We are available to help. We will listen. We can answer your questions. We will protect your interests. We welcome the opportunity to work with you toward the successful resolution of your personal injury claim.
Additionally, until you have reached a full and complete recovery it is impossible to determine if your injuries would be considered minor or not. If your injury is not capped you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering of upwards of $60,000.00 for troubling but not totally disabling injuries and over $300,000.00 for catastrophic injuries. Again, this is just for pain and suffering. It does not include amounts for wage loss, cost of future care, and other aspects of loss that can often be claimed.
What is my claim worth, what is the “CAP” does it apply to me?
If you have been injured, you may have been told that in Nova Scotia compensation is capped at $8,350.00 for minor injuries. This is often untrue! It is important to realize that this amount only includes part of what you might be entitled to. It does not include anything for how injuries may impact your ability to fully perform your job, do housework, or indeed any other out of pocket expenses you would not have had but for being injured.
Additionally, until you have reached a full and complete recovery it is impossible to determine if your injuries would be considered minor or not. If your injury is not capped you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering of upwards of $60,000.00 for troubling but not totally disabling injuries and over $300,000.00 for catastrophic injuries. Again, this is just for pain and suffering inconvenience and does not include amounts for wage loss, cost of future care, and many other categories. Click this link for more information on car accidents in Nova Scotia.
Should I settle my Injury Claim?
Years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims throughout Nova Scotia has made it clear that one does not want to settle a claim until you have reached a full and complete recovery or long term prognosis is clear. It may be that once you have made a good recovery but once you attempt to get back to all your activities or full time work, there are problems that flare up. These may prevent you from doing what you could do before without pain or other limitations. If you resolve your claim too early you run the risk of being undercompensated. Obtaining proper advice from experienced personal injury legal counsel is essential to ensuring you are treated fairly and all your needs are taken into consideration.
Being updated for 2016
We offer a variety of fee arrangements and work to tailor one to suit your specific needs and matter. For many matters, we offer a contingency fee arrangement whereby our fee will be a percentage of compensation we get on your behalf through negotiation or judgment of the Court. Basically, we do not get paid until you do.
Other arrangements include an hourly rate which will vary depending on the experience of the lawyer you are dealing with as well as a fixed fee arrangement. With a fixed fee arrangement we look at the task involved and give you an idea of the cost. This is often popular as it provides some certainty to the client and is available when your matter is something whereby we can give you a good overview of the steps that will be required to ensure your needs are taken care of.
HST of 15% is payable on all fees.
Slip and Falls
A property owner must keep the premises reasonably safe or warn the public of potential dangers. If not, the owner may be liable for injuries that have occurred on the premises. As lawyers for negligent and dangerous premises claims throughout Nova Scotia, we have represented people who have suffered injuries as a result of spills on floors, including slippery and wet flooring, defective playground equipment, improperly maintained parking lots and sidewalks, lack of proper lighting, defective railings and stairwells, improperly stacked items on grocery store shelves and items left on the floor leading to a fall and injury.
Injury due to Dangerous Slip and Falls in Nova Scotia
Medical malpractice occurs when treatment provided by a healthcare provider does not meet an accepted standard of care and harm results. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result what you believe is medical malpractice in Nova Scotia, it is important to get appropriate legal advice. At Allen Law Inc., we have dealt with a variety of medical error related claims throughout Nova Scotia, including physician’s negligence, misdiagnosis and surgical errors.
Examples of medical malpractice include but are not limited to, delayed diagnosis ( including delays in emergency treatment) , surgical errors, negligent care by nurses in post-operative recovery, medical based errors resulting from poor communication and understanding of treatments, medical record errors, brain injuries to infants caused by negligence during deliveries or pre-natal care, and the failure of a physician or health care practitioner to properly warn of the side effects of treatments.
Doctors, nurses, dentists and hospitals are not perfect and most do an excellent job. However, it has been estimated that well over twenty thousand Canadian patients die each year due to preventable medical errors! Many more are injured and left with the lifelong consequences due to medical negligence.
