COMMON QUESTIONS

need Answers? below are some questions that our law firm is often asked

Frequently Asked Questions by Injury Victims & Disability Claimants.

Below are the answers to common initial questions many clients have when they first contact our practice. We hope that the information below address many initial concerns you may have, but if you don’t find the answers here, please contact us with questions specific to your case. Remember, your consultations with our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers are always free, with no obligation to retain the firm.

Yes we do.  We are happy to meet in office or we also offer consultations by Zoom, Google Meet & Microsoft Teams – whichever is easiest for you.

Yes, our Hamilton Personal injury Lawyers are always more than happy to speak with our clients by Zoom, Google Meet & Microsoft Teams at any time.

Yes, you are allowed to be represented by the legal counsel of your choice. We are often approached by clients who want to change lawyers for one reason or another. Most retainers that you sign with a lawyer should in fact say that you are entitled to terminate your retainer and move your file to another lawyer if you choose to do so.

You need to feel confident in your legal representation. You can switch to any Hamilton personal injury lawyer if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, but from our experience it’s always best to try and workout any problems that you have with your lawyer first. If things don’t workout, we are happy to book a consultation with you to discuss your options.

No switching lawyers midway through a case will NOT result in higher fees. The fees you initially agreed to will normally be split between your former lawyer and new lawyer.

It’s not possible to predict how long each individual personal injury case will take. Every accident is different. From a legal standpoint, personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to three years to settle or bring to jury verdict. One thing is certain if your injuries are serious, we normally do not settle personal injury cases before the year mark – or until we are able to obtain a proper medical prognosis on how your injuries will affect you in the future.

We mostly update our clients with major events. We always ask are clients to try and remember that we are  dealing with the medical system, hospitals, doctors, specialists, pharmacies, insurance companies, insurance adjusters, other lawyers, other offices, and other schedules. From requesting and sending medical records, dealing with the Courts, or simply waiting for a response on a letter working its way up the chain to an insurance adjuster… things take time.

Of course you can. You can email or call as often as you wish. We are always happy to update you on the progress of your case.

Although most personal injury cases do settle, there is always a chance that you may have to go to Court. If your case does not resolve and we need to try the case, you and your loved ones will be called as witnesses to give evidence in the case. Be rest assured that we prepare our cases from day one like they will be tried by jury.

A structured settlement is an annuity that regularly pays money over a period of time. Structured settlements are created when insurers use settlement funds to purchase annuities from a federally-registered Canadian life insurer, which guarantees to provide the plaintiff with set periodic payments over a specified period. Payments are a combination of capital and interest, and are not taxed in the hands of the plaintiff. Structured settlements cannot be
changed or cashed once in place.

Our firm typically waits until you reach maximum medical recovery. If your injuries are serious, we get the input of certain medical experts to assist in giving us a prognosis on your recovery. It is highly negligent to settle any case before clinician provide an opinion on whether or not you reached your baseline of recovery and what the future holds. Only then can settlement be determined.

Of course, and even prior to this, if you settle your case, you will not only know how much compensation you and your family will be receiving, but it will be you giving instruction on settlement. At the conclusion of your case we will render you a full and complete account which will provide you with the exact particular details of your settlement and fees owed as per the retainer agreed to at the start of your case.

In Ontario, we typically do not sue insurance companies. We sue the person, persons or organization that caused you harm. Their individual insurance companies would then respond to defend them and pay out compensation if awarded.

Settlement value in personal injury cases are based on many different factors, some of which are factual and some of which are legal.  From a legal perspective, the Supreme Court of Canada has laid out a maximum payable compensation value of approximately $365,000 for pain and suffering (non-economic damages) in Canada, no matter how terrible the injury (excluding lost wages and future care).  Unlike economic damages for wage loss, pain and suffering damages are not based on any specific economic loss.  Pain and suffering awards are decided on a case-by-case basis according to the case facts and the amount of damages typically awarded in similar cases.  We typically do not valuate a serious injury case for at least a year post-accident since everyone’s recovery is time is different.

Yes. We may need to prepare you for your examination for discovery, you may have to attend examination for discovery, a mediation as well as possibly a pre-trial.  If your case is not resolved by then, then we would need to prepare you for trial and attended trial to give evidence concerning your life-changing injuries.

