1. How do I contact my insurance company?
If you cannot easily locate a phone number for your insurance company, contact your insurance broker. They will put you in contact with the appropriate person to report your claim.
2. What if I am contacted by a representative from the insurance company for the person responsible for the accident?
You have no obligation to speak to such a person. We very strongly recommend that you do not speak to the insurance company representing the at-fault motorist until you have first consulted with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
3. How do I find an experienced and highly competent personal injury lawyer?
Ask other people who may have experience in personal injury cases such as the social workers and health care professionals at the hospital. Search the internet. Ask your doctor if he or she has had any dealings with a particular personal injury law firm. The lawyers at Mackesy Smye enjoy an outstanding reputation in the community. Feel free to ask others about us.
4. What if I feel that my insurance company is starting to decide who my treatment providers are going to be? Do I have any say?
Your insurance company does not have the right to dictate the nature or extent of your treatment. Although the insurance company may be obliged to pay for such services, your health care remains in the hands of your physicians and other health care professionals who are treating you. This is an area in which injured people frequently require the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that the insurers live up to their obligation towards their insured.
5. How much do personal injury lawyers cost?
You should not be hesitant in openly discussing fees with your lawyer. At Mackesy Smye, we do not ask for any fees until your case has been successfully completed. Our fees are paid out of the recovery we obtain on your behalf. The initial consultation with all lawyers in our firm is free. If your injuries prevent you from attending at our office, we attend at either your home or the hospital.
In McIntyre v. Grigg et al (2006) 83 O.R. (3d), 161, the Court of Appeal, for the first time, considered the issue of whether punitive damages were available in the context of a motor vehicle accident claim. I had the privilege of arguing this appeal after my partner David Smye obtained a very favourable verdict from a Hamilton jury. While the majority in the Court of Appeal upheld the jury’s award for punitive damages, the quantum of the award was reduced substantially.Read Article
The investments a trustee can make are governed by sections 27-31 of the Trustee Act. The general rule pertaining to a Trustee’s power of investment is that a trust instrument can define the Trustee’s powers of investment. Trustees are bound by the instructions in the trust deed; the trust’s funds must be invested in strict accordance with the powers granted the trustee, regardless of what may be allowed by the Trustee Act. Should the trust instrument remain silent on investment powers, then, historically speaking, trusts were for the most part confined to judicial and later statutory lists of authorized investments.Read Article
In tort law, there are few areas that are subject to as much judicial and legislative attention as liability of public authorities for the design and maintenance of roadways. This is a field of law that is very much driven by statute. The Municipal Act, 2001, SO 2001, c 25 and the Public Transportation and Highways Act, RSO 1990, c P.50 and regulations made under those Acts contain a number of provisions that potentially shield road authorities from liability for otherwise negligent actions or omissions. Those provisions are not infrequently varied, changed or repealed. Any change can lead to uncertainty and litigation.Read Article
Particularly with the advent of no-fault insurance schemes, more and more people are finding themselves embroiled in litigation with their insurance companies. Whether an insured is bringing an action against their insurer for failing to pay accident benefits, disability benefits, life insurance benefits or property damage claims, a common allegation in any Statement of Claim is that the insurer breached its duty to act in good faith.Read Article
Imagine yourself standing at the bakery counter of your local grocery store. There is a sign that reads bread is 15% off. You ask for a loaf but notice that the baker has cut it in half. Fifteen percent off but for half a loaf. You say that you want a full loaf. The baker says that would cost an extra 30%. Would you buy the loaf? Of course not. The only person benefiting from this deal is the baker. Yet, this is what Premier Wynne has put onto the people of Ontario when it comes to auto insurance. Here is how it works if, for example, a car driver ran a stop sign, broadsided your vehicle and you were injured.Read Article
Michael Winward received his LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario in 1983. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1985 and immediately commenced employment with Mackesy Smye LLP, becoming a partner in 1990. Michael restricts his practice to civil litigation with an emphasis on personal injury and insurance litigation. Michael has enjoyed being a trustee of the Hamilton Law Association and has sat on a number of its committees.Read Article