Category Archives: Firm News

Can we count on your vote for Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s Top 10 Personal Injury Firms?

Voting is now open for Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2019 Top 10 Personal Injury Firms.

Voting ends on February 25th, 2019 and the Pace Law Firm is humbled to be again nominated for this recognition and honour.
We would greatly appreciate your support and endorsement in the personal injury category.

Time commitment:
This anonymous survey takes ONLY 2 MINUTES to complete

Voter eligibility:
The survey is open to all members of the community (not just lawyers)

Where to vote:
Use this link to put us in the Top 10 category.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TopBoutiquesPIAC2019

How to vote:
1) Provide your firm or organization name
2) Provide your location (nearest town/city/province)
3) Provide your year of call or years of service in your profession
4) Select minimum of 5 law firms for the vote to be counted
5) (Optional) – Add any additional comments
Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the survey.

Our most sincere appreciation for your support and confirmation of the important work we
do every day in the field of personal injury law. Helping the victims, and their loved ones,
navigate the financial and legal outcomes of their injuries is to us – PERSONAL.

Should you have any questions regarding the survey, contact Patrick Rocca, General
Manager at PRocca@pacelawfirm.com

Sincerely,
Pace Law Firm

If You Were A Juror, What Would You Say?

Who is to blame for an accident? The driver? The pedestrian? Could it be both? According to the Negligence Act [NA] the answer is, yes to both.

Contributory Negligence is the allocation of a certain percentage of blame the victim has in an accident. How much is that percent? That is up to a jury, and in Ontario they can allocate this fault anywhere from zero to 100 per cent.

As a personal injury lawyer that deals with many pedestrian and motor vehicle accident cases, I am always intrigued at how jurors feel about fault.

 

Want to try your hand at being an armchair juror? Assign a percentage of fault to each party for the scenarios below:

There are no right and wrong answers to the situations above.

Everyone can have a different opinion and lawyers never know how a jury will feel.  This is where experience and expertise come in.  A good lawyer can assess a file and help guide you through a jury process for the best possible outcome for you.

Nancy Young is a personal injury lawyer at Pace Law Firm. She can be reached at nyoung@pacelawfirm.com

For Your Convenience And Comfort

After a serious injury finding an experienced and caring lawyer to help navigate insurance claims, tort claims and medical treatments is crucial to ensuring an injured person receives the best financial and medical outcome possible for their circumstance.

Most often, finding a lawyer comes from word of mouth. Indeed client testimonials and reviews are important. There are also additional considerations:

Multiple locations: Make sure meetings don’t add additional stress. Pace Law offers services to clients across southern Ontario with seven office locations. In the event clients cannot come into our offices, our legal teams will meet clients in their homes, work, hospitals and rehab centres.

Team approach: Our clients have suffered complex injuries, and our team approach is what is needed to drive success. With over 35 years of experience, our legal teams are comprised of highly qualified professionals that include lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, former insurance adjusters and medical staff. The team works collaboratively providing advice and expertise as needed.

Experienced: Knowing when to settle and when to go to trial is important. While our goal is to come to a positive settlement through mediation, at times litigation is needed and experience in court matters.

As clients seek lawyers in a time most uncertain for them they can be certain that Pace Law will make the legal process as convenient as possible with the comfort that comes over three decades of success.

Should Cyclist Be Treated More Like Motorists? Food For Thought

According to Statistics Canada over the past two decades, commuter population in metropolitan areas increased by 35.9 per cent. During this time, the number of people using a bicycle to commute nearly doubled.

As city traffic worsens, costs increase and environmental concerns take on more importance in society; more and more commuters are seeking alternative methods to travel, with many turning to cycling as their primary method of transportation to and from work.

Since one goal of the city of Toronto is for bicycles and cars to share the road, many are thinking about the best and safest way to implement this transition. A big question that arises is that since both cars and bicycles are involved in road accidents which can lead to fatalities, should they not have to follow similar rules of engagement?

Specifically, should there be a licensing requirement for cyclists, provided only after road and personal safety rules were demonstrated? Should bikes be required to undergo safety inspections, similar to car safety standard emissions tests? Should there be laws against distracted cycling? Currently there are no laws against cycling while on the phone while listening to music with headphones. However, these behaviours are dangerous and can result in injury and accidents.

