When your injuries from the accident do not resolve, you may be entitled to disability benefits from Canada Pension Plan (CPP). If you have problems obtaining compensation from CPP, the lawyers at Clarke Law, are trained and experienced in helping clients receive the support they need from all the appropriate channels. The first time you have to deal with compensation applications and benefit policies can be confusing, daunting, and stressful. Having a personal injury lawyer working with you will make the journey easier. Your lawyer will relieve your stress by handling the difficult correspondence on your behalf.
Question: How does CPP work?
CPP is a disability benefit that Canadians pay into with every pay cheque we receive. If, for some reason, you are unable to continue working, you can apply to withdraw from CPP in the form of monthly support payments. CPP has different qualifying requirements than other support systems, so qualifying for something like the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) will not guarantee you will qualify for CPP. It is possible to receive payments from more than one benefit program at once.
Question: How do I qualify for CPP?
In order to qualify for CPP, you will have to prove that you have paid into the Plan for the minimum period, as set by CPP, which varies depending on the amount of years you’ve been employed. CPP defines “disability” in a specific way, outlining that your injury is both severe and prolonged; this means that you are unable to return to work for an extended period of time because your injury is so serious. Each case is examined individually to determine who qualifies. Your lawyers will be able to help you understand the definitions of the terms, the specifics as they relate to your specific case, and how to fill out all of the necessary paperwork.
Question: Will CPP be affected by the other forms of compensation I’m receiving?
The names and purposes of the various support systems in Ontario can be confusing. Since you will likely be applying for support from several of them after an accident or the onset of an injury, having the help of a lawyer will be a major asset. Since it is possible to receive benefits from more than one provider at a time, you will want to know how they will affect one another. Your personal injury lawyer can help you with this. Often, when applying to your own insurance provider, you will be asked to file a claim with CPP or ODSP. If you qualify for CPP or ODSP, the amount might be offset from what you receive from your own insurance. This could lighten your premiums in the future. Where some benefit systems complement one another, some are completely disconnected, and you may receive much more compensation by applying to more than one. If you receive disability support from CPP, it will not negatively affect what you receive from CPP upon retirement. Given the complicated nature of these systems, having a lawyer on your side is your best bet.
Question: How will Clarke Law help me with return to work (RTW) obligations?
The team of lawyers at Clarke Law can guide you regarding your obligations of return to work (RTW) during your disability period. This is also known as an obligation to mitigate one’s losses. For starters, Clarke lawyers will let you know what your obligations are with respect to your employer, and what responsibilities your employer has to you as an injured or disabled individual by an accident. Clarke Lawyers know the rules about how you must be accommodated, and how you need to comply with your employer, or WSIB policies. Because there are numerous stipulations with respect to RTW, you will want someone who knows the procedures on your side.
Question: How will having a workers’ compensation lawyer affect the timing of my RTW?
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed with your RTW obligations. We will be able to communicate with your employer, if necessary, to make sure you get the most fair accommodations or modifications. It is crucial that you do not return to work sooner than your health can support, so if you are being pressured to return too hastily, your lawyer can negotiate the right timing of your return. Similarly, if your employer is trying to terminate your position and hire to replace you, your lawyer can help ensure that your employer follows all of their legal requirements for keeping your job.
Question: If I think I can handle this process myself, is it necessary that I hire a lawyer?
While it is not required that you have legal representation for this type of process, you will benefit from the wisdom and advice from your lawyers. Taking time off work can be stressful for so many reasons, as you deal with all of the medical appointments, paperwork, phone calls, and details of your leave and your RTW. You may not know what your rights are, and if you agree to terms that are not in your best interest, you may exacerbate your injury by returning too soon, or performing duties you shouldn’t be doing, all because your employer pushed for terms that aren’t good for you. Having lawyers on your side will relieve the burden of going through it alone, and ensure that your needs are met in your RTW obligations.
Question: Do I need to report every detail of my injury?
Being honest and forthcoming is necessary in receiving the right compensation. There may be a detail of your circumstance that seems unimportant, but can make a big difference to the compensation you receive. Also, if you are receiving benefits, and then your employer finds out you hid a certain detail, your support can be cut off and you may need to pay it back. It is crucial that you are open and honest, and communicate regularly with your employer and any relevant case workers regarding your injury and your support.
Question: What would a compensation lawyer advise regarding social media?
Your lawyer will advise to think twice before posting anything online that may impact your case. Assume that everything you post, tweet, or share is easily accessed by your employer, insurance company and a tortfeasor (negligent party). If you write anything that is relevant to your injury and your case, it can be misinterpreted and used against you. Your lawyer should not advise you to be secretive, but to be thoughtful and careful about what goes online, as it may negatively affect your ability to get support throughout your injury leave.
Question: What should I do to ensure I get the right compensation after my injury?
The best way you can be sure to get the right benefits after an accident injury is to document everything, from pain severity, symptoms or medication, to appointments and bills. The more details you have written down, the better, and the sooner you document them, the more accurate your claim will be. Your personal injury lawyers will advise you to participate in all of the rehabilitation procedures written out by your caseworkers, so that you recovery as quickly as possible, and your support is maintained throughout your leave.
