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FAQ’s PERSONAL INJURY

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Pranzitelli Law > FAQ’s PERSONAL INJURY

We are happy to answer answer question you may have, call us anytime for a free consultation!

How Do I Choose A Lawyer?
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If you live in southern Ontario, you are very fortunate to have a wide array of great lawyers and law firms available to you. Many of our peers and colleagues are just as passionate about the law as we are, and we commend them for that. When you are looking for a lawyer to handle your matter, especially your personal injury matter, it is very important that you meet with the lawyer who will be handling your case. Unfortunately, at many law firms, you may never get the chance to meet your lawyer, and will instead meet with various other employees at a law firm. This may include the intake manager, the law clerk, the legal assistant, the paralegal, but not the lawyer. At Pranzitelli Law firm, we pride ourselves in ensuring that not only will you meet with the lawyer handling your case, but you will also have direct access to them throughout the case. Of course, we have a great team and also rely on our clerks and assistants, however when you want to speak with your lawyer, you will! At Pranzitelli Law Firm, we aim to add the personal touch. We have the experience you need to have a successful outcome, and we will ensure you have a positive experience with our firm throughout the process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. There is always a free consultation, and there is no obligation to sign on with us, until you are comfortable.

Why do I need a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you are the victim of someone's reckless, careless, or negligence behaviour, resulting in a serious personal injury, you should contact a lawyer. Typically, victims who attempt to recoup compensation on their own receive smaller settlements than those who obtain the services of experienced personal injury lawyers. Insurance companies employee thousands of agents, investigators, adjusters and lawyers, all of whom are employed for the sole purpose of limiting or eliminating any payout to injured victims. In serious cases, the insurance company and their lawyers will make every effort to immediately obtain and collect information that is favourable to the defence of your claim. They will photograph the scene, take measurements, and meet with witnesses. While you and your family spend hours, days or months in hospitals, doctor's offices and rehabilitation clinics, the insurance company is preparing to defeat your claim before it even commences. Insurance companies are large and have unlimited resources. Sometimes following an accident, you may receive a letter or phone call from the insurance company of the at fault party. If this happens, you should immediately seek legal advice from an Ontario personal injury lawyer. You should talk to a lawyer who is working for you before talking to the insurance company. Above all, insurance companies are large, for profit corporations. They are a business and, like any business, they seek to make profits for their shareholders. Often, the insurance company representative will be polite, friendly, and give you the impression that they are interested in helping you. They will usually indicate that they require some information from you and may even seek to meet with you to obtain a statement. Despite the appearances, you can be sure that the insurance company is only interested in limiting their monetary exposure. They want to defeat or minimize your claim. The insurance company will pay you as little as possible for your claim or injury.</p> <p>If an insurance company offers an insurance settlement, have a Ontario personal injury lawyer review the insurance settlement to see if it is fair. Without having an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer on your side, you could be signing away thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. By consulting with and retaining a personal injury lawyer immediately, you and your family can focus on your medical care and recovery. Your lawyer and team will take care of investigating your claim and dealing with the insurance company in order to obtain a fair settlement for your claim.

How much does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

When we take on a Personal Injury case, we will do so on a CONTINGENCY BASIS. What this means, is that legally, we can only charge you when we recover money for you. And we can only charge a percentage of what you recover. We will not ask you for $1 upfront, or any money throughout the case. We will only take our fee, out of the settlement funds once the case settles. We are proud of this as we want to take the risk with you and put our interests in your case.</p> <p>Remember your initial consultation is free, so please do not hesitate to come meet with us. Contact Pranzitelli Law Firm Today.

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How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take to Settle?

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.

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WILL MY CASE GO TO TRIAL?
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Most people have a fear of going to trial, and with good reason. Trials are long and stressful and they are unpredictable. As lawyers, we become experienced in them, yet they are still unpredictable and stressful. Rest assured, that a claim can be settled at any time, including before the lawsuit 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.

WHAT ARE EXAMINATION FOR DISCOVERY?

In a civil case, the other party will have the opportunity to ask you questions in person. This is not completed at court, but rather a neutral reporting centre. Your lawyer will meet with you beforehand, to prepare you for the procedure of the examination for discovery, so you can have an idea of what to expect.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a settlement conference, where all parties and their lawyers meet in a conference room to attempt to negotiate a settlement. At mediation, your lawyer will make a brief presentation discussing your side of the case with the mediator (usually a retired lawyer or a judge) and, of course, with the lawyer for the other side and his or her representative (usually the insurance company adjuster). The lawyer for the other side will then make a brief presentation about their side of the case. You are required to attend mediation, but you are not required to say anything or to settle.

