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Spotlight: What Northwestern Ontarians need to do after suffering a traumatic injury

Personal injury lawyers deal with insurance benefits so victims can focus on recovery

Being seriously injured is among the worst traumas one can face.

“When we first meet victims and their families are often in crisis mode. They hope that the injuries are temporary and are often thankful to have survived, but then reality sinks in when their medical team tells them they will be living with a permanent disability” says Jeff Moorley, a personal injury lawyer and partner at White Macgillivray Lester LLP, located in Thunder Bay’s north core.

Important decisions need to be made

Days, weeks, and even months can be spent in the hospital after the incident, such as a bad car accident. When victims are discharged home, round-the-clock care may be needed. Without employment income, this could lead to a financial disaster.

Moorley explains, “decisions must be made as to who will provide that care, how it will be paid for, and how the family will survive, depending on the injured person’s paycheck to pay the bills. There is a ticking clock – that is why one reason why it is so important to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.”

“Multiple insurance benefits are often available” states Moorley. “People often do not know the insurance coverage they have, let alone how to initiate a claim. It is all depends on the injury and the individual.” Insurance coverage may be available through multiple sources:

  • no-fault Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS) for car accident claims;
  • a third-party claim against an at-fault driver or property owner;
  • short-term or long-term disability benefits through a personal policy or a group policy through employment;
  • extended health care benefits through work;
  • Canada Pension Plan – Disability benefits;
  • WSIB benefits if the injury happened at work; and/or
  • critical illness insurance.

Rehabilitation and medical appointments alone can be exhausting. “There is a lot of healing that family members must do as well. A lawyer helps create space for that healing by taking on the burden of dealing with the insurance companies and completing the necessary forms,” explains Moorley.

“Contrary to popular belief, personal injury lawyers do not just sue insurance companies. They can do the legwork of proactively gathering the evidence and setting up benefits. In fact, when involved early they can often avoid disputes that would otherwise have had to be litigated.”

How do you find a personal injury lawyer?

Because of what’s at stake, choosing an injury lawyer is one of the most critical events in one’s life, impacting you and your family and should not be taken lightly.

“There are specific rules about what is covered under which policy. When there is overlapping coverage, detailed rules dictate which insurer must pay first. There is a lot to know – which is why our firm exclusively practices in this area,” says Moorley. “This is not the type of law that a lawyer should dabble in.”

A good personal injury lawyer will not only be knowledgeable about how insurance coverage works and how to clearly explain your legal options; they will also know the communities they serve and the resources available in the area.

“Our firm knows Northwestern Ontario – how accidents happen here, the hospitals, doctors, clinics, and care providers” say Moorley. “This is a significant advantage of hiring local versus retaining a lawyer from say, Southern Ontario. With this knowledge and experience we can hit the ground running.”

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact White Macgillivray Lester LLP, the Agents of Good, at (807) 344-1000 or Follow them on Facebook for legal information and tips.

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