What about insurance? Finding insurance for cyclists would be the toughest part of this debate. Motorists are entitled to access accident benefits – ordinarily by way of the insurer of the subject motor vehicle or the insurer of the motorist (if insured on another vehicle). When a cyclist has an accident with a moving (or parked) vehicle, the cyclist may access the insurance policy associated with that vehicle in order to claim accident benefits, regardless of fault.

What happens, however, when no car is involved in a cycling accident and therefore no insurance is accessible? That would be the case if a cyclists simply falls or if two cyclists collide. One thought would be to have an equivalent of accident benefits tied to home owners insurance. But what if a person does not own a home? Another thought would be to compel cyclists to insure their bicycles?  That mechanism would, however, be far from ideal.

There is a huge spectrum of possibilities for answering these questions. On the far right these regulations would be mandatory with cyclists paying for the services, moving into the middle with subsidized regulations and services, and to the far left with no mandatory regulations.

There are definitely more questions than answers in this area and progress towards finding solutions can’t come fast enough.

Steven Arie Glowinsky is a personal injury lawyer who represents both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers who suffered serious injuries as a result of an accident. For more information, he can be reached at sglowinsky@pacelawfirm.com or (416) 734-0431.

Wrongful Death Claims From A Lawyer’s Perspective

When I am dealing with a wrongful death claim, what I often see is a family who is trying to cope with an irreplaceable loss. They are feeling confused, helpless and are overcome with grief and, unfortunately for many, the loss doesn’t end here.

The passing of a loved one often also leads to financial loss. There are many reasons for this. If the death is caused by an auto accident, then the  standard auto insurance policy usually covers $6,000 in funeral costs, far less than the average fee for such services. If a family member or spouse was a contributor to the household income, revenue coming in stops, making those remaining in the home struggling to make up the difference.

Then, there are loved ones so overcome by grief, they can no longer work or care for other family members. Day-to-day responsibilities that were not thought about before are now an added stress from driving kids to school, helping with homework or taking care of an elderly parent.

Picking up the pieces is hard. Finding time to heal emotionally with the added burden of financial strain, is even harder.

Often during these trying times families don’t want to seek retribution or compensation. Many feel guilty thinking they are placing a monitory value to their loved one’s life. Compensation and filing insurance claims in their view adds insult to injury as many require immense amount of proof in terms of their relationship to the victim, and  victim’s contribution to household.

It is here, in which the true value of a lawyer rests. Lawyers help navigate procedures, deal with insurance companies, and in certain cases, sue for financial damages (loss of work, grief counselling).

Wrongful death claims can support victim’s family and provide the resources needed to  grieve and move forward.

If this is a topic you or a family member is struggling with, please contact us today.

A Look Back At 2017

As we reflect back on 2017 news stories, what can we learn and which lessons can we bring into this New Year?

Canadian government reduces accident benefits

In 2016, the Ontario Government tightened the definition of what it means to be catastrophically injured when claiming Accident Benefits after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

The new legislation has not only resulted in fewer benefits being awarded to catastrophically injured people, it has also significantly reduced the limits to support that can be accessed after this life-changing situation.

Increase in auto insurance becomes essential

The average decrease in insurance premiums since August 2013 is about 8.3 per cent, or a little over halfway to the government’s goal. However, benefits for catastrophic injury victims have been cut by 50 per cent.

The solution is toincrease your auto insurance coverage for a small monthly increase to ensure greater coverage and essentials such as medical rehab, attendant care and income replacement benefits.

Some interesting add-on benefits to consider are: short-term and long-term disability plans, private insurance plans, income replacement benefits, and extended health plans.

Sharing the road with cyclists

In the past year we have seen an increase of cyclists due to expanded bike lanes. Look no further than the newly added Bloor bike lanes in Toronto with cycling on Bloor St. increasing by 49 per cent to an average of 4,925 riders per day, with roughly 25 per cent of the increased ridership representing new cyclists.

With more and more cyclists, the province will be investing $93 million by next year to improve the province’s cycling infrastructure. Will an influx of cyclists mean more accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles? We hope not and recommend a review of the safety tips here.

Legalization of Marijuana

In 2017 the Canadian government decided to push forward its decision to legalize marijuana with many Canadians in favour of this decision. However, a question that arises is if the government is ready to handle and determine impaired driving? How this testing will be done as well as a legal limit is still being determined. Will the government and enforcement agencies be ready before July 1, 2018?

