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Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer


Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer

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Serious Car Accidents Ruin Lives. Our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers have Recovered over $60M in Compensation for Victims & their Families in Hamilton and throughout all of Ontario since 2003.

A serious car accident can cause immense devastation, affecting the victim and their family deeply and permanently. The aftermath often goes beyond the physical injuries, seeping into every aspect of life. Victims may sustain serious injuries like spinal cord damage or brain injury, which could impair their ability to perform even the simplest of daily activities, such as dressing, eating, or walking. These life-altering injuries can potentially rob them of their independence, making them reliant on others for their basic needs. Furthermore, such severe injuries can limit or entirely prevent the victim from returning to work, causing significant financial strain. The ripple effect of this can be distressing for families, who not only have to grapple with the emotional trauma of seeing their loved ones in pain but also must adapt to a new reality and possibly take on the role of caregivers.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have only one chance to seek compensation for your car accident injuries. Having the right Hamilton car accident lawyer on your side can mean the difference between winning and losing your case. It will also help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Since 2003, our Hamilton car accident lawyers have helped hundreds of car accident victims recover millions of dollars in compensation to help set their lives back on track

There are several ways to contact us today. First, you can you or a loved one can email us through our website. You can also call us from anywhere you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton/Southern Ontario area at 905-333-8888 today

Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer Matt Lalande

Matt Lalande is a well known trial lawyer in Hamilton who’s recovered millions for car accident victims in throughout Ontario since 2003. He is car accident lawyer who understands the physical, emotional, and financial repercussions that serious car accident injuries have inflicted on his clients’ lives.

Because of his trial experience, Matt is often able to secure more substantial compensation than lawyers who are not “trial lawyers” due to his courtroom proficiency. The potential for trial proceedings can often incentivize defendants or insurance companies to propose a higher settlement to evade the unpredictability, time commitment, and potential financial burden of a trial. Moreover, Matt is adept at the strategic presentation of evidence and the artful delivery of arguments to a jury, optimizing the possibility of securing maximal damages.

For a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Hamilton, Ontario, call us at 905-333-8888 or fill out a free consultation form. As a knowledgeable car accident lawyer, Matt Lalande has the expertise and resources to guide you through this challenging time and fight tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

How do I find the right Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer near me?

“How do I hire a car accident lawyer near me?” is a very common question. Our Lawyers understand that you are more likely than not in a difficult state and have never had to hire a lawyer before. This is not uncommon. Hiring a car accident lawyer in an era of mass advertising can indeed be a confusing task, as billboards, bus advertisements, commercials, radio ads and various other media outlets are flooded with ads for legal services. Many lawyers utilize these platforms to reach a large audience. Still, the sheer number of advertisements can make it challenging to distinguish the right Hamilton Car Accident lawyer for your case.

Start by leveraging the power of personal referrals. Family, friends, or colleagues who have used a car accident lawyer in the past can be excellent sources of information. They can share their experiences, the lawyer’s communication style, and the results they received. These personal insights can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from the lawyer.

Also, consider checking online reviews and testimonials to get an idea about the experiences of past clients. The internet can be a valuable tool to further assess the credibility and capability of a lawyer you’ve noticed through mass advertising.

It’s crucial to use these advertisements as just one of the tools to identify potential lawyers, rather than the deciding factor. After identifying potential lawyers, schedule consultations to get to know them better. Ask about their experience, fees, and how they handle cases similar to yours. This will allow you to evaluate their suitability beyond the flashy advertising and make a decision based on their ability to meet your specific needs. Remember, you only have one chance at hiring a Hamilton car accident lawyer. The last thing you want it to hire the wrong lawyer and end up in a worse place financially than you are now.

When Should I Hire a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer?

If your accident has caused you severe life-changing injuries, we would always recommend that you contact our Hamilton car accident lawyers sooner rather than later so that we can help get the proper no-fault insurance issues into place, ensure that proper post-discharge care is set up and that your home is fully accommodated to welcome your current disabilities.

We can also ensure that any income replacement you’re entitled to, whether through auto insurance or your long-term disability policy, is being paid to you without delay. Our Hamilton car accident injury lawyers and our occupational therapy team will ensure that all insurance benefits are put in place, your home is a comfortable and welcoming environment, your attendant care will be ready to be provided, and the legal process is started without delay.

NEVER let the insurance company adjuster take control and dictate your case. You need someone on your side from day one to help you make decisions, get the proper insurance in place, hire the proper occupational therapy team, help you get home, make sure your home is a safe environment when you return, and ensure money is coming in. Insurance companies are not your friends. You need an advocate, and at my firm, it’s ALWAYS FREE to talk to us.

What Happens at a Consultation with our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers?

No one expects to need an accident lawyer, and many victims of devastating Hamilton car crashes have never worked with a lawyer before. It’s normal to feel nervous about your first legal consultation, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Hollywood often portrays accident lawyers as unprofessional, manipulative, and unsympathetic to injured claimants. Nothing – nothing can be further from the truth.

