Why Do Car Accident Cases Take So Long to Resolve in Ontario - Some Thoughts From an Ontario Car Accident Lawyer
Some common question we are asked are: "How long will it take to settle my car accident case?" or "Why is it taking so long for my car accident case to settle?" These are great questions, and we understand how frustrating it can be for victims of car accidents waiting for their cases to resolve either by settlement or trial verdict. Personal injury cases can be stressful and this is made all the worse when you are waiting for your case to conclude. Unfortunately, while your lawyer may have opinions with respect to the merits and value of your case, this doesn't always mean that the insurance company for the defendant will concede and resolve the case. That is, insurance companies can, if they choose, drag out your car accident case by making unreasonable offers to settle your case. In some instances, insurance companies will offer no money at all for as long as they can, despite the fact that you were objectively injured in the car accident. In Ontario, another factor that allows insurance companies to essentially delay your case is the fact that it takes a long time to get a trial. Our courts are overloaded with cases, and there are simply not enough judicial resources to hear and resolve all of the cases that are pending. The insurance companies know this, and some insurance companies routinely take advantage of this fact by delaying and denying claims that have merit.
In our experience as car accident lawyers handling hundreds of car accident cases every year, we have seen unmistakeable trends with certain insurance companies in Ontario. In particular, it has been our experience that the one particular insurance company, which will remain unamed in this article (we'll call them out in an upcoming blog) is the insurance company in Ontario that most often delay cases by failing to engage in any meaningful settlement discussions. In fact, in our experience, this particular insurance company takes a hardline approach in defending lawsuits as well as in claims that are made by their own policyholders. This insurance company does not hide the fact that they do not want to pay injury victims; in fact, their own adjusters and lawyers often broadcast this point. It seems to be a point of pride for this insurance company and their team, that they will drag injury victims through the mud. Very often, it's the first thing we hear from an adjuster or their lawyer. Some of the lawyers doing work on behalf of this insurance company do express their disagreement with the approach, and say that the insurance company will not take their advice to pay the claim. This particular insurance company is not only hurting the injured victim in Ontario, they are also a burden on our society. By forcing litigation in cases with merit, they tax our court resources, they delay treatment and recovery for accident victims, which keeps these individuals out of the workforce and from being productive. When an insurance company takes this approach they are also hurting their insured policyholder. The policyholder is also put under the continuing stress of a pending lawsuit without closure for years.
Of course, any insurance company has the right to defend a case how it sees fit, provided they are acting in good faith with respect to their policyholder. We recognize that most insurance companies will vigorously defend contentious cases that may lack merit or those with other issues such as liability. With this insurance company, however, it has been our experience that even cases with merit - those with objective injuries and clear fault - are routinely defended aggressively, and we can only speculate that this is for the purpose of delay and wearing down the plaintiff. We can only surmise that, in the short term, this is found to be a profitable way to conduct claims handling. When international insurance companies come to Canada they earn substantial revenues from premiums paid by hardworking Canadians. Ultimately, in the long run, the approach of delaying and denying claims may cost the company more than what they are saving in the short term; the public tends to respond to business reputation with their hard-earned money. Most of our clients that have had the experience of a claim with one particular international insurance company, tell us in no uncertain terms that they will never purchase another policy of insurance with this compnany. We all know that an unsatisfied customer tends to broadcast their experience far more than a satisifed customer. In fact, I even know insurance brokers that steer clients away from this particular insurance company because the insurer denied or delayed accident benefit claims. In the end, an insurance product is about peace of mind and service and this company delivers neither. I consider myself level headed and objective. In my more than 20 years experience, I have only lost my temper and yelled at an insurance adjuster once, and it was an adjuster for this particular company - why? Because the adjuster made it plainly clear that she was withholding funding for treatment for my brain injured client in hopes that the client would eventually lose touch with myself and her family so that she could no longer pursue the claim. It was despicable.
