Frequently Asked Questions
These are answers to our most commonly asked questions, and we’ll happily answer any other questions you have too, just give us a call or send us a message.
+ What is my personal injury claim worth?
Each personal injury claim is unique. The value of your claim depends on the severity of your injuries and the impact they have on your life. You may have missed time from work, incurred medical bills, or can no longer participate in activities you used to enjoy. You may no longer be able to work in the same field, or at all. These are all losses that you deserve to be compensated for. With the support of doctors, actuaries, and other experts, we determine a fair value for your total life-long loss and then seek compensation from the Defendant. During your free consultation, we assess these factors and can estimate a range of what your personal injury claim is worth.
+ How much will it cost, and how do I pay?
At MacGillivray Law, we work on a contingency fee basis, where you do not pay anything until we obtain compensation for you. This means that we do not charge an hourly rate for our services. Instead, when your case does settle, or if you are awarded compensation at Trial, our legal fees are deducted from the total amount awarded. This percentage ranges from 25% to 33%, depending on the province you live in, the type of case, and how far the case has progressed through the legal process. We also pay for any expert opinions required to advance your case. This might involve us consulting with an independent doctor or engineer to write a report about your case and be qualified as an expert witness. We cover the upfront cost associated with these reports. We try to recover them from the Defendant and they are paid at the end of your case. Before you settle your case, you'll know exactly how much you'll walk away with after all fees and expenses are deducted. If we do not win your case, you do not pay anything.
+ Why should I choose MacGillivray Law?
The one thing that insurance companies do have that our clients do not have is time. Some of our clients have no income between the time of their accident and the time they receive compensation. Some are living below the poverty level. They're frustrated, they're scared, and they don't have enough money. Delay always benefits the insurance companies. The victims will get discouraged and desperate, and will be more likely to take a low, unfair settlement in that state of mind. From the time you apply to the Judge for a Trial Date, it takes one or two years to actually get the case to Trial. And you have to go through certain procedures even to get to that point. It's often too long. The last thing you need is your own lawyer creating any delay in your case. At our firm, Jamie MacGillivray's role is to strategize with the other lawyers on how to break through delay traps that might be set by the insurers, or just how to break through general delay. We're focused on advancing your case, from the development of our work flow to our special teams, our software, our training, and our coaching. It's all about fighting delay. We want to make the defense lawyers and the judges aware of how delay impacts our clients. They say justice delayed is justice denied. At MacGillivray Law, we fight delay. We are inspired to action and to speed.
+ Should I accept the settlement my insurance company offers me?
If an insurance adjuster has offered you a settlement for your injury claim, the most important thing to consider is that you only have one chance to settle your case. Once you accept a settlement, you cannot contest it later, even if your injuries worsen. The settlement should compensate you not only for what you've experienced to-date, but for your future loss as well. In most cases, it's best to wait until you have gone through your recovery so you know what your loss is and the future is more certain, so you have a better idea of what your claim is worth. It's also important to know how personal injury claims are valued by the Courts in order to determine if your offer is fair. If you have any questions about an offer from an insurance adjuster, we offer a free consultation in which we will review your case, give you our thoughts on the offer, and give advice on how you should proceed.
+ How long does the personal injury claim process take?
The length of the claim process depends on a number of factors. Most importantly, it depends on the severity of your injuries. Claims involving minor injuries, such as whiplash, resolve more quickly than claims involving more severe injuries, such as a serious fracture or a mental condition. These claims take longer to resolve because recovery is often slower and time is necessary to determine a long-term prognosis. As such, there is no standard timeline for a personal injury claim. We assess each case on its own merits and progress through the necessary steps in order to secure fair compensation for your injuries. Generally speaking, however, a claim involving serious injuries takes between three to five years on average to resolve.
+ How do I choose the right personal injury lawyer?
The most important factor in choosing a lawyer is to make sure that the lawyer you choose has a specialty in the particular area that is relevant to your needs. For personal injury and insurance claims, you want to make sure that your lawyer has a practice that is specific to that area and that you feel confident in their ability to represent your interests. A lawyer that specializes in personal injury law is going to have a knowledge base in that area, years of experience, and a relationship with the insurance defense counsel in the industry. These are assets that our lawyers use to progress your claim more effectively than a lawyer who does not specialize in personal injury law.
+ What is the difference between "own occupation" and "any occupation"?
In most long-term disability policies, insurers define the term "total disability". This definition changes after a period of two years. The insurer will pay you benefits for a period of at least two years if you are able to prove, with medical documentation, that you are totally disabled from performing the essential duties of your own occupation, or the work you were doing at the time you became disabled. After two years, the insurer will only continue to pay you benefits if you are able to prove that you are totally disabled from performing any occupation. Keep in mind, however, that this definition of "any occupation" does not mean any occupation at all. Instead, it is any occupation for which you are reasonably suited for by your educational background, training and experience.
+ What is Section B insurance?
The Insurance Act in NS, NL, NB, and PEI are each broken down into four sections: A, B, C and D. When you've been injured in a car accident, Section B insurance provides up to $50,000 in coverage for medical and rehabilitation expenses, such as physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, and nursing care. Further, if you've been injured in an accident and you're unable to work, Section B provides coverage towards your lost wages. In the event of a death of a loved one, Section B also provides up to $2,500 in funeral expenses. While insurers are legally obliged to provide Section B insurance coverage, some insurers will terminate these benefits in circumstances where a Court might not agree it is appropriate. If your benefits have been terminated but you do not feel that you have fully recovered, we can help.
+ What is a discovery hearing?
A discovery hearing is an important part of the litigation process. After your claim has been filed with the Court and documents have been exchanged, the next step is discovery. A discovery hearing is a meeting in a conference room that is recorded and transcribed by a court reporter. We help you prepare for this meeting, which consists of the Defendant's lawyer asking you a number of questions. We also question the Defendant. A discovery hearing is less formal and more private than a Trial. As the name implies, it is a chance for each side to "discover" the other's case. Through this examination, we sometimes uncover important evidence which we can use to support your case. A discovery hearing usually takes a day, although it can be longer depending on the number of witnesses to be questioned. Our advice generally is to just be yourself and tell the truth. You have nothing to fear, and we are by your side.
+ What should I do immediately after a car accident?
There are several important things you must do immediately after a car accident. Firstly, you should assess if you've been injured and if the damage to your vehicle is worth over $1,000. If these conditions are met, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. The next step is to exchange insurance information and the names and addresses of all the parties involved in the accident. Our accident reporting kit is a helpful way to collect this information. Once you've gathered the necessary information, you should seek treatment for your injuries from your family doctor, the walk-in clinic, or the hospital. Finally, you should call your own insurance company to report the accident. Under your own insurance coverage, you will likely have a requisition for physiotherapy or massage which you can arrange treatment through. If your injuries persist and begin affecting your life, then you should seek legal advice.
+ What happens if the driver who hit me doesn't have insurance?
If you've been injured in a car accident and the driver who hit you doesn't have insurance, you can still sue for damages. If you have insurance on your own vehicle, or if you are a dependent and someone in your household has insurance, you can seek recovery for your damages under the Section D part of that automobile insurance policy. If not, you can still seek recovery from an organization called the Facility Association. The moral of the story: if you've been injured at the fault of an uninsured driver, we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
+ Can my posts on social media affect my personal injury case?
Posts on social media can have a negative impact on your personal injury case. Posts on social media often showcase highlights in your life, and are not always indicative of how you live your day-to-day life. However, insurance companies can go online and surveil you by looking at your social media accounts and they will use your photos and videos to argue that you are not seriously injured.