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FAQs

Have Questions About Our Services?

We have put together a few answers to questions that we are often asked. If you do not see an answer to your question here please click contact us and we'll take you to our inquiry form.

General Information Estate Planning Personal Injury Asbestos Insurance Disputes

** The information in this document is not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer or accountant and should not be relied upon as such.


General Information

Q. Is There a Time Limit to Bring a Lawsuit?

A: The time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit is known as Statute of Limitations. The limitations for personal injury cases in Ontario is generally two years from the date of accident/injury. You should always consult a lawyer to know your Statute of Limitations as there are a few exceptions to the rule. 

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Q. What Will I Have to Prove to Win My Case?

A:

  1. Liability - who is at fault? The jury will assign a percentage of fault to each party involved. Take for example if two cars collided with each other and both driver says the other one ran a red light, then the jury can believe one side and will put driver 1 at 0% fault and driver 2 100%. Fault can also get split in 50-50 or any other degree of fault that a jury believes is fair. 

  2. Damages - You have to prove your personal injuries and losses which you have suffered. In order to prove physical injuries you have to present medical reports which clearly states your health status and injuries. Serious injury can result in your inability to work and affect your future earnings/wages.  You may be faced with medical expenses at the time of the accident or into the future.  Damages must be quantified and calculated, as the only award a jury can make is monetary. 

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Q. How Do I Know If I Have a Good Case?

A: You will usually have a case, if you suffered serious personal injury due to someone else’s fault or negligence. However, there are various factors which need to be considered before filing a lawsuit. Even if you were a victim of a serious personal injury, it could be a complicated process to file a lawsuit and receive justice from the negligent party involved. This is why it is best to seek legal advice. Contact us so we will help you receive justice and fair compensation.

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Estate Planning

Q. What Is a Power of Attorney?

A: A Power of Attorney is a written document by which an individual (the grantor) appoints someone (the Attorney) to act on their behalf concerning financial and/or personal care matters while the Grantor is alive.  

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Q. What Is the Difference Between a Power of Attorney for Property and Power of Attorney for Personal Care?

A: There are two separate documents reflecting different responsibilities. (1) A Power of Attorney for Property allows your Attorney to deal with all financial matters concerning your assets. (2) A Power of Attorney for Personal Care allows your Attorney to deal with all your related health care issues including treatment decisions and long-term care residence placements. The Attorney may or may not be the same individual depending on your needs and their abilities.

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Q. When Does a Power of Attorney Become Effective?

A: A Power of Attorney for Property is valid upon execution unless otherwise stated in the document. Since Powers of Attorney are granted as a precautionary step, few people want them activated immediately. The documents should be held by a trustworthy person or trust company (if they are named as the Attorney) and you must give explicit Instructions on when the named Attorney can commence to act under its authority.  The Power of Attorney document itself can contain details about the activation mechanism. The most common reason for a Power of Attorney to become active is a loss of mental capacity on the part of the grantor to handle their financial affairs. 

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Q. What Are the Common Misunderstandings About Attorney Appointments?

A: Grantors are sometimes not aware of the extensive duties they are placing upon their named Power of Attorney from both a time and emotional aspect. Likewise,  those agreeing to act as a Power of Attorneys can be surprised by the extent of what they must undertake when taking over someone's finances or obtaining placement for long term care.  In some cases, they have accepted not anticipating that the Power of Attorney would ever be activated.

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Q. What Are the Benefits of Having a Will?

A: A properly drafted Will provides peace of mind and control. It gives you comfort in knowing that your wishes will be respected after your death. It ensures that support for family members, dependents or charities that you wish to support occurs. It gives you control over the details of the distribution of your estate and makes it easier and often less expensive to administer your estate and reduce strain on your family at a difficult time. It also allows you to appoint the most effective representative, either an individual or a trust company, to handle your estate. The naming of a guardian for your minor children is important, particularly if you have family members you feel would not be suitable for your child to be cared for in your absence. 

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Q. What is Involved in the Will Planning Process?