Heads up! Stories to look out for in 2018

Automated Vehicles

Recently Canada’s transport minister said when it comes to self-driving cars, Canada is doing its best to try to keep up with the pace of innovation. Ensuring proper laws are in place and that streets remain safe will be developing news this year.

Phones Down, Heads Up Act

Last October, a Liberal private member’s bill was introduced which proposes a fine for using a phone while crossing the road. Where the bill will go and the debate regarding its necessity is sure to be one that we see this year.

Increase in transport truck collisions

The last few months of 2017 saw in increase of transport truck collisions, mostly due to inattentiveness. What this means for transport truck training, as well as changes in regulations to truck inspections and amount of driving time, may change in the years to come.

Dash Cams – The New Wave Of Safety Technology

Two years ago Desjardin introduced their “Adjusto,” smartphone app with the promise of decreased car insurance premiums for those who adopt safer driving habits.

The driver downloads the app onto their smartphone; then the app does the rest.  For each trip driven, the driver is presented with a ranking out of five stars – based on four criteria: speed, fast acceleration, hard braking and hard cornering. After 100 days of trips and 1000 km covered the driver is given a final score, which if deemed to be a safe driver they are eligible for substantial savings.

Similarly, the Ontario government has made it mandatory for insurance providers to offer a winter tire insurance discount for all Ontario drivers. Winter tires help keep drivers safe as they provide better traction, handling and breaking in winter conditions. The provincial government recognized the safety benefits of winter tires to both drivers and insurance providers and implemented an incentive that allows driver to save two to five per cent on auto insurance.

Since, It has been made evident that both Insurers and the Provincial Government can implement these types of incentives, what is the next step when it comes to safety incentives? The answer could be dash cams.

What is a dash cam?

video camera attached to the windshield or dashboard of a vehicle, used to record the view outside, or, with a double lens, both outside and inside the vehicle.

How would dash cams affect personal injury cases?

Using a dash cam would eliminate the he said/she said arguments that are often seen in many accidents – helping prove or disprove liability. The question of who to attribute fault would be answered without a doubt thanks to video footage. This is useful for both drivers and insurance companies. It would save drivers money in defence costs, insurance costs, lawsuits, and would reduce the amount of files that would be considered frivolous.  Video evidence would help insurance companies save money on third party liability claims and help combat insurance fraud.

The above video demonstrates just how useful dash cams can be. The car equipped with the dash cam is unmistakably T-boned by the white car while lawfully crossing the intersection on a green light.  Without the footage, the white car’s driver could have claimed that they had the green light setting up a classic liability dilemma, absent independent witnesses. However, the video effectively stopped the one side from succeeding in an argument.

How should dash cams be implemented?

A dash cam incentive should be executed in the same manner as the winter tire rebate. While winter tires provide peace of mind through accident prevention, dash cams provide peace of mind through the elimination of determining fault. It would cost an estimated $500 to install a dash cam in a car – why not be compensated with a 5 to 10 per cent reduction in your insurance premium. If an accident were to take place the insurance company would have access to the camera. Since the government has already put in place preventative measures, it makes sense to follow with reactive measures as well.

If you do find yourself in a car accident – calling a lawyer should be your first step. A lawyer can help you determine what needs to be reported and what legal options you have available to you.

Is Canada Really Ready For The Legalization Of Marijuana?

As the Canadian government pushes forward its plan to legalize marijuana by summer of 2018, it has left citizens and lawyers wondering if this will increase the number of impaired drivers. If we are to see a spike in impaired driving, the question becomes how are the government and police going to crack down on marijuana related impaired driving?

Currently, the Canadian government is constructing legislation around the purchasing and distribution of marijuana. This is to be combined with the impaired driving laws already instated. However, is this really as all encompassing as it seems? The Canadian government might be missing a key aspect.

The current impaired driving legislation is as follows:

Impaired driving means operating a vehicle (including cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

It is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada and the consequences are serious. You may:

  • lose your license
  • have your vehicle impounded
  • need to pay an administrative monetary penalty
  • need to attend an education or treatment program
  • be fined upon conviction
  • be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • spend time in jail
  • end up with a criminal record

 

Drug impaired driving

Drugs can impair your ability to drive and is illegal. This is true for both illegal drugs and prescription or over-the-counter medication.

As seen above, there is only one specific excerpt for drug related impaired driving. The rest of the legislation provides an in-depth discussion of impaired driving caused by drinking; looking at blood alcohol concentration and the specific fines and charges associated.

