If you have been injured as a result of a car accident in Toronto or the GTA, the insurance companies will stop at nothing in their efforts to delay, deny or reduce your claim. Even though your automobile insurance contract is already heavily skewed in favour of the insurance company, that is not enough for them. The insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible for your claim. At some point during your claim, it is likely that your own automobile insurance company contest your entitlement to benefits. This generally does not happen right at the outset of a claim - insurance companies are too smart for that. The insurance company wants to gain your trust and confidence - they do not want you to get the advice of a car accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer. In our experience, it seems that most often, the insurance company will be very cooperative at the beginning of your claim. They may even send an adjuster out to see you at your home or hospital to collect a statement and obtain your signature on a number of forms. All the while, the insurance company will be collecting information about you, your history, background, and medical records. They will scour your records in search of opportunities to deny claims. If they are unable to obtain support from your treatment records and treating doctors, the insurance company will select its own doctors to review your file. They can also have you assessed by a doctor of their choice, all with the objective of justifying a denial of your claim. As such, it should come as no surprise that the insurance company will also hire someone to lurk in the shadows and spy on you. The insurance company will not tell you about these spy efforts and they will not need to obtain your consent - but they will spy for days on end, and follow you around in search of something that they can use to deny your claim. Most of the time, the insurance company comes up short in this effort - finding out simply that their insured is behaving entirely consistent with the reported injuries. Because that information does not help the insurance company, it is likely that they will not even record the activity. They certainly will not provide it to you, nor will they even tell you about the spy activities they have undertaken.
If you or loved one has been injured in a car accident in Ontario, consult a lawyer experienced in car accident claims. Call me for a Free Consultation, There is no obligation and the consultation is completely confidential.
In Ontario, the vast majority of personal injury and car accident cases settle without the necessity of having a trial. When a personal injury case does proceed to trial, most victims want their case decided by a jury rather than a judge alone. The right to a jury trial is very important because it allows the parties in a dispute to have their disputes settled and resolved by ordinary people in the community. While our judges are also fair and reasonable, for an injured victim there is generally greater peace of mind that a just and fair result has been achieved when the verdict is passed down by a group of their fellow citizens comprised of laypeople.
Unfortunately, in Ontario jury trials arising out of motor vehicle accident injuries, the people selected to decide the case (i.e. the jury) are not provided with all of the information. The Information that is withheld from the jury is, for the most part, for the benefit of large insurance companies. Settlements and verdicts in personal injury claims are almost always paid by insurance companies. Nonetheless, the insurance company seeks to remain invisible to the jury, and create the illusion that the individual defendant will also be a victim if the jury awards the injured person with full compensation.
Here are some of the top things that a jury is not allowed to know in the context of a Ontario car accident jury trial:
1. Insurance. The jury is never told that the defendant has insurance to pay for the claim. This is despite the fact that, in Ontario, automobile insurance is mandatory. Many, if not most, auto insurance policies provide for $1 million in liability coverage. Furthermore, it is the insurance company that hires and pays for the defense lawyer, litigation expenses, surveillance, expert reports, etc. It is the insurance company that decides whether or not to pay a claim or force a trial. Nonetheless, the insurance company defense strategy will include having the individual defendant paraded into the courtroom to sit there looking scared and worried about the outcome of the case. They do this so that the jury will believe that the individual defendant is also, in some way, a victim that has been dragged through a trial and litigation process. There is nothing further from the truth. The fact is, the individual defendant has had virtually no involvement in the case whatsoever. It is controlled and managed by the insurance company, their adjuster, and their defense lawyers. The insurance companies have in-house lawyers, and law firms that they routinely use to defend car accident cases. Nonetheless, insurance companies and their defense lawyers routinely try to mislead juries and make them think that the defendant has no insurance. The jury will never hear any mention of the defendant's insurance or the policy limits available.
2. The threshold. This is something that most people in Ontario have never even heard about. Thanks to the insurance industry lobby, victims that have been injured in car accidents are unable to obtain compensation for future medical expenses and pain and suffering unless, and only if, they are able to convince the judge that their injuries are serious and permanent. In a recent trial, a jury fairly and reasonably awarded a 66-year-old victim $75,000 for her pain and suffering. Nonetheless, after the jury verdict was rendered and the members of the jury were discharged, the judge made his own finding that the injuries were not serious and permanent. On that basis, the judge wiped out/erased the entire award for pain and suffering and for future medical. The jury was never told about the threshold and they had no direct input whatsoever on making any finding or recommendation on whether they believed that the victim in fact sustained a permanent and serious impairment. Nonetheless, even the judge acknowledged that the award of $75,000 must have meant that the jury believed that the victim's injuries were permanent and serious. At the end of the day, however, the jury finding was ignored by the judge.