Here’s what to expect during a typical meeting with a car accident lawyer in Hamilton:

  1. We will Talk about our No Fee Policy – Many prospective clients hesitate to contact local injury lawyers because they fear facing unexpected consultation fees. As such, it’s important to understand that our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers do not charge car crash victims consultation and case review fees. Our Hamilton Accident Lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means our firm does not get paid unless and until you recover compensation for your accident. Do not sign any agreement that requires upfront payment in car accident cases before checking with the injury lawyers at Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers.
  2. We will Talk about about your Accident – Car crashes happen suddenly, so lawyers know that many claimants can’t fully explain how the accident occurred. We will need to understand how the accident happened from your point of view. It is important for our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers to understand exactly how the accident occurred – even if it means admitting to some fault. Under Ontario’s Fault Determination Rules, contributory negligence does not bar financial recovery.
  3. We will Talk about Your Injuries – Nearly all serious car crashes cause claimants financial damages, including vehicle repair costs and lost wages. We will talk in detail about your injuries and how we might expect them to affect your day to day life in the short, and long-term.
  4. We will Talk about your Life – It’s crucial for your car accident lawyer to know about your life, family, job, friends, activities, and hobbies because it helps them understand the full extent of the accident’s impact on your life. Your lawyer needs to comprehend not just the immediate injuries but how these have disrupted your day-to-day activities and personal relationships. For instance, if you are unable to work, engage in hobbies you once loved, or spend quality time with your family and friends due to the accident, these factors should be taken into account when pursuing compensation. A lawyer who knows your story can effectively illustrate the totality of your loss, ensuring that any potential damages awarded reflect the true impact the accident has had on your life, livelihood, and personal happiness. This holistic understanding of your circumstances enables your lawyer to represent you more effectively and argue for a comprehensive and fair settlement or verdict.
  5. We will Complete Intake Paperwork – remember, we have the onus of proving your losses. Because of this, we will need you to complete authorizations for our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers to obtain your medical records, hospital records, records from your family doctor, rehab providers, OT’s,

What Questions should I ask a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer?

Experienced injury lawyers know and expect you to ask about consultation fees and legal costs. This is the number one reported prospective client concern, so don’t be afraid to ask for detailed information about our fee structure. However, the lawyer-client relationship is personal and powerful. Asking lawyers certain questions upfront often helps car accident victims and their families find the right lawyer and avoid the wrong ones.

Consider asking lawyers these questions during your initial personal injury legal consultation:

  • Have you handled cases like mine before, and if so, what were the results?
  • What happens if you can’t get a fair settlement or verdict in my case?
  • How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
  • Do you have any client testimonials I can review or former clients I can call for a reference?
  • How much is my case likely worth?
  • How long will it take to get compensation from auto insurers?
  • How long do I have to file car accident litigation, if necessary?
  • When should I expect you to follow up, and what’s your general client communication policy?

Car Crashes that our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers routinely help with.

Matt Lalande is a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer who has obtained favorable results for countless car injury victims and their families in Hamilton and throughout Southern Ontario, including victims who have suffered major orthopedic injuries and broken bones, spinal injuries, chronic pain injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and injuries that cause full or partial paralysis. Since 2003, Matt Lalande has represented hundreds of victims and recovered millions of dollars for those injured in various types of car accidents some of which are as follows:

Intersection Accidents

There is no doubt that accident are often caused by misjudging the distance and speed of oncoming traffic. In addition, intersections car accidents can be the result of drivers running red lights, failing to yield to others, distracted driving or driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The injuries suffered in these accidents can be extreme, due to the following reasons:

a) Drivers who failed to stop at red lights, combined with excessive speeds, can result in very serious car accidents that threaten the lives of innocent drivers on the road.

b) Multi-car accidents within intersections no doubt have the potential to become brutally devastating to the all motorists involved. If a vehicle who is initially struck is pushed into the intersection at the wrong time, it can crash into other vehicles and set off a very serious chain reaction of other accidents.

c) Intersection car accidents are very often caused by drivers who are distracted. Unfortunately, when drivers choose to text or use other smart phone functions while driving, they are simply not unaware of how they are threatening the safety of other cars, trucks and motorcycles around them. A simple glance away from the road can cause the driver to drive through a red light or stop sign, or even worse, head into oncoming traffic at an intersection. 

a) Driving under the influence is a common cause of intersection accidents in Ontario. Being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or even medications can terribly impact driving judgment and affect reaction times. In fact, even some cold medications even contain alcohol or drowsy related ingredients. It is extremely important that drivers take responsibility for what alcohol, drugs or medications they ingest prior to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions are more likely than most treacherous forms of car accidents and are responsible for numerous fatalities every year. Some common causes of head-on crash type car accidents are:

a) Bad weather and adverse can make Ontario roads more difficult to travel, as well as reduced visibility and debris into the path of unsuspecting drivers. Other reasons which can contribute to adverse road conditions can be large pot holes, poor lighting, missing or faded lane markings and poorly signed medians and guardrails – all of which can contribute to serious car accidents and head on collisions.

b) The failure to properly navigate intersections is a major cause of thousands of Canadian car accidents each and every year. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to accidents that take place in the middle of intersections such as malfunctioning traffic lights, driver inattention, drivers misjudging their speed and timing, drivers misjudging distance and even more importantly and most common, drivers turning left into the path of oncoming vehicles without making sure it is safe to do so.

c) Distracted drivers with smartphones have become the number one cause of accidents in Ontario. Too many drivers are attempting to text, talk, map and multitask behind the wheel and despite advances in safety technology; car accidents are continuing to happen. In fact, according to Transport Canada’s National Collision Database, distracted driving contributed to 21.7 % of fatal collisions and 27% of serious injury collisions in Canada in 2019. The majority of distracted driving traffic collisions were caused by cell phone use, in particular, texting while driving.

d) Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents -head on collision car accidents often happen when one car forces another car into the opposing lane, where it then strikes an oncoming vehicle. This is common at intersections when a car that is turning left is rear ended or when a car that is entering the path of another car is struck in the intersection and unfortunately sent in the direction of oncoming traffic.

e) Sleep deprivation is another common cause of head-on crashes in Ontario, particularly with trucking accidents. Truck drivers are often overworked and under-rested despite Ontario trucking mandates concerning how many hours they are allowed to work in a day. Other drivers – such as shift workers or workers that start work excessively early are often the cause of early morning car accidents. Nobody who is excessively tires or who has difficulty concentrating on the road should operate a vehicle until he or she has rested.

Rear-End Collisions

Although the majority of rear-end collisions in Ontario result in minor injuries, some serious high speed rear end car accidents can be absolutely devastating. The impact of being violently bucked forward and backwards again can be extremely hurtful on the body and injuries to the neck and back are quite common.  The resulting damage to the spine can cause herniated discs, pinched nerves and other serious injuries that may require surgery or long-term medical care to fix. These types of serious rear-end accidents often occur on highways or other high speed roadways. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious rear-end car accident, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected.

The following are some types of rear-end car accident injuries which we routinely see:

a) Injuries to the neck – It’ has been claimed that 85% of the neck injuries caused by car accidents are the result of rear-end collisions. Disc pathology after rear end car accidents are almost always a contributor to a victim’s complaints of chronic pain. Disc bulges and disc herniations caused by rear end car accidents can be crippling – with pain ranging from constant and chronic aching in the neck to radiculopathic pain that radiates into these arms and hands. At times, numbness, tingling and weakness can also be present. When cervical disc herniations originate from some sort of trauma or neck injury caused in rear end accidents, the symptoms commonly start spontaneously – and be excruciating.

b) Injuries to the spine and back are also common in car accidents. Similar to cervical injuries, the thoracic and lumbar spine can suffer serious damage in high speed rear end collisions. These areas of the back and spine can suffer mechanical issues and soft-tissue injuries which can become chronic and life-changing. Herniated discs are also common in car accidents. This is when the enter of the disc tears, bulges or rips and then irritates a nerve root in the area – causing nerve root pain. The herniated part of the disc can become inflamed, as well compress nearby nerves. Nerve compression can in turn cause thoracic and lumbar spinal stenosis. The disc wall which surrounds the center of the disc is full of nerve fibers, and tearing through the disc wall can cause significant pain.

c) Spinal cord injuries can also occur in severe high speed rear end car accidents. Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is truly a devastating injury with profound consequences for car accident victims. The spinal cord is that part of your central nervous system that transmits messages between your brain and your body. It is similar to a cable which is about as thick as a little finger, begins at the base of the brain and runs down the length of the back ending behind the 1st lumbar vertebra. If your spinal cord has been damaged in the thoracic area, there is a possibility of either complete or incomplete lower limb paraplegia.

d) Traumatic brain injury are often caused in serious rear-end collisions. Traumatic brain injuries are caused when a force transmitted to the head or body results in neuropathologic damage and dysfunction. Acceleration and deceleration forces cause the brain to rattle and rotate in the skull. As a result pressure is exerted on the frontal and temporal regions resulting in sheering and extensive white matter damage. In a closed head injury, brain damage over a large area often results in a great variety of deficits including loss of consciousness, problems in attention and memory, and alterations in social behavior. After a serious car accident related closed head injury, it can be very difficult for head injury

e) Speeding and Stunt Racing – reckless driving greatly increases the chance of rear end car accidents and severe injuries, so why do so many drivers blatantly disregard the posted speed limit and drive like fools? It’s impossible to know. It could be that some drivers are distracted. Some drivers don’t care. Some drivers are driving “suped-up” fast and furious type cars and are eager to speed, drive too fast, are unaware of their speed, ignore red lights, or race other vehicles. These actions can no doubt easily lead to catastrophic and deadly rear end car accidents.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians have absolutely no means to protect themselves when a driver fails to yield or fails to stop at a stop sign or red light. When pedestrian car accidents happens, injuries are more often than not extremely severe and result in serious orthopedic trauma and head injury. Other common car accident pedestrian injuries are internal bleeding and organ damage, injuries to the head and neck and wrongful death.  These types of pedestrian accidents are almost always preventable if drivers would simply take the time to look both ways before proceeding through an intersection, whether there is a stop sign or not. Unfortunately, many drivers do not take this simple precaution and as a result, cause devastating pedestrian car accidents which often leave victims with lifelong injuries. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the injuries can be severe. Common injuries include knee fractures, hip fractures, femur fractures, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. These injuries can all have long-term effects on a person’s health, including chronic pain, disability, and even death. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pedestrian accidents are the ninth leading cause of death for adults aged 65 and over.

Read more about the following types of car accidents:

What are some of your Hamilton Car Accident Case Results?

