LAW RESOURCES & NEWS
You’ve taken the time to make your will, but now you’re wondering, when does it need to be updated? Read on for some of the most common situations! You Separate From Your Spouse Recent amendments to the Succession Law Reform Act provide that if spouses are separated the will of
I’ve just been involved in an accident and the Insurance Company has said I’m at fault, how do I know if they are correct? For the past 30 years, the Insurance industry has settled issues with respect to fault and property damage by using the Fault Determination Rules. The insurance
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse or sexual assault, you can pursue both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. In order for the criminal charges to be laid, you will need the support of the police. Once the defendant is charged, a Crown Attorney will be assigned to
Regulation 228/20 was introduced to suspend those provisions of the ESA which stipulate that after an extended layoff, a non-unionized employee is deemed to be terminated, triggering payments owing to the employee for termination and, if applicable, severance pay.
SLAPP, which stands for strategic lawsuit against public participation, is a lawsuit that is designed to censor, intimidate and silence critics of some public interest. The actual aim of the lawsuit is to burden the defendant to such a extent that they decide to terminate their opposition.
If someone has intentionally invaded your personal affairs – for example, improperly accessing your medical records or financial information – you may be entitled to damages.
If you have concerns about how your lawyer is handling your matter talk to your lawyer, request copies of important documents, request a timetable for your matter and ask your lawyer to copy you with correspondence.
The COVID-19 situation has therefore created a pause in Ontario’s normal limitation period protocol, but since online filings of statements of claims have continued throughout the pandemic, if you wish to avoid further delay in your litigation, you can ask your lawyer to have your statement of claim filed electronically with the court.
When are trusts most often used in wills? When you are intending to benefit a minor child in your will, you are intending to benefit a person who receives odsp, you want to control what happens to the inheritance after a beneficiary’s death or you want to control the beneficiary’s spending.
If the CAS calls you for an interview, do you have to speak with them? The short answer is, in most cases, no – however, if you don’t agree to an interview, this raises a big red flag, and the CAS has a range of options open to them to compel you to participate in their investigation, or to continue their investigation without your involvement.
Coping with serious injuries, along with a delay in getting care and/or wage loss benefits, can make a difficult situation that much worse. At Martin & Hillyer we believe it is critical to become actively involved in our client’s case as soon as possible.
I think most homeowners would just assume they have to clear the public sidewalks adjacent to their homes. My dad did it when I was growing up (I’m sure he still does). I see my neighbours doing it on my street (thank you!). As for me, once I had my own house, I just presumed I had a legal duty to do so. The actual, real answer to the question is a very typical lawyer answer. You MAY have to clear the public sidewalk…but it depends on the circumstances.
Don’t always trust google to show you the best results! Here are some tips to help you identify real, local lawyers when searching online.
If you are injured in a car crash and feel that you should be entitled to compensation for your pain, income losses, or other expenses, rest assured that in most circumstances, it will be an insurance company that is paying for your claim – not the individual person who actually caused the car crash.
The Dutch Reach is a simple, low tech, proven-effective technique which has the potential to make Burlington’s and all of Ontario’s roads safer for drivers and cyclists.
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently provided further guidance on the use of surveillance and Facebook in personal injury cases in its decision of Nemchin v. Green, 2019 ONCA 634.
When someone suffers a significant injury and disability, she understandably typically focuses on the benefits to which she may be entitled from insurance companies (e.g., Income Replacement Benefits and Long-Term Disability Benefits). What is sometimes overlooked is the monthly Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefit which can provide a much-needed financial safety net to protect the injured person and her family.
In our justice system, we give jurors profound responsibility and power when we entrust them to render verdicts in legal disputes. The problem in civil cases is that, despite the trust we put in jurors, we do not tell them the whole story or the context in which their decisions are being rendered.
The circumstances under which a former employee could still make a long-term disability claim after leaving his or her position have not always been well defined. Specifically, whether an employee who was injured while under the policy, but only discovered the long-term effects of that injury after leaving that position, would still be able to claim LTD benefits has been unclear. The Ontario Court of Appeal provided some guidance for this in its recent decision of MacIvor v. Pitney Bowes.