The threshold, like so many other rules in car accident injury cases, exists for the sole purpose of protecting the profits of large insurance companies at the expense of victims. The insurance companies propagate the misconception that people bring frivolous claims in an effort to defraud insurance companies and drive up our premiums. That is such a crock. It's not the victims that are afraid to share all of the facts with the jury and let them decide the merits of a claim. The victim in a personal injury case is forced to divulge personal information about their lives, and medical history and treatment to a jury six strangers. The victim is subjected to surveillance and invasive medical examinations on behalf of the insurance company. The jury is made up of ordinary people and, one would expect that the six people could fairly decide whether a person deserves compensation or not. I certainly believe in the jury system, and feel that the jury can find the truth. I don't think that there is a lawyer in Ontario that would have the guts to bring a frivolous case in front of a jury. Let's get real, it's expensive to have a trial, pay for doctors and accountants to attend at trial to testify, etc. A lawyer that takes a case to trial has to absolutely believe in the merits of his case and client. But here's another point, the threshold only exists in car accident cases where the money on the line belongs to some massive insurance company. If you or I were in a dispute over money and brought our case the court, we wouldn't have the benefit of anything like the threshold - no one in is looking to protect your hard earned money.
3. The deductible. Here again the big insurance lobby has successfully managed to get a law that allows them to to save money at the expense of the victim. In short, the insurance company gets to deduct $30,000 from the pain and suffering awarded by the jury. Again, the jury is not allowed to hear or learn anything about the existence of this deductible. How can this be just and fair? At the end of the trial, the jury will be asked to decide how much the victim should be awarded for her pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. The jury will be left with the impression that the value they decide upon will actually be awarded to the victim. In reality, after the jury is discharged and sent home, the judge will apply the $30,000 deductible and enter a judgment accordingly. As such, where a victim is awarded $75,000 by the jury, the actual judgment will be reduced to $45,000. The jury is not allowed to know this because, obviously, the jury would likely increase the award in order to be fair to the victim at the expense of the insurance company.
As you can see, the rules that apply in car accident injury cases are heavily skewed in favor of protecting insurance companies and their profits.
Insurance company denied life insurance claim?Many people purchase life insurance policies to provide security and support for loved ones. Unlike most insurance policies, with life insurance the insurance company may perform underwriting when the claim is made rather than at the time of issuing the policy. As such, even though the life insurance policy may have been issued and all premiums paid, the life insurance company may perform a thorough review of the application forms and medical records of the deceased. Often, the insurance company will unjustifiably delay or deny paying life insurance proceeds.
Let an experienced Ontario life insurance lawyer review the life insurance policy and provide you with an opinion about your rights. There are deadlines in insurance law and, as such, the wait-and-see approach can be detrimental to your rights. If an insurance company is leading you on, delaying or denying your insurance claim, contact Iacobelli Law Firm for a FREE CONSULTATION.
According to early information released by police, a Nissan Pathfinder and Nissan Maxima collided at the intersection. The second car then hit the 25-year-old woman, who had been in the southeast area of the intersection. The woman was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Following the pedestrian collision, the driver of the Pathfinder fled the scene on foot, making this a hit and run accident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Toronto Police.
First and foremost, we sincerely hope that the young woman injured in this Toronto pedestrian accident will make a complete recovery from her injuries.
This has been a particularly tragic week for pedestrians in Toronto and the GTA. Unfortunately, when pedestrians are struck by cars and trucks, the outcomes are often catastrophic. Pedestrians and their family members do have rights to claim some of their losses following an accident. While the insurance claims process is probably the last thing anyone wants to think about following a serious accident, it is something that must be considered. Unfortunately, our auto insurance laws are complex and have time limits. Failing to act promptly can have significant consequences on your rights. After a serious accident, it is important to have a lawyer working with you to protect your rights and ability to access benefits and make claims for your losses.
Iacobelli Law Firm has a position available for a law clerk or paralegal with 0-5 years experience in Personal Injury Litigation. We will consider recent graduates and full-time and part-time applicants.