Our dedicated Hamilton car accident lawyers have recovered millions for clients injured in Hamilton, and throughout Ontario in traffic accidents, some of which (out of the thousands of clients we represented) include:

  • $2.0 million for a middle aged woman who suffered a terrible head injury;
  • $2.8 million for a young man who suffered an amputee injury;
  • $2.0 million for a middle aged woman hurt in a t-bone crash;
  • $1.13 million for a medical professional injured in a pedestrian accident;
  • $1.32 million for a Cambridge driver suffering from spinal cord damage after being struck by a drunk driver;
  • $855,000 for a boy run over while riding a scooter;
  • $650,000 for a woman and her daughter involved in a head on crash;
  • $960,000 for an injured motorcyclist;
  • $700,000 after a young pedestrian was run over in Oakville;
  • $1.0 million for a middle aged man who suffered life-long injuries in a head-on crash;
  • $189,000 for a young woman injured in a head-on car crash;
  • $400,000 for the family of a woman wrongfully killed by a speeding drunk driver;
  • $980,000 for a client who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury in Caledonia;
  • $955,000 for a pedestrian who a distracted driver ran over;
  • $250,000 for a senior pedestrian who suffered orthopedic injuries;
  • $244,000 for a senior struck by a negligent driver in Milton;
  • $185,000 for a client who suffered from multiple fractures in a Hamilton car accident;
  • $230,000 after our client developed CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) from a chest injury sustained in a Sudbury car crash;
  • $260,000 for shoulder injuries sustained in a head-on car accident in Milton;
  • $1.3 million for a middle aged woman hurt in a head-on crash by the Hamilton airport.

Our dedicated car accident lawyers settle many cases within insurance policy limits; however, sometimes, we must take your claims to trial. Importantly, we have experience obtaining damages in cases involving clear injuries (fractures), complex conditions (spinal cord damage), and non-obvious trauma resulting in disabilities (brain injuries and CRPS). We’ve recovered damages for substantial lost wages, uncovered medical expenses, and emotional suffering after pedestrian, motorcycle, and car crashes.

What Can I do that Would Hurt my Car Accident Lawsuit?

Insurance is a business. As such, claims adjusters from liable insurance companies aim to reduce their company’s financial exposure. They often do this by looking for ways to reduce their accident liability and minimize the seriousness of your injuries.

For example, liability claims adjusters will quickly contact unrepresented claimants requesting a statement about the accident. They are not on your side and may trap you into admitting fault, even when you had nothing to do with the crash. Adjusters may not do this to clients represented by dedicated injury lawyers and must file all communication requests through counsel. Speaking with the other driver’s insurance company, no matter how nice they seem, almost always hurts your car accident claim.

Social media can also pose substantial risks in a personal injury lawsuit, as it can influence the perception and judgment of various stakeholders involved in the case, such as jury members, judges, and opposing counsel. It can have severe implications on a plaintiff’s credibility and potentially jeopardize their claim for damages.

One of the most significant risks is the potential undermining of a plaintiff’s credibility. Inconsistent posts or photographs that contradict the plaintiff’s car accident claim can significantly damage their case. For instance, if a plaintiff is asserting a claim for a debilitating injury that purportedly restricts their physical abilities, and yet they post content on social media indicating vigorous physical activity, these posts can be utilized as evidence to challenge the severity of the claimed injury, thereby weakening the plaintiff’s credibility.

Another significant risk is the potential influence of social media on jury members. Even though jury members are instructed to base their decisions solely on the evidence presented in court, exposure to a plaintiff’s social media activity can unconsciously shape their perception of the plaintiff’s character and the credibility of their claim. For example, if jury members come across social media posts depicting the plaintiff engaging in activities that seem inconsistent with the injuries claimed, it could lead to negative assumptions about the plaintiff’s honesty and the validity of their case.

Given these potential risks, we often advise clients to limit their social media activity during the pendency of a lawsuit or, better yet, to avoid it altogether. The digital realm’s public nature means that ostensibly private posts may be retrieved and used as evidence, which can significantly alter the trajectory of a personal injury case.

What are Accident Benefits and why do I need them?

Accident benefits (often called SABS which is short form for Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule) are complicated to understand. Often times, the process does not make sense and your own car insurance company will make you feel like the process is adversarial.

We often tell our clients that as a part of your auto insurance premiums that you pay for every month, you also pay for what is called “accident benefit protection”. This means that if you are hurt in a car accident, your own insurance company will help pay for your rehabilitation to assist you in getting better. Depending on the severity of the injury, you will be entitled to a certain amount of money to apply towards reasonable and necessary rehabilitation to help get you better.

After you’ve been involved in a car accident, and you speak to your insurance company, the insurer then must send you an application package containing the appropriate application forms and a written explanation of the benefits which are available to you.

What are some of the Accident Benefits available to me after a Car Accident?

