Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a list of common questions we receive. Don't see the answer you're looking for? Speak to a personal injury lawyer today by calling our toll-free number or sending an inquiry through our online contact form.
An accident can leave anyone feeling helpless, anxious, and overwhelmed. It's normal to have questions. At Gowland, Boriss, we're here to help. We offer free consultations and contingency fee agreements to help make high-quality personal injury representation available to everyone.
Question: How much is my case worth?
ANSWER: This is the hardest question for any lawyer to answer, as determining the worth of your personal injury claim depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, your relevant pre-accident health history, how your injuries were sustained, the extent to which you recover, and numerous other factors that may arise over the lifetime of your case.
Question: How long will my personal injury lawsuit take?
ANSWER: Each case is unique, so there is no general timetable for personal injury cases. An uncomplicated personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial. Others may require several years to complete and may require a trial.
Question: How do I know when you are my lawyer?
ANSWER: Our representation begins when you have signed our Retainer Agreement.
Question: Should I talk to the insurance company before I have consulted with a lawyer?
ANSWER: No. You are fully within your rights to speak with a lawyer before speaking with an insurance company. Insurance companies understand completely if you provide your lawyer’s name and telephone number and request that all initial discussions be with your lawyer.
Question: How soon should I file a lawsuit?
ANSWER: You should speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as reasonably possible following your accident. In Ontario, there is a fixed 2-year limitation period in which to commence a law suit arising from injuries sustained in a slip or trip and fall accident. This 2-year period begins to run from the date of your accident. Similarly, for car accidents, there is a 2-year limitation period commencing from the accident or from the date upon which you knew or ought, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, to have known that you had suffered from "permanent, serious and continuous" impairment of an important bodily function. We believe it is best to treat motor vehicle accidents as a strict 2-year limitation period from the date of the collision. Failure to commence your action in a timely manner may result in your right to recover proper damages for your injuries being barred.
Question: Should I sign a Release?
ANSWER: Before signing a Release of any sort, be sure to contact a lawyer with experience in personal injury to ensure your rights are protected. If you sign a Release, you may prejudice or harm your right to be fully compensated for your injuries, or compensated at all. In some instances, an insurer may offer an early settlement that may not fully compensate you, as you may still be unaware of the extent and future costs of your injuries.
Question: What is no-fault?
ANSWER: No-fault merely means that, no matter who is at fault in a car accident, your own auto insurer provides you with Accident Benefits, such as income replacement, medical rehabilitation, and housekeeping assistance. However, these benefits are not automatic and, at times, legal assistance is required in obtaining the benefits that you deserve. Different rules apply were the person injured does not have his own auto insurance. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are concerned that you might have an entitlement to accident benefits but are uncertain where to obtain them.
Question: What if I am a pedestrian or cyclist and don't have insurance?
ANSWER: You are still entitled to receive benefits from the insurer of the vehicle that struck you or from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. In addition, you can start a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Question: My insurance company says that I need to see their doctor?
ANSWER: These are called Insurers' Examinations. These examinations are designed to determine whether you meet the definitions and tests required to obtain various benefits under the Accident Benefits Schedule. If you have been asked to attend an Insurers' Examination, it is best to consult a lawyer before the examination.
Question: Help! My insurance company has denied or terminated my Long-Term Disability benefits.
ANSWER: Your entitlement to these benefits is determined by the language used in the Long-Term Disability agreement. Typically, you are entitled to receive long-term disability benefits for up to 2 years as long as you can demonstrate that you are disabled from the essential tasks and responsibilities of your own occupation. After 2 years, most long-term disability policies require that you show that you are disabled from any occupation by which you are reasonably suited by your education, training, and experience. If you have been denied long-term disability benefits, or have had your benefits terminated, you should consult with an experienced long-term disability lawyer immediately. There are also strict limitation periods that apply to commencing claims against an insurer for the denial or termination of long-term disability benefits.