Category: FAQ

Can Clarke Law help me collect disability benefits from CPP?

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.

The accident happened in the US or in another province, can a personal injury lawyer still help me sue?

If you were injured during an accident in another province or in the US, a personal injury lawyers can still help you. However, there must be a connection between the jurisdiction (Ontario) and your claim and having the claim in Ontario must be reasonably fair to the defendant as well. This connection can include your residency in Ontario itself and/or the medical treatment you received in an Ontario hospital for the injuries you sustained in the accident in question.

For the defendant, the circumstances are different. Each case is different and different factors need to go be considered and weighed together in order for the trial to take place in Ontario.

Some of these factors include:

  • Inquiring as to whether the establishment of jurisdiction in Ontario would result in any considerable unfairness to the person(s) you are suing. The court must consider whether an out-of-province defendant is covered by an insurance policy that responds to claims made in Ontario. If that is the case, then the burden of defense falls on the insurer rather than the defendant him/herself.
  • What would be fair to you would also be considered. The court must be fair to the plaintiff in determining whether it would be significantly unfair for you to participate in an out-of-province court as opposed to your home jurisdiction. Also, if you are still suffering from injuries, the court would recognize that it would be inconvenient for you to litigate elsewhere.
  • Other parties must be taken into consideration. This includes witnesses, any law enforcement who appeared on the scene of the accident, or emergency professionals. If the core of action occurred in another province or country, the courts are more wary of assuming jurisdiction. This doesn’t mean it’s not possible, however.
  • If it is a cross-border case, the court must consider international standards and jurisdiction rules not only in Ontario but in the defendant’s location. The court can consider and recognize agreements Canada is involved in.

In short, the courts must take everything into consideration into deciding whether or not Ontario should assume jurisdiction.


If the Ontario court decides to assume jurisdiction over the case, the next step is to determine if there is another forum that is more ideal for entertaining the action. A list of several factors has been developed by the courts that may be considered in deciding the most appropriate forum. These factors include:

  • The location of the evidence and key witnesses.
  • The location of most of the parties involved.
  • Whether or not turning down jurisdiction will prevent the plaintiff the chance of a legitimate juridical advantage that would be available in domestic court
  • Contractual provisions that specify core jurisdiction or applicable law
  • The weight of the applicable law compared to the factual questions requiring a decision
  • Keep in mind that regardless where the defendant resides and where the accident occurs, he or she still may have insurance coverage that meets claims made in Ontario.
  • Also, if the court proceedings take place in Ontario and the defendant ignores the suit (this is more common among defendants in the US), you still win by default.

As this is a complicated matter, you should seek free consultation with lawyers from Clarke Law. They can help you understand the circumstances and your options.

I had a slip and fall on City property. Can I get compensation?

If you’ve had a slip and fall on city property in Ontario, you might be entitled to compensation. It is important to note that there is a strict time limit to initiate a lawsuit for accidents occurring on city property. Unless you have a reasonable excuse, you must notify the city within 10 days of the accident.

Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere:

  • Icy sidewalks
  • Wet floors
  • Unrepaired roadways or sidewalks
  • Parking lots
  • Inside of businesses or stores
  • Escalators

What are the steps you should take if you have slipped or tripped on city property or a highway?

Here are some guidelines to help you:

  • If you are injured, go to the doctor immediately and have the injuries documented.
  • Take note of the exact location of the fall, the injuries you sustained, and the date and time of the incident.
  • When consulting a lawyer, provide them with this information and the doctor’s documentation.
  • Send the notice to the township or city clerk by registered mail within 10 days of the fall.
  • If you slipped due to ice or snow, take note of whether there was any sand or salt.
  • Know exactly what you tripped or slipped on, whether it was ice, a raised ledge, crack, obstruction of some type
  • Try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Keep the footwear you were wearing at the time of the incident.
  • If you have a camera on you, take pictures of the object you tripped or slipped on. Take pictures from different angles, and be sure to zoom in.

The 10 day rule is a requirement for claims against the city; it is not applicable to claims against private property owners.

If you successfully submit your notice to the city within 10 days, you generally have a two year limitation to start legal proceedings.