For a jury in a car accident case, they may also be wondering why the trial is taking place so many years after the accident. In all likelihood, it is because the insurance company for the at-fault driver dragged the case on for years and decided not to make any attempt to resolve the claim. Most injury victims do not want to go to trial, and most are extremely reasonable in their expectations for compensation following a car accident injury. The laws in Ontario make it unlikely that an injury victim will ever be fully compensated for the harms or losses, and certainly there is no opportunity for a windfall. If the case is at trial, it is probably because the insurance company did not want to pay anything to the victim.
While this is not the only reason why a car accident case may take a long time to resolve, it is certainly a major factor. Your personal injury lawyer most likely wants to resolve your case as soon as possible, once there is sufficient medical evidence to ascertain the value of your case. This can typically occur within a year to two years. If your case is taking longer than that, it is probably because the insurance company is refusing to pay money for your claim. Instead of being frustrated with your lawyer, you might want to consider thanking your lawyer and their team for continuing to fight the difficult battle for you. It's not easy to keep fighting a case for a long time without any revenue, and lots of expenses. In addition to overhead, your lawyer has probably spent tens of thousands of dollars on expert reports that will be needed at trial. If your case is not successful, your lawyer may be paid nothing for their time and expense. While we know that the delay is a financial hardship to the victim and their family, if your lawyer is working on a contingency fee agreement, then they are also working for years without any pay for their efforts. Keep this in mind, and remember you and your lawyer are on the same side and your lawyer wants the best possible result for you.
We hope that this helps explain why sometimes a car accident case can take longer than expected and gives you some peace of mind.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada and Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries, Catastrophic Injuries, and wrongful death in Canada and the United States. Andrew is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and the author of "Are You a Canadian Injured in the United States? Claim the Damages and Insurance Coverage the Right Way".
After a car accident in Ontario, you may be wondering who you would sue for your injuries, harms and losses. To recover compensation for pain and suffering for your injuries and for economic loss damages such as income loss, and healthcare related expenses, you will sue the at-fault driver and owner of the vehicle that caused the crash.
Do I Sue the Driver or the Insurance Company After an Accident in Ontario?
Generally, you will bring the lawsuit against the driver and owner of the vehicle that caused the crash. Even though you are commencing a lawsuit against the driver and the owner of the at fault vehicle, it is actually their insurance company that will defend the case, hire the lawyer, and ultimately pay any settlement or judgment. In Ontario, if a car accident case goes to trial, the members of the jury are not allowed to know that it is really an insurance company that is being sued and is going to pay the settlement or verdict at the end of the case.
Who Do I Sue if The Other Driver or Vehicle Does Not Have Insurance?
Sometimes the at fault vehicle or driver is not insured or does not have enough insurance to pay your claim. In these circumstances, you would bring a lawsuit against you uninsured motorist carrier. Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims are commenced directly against an insurance company. If a settlement or judgment is paid by the insurance company, then that insurance company may have the right to seek repayment from the at fault party. Your uninsured motorist coverage is in place to protect an injured party when the at-fault driver or vehicle does not have adequate insurance.
Need Help After a Car Accident Injury? Call Our Car Accident Injury Law Firm 24/7 to Request a Free Consultation
If you have questions about who to sue after a car accident in Ontario and would like to speak with an experienced lawyer, call toll free anytime 24/7 at 866-234-6093 or a free consultation with one of our lawyers. You can also request help by completing our online contact form here.
As winter weather is approaching southern Ontario, it is time to consider winter driving. Driving during the winter requires attention and responsibility to take care for your own safety and the safety of others on the roadway.
Severe winter weather can be frightening and dangerous for drivers of all ages. Ice, snow and untreated roads can make even the shortest trips treacherous. What is worse, many drivers do not exercise proper care when encountering bad weather.
