Iacobelli personal injury law firm would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Halloween. Motorists are reminded to drive with caution this evening. This is particularly important as the weather conditions may make it more difficult to observe trick-or-treaters.
In an effort to keep trick-or-treaters safe this evening, the York Regional Police will be operating an enhanced R.I.D.E. program. Officers will also be on residential streets to ensure motorists are obeying all traffic laws. If you are attending a Halloween party, please do not drink and drive.
As a Toronto and Ontario personal injury lawyer, I am often asked about the circumstances in which someone may need a Toronto personal injury lawyer. This is a difficult questions, because all situations involving personal injury are different. Not all injuries are the same, and different people recover differently from injury. The consequences of an injury are also unique and may be affected by a persons lifestyle and occupation. The short answer is, the only way to truly know if you need a Toronto personal injury lawyer is to call a lawyer or Ontario personal injury law firm.
There may be situations where a Toronto personal injury lawyer is not needed, and filing an insurance claim yourself will adequately compensate you. This would typically be in situations involving minor cuts and/or bruises that resolve entirely within days or a few weeks. On the other hand, if you sustained serious injuries that will result in extensive medical treatment, and injuries that may impact on your ability to care for yourself or your family, you should immediately consult with a Toronto injury lawyer before speaking with insurance company representatives.
If you have been recently injured in Toronto or elsewhere in Ontario and you are wondering whether you have grounds for filing a personal injury claim, you should not delay in speaking with a Toronto and Ontario injury lawyer. An initial consultation with an experienced Toronto and Ontario personal injury lawyer will provide you with guidance. An experienced and reputable personal injury law firm in Toronto will usually provide an initial consultation for free. Many Toronto personal injury lawyers and Ontario personal injury law firms will also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay for their services, on a percentage basis if they are successful in recovering money for you. Accordingly, there really is no risk for seeking sound advice from a personal injury lawyer.
Iacobelli Law Firm is a personal injury law firm serving residents of Toronto, the GTA and southern Ontario. We offer a free consultation to prospective injury clients, and there is no obligation to retain our firm. For a consultation with an injury lawyer, call us at 416-900-1070 or toll free at 1-866-234-6093 or submit a contact form here.
Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. This is particularly true when you are also dealing with the loss of a loved one. Life insurance policies are often purchased by individuals in order to provide financial security for their loved ones in the event of untimely death. Life insurance is supposed to give peace of mind. Sometimes, however, life insurance companies delay or deny payment on valid claims.
In Ontario, life insurance providers sometimes deny benefits on the basis that the deceased made misrepresentations in the application for insurance. In particular, when a person dies within two (2) years of purchasing a life insurance policy, the insurance company may investigate to determine whether the application for insurance was accurate and truthful. The life insurer will review medical records of the deceased and look for any inconsistences between the medical records and application for insurance. Although an insurer may argue that just about any inconsistency voids the insurance policy, this may not be the case.
If a life insurance company has denied the policy and refunded the premium, you should immediately contact an Ontario insurance lawyer for an opinion. An Ontario lawyer with expertise in insurance law can 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.
Iacobelli Law Firm recently recovered on a life insurance policy that had been denied by the insurer, on the basis that the deceased had made misrepresentations in her life insurance application. The life insurance company investigated the deceased's application and medical records for more than 2 years before finally denying the claim. With the assistance of our firm, the life insurance company agreed to pay the entirety of the life insurance proceeds plus additional money for interest and costs.
If an insurance company is leading you on, delaying or denying your insurance claim, contact Iacobelli Law Firm for a free consultation.
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The frequency of Ontario pedestrian accidents increases with poor weather and poor lighting conditions. Poor weather and reduced visibility are soon to become the norm as we move into fall and winter weather in Ontario.
Iacobelli Law Firm reminds pedestrians and drivers to use extra caution, especially during evenings and on days with poor visibility.
Pedestrians should always exercise caution when crossing the street, and should not assume that drivers see them. Relying on traffic signals alone is not enough, as some driver's disobey the rules of the road. Make sure the way is clear and that vehicles are stopped before you cross the road. It is also a good idea to wear bright colored or reflective clothing when walking at night or during poor weather.
In personal injury cases in Ontario, there are two main groups of damages (money compensation) available to the injured person. These are: non-economic general damages (often referred to by non-lawyers as "pain and suffering" damages) and economic loss damages (these are the financial costs incurred by an injured person, such as loss of income and expenses for health care).
