News & Publications

Accident Benefits Claims

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Written by on March 07, 2017.

In the context of a personal injury claim, alternative dispute resolution (also referred to as “ADR”), is a means for the parties to discuss a settlement of the claim without the need for a trial.  The term ADR can refer to mediation, arbitration or even formal settlement discussions.  ADR is becoming an increasingly popular approach to resolving personal injury cases in Ontario. In most cases, the parties’ participation in ADR is voluntary.  A common form of ADR is mediation.  Medi...

Looking Both Ways: Contributory Negligence of Children in Personal Injury Cases

Written by and on February 23, 2017.

Unlike adults, children often do not have the maturity to know what to do when walking across or near roadways. Without adult supervision or an understanding of road safety, children may risk becoming involved in an accident and be found to share some responsibility. The Ontario Court of Appeal has recently released a decision, highlighting the discretion of judges with respect to the issue of contributory negligence of children.[1] Contributory negligence is generally a defence to a negligen...

The High Costs of Drinking and Driving

Written by on December 28, 2016.

As the festivities of the long weekend begin, we see many reminders to not drink and drive. The cost of drinking and driving is an incredibly high one – in both human life and financially for those who are found guilty. According to MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs are the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. On average, approximately 4 people are killed each day in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs. In 2012, there were 2,546 car...

Examinations Under Oath under the SABS: When Must I Attend?

Written by and on December 16, 2016.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released a decision[1] which held that accident benefits insurers must provide reasons when requesting an examination under oath, pursuant to s. 33(2) of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (“SABS”). During an examination under oath, an insured person who is claiming accident benefits (“a claimant”) is questioned by an insurance company representative, in the presence of a court reporter. In this case, the insurer argued that a re...

Top Ontario Accident Benefit Cases of 2016

Written by on December 13, 2016.

Anna Szczurko spoke recently at the Middlesex Law Association Personal Injury Conference. She spoke about the top accident benefit cases of 2016. You can read the paper here.

Accident Benefits and Insurance for ATVs and Snowmobiles

Written by on December 06, 2016.

ATVs and snowmobiles can be a source of endless entertainment. However, if you do not take the appropriate steps as the owner and/or operator to protect yourself, they can also be a source of liability or lead to a personal injury that leaves you with no means to pay for your recovery. This article briefly discusses insurance requirements, Statutory Accident Benefits (SABs) and tort claims in the ATV and snowmobile context. The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. The Compulsory Automobil...

Injured by an Unidentified Driver? A Case Summary of Shapiro v. Doe

Written by and on October 13, 2016.

Shapiro v. Doe[1] reiterates what a plaintiff must prove when they are injured by an unidentified motorist. The plaintiff in this case stated that he was struck by an unidentified vehicle while crossing the street. He claimed insurance benefits from his father’s insurer, Economical Mutual Insurance Company (“Economical”) or from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (“the Fund”) and the Superintendent of Financial Services (“the Superintendent”). The plaintiff stated that fo...

What To Do If You Are Injured In An Accident In The United States

Written by on October 07, 2016.

Each year, many Ontarians are involved in car accidents while travelling outside of the province. These claims often involve complex issues, such as where a civil action should be started and questions as to which jurisdiction’s laws should apply. If you are from Ontario and are involved in a car accident in the United States, you may be able to commence an action in Ontario or in the State in which the accident occurred, or both. Your ability to do so will depend upon many factors, includi...

Discoverability in Long-Term Disability Lawsuits: A Case Comment on Usanovic v. La Capitale Life Insurance Company

Written by and on October 03, 2016.

The recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Usanovic v. La Capitale Life Insurance Company[1] clarifies the issue of discoverability in long-term disability claims. In this case, the plaintiff was injured in September 2007. The disability insurer paid benefits for a number of years.  In January 2012, counsel for the defendant wrote the plaintiff a denial letter advising that his benefits would be terminated as of November 2011, and that if he disagreed, he should submit medical rep...

Protect Yourself: Understanding Optional Auto Insurance Benefits in Ontario

Written by on June 21, 2016.

Once again, the standard auto insurance benefits provided in Ontario are shrinking. This means that your own insurance company will provide you with less funds to assist you in recovering from your motor vehicle collision. However, you do have new options for optional coverage that can protect you and give you the coverage you need if you are seriously hurt in a car accident. All auto insurance policies renewed after June 1, 2016 will now have the following decreased accident benefits in plac...