In the aftermath of an injury or illness caused by the negligence of another, it seems almost automatic for others to urge, “Get a lawyer!” But is it worth it to pursue such cases in court? After all, Canadian law provides some protection for those incapacitated, and aren’t legal fees onerous? And after lawyer’s fees and other court costs, aren’t the monetary amounts victims end up with pretty small? But Canada’s worker compensation laws provide limited protection and temporary benefits. In such cases a personal injury lawyer can be invaluable, with his or her knowledge of legal procedures, and ability to file claims and fight for clients in court. And while clients will have to pay some court costs regardless of a case’s outcome, a personal injury lawyer’s fees come from a percentage of a case’s victorious outcome. So a personal injury lawyer has many incentives to not only win, but to win big.
5. Marcoccia versus Gill, Purba Furniture Limited, and Ford Credit Canada Limited, Toronto, 2009
A twenty year old driver was struck by a furniture delivery truck making an improper left hand turn. The driver of the smaller vehicle suffered catastrophic and permanent brain damage, requiring around the clock care. His lawyer successfully sued the truck driver, the company employing the driver, and the company’s insurance firm. The client was awarded almost $17,000,000 by a jury.
4. Sandhu versus Wellington Place Apartments, Toronto, 2008
A pre-schooler fell from a high window in a relative’s apartment with a broken screen, suffering a severe head injury and numerous broken bones. Medical experts pronounced that the injured child would never be able to function as an adult and would need constant care. A jury awarded the child’s family $14,200,000.
3. Gordon and Morrison versus Greig, Bradford, Ontario, 2008
A college student named Corey Greig was driving to a party with friends Derek Gordon and Ryan Morrison when he lost control of his vehicle. Both Gordon and Morrison were severely injured in the resulting crash, with Gordon becoming a paraplegic, and Morrison suffering permanent brain injuries that affected functioning. As Greig had been drinking at the time of the accident, the court’s sympathies were with its victims. Gordon was awarded $11,370,000 and Morrison won $12,330,000. These are the largest awards in Canadian history for injuries of these types.
2. MacNeil versus Bryan, Adjala-Tosorontio Township, Ontario, 2002
A car driven by a sixteen year old ran a stop sign, became airborne, and ended up in a ditch, causing catastrophic brain injuries to its fifteen year old passenger. A court awarded her $18,400,000.
1. John Doe versus Property Owner, British Columbia, 2003
A fifteen year old boy suffered a “slip and fall” accident, resulting in severe and partially debilitating knee injuries. A judge determined that the severity of the injuries would affect future earnings and functioning, and necessitate a probable knee replacement. He awarded the youth $300,000.
All defendants lost their cases on appeal. While the outcomes and awarded amounts vary greatly per trial, to be assured of proper representation and support in any trial of this type, accident victims should seek the services of a personal injury or disability lawyer. These professionals can help victims recover money to help rebuild their lives in the aftermath of disaster.