Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
We win cases that change the law. At Campisi LLP, we have decades of experience practicing personal injury law and winning landmark, precedent-setting cases for our clients. Our lawyers achieve exceptional outcomes because of our extensive knowledge of the insurance industry, medical and rehabilitative science and the legal system. Every injury victim’s case is reviewed by the Campisi legal team, headed by our managing partner, Joseph Campisi – a certified Civil Litigation Specialist and Osgoode Hall Insurance Law professor.
We have achieved exceptional results for our clients against some of the world’s largest and most prominent insurance companies, law firms and corporations including: AIG, Allstate, Aviva, Chubb, Cooperators, Desjardins, Economical, Intact, Lloyd’s, Northbridge, RBC, RSA, TD, Travelers, Wawanesa and Zurich, among others. Contact us today to learn how Campisi’s experts can help you with your case.
No law firm should guarantee you a settlement amount or a successful trial result. If they do, then they are misleading you, because it is impossible to predict the actions of insurance companies and the courts.
This is what we can guarantee:
We guarantee to always put your future first, and you don’t pay for anything until your case is won or settled. We treat you as we would our family, making ourselves available 7 days a week to guide you through these difficult times. We also limit the number of cases we take on so that you receive the attention you deserve, and the expert help you need.
Yes, that is the simple definition of a contingency fee agreement. Because your injuries and ongoing impairment might keep you from working, you might not have the means to pay for a lawyer, even though you have a legitimate claim for compensation. The defendant’s lawsuit is paid for by their insurance company, and only very rarely will the defendant owe any personal money. Because this creates an unfair disadvantage for the plaintiff, the contingency fee system was introduced in Canada. Basically, your lawyers pay the up-front costs of the lawsuit and defer payment of their fees until it settles or goes to trial. At that time, if you are successful, you pay your lawyers an agreed–upon percentage of the award and reimburse them for the costs they paid on your behalf. If you are not successful, you are still responsible for the costs, but you do not have to pay any legal fees to your lawyers.
Personal Injury: General
After an accident, it may take some time to get back to your old life. Some injuries may prevent you from returning to work. You should notify your employer about your accident and your injuries. You should also stay in touch with your employer throughout your recovery, updating them on your condition and a possible timeline of when you may be returning to your We can provide you with expert guidance concerning your potential return to work, your employer’s duty to accommodate your ongoing limitations, and whether a graduated return to work on modified duties is appropriate.
If you have sustained an injury and cannot work, it is important that you focus on your recovery. There are options to assist you financially:
You may be entitled to Income Replacement Benefits from your insurance company.
You may be entitled to Income Replacement Benefits from your car insurance company.
You may be entitled to short- or long-term disability benefits through your employer. Speak to your Human Resources department to find out what you are entitled to under your plan.
You may be entitled to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Ontario Disability Savings Plan (ODSP) benefits.
Speak to an experienced personal injury law firm, such as Campisi LLP, to ensure you are getting all the assistance that is available to you.
Personal Injury: Car, Truck, Motorcycle Or Bicycle Accident
The moments after any accident can be confusing and hectic. Try to remain calm and follow these steps.
At the scene of the accident:
- Remain at the scene.
- If the vehicles are damaged and/or someone has been injured, call the police and ambulance services.
- Gather the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the individuals involved in the accident, including the contact details of any witnesses.
- Take down the other vehicle’s license plate details and the name and policy number of the driver’s insurance.
- If possible, take photos of vehicle damage, the scene and your injuries.
Following the accident:
- Notify your insurance agent, broker or insurance company within 7 days of the accident.
- Let your family doctor know that you have been injured.
- Report the accident to your employer or school, and if you have disability insurance available, inform that insurance company of your injuries.
- Report the accident to any other insurer you may have, for example mortgage or debt forgiveness through credit cards.
- If the police did not come to the scene of the accident, report the accident to them.
- Keep receipts of all accident-related expenses.
- Your family should keep a record of dates and times that they have spent caring for you.
