What are the Legal Terms Surrounding an Injury? A Lawyer Can Explain


An accident that causes injuries can be a stressful, life changing event. There can be pain and suffering along with detrimental financial implications: substantial medical and rehabilitation costs as well as loss of income. After an accident there can be a lengthy process of dealing with reports, medical practitioners and insurance companies. An injury lawyer can assist with the mountain of paperwork which often has complex legal terminology. 


What is Personal Injury Law?


Lawyers that practice personal injury law have experience dealing with the legal ramifications of serious personal injuries and insurance companies. Injuries may be due to: 


  • Motor vehicle, bicycle or public transportation accidents
  • Hit and runs
  • Slip and falls
  • A long-term disability


While previous generations may have branded personal injury lawyers as "ambulance chasers”, Ontario now has strict rules and a code of ethics in place. All Ontario lawyers are regulated by The Law Society of Upper Canada.Lawyers practicing personal injury law are advocating on behalf of their clients. They ensure insurance companies pay a fair and equitable amount of support to the people who have been diligently paying their premiums and rightly expect to be paid their due when disaster happens.


Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency basis; their payment being based on a percentage of a successful settlement.


Legal Terms


An experienced personal injury lawyer can guide the victim through the constantly changing laws, negotiate with insurance firms and take cases through to trial, if needed. They can also help explain some of the terminology, and its legal ramifications, that permeates personal injury law.  


Accident Benefits can be claimed from the victim’s own insurance company and in the case of a motor vehicle accident should always be available regardless of who is at fault. 


Short- Term Disability benefits are generally part of a workplace benefit package and last for a period of 2-6 months.


Long-term Disability benefits should kick in, if needed, after the short-term benefits expire. They are contingent on many variables and every benefit package will have different conditions and criteria. If there is confusion or complications surrounding the claim or a claim has been denied, a lawyer should be involved, to help negotiate the best settlement.


If an accident is the cause of what is termed a "catastrophic injury” or "catastrophic impairment” the financial settlement may be significantly higher.


Tort Claims are made when someone has been injured because of the wrongdoing or negligence of someone else.


While some insurance companies can be compliant and quick to pay out benefits and compensation, more often they will scrutinize and delay before giving substantial settlements until they are absolutely satisfied the reasons are justified. Often legitimate claims are denied. Victims of a serious, legally complicated injury should contact a lawyer before agreeing to any long term settlement, to be sure their best interests are being served.