Oatley Vigmond Personal Injury Law Firm 1-866-269-2481

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you or a family member has been seriously injured, a personal injury case can seem overwhelming. The Oatley Vigmond team will help you through the process. Here, our personal injury lawyers provide context about the process, and what to expect.

You don’t have to pay anything to hire a lawyer. Oatley Vigmond charges a contingency fee, which means that we charge a percentage of whatever you, the client, recovers. Our firm covers all the expenses required to build up the case. You don’t pay anything unless your case is successfully resolved.

When your case settles, or after a successful verdict, Oatley Vigmond charges a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the amount recovered.

The amount of the contingency fee depends upon the type of case you have. In most cases, the maximum contingency fee that is charged on settlement is 30% of the amount recovered. In medical malpractice cases, which tend to be complicated, the maximum contingency fee that is charged on settlements is 35%. In cases that proceed to trial, the maximum contingency fee that is charged is 35% of the amount recovered.

For more information on contingency fees, please refer to the Law Society of Ontario’s online guide, Contingency Fees: What You Need To Know.

When choosing a lawyer, research their experience, meet with them, and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. Have you taken a case to trial? What’s your largest settlement? Will you be working on my case personally? You want to walk away from that meeting with a strong level of comfort and confidence in that individual. If you don’t have that, you don’t have the right lawyer.

Complex cases involving multiple parties can take longer to resolve. The type of injury is also relevant to how long it will take to resolve your case. No two cases are the same and each case must progress at its own pace. Oatley Vigmond tries to stress the importance of being patient: you only have one opportunity to properly resolve a personal injury case.

We often get asked this question by clients who have been injured either as a pedestrian or as a passenger travelling in a vehicle, usually because they don’t own their own vehicle and therefore don’t have an insurance policy. It’s important to retain a lawyer who knows the intricacies of insurance law to ensure that you have access to important benefits as soon as possible.

At Oatley Vigmond, our accident benefit specialists used to work within the insurance industry and know the ins and outs of the system better than anyone. They will guide your accident benefit claim; that can mean liaising with the insurance company or submitting all of your required forms so that you receive payment promptly and can focus on whatever you need for your recovery.

We make sure you have the right people involved your case so you can heal. Oatley Vigmond can help you find the right treatment, whether that be an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, or perhaps a social worker. We’ve worked with these people for years and we’ve seen the results of their work, so we know who is going to help you in your recovery.

When injured in a slip and fall, it’s important to get medical attention immediately—even if your injuries don’t seem significant. Once you have the medical attention you need, you should contact a lawyer. For slips and falls, there is only a short timeline to contact the person who owns the property on which you fell. Not contacting them within the timeframe can complicate your claim later on.

Medical malpractice litigation is unlike any other type of litigation. It’s highly specialized. You need someone who knows the field, knows the doctors, and knows the medicine. The most important thing for someone who thinks they may have a medical malpractice claim is to find a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer—someone with experience in the field and who knows what it takes to win those cases.

Insurance companies will settle more fairly with lawyers who have extensive trial experience and a reputation for taking cases to trial and winning those cases. Trials can be costly and risky, and an insurance company that decides not to settle a case before trial may end up having to pay twice the amount of money. Choose a personal injury lawyer that is respected by judges, other lawyers, and most importantly by the insurance companies.

If you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision and can no longer work, you have access to accident benefits through your own insurer. Accident benefits provide coverage for a number of things, including income replacement. These benefits are payable regardless of who is at fault. If you are injured as a result of somebody else’s negligence, there may also be lost income paid to you when the litigation concludes through settlement or trial.

If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident and need to commence a lawsuit but the other driver doesn’t have an insurance policy, you would still sue them—but your own auto insurance company would respond to that claim and pay it out. Rest assured that even in situations where the other driver does not have auto insurance, there are protections in place for situations exactly like this.

At Oatley Vigmond our clients are our number one priority. Throughout the litigation process we like to make sure that you’re informed from start to finish. Regardless of whether your case goes to trial or not, from the very beginning we treat your case as if it is and prepare accordingly. We want to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

After you seek medical attention for a marine or offroad accident injury, consider consulting a lawyer. Every case is unique and often depends on the type of vehicle involved, like a golf cart, snowmobile, jet ski, boat, or e-bike. There may be insurance that applies to these vehicles and benefits payable to you. There may also be an at-fault party responsible for having caused the injury and those entities may be insured.

Probably not. In fact, most cases never go to trial. But if your case is one that does go to trial, you want to make sure that you have a team with a track record of successful cases tried. Oatley Vigmond has a solid track record of success at trial; if you’re looking for a lawyer with a lot of trial experience, you’ll find them here.

Two factors dictate how much your case is worth: one is whether there’s liability on another party and the other is damages. There are usually three kinds of damages: pain and suffering, loss of income, and cost of care. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, then the compensation you’re entitled to is the amount you would have made if you weren’t injured.

Personal injury lawyers in Ontario usually work off "contingency fee agreements". Under contingency fee agreements, lawyers take a percentage of an award or settlement. Usually this means that lawyer's do not get paid until there is a successful award or settlement. This arrangement allows individuals to advance a lawsuit, without paying a lawyer upfront.

Personal injury lawyers in Ontario usually charge a fee of 20-30%, with some charging more. There is no limit to the contingency fee percentage in Ontario. But lawyers cannot charge a contingency fee that is more than what the client receives at the end of the case. 

You can sue for emotional distress in Ontario. But proving emotional distress is more difficult than proving a physical injury.

There is no universal amount that an individual can recover for emotional distress. The value of a claim involving emotional distress depends on the circumstances. 

