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Here’s the scenario:

You or a loved one was hit by a negligent driver. The driver was texting on their cell phone at the time of the collision. The driver was charged and convicted of distracted driving and careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act.

Liability is clearly not an issue. The distracted driver was at fault. There will be no arguments from the Defendant Insurer’s Lawyer in that regard.

As a result of the collision, the Plaintiff sustained a brain injury, along with multiple orthopedic injuries to her neck, back, knees and wrists. The injured accident victim has under gone  6 surgeries at different hospitals across Ontario; each with different orthopedic analyst. After each surgery, the accident victim has been bed ridden for between 1-3 weeks at a time.

The person’s arms will never be the same.

The person’s legs will never be the same.

The person’s back will never be the same.

The person’s mind will never be the same.

The accident victim is completely BROKEN, and no amount of treatment, therapy, surgery or medication will ever make them whole again.

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Throughout the course of the year, the Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer Blog gets tonnes a questions from our loyal readership. We do our best to answer every question we can. Here are some of the best, and most commonly asked questions we have received. All of these questions have been answered by personal injury lawyer, Brian Goldfinger, directing lawyer of Goldfinger Personal Injury Law. We trust that this rapid fire Q&A session will answer some of your pressing questions when it comes to car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, motorcycle and long term disability claims/law.


A: We don’t charge an upfront hourly rate. We take your case on a contingency fee basis. If our firm doesn’t recover any money for you in your case, that means that you don’t have to pay any legal fees.

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The front page of today’s Toronto Star is a feature article and photo of Mandi Gray. The headline reads “Putting A Price on Rape..Mandi Gray could have shared her trauma with the court. She opted to share her bills instead“.

Kudos to Mandi Gray for eliminating the publication ban and coming out so courageously. This is a huge step forward in rape and sexual assault cases. Fantastic display of strength which we certainly admire.

In case you don’t know much about this case, Mandi Gray is a PhD student at York University. The accused, Mustafa Uruyar was in her program as well. At a party/get together at a bar on Bloor St. in Toronto, both Gray and Uruyar left the bar and headed back to Uruyar’s place.

The Court found that Mandi Gray was raped by Mustafa Ururyar. Mr. Ururyar was convicted and sentenced to the maximum for a summary crime of 18 months in prison, plus up to three years parole. It’s customary in these types for the victim to prepare a Victim Impact Statement to be read aloud in the Courtroom, just before sentencing.

We see these Victim Impact Statements whenever there is a victim of a crime who we can identify and who agrees to share their/thoughts/feelings with the Court. Not all victims have the courage to share Victim Impact Statements. Personal Injury Lawyers see these Victim Impact Statements frequently in drunk driving, violent assault and sexual assault cases. These statements can be relied upon later in the course of the civil proceeding/personal injury case.

Victim Impact Statements can be very emotional. For some, it’s a chance to have their voice heard, unfettered by the Court and cross examination from another lawyer. You can say what you want. But for others, it’s a wasted exercise. The damage is already done. There is no use in speaking or providing a statement. It will only re-hash bad memories. What good will come of it.

Mandi Gray’s Victim Impact Statement was short and to the point. It contained three bills. The first was for 36 psychotherapy sessions totalling $3,770. The second was a bill for $3,453 for legal work paid by Legal Aid to defend her in a Pre-Trial Application. The third was for $10,735 for legal fees which Ms. Gray paid out of her own pocket.

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There are a lot of different OCF Claims forms to complete after you’ve been involved in a car accident in Ontario. In this “How to” series, the Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer Blog examines how to complete the OCF-2 Employer’s Confirmation of Income Form. In order to recover income replacement benefits, it’s necessary to have the OCF-2 form completed and submitted to the insurer as soon as possible following a car accident. Failure to have the OCF-2 Employer’s Confirmation of Income Form completed properly and in a timely manner may result in a denial or delay on the recovery of income replacement benefits.

For starters, you need to get a copy of the OCF-2 Employer’s Confirmation of Income For. This can be found on the FSCO Wesbite; the Goldfinger Personal Injury Law Website; through your lawyer, or even through your own insurance company. NOTE: If you wait for the form to arrive in the mail form your own insurance company, it may get lost in the mail or simply delayed. Just print off a form online if you have the resources to do so. You can even go to your local library, find the form online and have it printed right there on the spot for the charge of printing just two pages. The last time I was at my local public library, there was a charge of .25c/page, along with FREE internet access. This is very reasonable.

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When I was a young personal injury lawyer, a very senior partner at the law firm I worked at had a great figurine on his desk of an old British looking lawyer wearing a wig with a dignified look on his face. Embossed to the bottom of the figurine was the Statement “Sue the Bastards“.  This figurine always brought a smile to my face.

People ask me all the time why I like being a personal injury lawyer. Aside from the common answers of genuinely liking helping real people (not large multi national corporations); working every day with injured accident victims who need the help the most; and making a meaningful difference in the lives of our clients; the reality is that I also love suing! As a matter of fact, all of the lawyers at my law firm get excited when we are about to issue a Statement of Claim. Perhaps it’s because the Statement of Claim is the first shot fired by David vs. the large Goliath on the receiving end of the claim. That Goliath is the large multi national insurance company with seemingly unlimited resources. The battle seems unfair from the get go if you take in to consideration the size of each parties’ war chest. But our lawyers have the skill and experience to make things work.