It is evident that overarching legislation is being put into place – the issue comes from the lack of specifics around marijuana related impairment. Unlike alcohol, there is no clear-cut method to determine what it means to be impaired by marijuana. There is no clear evidence indicating what level of THC would impair the driver.

Determining the legal level of THC would be nearly impossible as each person reacts to the effects of marijuana differently. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, “the effects appear to be individual. One person may be substantially impaired after a relatively small amount of marijuana, while someone else may be only moderately impaired after the same dose.”

The current method for determining marijuana impairment is conducted by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). However, the 12-step drug evaluation is a lengthy process and currently there are fewer than 600 DRE agents in Canada.

A third issue that arises is that even if marijuana is found in the system it is not always evident when the drug was consumed. Each individual metabolizes the drug differently.

How to determine if a driver is impaired by marijuana as well as what it means to be impaired is still up for question. As the government continues to implement their plans to legalize marijuana it is imperative that clear-cut guidelines for marijuana impairment are put into place. Without, drivers may not know what a safe amount of marijuana is, officers will not know how to determine impairment as well as how to determine how impaired a driver is, there will not be a straight forward list of charges and fines, and the prosecution may have hard time setting precedence.

Party For Pain 2017 Fundraiser

On Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 I had the pleasure of attending the fifth annual Party for Pain, an evening to support, enhance and improve the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic located at the Hamilton Health Sciences Hospital.

As part of the event, I was able to participate in a Dancing with the Hamilton Stars dance competition and proudly raised over $7,800 to support the night’s cause!

Watch my full performance below.

 

 

This fundraiser was more than just an opportunity to challenge myself and learn a dance routine to perform in front of 500 people. As a personal injury lawyer, I have devoted my practice to helping individuals who have sustained serious and complex injuries and I am keenly aware of the devastating impact that chronic pain has on my clients’ lives.  I am passionate about supporting causes and organizations devoted to helping enhance patients’ quality of life and raising awareness of important issues, such as the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic.

For more information on how the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic is helping people in the community, watch this CHCH Morning Live segment featuring Dianne Deloose, who is a patient at the clinic and Kathleen Gallagher, a case manager and occupational therapist at the clinic.

 

 

For more information on the Party for Pain fundraiser and next year’s event, visit their website.

3 Reasons To Have Our Car Accident App On Your Phone

Car Accidents can be inevitable in Toronto

According to a recent Allstate Study, Toronto ranked 69th in Canada with 6.45 car accidents per 100 vehicles.* Essentially, that means if you drive in the city long enough, you’re going to get into an accident. And when you do, having clear instructions to follow will help.

 

It’s designed by car accident lawyers to keep you calm

After a car accident, you’ll have trouble thinking clearly. This is due to the extra adrenaline your body produces when it experiences trauma. In the moment, your hearing will become tunneled and you won’t be able to make rational decisions. But it gets even worse a few hours later when the unexpected release of intense emotion that was suppressed during the adrenaline surge leads to irrationality, most often in the form of crying.

 

In this state, an experienced car accident lawyer will be able to calmly assess the situation, tell you what your rights are and get you acting in your best interests.

 

You can find a car accident lawyer right away

And he or she will make sure you’re compensated fairly for your injuries, because the damage to your body caused by even a minor car accident can have lingering and sometimes debilitating effects. If that’s the case, you’ll need to have documentation of any medical treatment you sought out, and you’ll need to get it in short order. An experienced car accident lawyer will keep records of all this for you and prepare them in a way courts and insurance companies prefer so you’re not at risk of losing out on compensation.

 

You can capture the right information

The scene of an car accident can be chaotic, especially if multiple cars are involved. Everyone involved will have their own account of what happened, and it’s usually the loudest person that gets his or her way. An experienced car accident lawyer won’t have to shout on your behalf to represent you and your interests. They’ll most likely have been involved with cases just like yours, they’ll most likely have experience working with or against any other retained car accident lawyers. By capturing everything correctly through the app, they’ll definitely be able to advocate on your behalf so you can relax and get on with your life.

 

If you live in Toronto and don’t have our car accident app yet, add it now. We’ve represented car accident victims all over Toronto, we have experience with every kind of accident and we’ll be ready when you call.

 

*Interestingly, Halifax and Ajax tied for the worst rate in Canada with 7.12 accidents per 100 cars.