Proving Medical Negligence / Malpractice in Nova ScotiaSuccess in a medical negligence claim depends on more than proof of an error in judgment or practice on the part of the health care professional. It is also necessary to prove that the error causing the injury was of a kind that a reasonably careful professional would not have made under similar circumstances and that this actually caused the patient’s injury or death.
Part of determining if medical negligence occurs means that an expert review of the circumstances and review of all records will usually be required to overcome the objections the Canadian Medical Protective Association will certainly raise in defending your Action against any doctor involved. At Allen Law Inc., our experience in properly investigating and proving medical negligence claims and our connections with experts who can review your treatment, means that your medical malpractice case will be handled knowledgably, compassionately and efficiently.
"Being updated for 2016"
Personal Injury Claim Process Explained:
One is your own body’s condition. In other words, how quick you heal. Generally, you will want to make sure that you have reached a full recovery or we at least get to a situation whereby a physician can give an accurate estimation of your future prognosis. It is important that one does not resolve a matter too early thus risk selling one’s self short, so to speak. On the other hand, there is no need to unduly delay resolution efforts.
Some of the first steps we will do is gather the information about your claim. This will include any witness statements (if applicable), photographs and the gathering of medical records. This information will allow us to evaluate your claim both in respect to the important issue of liability (if we can hold someone else at fault) and your losses. These are often referred to as damages. Basically, this entitles compensation for your pain and suffering of your injury as well as other damages we can claim if applicable. These include things such as wage loss, cost of future care expenses, extra expenses you might incur for help around the house and if applicable, an amount for any future loss of earning capacity. Depending on your circumstances there may be other things we can claim. Evaluating your claim is important so that we can ensure that everything that can be credibly claimed, is.
While gathering this information, we will send some if not all of it off to the defendant or an insurance adjuster appointed on the defendant’s behalf. The insurance adjuster is an individual that is hired to look into the matter on behalf of the insured for the defendant. It is important that we give the adjuster a good idea of your claim so that the defendant’s insurer budgets appropriately for when we may make the quantification and offer to resolve your claim. This process usually also involves us providing a statement of the facts to the insurance adjuster or in some cases meeting with the adjuster so you can give a statement.
If the meeting with the insurance adjuster or other representative of the defendant takes place, we will discuss this well in advance and I will be there with you. Again, such a meeting is common but not required. We can discuss this when the time arises.
After we have evaluated all the information necessary to look at your claim which includes medical records, information pertaining to wage loss, witness statements, etc., we will meet to discuss this further. If you have reached a full recovery or an appropriate estimate can be of when and if you will, it may be appropriate then to attempt to put a dollar value on your claim. This is not an exact science but one where there generally is an acceptable and wide varying range.
To put a dollar value on your claim, we basically look at what courts have been giving individuals whom have suffered similar injuries in similar circumstances. Again, this works out to a range more or less. Every situation is unique, but this is a guide. From there we also look at other things you may be able to claim such as wage loss, reimbursement for expenses you incurred but would not have had but for the injury, etc.
In consultation with you, we will make a recommendation and have a full and frank discussion regarding all the strengths, and if there are any, weaknesses of your position. From this we will put together a resolution proposal and submit this to the defendant or the insurance adjuster appointed on behalf of the adjuster.
After we have submitted the settlement proposal to the insurance adjuster, we await a response. Sometimes the response comes in a week or two. Other times it takes several months.
Below we will outline some of the steps that will generally take place after we submit a proposal to the defendant or insurance adjuster.
