Tony's Articles Written To Help You Make The Right Decision!

Road Safety Tips In School Zones

During the school year, it’s important to be extra cautious when driving in school zones. The following are some road safety tips, if followed, to minimize the chance of getting into a car accident or even worse, hitting a child, which could result in civil, if not criminal litigation. 1. Drive slower! Speed limits in school zones ...more

Plaintiff’s Duty to Mitigate in Personal Injury Cases

What is the duty to mitigate? Put simply, the duty to mitigate is the responsibility of the plaintiff or injured person to minimize related costs. The duty is assessed on the reasonableness of the plaintiff’s actions. If a court finds that a plaintiff did not reasonably try to meet this duty it may refuse to award ...more

Extent of Municipality’s Liability in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Municipality liability has been discussed before on this blog. Specifically, previous articles spoke to the difficulty of proving a municipality to be negligent. A recent case illustrates this point in more detail. The Facts In Fordam v. Dutton-Dunwich the issue centred on a motor vehicle collision at a dangerous intersection. The precise danger was a hidden s-curve ...more

Shawnoo v. Certas Direct: Attendant Care May be provided by Electronic Means

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice brings some clarity to the world of technology-enabled personal care. The question put to the court in Shawnoo v. Certas Direct Insurance Company was whether attendant care services provided indirectly qualify as attendant care services within the meaning of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. The court ...more

Family Physicians Can Now Assess Patients for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened painful response to pressure, among other symptoms. It is an unfortunate but common condition suffered by those in a motor vehicle accident or other personal injury. The Canadian Medical Guidelines for Fibromyalgia were recently revised. These new changes will benefit personal injury claimants in ...more

Toronto Cycling Accidents and Injuries Part 6: The 6 Most Common Causes of Cycling Accidents

As a cyclist you are routinely bombarded with information on your route that demands your attention. Giving some forethought to the most common traffic scenarios that give rise to accidents can help you more easily spot them should they arise. A motorist ‘doors’ a cyclist by opening their door into an approaching cyclist. A motorist makes a ...more

Toronto Cycling Accidents and Injuries Part 5: Don’t Let it Happen to You

Too many cyclists continue to be injured on Ontario’s streets. More importantly, most cycling accidents can be avoided. A careful review of past incidents by the team at Lafazanis Law has resulted in the following recommendations. If you think we are missing any feel free to let us know. Always wear a hard-shell helmet. Head injuries ...more

Toronto Cycling Accidents and Injuries Part 4: The One-Metre Rule in Ontario

What is the one-metre rule? The one-metre rule states that drivers shall not overtake cyclists except at a distance of one metre or more. Easy to understand and follow, the rule has been adopted by numerous countries and U.S. states in a bid to promote bicycle safety. In Canada, only Nova Scotia has adopted the rule. The ...more

Toronto Cycling Accidents and Injuries Part 3: After the Accident

Bicycle accidents can be sudden and traumatic events. While other pressing matters will be on your mind after an accident it is important to give some attention to the following recommendations. Following these steps may positively affect the outcome of any lawsuits related to the accident. Do not hesitate to call the police On their arrival the ...more

Toronto Cycling Accidents and Injuries Part 2: Common Injuries and Safety Tips

The extent of injuries is not always easily apparent It is recommended that you consult a doctor about your injuries after an accident. Many types of injuries like brain injuries or nerve damage are often not recognized by victims right away. An immediate consultation with a medical professional is useful both to successful treatment and with ...more

Toronto Cycling Accidents and Injuries Part 1: Statistics on Cycling and Cycling-Related Injuries

Toronto has 3 times the injury rate of cyclists compared to the North American average The exact reason why cycling is more dangerous in Toronto (per mile travelled) than elsewhere is not known for certain. An astonishing 20% of bicycle commuters in Toronto have told surveyors that they have suffered at least one traumatic accident during ...more

Bill 15 Hurts Motor Vehicle Accident Victims

The Ontario government’s Bill 15, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates, 2014 became law on November 20, 2014. As the title suggests the bill is an attempt to reduce automobile insurance rates by reducing the business costs of insurance companies. Whether lower costs for insurance companies will actually result in lower rates for drivers is ...more