Economic Loss Damages are provided to make up for the financial expenses and losses that have resulted because of the defendant's conduct. These losses usually include medical expenses and lost income. The injured person has the burden of proving not only the harms and losses, but also that the losses are caused by the defendant. The injured party is entitled to no more than the economic losses caused by the defendant's negligent conduct. The injured party also has a duty to mitigate his or her damages. In simple terms, this means that the injured party must do everything reasonable to reduce his or her economic losses following an injury caused by the defendant. The beneficiary of this rule of law is the defendant, and more particularly, the defendant's insurance provider.
Non-economic damages are sometimes referred to as compensation for pain and suffering. These are damages for the loss of enjoyment of life that no doubt flows from a serious injury. Non-economic damages are also recoverable for the loss of care, comfort and companionship, when children, spouses and siblings have lost a loved one as a result of negligence. In Canada, non-economic damages in personal injury cases are limited by a cap which was imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1978. In a “trilogy” of cases involving catastrophically injured youths, the Supreme Court of Canada capped general damage awards for pain and suffering at $100,000.00. The courts have adjusted the cap with subsequent cases to keep pace with inflation. It is now slighly more than $330,000.00. Nonetheless, in Canada, a victim of personal injury cannot recover more than the cap regardless of the facts in evidence or what a jury might believe is fair.
I have strong views on the damage cap, which I believe unfairly penalizes victims of personal injury, especially in the context of wrongful death. For the time being, however, this is the law of Canada for personal injury damages.
In a future blog, I will set out my views on the cap and make the argument for revisiting the damages cap.
Canadian Considering Law School in the U.S.A.: An Ontario Lawyer's Perspective on American Law School - Part 1
This blog entry is about my experience in having attended an American law school and then returning to practice law as an Ontario personal injury lawyer. I decided to post this because I am frequently asked about American law school by Canadian university students considering a law school in the United States. My perspective on the subject is limited to experience at one American law school; namely, Michigan State University College of Law (MSU Law). I have never attended law school in Canada. As such, I cannot offer any comparisons between Canadian and American law school. I did, however, attend and graduate from a Canadian University having completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto (U of T). I can say with absolute certainty that I had great experiences both in undergrad at U of T, and in law school at MSU Law. If given the chance to go back, I would still attend U of T for undergrad and MSU Law for law school. I would also give both the best of reviews.
Why Consider a Law School Outside of Canada?
If you are Canadian, or live in Canada, you no doubt love this country. It is your home, and probably the place where family and friends are. So why would you ever want to leave Canada and go to law school in the U.S.?
There are countless reasons why someone might consider attending law school outside of their province or even their country. One common reason I have heard from others is attributed to their desire to attend a particular law school - usually this is Ivey Leage (think Harvard or Yale) or a law school that brings significant opportunities in a particular area of law (international law or ip law for instance). Another big reason for choosing a law school outside Canada may be the desire to live in another city or country and gain more than academic experience. Sometimes, the decision to look beyond the border is pragmatic as in the circumstances where there are no admission letters to law schools in your home province so a determined individual will look elsewhere. Whatever your reason, it is your own.
For me, there were several reasons, but the one that stands out most was the desire to experience life in the U.S. with a view of possibly moving to the U.S. on a permanent basis. As a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, I had the option of living in either country and family on both sides of the border. Ultimately, I did in fact move to the United States, and I practiced law in Florida before returning to Ontario. That may the subject of another blog someday. Back to the point I was trying to make - I was completing a four year BA degree at the University of Toronto and had my mind set on becoming a lawyer. I thought that attending law school in the U.S. would be exciting. I had never lived away from home, and I firugred that, as a student, I would have an opportunity to test the waters before making any drastic decisions.
Deciding on the Law School to Attend
Choosing a law school is a major decision and you should select carefully. I made my decision over ten years ago, so I can't remember all of the factors that went into my decision to choose MSU Law. Some important things to consider might include the following:
- law school faculty and reputation, especially in area of law you are interested in;
- cost of attendance;
- will the education be applicable to jurisdiction in which you utimately want to practice;
- financial aid, scholarship and grants availability;
- reputation of law school organizations such as Law Review, Moot Court etc.
There will be other considerations as well, but the above-listed come to mind at the moment.
After going through my own set of considerations, including the above, I applied to only two American law schools, both located in my mother's home state of Michigan. If I was going to be away from home for three years, I still wanted to be close to family and friends. I wanted to be able to visit family on weekends, and be close enough so that family and friends might decide to visit me. The Michigan border is less than 4 hours away from Toronto and I had family in Michigan as well.