Do I have a medical malpractice case? That question is asked of many lawyers daily in this province. Unfortunately, the answer is often no! Mainly, because a poor result of a procedure or treatment doesn’t necessarily mean someone screwed up.
Since January 1, 2015, anyone who has been issued a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee has been required to file the Estate Information Return (“EIR”) with the Ministry of Finance within 90 days of the Certificate being issued.As it is now just slightly more than 4 years since this requirement came into play, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on the process and what could be improved.
Periodically I am contacted by someone who has been a victim of a criminal offence. As a personal injury lawyer my job is to obtain compensation for the victim for the damages caused by the criminal. In addition to the civil remedies (e.g., filing a lawsuit, questioning the perpetrator at discovery, etc.) there is also a little-used section of the Criminal Code which can be very effective in obtaining at least partial compensation for victims of crime.
Litigation cases are taking too long to move through the system. Ontario had to find a way to relieve some of the backlog that has been piling up and straining judicial resources. In 2018, I had the pleasure of participating in a case management pilot planning group chaired by Chief Justice Strathy, that also included members of the judiciary, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates Society, the Law Society, and others, with the goal of examining support to explore utilizing a one judge model here in Ontario.
Between now and February 15, 2019, the Ontario government is looking for public feedback about how to reform car insurance in the province. Unfortunately, their focus seems to be exclusively on reducing premiums, rather than ensuring fair benefits for injured people. Like so many governments before them, the fear is that they will try to reduce rates by cutting benefits for accident victims even further, and by making the process to claim benefits even more difficult.
Annually, we Canadians gear up for our winter experiences, many of which are fraught with danger. It seems in many years winter is upon us in a flash and we’re just not ready or prepared for what winter has to offer. We all know what those hazards are but often forget especially at the start of the season.
With the warm and sunny days of summer behind us, many Canadians are planning tropical vacations to get a break from the impending harsh winter weather. Many of these trips will go off without a hitch but, for some, things can go very wrong and serious injuries can occur. We are often consulted by injury victims upon their return to Canada to determine whether they have a viable claim, or lawsuit, arising from the injury. The question of whether they can be compensated is complex and involves an entirely different analysis than if the injury had occurred in Ontario.
It was a chilly morning outside yesterday for Martin & Hillyer’s first Free Car Seat Clinic but everyone kept warm with hot coffee and some delicious home baked treats. (Thank you Mrs. Abraham!) Almost every car seat that was inspected required some modification to bring it up to safety standards and be
S.C.C. LIMITS THE SCOPE OF LIABILITY IN CASES WHERE INDIVIDUAL IS INJURED FOLLOWING A THEFT ON BUSINESS PREMISES
RANKIN (RANKIN’S GARAGE & SALES) V. J.J., 2018 SCC 19 Canadian case law had not previously established a clear guidance on whether a business owes a duty of care to someone who is injured following a theft on its premises. The Supreme Court of Canada delivered a decision on May
We are very excited to announce that Martin & Hillyer Associates has partnered with local business, The Common Moms, to offer a FREE CAR SEAT CLINIC to local parents. This event will be taking place in the Martin & Hillyer parking lot at 2122 Old Lakeshore Road in Burlington on October 24th. We will have two
When planning your will, one of the most important decisions you will make is who to appoint as your estate trustee (commonly referred to as the “Executor” of the estate). Many testators select a trusted family member or friend to fill this role. However, some individuals do choose to instead
As I sit quietly by the lake watching the comings and goings of families enjoying their summer holidays I cringe at the risks many will take some with tragic consequences. MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS Every fall I get calls from desperate family members looking for help for a loved one. Motorcycle accidents
For most people, the world of lawsuits, lawyers, retainer agreements, insurance benefits and court rooms is completely foreign until they are suddenly thrust into it against their will after being involved in an accident. Navigating this world can be a stressful and bewildering experience for injured people, and it is
WHAT IS THE OPCF 44R, AND WHY DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT? When you purchase an automobile insurance policy, you are protecting yourself in the event that you cause a car crash, and need to pay compensation to the person you injured. But when you buy insurance, you
