Articles Posted in Pain and Suffering

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Records are the building materials to any personal injury case. Lucky for you, it’s not your responsibility to gather all of those records. Your personal injury lawyer will get all, or the vast majority of those records own your behalf.

A witness can say one thing at discovery, or up on the stand at trial. What they say can be relevant. But, it’s often self serving evidence. Rarely will you see a Defendant admit that s/he was in the wrong and that the Plaintiff ought to be entitled to all of the damages which they are seeking. The same logic applies to a Plaintiff. They won’t get up on the stand and suggest that the accident was their fault, and that they aren’t in pain; or aren’t deserving of a damages award. People with vested interests in the case are going to tender evidence which best serves their cause.

This is what makes the records so important.

Records: whether they are hospital records, doctor records, tax returns, employment files, police reports have no vested interest in who wins, or who losses the case. The records are objective.

That’s not to say that the records can’t be wrong. That’s also not to say that the author of those records may have made an error in preparing those records. Or, perhaps the author of those records was lazy and was doing the very least in order to complete the task as they are required by their governing body. It could also be that the author of those records carried bias (or was mean) and that bias and those negative feelings carried over into the records which they authored.

Regardless of what’s contained in those records, I can assure you that the personal injury lawyers and the Courts want to see those records. They are very important to your case, even if you don’t think that they are!

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Facts don’t care about your feelings.

Neither does the law.

A Judge’s job is to assess and judge your case. There will be a winner, and there will be a loser. Sometimes, after legal costs and the time invested into a case are taken into consideration, all of the parties will be losers.

Cases are won and lost based on evidence. Contrary to popular belief, cases are not won based on your feelings or emotions. The law is hard on feelings and emotions. The cold, hard, truth which Plaintiffs need to hear is that Courts don’t care much for emotions (even though they say that the will listen); especially if the evidence isn’t there to support the case. Emotions can certainly bolster a case; but they won’t tilt the scales of justice without proper evidence to support the claim.

Evidence are the meat and potatoes of the case. Emotions, and feelings are the seasoning. You can certainly feast on meat and potatoes, but you cannot feast on seasoning alone.

It’s very difficult for an injured accident victim to separate their emotions, from the evidence at hand. This is understandably. Accident victims (for the most part) aren’t lawyers, and have never stepped inside of a Courtroom. They have no idea how the legal system works. Some believe that the party which yells the loudest; or who shows the most emotion before a Judge and Jury having not taking into consideration the evidence required for a successful personal injury case will be the victor. This could not be further from the truth.

In order to win a personal injury case, a Plaintiff must establish three factors:

  1. Liability
  2. Damages
  3. Causation

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A well respected personal injury mediator recently compared a successful mediation to baking. It takes great ingredients to bake a great cake. The same as it takes a lot of different pieces of evidence and factors to make for a successful case or mediation. Just as one ingredient cannot make a cake. One piece of evidence or factor cannot make for a great case or mediation.

I love that analogy on so many levels.

Firstly, I like great cake. Who doesn’t? Yum!

Second: he is absolutely right. It takes great a lot of evidence to make for a great case. As it takes the parties working in harmony to get to “Yes” during the mediation process. Getting the ingredients right is required to get the deal done.

Finally and most importantly; the analogy which the mediator used (comparing needing great ingredients to bake a great cake to a successful case or mediation) is simple and easy for anyone to understand. I’ve found that easy to understand and easy to relate to analogies work best with accident victims. All too frequently lawyers and other actors in the personal injury litigation system forget that Plaintiffs haven’t done this sort of thing before.

In all likelihood it’s their first time hiring a litigation lawyer; it’s their first time suing; it’s their first time being exposed to the underbelly of personal injury litigation in Ontario; it’s their first time hearing legal terms that lawyers throw around.

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Not every case is perfect. That’s the reality of the law. Each case has its strengths, and weaknesses. Each case has its own unique set of warts so to say.

Some of these weaknesses can be avoided. Some of these warts can be treated.

As personal injury lawyers, we see clients make mistakes all the time; and that’s ok. Nobody is perfect. But the reality is that many mistakes can be avoided if people understand how the law works; and has a grasp of the consequences of their own actions; or lack thereof.

So without further a due, we will examine the top mistakes which personal injury clients conduct in the course of their accident and long term disability cases. It’s our hope that by understanding some of these mistakes, that personal injury claimants will prevent them from happening to strengthen their claims so they can get the compensation which they deserve.

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In the world of Plaintiff personal injury law, it’s not uncommon for cases to last a year,  to multiple years. Depending on the severity of the injury, the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved in a case, along with the willingness (or lack thereof) of the parties to settle, personal injury cases can take a lot of time.

From the time your case is issued, up until the time the case is ultimately resolved by way of trial or settlement, a lot can happen. We call this period of time the litigation period.

During the litigation period, it’s unfortunate, although not uncommon for Plaintiffs to get involved in a second, or even a third accident. Regardless of fault, or whether or not the Plaintiff choses to litigate, this second or third accident will be significant and can totally change the dynamic of the personal injury case at hand.

Here are a few examples discussed by personal injury lawyer Brian Goldfinger the principal of Goldfinger Injury Lawyers of how a second or third accident during the litigation period can have a negative impact on a personal injury case.

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In law school, lawyers are taught to sue parties with deep pockets.

Suing a Defendant who is without assets will net you a limited or a nil return. You can’t get blood from a stone.

Understanding this concept is important to understanding how car accident cases work in Ontario. But there is much more than meets the eye.

In this “nutshell” series of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog, we take a quick examination of how exactly car accident cases w0rk in Ontario, and what to expect.

Ontario has a very strange system of car insurance. When explained to a lay person, Ontario’s no fault accident benefit and tort system for car accident claims sounds backwards:

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