How Personal Injury Settlement Values are Determined in Ontario [video]

By Roger Foisy on April 24th, 2012

How do lawyers come up with personal injury settlement values in Ontario? In other words, how much is your case worth?

There are two critical factors that maximize the value of any settlement:

  1. Your personal situation
  2. How your lawyer approaches your case

Your personal situation is of course the most important factor taken into consideration. Factors like your profession, salary, age, severity of injury, expected medical expenses, your medical diagnosis and issues of liability (how the accident came to be) are all factors considered to determine how much you should be fairly compensated.

While these factors form the foundation of a settlement value, the more critical question is whether your lawyer is able to convey that information properly to the other side. Injury is not only about how severe it is but what impact it will have on your life.

As an Ontario injury lawyer, I have never had “the same client twice”. While I have had the same accident twice and even the same injury twice, I have always been able to recognize that the client’s impact to their injuries has always been unique to them and their family. It is that uniqueness which helps to determine the value of their case.

So how should a lawyer effectively convey the unique impact on your life to help maximize your injury settlement value?

To start, your injury lawyer has to get to know you. An initial half hour consultation is not enough. It is what makes the difference between an average settlement value and a settlement that is going to help take care of you into the future.

It is critical that you find a lawyer that will not only take the time to listen to the ins and outs of your case, but one that will also leave you feeling that he or she has your best interests in mind.

The Benefits of the Case Management Approach

We believe in a strong case management approach which starts with a thorough initial assessment that lasts between 2 and 4 hours.

This assessment is not a one-way dialogue but rather an opportunity for you to get to know the lawyer, as well as for them to get to know you. It is very important that both parties feel comfortable working as a team. You may have to reveal some very personal aspects of your life in order for your lawyer to be an effective advocate on your behalf. That comfort level is necessary to be effective.

You may assume certain information is not relevant to your case and should remain confidential. However, it is important to remember that it will only help you maximize the settlement value of your case if you feel comfortable sharing all potentially relevant information.

Clients are often surprised to learn that because of pre-existing injuries, a person can be deemed more seriously injured than a person who had no pre-existing injury, resulting in higher damages than otherwise would be the case.

Of course, a case management approach does not stop at the initial interview. It requires regular follow-up and personal contact with the actual lawyer you hired. It is how to build a strong relationship throughout the entire litigation process. It is important to know what goes on in your life so they can convey that in an appropriate manner on your behalf, all the while keeping your dignity intact.

To learn more about Ontario personal injury law, we invite you to watch our video series that helps answer many of the most common questions asked to Ontario injury lawyers.

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