Even if you do everything correctly, you still might not be able to make a case, depending on whether the conditions fall under the category of gross negligence.

A few examples of gross negligence for which the city can be held responsible include:

  • If no effort was made to remove a layer of ice on a level sidewalk for two or more days.
  • If the city did not move quickly enough at a reasonable speed to correct the icy conditions, even knowing that under certain conditions, the temperature could drop to below freezing on the streets.
  • If snow and ice had been allowed to remain on a heavily travelled sidewalk for a period of time.
  • If it can be proven that no effort was made to repair rough surfaces or to fill cracks on sidewalks.

What kind of compensation can you seek? If you had to go to the hospital due to injuries sustained from your slip or fall, you might be able to receive compensation for medical expenses. You might also be able to receive compensation for wage loss if you were unable to go to work. Just remember: it’s always wise to seek consultation from experienced slip and fall lawyers in Toronto, such as those with Clarke Law, to find out if your claim is worth pursuing.

What kind of compensation can I get for a brain injury?

There are many factors involving a traumatic brain injury (TBI). If you plan on seeking compensation for your injury, it’s best that you hire a lawyer who has experience with brain injury cases. In order to get compensation, it must be proven that the injury was caused by the negligence of another person. TBI can vary from moderate to severe and lead to future problems, such as memory loss, personality changes, and depression. Persons with a TBI often cannot sustain their employment, require medical assistance, which can lead to financial problems.

Question: Finding Out How Much Your Claim is Worth?

The amount of money your claim is worth depends on numerous factors, including the financial impact of the injury, the seriousness of the injury, and your ability to work in the future. In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada set a maximum amount of money that can be awarded for general damages, and that is approximately $350,000. You might end up with less, depending on the seriousness of your TBI. General damage covers loss of enjoyment of life as well as pain and suffering.

There is also a compensation category for special damages, which includes more specified damages that you have sustained. A lawyer who specializes in this kind of personal injury from Clarke Law will help you to better understand compensation categories.

Question: Other Factors?

There are other factors to consider as well, such as the insurance adjuster and the possibility of a settlement. It is possible that your case can be resolved through an early settlement. While you might not get as much money, you might be spared from a lot of stress in the long run from not having to go to court.

If your case does end up going to trial, there will be an evidence gathering process. You and your legal team will have to prove that the other party is responsible for your TBI, and that you have experienced pain, suffering, and financial loss as a result. If your injury requires long term care, you might be able to receive compensation for future damages as well. Be prepared to gather all of the evidence, including medical records and doctors’ statements. Keep in mind that the other party will also seek evidence against you.

If you can prove your case, you might be able to receive compensation for any or all of the following:

  • Loss of employment and income
  • Loss of living expenses for not only yourself, but your family
  • Travel bills to and from the hospital or rehabilitation center
  • Medication
  • Hospital bills that your insurance won’t cover
  • Emotional distress

The laws concerning a brain injury may seem complex and intimidating, but if you feel that you deserve compensation, you should consult with a lawyer with relevant expertise and experience to find out if you have a good case.

What kind of personal injury claims can I make for “catastrophic” injuries?

A catastrophic injury can be defined as a life-altering injury that occurs very suddenly without any warning. This type of injury may affect you for the rest of your life. Not only does it affect you, it also affects your family, as you may require a lot of care and assistance.

Keep in mind that this kind of claim requires a lawyer who is experienced with complex personal injury litigation. Since a catastrophic injury is long-term, if not permanent, you might need compensation for future damages as well. For this reason, your choice of a lawyer is extremely important.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Amputation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Burn injury
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Paraplegia
  • Multiple facture
  • Quadriplegia
  • Serious injury to the limb(s)

Catastrophic Injury Causes

There are numerous causes for a serious personal injury, the most common of which are vehicle accidents, falls, construction accidents, and industrial related accidents.

Other causes include:

  • Aviation accidents
  • Extreme sports
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Various workplace accidents
  • Assault
  • Fire
  • Defective products

Some of these causes really are accidents in which no one is at fault. If negligence can be proven, it is worthwhile to seek compensation.