If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be entitle to apply for certain accident benefits, depending on seriously you were hurt:

  • Income Replacement Benefits (IRB) – are designed to partially compensate for lost income if you are unable to work as a result of the car accident. Accident benefits provide up to 70% of your gross income, up to a maximum of $400 per week. You would be eligible to apply for this benefit if you were employed at the time of the accident and are unable to return to work due to your injuries. This benefit is meant to cover the period from the week after the accident to the point when you are able to return to work, or to two years after the accident if you’re unable to return to any employment. After two years, you may continue to qualify for the benefit if you’re unable to engage in any employment or self-employment for which you’re reasonably suited by education, training, or experience.
  • Non-earner benefits – The non-earner benefit in Ontario’s accident benefits system is designed for individuals who are not employed or significantly employed at the time of a motor vehicle accident and as a result, suffer a complete inability to carry on a normal life. The benefit typically provides $185 per week for up to two years following the car accident.
  • Housekeeping benefits – These benefits are part of Ontario’s accident benefits system, designed to provide financial compensation for individuals who, due to a motor vehicle accident, are unable to perform their usual duties around the home.These benefits are only available for individuals who have been catastrophically impaired as a result of the accident, as determined by specific criteria outlined in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). If eligible, this benefit can provide up to $100 per week to pay for reasonable and necessary additional expenses for someone to complete your housekeeping and home maintenance duties.
  • Attendant Care benefits – These benefits provide compensation for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred for an aide, attendant, or long-term care facility if a person is unable to care for themselves following a car accident. The amount available for these monthly benefits, depends on the severity of the injury. For non-catastrophic injuries, the maximum limit is $3,000 per month, up to a maximum of $72,000 over two years. For catastrophic injuries, the amount increases significantly, with up to $6,000 available per month, to a maximum of $1,000,000 over the injured person’s lifetime.
  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits – these benefits cover necessary and reasonable medical and rehabilitation expenses that are not covered by any public health care or disability insurance plan. This can include a wide range of expenses such as physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, medication, and home modifications to accommodate the injured person’s condition. For non-catastrophic injuries, these benefits provide up to $65,000 in coverage for a period of up to five years. For injuries designated as catastrophic, the benefits increase significantly, providing up to $1,000,000 in coverage over the injured person’s lifetime.
  • Death and Funeral Benefits – these benefits are paid in the event of a death resulting from a motor vehicle accident. If an insured person passes away as a result of the accident, a one-time lump sum of $25,000 is paid to the deceased’s spouse, $10,000 to each of the deceased’s dependents, and $10,000 to the individual upon whom the deceased was dependent. In addition, up to $6,000 is provided for funeral expenses. It’s important to note that these amounts can be increased if additional coverage was purchased as part of the auto insurance policy. As always, it’s advisable to consult with our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers for proper information.
  • Lost educational expenses – to help compensate you for expenses lost due to not completing a course in elementary, secondary, post-secondary or continuing education up to $15,000;
  • Visitor expenses – which covers travel expenses for certain close relatives to visit you;
  • Miscellaneous expenses – for such things as damage to clothing, glasses, hearing aids, and other similar expenses that you might have sustain in your car accident. These pay for the small items that may have been damaged in your accident and that are not otherwise covered by a property damage claim

Determining Fault in a Hamilton Car Accident Case

Determining fault in a Hamilton car accident in Ontario involves several factors and is influenced by both the Highway Traffic Act and civil litigation. Here is a basic overview:

  1. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act – contains laws that govern how vehicles should operate on Ontario’s roads. If a driver breaks any of these rules and that leads to a car accident, they can be considered at fault. For example, the Act includes rules about stopping at red lights and stop signs, not following too closely, and making proper left turns. If an officer determines that one of these rules has been violated, they may issue a traffic ticket or charge, which can be used as evidence of fault in both a criminal case and a civil case.
  2. Fault Determination Rules – under the Insurance Act, the Fault Determination Rules help establish who is at fault in an accident for insurance purposes. This doesn’t involve court or police, but rather the insurance companies involved. The Rules provide various scenarios (like rear-end collisions, side-swipe collisions, accidents at intersections, etc.) and outline who is at fault in each. It is important to note that these rules determine fault without consideration of road or weather conditions, visibility, the actions of pedestrians, or the violation of any traffic laws.
  3. Civil Cases – in a civil case, the process to determine fault can be more complex. A court will examine the evidence from the accident, which can include photographs, witness testimony, expert reports, and anything else that might help determine what happened. The court will consider if either driver violated the Highway Traffic Act, as well as other relevant factors like the weather and road conditions. The court will also assess whether each driver exercised reasonable care in the circumstances. This is based on the legal principle of negligence. If a driver failed to exercise the care that a reasonable person would have, and this caused the accident, they may be found, on a balance of probabilities, to be at fault.
  4. Reverse Onus – in Ontario, the Highway Traffic Act contains a provision known as the “reverse onus clause,” which applies to car accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists. Under this clause, when a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian or cyclist, the driver is presumed to be at fault for the accident unless they can prove otherwise. Essentially, the burden of proof is shifted (or “reversed”) from the pedestrian or cyclist to the driver. This means that the driver must present evidence demonstrating that the accident occurred without any fault on their part, such as showing that the pedestrian or cyclist’s actions were solely responsible for the collision. This provision recognizes the vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists and aims to protect them by imposing a higher duty of care on drivers.

Remember, the specific details of each accident can significantly affect how fault is determined. Therefore, getting legal advice from a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer can be a good idea, to ensure that your rights are protected.

How much does it Cost to Hire a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer?

It’s not often that you need a lawyer in your life. Our Hamilton car accident lawyers understand that seeking legal help can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to how much it will cost. Even if you are confident you will obtain a settlement or good verdict, you may fear that hiring a Hamilton personal injury lawyer will cost too much.

The first step is booking a free consultation. You don’t pay us to talk to us. Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers will never ask personal injury victims for money up front. If somebody is seriously hurt or killed because of someone else’s negligence, the last thing the family needs is a legal bill. There are no up-front legal fees for you to pay to get your case started. Your legal fees are paid upon the successful conclusion of your case.

