FAQ Topics

FAQ Personal Injury

What is personal injury? Why would I need a personal injury lawyer?

When an accident occurs, those involved can experience lifelong consequences. If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of the negligent act of another, you may feel overwhelmed by emotional trauma, medical bills, obtaining treatment, and dealing with insurance claims. Further, you want to make sure that you are able to be put in the position you were before the accident. It is therefore essential to hire a personal injury lawyer to help guide you through this process. For a detailed explanation of why you need an experienced personal injury at McLeish Orlando Lawyers LLP, please click here.

How to choose a personal injury lawyer?

Selecting a personal injury lawyer can be one of the most important decisions you will make and can have lifelong consequences. The following are 10 things to consider when looking to hire the personal injury lawyer:

  • Research the reputation of the personal injury lawyer and the firm
  • How does the lawyer/firm get their cases?
  • Are they leaders in the Legal Community?
  • Is the lawyer and firm experienced?
  • What do former clients and others say about them?
  • Does the firm have the resources to handle a serious personal injury or trauma case?
  • Do they only charge a fee at the end and only if they win?
  • How big is their caseload and what are their results?
  • Do they over promise a quick resolution?
  • How does the firm give back to the community?

For more information on how to choose the right personal injury lawyer, please click here.

What questions to ask a personal injury lawyer?

There really is no wrong question to ask a prospective lawyer you are meeting with to determine whether that lawyer is the right lawyer for you. To help you with the types of questions you should ask to help find an experienced personal injury lawyer, here is a list of essential questions you should ask any lawyer you are thinking about hiring as your own personal injury lawyer.

Does my car insurance cover personal injury claims?

Yes, every Ontario automobile insurance policy has standard coverages that protect you in the event that you are injured as a result of the use of operation of a motor vehicle regardless of fault. These standard coverages include things such as medical and rehabilitation treatment, income replacement benefits, caregiver benefits and non-earner benefits. In addition, every standard automobile insurance policy includes coverage if you are injured by an unidentified or uninsured motorist.

Do I have a personal injury case?

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to advance a claim for personal injury. The facts and circumstances of each case are unique, as well as the legal elements required to be satisfied.  Consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and provide advice on whether you have a case is the next step.

How long does a personal injury claim or a lawsuit take?

How long a personal injury claim or lawsuit will take is dependent on a large number of factors, such as the complexity of the case, how long until your recovery has plateaued (also known as maximum medical recovery), the number of parties involved, the resources of the court system in the jurisdiction where your lawsuit has been issued, as well as many other factors. In most circumstances, a lawsuit must be commenced within 2 years from the date of your injury. This is called the limitation period. You should start a lawsuit as soon as possible. If the limitation period expires, you will likely lose your right to sue. There are nine major steps in a lawsuit, starting with an initial interview with the lawyer, and ending with a trial. For a detailed explanation of the steps in a lawsuit, please click here.

What is the average amount for personal injury settlement?

While you might hope to receive a straightforward answer, the reality is that there are a multitude of factors that affect the value of your claim. To name a few:

  • Who was at fault (or partially at fault)
  • The kind and severity of the injuries you suffered
  • The care you will require in the future
  • How much you earned prior to the incident and how much you were projected to earn throughout your working life
  • The lifestyle you previously lived, including hobbies and activities of daily living

Our experienced personal injury lawyers will take all of these contingencies into account and apply them to your unique case in order to determine the value of your case. For a detailed explanation of the factors that affect the valuation of any personal injury claim, please read here.

What is a contingency fee retainer agreement?

A contingency fee agreement means that the lawyers fees are based on a percentage of your recovery in the lawsuit. The percentage that the lawyer charges does not change with the size of the settlement. In the event that you are unsuccessful in a lawsuit, the lawyer will not charge you fees as fees are contingent on you succeeding and recovering money.