Question: Do I need to contact a personal injury compensation lawyer if either my child or I have been bitten by a dog?
If you, or someone in your family, has been bitten by a dog, you are likely entitled to compensation, which you will be significantly more likely to get if you contact a personal injury lawyer following the event. Immediately after a dog bite, you need to seek medical attention for the wound, but the next thing you’ll want to do is speak with someone at Clarke Law regarding compensation. You will also need to know the name and phone number of the person who owns the dog, as they should be held responsible. If you do not know the person, ask the people who witnessed the bite if they know the dog owner. Document all of the details of the event, just as you would after a car accident.
Question: How much compensation will I receive after being bitten by a dog?
The amount of the award you receive will depend on the severity of the injury, and whether or not you have legal representation. Hopefully, with the right medical attention, the bite will not become infected, and you will not contract any diseases from the dog. If it does become diseased or infected, though, the damages are considerably higher, meaning your compensation should increase. The bills accrued as a result of the dog bite will factor into the award. In Ontario, damages can include psychological trauma, too, as well as pain and suffering, and loss of wages, just like in any other kind of injury case.
Question: If I hire a lawyer, does that mean I have to sue?
Just because you speak with a lawyer, does not mean you are necessarily going to sue the owner of the dog. However, having a lawyer on your side, who knows your rights and will negotiate on your behalf, will be in your best interest. Most personal injury lawyers, including those at Clarke Law, work on a contingency basis. In most cases, contacting a lawyer gives you peace of mind and support more than anything.
Question: How long do I have to decide whether or not I want to sue?
In Ontario, you have until two years after the injuring event to file a lawsuit. While it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, you have up to two years to issue your lawsuit in court. If the severity of the injury, or the damages caused as a result, to do not materialize for quite some time after you are bitten, you have that time to gather the necessary information and file your suit.
Question: How can I get the best settlement for my injury? (Best Settlements for Injury)
The cases that do not recover as much compensation as they deserve, have one issue in common: lack of accurate, consistent, and prolonged medical evidence compiled by injured party’s treating physicians. It’s not enough to hire an expert for an opinion. Any lawyer can hire an expert for a medical opinion. However, if that opinion is not backed up by substantial medical record of properly investigated symptoms, that expert opinion is not going to withstand the scrutiny of the insurance company or opposing counsel.
It is hard to know exactly how much of a settlement you are entitled to after being injured. There are so many factors that determine the outcome of the case. Each case is completely unique, so there is no absolute formula for calculating settlements. The way to ensure you get the best settlement for your injury is to hire a lawyer as early in the process as possible. Your lawyer will know roughly what amount of damages you are entitled to, and will know how to negotiate for the best settlement possible.
Question: What should I do to help my case?
After hiring a lawyer, you can be sure to keep detailed records of the injuring event or accident, all of your medical appointments and bills, the injury itself and all of the pain associated with it, and the medications you are on. Keeping good records is crucial for asserting your case and getting a settlement.
Question: Do all of my symptoms matter?
Every symptom associated with your injury is important to your case. Even if it seems minor, it could increase over time and become a serious matter, such as headaches. Also, emotional trauma can seem like a minor side-effect but can lead to major problems like depression and anxiety if left untreated. Keeping track of how your emotional symptoms are affecting you can play a big role in getting the settlement you deserve. Make notes of nightmares, panic attacks, troubles with sleep, and so on, as they may be important details that lead to you receiving the best settlement for your injury.
Question: What will my personal injury lawyer do to help me get the best settlement for my injury?
Your Clarke Law personal injury lawyer will help you come up with an estimate for your settlement. This will be based on your specific injury, and a lot of relevant details. It will also be based on past precedents of legal decisions similar to your own case. Having the estimate in mind will help you know when to reject and when to accept an offer. If the offers being made to you are unsatisfactory, your lawyer will be able to negotiate for you, even without filing a lawsuit, and will put pressure on the opposition to increase the offer. Insurance companies are tough, and may try to take advantage of you, if they think you have no support. By having a lawyer on your side, you will be able to show them that you know your rights, and will not accept anything less than what you deserve. You will want to cooperate and negotiate on friendly terms, but if the other side isn’t doing the same, asking your lawyer to assert some pressure may be the right thing to get them to offer more.
Question: Should I accept the first offer I receive?
Your Clarke Law personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you specifically on this matter, but in most cases, the first offer is not the best offer you can get. However, depending on what you and your lawyer have decided is appropriate, accepting an offer sooner rather than later can minimize stress as it will resolve the situation earlier on. It is up to you to know what you deserve, and how hard you want to fight to get the best settlement for your injury.
Question: How much compensation can a car crash victim get for pain and suffering? (Car crash victim)
As with any injury case, the compensation awarded to a car crash victim will depend on the severity of the damages caused in the accident. Pain and suffering awards in Ontario are based on a 1978 Supreme Court of Canada case and they depend on two specific conditions: the statutory deductible, and the injury threshold. Both conditions must be met for an award to be paid out.