Then, if we decide to work together, there are no upfront fees to you unless we win your case. Our Hamilton car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis – which is a type of legal fee arrangement in which our lawyers only get paid if we are successful in your case. Our payment comes from a percentage of the money we recover for you, typically from a settlement or a court award in a lawsuit.

For example, if you hire our Hamilton car accident injury lawyers on a contingency fee basis to handle your car accident case, you won’t need to pay us any money upfront. Instead, our lawyers will take a percentage of the settlement or court award as our fee if and only if we win your case or achieve a settlement. If you lose the case, our lawyer do not receive a fee, nor will we send you a bill for disbursements, such as Court costs or expert’s bills.

This type of arrangement can be beneficial for individuals who might not be able to afford a car accident lawyer’s regular hourly rates, and it also aligns the lawyer’s interest with the client’s, as the lawyer only gets paid if they are successful in obtaining a recovery.

Car Accident Information and Questions

Below are some car accident questions that we are commonly asked:

Have You Been Hurt by a Driver who was Distracted?

Police in Ontario have recently reported that distracted driving is causing more collisions than speeding and impaired driving combined. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported that they have made roughly 15,000 to 20,000 distracted driving charges on OPP-patrolled roads every year from 2011 through 2016.

Unfortunately, many people inaccurately think distracted driving is only talking or texting. Distracted driving is being focused on anything that diverts your attention from the road. Activities like using a GPS device, putting on makeup, fiddling with a radio, shaving, using a smartphone, eating, drinking, watching a video, and texting can take your attention away from the road and cause a crash.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a group that educates Americans about the dangers of distracted driving, shows that texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a single text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At ninety kilometers per hour, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

There is no doubt that distracted driving accidents can cause a variety of devastating injuries. If you have become the victim of someone else’s failure to focus on the road, we can help you recover the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Book a free consultation to tell us about your case and learn more about your options.

What are some Common Car Accident Injuries?

Every accident is different – and the victims and facts involved such as the speed of motorists, road conditions, weather conditions and the location of the incident can all have an influence on the cause of why it happened. However, most injuries that we see are actually quite similar – depending of course on the type of accident involved.

Brain Injuries – traumatic closed head brain injuries are incredibly common in car accidents, particularly in serious T-Bone collisions. Traumatic brain injury often presents in various forms ranging from mild alterations of consciousness to an unrelenting comatose state and death. Concussions, extra-axial hematomas, contusions, traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage and diffuse axonal injury.

Spinal Cord Injury and Back Injuries – serious high energy collisions could no doubt cause paralyzing spinal cord injuries. Although traumatic spinal injuries compose just a minority of all traumatic car accident victims, these injuries are brutally disabling, and so have a significant influence on the patients’ quality of life, social and financial situation.

Orthopedic Trauma – serious car accidents can result in torn muscles, joint damage and complex fractures. Although bones are strong, they do bend or “give” somewhat when a serious outside force is applied. The severity of the orthopedic trauma usually depends on the force that caused the bones to fracture. In car accident crashes, we have helped clients who have suffered open fractures (when a bone breaks and stick out through the skin), open compound fractures, transverse, oblique and comminuted fractures.

Disfigurement, degloving and lost limbs – can occur in the most serious of pedestrian car accidents, or if an accident happens with an arm hanging out the window, in a convertible car or if a person is ejected. Degloving happens when the skin and tissue are ripped from the underlying muscle. Degloving injuries normally occur when vehicle-pedestrian accident victims are run over.

Car Accident Compensation in Ontario

If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident in Hamilton that is caused by someone else, you will be entitled to compensation to help make you whole again.

In Ontario, you are entitled to claim compensation for the the following heads of damage:

  • pain and suffering
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • loss of amenities
  • loss of interdependent relationships
  • damages for physical pain
  • damages for psychological pain
  • caregiving expenses
  • past lost wages
  • your lost wages into the future
  • rehabilitation expenses that OHIP or your car accident insurer will not cover
  • health care expenses OHIP or your car accident insurer will not cover
  • compensation to hire indoor help around the home
  • compensation to hire outdoor help around the home
  • out-of-pocket expenses reimbursement
  • compensation for your spouse
  • compensation for your kids
  • compensation for your parents
  • management fees to assist with your settlement

If you’ve been hurt, our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers can Help

Our goal is simple: to achieve the best possible results for each of our clients in every case we handle and leave nothing to chance. We are practical, reasonable, and respected Hamilton lawyers. Our Hamilton car accident lawyers know when to settle a case, close a case, or take a case to trial. We recognize the challenges our clients face and are here to provide not only support and guidance, but assertive legal representation throughout the entire process.

Our Hamilton car accident lawyers would be happy to explain your rights to you – at no cost and without obligation. Our firm will go over the details of your crash, determine your options, hire the appropriate occupational therapists, help with the discharge plan to bring you home, and make sure your insurer is paying your medical bills and attendant care benefits. We are here to protect you and your family every step of the way.

Feel free to email us confidentially through our website or give us a call from anywhere in Canada at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Southern Ontario area at 905-333-8888 today and let our family, help yours.