Spring Update: Trip and Falls on Commercial Property

This article is about trip and falls that happen on commercial property like a store, private parking lot, residential apartment building or other place of business. For more information about trip and falls on Private Property or on Public Property please see related articles. Common causes of trip and falls on commercial property Spring thaw brings ...more

Spring Update: Trip and Falls on Public Property

This article is about trip and falls that happen on public or government property like a sidewalk, public washroom or public park. For more information about trip and falls on Private Property or on Public Property please see related articles. Common causes of trip and falls on public property Spring thaw brings with it the potential ...more

Spring Update: Trip and Falls on Private Property

This article is about trip and falls that happen on private property like someone’s home, their driveway, walkway or lawn. For more information about trip and falls on Commercial Property or on Public Property please see related articles. Common causes of trip and falls on private property Spring thaw brings with it the potential for uneven ...more

Courts Take a Hard Line Approach on Issue of Cell Phone Use While Driving

The dangerous link between cell phones and driving is well established. Besides being a frequent source of distraction, cell phones have been found to also significantly increase the chances of an accident. For instance, a study by Sunnybrook Hospital found texting while driving to benearly ten times more dangerous than applying makeup while driving.[1] The dangers ...more

BBQ, Fireworks and Campsite Safety – Preventing Burn Injuries

For many Canadians summer is an opportunity to bring out the BBQ or sit around a campfire and enjoy being outdoors. On other special evenings during the summer, friends and family may get together to watch or set off fireworks. These events are fun and meaningful, but they also present significant burn and scalding risks ...more

Trip and Falls on Public Property

The threat of slip and falls is a common winter-time conversation topic. Trip and falls receive less attention but can be just as dangerous. This article examines the components of a successful trip and fall claim against a city or municipality, as set out in a recent Ontario Superior Court decision. With trip and falls, the ...more

Conflicting Medical Expert Assessments

Expert assessments by medical and health practitioners play an important role in personal injury law. However, it is not unusual for expert assessments to differ or conflict on certain points. In a recent case, the Ontario Superior Court addressed the issue of how to treat conflicting expert assessments. In Personal Insurancev. Hoang [1], the claimant was ...more

Menacing Dogs and Dog Attacks Causing Personal Injury

Dog attacks are a common source of personal injury in Canada, especially among children. A recent Canadian study found more children are admitted to hospital because of dog bites than other injury.1 These injuries are often serious, frequently requiring surgical intervention and/or numerous stitches.2 There are other costs and consequences as well, including emotional distress ...more

Study Reveals Extent of Traumatic Brain Injuries

New research shows the effects of traumatic brain injuries among youth are more extensive than previously thought. According to this recent study, nearly 20 percent of Ontario students in Grades 7 through 12 have suffered from some form of traumatic brain injury. The definition includes any students who have either lost consciousness for more than ...more

The Importance of Waiting for a Clear Prognosis Before Settling Your Injury Claim

A settlement represents one possible resolution to a legal dispute. In personal injury law, a settlement involves the claimant accepting a final damages sum in compensation for their injuries. Settlements are “full and final”, meaning there cannot be any future requests for any more compensation relating to the same claim. It may be that the parties ...more

Number of Medical and Health Examinations

Medical and health examinations are an important part of personal injury claims. Both the claimant and the defendant look to these examinations to determine the extent of the injures in dispute. Generally the more extensive the injuries and their effects, the more compensation is awarded to the claimant. To get a good idea of the extent ...more

Medical Conditions and Motor Vehicle Accidents

The Province of Ontario recently agreed to 19 recommendations prepared by Ontario’s Ombudsman in its recent report on medical fitness and driving. The Ombudsman’s report itself follows from a string of recent deaths involving persons found to have been medically unfit to drive. In one widely publicized case leading to the report, a driver with a ...more

How to Get the Most of a Claim when Your Vehicle is Written Off

After a motor vehicle accident, an insurer will make a decision whether to pay to repair a damaged vehicle or to write it off and pay a lump sum to its owner. The decision to write off a vehicle is typically made where the cost to repair the vehicle is more than its market value ...more

How Can a Lawyer Help with Short and Long Term Disability Insurance Claims Disputes?