A divorce or separation can have a big impact on one’s estate. This article is not exhaustive, so please consult with a lawyer to clarify your own situation. There are a number of different variables that can interact in different ways to produce different results. It should be noted that
I represent people who have been injured in accidents as a result of other peoples’ carelessness. I’m not an accountant. I’m not a financial planner. I’m a lawyer. I don’t have the expertise to give financial advice. But not uncommonly, I have clients who are worried about their financial future
With spring in the air comes the intermittent hum of passing motorcycles. For this outdoor enthusiast, with a love of all manner of transportation, this time of year brings memories of travelling to Port Dover on my 1958 Harley Davidson motorcycle. The wind in my helmetless hair, and the sting
Can I Sue my Insurance Broker for Failing to Make Sure I had Adequate Coverage? Anyone selling insurance, whether it is an insurance company, insurance broker, or insurance agent, is obligated to ensure consumers purchasing policies understand the available options and choices for insurance coverage. Accordingly, failure to ensure that
The Ontario insurance regime currently requires insurers to notify injured policy holders of applicable limitation periods in a number of specific scenarios. In accident benefits claims, insurers are required under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) to notify insureds of “the relevant time limits that govern the entire process” (see
The Ontario Liberals’ 2018 budget has a section on auto insurance reform and frustratingly (but unsurprisingly), it is focused entirely on reducing rates rather than on enhancing protections. You can read about the plan here: 2018 Liberal Budget Auto Insurance Plan. There are four substantive steps described in the budget’s plan
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS AND THE REST OF YOUR ESTATE? There are certain financial assets – ie. registered plans such as RRSPs, RRIFs etc., and life insurance – which allow for one or more beneficiaries to be appointed to receive the funds after the death of
WHAT IS A DEDUCTIBLE? What is a Deductible? Most people involved in a motor vehicle accident understand that a deductible may apply to a claim for property damage. For example $500 may be deducted from the amount that you are entitled to receive from an insurer for damage to your
ACCESS TO JUSTICE There is a movement underway that originated with the judiciary in Toronto to amend the Rules of Civil Procedure to expand the scope of Simplified Procedure. The proposed changes are as follows: 1. Increase the limit on simplified procedure cases to $200,000.00 (currently the limit is $100,000.00) 2. Eliminate
Are you the “best personal injury lawyers in Burlington”? Are you “award-winning”? Are you the “top lawyers in Halton”? Of course we’re not – nobody is! What do these labels even mean?? Problematic marketing of legal services in Ontario – especially personal injury services – has been in the news
There are two ways you might be covered for private or group disability insurance: either you purchased the policy personally or, more comonly, you are covered under a disability plan through your employment. Whoever owns the policy, to get access to benefits, you will have to prove you qualify according
People receiving benefits through the Ontario Disability Support Program have strict parameters around the amount of money they are allowed to keep in their bank accounts at any given time. Section 5(1) of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act stipulates that “no person is eligible for income support unless… (c) the budgetary
After the funeral, you may find yourself wondering where to start. You will want to get your hands on as much information as possible regarding the deceased’s assets and liabilities. This probably means you will have to search through their important documents to locate bank statements, deeds to real property,
“Creeping” or “Internet Creeping” refers to “stalking” someone on social media, which typically means checking them out or following what’s going on in their life on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Youtube and other social media accounts. If you’re in the midst of a lawsuit and in particular, an auto
The Personal Insurance Company was recently rebuked by the federal Privacy Commissioner for accessing a claimant’s credit history without a valid reason. The Personal claimed that it needed to access the claimant’s credit rating to help assess whether the claim was fraudulent. The Privacy Commissioner noted, however, that The Personal
In an effort to curb skyrocketing real estate prices in th GTHA, the Ontario Goverment has proposed a new Non-Resident Speculation Tax (“NRST”) that would impose a 15% tax on the purchase of redidential property in the region by foreign interests. If the tax passes the legislature, it will be
Are you considering a full and final settlement of your personal injury claim or Accident Benefit claim? A structured settlement may be a viable investment option for you so that you do not have to worry about how to manage a large lump sum of money. With the consent of