What is a Pre-Trial?
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Somewhat similar to a Mediation, a Pre-trial is where all parties and their lawyers meet in the Judge’s chambers in an attempt to negotiate a settlement before the Trial. At Pre-trial, the Judge will already have a vast knowledge of the case, and unlike a mediation, they may make recommendations to a party to settle the case at a certain amount. You are required to attend pre-trial, and often it is a good time to discuss the merits of the case with a good faith attempt to resolve the matter.

If I hire a Lawyer, do I still have to go to Court?
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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.

How do I know if I have a Case?
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You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to assess your case and your injuries. At Pranzitelli Law Firm we have the experience to assess cases early and determine if you have a valid case to go forward with. Remember, there is always a free consultation, and if we decide to take on your personal injury case, we do not charge until we have recovered money for you.

What is the Statute of Limitations?
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There are specific time limits, called ``statutes of limitations,`` that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. Timelines can run as soon as 10 days in certain cases, so it is VITAL, that if you are injured in Ontario, you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Many timelines are fatal, meaning, if you do not satisfy the requirement within the time limit, your case will be forfeited. 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. Statutes of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved.

Is there a Time Limit I have to start a Lawsuit?
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YES!. There are specific time limits, called ``statutes of limitations,`` that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. Timelines can run as soon as 10 days in certain cases, so it is VITAL, that if you are injured in Ontario, you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Many timelines are fatal, meaning, if you do not satisfy the requirement within the time limit, your case will be forfeited. 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. Statutes of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved.

What is my Personal Injury case worth?

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.

How do I Prove My Personal Injury Case?

The burden of proof in a tort case, as in most civil law cases, is lower than the proof required in criminal law cases. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove a person's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To win a personal injury lawsuit based on tort law, the plaintiff need only prove that a majority of the evidence shows that an injury was caused by the defendant's negligent actions. This standard of proof is called ``the preponderance of the evidence.`` The different burdens of proof mean that a company might be acquitted of criminal charges stemming from its actions, but be found liable in a civil lawsuit stemming from the same actions.

What Benefits can I get from My Insurance Company?

If you are injured as a result of a car or motorcycle accident in Ontario, you may be entitled to compensation from two sources: Accident Benefits from your own automobile insurance policy or from the insurance for another vehicle involved in the accident This includes income replacement, medical rehabilitation benefits, caregiver benefits, attendant care benefits, social worker, case manager and other benefits. However all of the benefits have criteria that you must qualify for. Tort Claim against the at-fault driver for compensation, including damages that are not available through accident benefits, such as pain and suffering, as well as top up of benefits that are capped under the accident benefits policy. Ontario has a no-fault insurance system for automobile and motorcycle accidents, which allows you to obtain accident benefits irrespective of fault. In addition, an injured person can also obtain compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company.

If the Other Driver is at Fault for a Car Accident, Can I Sue them?
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Yes, there is criteria that you have to satisfy in order to have a successful claim, however in Ontario you have the right to sue the at fault party of your car accident This is a civil process and not criminal.

What If I was in an Accident and the other driver did NOT have Insurance?

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident as a result of another person's negligence, you can advance a personal injury lawsuit for your losses. This claim is made against the at-fault driver for compensation. Provided that the other driver has insurance, it is the insurance company that will defend and ultimately pay the claim.

What Should I do AFTER a Car Accident?

If you have been in a car accident in Ontario, there are several steps that you can take to safeguard your legal rights. 1. Try to remain calm at the scene. 2. If you or anyone else is injured, call for an ambulance immediately. 3. Report the accident to the police. 4. If you are able, obtain information about the other driver(s) and vehicle(s) involved in the accident. This should include names and contact information for the drivers and passengers, license plate numbers, vehicle makes and models, and insurance information. 5. Identify any witnesses to the accident, and obtain their names and contact information. 6. Take photos. Most cell phones have cameras. It is a good idea to photograph the scene, vehicle damage and any injuries. 7. Notify your auto insurance provider. 8. Contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer.

What do I do if I was a Victim of a HIT AND RUN?

There is usually insurance coverage available for your losses even where the at-fault party flees the scene and is never located. Hit and Run Accident claims can be complex and require an Ontario personal injury and car accident lawyer to review insurance coverage options. You should not delay in speaking with an Ontario car accident lawyer, if you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident.

Can I Make a Claim for a Slip and Fall in Ontario?

Yes. Ontario law allows you to advance a claim for negligence that results in a slip and fall injury. These are negligence claims that are usually brought against the owner of the property, and others that have care, custody or control over the premises

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