Serious Personal Injury Law | Guardian Law Serious Personal Injury Law | Guardian Law

Serious Personal Injury

Have you suffered whiplash after being rear-ended while on your way to work? Have you slipped on something spilled on the floor of a supermarket and landed hard, fracturing a couple of ribs? All of us at some point in our lives will suffer an injury that incapacitates us from working and enjoying our lives to the extent we were before. You’ll need competent, assertive representation to get the compensation you need. 

Our Serious Personal Injury department can handle the following matters:

  • Insurance Claims

  • Slip/Trip and Fall

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Industrial Accident Claims

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.

Whether it’s with our firm or another firm, 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 where a settlement cannot be reached.

Below are some common questions we receive from people who have had the unfortunate reality of experiencing an injury for which they were not at fault. We would be pleased to answer any questions about your specific situation. Give us a call and book an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers.

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.)

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.

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.
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.
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.
The Alberta government’s program under the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act also covers persons injured in incidents from unknown drivers.
Courts have recognized 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 a reasonable compensation for such work for indoor tasks and $35.00 per hour for outdoor work (see Dirk v. Toews).
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 do a report in this respect.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Contact Us

Our team of lawyers is highly experienced in this area of the law and is prepared to stand up for your rights. Contact us for a free consultation before speaking to the insurance company.

info@guardian.law or 403-457-7778

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