- Contact a knowledgeable personal injury law firm, such as Campisi LLP, to learn about your rights.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You do not have to speak to the insurance company of the other parties involved in the accident. It is a good idea to have a lawyer with you, if and when you decide to provide a such a statement, because what you say could affect your right to compensation.
If you have been involved in an accident, your injuries may not become apparent until hours and even days later. It is very important to see a doctor in order to prevent a delay in receiving any treatment that may be required.
It is in the best interest of the insurance company to settle your claim as quickly as possible. By accepting an offer from the insurance company, the case is considered closed and you run the risk of releasing them from paying what you fully deserve. Before agreeing to settle your claim, you should always consult a knowledgeable personal injury law firm, such as Campisi LLP, to ensure that you are adequately informed of your rights.
We understand that finances can be tight after an accident. Campisi LLP wants to make your insurance claim process as easy as possible so you can focus on your recovery. You don’t pay anything during the course of your personal injury lawsuit. Once your case is won or a settlement is reached, we receive a standard percentage plus any costs we paid on your behalf.
The process can be very complex. The value of a claim takes time, as evidence has to be gathered by both sides and will be dependent on a variety of issues, including:
- Whether you were totally or partially responsible for the accident;
- The nature and extent of your injuries;
- The frequency, duration and cost of treatment;
- The level of disability you will be left with as a result of your injuries;
- Your pre-accident employment history and income;
- The length of time it took you to return to work and your ability to return to the same level of pre-accident employment.
The term no-fault insurance can be misleading and is often misinterpreted to mean that no one is at fault, or that you are not allowed to sue the other driver. In actuality, there is always someone determined to be at fault in an accident. No-fault insurance more accurately means that if you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault, drivers always file their accident benefits claim with their own insurance company.
Insurance companies assess fault in accordance with legal Fault Determination Rules. If you disagree with your insurance company’s assessment of fault, contact the claims adjuster handling your case. Take this opportunity to present any new evidence which may change the determination of fault. In the case where your insurer still refuses to revise fault, then you can contact a complaint officer and you may want to contact a personal injury law firm, such as Campisi LLP.
In Ontario, if you are hurt by an uninsured motorist you may be entitled to compensation by your own insurance company under your “uninsured motorist coverage.” If you do not have your own automobile insurance you can make a claim to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
Unless your injuries are deemed catastrophic, a limit of $65,000 for treatment, rehabilitation and attendant care (if required) is applied to a standard vehicle accident benefits claim. This might seem like a lot of money, but it will run out very quickly in a serious injury claim. If you are approaching this limit and still need ongoing benefits, you will likely have to consider applying for a determination of catastrophic impairment (catastrophic). In many cases, your insurance company will take steps (e.g.: scheduling medical assessments) to cut off your accident benefits before you reach these limits. We can help protect your right to continue treatment.
See our individual personal injury services pages for more information:
Personal Injury: Catastrophic Impairment
Catastrophic impairment is a category under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) of the Insurance Act that applies to a variety of severe and generally permanent post-accident impairments. Catastrophic impairment requires proof of at least one of the following:
- Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia);
- Severely impaired use of an arm;
- Impairment of 3 or more functional areas;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Loss of vision in both eyes;
- Whole Person Impairment (WPI): physical impairment in 55% of the person;
- Mental or Behavioural Disorder (MBD): mental or behavioural disability in 55% of the person.
A Catastrophic designation unlocks entitlement to greatly enhanced benefits. For vehicle collisions after June 1, 2016, a claimant can receive up to $1,000,000 in medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits, if required. The amount of available attendant care is up to $6,000 per month.
The WPI rating system assumes a person without any impairment has a WPI of 0%. To meet the catastrophic threshold, a person’s WPI must be 55% or greater. This percentage is calculated by considering all the various impairments a person has suffered and assigning a percent value to each one.
The MBD rating system evaluates loss of function from a mental or behavioural disorder in the following key areas:
1) Activities of daily living;
2) Social functioning;
3) Concentration, persistence and pace;
4) Deterioration or decompensation in work or work-like settings.
For collisions after June 1, 2016, a person must experience impairment levels that significantly impede useful functioning (“Marked” impairment) in 3 of these areas to qualify.