Disability insurance is meant to provide peace of mind in case your physical and/or mental health stops you from working. Often employers will purchase disability insurance on behalf of their employees, as part of an employee benefit program. Individuals may on their own purchase disability insurance, as well. In any case, disability insurance is meant ...more

Voluntary Medical Payments and Voluntary Property Damage Payments

Voluntary medical and property damage payments are available as a standard or available feature in many insurance policies. They exist to compensate persons who may be injured or have their property damaged as a result of the policy holder’s actions, or who are injured or have their property damaged on the policy holder’s premises. These provisions ...more

Unsafe Stairs and Stairway Accidents

Step and stair injuries are the single largest contributor to fall-related hospitalizations in Canada. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation cites three main reasons for most falls. These include health factors, behavioural factors and environmental factors like poor lighting and design. Often a step or stair injury may result from a combination of factors. If the ...more

Commercial Host Legal Responsibility

Under the Liquor Licence Act, it is illegal for a commercial host to serve any person who is, or appears to be intoxicated. All for-profit liquor establishments like bars, taverns, clubs, restaurants are commercial hosts under the definition. A legal responsibility is also owed by the commercial host to any person who is reasonably expected ...more

Airplane Accidents – Domestic and International Flights

The legal remedies available to persons injured in airline accidents fall into two categories. First, domestic flights, which are governed by general common-law principles of tort, and are similar to traditional negligence claims. Second, international flights, which are subject to the provisions of the Montreal Convention, adopted in Canada as the Carriage by Air Act. The ...more

Contributory Negligence

Every person has a legal duty to prevent unreasonable injury to themselves. [i]This becomes an issue in personal injury cases where it is shown that the injured party is themselves partially responsible. In such instances, courts apply the principle of contributory negligence to apportion damages between the parties – the injured party included - whom contributed ...more

Changes to Statutory Accidents Benefits Regulation

A government amendment to the Statutory Accidents Benefits Schedule (SABS) came into effect on February 1, 2014. The amendment, titled as OR 347/13, made three amendments to the previous version of the regulations. The overall effect of the changes was to make it more difficult for injured plaintiffs to receive compensation in certain circumstances. The first ...more

Ceiling on Pain and Suffering Damages

Among the many classes of damages injured persons can claim for, one is for any pain and suffering which may follow from an injury. Any person suing under this damage heading should be aware that a cap exists as to the maximum amount that a court may grant in their favour. The ceiling on damages was ...more

Ontario Government Mulls Demerit Points for Distracted Driving

Both the government and the courts in Ontario are taking an increasingly critical stance on distracted driving. Two recent events help illustrate this view, as well as point to the direction and enforcement of future laws in the area. First, although already illegal, distracted driving in Ontario does not require, as is the case in other ...more

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help an Injured Cyclist

In spite of significant advances in bicycle safety initiatives – including everything from general awareness to specially demarcated lanes – cycling’s growing popularity has resulted in a spike in related injuries in recent years. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, bicycles were involved in 2,500-plus collisions resulting in personal injury in 2010, the last ...more

Brain Injuries in Sports Continue Unabated

Traumatic Brain Injuries among Youth A new Canadian medical study is helping bring attention to the relationship between sports and brain injuries among youth. Among other findings, the study revealed that sports now constitute the single largest contributing factor to Traumatic Brain Injuries among those 5 to 19 years of age.* While some risk of harm is ...more

Re-Examining Product Liability 20 Years after the McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case

The Facts In 1992, Stella Liebeck, an elderly lady residing in the State of New Mexico spilled a hot cup of McDonald’s coffee on her pelvic region, sustaining severe injuries as a result, including third degree burns on 6 percent of her body. Following a period of intensive medical treatment, she launched a lawsuit against McDonald’s, ...more

Three Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in a Wrongful Death Case

If you have endured the tragedy of losing a loved one in a personal injury accident, it will take you a long time to move on from the accident. This also means that you will have a hard time sorting through what happened and what your rights are. It is vital that you consult with a ...more

Personal Injury Lawyers are Beneficial in Medical [doctor, hospital, dentist, etc.] Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice is quickly becoming a popular reason for people to file personal injury claims and hire a personal injury lawyer. They require a lot more work and are not as simple as filing a claim with an insurance company. Proof First, there are a few requirements that must be met for your claim to be awarded compensation. Your personal ...more

Are Personal Injury Lawyers Needed with Dog Bites?

