articles Posted in Insurance

Published on:

It’s not often that the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog comments on cases decided at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

The reason being is that car accident cases, slip and falls, long term disability cases, motorcycle accidents etc. are all dealt with before the Ontario Superior Court; not the Human Rights Tribunal.

But ever so often, cases heard at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario intercede with cases relevant to the field of personal injury law in Ontario.

Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board is one of those cases.We here at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers believe this to be a very important decision for employees, employers, insurance companies and lawyers alike.

In 2006, the Province of Ontario passed a law that ENDED an employer’s right to terminate an employee at the age of 65. This allowed people to work much longer, and ended discriminatory practices based on age to people over 65.

Continue reading →

Published on:

One of the most common questions which personal injury lawyers must answers is “how much is my case really worth“?

This question is never easy to answer. These questions are largely fact specific. Even the most serious analysis of the facts and evidence cannot predict the answer with pin point accuracy. The reason for this is that the majority of personal injury cases are heard by juries. Juries by their very nature are unpredictable. Judges can be unpredictable as well. If the Judge and Jury like the Plaintiff, then the award will likely be larger. If the Judge and Jury don’t like the Plaintiff, then the award will likely be smaller. In any event, predicting the outcome of a personal injury case, along with predicting the value is not an exact science.

There are certainly guidelines and parameters which personal injury lawyers use to predict the range of damages for a case. Precedent case law is certainly the most accurate tool for that. The general public can look up old cases FOR FREE on a great website called Canlii.

Free to use. Easy to navigate. With relatively good case updates, although not a comprehensive list of cases; Canlii is certainly an excellent resource even for the non-lawyer.

Some easier predictors for case valuation are long term disability cases. The reason being is that we are fighting over benefits which can mathematically be quantified and are payable over a fixed period of time pursuant to the Long Term Disability policy in place.

Continue reading →

Published on:

In a recent survey taken by the “Campaign Research Poll” of 506 Toronto voters found that 60% of them wanted cyclists to be licensed and insured. 57% of those surveyed also wanted the City of Toronto to have more bike lanes.

This poll raised significant debate for motorists, cyclists and politicians. Personal Injury Lawyers and insurers got involved as well (as they should).

It should be noted that some of the most serious accident cases which our law firm handles deals with cyclist accidents. It only makes sense. When a bike collides with a car, the car will win! The bike doesn’t have seatbelt, bumpers, anti lock brakes, or air bags to soften the blow. A bike accident is a pure collision of flesh and bone vs. car and pavement. The damage is frequently catastrophic, even fatal.

Continue reading →

Published on:

When it comes to litigating Long Term Disability Claims, many disabled claimants don’t know where to start.

How do I sue?

Who do I sue?

Can I sue my own insurer?

If I sue, will I get fired?

How much can I sue for?

Will my case go to trial?

If my case settles, how does the settlement work?

How much do I have to pay a lawyer?

All of these are valid questions. The reality about our law firm is that around half of our clients have NEVER consulted with a lawyer, prior to meeting with one of our personal injury lawyers.

To take that statistic to the next level, did you know that over 95% of our clients have have NEVER consulted with a civil litigation lawyer before (a civil litigation lawyer is a lawyer who sues in Court; personal injury law falls under the realm of civil litigation).

The reality is that a great majority of people are not only new to the legal system, they are also new to the concept of having to sue for denied benefits. It’s understanding this reality which makes us perform betters as lawyers and advocates on behalf of our clients.

With that heartfelt preamble, we prepare the latest installment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog in an effort to help others not so familiar with the law, better understand how the legal system works (when it comes to long term disability matters)

Continue reading →

Published on:

Members of Goldfinger Injury Lawyers attended at a legal conference a few weeks ago. It had all sorts of lawyers, spanning a multitude of different practice areas. It was great chatting with different lawyers outside of the realm of personal injury law to hear about their success stories and struggles. Even though we may have practiced in completely different areas, we managed shared a lot of common ground aside from just being “lawyers“.

In one particular conversation, the lawyers at Goldfinger Injury Law were sharing our stories about the delay in having some of our accident cases heard in a timely matter. Even since the landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Jordan, we were still seeing significant delays on the Civil end of things.

The Criminal lawyers we were sharing that story with looked a bit perplexed. Those lawyers had seen a noticeable push by the Courts to have their cases expedited (even if it wasn’t in either party’s best interest).But when he heard that Court resources were being shifted to the criminal sphere at the expense of other areas (like car accident, disability and personal injury law), those lawyers seemed upset.