If your injuries and ongoing impairment fall within one of the “straightforward” categories, your insurer will often make the Catastrophic determination as part of adjusting your claim. However, because each of the categories sets out criteria to be met, they will put you through testing in all but the clearest cases. For many claims, particularly ones based on WPI or MBD, you must apply for a determination of Catastrophic. In response, your insurer will schedule a series of appropriate assessments to determine your impairment level.
If the insurance assessors conclude that your impairment does not qualify for Catastrophic under any of the categories, you will have to start a proceeding against your insurer and challenge the assessors’ findings. It is essential that you hire an experienced and decisive personal injury law firm, such as Campisi LLP, to represent you in this complex proceeding. Often, the insurance company will want to settle your claim on a full and final basis rather than proceed to a hearing. We will provide you with clear and prudent advice so that you can determine whether settling is in your best interest.
See our Catastrophic Injury page for more information.
Personal Injury: Slip and Fall
This is a legal claim for compensation for an injury suffered from slipping or tripping and falling because of someone else’s negligence. Common causes of slip and fall accidents are poorly lit areas, badly maintained parking lots and driveways, wet floors and more. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident on private, public or commercial property, speak to a knowledgeable law firm, such as Campisi LLP, to determine liability and fight for your compensation.
We understand that finances can be tight after an accident. Campisi LLP will help you secure the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery. You don’t pay anything during the course of your personal injury lawsuit. Once your case is won or a settlement is reached, we receive a standard percentage plus any costs we paid on your behalf.
See our Slip and Fall page for more information.
Personal Injury: Wrongful Death
While no amount of money can bring back a loved one, it is important for families to know they do have rights and may be entitled to compensation. In Ontario, family members can file wrongful death lawsuits. In order to do this, proof must be provided that the fatality was due to another party’s actions or negligence, such as drunk driving, a medical error, an unsafe working environment, poor road conditions or for other reasons. Wrongful or negligent death cases can be very complex and require the input and guidance of an expert law firm like Campisi LLP. We will work with you to determine if you have the grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim, and we will help you every step of the way.
We understand that finances can be tight after losing a loved one. Campisi LLP wants to make your lawsuit as effortless as possible for you so you can focus on your emotional and financial recovery. You don’t pay anything during the course of your personal injury lawsuit. When your case is won or a settlement is reached, our fees are calculated on the award you receive, based on the terms of our Contingency Fee Agreement with you.
See our Wrongful Death page for more information.
A class action is a lawsuit brought by one or more Representative Plaintiffs on behalf of a larger group, who are the class members. The purpose of a class action is to resolve several similar claims in a single proceeding.
The Representative Plaintiff represents the members in the entire class action. They must fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class, working closely with their law firm. Representative Plaintiffs are subject to greater rewards and risks than other class members. They should discuss those with an experienced law firm like Campisi LLP.
All members identified in the class are automatically included in the class action lawsuit. You are free to opt out of the class, as long as you do so by the court’s deadline. If you do choose to opt out, you can pursue your own claims against the defendant.
Following a determination of the common issues in a class action suit, in many cases it is necessary to determine individual issues. The court may order individual class member assessments to determine the distribution of monetary relief, or it may divide relief equally amongst the class members.
Campisi LLP offers free, no obligation consultations and requires no fees until the case is won or settled. If the class action is not successful, the unsuccessful party must pay the successful party a portion of their legal costs. These are paid by the Representative Plaintiff and not the other class members.
See our Class Action page for more information.
Long-term disability benefits are often part of the group benefits package offered by employers. LTD benefits are there to provide income replacement to employees who are unable to work for a year or longer due to illness or injury. Since Ontario insurance law is complex, and insurance companies are notorious for making claiming difficult, speak to insurance law specialists, such as Campisi LLP, to understand your rights.
If you have sustained an injury or have an illness, whether physical, mental or emotional, and it prevents you from being able to work for a year or more, you may qualify for LTD benefits. If you have applied for LTD benefits and have been denied, you can file a lawsuit. You can also sue if your insurance has decided to terminate your benefits.
See our Long-Term Disability page for more information.