A: Information gathering on assets, wishes, family obligations and needs summarized in a document we provide to you when you make an appointment to discuss will preparation.  We will review these details with you and discuss tax and legal issues. We will then create a will plan. After your wishes are confirmed the final document will be drafted on your behalf and you will attend to sign it. 

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Q. When Should I Change My Will?

A: You should consider changing your Will if you marry, separate, divorce, your financial circumstances or the nature of your assets changes significantly, you move to another country, assets (especially real property) are acquired outside of Canada, an executor named in the Will dies or is no longer able to carry out their duties, the circumstances of the beneficiaries change or you wish to make provision for additional people or charities. Major life events, such as having a child, should prompt review of your current Will as it may need to be updated. 

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Personal Injury

Q. I Was Injured - What Should I Do?

A:

  1. Receive Medical Attention

  2. The most important thing is to make sure you receive prompt and proper medical attention.

    Go to the emergency department if you have been injured and then see your family doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Report all symptoms to him or her. Continue with regular visits until you have recovered completely, or as fully as possible. Follow your doctor's advice and that of any other professionals you may be referred to.

    If you do not have a family doctor, it is a good idea to get one. Typically it is best if you can be in the care of one primary health care professional who can oversee your health and coordinate your treatment. Your family doctor can refer you to appropriate specialists, receive and review their consultation reports and generally follow your progress.  If you do not have a family doctor, and cannot locate one accepting patients, go to the same walk in clinic each time you need medical attention.  Even if you do not see the same physician, they will be able to follow your care on one medical chart. 

    Eventually the specific diagnosis and prognosis of your injuries should be obtained from a health care professional to help value your claim and to assist you in receiving fair compensation for your injuries. A physician who has followed your progress consistently from the date of the injury may be in the best position to do so.

    If you do not have a family physician you can go to www.cpso.on.ca to see if any are available in your area that are taking on new patients.

  3. Document the Incident

  4. It is important to properly document the incident. Get names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties, witnesses, and emergency personnel involved. Obtain a copy of any reports.

    Make detailed observations of the accident scene. If possible, you should make written notes and take pictures.  For example, if you had a fall on a sidewalk, take a picture of the fall location and other landmarks and buildings so that the exact location can be located by others needing to survey the scene. 

  5. Report the Accident to your Insurance Company

  6. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident it is mandatory to report all accidents that occur to your insurance company. There can be consequences limiting victims' rights to recovery if the insurance company is not notified promptly. For this reason it is always important to report your collision to the insurance company within the prescribed time limits.  

  7. Seek Free Legal Advice Promptly

  8. It is important to seek legal advice promptly, as there are various time limits that must be followed.  If you do not you may jeopardize your right to receive full and proper compensation for your injuries and losses. You may contact us and we will arrange for a lawyer to meet with you at no cost to you. 

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Q. What Sorts of Damages are Covered Under Personal Injury Law?

A: Compensation for pain and suffering, both past and future, should your injury cause you ongoing disability. These are called general damages. 

Compensation can also be claimed by family members for loss of care guidance and companionship.  These are called Family Law Act claims. 

Damages that are financial losses can include: medical bills, damage to property (such as an automobile in an accident) lost wages and future loss of earning ability.  These are called Special Damages or out-of-pocket damages. 

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Asbestos

Q. What Diagnostic Documents Do I Need to Prove My Asbestos Disease?

A: A definitive pathology report is all that is required to prove mesothelioma. Other cancers require additional documents including CT, X-ray and narrative reports from a specialist confirming the cancer was caused or contributed to by the exposure to asbestos. 

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Q. I Don’t Have Any Money. How Do I Start an Asbestos Claim?

A: If we believe you have a valid and provable claim we will front the cost of disbursements (expenses) once you retain this firm. These disbursements will then be deducted from funds that we obtain for you. If we cannot prove your claim we will not ask for those costs back.

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Q. I Cannot Recall the Names of all the Places that I Worked and Was Exposed to Asbestos. What Do I Do?