Treatment and Personal Injury Claims

Proper medical treatment is essential, no matter what type of injury you have. In addition to initial medical care, you may require frequent visits, surgeries, and follow-up treatments in the years to come. In many cases, this type of injury causes permanent disability, which can ultimately lead to financial problems. A catastrophic injury is not necessarily just physical, either, it can lead to personality changes, learning problems, memory loss, and psychological disorders.

When personal injury claims are made, your lawyer will work with life care planners, doctors, homecare providers, and other medical experts to determine the extent of your injuries and estimate your future medical needs. Understanding catastrophic injuries and the complexities involved is essential in ensuring that you are fully compensated.

With the right lawyer, you might be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses for the initial treatment as well as future treatments
  • Short-term and long-term care
  • Emotional distress such as anxiety, PTSD and depression
  • Lost wages from being unable to work
  • Projected future costs
  • Prescriptions
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Pain and suffering

It isn’t always easy to prove that the other party is at fault, especially when your injury occurred from an accident. You and your team must be able to prove that your injury really is a result from another person’s negligence, and that the injury would not have otherwise occurred had they not been negligent.

It is in your best interest to make personal injury claims with a lawyer who has experience dealing with your specific type of catastrophic injury. It’s recommended that you seek consultation with Clarke Law.

How do I know that I am getting the best injury lawyers in Toronto?

Becoming injured due to another person’s negligence can be very devastating, physically, emotionally, and financially. If you are considering legal action, you need to work with good personal injury lawyers who can help you receive the compensation you need. However, it’s important that you choose a qualified lawyer with experience so that the process goes as smoothly as possible. How do you know how to find the best injury lawyers in Toronto?

There are a number of factors to consider when hiring a lawyer. You need to work with somebody who can help you achieve the maximum compensation possible for your injury.

Here are some guidelines to get you started.

  • When evaluating a law firm, find out if they give free consultations. You should be under no obligation to sign up with them.
  • Make sure they have experience dealing with cases similar to your own. They should specialize in your specific type of injury. If it’s a law firm, make sure that you are assigned a lawyer who is knowledgeable about your injury and the types of treatments it involves. Some injuries are more difficult to litigate than others, since the symptoms might not be as obvious.
  • Do a bit of research on the lawyer or firm you are thinking about working with. Go online to read more about the law firm in question.
  • Find out if they have a network of community healthcare providers they can call upon to join your team. If the case goes to trial, you will need doctors and other medical professionals on your side.
  • Ask a lawyer how he/she thinks your case should be handled. How much participation would be required of you in the case? How will he/she keep you informed? Good communication is essential. The lawyer you hire should not be handling several cases at once. You should be able to get a hold of him/her whenever you need.
  • Make sure your lawyer is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Keep in mind that the law in Ontario allows for a contingency fee. This is the lawyer’s fee that is based upon the percentage of your total recovery amount, which is approximately 20%, although it may vary depending on factors such as the risks and complexities associated with the case.

If possible, visit the office in person for your consultation. How friendly are the lawyers? Do they seem genuinely concerned about your injury during the consultation? Do they seem interested in your case? Don’t work with any lawyers who make you feel uncomfortable.

Clarke Law meets all of the criteria of a good personal injury lawyer.

Won’t hiring a personal injury law firm in Toronto cause me more stress than I’m already having?

If you have never been involved in a lawsuit before, you might be feeling nervous about consulting lawyers and pursuing a claim for your personal injury. While the prospect of a lawsuit may seem stressful, hiring a personal injury lawyer can reduce your stress and assist you with your case,

Any type of lawsuit can be stressful, and if you’re already experiencing pain and stress from an injury, you might be worried that going to trial might make you feel even more stress. Knowing in advance what to expect, and what will be required of you, will help reduce the amount of stress you experience.

There are some common misconceptions about acquiring the services of a lawyer and making a personal injury claim. For instance, many people are afraid that if they hire a lawyer, it will be more difficult for the case to settle. This isn’t true. In fact, acquiring the services of a good personal injury law firm, such as Clarke Law Personal Injury Lawyers, will increase the chances of it settling your case.

Another misconception is that retaining a lawyer might affect the way that the insurance adjuster handles your case. This isn’t true, either: you are still entitled to compensation, even if you have legal representation.

