Do I have to pay money upfront?
No, we only get paid at the end out of your settlement or court award. We pay for all of the expenses associated with running your file as the matter proceeds and then at the end this comes out of the insurance settlement or court award. If we don't get you a settlement or an award we don't charge you anything.
How long will my case take?
An average claim may take 2 years, but some resolve quicker, while some take much longer. It is not uncommon for claims to resolve in 18 months, but the most important thing is that you get the amount of compensation that you and your family deserve and that you are taken care of in the meantime. We can help with all of that.
The two most important factors that we cannot control are:
- How quickly you reach maximal medical recovery (your healing), and
- How the other side reacts to your case. If you heal quickly, we will have a good idea of what your future looks like, but if you heal slowly or have very complicated injuries then this will delay things.
In some cases, all of the necessary facts are known very quickly after an accident. In very serious injury, like spinal cord injury or brain injury, the defendant's available insurance limits are unlikely to be enough to pay for all your needs. Such cases often settle quickly.
It also depends how far you're willing to compromise. This is up to you; getting compensated for everything you have lost will take longer than settling for only part of it. We are prepared to go all the way if you need to.
Will I have to go to court?
Most of the time, no. The vast majority of cases settle. The Rules of Court in Ontario encourage settlement, but we always prepare to go to court. Because of this we have a reputation with insurance companies and they know we have what it takes to get you the maximum settlement and that we're not going to give in.
Even though most cases settle, it's important to be prepared to go to court. Each case must be prepared as though it were going to court. That way, if the defendant or his insurance company behave unreasonably, we can take your case through trial with ease and confidence. A trial is not something to be feared. In a few rare cases, it's the only road to justice. If it's necessary to take you down that path, we'll make the ride as comfortable and worry-free as possible. We'll do that by preparing from the beginning.
Should I speak to the other driver's insurance company?
No. Your own insurance company owes you a duty of utmost good faith. The other driver's insurance company owes you nothing. In fact, the other driver's insurance company owes him a duty to protect him by defending his case as best it can.
The Insurance Act requires you to tell the other driver that you may bring a claim as soon as possible. You should give notice that you might bring a claim within 120 days of the accident. Do that through your lawyer. We can help. Contact us now.
How much is my case worth?
Each case is unique and the type and amount of damages (money that a court awards for losses) available in each case are different. Your overall award depends on a lot of factors, including what your life was like before the accident, what your life is like now, and how much you lost or spent during your recovery. This includes time off work, medical bills, housekeeping, out of pocket expenses, and personal care.
For a more in-depth discussion of damages read our article about how much your case worth (put as live link to that page).
Can I sue for pain and suffering?
Yes. This is done through a claim for what is called general damages, and these damages compensate you for loss of enjoyment of life and the overall functional impact of your injuries.
Will I be able to contact you when I need you?
Yes. One of the most important aspects of a lawyer-client relationship is communication. Your most important job is to get better and to keep your lawyer updated on the impact of your injuries. Your lawyer and the rest of your team will keep you updated on the progress of your case as we work to get you maximum compensation.
If the accident was partly my fault, am I out of luck?
This is addressed in Questions of Fault. The short answer is: No.
My insurance company says my injuries are minor, but I still can't go back to work and I'm running out of funds.
Your injuries may have been classified under the Minor Injury Guidelines (MIG) when you were first injured. This sets a very low cap ($3,500) for all your benefits. Unfortunately, many people find that they run out of funds before their recovery is complete. It can be very difficult to get your insurance company to reclassify your injury. We can help you with that. We can also help you get more money for medical treatment from anybody who is at fault.
Contact Bergeron Clifford LLP
Let us answer your questions. Contact us at 877-391-2923 or fill out our online form to come and see us at our Whitby, Perth, Kingston or Ottawa office locations, or wherever is most convenient for you.