When a dog bites you, you often find yourself both mentally and physically scarred from the accident. Many children who endure an attack from a dog will need more help than just a few stitches or antibiotics. It is a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one ...more

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer to File Insurance Claims

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you need to fill out an insurance claim to recoup expenses that you incur. Many feel that they can save money by filling out the claim forms by themselves, but this is not always the case. As cases get more complicated, hiring a personal injury lawyer ...more

Do I Have to Stay with a Personal Injury Lawyer if We Do Not Get Along?

You have been in an automobile accident and you have decided to hire a lawyer to represent you; what happens if you do not feel that you are getting fair representation? What if you need to go to court, but you have a lawyer that is young and inexperienced? You should never feel like you ...more

Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Protect Me?

Personal injury lawyers are not only for suing someone; they can also protect a person who is being sued. Several steps need to be taken immediately following an accident of any type. Gathering Evidence It is vital after being involved in an auto accident that photographs and videos are taken of the accident area. Your lawyer will tell ...more

What Are The Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawyer?

To understand the full benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer when you are involved in an accident, you need to know what their job is. A personal injury lawyer is a person who acts on behalf of the injured party when it comes to talking to insurance companies, law enforcement, and hiring private investigators. ...more

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

Lawyers can be expensive, but they get results. If you are injured in any type of accident, you will want to call at least a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. If a lawyer believes that you have a solid case to pursue compensation, you can then discuss different payment arrangements they have available. Contingency ...more

Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Is Needed After an Accident

If you have been in an auto accident, it is vital to talk to a personal injury lawyer prior to making any other call. Even though you pay an insurance company to protect you, they do not work for you and their job is simply to make a profit for their company. By hiring a ...more

Three Reasons Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you are injured, you will suddenly incur various medical bills. Depending on the injury, those bills can be significant, and in addition to lost wages, this can be tough on you and your budget. There are many reasons why you should hire a personal injury lawyer, but the ones that are the most important are objectivity, free ...more

Three Things to Know Prior to Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you are injured, your gut reaction is to seek as much compensation as possible for those injuries. While it is vital that you at least speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, a few key things are important to know before hiring a lawyer. Costs The very first thing to keep in mind is ...more

How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you are pursuing a personal injury claim having a lawyer to guide the way to settling the claim successfully is necessary. Finding the right lawyer, however, is not an easy task. Luckily, many tactics are available to aid in finding the best lawyer for your personal injury claim. Before you begin to search for ...more

Why is a Personal Injury Lawyer Needed in a Slip and Fall Case?

Slipping and falling can result in broken bones or worse yet, brain damage. It is important that you contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after the accident. They will be the most beneficial asset you will have on your side as the bills begin to come in. The main reason that a lawyer is important in ...more

What is a Contingency Fee and what are the Benefits

When you are injured in an automobile accident, it is best to obtain legal counsel to help negotiate a fair settlement. Lawyers are not free and many people who are injured do not have the funds for legal counsel. That is why many offices work with contingency fee arrangements, which are a great option for ...more

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With a Structured Settlement

Winning a settlement may not be the end of the personal injury claim. You will have to decide how you would like to receive your settlement. With smaller claims, it may be best to get the money in one lump sum payment. However, as the compensation amount increases, a lawyer may urge you to look ...more

Do you need the services of a Disability Lawyer in Toronto?