Any lawyer or law firm can call themselves “trial lawyers,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they regularly try cases or have experience fighting for their clients in court. Trials don’t happen often: most lawsuits in Ontario resolve with a settlement long before they get in front of a judge or
LTD & CPP DISABILITY BENEFITS If you are receiving Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits most likely you have received a letter from your insurer requesting that you apply for CPP disability benefits. Your insurer has also likely informed you that should you qualify for CPP disability benefits it will be
On January 3, 2017 the Discovery Channel debuted Heavy Rescue: 401, a reality show that follows emergency rescue and recovery towing operators on Ontario’s 400-series highways. The show follows on the heels of Highway Thru Hell, a highly successful program filmed in the British Columbia interior which finished its fifth season in
Often, the process to obtain the funds that are owed to you can be stressful and overwhelming, especially following an accident. It is most often in your best interest to seek legal advice following an accident. The lawyers at Martin & Hillyer Associates are here to help give you the strategic edge that
In Canada, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and hospitalizations.[i] It can be very beneficial to take preventable measures that help avoid slips and falls from happening and resulting in a lawsuit. The lawyers at Martin and Hillyer Associates know and understand just how devastating the repercussions can be,
On November 25, 2016, the personal injury lawyers at Martin & Hillyer Associates presented a talk to Hamilton Health Sciences staff at the General Hospital entitled, You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Or Can You? Dealing with the 2016 Car Insurance Changes. Focusing on the Ontario government’s recent cuts to the medical,
This article is part of a series on the changes brought in by the Ontario government’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (aka Bill 132). Learn about the other new protections and resources created by this important new legislation: Overview – It’s Never Okay. LIMITATION PERIODS IN CIVIL CLAIMS Perhaps
This article is part of a series on the changes brought in by the Ontario government’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (aka Bill 132). Learn about the other new protections and resources created by this important new legislation: Overview – It’s Never Okay. The problem of sexual violence on
This article is part of a series on the changes brought in by the Ontario government’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (aka Bill 132). Learn about the other new protections and resources created by this important new legislation: Overview – It’s Never Okay. Everyone has the right to be
This article is part of a series on the changes brought in by the Ontario government’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (aka Bill 132). Learn about the other new protections and resources created by this important new legislation: Overview – It’s Never Okay. The statistics surrounding domestic violence in Ontario are
The Ontario government passed the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act in March of 2016 (also known as Bill 132) with all-party support, bringing in wide-ranging reforms to reduce sexual violence and to protect & empower survivors. The Act is an essential part of the government’s action plan called It’s Never Okay, a plan
Very few lawsuits in Ontario go all the way through a trial – most will settle well before that, because trials involve costs, delays and risks that all parties in a lawsuit would generally prefer to avoid if a reasonable settlement can be reached. Settlement negotiations can happen at any stage of your lawsuit, in
Recovering from an accident can be a very overwhelming and stressful time. The lawyers at Martin & Hillyer Associates understand the impact that a personal injury can have. We are dedicated to providing you with quality care and guidance during your recovery. During your recovery, taking small actions to get proper documentation
Martin & Hillyer Associates is honoured to have been nominated in 3 categories in the Hamilton Spectator’s 2015/16 Readers’ Choice Awards! If you appreciate the local legal expertise we provide, you can show your support for Martin & Hillyer by voting for us and our lawyers in the following categories:
New research published in the Journal of Neurotrauma provides compelling evidence regarding the long-term effects of concussion on the brain. The study compared the brains of athletes who had sustained concussions through sport with athletes who had not been injured in this way. The results are relevant and informative to all who have
The time following an accident or injury of any kind can be stressful. Although it may be difficult, it is important to get back on track and sort things out as soon as possible. This is especially important if you are considering litigation or an insurance claim. The personal injury
MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISIONS: WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE BEFORE I CONTACT A BURLINGTON CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER?