It’s important that you document every aspect of the incident as possible. Keep track of all of your symptoms and medication. Hopefully you have pictures of the scene right after the incident occurred. Your lawyer will obtain information of all of the witnesses and emergency personnel.

Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations concerning personal injury claims. It’s typically two years from the date of the incident. You need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible so that you’ll have more time to gather the evidence and documentation. The more time you have, the less stressful the process will be.

Even if you don’t think you want to deal with the stress of starting a lawsuit, it is in your best interest to consult a personal injury law firm. After all, a consultation with Clarke Law is free. The lawyers at Clarke Law will help you determine if your case can be settled and what your chances are for receiving the compensation you need.

What if my injury was not physical? What if it was psychological (stress)… can a personal injury lawyers still help me?

Assessing psychological trauma is not easy, but that does not mean that it cannot be done. In Canada, courts recognize that psychological injury and stress come in degrees. It is possible for personal injury lawyers to help you if you are experiencing extreme stress and anxiety due to the fault of another.

Individuals involved in traumatic incidents are at a high risk for developing various psychological conditions, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Prolonged mental stress and the physical symptoms it causes
  • Panic and/or anxiety disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Intense fear

All of these psychological disorders can cause a disruption in your daily life just like a physical injury. For example, psychological disorders can lead to unemployment, due to the fact that psychological injury makes it difficult to focus on work. Psychological disorders and conditions can even lead to thoughts of suicide.

While stress and depression were typically attached to the physical injuries in a lawsuit in the past, it’s becoming more and more common for them to be tried on their own.

Question: How would I be Proving my Case?

In order to win the case, you must be able to prove that you truly are suffering from psychological injury and that important aspects of your life are affected as a result from the psychological injury.

There are a few ways you can prove your claim:

You might be able to use physical evidence as proof, as many emotional disorders lead to physical symptoms, such as chronic headaches, ulcers, fatigue, a poor complexion, lack of sleep, changes in eating habits, and/or weight loss. Keep a record of all of these and make sure your lawyer knows about them.

You need to point out the duration of your emotional pain, especially if you’ve been experiencing it since the incident. You might need co-workers, family, and friends to testify that your personality has noticeably changed.

You will need documentation by a psychologist or doctor. There should be professional support for every claim. The more evidence and documentation you can provide, the better your chances will be.

Question: Intentional Infliction vs. Accidental Distress

The intention of the other party plays a huge role in these cases. Did they purposely cause you emotional distress by their actions and behavior? Or is your distress due to an accident? Even if it was an accident, you still might have a case if their negligence can be proven. Given the complexity in proving psychological injuries, it is best to hire a personal injury lawyer.

Question: Determining if You Have a Case?

Have all of your detailed notes prepared when contacting a lawyer. Find out what your chances are to prove that the emotional distress and related symptoms really are connected to the incident and that the other party is responsible for that incident.

If a lawyer agrees to take on your case, there will be a discovery period, during which time all of your information, including medical history, will be investigated by the other party’s legal team.

A lawsuit can go on for more than two years, during which time you will experience even more stress. It may or may not be worth the energy, especially if you are not certain whether or not you will win. Consult with a personal injury lawyer who have a lot of experience with cases such as yours.


Can I hire a brain injury lawyer in Toronto on behalf of a loved one?

Whether it’s you or a loved one, a sudden brain injury is a life changing event. If you feel that another party is responsible, whether due to intentional harm or negligence, you might be eligible for compensation. This is also true if you are filing on behalf of a family member. If a loved one is not in the right state of mind due to the incident, you can consult with a brain injury lawyer to learn about your family’s options.

Question: Who Can Make a Claim?

In any claim that involves a life-threatening injury, it’s essential that your family speaks to an experienced lawyer to determine which relatives are eligible to make the claim for compensation. Typically, those relatives include parents or legal guardians, grandparents, and spouses. A parent or legal guardian must make the claim if the individual with the brain injury is a minor.

Question: What Expenses Can Your Family Seek Compensation For?