Sadly, if you have received a disabling injury in an accident, you may need Tony Lafazanis to help you receive the benefits you deserve. Most insurance companies will still attempt to get the disabled person to accept less than they are entitled to. Thankfully, the court system does not agree with this practice. There are ...more

How to Handle a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim

Being involved in an automobile accident is tragic enough, but add in a brain trauma and life will forever be impacted. It does not matter if it has affected your brain, or if it is the brain of a loved one, hiring a personal injury lawyer that is knowledgeable in catastrophic injuries is something you ...more

What Every Injured Person Needs To Know

What every injured person wants, is to be treated fairly. They are hurt. How they are treated should respect that. Part of being treated fairly is to receive fair compensation for their injuries. We bring to the table our more than 25 years of experience for every person we represent. That experience guides us while we ...more

Time Limits

There is a two (2) year time limit from the date of your accident, or injury, to file a claim in Court. If no claim is filed in Court, after the two year mark the right to make a claim will likely be lost. It is very important that you contact us as soon as ...more

Motor Vehicle Accidents - Tort Claims

If you are not 100% at fault, a claim can be made. Tort claims can be made involving general damages for pain and suffering; loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities; loss of income; future care expenses; and other out of pocket expenses. To preserve your claim, the law requires that the at ...more

Motor Vehicle Accidents - Accident Benefits

No-Fault accident benefits apply to any person in Ontario who has been injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. That includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. These benefits, by law, are part of every car insurance policy sold in Ontario. They are paid according to ...more

Slip and Fall, Trip and Fall Claims

Because of the completely unexpected nature of these accidents, fairly serious injuries may occur. Potential "at fault" persons are the owner and tenant of the property where the fall occurred, and the municipality if the fall occurred on public property such as sidewalks and municipal parking lots. If an owner or tenant is solely at fault, ...more

Accidental Death

Generally, when one person's negligent act directly results in the death of another person, that is considered a wrongful death. Relatives of the deceased person may seek compensation for their financial and relationship losses which result from a wrongful death of their loved one. Ontario's Family Law Act provides that the spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, ...more

Dog Bites

If you experience physical pain, scarring or psychological damage from the behaviour of an animal that belongs to another person, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. Dog bites are probably the most common type of animal injury, and Ontario has a statute called the Dog Owner's Liability Act which governs such situations. ...more

Class Actions

Class actions are appropriate when a group of people have similar potential claims. What may be too small a claim, if pursued by one person, may be a very large claim if pursued by a group of people. There is almost no claim that is too small if it can be the start of a ...more

Steps in a Lawsuit

First, we will open a Court file by preparing and issuing a document called a "Statement of Claim". This must be served on the party you are suing, who will normally take it to his or her insurance company. The insurance company will then retain a lawyer to defend the case. That lawyer will respond ...more

Examination for Discovery - What is it?

An examination for discovery is usually held in an office located downtown, in or near the Court House of the Judicial District where an action is commenced, or where the person resides. It is an informal hearing which takes place before the lawyers for all parties and a reporter who takes down your evidence. Prior to ...more

Mediation - What is it?

At the outset the mediator will outline the terms of the mediation. He will explain that each side will be given an opportunity to present opening remarks, discuss the issues and often an opportunity for the clients to speak as well. The subject matter of what you will say at the mediation should be discussed ...more

The Value of What We Do Outside Work

If a claim is brought for an injury typically one of the components of the claim is pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. A second component is for loss of income. An additional component, which in the past has been largely ignored, is the injured person's capacity to perform housework and home maintenance. Often ...more

Loss of Capacity for Work

A personal injury may cause a person to be off work for a period of time. After a return to work, it may be that the injured person's ability to perform the pre-accident work is not affected. Despite returning to work there may be a loss of work capacity that should be recognized. Prior to an ...more

Life Insurance - The New Living Benefit

Recent changes to life insurance policies provide relief from undue financial hardship. Having knowledge of these benefits may be of assistance to our clients. Life insurance is, to state the obvious, insurance on a person's life. A premium is paid to provide a benefit payable on death. Quite often, though, there is a significant need for ...more

Causation

What is a sufficient connection to an accident for a court to provide compensation? Rarely do we have a case where there are no pre-existing and/or subsequent conditions or accidents. How does a court assess compensation in a claim? These are issues that doctors, lawyers and the courts have been struggling with for many years. ...more