At McLeish Orlando, we limit the number of cases we take on so that we can give each client the time, energy, and resources required to achieve fair compensation. Every case is handled by a specialized team consisting of a senior lawyer, an associate lawyer, an accident benefits coordinator, a law clerk and a legal assistant.

Before agreeing to represent a person or family we will set up an initial meeting to gather important information about your injury and the details of how the injury happened. At this meeting we will discuss in detail what our fees will be and how they will be calculated based on your individual circumstances. For more information about our contingency fees, read here.

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

In most cases, you have 2 two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit.  This is called the limitation period.  If you were injured while you were a minor, you have two years from the date you turn 18 to file a lawsuit or two years from the date a litigation guardian is appointed on behalf of the minor.  In certain circumstances, this general limitation period of 2 two years from the date of the incident does not apply.  The period may be longer, or it may be shorter.  For this reason, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to start the process of filing your lawsuit.

What to do after a personal injury accident?

The most important thing to do after an incident resulting in a personal injury is to focus on recovery. The next step is to start doing research for a personal injury lawyer that is right for you. Look for information regarding their qualifications, experience, and reputation among their peers. An experienced personal injury lawyer will connect you with a treatment team that is tailored to your needs so you can focus on your recovery while they advocate on your behalf.

FAQ Sports Injury

When can you sue for a sports injury?

A claim for sports injuries can arise where the conduct of the player causing the injury is deemed to be intentional or reckless and not part of the game. In addition, sports injuries claims can also arise from negligent coaching, defect products or devices and the failure to provide safe places to play.

Who can be held liable for sports injuries?

  • Other players when their actions are intentional or reckless and cause injury.
  • Negligent coaches when they fail to recognize a dangerous situation or use improper techniques which cause injury
  • Product manufactures when their products are faulty or defective and cause injury.
  • Facility owners who fail to provide a safe space
  • Every case will be determined on the unique set of facts arising out of the injury. To determine whether you may have a successful case, please contact us.

Does your law firm take sports injury cases?

Yes, McLeish Orlando Lawyers LLP has a very successful history of helping people who have been injured while playing sports. View our past client success story here.

FAQ Traumatic Brain Injury

What is traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury is an injury that changes how the brain functions. The severity of traumatic brain injuries can vary from mild, moderate, and severe. Accordingly, a traumatic brain injury can lead to short term health problems, or permanent and severe problems that change the rest of an individual’s life.

Is a concussion a brain injury?

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are typically caused by a hit or bump to the head (or body) that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth. The sudden movement can change the chemical balance in the brain, and can cause damage to brain cells. Concussions are severe injuries, and any injury to the brain is cause for concern and attention. Suffering a concussion also makes you more susceptible to further concussions, and multiple concussions in a short period of time can lead to death.

Concussions can lead to headaches, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, drowsiness, confusion, amnesia, loss of consciousness, sensitivity to light, depression, and other symptoms. Concussions can also lead to post-concussion syndrome, where any or all of these symptoms persist long after the typical recovery period.

What are the traumatic head injury causes, consequences, and challenges?

Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, sports and recreational activities, assaults, and other events that cause the head or body to be moved quickly.

Some people are able to recover from less severe traumatic brain injuries through rest and reduced activity at home. More severe traumatic brain injuries can alter every aspect of a person’s life. They can lead to post-concussion syndrome, as well as more significant cognitive issues and motor function impairments. Minor brain injuries that are suffered by children can significantly impact their brain’s development.

One of the biggest challenges associated with traumatic brain injuries is that they are “invisible” injuries in the sense that they are not immediately apparent to an observer like a broken arm or an amputation might be. This can increase the difficulty in properly diagnosing a brain injury and delay finding the best treatment for that injury. This issue can also increase the challenges one faces when trying to navigate their injuries in public.

For all of these reasons, it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer that has experience working with clients that have suffered a brain injury. Contact our office today, we are here to help.

What is acquired brain injury?

An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary. There are two types of acquired brain injury: traumatic and non-traumatic.

