FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Employment Law, Defamation Law, and Serious Personal Injury

Choose a lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law and is not afraid to take your matter to court. Our lawyers are highly experienced professionals who have successfully taken matters to trial when a just settlement couldn’t be reached.

Fill out our online form or call (403) 800-7768 to speak to a lawyer and receive answers about your case.

Employment Law FAQ

  • Q:My employer let me go, what should I do next?

    A:If you are terminated without cause, your employer will likely offer you a "package" including some termination pay. We recommend you have a lawyer review this for you before accepting.

  • Q:What if my employer pressures me to make quick decisions?

    A:When this occurs, we suggest politely telling your employer that you would like to have their offer reviewed by a lawyer who has experience in this area of the law. Our highly skilled team of professionals would be happy to meet with you to discuss all your options and help you determine the right move.

  • Q:What are my options if my employer refuses to hire me back after maternity or parental leave?

    A:The Employment Standards Code and Human Rights Act prohibit employers from laying off, terminating, discriminating against, or even asking employees to resign because of pregnancy, childbirth, or taking maternity or parental leave. Canadian courts have awarded additional damages for an employer’s attempt to terminate an employee in situations like this. It is strongly advised for you to speak with a lawyer to discuss your specific situation.

  • Q:What can I do if I experience discrimination in the workplace?

    A:The Alberta Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, religious beliefs, color, gender, gender identity, physical disability, mental disability, and age (with some qualifications). If you believe that you have been the victim of such discrimination, contact one of our lawyers so we can get to work advocating for your rights.

  • Q:What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

    A:In many cases, Guardian Law Group will take employment matters on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only get paid as a percentage of your recovery when you get paid. In this area of the law, our contingency rate only applies to any additional settlement or judgment that we are able to obtain for you.

  • Q:My employer is making it difficult for me to quit, what can I do?

    A:“Constructive dismissal” is when an employee is forced to resign due to the employer creating an intolerable work environment. Since the employee is being forced into resigning, it is seen as a termination by the employer and the employee is entitled to a severance package.

  • Q:Can I still sue if I was terminated a while ago?

    A:The Limitations Act typically provides a two-year limitation to sue from when you knew or ought to have known about a claim. Contact one of our lawyers to discuss your rights well in advance of this deadline.

Defamation Law FAQ

  • Q:What defenses are there to defamation?

    A:1) Justification: If what someone said is true, it is of course not defamation; 2) Fair comment: People and media are entitled to make statements about others or events, in their own opinion, even if these comments are critical or negative – so long as they are fair. To qualify for this defense, a defendant must establish that their statements were not intended as facts – but comments. This protection also only exists if the intention is not in an attempt to injure a party’s reputation. 3) Qualified privilege: This defense can apply where the person who made the statement has a legal, moral, or social duty to do so. This can include proceedings of regulatory agencies, fair criticism in a review, or statements made to warn others of harm or danger. Note that qualified privilege is not a defense to defamation if malice is proven. 4) Absolute privilege: This applies to members of a law-making body (i.e. a parliament or legislature) for statements made during the course of debates and while in the legislative chamber.

  • Q:My company has been defamed. What are my rights?

    A:A company has the right to sue for defamation just like an individual.

  • Q:Is defamation a criminal matter?

    A:The vast majority of instances of defamation are civil. However, the Criminal Code of Canada provides for criminal penalties if a defamatory statement incites hatred, contempt, or ridicule. In such a case, an individual would be well advised to hire a criminal lawyer to receive legal advice.

  • Q:What are the damages for defamation?

    A:The vast majority of instances of defamation are civil. However, the Criminal Code of Canada provides for criminal penalties if a defamatory statement incites hatred, contempt, or ridicule. In such a case, an individual would be well advised to hire a criminal lawyer to receive legal advice.

  • Q:Someone defamed me online and I don’t know who did it. What do I do?

    A:In many cases, a Court order can be obtained for the website to produce information to obtain the identity of the person responsible for the defamation.

  • Q:Can a Court force a Defendant to apologize for defamation?

    A:No Court can force an individual to apologize for defamatory comments. Often, however, an apology can be negotiated if a matter is settled, as a condition of settlement.

Serious Personal Injury FAQ

  • Q:I was injured in an accident. Now what?

    A:Every injury is different. It is virtually impossible to know the appropriate compensation for an injury at the outset as the gravity of the impact on your life will not likely be known until you’re further down the road to recovery. It’s important to get into treatment as soon as possible and to truthfully describe your symptoms to your treatment providers in the greatest detail possible. Whether you were injured in a traffic accident, slip and fall, or otherwise, our legal team would be pleased to speak with you, explain the law surrounding your situation, and fight for your rights.Another test answer

  • Q:How much is my claim worth?

    A:On the highest end, in 1978 the Supreme Court of Canada made a decision in what is often called the “trilogy” of cases - Teno v Arnold, Thornton v School District No. 57 and Andrews v Grand & Toy - which set a maximum amount for general (non-pecuniary) damages at $100,000.00 for the most severe injuries. (This amount is indexed for inflation and is equivalent to about $370,000.00 today.)

  • Q:What about the Minor Injury Regulation (the “cap”)?