One lawyer in particular shared with me that he believed the legal system as we know it was rotting away, seemingly faster every day; and that only the lawyers on the front lines truly understood the decay. With the delays in Court, the lack of judicial resources, the depletion of the legal aid system; only the truly rich and wealthy will have the means to advance their claims, and endure the wait time (and associated legal bills) to have their day in Court.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Depending on who you ask, Uber is either a fantastic service; or spells the death to hard working taxi drivers. Today, it was announced that the City of Toronto passed legislation which will regulate Uber and other private ride sharing services such that they can operate in the Toronto without further political controversy (we hope).

In case you’ve never heard of Uber before, it’s essentially a taxi dispatch service; only taxi drivers don’t necessarily make the pick ups. The pick ups can be done by every day motorists trying to make an extra buck. Sounds simple enough. The controversy lies in that the taxi regime in the City of Toronto is complex, and heavily taxed/regulated.

In order to operate a taxi, you need to have a special taxi license. These licenses are very expensive, and aren’t just handed out loosely by the City. There are a limited number of taxi licenses around. In addition, licensed taxis have to follow other regulations like how much they can charge per kilometre, what the set base fare charge is, insurance regulations, driver safety regulations, camera regulations etc.

UberX drivers didn’t have to follow any of that red tape. All they needed to do was download the app, and let Uber dispatch them to their next customer for a pick up so they could earn money. It was that easy, and that convenient. The reality was that it was and remains fantastic for consumers. But it undercut hard working taxi drivers who were just trying to earn a living and provide for their families. Fewer fares. Increased competition. Uneven playing field. It was a hard fight and became difficult to compete with effectively cheaper, more convenient and arguably faster and more pleasant Uber service drivers.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Earlier this week, the Kathleen Wynne Ontario Provincial government announced unilateral cuts to all of its fees which it pays to doctors. The cuts around around 2.65% across the board for services. Ontario doctors have been without a proper contract with the Government since March 31, 2014. Contract negotiations have broken down such that the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) refuses to accept the provinces proposals; and the province refuses to give in to the OMA’s demands.

In addition to the 2.65% cut to all OHIP plan fees, the province will eliminate funding to doctors to take continuing medical education courses; will reduce the fees for walk-in visits by $1.70 to bring it in line with with the fee for regular visits to a family doctor; eliminate the premium for doctors to accept new patients who are healthy; and eliminate the number of family doctors in well-serviced areas who can join family health teams where doctors are paid by the number of patients they enroll (not fee for service).

10% of Ontario Provincial budget is devoted towards healthcare. Of that 10%; 25% is devoted towards paying doctors. I would be ok if that budget were higher on both ends, but that’s me. Now you know where I stand.

Are doctors happy with these unilateral terms imposed by the government? I haven’t spoken with a single doctor OR patient who has welcomed these changes.

Will doctors strike? No. But the reprecussions will be felt across the provincial health care system. More on that later.

How much does the Province predict they will save by these cuts and changes? Another good question. In fact, that question was so good, that Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins dodged the question when it was asked to him.

Continue reading →

Published on:

If insurers paid out maximum compensation on each and every claim, there wouldn’t be any need for personal injury lawyers or paralegals who focus on benefit accident claims.

Why does an injured accident victim or disability claimant need a lawyer, if the insurer is paying them out the full value of their claim up front; without any hassle?

But, if an insurer paid out the maximum value of each and every claim which came across their table, chances are they wouldn’t be as profitable as they are; or profitable at all.

As much as we are made to believe that insurers are there to look out for our best interests and pay out when they are supposed to; at the end of the day; insurance companies exist to MAKE MONEY.

Many Canadian insurance companies trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Here are a few examples along with their stock symbols, along with current share values as of the time of preparing this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post on July 7, 2015:

Intact Financial Corp: IFC $90.57

Sun Life Financial: SLF $41.80

Manulife Financial: MLF $23.03

Co-Operators General Insurance: CCS-PS $23.79

Those are just a few of the examples of insurance companies which do business in Canada, who trade of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Those stock symbols and share prices are VERY important. If those share prices drop significantly, millions, if not billions of dollars will be lost value and options for shareholders around the world.

If one of these insurers paid out ALL claims, regardless of merit of an entire year, chances are those stock values would dip dramatically.