What is a Hypoxic-Anoxic brain injury?

A hypoxic-anoxic brain injury occurs when the flow of oxygen to the brain is disrupted. Oxygen is required for the brain to function properly, and when the flow of oxygen is cut off for an extended period of time, the brain can be severely damaged. Generally, the longer the brain is deprived of oxygen, the more severe the injury. These types of injuries can cause cognitive impairments, as well as impairment to physical and psychological functions.

How do I know if I have TBI after a car accident?

If you have been in a car accident where you struck your head, or you are experiencing any symptoms of a concussion or brain injury, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Immediately following a traumatic event, emergency medical professionals may assess the initial severity of a brain injury by checking a person’s ability to follow direction, speak, and respond to physical stimuli using the Glascow Coma Scale. Medical Professionals may also use a CT Scan or MRI to obtain a detailed view of the brain following an injury. These scans can reveal bleeding, bruises, swelling, and other indications of trauma.

 

How much is a traumatic brain injury case worth?

The value of every case is specific to the individuals involved and the injuries suffered. However, due to the often severe nature of traumatic brain injuries, the cases frequently involve significant compensation. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of someone else, you are entitled to make a claim to be compensated for your medical and other related expenses, your past and future income loss, your pain and suffering, as well as any future attendant care you may need as a result of your injury. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.

When should I hire a brain injury lawyer?

If you have suffered, or if you believe you may have suffered, a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another party, you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away. An experienced personal injury lawyer will assist you in accessing immediate insurance benefits so you can receive the treatment and services you need without having to worry about your ability to pay. Your personal injury lawyer will also begin gathering evidence and expert opinions to ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to. Contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today if you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Can your firm provide me with the right access to the medical and rehabilitation benefits?

Our firm has worked with the best rehabilitation facilities and individual providers in Ontario for over 20 years. We have created an extensive network of rehabilitation and medical professionals across the province that assist individuals with traumatic brain injuries, and we will work with you to find the rehabilitation team that is best suited to your individual injuries and location.

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is important that you have access to medical and rehabilitation benefits right away. If you were injured in an incident involving the use of a motor vehicle, we will assist you in accessing the accident benefits through your auto insurance policy, or the auto insurance policy of the vehicle that caused your injury. If your injuries did not arise from the use of a motor vehicle, we will assist you in accessing any insurance policy available to you to ensure your expenses are covered right away.

Contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss how you can be put in contact with our network of support.

FAQ Spinal Cord Injury

When should I hire a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?

If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your next steps. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and life altering. A good personal injury lawyer will assist you in finding a rehabilitation team that is right for you and make the process of obtaining adequate compensation as easy as possible.

The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence, and sports and recreation incidents. If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, we are here to help. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

The difference between a complete and incomplete spinal cord injury

Incomplete spinal cord injuries are the most common form of spinal cord injury. With an incomplete spinal cord injury, an individual will likely have some degree of sensory and motor function below the site of the injury. The specific symptoms an individual will experience with an incomplete spinal cord injury depends on both the individual, and the area where the spinal cord is injured. Individuals with incomplete SCIs may experience chronic pain, weakness, and numbness. They may also recover some of their movement and function.

Complete spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord is fully compressed or severed. A complete spinal cord injury results in full paralysis on both sides of the body below the site of the injury. The individual will suffer a total loss of sensory and motor function below the site of injury.

Do you have a network of rehabilitation facilities for Spinal Cord Injury?

For over two decades, our firm has worked side by side with the best rehabilitation facilities and individual providers in Ontario. We have amassed an extensive network of rehabilitation and medical professionals that have specific training and experience in the field of spinal cord injury. We will work with you to find the rehabilitation team that is best suited to your individual injuries and location.

What damages can I claim for my spinal cord injury?