The injured party can pursue both monetary damages as well as compensation for future expenses. If your loved one has passed away, you can file a wrongful death suit. Depending on the specifics of the case, you and your loved one may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Short-term and long-term treatment expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Reduced earning capacity and lost income
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Property damage

In order to receive compensation, your lawyer must prove that:

  • Your loved one has a brain injury
  • The brain injury was not pre-existing
  • The brain injury a result of negligent actions and/or recklessness of the other person(s) or entity

It’s also helpful to demonstrate how much your family has suffered due to the injury, both emotionally and financially.

Question: What role does the specialist doctor play?

Right from the start, the specialist doctors involved in treating the brain injury patient play an important role. It’s important that you and your loved one follow the advice of the specialist doctors, since he or she will be testifying if the case goes to trial. During doctor visits, make detailed notes on everything the specialist doctor says. The injured party should follow the specialist’s recommendations and take the medicine exactly as it is prescribed.

Question: What role does the family doctor play?

Right from the start, the family doctor will play an extremely important role. The family doctor is the only medical physician who would have seen you prior to the accident and know your medical history first hand. As such, he or she will be the most important witness on your behalf at trial. It’s important that you and your loved one follow the advice of the doctors, but also keep the family doctor informed, since he or she will be testifying if the case goes to trial. During doctor visits, make detailed notes on everything the family doctor says.

Question: What about wrongful death claims?

If a loved one dies as a result of a brain injury caused due to negligence, whether from an irresponsible driver or due to deliberate acts of others, it will need to be proven that this was indeed the cause. It will also have had to cause measurable damages, such as financial problems for the surviving loved ones if the deceased was the primary earner. If minors are involved, a guardian may be appointed to look after the well-being and interest of the children and their future.

Question: What does evidence gathering involve?

Both sides will be required to gather evidence. Many people will be involved in this process, including you, the injured person, doctors, and witnesses. Keep in mind that the other party will try to gather evidence that they can use in their favour. Pictures of the incident should have been taken as soon as it occurred. If they are able, the injured should take notes of the symptoms they experience every day, such as headache intensity, frequency, and pain. If not, then you must try to take the notes on their behalf. Keep track of every single expense involved in the case. Witnesses should be interviewed as soon as possible by your counsel.

To learn more about your family’s options, talk to a personal injury lawyer today.

What can a lawyer do for me if I have had a brain injury as a result of an accident?

A traumatic brain injury can be very devastating and potentially life threatening. It affects not only the injured individual, but his or her entire family. Even non-life threatening brain injuries can have a long recovery process. There are many medical expenses that go into the medical care of a person with a brain injury.

The amount of compensation you can receive from a lawsuit depends on a number of factors, including the areas of your life that have been affected. For example, if the brain injury has led to other health problems that make it difficult to do the type of work required in your occupation, you may be entitled to receive more compensation.

Financial compensation awarded is typically aimed at covering expenses such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical care through the recovery process.
  • Home caregivers
  • Psychiatric care and counseling
  • Expenses that are not covered by existing health insurance
  • Funeral expenses
  • Travel expenses related to medical care
  • Support services for injured person’s relatives

When seeking compensation, it’s important that you keep track of all expenses related to the injury. This includes receipts and medical records. Also, have your family members keep track of all of the financial losses they experienced while helping you recover.

Question: What are Future Care Expenses?

If a qualified doctor specializing in brain injuries does not foresee you making a full recovery, you might be able to receive compensation for future expenses. In order to receive compensation, you must prove damages for future care costs. For example, will you be unable to live completely independent in the future? How much care will you require? How long will it take for a full recovery? You must demonstrate that there is a real risk of incurring more loss in the future.

Question: Why Choosing a Lawyer who specialize in Brain Injury?

It’s important that you choose a lawyer who has experience dealing with clients with brain injuries. They must be knowledgeable about the mechanics of traumatic brain damage and familiar with the latest brain imaging techniques such as MRIs and topographical brain mapping. The lawyer you choose should also be able to retain appropriate medical experts who are up to date with developments in the field of brain injury. The more experts you can have on your side, the better.

The lawyer’s goal is to achieve the highest amount of compensation possible for his/her client. This is vitally important, as the quality of care you receive depends on how compensation you can receive. For this reason, choose the best brain injury lawyers possible, such as those at Clarke Law.