1. How much will I pay my lawyer for fees?
a. At Preszler Injury Lawyers we enter into contingency fee agreements whereby the fees are calculated on a percentage of damages awarded either under a settlement or by a court. These arrangements are pursuant to the Nova Scotia Barristers Society rules with respect to contingency fee arrangements and standard accepted practices within the industry.
b. The fee is charged on a contingency basis, meaning that if the law firm is not successful in recovering an amount for damages, then there will be no fees paid by you.
2. How long does a lawsuit usually take?
a. This depends on the type of case and the type of the injury sustained. Some lawsuits can be settled within the first year after the accident while other more complicated cases can take 1 to 3 years or more to close.
b. The timing will depend on your recovery and physical limitations as they relate to the injuries sustained.
3. What, if any, time limits are there on starting a lawsuit?
a. Most actions have a 2 year limitation period beginning on the date of the accident, denial or dismissal. There are exceptions to this and it is important to act quickly when presented with this type of situation. Please call us for a free consultation.
4. What is the value of my injury?
a. When you first call or retain a lawyer, there is no way the lawyer can properly assess and advise you as to how much your specific situation/injury is worth. Damages (the monetary award for injuries and related losses) in Nova Scotia are based on previous case law and the lawyer can therefore give a range of damages but, as above, until the full details and evidence have been gathered and reviewed, a lawyer cannot determine the value of any particular claim.
5. When will I get to speak to a lawyer?
a. At Preszler Injury Lawyers you will speak to a lawyer right away. This is how we begin to gather the information necessary to assess the cases and determine whether we can assist.
b. When you call for a free consultation, you will speak to one of our experienced attorneys.
Motor Vehicle Accident FAQs
1. If I am off of work as a result of the accident what can I do for assistance?
a. In Nova Scotia we have a no fault system which means your own insurance company responds to provide you with certain benefits under your own insurance policy to help with your recovery and address your immediate financial needs. These benefits are called “Accident Benefits”.
b. This includes income replacement benefits which would pay you up to $250.00 a week.
c. There is medical coverage to a potential maximum of $50,000.00 for recommended therapies such as physiotherapy etc.
2. Who do we sue?
a. You are entitled to sue the individual or entity that caused the accident and damages/injuries. This could include more than one party, for example if the driver and owner of the vehicle are different people.
b. This party is usually referred to as the “at-fault” party.
c. In some situations, you may have reason to sue your own insurance company to seek recourse for benefits and other claims under the contractual terms of your automobile policy. Again, time limitations apply. Your lawyer can best advise you if this kind of action is necessary in the circumstances as well as any technical requirements for proceeding.
3. What would we be suing the at-fault party for?
a. Lawsuits are a method of recovering damages. The goal of the lawsuit is to award the injured plaintiff (you) with financial compensation which is evaluated based on the amount of damages/changes/pain caused to you and how it affects your life.
b. These could include but are not limited to: damages for pain and suffering, income losses (past and future), loss of earning capacity, out of pocket expenses, past and future treatment costs subject to any Accident Benefits payments made by your own insurer.
4. Are there any legal limitations to my ability to bring a claim for pain and suffering damages?
a. For accidents after 2010, injuries of a soft tissue nature (ie. strains, sprains and certain whiplash disorder injuries) must be of a nature that causes a substantial inability to perform any or all of the essential tasks of your regular employment, training or education or the normal activities of your daily life.
b. Injuries that do not meet this “serious impairment” threshold are referred to as minor injuries and are subject to a capped amount of general damages as set by legislation.
c. For more information on how this limit could affect your claim, please call for a free consultation today.
5. Are there any monetary limits to my ability to make a claim for pain and suffering and other damages?
a. There could be limits to the amount of money available.
- In Nova Scotia the statutory minimum insurance required to drive is $500,000.00
- If there are multiple claimants involved in the same accident caused by the same at-fault driver the insurance policy limits on the at-fault vehicle will be split up amongst all the claimants and can reduce the amount that is recovered.
- This is why it is important to ensure that you have proper coverage on your own policy of insurance because there are situations where the at-fault driver may be underinsured and your own policy can step in and increase the available limits. Please speak to one of our attorneys today for clarification.
b. The monetary value of a particular injury is based on and set by case law, which limits the amount you can recover.
6. If my injury is considered a minor injury, what is the value of my injury, if any for pain and suffering?
a. The injury is worth $7,500 subject to inflation.
b. Please call Preszler Injury Lawyers for a free consultation for more information and a free consultation.
7. Does the limit on claims for personal injuries also apply to claims for loss of income or out of pocket expenses?
a. No – the limits only apply to general damages for pain and suffering.
b. However, the available policy limits of insurance on the at-fault vehicle could affect your recovery of damages.
8. How long do I have to bring an action/law suit for personal damages?
a. Usually the limitation is 2 years from the date which the accident occurred, but there are cases/situations where this can be extended.
b. Please call Preszler Injury Lawyers for a free consultation for more information.
9. Are there limits to my loss of future income claim?
a. Any income claim available will be subject to credit from any other income source.
b. These other sources are laid out in the legislation but for clarity, call Preszler Injury Lawyers now.
10. Does the at-fault party or their insurance company get credit from any other sources?
a. The insurance company will get credit for any benefits paid to you from other sources such as CPP benefits, private LTD coverage and amounts you’ve collected under a collateral insurance policy including Section B benefits and any other private insurance you may have.
b. The insurance company may also claim credit for any amounts paid to you to cover costs of treatment or out of pocket costs.
c. Each case is different. Please call Preszler Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your case now
11. Are there any other claims I might be entitled to make?
a. In addition to the claims mentioned above there are claims for hiring someone to assist with housekeeping, personal care etc.
12. Is there a claim when a family member has died as the result of the accident?
a. Short answer is – yes.
b. In Nova Scotia there is legislation referred to as the Fatal Injuries Act.
c. This law sets out the ability and extent to which individuals can claim for damages after a family member has died in an accident.
d. It also defines who is eligible to make a claim.
e. The action must be started within 12 months of the death.
f. There are also claims under the Accident Benefit system payable upon death of an insured family member.
What happens if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance or the amount of their insurance is insufficient to respond to my claims?
1. What happens if the at-fault driver/owner of the vehicle which caused the accident doesn’t have insurance?
a. In these circumstances, your own insurance company would respond to your personal injury claim under Section D of your auto policy, subject to its terms and conditions.
b. In Nova Scotia most policies of insurance carries an optional endorsement called the SEF-44. This entitles the owner of the policy to coverage for insurance when the defendant is underinsured, uninsured or unidentified.
c. The benefit of the SEF-44 is that your own policy of insurance will step into the shoes of the at-fault party (where there may be no insurance or an insufficient amount of insurance) and provide added coverage.
d. This added coverage would be up to the max of the limits of the policy but cannot be stacked.
e. This is another reason why it is important to ensure you carry an appropriate amount of liability insurance.
f. This means if the at-fault party has $500,000 of liability coverage and your SEF 44 policy is for $1,000,000, the coverage would be from the at-fault party’s insurance for the first $500,000.00 and then the additional $500,000.00 from our own policy for a maximum of $1,000,000.00 of coverage.
2. Do I have coverage for the damage to my vehicle?
a. Most policies have coverage for damage to your own vehicle but this coverage is not mandatory and may be subject to a deductible.
b. There is now a scheme called Direct Compensation for Property Damage within Section A of the standard automobile policy allowing an insured to seek compensation directly from his/her own insurer for vehicle damage caused by another party.
c. You can find more information in your policy of insurance or you can call Preszler Injury Lawyers to discuss further.