Question: What is the statutory deductible?
If the award for damages is less than the deductible amount, it will not be paid out. In this case, the statutory deductible is $30,000.00, meaning that general awards for anything less than that are not paid. If an award is more than the deductible, the claim is paid out, minus the deductible: therefore, a $50,000.00 award will mean the claimant receives $20,000.00. If the award is more than $100,000.00, the deductible does not apply. This means that your pain and suffering claim will have to be quite substantial to actually receive anything from it.
Question: What is the injury threshold?
Sometimes referred to as the ‘verbal threshold’ or just, ‘threshold’, this stipulation is a specific way of qualifying the severity of the person’s injuries. Pain and suffering awards are only granted in Ontario if, a) someone has died in the accident, b) someone was permanently disfigured, or c) someone sustained serious loss or impairment to mental, physical, or psychological function, permanently. The court will consider how serious these damages are when deciding how much to award the car crash victim, or their family. If the threshold has been passed, and the amount is deemed higher than $30,000.00, you will receive a settlement.
Question: What is the maximum pain and suffering award for a car crash victim?
Canada’s legal system has placed caps on total awards, unlike in the United States, where awards may be well into the millions of dollars. The maximum award for pain and suffering in Ontario (and in Canada) is $350,000.00. This amount is 2015 equivalent and based on a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1978 awarding $270,000.00 to a full quadriplegic.
While you might be eligible to receive millions of dollars in other damages, you won’t receive that in pain and suffering. Depending on the extent and severity of the damages of your injuries, you may be eligible for other insurance payments, either from your own insurer, or the other party’s, or both. That being said, there are other means of compensation for losses beyond pain and suffering. Again, your lawyer can help you figure out what these awards might look like for a car crash victim.
In some cases, if the claim does not warrant an award, the plaintiff can be required to pay the defendant’s legal fees, for making them go through the unfruitful court procedure. For this reason, it is important to know when you have a case and when you don’t. Your injury lawyer can help you determine if it is worth going ahead with legal action, or if you will end up with nothing.
Question: What qualities should I look for in order to hire the best lawyer for my case? (Best lawyer)
There are several factors that will help you choose the best personal injury lawyer for your case. Finding the right lawyer specializing in personal injury and civil litigation can make a world of difference in the success and outcome of your lawsuit or settlement, so it is important to be sure you’re making the right decision before proceeding.
Question: What about education and knowledge?
Ensuring that your personal injury lawyer was educated at a reputable Law School is important. This information is generally accessible online. You should be able to find out where your lawyer attended school and when they graduated. Your n lawyer should also be knowledgeable on the type of case you have. Whether it is a workplace injury, a car accident, or some other civil suit, the best lawyer for you will be knowledgeable on the precedents and details of the kind of case you are bringing. Ask questions and let your lawyer demonstrate that they know the law with regards to your compensation suit.
Question: What about experience and success?
Just as your lawyer should be knowledgeable, they should have experience litigating the type of case you have. Ask how many cases they have handled, and to what success rate. Find out what types of settlements are common, and how they have been able to help clients in the past. You need to be confident that your personal injury lawyer will be able to deliver the best results possible.
Question: What about communication?
The best lawyer for your case will communicate with you openly and frequently. You should never have trouble getting in touch with your lawyer, or having your questions answered. Your lawyer should be forthcoming and honest with you about the status and details of your case, and what you should expect from it.
Question: What about comfort, trust, and empathy?
You should always feel you can trust your lawyer. It is important that you find someone you feel comfortable with, that they will do their best for you and your case. The best compensation lawyer will have empathy for what you’ve been through, and that should be evident in the way they deal with you. At Clarke Law, the associates understand the hardship that accompanies injury cases, and will be able to work with you to get through it.
Question: What kind of fees should I expect to pay?
Lastly, a good personal injury lawyer will be able to provide a free initial consultation, and work on your behalf on contingency meaning that you don’t pay until you receive compensation. You should not feel uncomfortable with the legal fees associated with getting the compensation you deserve. The best lawyer for you will put you at ease and relieve the stress of going through the painful ordeal that brought you to their office.
Question: What if English is not my first language? (Ukrainian and Polish Speaking Lawyers)
If you or a loved one need to consult with a Ukrainian or Polish speaking personal injury lawyer after a car accident (or any injury for that matter), you will be pleased to learn that Ms. Natalie Shykula-Clarke speaks fluent Ukrainian and Polish. Also, Ms. Joanna Paluszkiewicz, Associate Lawyer, speaks fluent Polish. Ms. Natalia Fioka, Paralegal, speak fluent Ukrainian.
How Clarke Law Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, there are likely many steps to go through before you can get compensation. If you are working in your second language, this can be especially difficult and stressful because there are so many parties to deal with from hospitals, to insurance companies, etc.
And even if your English is good, there will be a great deal of financial terminology, health terminology and legal language which you may not be familiar with. It helps to have a lawyer on your side who can make sure that you understand all the key elements about your case.
So if you’ve been injured, and need a Ukrainian or Polish speaking injury lawyer in Toronto, call us today for your free consultation.