As we approach the winter season, here are some safe driving tips we would like to share with you this winter season:
When you have a hard time seeing due to a white out condition
Winter driving can be dangerous but with a little preparation, you can keep yourself and others safe this season. If you had the unfortunate experience of sustaining an injury while driving in the snow it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our team at Iacobelli Law Firm realizes how difficult it is when you find yourself involved in a collision and the hardships that you unexpectedly face. Our Team provides compassionate, professional and effective legal counsel. We also offer a FREE Consultation so please feel free to call us at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here. We are honored to serve our clients and our community.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada as well as offices in Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering whether you need to call the police. You might be feeling ok, and your car is still operable, so you may be wondering whether you need to call police?. Our recommendation is that you do call the police immediately from the accident scene. The police may advise that you can simply exchange information with the other driver and then attend at a police self-reporting collision centre. In those circumstances, try to take photos of the vehicle locations at the scene of the accident, including photographs of property damage to both vehicles. Also, make sure you obtain pertinent information from the other driver and vehicle involved in the accident, including the other vehicle plate number, the driver's full name, driver's license number and insurance information. It is best to take photographs of the driver's license and insurance slip. You should also immediately attend a collision reporting centre to make sure that a police report is authored. You may need this for insurance and in the event that you have any claims for injuries.
Although you may not immediately feel symptoms, it is best to attend at a hospital or doctor's office as a precaution. It is common that injuries, including serious injuries, are not always immediately accompanied by symptoms following an accident. Also, if symptoms develop over the next 24 to 48 hour period, it is again important to seek medical attention.
If you have been injured in an accident, and have questions about your rights or steps that you should take, please call us for a Free Consultation. Call us toll free at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here.
There was a serious accident in Stouffville on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at approximately 2:30 pm, near the intersection of Vivian Side Road and Kennedy Road. The vehicles reportedly involved in this Stouffville car accident are a blue Ford Explorer and a red Audi.
According to early reports, the driver of the Audi, a 45-year-old woman from Stouffville, suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital. A passenger in the Audi, a 16-year-old female from Stouffville, was transported to hospital in serious condition. The driver of the Ford Explorer, a 19-year-old man from Stouffville, was transported to hospital with injuries..
The injury lawyers at Iacobelli Law Firm, sincerely hope that all those involved in this serious car accident make a complete and speedy recovery from their injuries.
At this time, the collision is under investigation by the York Regional Police Major Collision Investigation Unit. Police are requesting any witnesses who have not yet spoken with police, or anyone who may have dashcam footage of the collision, to come forward.
Car accidents that result in serious injuries such as those reported in this Stouffville accident can have life changing consequences for those involved and their loved ones. Following a serious injury accident, the road to recovery may be challenging. In addition to the injuries, those involved may also face significant emotional challenges, and financial difficulties. Obtaining the best resources for medical recovery and financial recovery is critically important following a life altering accident.
To learn more about your rights following a serious accident injury, contact the injury law team at Iacobelli Law Firm for a FREE no obligation consultation. We will speak with you and your family candidly, and answer your questions so that you can make informed decisions. To learn more, call us 24 hours at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here.
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There are reports of a serious accident that occurred on Thursday March 30, 2017 in the Town of Georgina. This Georgina car accident took place around 11 p.m. on Ravenshoe Road near McCowan Road. The crash between a Dodge pickup truck and a Chevy Cruz, resulted in injuries to the vehicle occupants.
Officers with York Regional Police attended the scene and one of the drivers was placed under arrest for impaired driving. The crash is under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police #3 District at 1-866-876-5423, ext.7300, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK.
Impaired driving remains a serious concern on Ontario roadways. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, accounts for many fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.
If you are injured due to the negligent or reckless driving of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to claim for your damages. Drunk driver car accident cases in Ontario are similar to other Ontario automobile negligence claims.