If you have suffered serious injuries then yes –  you should contact one of our lawyers. With serious injuries it’s always much better to hire an experienced lawyer early to in order to get the proper medical personnel, occupational therapists and insurance funding in place.  Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers will focus on your case by gathering the required evidence on liability and damages, consulting with Ontario’s leading experts, and deal with the insurance company on for you – so that you can focus on your recovery.  If it is an absolute necessity, our lawyers might even take your case to trial in order to get the compensation you deserve for your losses.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries there’s no doubt you are wondering not only if you should call a lawyer, but who you should call. Our market is no doubt inundated with these billboards and advertisements. You might be wondering if these lawyers are any good.  The best way to hire a lawyer is firstly – hire local. Hire near your hometown – so you can drive and meet your lawyer. Also, speak to friends and colleagues

We will try to get back to you the same business day, or the following day of you inquire later in the evening. If your loved one is in acute care, we will prioritize call backs and get back to you within minutes.

You can generally see a lawyer within one (1) to three (3) days. If you or a loved one is in acute care, we will prioritize to see you at any time, day or night.

We are different than many – if not most firms in the Province. We would suggest reading our reviews – we offer personal service on each case, you will have direct contact with Matt Lalande, who will personally oversee your case.  We not only will assist with your personal injury case, but also with your employment case if you lose your job, your disability matter, we will fight for your CPP benefits and when we settle your case, we will complete your will and estate plan as part of our service.  Our service is personal – you are just not a file.

We understand that for many, time is of the essence. Your lawyer and case staff  will start work right away and be available for any questions you might have.

Pain and suffering compensation is also known as “non-pecuniary damages” This type of compensation is intended to, insofar as any monetary award can, compensate an injured person for their pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the fault of a tortfeasor, or the person/company who is at fault.

In a case called Stapley v. Hejslet, Judge Kirkpatrick  set out a useful, non-exhaustive list of factors that offer guidance as to what may influence an award of non-pecuniary damages. The list includes the:

(a) age of the plaintiff;
(b) nature of the injury;
(c) severity and duration of pain;
(d) disability;
(e) emotional suffering; and
(f) loss or impairment of life.
(g) impairment of family, marital and social relationships;
(h) impairment of physical and mental abilities;
(i) loss of lifestyle; and
(j) the plaintiff’s stoicism (as a factor that should not, generally speaking, penalize the plaintiff.

With those considerations in mind, judges can assess the compensation which you are entitled for your pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, for the injuries you  suffered as a consequence of the defendants’ negligence.

Unlike pecuniary damages, non-pecuniary losses are assessed on a global basis without reference to separate heads of damage. For example, the court would not assess $30,000.00 for the plaintiff’s broken leg, $10,000.00 for her broken nose, and $5,000 for her broken pinky toe. Rather, the court would assess the overall impact the plaintiff’s injuries on her life.

Special damages generally compensate a plaintiff for pre-trial pecuniary out-of-pocket or “positive” losses. In contrast, general damages compensate for “negative” losses, which can include both pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses.

Yes of course. Your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and siblings may all advance a claim for damages if you have been hurt. They could potentially advance a claim for the loss of guidance, care and companionship that the they might reasonably have expected to receive from you if your injury had not occurred. They could also claim economic damages if they have expended funds to help take care of you.

Remember, the goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to restore you to the original position you would have been in if the accident had not taken place. Lost wages are amounts that you would have earned in the past due if not for the defendant’s wrongful act(s) that caused you injury. Once proper evidence is collected from the CRA (tax returns of business records) your employer, your pension information, your collective agreement, your financial statements, balance sheets and any other economic related information, we typically retain economists to properly valuate the present-value of your lost income. Of course, there are factors that could be of changing importance such as the severity of your injuries, your future earning potential based on your current job and your age at the time of the injury.

Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers charge clients on a contingency-fee basis – meaning that you only have to pay if we win your case. Our fees are charged in the form of a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount we obtain on your behalf in Court.

Yes, all of our personal injury consultations are 100% free and without obligation. We are simply happy to meet and talk to you about your injuries and losses.

Yes, our employment law and wrongful dismissal consultations are 100% free and without obligation.

Yes, our wrongful death consultations are 100% free and without obligation.

Never – we NEVER ask our clients for money upfront. Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if and when we win your case. Our fee would come in the form of a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount we obtain.

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