The impact of a spinal cord injury can be tremendous and life altering, not only for the individual, but for their family as well. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, you are entitled to claim compensation for your past and future medical expenses – including future attendant care if needed, your past and future income loss, as well as other expenses directly related to the injury. Additionally, you can advance a claim for your pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities. You may be entitled to claim additional damages depending on your circumstances. The quantum of damages involved in spinal cord injuries can be very significant. Insurance companies will do their best to minimize how much they have to pay for damages. It is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer that has experience obtaining adequate compensation for individuals who have experienced a spinal cord injury. Contact our office for a free consultation today to get started.

FAQ Catastrophic Injury

What qualifies catastrophic injury?

A catastrophic injury is specifically defined under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, which sets out the benefits available to those persons who are injured directly or indirectly by the use or operation of a motor vehicle. In Ontario, there is a higher level of statutory accident benefits available to an injured person when the injury or injuries they have sustained meet the definition of catastrophic impairment. If you suffer an injury in a motor vehicle accident, you can apply and be assessed for a determination of whether your injury qualifies as “catastrophic”.

What are common types of catastrophic Injuries?

The Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule defines catastrophic impairment as any one of the following:

  • Paraplegia or tetraplegia
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Blindness or a loss of vision of both eyes
  • Amputation or severe impairment of the ability to move or use one arm or to walk independently
  • Physical impairment or a combination of physical impairment that results in 55 percent whole person impairment
  • Marked mental/behavioral disorder in three or more areas of function

It is important to note that the designation of a catastrophic injury is different for children than for adults with regard to brain injuries. This is because a brain injury in children may not be immediately apparent. For other injuries, including spinal injuries, blindness, loss of limbs, etc., children are evaluated for a catastrophic injury in the same way as adults. For more information about catastrophic impairment please read here.

What medical treatments are there for catastrophic Injuries?

When classified as having sustained a catastrophic impairment by your automobile insurer, an injured person has access to one million dollars over their lifetime for medical benefits, rehabilitation benefits, and attendant care benefits.

Can I sue for a Catastrophic Injury?

In addition to receiving benefits from your own insurer, an individual who has been seriously injured as a result of a motor vehicle incident may be entitled to sue the other involved party for damages. The tort system is designed to put the innocent injured party in the financial position that he or she would have been if not injured through a third party’s negligent act. Some of the heads of damages in a tort action include:

  • Loss of past income
  • Loss of future income
  • Cost of attendant care and future care
  • Housekeeping and home maintenance
  • Special damages
  • General damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life

Why hire a catastrophic injury lawyer?

A person who receives a catastrophic designation from their insurer is entitled to claim up to a maximum of $1,000,000 over their lifetime for medical and rehabilitation benefits. Conversely, a person with a non-catastrophic designation is only entitled to claim $65,000 in medical and rehabilitation benefits over the 5 years following the accident. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential in obtaining a catastrophic designation from your insurer. OHIP-funded health care for individuals who have been seriously injured in a car accident can be inadequate. OHIP does not cover treatment by physiotherapists, massage therapists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists or psychologists, nor does OHIP fund medication, assistive devices or home modifications. In addition, the consequences of a serious injury can be life-long and have significant financial and emotional consequences. These needs and challenges will need to be addressed with the help of your lawyer.

Does your firm handle catastrophic injury cases?

Yes, our firm has a proven track record of helping injured victims who have sustained catastrophic injuries. For example of some of our successes representing seriously injured individuals, please see  our past results.

Can your firm provide me with the right access to the medical and rehabilitation benefits?

We take great pride in knowing that in addition to making sure our clients receive the best legal services in their lawsuit, our firm makes a commitment to every client to ensure that their medical and rehabilitation needs are also being cared for. McLeish Orlando Lawyers LLP has a network of medical and rehabilitation providers throughout the province that are very highly regarded and who are able to assist clients all over Ontario.

FAQ Paediatric Injury

When should a parent/guardian file for a child injury claim?