Ontario Personal Injury Cases Against Drunk DriversOntario personal injury cases against drunk drivers are more complex and involved than other types of automobile accident cases. Drunk driving cases require a thorough investigation of the accident in order to gather evidence that is necessary to prove that the driver who injured you was drunk. Free Consultation With Ontario Drunk Driving Accident LawyerContact Iacobelli Law Firm to speak with an Ontario lawyer. We offer prospective clients a free consultation with a lawyer. There is no obligation.
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The morning commute today was our first real test of winter driving this season in Toronto and southern Ontario. This morning, I was making the drive from north York Region to North York, and it took me about 2 hours to arrive at my destination. Although the drive was slow, and the roads were snow covered, I was pleased to see that most drivers were cautious and courteous.
Although most people drive appropriate for conditions and weather, there inevitably those drivers that insist on driving too fast. When people drive appropriately for the weather conditions, winter driving can actually be quite safe.
As a Richmond Hill and Toronto personal injury lawyer, I often see the tragic results when people fail to adjust their speed to the weather conditions. On snow and slush covered roads, driving too fast can result in sudden loss of control. Losing control on a slippery road can result in high impact crashes, and even head on collisions. This winter, please drive safe and adjust your speed to the road conditions.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a car accident because someone else was driving too fast for the road conditions, then you may be entitled to bring a claim for your losses. Contact me for a FREE Consultation and to learn more about your rights.
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There was a serious motor vehicle accident in Vaughan Ontario on Thursday July 10, 2014. The crash involved seven vehicles at the intersection of Bathurst Street and Clark Avenue West. Reportedly, six people were transported to hospital with injuries, some with serious and critical injuries.
This Vaughan Ontario multiple car collision is being investigated by the Collision Investigation Unit of the York Regional Police. According to information released by police, investigators believe that a 2002 Volkswagen Passat had been travelling southbound on Bathurst Street at a high rate of speed and collided into three vehicles stopped at the intersection with Clark Avenue. The Volkswagen continued forward into the intersection and collided with three more vehicles . The driver of the Volkswagen has been charged with impaired driving and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Those injured in this Vaughan multi-vehicle crash may be able to advance claims for their injuries against the insurance company for the at-fault driver. They may also be entitled to statutory accident benefits through their own auto insurance policy. Injury claims following a serious motor vehicle accident are complex in Ontario, and it is recommended that all involved seek the advice of a Ontario car accident personal injury lawyer.
Iacobelli Law Firm is a Ontario personal injury law firm that represents those injured in car accidents throughout Ontario. We offer free consultations to injury victims and their families. For a free consultation, call us at 416-900-1070 or toll free at 1-866-234-6093.
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If you or family member has been injured in a car accident in Ontario, you are probably feeling weight of uncertainty and stress. A serious injury from a car accident, motorcycle accident, or pedestrian accident, can take an enormous toll on you and your family. Your main priority at this time is your health, and trying to get better and heal. At the same time, however, there are concerns about the immediate loss of income, as well as uncertainty about the future. Your family may be consumed with caring for you and helping you through the difficult road to recovering your health.
Fortunately, there is insurance coverage in place to cover your losses following a serious motor vehicle accident. The insurance company, however, while seemingly accommodating and sympathetic, will also be interested in minimizing its financial exposure and loss. As such, they will want to pay you as little as possible. Although you feel that you can do it alone, most people are far better off involving an experienced Ontario insurance and motor vehicle accident injury lawyer.
Personal injury law is complex, particularly when the injury arises from a motor vehicle accident. Your claim is governed by a multitude of statutes dictating what you can claim for, the amount you can claim for, and the entity that is responsible for paying. There are forms to be filed, notices to be submitted, and strict timelines for compliance. An experienced car accident injury lawyer will be able to prepare all of the paperwork for you and represent your interests to the insurance company so that you and your family can focus on your health. An experienced injury lawyer may also be able to handle your case on a contingency fee, so that you will not be required to pay anything up front. Our firm will only get paid if and when we are successful in recovering money for our clients.