MSU Law was also attractive because it was part of Michigan State University - that is, a Big 10 University with a national reputation. Attending a nationally recognized university was important to me because I didn't want to be an outsider in a small regional university that only attracted locals. I also wanted to be sure that prospective employers, whether in the U.S. or Canada had at least some familiarity with the law school I attended. As it turned out, one of the best qualities of MSU Law was the fact that students came from everywhere (all over the U.S., Canada and elsewhere) and brought rich and diverse views. It was also nice to meet and become friends with people with varying backgrounds and experiences.
After completing the law school applications, the folks at Michigan State University College of Law made my decision easier by offering me a full tuitition scholarship. Finances were important to me and the scholarship was significant. The costs of attending law school can be expensive, both with respect to tuition and books and living expenses. Being away from home certainly increases the expense of attending law school.
I was also invitied to the beautiful East Lansing campus for a tour of the law school led by faculty and students. During my visit to East Lansing, I learned more about the faculty, student body, and the programs available at MSU Law. Law school is much more than the courses; you should also consider whether the law school has joint degree programs, opportunities for concentrations is specialiazed areas of law, and student programs like the law review, journals and moot court board.
For Canadian students that may want to return to practice law in Canada, it may be beneficial to consider opportunities for joint degrees with Canadian and U.S. law schools. Michigan State University, for instance, offers a joint degree program with the University of Ottawa. I did not participate in the joint degree program, but it is probably wothwhile if you are likely to return to Canada following law school.
to be continued. . .
The York Regional Police are asking for the assistance of the public in identifying the driver and/or vehicle involved in a pedestrian accident that occurred in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville on Wednesday, October 11, 2012, at approximately 10 pm.
This hit-and-run pedestrian accident involved a 32-year-old woman. The female pedestrian was walking on Main Street, crossing at Ninth Line in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville when she was struck by a vehicle. The unidentified driver did stop after the accident, but did not provide any information to the victim before departing the scene. The female pedestrian was also assisted by a man who may have witnessed the incident.
The victim of this hit-and-run pedestrian accident sustained serious injuries. Iacobelli Law Firm offers its support to the woman who was injured in this Stouffville pedestrian accident. We hope that she will make a quick and complete recovery.
This pedestrian accident in Whitchurch-Stouffville, raises important issues and questions about the rights of a victim to make insurance claims for losses following a hit-and-run accident. Many people incorrectly believe that, if a vehicle flees the scene and is never located or identified, their benefits are limited to statutory accident benefits. In fact, often following a hit and run accident, the victim may be entitled to compensation by making a claim for unidentified motorist coverage through their own insurance policy. This is completely different coverage from the accident benefits that are available to all accident victims. Unidentified motorist coverage is insurance that is in place in the event that someone is injured by a vehicle that leaves the scene and is never identified.
An experienced Ontario injury lawyer can help you pursue a claim for unidentified vehicles or other insurance beenefits, which may be available to you following a hit-and-run accident. Accessing the uninsured motorist insurance coverage following a hit-and-run accident in Ontario is complex, and it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer without delay in order to preserve your rights to compensation.
Contact Iacobelli Law Firm to speak with an Ontario personal injury and car accident lawyer. We offer prospective clients a free consultation with a lawyer.
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As an Ontario personal injury lawyer, I am often asked: "Can I make a claim if I am injured because I tripped in a hole, uneven surface, or other defective condition?"
The short answer is yes, in Ontario if you are injured as a result of a trip and fall, slip and fall, or because of a defective condition, you can claim for your losses.
As with any personal injury lawsuit in Ontario, however, you must be able to establish that another person or corporation was negligent. That is, to sue for your injuries following a trip and fall accident in Ontario, you must show that either the property owner and/or other persons responsible for the premises was negligent in maintaining the premises.
Ontario law allows you to advance a claim for negligence that results in a trip and fall injury in a variety of circumstances. This may include a trip and fall due to a hole in a parking lot, uneven surface, poor lighting, or other defective condition. Other types of premises liability claims involve inadequate security or negligent operations or maintenace on premises. This can include instances where someone is injured due to falling objects, or where someone is trampled.
Although the terms "trip and fall" or "premises liability" may sound like common and insignificant accidents, the injuries can be quite serious. As a personal injury lawyer, I have seen a wide range of injuries from slip and fall, trip and fall, and other premises defects. These have included severe brain injuries and spinal cord injuries where. More common injuries seen in slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are orthopedic injuries such as, broken ankle, tibial plateau fractures, hip fracture, wrist fractures and elbow fractures. Serious orthopedic injuries following a trip and fall accident in Ontario may require surgery and the placement of plates and screws to hold the bones in place.