Being involved in a motor vehicle collision can be a frightening and stressful experience. The lingering effects can have a negative impact on your physical, emotional and financial well-being for years to come. Although a motor vehicle collision is sudden, it’s important to be well-versed in the proper steps to
On June 1, 2016, the automobile insurance coverage available to Ontarians fell dramatically, meaning car crash victims will now receive significantly less money to help them get back on their feet. The decreased coverage will take effect upon policy renewal. Unless consumers purchase optional additional coverage , the amount of coverage
In the aftermath of recent cutbacks to car insurance coverage in Ontario, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have the protection you need in case your or a member of your family is involved in a car accident. There are a number of options you can add to your
Recent car insurance cutbacks are greatly going to affect the amount of coverage Ontario drivers will receive. Effective June 1st, the cutbacks will affect the benefits a driver would receive in the event of a motor vehicle collision. ACCIDENT BENEFITS There are several different types of accident benefits that are
A change in legislation that happened on June 1st has drastically cut the insurance coverage available to you, including cutting coverage for catastrophic injuries in half. Before this change in legislation, people who suffer the most serious injuries in car accidents (called “catastrophic injuries,” which include things like brain injury,
On June 1, 2016, major cutbacks will be made to car insurance benefits in Ontario. Learn about the changes and find out how you can ensure that you and your family still have the protection you need. Join the personal injury lawyers at Martin & Hillyer for a free information
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT DEALS ANOTHER BLOW TO INJURED ONTARIO MOTORISTS WITH THE COMMON TRAFFIC IMPAIRMENT GUIDELINE
Available Rehab Coverage The Ontario government continues to allow insurance companies to erode coverage for Ontario motor vehicle accident victims. The draft Common Traffic Impairment (CTI) Guideline proposes to reduce available treatment to below critical levels. Prior to September 2010, car crash victims had up to $100,000.00 in available coverage
Today, Martin & Hillyer Associates released its updated 2015-16 Guide to Personal Injury Lawsuits for Medical and Rehabilitation Professionals. The Guide is a free quick-reference tool for members of medical and rehabilitation-related professions who become involved as experts and treatment providers in personal injury litigation. It provides an overview of the
THE REALITY OF A PUBLICLY TRADED LAW FIRM – HOW IS A CAR CRASH VICTIM SERVED WHEN HER LAWYER IS FOCUSED ON SHARE PRICE?
Slater and Gordon is a massive publicly traded international law firm that recently made the financial news in Australia when its share price took a fall of more than forty percent. The company has been an aggressive proponent of Alternative Business Structures (ABS), a law firm structure that permits non-lawyers to
The Ontario government is proposing changes that will drastically reduce the benefits that you are entitled to claim from your insurance company if you are in a car accident. They plan on reducing the time most people have to claim medical and rehabilitation expenses after an accident from the current
MARTIN & HILLYER ASSOCIATES IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTLA PRESENT THE HELMET ON KIDS CAMPAIGN AT TOM THOMSON PUBLIC SCHOOL IN BURLINGTON, ON
Martin & Hillyer Associates and the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) with its partners donated 90 bike helmets to the entire Grade 2 class at Tom Thomson Public School. The event kicked off with an interactive presentation to all the Grade 2 classes. The children learned the importance of the
Uber is once again making the news due to concerns about proper insurance coverage – both for Uber operators AND Uber passengers. New facts uncovered by BuzzFeedfocus on a California investigation, but may cause Ontario Uber users to question the company’s commitment to ensuring both its operators and passengers are adequately covered by
LAWYERS CONCERNED ABOUT DELAYS AS 29 SUPERIOR COURT POSTS LEFT UNFILLED Despite Superior Court Chief Justice Heather Smith’s call for prompt judicial appointments, Ontario is approaching the end of the year with nearly 30 vacancies for federally appointed judges across the province and no new appointments since April. Bruce Hillyer
The OTLA believes two key provisions of the new auto insurance bill will be harmful to accident victims, says Laura Hillyer. Bill 15, the “fighting fraud and reducing automobile insurance rates act” which the government introduced in July, was a response to a report conducted by Justice Douglas Cunningham, which
Photo courtesy IZAdaptive.com “The world has many bodies and not all of them are standing.” The Royal Ontario Museum is hosting “Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting”, an exhibit highlighting adaptive clothing designs for men and women who use wheelchairs. The exhibit has been running since June 21, 2014 and will go
Most parents are familiar with the usual dangers associated with swimming. However, little is known of the potentially very serious hazards associated with “swimming pool entrapment”. Children are particularly vulnerable to entrapment which occurs when swimmers become trapped at or against a pool or spa drain, due to pump suction.