Under the Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 1.03), a child under the age of 18 is considered to be a party under disability, and therefore must be represented by a litigation guardian in a civil proceeding (Rule 7.01). When a child under the age of 18 wishes to file an injury claim, a parent, guardian, or any person who is not under disability can be appointed as the litigation guardian. The role of the litigation guardian is to diligently attend to the interests of the child and to take all steps necessary for the protection of those interests. If your child has suffered a serious personal injury due to the negligence of another party, contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers to discuss the process of becoming a litigation guardian and advancing your child’s claim.

What is the timeline to file a child injury claim?

A personal injury lawsuit typically needs to be commenced within 2 years from when the incident occurred, pursuant to the Ontario Limitations Act, 2002. However, the limitation period for minors does not start running until the child has reached the age of 18 or until a litigation guardian has been appointed. With that said, it is still best practice to contact a personal injury lawyer right away following an incident where a minor is injured.

Can I sue if my child gets hurt at a daycare?

The short answer is yes. If your child has been injured at a day care, you and your child may be entitled to compensation. A daycare provider owes a duty to a child in their care to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the child. Additionally, the Occupier’s Liability Act, property owners and those having responsibility for and control over the condition of the property are legally responsible for ensuring the property is reasonably safe for those using it – including children at a daycare. The Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 further provides minimum standards that licensed daycares are required to meet, as well as minimum staff-to-child ratios to ensure adequate supervision. Contact our office today for a free consultation if your child has suffered a serious injury at a daycare.

FAQ Medical Malpractice

When can I file for a Medical Malpractice claim?

You can file a lawsuit at any time after you have been injured (or a loved one has died) and before the limitation period has expired. It is highly recommended that you consult a lawyer to determine whether you have a case that will be worth pursuing based on the risk and amounts involved. You can sue for pain and suffering, loss of income and earning capacity, future care expenses and housekeeping. If a loved one has died due to medical malpractice you may claim damages for wrongful death, including loss of care, guidance and companionship, loss of dependency, and loss of services.

What is the time limit to start a lawsuit?

You have two years to start a claim from the time the medical malpractice event took place (or in certain cases when you knew or ought to reasonably have known the malpractice took place). This is called a limitation period. In some cases, if the medical negligence occurred over a period, it may not be apparent when the limitation period begins. Legal advice should be obtained to help you understand if the limitation has or has not expired.

Do I have to pay an upfront fee to start the claim?

Generally, as part of a contingency fee agreement, you do not pay anything upfront unless an award is obtained for you, or a judgment is rendered after a trial. There may be a situation in complicated medical malpractice cases where an initial retainer is obtained in order to initially investigate and consult experts to see whether a viable claim can be pursued.

What can I expect from my free initial consultation?

A lawyer will ask you questions about the events leading up to the malpractice, what injuries you suffered, and how it has impacted on your life including work, activities and the care you need. The lawyer will explain the risks involved in a lawsuit, the steps that will be taken, and what you may expect regarding potential outcomes. The lawyer will explain what a contingency fee retainer is and what type of claims they will be making.

FAQ Wrongful Death

What is a wrongful death action?

A wrongful death action is when family members of a loved one begin a lawsuit against people or companies who caused the death. Typically, family members will be claiming the loss of care, guidance, and companionship, loss of dependency, loss of services, mental distress and sometimes punitive damages.

When can I file for a wrongful death lawsuit? Or Who can file for a wrongful death lawsuit?

You have until two years from the time that the event took place that led to the loved one’s death to sue the responsible parties. This is called a limitation period. Legal advice should be sought to help you understand when the limitation period begins to run.

The Family Law Act is engaged and determines who can sue and what they can sue for. The family members that can sue include spouses, common law spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and step relations.

When someone dies, what is the difference between the civil and criminal cases that can be brought regarding the death?