Emotional distress is more difficult to quantify, compared to physical injuries. Consideration to emotional distress is given in an assessment of the total value of a claim. Emotional distress is considered as part of a claim for general damages. Psychological distress can impact an individual's ability to work, care for themselves, and the need for future care. 

The “Golden Years Doctrine” acknowledges the unique impact of injuries on older individuals. The doctrine also acknowledges the value attached to the later years in life. When applied, the doctrine may justify a higher award for general damages.

The British Columbia Superior Court has considered the doctrine at length. In Ontario, there has been less discussion of the doctrine.

In Chow v Schuler, 2014 BCSC 309, the Court writes that a higher award may apply where an injury “takes away the ability to do a favorite activity during those precious years”. 

In Fata v. Heinonen, 2010 BCSC 385 the Court writes that “retirement years are special years for they are at a time in a person’s life when he realizes his own mortality.  When someone who has always been physically active loses his physical function in these years, the enjoyment of retirement can be severely diminished, with less opportunity to replace these activities with other interests in life.  Further, what may be a small loss of function to a younger person who is active in many other ways may be a larger loss to an older person whose activities are already constrained by age.”

Other decisions are less supportive of the doctrine. The Court has also held the age of an individual should not be a factor and that an older age would lower general damages.

The length of a personal injury claim is dependent on the specific details of each case. A personal injury claim can resolve in as little as a year after an accident. But, it can sometimes take over 5 years to resolve the claim. The details of the accident, the injuries suffered, and the lasting impact determine the claim's length.

In most cases a lawsuit must begin by the second anniversary of the date of the accident. From the start of a lawsuit, it normally takes 2-3 years to settle the claim. Sometimes, it takes longer.

Most personal injury claims settle before trial. Whether a claim is ready to settle, depends on whether there is enough evidence to prove the lasting impact of the injuries and impairments. A claim may settle faster if the injuries, details of the accident, and lasting impacts are clear. If there are issues that the parties cannot agree on, such as the amount of future care required or the income loss value, the claim may take longer.

It is important to allow your lawyers to build the case, to ensure the best settlement.

It is possible to claim for lost wages, if as the result of an injury there has been an impact on an individual's ability to work or earn money. A loss of income claim includes losses up to the date of settlement and projected future income loss.

Some considerations in assessing an income loss claim include:

  • attempts to return to work;
  • education;
  • employment history;
  • career goals;
  • age;
  • whether there are any other jobs that the individual can do post-injury;
  • the receipt of benefits such as long-term disability, income replacement benefits, and CPP-D.  

General damages compensate for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress, caused by an accident.

In Motor vehicle accident cases, general damages are available if there is proof of a permanent serious disfigurement or a permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function.

General damages are less precise to quantify. Lawyers and Judges consider the value of general damages in previous and similar cases, when assessing the appropriate value of general damages in each case.

In 1978, the largest award for pain and suffering claims (general damages) in Ontario was set at $100,000.00. With inflation, in 2024, this cap is set at $448,603.35.

The highest award amount for the most serious of cases. It is rare to receive an award at that amount. Lawyers and Judges consider the value of general damages in previous and similar cases, when assessing the appropriate value of general damages in each case.

A small percentage of all personal injury cases go to trial. Most claims settle outside of Court.

Many cases settle at mediation. Mediations are mandatory in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor. In other regions, parties usually agree to mediate, although it is optional. Mediations are often held 2-3 years into the lawsuit. There can be more than one mediation for a claim, at any point. Many other cases settle at a pre-trial conference, held by a Judge, closer to trial.

A claim can settle at any point from the date of the accident up to during a trial. An accident benefits claim cannot settle in the first year of an accident.

It is important to allow your lawyers to build the case, to ensure the best settlement.

There is no average settlement offer during a mediation. The settlement offers depend on the circumstances of each case.

Usually, all parties will make an opening offer much higher or much lower than their bottom line.

Mediation allows the parties to consider risks and find a good compromise. Through the mediator, the parties can try to negotiate a fair deal.

There is no universal or good settlement amount in a personal injury claim. A good settlement depends on the circumstances of each case and the needs of each party.

When evaluating a claim for settlement, lawyers will consider many factors, such as the individual's recovery, the ability to work, the ability to carry out daily activities, the ability to maintain interests and hobbies, and future care needs. Later in a claim, lawyers will often hire experts to assist them in determining the total value of the claim. Lawyers will also consider the risks associated with the claim, such as who is at fault for the accident and pre-existing health conditions.

It is important to allow your lawyers to build the case to ensure the best settlement. You need an experienced lawyer, preferably with trial experience, to guide you on the settlement value of your claim.

Every personal injury claim is different. There is no universal or good mediation settlement. A good settlement depends on the circumstances of each case and the needs of each party.

A good mediation settlement fairly compensates an individual for their injuries and the lasting impact of an accident.

A good mediation settlement considers past and future losses and needs.

A good mediation settlement also considers the risks of each case and the chances of success at a trial.

A good mediation settlement often comes with some compromise of all parties.

You need an experienced lawyer, preferably with trial experience, to guide you on the settlement value of your claim.

Who pays for a mediation often depends on the result of the mediation.

Who pays for the mediation is usually outlined in a form called an “agreement to mediate”.

When the claim settles, the paying party will usually pay the cost of the mediation. Where there is no settlement, the parties will usually split the cost of the mediation. If there is no settlement, the cost of the mediation will go towards the disbursements on the file. When a settlement happens, or after a successful trial, the opposing party will pay this back.

The Plaintiff will not have to pay out-of-pocket to attend the mediation.