Personal Injury Practice Group

Our approach to personal injury law is driven by the core belief that everybody is entitled to fair compensation when it comes to a personal injury, such as a car accident, a slip and fall, or other serious injury or disability claims. It isn’t just about missing out on work, it’s about missing out on life. When somebody else’s negligence negatively impacts on you and your loved ones, our Ottawa based personal injury lawyers will ensure that you receive fair and timely compensation. At Low Murchison Radnoff we have over 70 years of combined experience in Personal Injury law. Our personal injury lawyers have a wealth of trial experience and a proven record of favourable results in serious injury cases. Additionally, we practice personal injury law in both English and French.

We pride ourselves on providing practical advice and giving clients the “straight goods”. Our counsel remain objective, levelheaded, and determined throughout the injury claims and litigation process to ensure that you and your loved ones are fairly compensated for your losses. We are very pragmatic in our strategy and equally aggressive in our approach when dealing with insurance companies to ensure a level playing field. We are not afraid and will go to court if necessary.

We deal with all injury claims, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Injury claims
  • Accident benefit claims arising from motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Life insurance and long-term disability claims
  • Wrongful death claims
  • Product defects

Lawyers Practicing in Personal Injury Law

Jennifer Aouad
Michael Beeson
Gary Boyd
Tess Brown
Jean-François Laberge
Christine M. LaCasse

Questions?

I have been off work for a period of time due to physical or psychological problems. My insurance company recently notified me that they intend to stop my monthly payments. What are my options for extending my disability claim?

You have the right to dispute the decision by the insurance company and may provide your own medical reports in support of your position.  Often it will be necessary to commence a claim against the disability insurer within a certain period of time in order to preserve your legal rights.

I recently slipped and fell on private property, what are my rights?

You should immediately notify the property owner as to the nature and extent of your slip and fall injuries.  This can be done by way of letter.

Under the Ontario Occupiers’ Liability Act all property owners have a duty to regularly inspect their property to ensure that it is kept safe for the public. You are entitled to pursue a claim for your damages for pain and suffering, out-of-pocket expenses and any past or future income loss.

I was recently involved in a car accident. What are my rights against the at-fault driver?

You are entitled to claim for damages to compensate you for the injuries and losses you have suffered in your car accident.  These claims can include general damages, which are to cover pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, past and future income loss, loss of competitive advantage in the workforce, future care expenses and special damages, such as prescription drugs, travel costs or housekeeping benefits.

In order to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering from a motor vehicle accident, you must have suffered what is called a “permanent and serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function”.  Essentially, your injuries must be of such a permanent and serious nature that they substantially interfere with your ability to continue your regular or usual employment and significantly change the quality and enjoyment of your life.

Your claim will be subject to a deductible of $30,000 pursuant to provisions under the Insurance Act unless you have suffered a catastrophic impairment or injuries that are valued in excess of $100,000.

What I am entitled to receive from my own insurance company?

You are entitled to obtain car accident benefits from your own auto insurer.  If you have been injured, regardless who is at fault, your own insurance company must provide you with accident benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule (“SABS”) which is governed by the Insurance Act.  Accident benefits include the following:

  • Weekly income replacement benefits if you are unable to carry out the essential tasks of your pre-accident employment
  • Rehabilitation Benefits, such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatments, occupational therapy, assisted devices, and vocational retraining, attendant care, such as private nursing care
  • Payment of expenses incurred by visitors or family members
  • Medical benefits, which may include prescription and non-prescription medication, dental services

The amount and the duration of these accident benefits available to you often depend on the nature and severity of your injury.  Please note that as of September 1, 2010 the accident benefits have been significantly reduced.

  1. Income Replacement Benefits (IRB).  Under the previous SABS (up to September 1, 2010) weekly IRB’s were calculated at 80% of net income to a maximum cap of $400 per week.  Under the new SABS, weekly IRB’s are calculated at 70% of gross weekly earnings with the weekly cap of $400 remaining.You may wish to speak to your own automobile insurance agent about purchasing optional insurance coverage to increase the weekly benefits to $600, $800 or $1000.
  2. Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits.  Under the previous SABS, accident victims had available to them medical/rehabilitation benefits up to the amount of $100,000, which was payable over a 10 year period.  Your insurance company had the right to dispute a particular rehabilitation expense, such as massage therapy or physiotherapy and they would be required to send you to one of their own medical assessors.  If the assessor did not agree that you were entitled to this treatment, the insurance company was required to pay the fee for a responding report that you had the right to obtain. This system has now been completed revised.  The maximum amounts paid under the current medical-rehabilitation schedule is limited to $50,000. All medical assessments performed cannot exceed more than $2,000.  Injured victims are no longer able to have their own insurance company pay the cost of a responding report.  Individuals have the right to increase their medical/rehabilitation limit to $100,000 if they purchase optional coverage.
  3. The medical-rehabilitation limits are much lower for injuries defined as “minor injuries”.  Individuals who suffer minor injuries in automobile collisions would be subject to a cap of $3,500 for all medical and rehabilitation benefits.  This amount includes the cost of all assessments obtained by or on behalf of the injured party.  Minor injuries are defined as a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusions, abrasions, lacerations, or subluxation or any clinically associated sequelae.  A review of these definitions reveals that a “minor injury” includes partial but not complete tares to ligaments, tendons and muscles.
  4. If you have a minor injury you are not eligible for housekeeping or attendant care benefits.

Housekeeping Benefits

Under the previous legislation the automobile insurer was required to pay up to $100 per week for those individuals who required housekeeping/homemaker assistance after their car accident.  Parties could remain eligible for these benefits for up to two years after their accident or in the event that they had suffered a “catastrophic impairment” they would receive these benefits indefinitely.

Housekeeping benefits in non-catastrophic cases, the majority of most motor vehicle claims will be eliminated in the basic policy and made optional with an additional premium.  If an individual has suffered a catastrophic injury the housekeeping benefits will be available provided that they are incurred and there is a substantial inability to perform the housekeeping and home maintenance services an individual would normally perform before the accident.

Attendant Care Benefits

Attendant Care Benefits were payable to severely injured persons who needed the assistance of a nurse or other healthcare professional to attend to their needs.  Under the former legislation attendant care was paid at the rate of $3,000 per month for a maximum of a two-year timeframe unless a catastrophic injury had occurred.

Under the new legislation Attendant Care Benefits are not available for those diagnosed with a minor injury.  Attendant care for catastrophically impaired individuals remains unchanged in the amount of one million dollars.

What steps do I need to take to notify the at-fault-driver or their insurance company?

Within 120 days of your accident the injured party must notify the driver and owner of the vehicle that hit you in writing and advise them that you have been injured and that you intend to pursue a claim for compensation against them.  A claim must be issued within 2 years from the date of the accident failing which you will be legally prevented from suing.