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear following a serious injury accident in Ontario. You can also call us at any time to request a free consultation, and have your questions answered by an Ontario car accident injury lawyer.
1. Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
If another party's recklessness, carelessness, or negligence has caused you to suffer a serious personal injury, you should contact a lawyer. Typically, victims who attempt to go it alone with the insurance company receive smaller settlements than those who obtain the services of experienced personal injury lawyers.
2. What financial compensation can I receive in a personal injury lawsuit?
There is no guarantee of compensatory damages that could be awarded during personal injury litigation since these types of cases can vary greatly. However, the following are some of the considerations when verdicts and settlements are awarded:
3. How do I pay for a personal injury lawyer?
In most cases, fees will be charged on a contingency basis – in other words, there is no charge unless and until you receive compensation. The fee is normally a percentage of your final settlement. The initial consultation with you is complimentary and absolutely free.
4. Are there any steps I can take to help build my case, while recovering from my injury?
Yes. There are things that you can do to help your claim. This is primarily retaining documents and information that will assist your lawyer in proving your case. See the things that you can do to help your claim.
5. How long will it take to settle my case?
This will often depend on who you are suing and the nature and complexity of your case. After reviewing the specific facts of your case, a lawyer should be able to provide you with some estimate of how long your case will take to resolve.
6. Can I settle out of court?
A claim can be settled at any time, including before the suit is filed, after the suit is filed, and, of course, before trial is started. Suits and claims can also be settled during or after trial. Statistically, most cases settle before trial and few ever go to trial.
7. Is delay in speaking with a Ontario personal injury lawyer a bad idea?
It is absolutely a bad idea to delay in speaking to a lawyer about your rights if you have been injured. Time is not your friend. There are specific time limits, called statutes of limitations that govern the period in which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. When the statute of limitations expires on your case, you are barred from bringing a lawsuit and you simply don't have a case anymore. Statues of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved.
8. If I hire a personal injury lawyer will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of cases (about 90% to 95%) settle out of court, and so you probably will not be required to attend a trial. Settlements are often achieved through settlement conferences and mediation.
9. What is the Statute of Limitations?
Time is not your friend. There are specific time limits, called "statutes of limitations," that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. When the statute of limitations expires on your case, you are barred from bringing a lawsuit and you simply don't have a case anymore. Statues of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved.
10. How much is my Ontario personal injury case worth - and is it really worth putting in a claim?
Every case is different. In personal injury cases, you are entitled to compensation for such things as pain and suffering (past and future); lost wages and ability to earn income (past and future); medical and rehabilitation expenses (past and future); disfigurement; disability, and loss of enjoyment of life (past and future). In order to evaluate your personal injury claim, we will have to speak with you and ask you some questions. We offer a free, no obligation, consultation for prospective clients.
11. Is there any obligation or fee if I contact you for a consultation?
No. Consultations are free. Fees are only charged if your case is accepted and a recovery of money damages is achieved on your behalf. If, after discussing your case with us, you decide not to pursue a claim or if you decide to proceed with another law firm there is no obligation on your part. Any information you have provided to us is also confidential and protected by the lawyer-client privilege.
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There are reports of a serious multi-vehicle crash that occurred on Davis Drive, between Keele and Dufferin in York Region, Ontario. This York Region car accident occurred on the morning of January 28, 2014. There are reports that one person was trapped inside a vehicle, and later taken to hospital for injuries.
First and foremost, we hope that all of the people involved in this accident will make a speedy and complete recovery from their injuries.
The York Regional Police were investigating the circumstances of the accident. At this point, it is unclear whether anyone has been charged.
Iacobelli Law Firm is a York Region car accident injury law firm. We offer free consultations to injury victims and their families. To learn more, or to speak with an injury lawyer, call us at 416-900-1070 or toll free at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here.
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Andrew Iacobelli is an Ontario lawyer that restricts his practice to representing personal injury victims and their families. Andrew is the founder of Iacobelli Law Firm.