So, when accident victims or disability claimants wonder why so many claims are denied at first instance, or why insurers refused to believe what their doctors have to say about their injuries, there is a financial reason for this.

The more money an insurer pays out to your for your claim, the less money they get to report in profits for their share holders.There are certainly a variety of their factors involved in insurer profits, but this is one of the most tangible concepts for accident victims and disability claimants to understand.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Our law firm does NOT handle any WSIB matters. Imagine that…a personal injury law firm refusing work!

But that’s right; our law firm doesn’t touch WSIB work. There are a lot of reasons we don’t practice in this area. Aside from the WSIB being an archaic, overly complicated system; the reality is that it does not adequately compensate injured workers. The awards are rather pitiful, hard for workers to get, and their system of unbiased assessments is “impartial assessors” is a farce. There are a number of economic reasons why our law firm doesn’t do WSIB work, but that’s pretty much all you need to know about WSIB.

You will be hard pressed to find a reputable lawyer in Ontario who does exclusively WSIB work, but there are a handful of them around if you’re lucky enough to find one and have them take on your case at a reasonable rate.

There are times when WSIB and civil tort law intertwine. When this happens, we are there to help people make the right decisions so that their cases get off on the right foot.

For starters, you CANNOT receive bot WSIB benefits and SUE. You can’t have both. You either get one, or the other. This is very important for any accident victim to know.

There are instances where injured workers CANNOT sue. If they’ve been hurt or injured on the job site, there are instances where the injured party MUST pursue a WSIB claim. In such instances, it’s important to find out if your employer is a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 employer. The difference is that is that you CANNOT sue a Schedule 1 employer; while you can sue a Schedule 2 employer. How do you find out if you’re dealing with a Schedule 1 or a Schedule 2 employer? That’s easy. All it takes is a call to the WSIB at 1-800-387-0750. Just ask the person who picks up the phone. It’s an easy search for their staff to make.

Banks, Veterinarians, Law Firms and some other employers are NOT require to have any form of WSIB coverage. So, it’s open season to sue these employers for their wrong doing.

At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that WSIB acts as a shield for employers. They pay in to an insurance plan known as WSIB, and it’s there to protect them in the event of a worker getting injured.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Intact Insurance has some great television commercials where an terrible accident happens (like a car driving in to a swimming pool); followed by a scene involving an insurance policy holder calling the insurer over the phone. The next scene is that of a well lit and pleasant call centre whereby an insurance agent from Intact proceeds to collect that person’s information and open up a claim in 5 minutes or less. Pretty impressive! The ad is meant to show the ease and speed in which Intact can open a file and process your claim.

Because that’s exactly what all Ontarians are looking for when choosing an insurance company. We’re not looking for low rates, or good customer service. We’re looking for speedy claims opening procedures. They’re fast, so we know they’re good.

The commercials are pleasant and well executed. They are.

A casual observation from this injury lawyer: the television commercials don’t show any personal injuries, and physical injuries. The only damage is comical or cartoonish.

One ad has the car driving in to the swimming pool, another ad has a car driving in to a mail box. Nobody is hurt. It all looks like an honest mistake where everyone is calm, able to smile, and having a relatively good time. Of course, all of this is intentional to keep the air of the ads light; rather than be downers and show catastrophically injured accident victims and crying family members waiting attentively by a hospital bedside attending to their seriously injured loved ones.

Here is the reality of most claims:

1) If it’s a car crash, there are likely injures. In many cases, there are serious injuries. Sometimes the injuries are so serious that the accident victim can’t talk.

2) The claimant isn’t all bubbly and happy when making the call, no matter how pleasant the agent is on the other line. The claimant is upset, mad, stressed, nervous, anxious, or pi$$ed off for lack of a better term that they were involved in a serious accident and now have to make a claim.

3) The claimant might not speak the best English; making reporting the claim difficult. Language can always be a barrier to getting these things sorted out.

4) The person on the other line might not be as bubbly, welcoming and friendly as they appear in the commercials

Here’s something which you probably didn’t pay attention to in these commercials. The person who was working in the call centre for the insurer was sitting at a desk, in front of a computer and inputting information in to their system. They may be taking notes of the conversation, OR the conversation may be recorded for “customer service purposes“. The claimant who initiated the telephone conversation isn’t taking any notes, nor are they depicted as sitting at a computer an inputting information in to a computer system.

Don’t overlook this tiny detail. It’s important. Want to know why? Read on and find out.

Continue reading →

Contact Information