A: If you worked in Canada it is possible to retrieve a list of your employers from the Canada Pension Plan. We can do this on your behalf if you retain us and authorize us to do so.

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Q. I Live in Another Province and Am Not Able to Travel. How Do I Retain and Work with Your Firm?

A: Necessary documentation can be emailed, mailed or couriered. Communication can be via telephone, e-mail, skype, hangouts or facetime. When required, we will travel to your home, hospital or other location convenient to you.

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Q. I Have a Family Member Who Has Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma but I Was the Person that Worked Directly with Asbestos. Who Needs to Retain a Lawyer?

A: The person who has been diagnosed with an asbestos disease (or their authorized representative) needs to retain a lawyer. The exposed worker can provide evidence relating to exposure to that lawyer but the solicitor/client relationship lies with the injured party.

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Q. I Want to Sue My Employer Because I Was Exposed at Work. Why Can’t I Do that?

A: Please refer to the work place rules for your Province/Territory summarized on this website. Your right to sue is generally limited by work place compensation legislation. Should you require further clarification or opinion you should get legal advice from a lawyer familiar with the Compensation Board in your Province/Territory.

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Q. My Documents Are Not in English. What Do I Do?

A: The Asbestos Trusts will accept a certified translation of your records. We have translators that we deal with and can have necessary documents translated.

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Q. I Know I Was Exposed to Asbestos but I Have No Symptoms or Illness. Is there Anything I Should Do Now?

A: Document your exposure. Where and what you were exposed to. Keep together any documentation about your exposure in a safe place which is known to your family members. There is a high probability you will never be diagnosed with mesothelioma or need these documents but if you have the time to assemble the material it would be beneficial should you ever become ill. No action can be taken on your behalf for exposure. If, and when, your doctor determines that asbestos has caused an illness you will have your documentation ready to provide to a lawyer.  If you were exposed at a place where you worked years ago, keep any documentation that you may still have, such as various trade licences, certificates and tax slips such as T-4s and Records of Employment. 

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Q. How Much Is My Asbestos Claim Worth?

A: There is no simple answer to this question. Many factors must be taken into consideration to determine how your is a claim is valued and without knowing your specific history with asbestos it is not possible for us, or any other firm, to quote you a specific dollar value.  There are many trusts open and accepting applications for compensation and your exposure history affects which asbestos trusts should be applied to. 

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Insurance Disputes

Q. My Insurance Company Wants me to see Their Doctor. Do I Have to go?

A: Most long-term disability policies allow the insurance company to have your medical condition reviewed by a doctor of their choosing to determine if you are unfit to work. The doctor must be qualified to give an opinion regarding the nature of your disability. The assessment date and time must be reasonable. If you refuse to attend (without good reason) you will be in violation of your responsibilities as set out in the insurance policy and your insurance company will have grounds to deny your claim. If you have been advised by your insurance company that they want to send you for a medical assessment it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer before the assessment appointment.

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Q. Is it Legal for my Insurance Company to Have me Watched?

A: Surveillance of persons making claims for disability wage loss benefits is common and legal. Insurance companies often hire an outside company to follow, photograph and record your movements to confirm that you are in fact disabled. They do this to ensure that claims fraud is not occurring. It is important that you are open and honest with your lawyer about what you are able, or not, to do so that any surveillance will not harm, but in fact help your claim. Most investigation companies follow the laws regarding trespassing, however if you feel threatened you should call the police.

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Q. Can my Insurance Company Force me to Apply for CPP Disability Benefits?

A: Many policies allow long term disability insurers to require you to apply for benefits from another source, like CPP. If you receive these benefits it is normal that they will be deducted from the benefits you receive. Ask for the specific section of the insurance policy that requires you to apply for benefits as it may also include a provision that if you choose not to apply for benefits from another source as requested by the insurer, they may be able to deduct the amount you would have received, regardless if benefits are actually obtained. If you apply for CPP disability benefits and are denied, you may be required to appeal. If you have not already obtained legal advice, when your insurance company requests that you apply for benefits from CPP or WSIB, it would be a good time to obtain legal advice.

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