To learn more about this position and to submit your resume for consideration, visit our job posting here.
Key responsibilities for this position include the following: *Prepare legal correspondence, motion records, pleadings and court documents *Produce correspondence and documents both independently and from dictation *Maintain an efficient and organized file management system *Manage workflow and deadlines *Communicate with clients, insurance adjusters, court personnel, and service providers *Perform general office and clerical duties
The successful candidate will have exceptional organizational skills and must demonstrate the following: *A minimum of 0 to 3 years experience working as a Litigation Clerk or Paralegal; *College diploma in a law clerk/legal assistant or Paralegal program; *Experience or interest in litigation regarding personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls etc. *Ability to take initiative *Ability to manage multiple client files *Ability to work well independently as well as in a team *Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)
With the holiday season here and winter weather in full force, many Canadians will be vacationing in Florida. In addition to escaping the cold winter weather and enjoying the sun and beach, many Canadians will be driving while on vacation in Florida. Most Canadians that travel to Florida either drive their own car or rent a vehicle to get around the state. For the most part, driving in Florida is just like driving in Ontario. The roads are well maintained, and the signage is excellent. Nonetheless, accidents can happen at any time and anywhere. No one plans to be in an accident whether at home or while vacationing in Florida. As a personal injury lawyer licensed to practice law in Ontario and Florida, I have, unfortunately, met many Canadians that have been injured while vacationing in Florida and other other places in the United States. Car accidents that result in injury are always extremely difficult and stressful, but they are even more stressful and challenging when the accident happens while you are away from home.
When a resident of Ontario is injured in a Florida accident, there can be additional stress associated with obtaining and paying for medical care. Additionally, you may have questions about which insurance will cover your losses, your pain and suffering, and medical expenses. Insurance laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There are different laws for car accidents in Ontario and those that occur in Florida. Nonetheless, if you have a valid Ontario auto insurance policy, you may be able to claim for some of your losses against your Ontario policy. The applicable insurance for your injuries and losses will depend on the nature of the accident, the injuries, and the coverage available for the driver and vehicle that caused the accident.
It is important to know your rights before discussing your claim with insurance adjusters. Do not make uninformed decisions that can have major consequences on your right to recover for your losses. If you are a Canadian that has been injured in a Florida accident, call us for a free consultation. We regularly assist Canadians that have been injured in Florida and we may be able to help you too. If your injuries are serious, and you are unable to travel home to Ontario, we can arrange to meet with you at your Florida hospital or home.
The young girl involved in this Mississauga pedestrian accident has been transported to ambulance with serious injuries. First and foremost, we offer our prayers and support to the child and family. We sincerely hope that she will make a complete recovery from her injuries.
This motor vehicle and pedestrian accident occurred at around 7:10 a.m. in the area near Aquitane Avenue and Montevideo Road in Mississauga. The accident is under investigation by Peel Regional Police.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a pedestrian and motor vehicle accident, speak to a dedicated injury lawyer to learn about your rights. For a free consultation, call us at 1-866-234-603.
Have a safe and fun Halloween. Here are a few safety tips if you will be driving on Halloween
watch for children on streets and drive slowly in residential areas
if you are attending a Halloween party, plan ahead and be sure you know how you are getting home
don't drink and drive
In an effort to keep Halloween safe and fun, the York Regional Police will be out and operating an enhanced R.I.D.E. program. Officers will also be out on residential streets to enforce traffic laws.
In addition, parents and children are also urged to remember safety at all times while enjoying Halloween trick-or-treating. Make sure you go out in a group, and where reflective materials or carry a light. Pay attention for cars, and make sure the way is clear before crossing the street.
It was reported that the driver of the Honda, and occupants in the other vehicles sustained serious injuries. First and foremost, Iacobelli Law Firm wishes all involved a speedy and full recovery from their injuries.
With regard to the cause of this accident, the police have indicated that the investigation remains ongoing. Police are asking anyone with information to come forward and contact the Collision Investigation Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7704, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada and, for many, it will be a time to come together and enjoy companionship, family and friendship. It is also time to reflect and give thanks. For some families, the holidays can be difficult and emotional, particularly if a loved one is struggling with illness or injury, or if a loved one has recently passed.
Whether you will be celebrating with family and friends, or quietly reflecting and healing, all of us at Iacobelli Law Firm wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving long weekend.