Frequently Asked Questions
At the De Rose Personal Injury Law Firm, we believe that the first step towards peace of mind is for clients to learn about their predicaments, options and potential benefits. Browse through our most Frequently Asked Questions to find the answers you need to get through a post-accident experience.
- I thought I was fine after my accident, but now I am in pain. What should I do?
Injuries may not always be discovered immediately after an accident. This does not mean your injuries are not compensable. It is always in your best interest to contact the De Rose Personal Injury Law Firm immediately following an accident.
- I need help to complete all these forms because they are confusing. Can you help me?
YES. When you apply for Accident Benefits, your insurance company sends you many forms that you must fill out prior to receiving any payment. We make this process easier by completing all your forms for you.
- I do not have any money to pay for legal representation. Can you still help me?
YES. De Rose Personal Injury Law Firm will represent you without seeking payment until you receive compensation. Our fees are based on the amount of your settlement or the time we devote to your care as well as other factors. These matters will be discussed with you at the outset so that you understand and feel completely comfortable with what you will be expected to pay.
- How long will it take to resolve my case?
There is no definite answer to this question. Each case is unique and has its own time frame.
- How and when should I talk to the insurance company?
In order to claim accident benefits, you must notify your auto insurer or broker and provide them with information in support of your claim. Usually, the insurance company will send an adjuster to meet with you and discuss the collision. You must be aware that anything you discuss with the insurance adjuster will be placed in your file and can affect you in the future.
- Do I need representation if I suffer a personal injury from a motor vehicle accident?
YES. Insurance adjusters are at an advantage over the average person who has little or no experience with the legal process of a personal injury claim. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer will ensure that you are properly represented during this stressful time in your life.
- Is there a particular time frame in place for me to make a personal injury claim?
Yes, there are important time frames in place which you must adhere to.
These are as follows :
7 Days - You must notify to your auto insurance company if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident.
10 Days - You must place the municipality or province on notice if you plan to make a claim due to a slip and fall on municipal property, or if there is a failure to keep municipal/provincial roads in a state of good repair.
30 Days - Any injured person must complete their application for statutory accident benefits with own auto insurance company.
60 Days - Notice of Claim to the province prior to commencing a lawsuit against the provincial government.
120 Days - Any injured person must place the potential defendants on notice of a claim if the injury claim relates to a motor vehicle accident.
1 Year - Is the deadline to sue your own insurance company over a property damage auto claim.
2 Year - Time by which an injured person must commence a lawsuit against all potential defendants.
- What should I expect from a lawyer/law firm?
When searching for a personal injury lawyer be sure that you choose a firm and a lawyer that is solely dedicated to practicing personal injury law. The firm should have a team approach, qualified accident benefits specialist's and law clerks committed to your case. A lawyer should be willing to meet with you and your family at your home or hospital when going to their office proves difficult. Your initial consultation should be a free no obligation meeting.
A lawyer should be able and willing to answer all of your questions. You should feel confidence in the lawyer you choose.
- Who will care for me when I get home? How will I get my income replacement benefit? I can’t drive now how will I get around?
Once we meet with you in the hospital, we will complete all the necessary forms to submit to your insurer to get your claim going. We will arrange for a occupational therapist to complete an assessment for attendant care needs as well as go to your home and assess it for any assistive devices that may be helpful.
We can arrange for transportation to take you to therapy and other medical appointments. Let us relieve you of the burden and stress associated with dealing with your insurance company so you can concentrate on your health and road to recovery.
- Understanding some terms you will hear after your accident.
Accident Benefits – Benefits in the form of money or assistance provided to persons injured in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault. Types of accident benefits include non-earner, income replacement, caregiver, attendant care, medical, rehabilitation, education, damage to clothing, visitation, housekeeping and home maintenance, funeral, etc.
Adjuster – A person who investigates and/or adjudicates insurance claims on behalf of an insurance company.
Attendant Care – A type of accident benefit an injured person receives to pay for care/assistance in his or her daily living. Assistance may take the form of cooking, cleaning, helping the injured person get dressed or supervising the injured person. The cost of providing attendant care may be paid by the insurance company to the person providing the care, whether it is a health care professional or a family member.
Case Manager (Qualified) – A rehabilitation professional who coordinates rehabilitation services following an injury.
Catastrophic Impairment – The most serious of personal injuries. Examples include: quadriplegia; paraplegia; amputation of arm or leg or impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of an arm or leg; total loss of vision in both eyes; injuries resulting in an impairment of 55% or more of the whole person; brain impairment measured by a score of 9 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale; marked or extreme mental or behavioural impairment; and severe disability from brain injury measured using the Glasgow Outcome Scale. A person having a catastrophic impairment becomes entitled to maximums of $1,000,000.00 for medical/rehabilitation needs, plus $1,000,000.00 for attendant care plus housekeeping expenses, payable over the lifetime of the injured person.