    A:This is one of the most common questions we receive. In 2004, the Alberta government enacted a regulation that “caps” the maximum payment for general damages (also known as non-pecuniary damages) for pain and suffering at $4,000.00 (approximately $5,200.00 in today’s dollars). This “cap” only applies to “minor injuries” and Courts have ruled on what falls under this “cap” and what does not. “Minor injury” is defined by this regulation as “a sprain, strain, or WAD injury (whiplash associated disorder) caused by a motor vehicle accident, that does not result in a serious impairment.” Not all traffic accident injuries caused by traffic accidents are governed by the “cap”. Courts have ruled on what does and does not fall under this definition so it is advisable to consult a lawyer about the specifics of your claim. Even if your claim falls under the “cap”, you can still claim for additional heads of damage (i.e. loss of income, loss of housekeeping amenity, etc.) Contact your lawyer for specific details.

  • Q:Can’t I just deal with the insurance company myself?

    A:Any injured party can deal with the insurance company on their own – but know that insurance companies are huge, multi-billion dollar corporations with literally thousands of employees - defense lawyers, experts, and adjusters - all of whom are hired to protect the insurance company’s interests. Particularly in the case of more serious injuries, we strongly recommend that you consult a lawyer who practices in this area before accepting any settlement offered from an insurance company directly.

  • Q:Aren’t lawyers expensive?

    A:We typically take injury cases on a “contingency fee” basis, meaning that our fee applies as a percentage of the final settlement. In these situations, there is no payment to us until a settlement is reached or a judgment is obtained.

  • Q:I was involved in a traffic accident and the party at fault doesn’t have insurance. What do I do?

    A:The Alberta government has a program established under the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act that allows an injured party to claim up to $200,000.00 in general damages from a fund established for this purpose. These claims can take a long while and are exceedingly complex, so we would advise that you speak with a lawyer to deal with your claim.

  • Q:I was injured in a traffic accident and the driver at fault fled from the scene and I don’t know who is responsible. What do I do?

    A:The Alberta government’s program under the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act also covers persons injured in incidents from unknown drivers.

  • Q:What if I can’t take care of my household as a result of my injuries?

    A:Courts have recognized a loss of housekeeping amenity as a compensable loss. If you are hiring an outside service to assist with your housekeeping, keep your receipts as they can likely be reimbursed at the conclusion of your claim. If you are having a family member assist you, our firm recently represented an injured party and the Court ruled that $25.00 per hour is reasonable compensation for such work for indoor tasks and $35.00 per hour for outdoor work (see Dirk v. Toews).

  • Q:What if I’m off work as a result of my injury?

    A:Claims for loss of income can be complex but can be advanced. Often an expert report is required to ascertain the total past and future loss of income. This will often involve the hiring of a qualified economist to complete a report in this respect.

  • Q:Does litigation take a long time?

    A:It can take literally years – especially in more serious injury cases – from the date of loss until a matter is resolved or goes to trial. We recommend that you retain the services of a lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law and not afraid to take the next step when an offer from an insurance company is not acceptable.

  • Q:What if I need money now and can’t wait years for my case to resolve?

    A:In some circumstances, a lawyer can request an advance payment from an insurance company. In exceptional circumstances, a lawyer can even apply for advance payment from the Court. These processes are complex, so ask your lawyer for further details.

  • Q:Are my treatment costs covered?

    A:Typically your own insurance company will cover the costs of treatment under your own policy’s no-fault benefits (often referred to as “section b” benefits). While it is usually best for you to deal with your own insurance company (not the other party’s) directly, there are some situations where a lawyer needs to get involved to ensure that your treatment costs are covered.

  • Q:The insurance company has already contacted me. Should I speak with them?

    A:Unless otherwise agreed, anything that you tell an insurance company is “on the record” and is producible evidence should your matter go to trial. Insurance companies often record these conversations and under the rules of evidence are allowed to do so without your knowledge or consent. We strongly recommend that you let a lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.

  • Q:What if I am injured at work?

    A:Virtually all workplace accidents are handled by the Worker’s Compensation Board. You should immediately seek medical attention and report the injury to your employer. We regret that our firm does not handle WCB claims.

  • Q:What if the accident happened outside of Alberta?

    A:Our office has handled many out-of-province claims. Typically it is best to sue in the jurisdiction where the incident happened. Our firm has relationships with lawyers in other cities, provinces, and countries and often we can pursue a co-counsel arrangement with a lawyer in the locale of where you were injured. Please give us a call to discuss specifics.

  • Q:My son/daughter was injured and was under 18 at the time of the incident. What do I do?

    A:Our office has handled many claims involving minors. Typically the public trustee will have to approve any settlement that we would negotiate for you. Please contact us for further details.

  • Q:A family member has passed away as a result of an injury. What are my options?

    A:The Fatal Accidents Act prescribes for compensation of survivors of a fatal accident. There may also be a claim for lost wages. We would be pleased to discuss your specific situation with you – give us a call.

What You Get at Guardian Law Group

  • Effective Communication

    We rely on connections, resources, and past experiences to help our clients through difficult times.

  • Understanding Staff

    We take the time to walk our clients through all steps in their process.

  • Individual-Centered Approach

    We will educate you and provide trainings to make sure you understand the entire process.

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