1. We get a response from the adjuster regarding any offer that is made.
2. Rarely is any proposal accepted right away and there are often some offers and counter offers made between the adjuster and us on your behalf (with your cooperation and input of course)
3. If the matter is not resolved, we prepare, issue and serve a law suit. When a law suit is prepared the insurance company hires a lawyer to represent the defendant. The lawyer and I go through various procedures similar to some extent as we do with the adjuster. These include:
a) The lawyer will file a Defence to your claim.
b) Documents are exchanged in a certain format that help us evaluate the matter. These include some of the documents you provided me so far such as a photograph of your shoes, medical records proving your injuries, etc. We can also get documents regarding the maintenance of the building. These documents will assist us in proving your claim. Many matters are settled after the exchange of documents.
c) If the matter is not settled at that point, we arrange for Discovery Examinations. This is when we get to ask a representative of the owner including a maintenance person, questions under oath. These are questions that will help us find more information that will assist us with your claim. The Defendant’s lawyer can ask you questions under oath too. This will include how it happened, how you are doing, etc.
Discovery Examinations take place in a room with a court reporter and I am present throughout everything. I am with you the entire way. We meet well before hand and go over everything. There is nothing to be anxious about this important step. Discovery Examinations, are your opportunity to fully explain in your own words how you are doing at present.
d) Many matters are often settled after a Discovery Examination as the lawyers then have a good idea what all the evidence is.
e) If the matter is still not resolved or there are outstanding questions, we may get some additional medical reports or other reports to help prove your losses. This can include a report from a rehabilitation specialist about your long term prospects. It may also include a report outlining any future care needs you might need. It would be important that we include costs of future care for things such as water pillows, physiotherapy, medications, etc. in your claim. A report from an expert in a form that is accepted by the court is and would be a necessary step if we do not resolve the matter by this stage.
f) After all additional reports are exchanged, settlement is often reached at this point. If it has not been reached at this point, there are a few options:
1) – arrange to have a mediation in front of non-binding mediator. I have done many of these and approximately 90% settle at mediation.
2) – file a Request for a Date Assignment Conference (this is something we file to request a trial date). I trial is of course a procedure is heard in front of a judge or in some cases a judge and jury.
3) – file a Request for a Date Assignment Conference, but also request a settlement conference in front of a judge. This would not be the same judge that hears the matter but one that looks at everything and tells it like he/she sees it. This often encourages parties to settle. This is a final step before trial. Many matters are often settled at this stage.
g) The last stage would be a trial. This would be well down the road and the vast majority of matters resolve well before getting there. If we were approaching this stage, we would meet well in advance an appropriately prepare. A trial will involve us calling individuals that can talk about how the accident happened, and doctors or other experts that can talk about your injuries and losses. These may include treating physicians, specialists, physiotherapists, employers and/or actuaries that may be able to talk about the financial ramifications of your losses, etc. Your evidence (what you can say at trial) is also very, very important. Again, the vast majority of matters resolve well before trial. If we were to get there, we would be well prepared.
There are a few things you can do to help this process. One is any assistance you (or anyone on your behalf) can provide with gathering information is appreciated. This would include you keeping copies of any receipts for expenses you incurred, providing any information about your losses, your employment and notations of when you visited doctors, etc.
It is often helpful to keep a calendar or day timer and occasionally write down how you are doing on a particular day. For example, if there is an activity you have done with pain or could not do, write it down. If you are able to do a certain thing, write it down. If you are taking a certain medication or having a need to visit your physician, write it down. This can be helpful months or indeed some cases years down the road. This is because when trying to remember things that have passed, it is often difficult to place a general time and date when a certain event was happening. This will help us in placing a particular time frame accurately as to when certain things were going on in your life. While at first this may seem like something that is unnecessary, when months or indeed years pass, it is often very difficult to accurately remember what was happening and when.
Another thing you can do is keep an accurate record of any expenses you have incurred that you would not have had but for the injury. Usually this is something we can claim compensation for. This would include any expenses you incurred for work around the house, or indeed if you have had any individuals to help with work around the house or other tasks you would normally perform.
I hope this information gives you some further background as to some of the steps that we may have to undertake to bring your claim to a successful conclusion. Please feel free to call me with any additional questions you may have.
We are available to help. We can answer your questions. We welcome the opportunity to protect your interests. We will work with you toward the successful resolution of your personal injury claim.