Our Practice Areas
Harry Steinmetz is Certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario
Motor Vehicle Accident
Appealing a Decision:
In order to obtain LTD benefits, you will have to prove that you suffer from a qualifying injury or illness under the terms of the policy. However, even when this is done and you have sent all the necessary paperwork, the insurer may still deny your claim.
Having your LTD claim rejected is both common and frustrating. Often, the insurer will use the wording of your own policy in its refusal letter to make it seem as though your claim is finished. At Steinmetz & Associates, we can help by appealing the insurer’s decision on your behalf. We will work to overturn the refusal by demonstrating that you have successfully fulfilled the conditions under the policy for payment of LTD benefits.
Under the accident benefits system in Ontario, you immediately must look to your own insurance company following a car accident. Among other forms, you submit to your insurer an Application for Accident Benefits, otherwise known as an “OCF-1” to initiate a claim. Benefits available to you from your insurer include: medical and rehabilitation benefits, attendant care benefits, income replacement benefits, and non-earner benefits. Optional benefits may also be available. For catastrophically injured claimants, in addition to increased coverage limits, benefits may include housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, as well as caregiver benefits.
It is important to have a lawyer who can help guide you through this process. A lawyer can provide you information on which coverage and benefit options are available and navigate you through the process. Further, they can protect your interests if a dispute with your insurance company arises.
Lawsuits (Tort Claim):
While the accident benefit system can provide some immediate financial relief to claimants, it is not without its limitations. For example, income replacement benefits are normally capped at $400/week following an accident. As such, accident benefits may not fully compensate injured parties for their losses. In these situations, we look to start what is called a tort claim (a legal action or lawsuit) against the at-fault party. Subject to certain limitations, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering, healthcare expenses, economic losses, as well as housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, among other claims.
In order to be assessed as catastrophically impaired, you must meet certain criteria, which can include (but are not limited to):
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia;
- Amputation of an arm or leg;
- Total loss of vision in both eyes;
- Brain impairment
The OCF-19 has to meet the Statutory Accident Benefits Scheme (SABS) requirements for the injured person to qualify for statutory benefits in Ontario. At Steinmetz & Associates, we can help make sure that you meet these requirements. We are familiar with the necessary tests and assessments that must be conducted to prove catastrophic impairment. We can make sure that the extent of your injury is properly laid out in the OCF-19 and that you obtain the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Typical Causes of Wrongful Death
Automobile Accidents: In most cases, these accidents are caused as a result of a driver being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, fatigued, inexperienced or distracted.
Medical Malpractice: May involve a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis due to anaesthesia-related problems, or incorrect treatment/medication that leads to death.
Workplace Accidents: May involve unsafe work conditions that lead to death.
Defective or malfunctioning products, unsafe premises, and lack of security can also lead to wrongful death claims.
Ontario Family Law Act & Wrongful Death
The Ontario Family Law Act allows eligible family members to collect compensation in cases of wrongful death for:
- Economic and non-economic losses for expenditures incurred before a person dies;
- Funeral expenses;
- Travel expenses;
- Loss of present and future income for dependents;
- Shared family income;
- Loss of household services that would have been undertaken by the deceased;
- Loss of companionship and guidance.
In general, the damages awarded are structured so that the claimant receives 60-70% of the net income that the deceased would have earned in the period commencing from the date of the accident up to the end of their working life expectancy.
Based on the circumstances and insurance policy criteria, eligible claimants may include:
- spouse, children (including adopted children), grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings;
- parents of unmarried children;
- life-partners and/or those who believe in good faith that they were married to the victim;
- partners, dependents and companions;
- parents of a deceased fetus.
At Steinmetz & associates, we can assure that you are fairly compensated for the death of a loved one by assisting you with your wrongful death claim.
Social Host- Tavern Liability
Spinal Cord Injury
At Steinmetz & Associates, we can assist you in bringing an action against any host that has failed to properly monitor their guests.
SCI can occur immediately following an accident or it may manifest some time later. SCI has to be dealt with by experts in the field. Surgery, rehabilitative therapies, traction, medication, physical therapies, psychological counselling, vocational training, and the use of assistive devices like wheelchairs, walkers, and leg/neck braces may be required. Often, the patient has to re-learn how to live. The ongoing medical and rehabilitation expenses, caregiving expenses, and loss of income are often significant.
At Steinmetz & Associates, we can assist a claimant in getting the compensation required to pay for of these expenses.
Slip & Fall
Accident Benefits (AB)
There are several complex medical, legal and insurance issues involved in these kinds of accidents. In certain cases, especially when making a claim against a municipality, the claimant must act quickly if they hope to get compensation for their loss. At Steinmetz & Associates, we can help you advance a claim and obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
Under the current laws, victims are entitled to receive the following AB:
- Income replacement benefits;
- Caregiver benefits;
- Non-earner benefits;
- Medical and rehabilitation benefits;
- Dependent care;
- Replacement of damaged appliances like dentures, spectacles, and hearing-aids;
- Indexation benefits;
- Lost education expenses;
- Visitors expenses;
- Home maintenance;
- Funeral and death benefits.
Benefits are awarded based on the circumstances of the case, type of injuries and their impact on the victim’s and family’s life.
One of the largest barriers to obtaining accident benefits involves victims and their families failing to file their claims within the specified time periods. They may also fail to provide complete documentation.
At Steinmetz & Associates, we are prepared to tackle the complex medical, legal and insurance issues involved in making an AB claim. We can handle the paperwork and help you get the benefits you are entitled to.