In civil actions, the loved ones of a deceased person are suing those people or companies that caused the death. They sue for an amount to compensate them for their loss. In criminal or provincial offenses, the police will lay charges that are prosecuted by the Crown or Provincial prosecutor. Plaintiffs’ counsel in civil actions are not allowed to participate in criminal/provincial offences cases and usually need to wait for those to resolve before they can proceed in their civil lawsuits.

Are punitive damages recoverable in wrongful death actions?

Punitive damages are recoverable in wrongful death actions. Instead of seeking to compensate the victim’s family, these awards are meant to punish the person or company for the death based on their egregious or reprehensible conduct. When determining whether punitive damages should be paid, not only is the conduct of the person considered, but the court will also consider any other punishments that have been handed out in criminal proceedings.

Is there a time limit to file a wrongful death suit?

The time limit on filing a wrongful death action is two years from the date of the person’s death. This is called a limitation period.

How does your firm handle wrongful death lawsuits?

At McLeish Orlando Lawyers LLP, we make sure that wrongful death actions are pursued and settled as fast as reasonably possible to ensure that our clients can obtain compensation and move on with their lives. We understand that wrongful death cases are particularly difficult as it involves the death of a loved one. The longer a lawsuit goes on, the harder it is for their loved ones to move on from such a tragic moment in their lives.

FAQ Cycling Accident

What happens if you are injured after being hit by a car on your bike?

If you are riding your bicycle and suffer injuries as a result of the negligent act of the car driver, you can start a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the car who hit you. You are also entitled to start a claim for statutory accident benefits. If you do not have your own car insurance, the insurer for the car who hit you will administer your accident benefit claim. You may also have a claim against a city, town or region for the disrepair of the roadway or improper design and upkeep.

What if the cyclist is deemed at fault or partly at fault for the Crash?

Even if you are 100% responsible for the accident, you are still entitled to make a claim for accident benefits. Depending on the facts of the case, you may also start a lawsuit on the basis that the party who hit you is partly at fault for the crash.

Who pays the no-fault accident benefits?

If you are a named insured on an auto policy or are a dependent of someone who has an auto policy, it is your own auto insurer that will pay for your accident benefits coverage. If you do not have your own car insurance, the insurer for the car that hit you will pay your benefits.

How to access cycling accident compensation after being hit as a cyclist?

There are a number of standard forms that must be submitted in order to access Ontario no-fault benefits. These forms will be provided to you by the auto insurer responsible for paying your accident benefits. A lawyer can assist you in obtaining and filling out the forms.

FAQ Car Accident

What to do after a car accident?

After a car accident, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer who can explain the workings of Ontario’s no-fault auto insurance system. One key thing you will want to ask the lawyer you speak to is how to start a claim for accident benefits so that you can begin to receive treatment for your injuries and an income replacement if you are unable to return to your occupation. The lawyer can also explain the various aspects of starting a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for causing your injuries and the various heads of damages that you can seek to recover. Ultimately, speaking with a lawyer is an important step in making sure your future is secure.

How long do I have to file a claim after a car accident?

If you are over the age of 18, you have two years from the date of loss to start a lawsuit. If you are younger than 18, you have two years from the date you turn 18 to start a lawsuit. There are some minor exceptions to this rule, which is why it’s important to speak with a lawyer.

How long does a car accident settlement take?

Every case is different, and it depends on the specific facts of each case. Generally, when dealing with serious injury cases, a person will continue to recover for 18-24 months. It is after this period of recovery that the medical professionals involved will provide a prognosis for the future and describe all of the limitations associated with the injury. Armed with these medical opinions, we are able to assess the fair value of all of the damages in a serious injury case.

How to claim for whiplash after a car accident?

The claim for whiplash after an accident is the same as for any other injury. The first step is speaking with a lawyer and discussing the best steps to start a claim for accident benefits, and if necessary, a lawsuit for your damages.

Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?

For those that have suffered serious or catastrophic injuries, the answer is yes. You should take the opportunity to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer for a free initial consultation to understand your rights and obligations following a car accident.


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