Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Our expertise in motor vehicle accidents include: car, truck, motorcycle, ATV, boat, bicycles and accidents involving pedestrians.
If you've been involved in a motor vehicle crash, what should you do?
- Get the name and address of all the owners and drivers involved
- Take down the license plate details of the other owners and drivers
- Get the names and policy numbers of all the other drivers' insurance
- Get the names and phone numbers of all witnesses
- Make notes about how the accident happened
- Take photos of the scene, your vehicle and your injuries
- Inform the police, your insurance company, and your employer or school
- Contact Hooper Law to make sure you know your rights
- Ignore signs of injury or pain, such as dizziness or a stiff neck from whiplash - see your family doctor immediately
- Admit fault for the accident
- Talk to the insurance company or sign anything before contacting Hooper Law
If You Are Injured: A Legal Perspective
If you are injured in a vehicle crash, the physical and emotional consequences can be overwhelming. As you and your family try to get through a difficult time, insurance and legal issues can be overlooked. But there are certain actions you must take, and at the right time, in order to get the benefits and compensation you need, such as:
- Sue at-fault driver within two years of accident
- Inform your accident benefits insurer of accident within seven days
- Complete the accident benefits application within 30 days
- Inform defendants within 120 days, in writing, of intent to sue
The two sets of rights and responsibilities you may have when in an Auto Accident.
Hooper Law will help you throughout the process and fight for your entitled compensation.
1. No-Fault Benefits (or Statutory Accident Benefits)
These are benefits paid by your own insurance company. You must tell your insurer about the accident within seven days, and send back your Application for Accident Benefits within 30 days of receiving the insurance forms.
The application includes:
- An application form completed by you (OCF-1)
- An employer’s confirmation of income (OCF-2)
- A disability certificate completed by treatment provider (OCF-3)
Statutory Accident Benefits are based on the coverage you have with your insurance company. Unless your claim for benefits is refused, this coverage usually entitles you to the following:
Income replacement benefits:
If you were employed when the crash happened, these will be paid to you while you are off work. For the first two years you will be eligible to receive 70 per cent of your gross wages, up to maximum of $400 a week. There is a one week waiting period. After two years, your auto insurance company may have to continue to pay these benefits if you are unable to do any job for which you are reasonably suited by training, education or experience. This is a dificult test to meet.
If you are unemployed, you may be eligable to receive a non-earner benefit of $185 a week starting six months after the accident.
If you are self-employed, your insurance company will use a government approved formula to determine your right to income replacement benefits.
These are paid at a rate of $250 a week for the first child or dependent and $50 for each additional child. You must be unable to take care of your children, and be paying someone else to do so, to be able to make a claim.
NOTE: These benefits are only available if you had purchased optional coverage with your own insurer. If you did purchase the benefit, you may be eligible to receive assistance.
Housekeeping (home maintenance) benefits:
If you can prove you need help with housekeeping and home maintenance, your insurance company will pay you as much as $100 a week for up to two years. You will only receive these benefits after two years if your injuries are deemed to be catastrophic, through a test about your injuries under the Insurance Act.
NOTE: Same note as above only now with optional benefits.
Attendant care benefits:
If you need someone to help you with personal care and hygiene, your attendant can receive $3,000 a month for up to two years, to a maximum of $72,000.
If your injuries are deemed to be catastrophic, your attendant care benefit eligibility is $6,000 a month over your lifetime, to a maximum of $1,000,000.
Medical and rehabilitation benefits:
These are available to you for up to 10 years or up to $50,000, whichever comes first. They include medication, chiropractic care, physiotherapy, psychological treatment, rehabilitation aids and anything else that can help you recover. The insurance company will only pay for necessary items recommended by a healthcare provider.
If your injuries are deemed to be catastrophic, you could receive up to $1,000,000 over your lifetime.
If you are determined to be within Minor Injury Guidelines (MIG) you may only have $3500 in benefits. You should seek advice immediately to determine if you have injuries that would remove you from the MIG.
Death and Funeral benefits, which pay $25,000 to an accident victim’s spouse, $10,000 to each of the victim’s dependants, $10,000 to the victim’s caregiver, and $6,000 for funeral expenses.
Expenses of family members who visit during treatment or recovery, including meals, mileage, travel and accommodation.
Lost education expenses for students, to a maximum of $15,000.
Additional coverage you may have purchased additional benefits with your insurance.
Refusal of Benefits - The Mediation Process
If your insurance company refuses to pay certain benefits or expenses, the next step is to take your case to mediation. You must apply to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. A mediation must take place within 60 days of your application. Mediations are set up to help resolve disputes.
The mediator has no authority over either party, and everyone has to agree on any resolutions.
Very few disputes with insurance companies are settled at this stage, but mediation must take place before you can begin a lawsuit or arbitration against your insurer to have them pay for the benefits.
2. Compensation from the At-Fault Driver
If you decide to sue the driver who injured you, you must tell them in writing within 120 days. You also have to meet certain requirements for your case to be successful.
- You must prove that you have a serious and permanent impairment of an important bodily function which is physical, psychological or mental in nature.
- You have to prove liability; that the other driver caused the crash. The driver and their lawyer might say you are partly to blame for the accident, or that your injuries were caused by your failure to use your seatbelt.
We will fight to prove liability and get you the compensation you deserve. There are four types of compensation you may be entitled to:
- Pain and suffering and loss of quality of life (general damages) - This is a claim for your past, present and future pain, suffering, loss of quality and amenities of life. In Ontario, compensation ranges from $0 for a sprained thumb to $358,000 for someone who is brain-injured and quadriplegic.There is a $30,000 deductible applied to your general damages if they are assessed at $100000 or less.
- Family Law Act Claim for loss of care, guidance and companionship - This is for family members who have experienced a loss of care, guidance and companionship, or have lost money due to another family member’s injury. Compensation for every family member is subject to a $15,000 deductible. Claims by family members are very low in Ontario. The compensation assesment does not usually rise above the $15,000 deductible.
- Pecuniary damages (loss of wages) - This is a claim for loss of wages in the past, present and future, including any money not included in your income replacement benefits. If you return to work but make less money than you made before the crash, you may have a claim against the at-fault driver. You may also have a claim in other situations such as forced early retirement.
- Out-of-pocket expenses and future care costs - This compensates you for any expenses not covered by your insurance company, including over-the-counter prescription medication or parking and mileage for doctors’ appointments. You may have a claim for Future Care Costs and Housekeeping and Home Maintenance.
8 Million Dollar Win at the Supreme Court of Canada
After winning a groundbreaking negligence ruling and award of $8 million for our catastrophically injured client in court in Ontario, we were successful at the Ontario Court of Appeal and again at the Supreme Court of Canada.
In June 2017 our fight for justice for our client ended in victory when The Supreme Court of Canada agreed with Robert Hooper’s argument on the standard of care for children involved in car accidents. The Supreme Court of Canada would not to hear the defendant’s appeal. Three levels of Court had agreed with our fight and win for the victim who was ten years old at the time of the accident while crossing a four-lane road on the way to school.
All three courts confirmed that our client was not negligent and he was entitled to be fully compensated for the critical injuries he received in the accident.
To click on links below to read more about the case:
CONTACT US TO FIGHT FOR YOU
For a free, no commitment initial consultation, please call our fight for you help-line at 905-522-8002.View More
Don’t wait to contact us. Time is important following an accident or incident.View More