Frequently Asked Questions

After you have contacted 911 and filed an accident report with the police, you should speak with a doctor. After that, you should speak to a lawyer. It’s that simple.

No attorney can say upfront how long a personal injury case will take. This varies from situation to situation. There are two main factors that determine the length of a case: liability and medical stability.

 

In order to determine liability, we have to answer two questions: who is responsible for the injury, and to what degree is that party responsible? It is possible that more than one party is responsible.

 

Aside from liability, a person’s medical status is probably the biggest determining factor of how long a case will take. Ideally, the injured person should get to a point where his or her medical situation is not necessarily resolved but is stable. Then we can have a realistic idea of what the future holds. Oftentimes, people settle their case too early, and then they find out about additional injuries and complications.

 

Sometimes, surgery is not necessary until a substantial amount of time after the accident occurred. You should only settle a case when you and your medical team agree that you have reached the end of your medical treatment. If you foresee the possibility of another medical procedure down the road, it might be best to wait to settle. This is because you only get one shot at settlement; once you agree upon a sum of money for your injuries, you will not be able to get anymore, even if other expenses arise later on.

 

Let’s consider a typical situation. If someone has a back injury, most doctors will treat it conservatively and won’t even discuss surgery for months if not over a year (except in extreme situations). A person who has had surgery is usually entitled to more compensation than those who have been treated conservatively and their injury has been resolved.

 

Your medical situation will dictate how long you should wait before you can settle, but it is crucial that you get the case started as soon as possible. You want to inform the insurance company and all other necessary parties. Sometimes, there are some very short deadlines for various types of cases that you will need to keep in mind.

Certainly. You almost always have options, and it is never too late to speak with an attorney about your case.

An insurance company considers two main things when making a settlement offer. One of those factors is liability. The other factor is the person’s medical situation. One person with a broken leg may be very different than another person with a broken leg. For instance, the broken leg on a basketball player is a lot different than the broken leg on a secretary. Generally speaking, the livelihood of a construction worker or a commercial driver very much depends on leg use, whereas a secretary’s livelihood is less dependent on this body part. The insurance company will take all of these things into consideration when determining what they’re going to pay.

For legal advice on your specific situation, call the New York personal injury attorneys at Stenger, Roberts, Davis & Diamond, LLP today.

An arrest warrant is a document that is endorsed by the court which identifies the name of an accused, the offence that the accused is alleged to have committed, and which authorizes the police to arrest the accused and bring him or her before the court.

Before a warrant for your arrest can be issued, an Information (a document that officially charges you with a crime) must be sworn by a peace officer and presented to a justice or judge. It is on the basis of the Information that a warrant for your arrest can be issued. A warrant for your arrest will be issued when a justice of the peace or a judge has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that you have committed a crime and that it is in the best interests of the public for you to be arrested and brought into custody.

Because you have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures, there are limited circumstances where the police can lawfully search you. That is, the police can search you when you consent to a search, when they believe that you have illegal substances or weapons on your person, and when you have been lawfully arrested or detained.

Firstly, police can search you if you give them “informed consent” to search you. This means that you understand the possible consequences of the search and you voluntarily allow the police to search you. They can also search you if they have grounds to believe that you have illegal substances on your person. For safety reasons, they can also search you upon lawfully arresting you or detaining you. However, if they are searching you for safety reasons they can only “pat you down” and search you to the extent necessary to determine whether you have any weapons on your person.

If you have been convicted of an offence and are being held in custody, you will remain in custody until your appeal is heard unless the court decides to release you on bail pending your appeal.

To get to the court to consent to your bail while your matter is being appealed, notice of your appeal must already be filed with the court. You will then need to make an application to the court for your release and show that:

  • There is a reasonable chance that your appeal will succeed, or that it is not a frivolous appeal. The court will not let someone out on bail if there is no reasonable prospect of the appeal succeeding;
  • That it is not contrary to the interests of the public that you are released pending your appeal. The court will not release you if you are alleged to have commit a very serious offence, or if they have reason to believe that you might commit further offences while out on bail; and,
  • That you will surrender yourself into custody on the day that your appeal is to be heard. If the court has reason to believe that you might not return on the day of the appeal, or that you are a flight risk, it is unlikely that you will be released on bail.

The Adult Alternative Measures Program (AMP), is a diversion program that is designed for individuals who have no criminal record (or a dated criminal record), and who have been charged with a minor criminal offence. AMP was implemented in recognition of the fact that sometimes it is not worthwhile prosecuting very minor offences, particularly in cases where the objectives of criminal sentencing can be met if an offender completes AMP.

For example, AMP will be appropriate for a first time offender who has been charged with a minor instance of theft under $5000.00, say because he stole $50.00 worth of goods from a retail establishment. If he is willing to accept responsibility for his actions, acknowledge that he has done wrong, is at a low risk of reoffending, and is willing to complete a program that will help rehabilitate him and deter him from committing any further crime, the objectives of sentencing will be adequately met without the Crown having to prosecute him for the offence.

A curative discharge is a special type of discharge that is granted to those who have been charged with impaired driving, or driving over .08, and who are in need of curative treatment. Curative discharges are available in all provinces in Canada except for British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland.

In addition to a criminal record, those who are convicted of an impaired driving offence will receive a mandatory one year driving suspension, a minimum of a $1000.00 fine, and a 30% victim surcharge. However, a curative discharge is a sentencing option that will allow an offender to avoid being convicted of a criminal offence if that person can prove that he or she was in need of curative treatment at the time of the offence.

While curative discharges are available for those who have been charged with impaired driving or over .08, note that it is not available to those who have been convicted of refusing to provide a breath sample.

If you are granted a curative discharge, you will be placed on a period of probation which will typically require that you abide by conditions such as keep the peace and be of good behaviour, report to a probation service, refrain from consuming or possessing alcohol, and refrain from going to businesses where the primary object of the business is the sale of alcohol. While you will not be convicted of an impaired driving offence, you will still be required to comply with the one year minimum driving prohibition and will need to pay a victim surcharge.

Domestic assault is an assault that occurs in the context of a domestic relationship, or an intimate relationship between two people of the same sex or two people of the opposite sex. This includes boyfriends and girlfriends, spouses, common-law partners, and other family members. It is important to know that while domestic assault is not an offence specified or defined in the Criminal Code, it is viewed as unique and treated differently than regular assaults by the police and by the courts.

Assaults that occur in the domestic context are treated more seriously than regular assaults for three main reasons: (1) domestic abuse is widespread in our society, (2) domestic assault can have a devastating impact on children, and (3) there is a high risk that domestic violence will escalate if it is not dealt with quickly and effectively. As such, in Canada domestic assault is an extremely serious offence and if you are found guilty of this offence, it will be an “aggravating factor” in sentencing. This means that the penalty for domestic assault will be more severe than the penalty that you would receive for a conviction for an assault that was not inflicted in the domestic context.

As such, any of the different types of assaults specified in the Criminal Code can be a domestic assault, so long as it is committed in the context of a domestic relationship. For example, you can be charged with simple assault, assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault, or aggravated assault, and any of these will be considered a domestic assault if it was committed against a family member or intimate partner.

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