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Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer FAQ

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, there is no doubt that life can suddenly become tragic and difficult. Serious car accident injuries may prevent you from going to work, enjoying your life, sleeping, spending time with your loved ones, exercising, and living your life with the comfort and enjoyment you are used to. You also may be overwhelmed and suffering from emotional, physical, and financial burdens. Our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers also understand that you will have lots of unanswered questions. The following are some of the more common questions we have answered:

How can I contact you about my accident?

You can call our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers toll free at 1-844-LALANDE or local at 905-333-8888. If you are nervous, unsure or uncomfortable you can always chat with out live chat operator 24/7 or send us a confidential email through our website by clicking here.

Are you a Toronto Law firm that pretends to have an office in the Hamilton community?

No. Matt Lalande is a trial lawyer who has been serving the Hamilton community since 2003. Our office if located at 1 King West, at the intersection of James and King Street.

I am nervous to contact a lawyer – is this normal?

We understand that you life has been turned upside down and that you probably have lots of questions – but we promise – we have been told that talking to our car accident lawyers is like talking to a friend. We are on your side.

Should I hire a local car accident lawyer rather that an out-of-town lawyer?

Absolutely. It is much better to hire a local lawyer who is in expert in car accident law, then hiring a firm out of town and simply being a “case”. You should hire a local lawyer that is relatively close to you, that you can drive to, visit, sit with and talk to about your case.

Should I wait to contact a car accident lawyer until I am out of the hospital?

No – it is MUCH easier for our car accident lawyer to get the accident investigation and insurance issues sorted out early. Also, it is important that we assist in putting together the right occupational therapy team immediately. It’s much. much easier to get the process started now, rather than trying to undo insurance mistakes later.

The adjuster for the at-fault driver contacted me, do I need to talk to them?

No – you should never speak to the insurance company for the at-fault driver on your own – we will take care of this for you. The opposing adjuster is not your friend.

What information should we give your live chat assistant, and will you call or email me back right away?

We know you are going through a lot at the moment – you only need to give our chat operator a short summary of your accident and injuries. We ALWAYS return call and emails within a very short time.

Is your live chat assistant actually a live person?

Yes – and you are absolutely welcome to chat with her 24/7.

How many car accident cases have you handled in your career as a trial lawyer?

Matt Lalande has served hundreds of car accident victims since 2003.

What will happen after I contact your office about my car accident case?

We will get in touch with you by email or telephone call, and then set up a meeting within a day with Matt Lalande or another lawyer so that you and your loved ones understand ALL of your legal options

Do I need to hire your firm after my free consultation?

Absolutely not. In fact, Mr. Lalande often recommends that you speak to multiple law firms and make sure you speak to the lawyer who will be pursuing justice on your behalf.

Is it free to talk to your car accident lawyers?

It is 100% free and even more important – we will NEVER ask you for money or a retainer at any point. We fund the case until the very last day.

Do I need to come into your office?

No you do not. In fact, we have many clients that cannot come into the office because of their physical disabilities. In that case, we can always set up a talk through zoom, Google meet or facetime – whatever you prefer!

Do most car accident cases go to court?

About 75% to 80% of car accident cases settle. We are one the few firms that will take a case to trial, and the insurance companies know this.

Do I need a lawyer if I’ve been involved in a car accident?

Absolutely. Ontario is not a victim friendly Province and the insurance system is an extremely convoluted and complex system. In addition, if you’ve suffered life-changing injuries, you are entiteld to significant funding from the insurance company. A Hamilton car accident lawyer can ensure that all insurance funding is in place and occupational therapists are retained to help with your discharge planning. It’s important that all your medical needs are met and paid for on an ongoing basis – and a car accident specialist can assist with all of this.

If I am hurt in a car accident, what are my rights?

In Ontario,  anyone injured in  a car accident are entiteld to apply for accident benefits, which are benefits that are provided to persons who become injured as a result of the use or operation of a motor vehicle.  You can be entitled to receive up to $3500.00, $65,000.00 or $1,000,000 in accident benefits, depending on your level of injury. The benefits are to help pay for your care, rehabiliation, replaces lost wages and help reintegrate you back into society. Under certain circumstances, you will be entitled to sue the negligent driver as well, for compensation for your pain, suffering, wage losses and anything else you require to assist you into the future.

What are Accident Benefits?

Accident benefits are part of Ontario’s no fault insurance scheme.  If you have been hurt in an accident – whether it’s your fault or not, you may be entitled to receive accident benefits to assist with your recovery.  The amount of benefits you are entitled to will depend on the severity of your injuries that you have sustained in the accident.

Who pays for my Accident Benefits?

Firstly – were you an occupant in a vehicle that was involvd in a car accident?  If so, then:
i. you have recourse against the insurer of an automobile in respect of which you are an insured;
ii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, you have recourse recourse against the insurer of the automobile in which he or she was an occupant;
iii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i or ii, you have recourse against the insurer of any other automobile involved in the incident from which the entitlement to statutory accident benefits arose;
iv. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, ii or iii, you have recourse against the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

If you were not an occupant (a pedestrian or cyclist) if so, then:
i. you have recourse recourse against the insurer of an automobile in respect of which the you are an insured,
ii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, you have recourse against the insurer of the automobile that struck the you;
iii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i or ii, you have recourse against the insurer of any automobile involved in the incident from which the entitlement to statutory accident benefits arose,
iv. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, ii or iii, you have recourse against the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

How much does it cost to talk to a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer?