Ontario trip and fall and premises liability lawsuits are usually brought against the owner of the property, and others that have care, custody or control over the premises. Most commercial and residential properties have liability insurance in place to respond to injury claims.
The facts of a trip and fall accident or other premises liability accident can vary greatly and, as such, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
For a free consultation with an Ontario personal injury lawyer, contact Iacobelli Law Firm at 416-900-1070 or 1-866-234-6093 or contact us here.
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There are reports of a fatal head-on collision on Ravenshoe Road in the Town of Georgina in York Region, Ontario. This fatal accident occurred on Friday October, 5, 2012, at approximately 12:50 pm. It is reported that a Toyota Echo with three passengers was travelling eastbound on Ravenshoe Road and collided with a gravel truck that was travelling westbound. All occupants of the smaller Toyota vehicle sustained injuries, one of which was fatal.
First and foremost, Iacobelli Law Firm offers its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the person who was tragically killed in this Georgina fatal car accident. We also hope that the other injured persons will make a quick and full recovery from their injuries.
This fatal Georgina accident raises some important questions about the rights of those that were injured and killed as a result of this tragic accident. Compensation may be available to those that are injured in a car accident, as well as to the family of a person who is killed in an Ontario car accident.
Ontario Fatal Car Accident Law
When a loved one is killed as a result of a car accident, the family may be able to advance a wrongful death claim, if the death was caused by the actions or negligence of another person. In fatal car accident cases, the members of the deceased’s family may be able to obtain compensation for the loss of guidance, care and companionship of their loved one, as well as loss of services. There are also death benefits payable by the no-fault automobile insurer.
Rights of Passengers in Ontario Car Accidents
If a passenger of a vehicle is injured in an accident in Ontario, he may be entitled to claim benefits from the no-fault automobile insurer as well as against the insurance companies for the at-fault driver(s). A passenger may be claiming against the insurance for the vehicle in which he was seated and/or the other vehicle involved in the collision. Often, where a passenger is injured, it is necessary to commence claims with the insurers for all of the involved vehicles/drivers.
A Ontario personal injury lawyer will assess the accident, and determine who should be given notice of the claim.
For a free consultation with an Ontario Car Accident Lawyer, contact Iacobelli Law Firm.
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A Toronto bus carrying passengers to New York, was involved in rollover accident in New Jersey on Saturday October 6, 2012. According to reports, the Toronto bus rolled over while exiting a ramp on Interstate 80 in New Jersey. More than 20 passengers were reportedly injured as a result of this bus accident, and many were treated in local hospitals.
While it is too early to determine the exact cause of this bus accident, early reports suggest that there may be negligence on the part of the bus driver and bus company. In addition, there are reports that another vehicle may have cut-off the bus, and then fled the scene. The police are investigating the circumstances of this bus accident, and charged may yet be laid.
In addition, this bus accident may also lead to civil suits on behalf of the passengers who were injured as a result of the bus rollover accident. The injred passengers of the bus will be entitled to advance claims for accident benefits and may also be able to bring tort claims. The possibility of another vehicle having had some role in this accident also raises the possibility of an unidentified vehicle claim. Where there is evidence of an unidentified vehicle, a civil suit will likely need to include the insurance company for unidentified motorist coverage. In such accidents, there may be compensation available through insurance, which provides coverage for unidentified vehicles following a hit-and-run car accidents. Accessing the uninsured motorist insurance coverage is complex and there are strict deadlines.
Given that this bus accident involves potentially many parties, and complex issues of liability on the part of the bus driver, bus operator and, possibly, an unidentified vehicle, it would be important for those injured to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer without delay. Since this was a cross-border bus accident that occurred in New Jersey, there are also choice of law and venue issues that will need to be considered by a personal injury lawyer.
Iacobelli Law Firm is an Ontario personal injury law firm with expertise in complex motor vehicle and commercial vehicle accidents. Lawyer Andrew Iacobelli is also experienced in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional claims, and has practiced personal injury law in the United States and Canada. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, or have been involved in a cross-border accident, it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as practicle. The insurance companies will mobilize quickly in order to limit their exposure and defeat your potential claim. Where commercial vehicles are involved, it is especially important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer investigating the circumstances of the accident and preserving evidence, so that the insurance company does not obtain the upper hand.
Iacobelli Law Firm offers prospective clients a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. There is no obligation to retain our personal injury law firm beyond the free consultation. Contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer today.