Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer - Michelle Arzaga

We never give up the fight for our clients here at Pace Law Firm


Toronto personal injury lawyer Michelle Arzaga describes the case:

I recently had a client who suffered a serious personal injury in a car crash. Let’s call him Paul. He’s 44 years old now, but at the time of the accident he was 38 years old.

He was injured when a car ran a red light and struck him as he completed his left turn. The impact of the crash caused his car to spin 180 degrees and crash into a lamp post. Paul’s car was completely demolished.

At the time of the accident, Paul was working full-time as a truck driver. He had worked in construction jobs and truck driving since he left high school. He had no other formal education. He enjoyed truck driving, and chose it specifically because it allowed him to work alone most of the time. He admitted he had a bad temper and had a lot of trouble getting along with people so he chose work that allowed him to work alone.

Paul enjoyed his job. It was heavy manual labour work (the job required him to help load and unload the trucks), and required a lot of sitting, but it allowed him to work alone. He was paid well for it. It was a job he knew how to do well.
A Life Changing Accident

Then came the car accident and everything changed. He immediately felt pain in his lower back but he refused to go to the hospital. He hoped it would get better with rest. It didn’t. The pain got progressively worse, but Paul still refused to stop working. He went to his doctor and followed all the treatment and physio and medications he was told to take. Still his back pain became worse. For over 2 years, Paul lived and worked in pain. Finally, both his employer and his doctor told him to stay off work.

At that point, Paul was advised by friends and co-workers to seek out a lawyer, even though it had been more than 2 years since the accident.
Taking On The Case After the Limitation Period Expired

That is when I met Paul. He was suffering from excruciating pain in his back, and he had no income nor any idea where to turn for help. An MRI scan of his back taken over 2 years post accident revealed a disc bulge and disc protrusion. We took on the case and commenced a claim against the at fault driver, even though the two-year limitation period to commence a claim had expired.

On Paul’s behalf, we claimed that Paul did not discover that his injuries were permanent and serious until he was forced off work, and until the results of his MRI scan were known. Despite the lateness in issuing a claim, we were able to recover a substantial settlement for Paul.
Long-Term Disability Benefits

We also discovered that Paul had access to long term disability benefits, and we encouraged him to apply. He was denied by the LTD insurer and we sued the insurer on his behalf. On the eve of trial, his LTD insurer agreed to settle his claim for benefits that would pay him a present value amount of benefits to age 65.

Given the medical evidence that showed Paul would not be able to return to any kind of work for which he was suited, we encouraged Paul to apply for CPP disability benefits. His application was denied, and we appealed the denial on his behalf. After appearing on his behalf before the Tribunal, the original denial was reversed and Paul was awarded retroactive CPP disability benefits from 2009 to date, and the payment of monthly benefits to age 65.
$650,000 In Compensation and Benefits

Though Paul was denied compensation at every single turn, I’m proud to say that we were able to recover compensation for him at every point he was denied. His accident benefits file remains open, but I expect to resolve that matter as well at mediation. In all, to date, we have recovered over $650,000 in compensation and benefits for Paul, funds that will go a long way in helping Paul manage his pain and achieve a sense of stablility in his life.