Absolutely, our consultations for car accident cases are always free and if Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer decide to work together, we will never, under any circumstances, as you for money upfront.

Do I have to go to Court for my Car Accident Case?

The answer is, we don’t know. If you suffered serious injuries that were life changing and the accident was not your fault, then there is a good chance that our Hamilton car accident lawyers and the insurance company can work out a resolution and save both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars in Court fees. We normally tell clients that if the accident is partially your fault, your injuries turn our to be not life changing, there is a plethora of evidence that is inconsistent with what your are saying or there are credibility issues that the insurance company has issues with – then your case can in fact go to trial and the onus is on you to prove your losses.

Who pays my settlement or trial award? The driver or his insurance company?

In Ontario, if you are awarded compensation or you settle your case, it is NOT the defendant that pays this money. It is that driver’s insurance company that will pay your settlement or Court award.

Why should I hire a car accident lawyer?

If you’ve suffered serious injuries you need hire a car accident lawyer right away. Remember insurance company adjusters will begin investigating the accident and evaluating your injury claim right away.  It’s vital that you hire representation to protect your self. Also, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer early on will ensure that you hire your own occupational therapy team without the insurance company appointing one first, who will only serve in it’s best interest. An experienced car accident lawyer can also make sure that all insurance funding is in place to pay for anything you need and help you get dischgarged and back home safely.

When is a person NOT entitled to accident benefits?

An insurer is not required to pay an income replacement benefit, a non-earner benefit, benefits for lost educaiton or visitors expenses in respect of a person who was the driver of an automobile at the time of the accident  (i) if the driver knew or ought reasonably to have known that he or she was operating the automobile while it was not insured under a motor vehicle liability policy, (ii) if the driver was driving the automobile without a valid driver’s licence, (iii) if the driver is an excluded driver under the contract of automobile insurance, or (iv) if the driver knew or ought reasonably to have known that he or she was operating the automobile without the owner’s consent. In addition, if a person was engaged in an act for which the person is convicted of a criminal offence, or was an occupant of an automobile that was being used in connection with an act for which the person is convicted of a criminal offence – accident benefit coverage may not be available.

Can I sue the negligent driver that caused my injuries?

It depends – it’s vital that you speak to a car accident lawyer to learn your rights. Sadly, the Province of Ontario and the insurance companies have made it notoriously difficult to sue a driver that has ruined another person’s life. Fault determination must be investigated and you must have suffered a certain level of injury before being entitled to sue a negligent driver. Speak to one of our Hamilton car accident lawyers as soon as you can to learn about your rights.

What’s the statute of limitations in a car accident case?

In Ontario, you have two years from the date of your accident to sue a negligent driver for compensation. After two years, you lose your entire rights to file suit and collect damages.

What are Income Replacement Benefits?

Income replacement benefits (IRBs), as set out in sections 4 to 11 of the SABS, compensate accident victims for their loss of income from employment or self-employment, so long as the applicant meets the necessary requirements. The SABS puts tight limits on the amount of income that can be recovered under the SABS, and many applicants will find that the income replacement benefits they receive do not adequately compensate them. Many will have to look to the tort claim to recover additional pecuniary damages.

What is the maximum Income Replacement Benefit I can get?

Starting one week after the accident, IRBs compensate an insured person for 70% of gross income up to a weekly maximum of $400.

What is a Non-Earner Benefit?

The non-earner benefit, covered in section 12 of the SABS, is unique among the benefits available under the SABS. Unlike the other benefits, which aim to compensate claimants for specific financial losses or expenses, the non-earner benefit compensates for daily loss of life functions. It is similar in nature to non-pecuniary damages and general damages in the tort claim. Given its strict requirements, it is one of the toughest accident benefits to qualify for under the SABS. In particular, it is difficult to qualify for applicants with soft-tissue injuries or psychological impairment.  Claimants must suffer from a complete inability to perform their daily activities in order to qualify.

How much is the non-earner benefit?

Non-earner benefits pay a base rate of $185 per week for the qualifying period. Prior to June 1, 2016, some claimants, such as students, could potentially qualify for higher amounts. These higher amounts are not available for accidents after June 1, 2016.

What is a caregiver benefit?

Caregiver benefits, as set out in section 13 of the SABS, are only available to catastrophically impaired claimants who were also the primary caregiver of one or more dependants at the time of the accident.  Non-catastrophically injured claimants who purchased optional benefits may also qualify.

What are medical rehabilitation benefits?

Medical and rehabilitation benefits, covered under sections 14 to 20 of the SABS, are the most common of all the benefits available to motor vehicle accident victims under Ontario’s no-fault accident benefits regime. Medical and rehabilitation benefits provide you with the modalities needed to restore your health and return to work and society.

Can I claim punitive damages in a car accident?

Maybe – if the defendant has not been convicted criminally with an imposed sentence. In some cases, Courts may be reluctant to award punitive damages if a Defendant has already been dealt with by the criminal courts. If a Defendant has been convicted of a criminal offence such as impaired driving causing bodily harm and that a custodial sentence has been imposed with a period of driving prohibition, some Courts have taken the position that it would be inappropriate for a civil court to go behind the determination of the criminal court and substitute its own finding as to whether that sentence appropriately met the objectives of retribution, deterrence and denunciation.



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