An article recently caught my eye. There was a tragic shooting which took place at a Cinema in Colorado around 4 years ago. Many people died in this senseless killing. Many were injured. There are no words to describe this horrific massacre.

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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:

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Our law firm gets a ton of calls from people who have been denied Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits from their insurers (Great West Life, Manulife, Sun Life, Industrial Alliance, SSQ, Co-Operators, RBC Insurance, Desjardins, Equitable Life, La Captiale Insurance, Canada Life, and the list goes on…).

Although none of the people who contact our law firm have met, there are many common threads in the phone calls. A serious injury, illness or disability denied, or not properly communicated to the insurance company. Feelings of loss, anger, hopelessness, worry and despair on account of the denial. A sense of loss and simply now knowing what to do, or what to expect for their case or future.

These are all common and perfectly normal feelings. After all, you’re not a lawyer and this is probably the first time your applying for Long Term Disability benefits; let along your first time seeing how an insurer is reacting to your claim. It may be your first time calling a lawyer as well!

The experience of calling a lawyer should NOT be scary and NOT be intimidated. At our law firm, we do our very best to make the experience as comfortable and easy to understand as possible. There is no reason why excellent customer service should not extend to personal injury lawyers.

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Certain fact patterns in cases are so unbelievable, that even the most experienced and seasoned personal injury lawyer can’t make them up. Just when you thought you’d seen it all…

It’s common for insurers in Ontario (and all across Canada for that matter), to retain private investigators to conduct surveillance on injured accident victims. The investigators are paid by the insurer to follow as discretely as possible the Plaintiff and try to catch them in the act of doing something that runs contrary to their case.

For example, if the medical records from the Plaintiff’s medical experts show that the Plaintiff can’t run; and the Plaintiff at his/her Examination for Discovery states on the record and under oath that s/he can’t run; but the insurer has video surveillance of that very same person running in multiple marathons/races post accident; then that Plaintiff’s credibility will be left in doubt for a Judge and Jury at trial.

If the Plaintiff complains that s/he cannot work and cannot lift, but there is surveillance showing that same person working at a rock quarry lifting heavy boulders; again that person’s credibility will be a big issue at trial.

If the Plaintiff is lying about this, then what’ s to say that s/he isn’t lying about that? What’s to say that the Plaintiff isn’t lying about how the accident happened, the severity of their injuries, and how their injuries are impacting their day to day life? Can we now trust anything this person has to say?

Credibility and likeability are two big factors at trial. The more credible and likeable the Plaintiff is for a Judge/Jury; the greater the chance his/her version of the events and injuries will be believed. That translates in to a greater award at trial. The same goes the other way. The less credible and likeable the Plaintiff, the greater likelihood his/her version of the events will not be accepted. This will translate in to a lesser award at trial.

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One of the most commonly asked questions of our personal injury lawyers is how innocent car accident victims can get the insurance company to pay for their medical/rehab treatment following a car accident. This involves the proposed service provider completing the OCF-18 Treatment Plan Form.The Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog has already written on the topic of completing the OCF-18 Treatment Plan Form. This previous entry can be accessed here. But, since this question is asked of us so much, we thought it would be of great use to re-visit the topic. After all; getting the car insurer to pay for your post accident treatment is important to your rehabilitation and peace of mind. It certainly seems unfair if you would have to pay for the treatment out of your own pocket when you’re not able to earn an income following a serious collision.

Treatment payments are generally covered after a car accident through Ontario’s No Fault Accident Benefit regime. But, the accident benefit scheme is very complicated and can be very tricky to manage on your own. Even for lawyers, the system is tricky.

For starters, the first form that needs to be completed is the OCF-1 Application for Accident Benefits. This form opens up an accident benefit claim for the insurance company. Once an accident benefit claim has been opened, you’re then eligible for med/rehab benefits such that the insurer ought to pay for the cost of your treatment.

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Three words that can get any Ontarian excited are “August Long Weekend“!

Our personal injury law firm has seen a pattern over the past 8 years of a spike in new client calls after the long weekend in the following areas:

  • Drunk Driving & Drunk Boating cases
  • Fatality Claims (they happen nearly every long weekend)
  • Car Accident claims related to speed
  • Violent Assault claims (alcohol related)

So what happens over the long weekend that we see an increase in personal injury claims? Does everyone lose their mind or is it just bad luck? Are many of these accidents preventable? All good questions.

For starters, lots of people get excited for a summer long weekend. Why not? Fun in the sun after a long, cold Canadian winter. It’s perfectly reasonable to get excited.

Lots of people travel over the long weekend. They get out of town and go visit friends, go to a cottage, go camping etc. That means more people on the roads with places to go and destinations in mind. And those people travelling on the road want to arrive at their respective destinations as soon as possible so their long weekend can begin. For most, the long weekend doesn’t officially begin until you’ve arrived at your destination.

This means a greater likelihood of speeding. We all know that speeding increased the chance of car accidents, and car accidents at higher speeds normally equate to more severe damages and injuries. That’s not to say that car accidents at lower speeds cannot result in serious damages or serious injuries either.

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