LAW RESOURCES & NEWS

Ontario launches Civil Case Management Pilot – One Judge Model

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.

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feeback

Ontario Government Asking For Public Feedback To Reform Car Insurance

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.

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Christmas Gifts

MHA HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

2018 has flown by and it is already December! Whether or not you have started (or finished?!) your holiday shopping, we hope this gift guide can help you find something for that difficult-to-buy-for person in your life.

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Multple car accident on the highway in the snow.

THE HAZARDS OF WINTER

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.

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Tropical beach with palm trees and ocean.

Tourist Claims for Vacation Injuries

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.

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Lawyers Making a Difference

CAR SEAT CLINIC SUCCESS!

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

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Last Will Testament

CHOOSING AN ESTATE TRUSTEE

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

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Spectator Reader's Choice Logo

READERS’ CHOICE NOMINATIONS 2018

Martin & Hillyer Associates is honoured to have been nominated in 3 categories in the Hamilton Spectator’s 2018 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:

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3 Muskoka Chairs on the Dock

BRUCE HILLYER ON SUMMER RISKS

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

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Question marks on white cards

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING AN INJURY LAWYER

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

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Driver behind the wheel

UNDERINSURED BENEFITS

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

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House with a gavel

HOW DOES MY DIVORCE/SEPARATION AFFECT MY ESTATE?

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

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Piggy Bank

PIGGY BANKS, MONEY TREES & THE RDSP

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

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Life Insurance Documents

BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS AND YOUR ESTATE

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

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Coworkers on a laptop

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE RULES FOR SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE

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

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Word Bubble containing marketing phrases

UNDERSTANDING LEGAL MARKETING MUMBO-JUMBO

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

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Post it Notes

ODSP CHANGES – CAPS ON GENERAL DAMAGES REMOVED!

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

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Signing Legal Documents

I’M AN EXECUTOR – NOW WHAT DO I DO?

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,

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Readers Choice Nominations 2017

READERS’ CHOICE NOMINATIONS 2017

Martin & Hillyer Associates is honoured to have been nominated in 3 categories in the Hamilton Spectator’s 2017/18 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:

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Person on cell phone

CREEPING IS REAL

“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

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Credit Score with Excellent Rating

WHEN IS PERSONAL AUTO INSURANCE TOO PERSONAL?

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

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For Sale Sign on Front Lawn

HOW DOES THE NON-RESIDENT SPECULATION TAX AFFECT ME?

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

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Cheque Settlement

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS

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

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Signing legal documents

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

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Three men in construction gear

COULD THIS REALITY SHOW MAKE ONTARIO ROADS SAFER?

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

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Man signing papers on desk

TOP 4 BENEFITS OF HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER

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

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doctor taping up knee

HOW TO PREVENT SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS

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,

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Auto Insurance Advertisement

DEALING WITH ONTARIO’S CAR INSURANCE CUTBACKS

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,

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pink and blue water colours

IT’S NEVER OKAY (PART 1): LIMITATION PERIODS

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

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blue water colors with green vines

IT’S NEVER OKAY (PART 2): COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

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

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Green water colours on white background

IT’S NEVER OKAY (PART 4): ESCAPING DOMESTIC ABUSE

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

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Colourful Arrows Pointing Up Painted by a man

ONTARIO TAKING STEPS TO PROTECT SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

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

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Man holding Pen Reading a Legal Document

WHAT IS A MEDIATION?

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

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Doctor with Stethoscope

HOW TO DOCUMENT YOUR INJURIES, AFTER A PERSONAL INJURY, AND WHY

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

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RC2016Nom

READERS’ CHOICE NOMINATIONS 2016

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:

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Man leaning on a car with the hood up

ONTARIO CAR INSURANCE CUTBACKS

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

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rush hour traffic

LAURA HILLYER DISCUSSES AUTO INSURANCE CUTBACKS ON CHML

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,

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women on the phone in the background. Foreground reads "available rehabilitation coverage"

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

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Cars stuck in rush hour

BE UBER AWARE!

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

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BRUCE HILLYER

JUDICIAL VACANCIES PILE UP

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

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LAURA HILLYER

NEW AUTO INSURANCE BILL HURTS DRIVERS: OTLA

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

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A pool ring float in the water

THE HIDDEN DANGERS OF SWIMMING POOL ENTRAPMENT

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.

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