Damages – The losses the plaintiff has suffered because of the defendant’s conduct. These losses can take many forms including compensation for pain and suffering; loss of past, present and future income; health care costs; loss of social or familial relationships; etc.
Deductible – In lawsuits arising from a motor vehicle accident, after an award for compensation for pain and suffering is established in court or during the settlement negotiations, the award may in some case be reduced by statutory amount.
Defendant – A person and/or corporation that is being sued by a Plaintiff. Examples of defendant corporations include an insurance company, a leasing company, a municipality, a tavern, a property owner, a hospital, etc. Most defendants in personal injury lawsuits are insured. A defendant’s insurer will usually appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of the defendant.
Glasgow Coma Scale – A medical test used to determine brain impairment resulting from an accident. It is based on a scale of 3 to 15, with a lower score often indicating a more serious injury. A score of 9 or less usually results in the person being deemed to have sustained a catastrophic impairment.
Health Care Expenses – A category of tort entitlement that includes goods and services for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and attendant care.
“Incurred” Expense - New definition of “incurred” requires the claimant to pay or promise to pay the expense and requires that the service provider provide the service in the course of the employment, occupation or profession, in which he/she would have normally been engaged, but for the accident, or that the person has suffered an economic loss in order to provide the service.
Insurer Examination/Section 44 Assessment – The insurer may appoint health care professionals of their choosing, to perform assessments in order to determine whether to pay a benefit.
Limitation Period – When a person suffers an injury, the law imposes a time limit in which to issue a Statement of Claim. If one fails to issue the Claim within the time allotted, all rights to compensation are lost.
Minor Injury - One or more of a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation and any clinically associated sequelae.
Optional Benefit - Additional Benefits purchased by the Insured or in some cases a family member of the Insured.
Personal Injury Law – The area of law that involves persons who have been injured in an accident. Accidents include motor vehicle, slip and fall, medical malpractice, boating, assault, etc.
Pre-Claim Examination – The accident benefit insurer may request an assessment by health care professionals of its choosing, before you even apply for benefits. The injured person has the right to refuse this assessment and may do so without penalty.
Plaintiff – A person who has sued another person, corporation or insurer (the “defendant”).
Statement of Claim – A document that begins a lawsuit and claims “damages” from one or more defendants based on the defendant’s acts or omissions causing loss, injury or harm to the Plaintiff. A Statement of Claim is generally prepared by the Plaintiff’s lawyer.
Statement of Defence – A defendant’s response to the Statement of Claim. It is usually prepared by the defendant’s lawyer. Often, it will deny the allegations made in the Statement of Claim.
Threshold – A level of impairment or disfigurement that a Plaintiff must prove in order to recover certain compensation in a motor vehicle tort claim. This means that the injury must be either a permanent, serious disfigurement (like a scar) or a permanent, serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function. There are many court decisions that help a lawyer specializing in personal injury law to advise you about whether your injuries “meet the threshold”.
Tort – An area of law in which one party sues and seeks monetary compensation (money) for injuries and losses suffered because of the fault or negligence of another party. This contrasts with accident benefits (no-fault benefits) where benefits are paid without reference to fault.
- Do you take on Multi-cultural clients, what languages do you speak?
We offer many different languages to suit our clients needs, such as Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, French, Portuguese, Filipino and Tamil.
- What types of benefits am I entitled to from my own insurance company?
You may be entitled to certain benefits depending on your circumstances and the coverage's you purchased with your automobile policy.
- A benefit for lost income from employment, equal to 70% of your gross income, to a maximum of $400 per week, if you make more then $30,000.00 per year you should increase this benefit.
- If you were not employed at the time of the accident, a non-earner benefit of $185 per week, payable for up to 2 years maximum. There is a 4 week waiting period for this benefit, this benefit is not payable to anyone under 18 years of age.
- In certain situations, if you were the primary caregiver for a person in need of care, a caregiver benefit of up to $250 per week, plus $50 for each additional person requiring care, may be available based on incurred expenses.
Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits:
- If you suffer a non-Catastrophic injury - up to $65,000.00 is available over a 5 year time period for your Medical Rehabilitation and Attendant Care needs; or,
- If you suffer a Catastrophic injury–up to $1,000,000 is available over your lifetime for your Medical Rehabilitation and Attendant Care combined.
- All fees and expenses for conducting assessments, examinations and preparing reports are paid out of your medical and rehabilitation limits.
- If you suffer a Minor Injury, only $3,500 is available, except in certain circumstances.
Death and Funeral Benefits:
- $25,000 to the victim’s spouse.
- $10,000 to each former supported spouse.
- $10,000 to each of the victim’s dependants or more if the victim had no spouse.
- $10,000 to the person upon whom the victim was dependant.
- Up to $6,000 for funeral expenses.