Burlington Car Accident Lawyers

A motor vehicle accident is a frightening and often life-changing experience. You might be:

  • driver or a passenger in a car accident
  • a motorcyclist in a motorcycle accident
  • pedestrian hit by a car
  • or a cyclist hit by a car on your bike

The Burlington lawyers at Martin & Hillyer Associates are experienced and skilled in car accident litigation and car insurance claims for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. We have 50 years of experience helping car accident victims in Burlington, Halton and surrounding areas to maximize their successful recovery.

At Martin & Hillyer, we focus on all aspects of your recovery:

  • recovering financial compensation for what you’ve lost
  • recovering and rehabilitating from your injuries
  • recovering an empowered and fulfilling life despite ongoing injuries

Understanding your personal recovery priorities in all three areas and helping you attain them can be difficult for large, out-of-town law offices and offices that are stretched across the province. But our local lawyers will take the time to understand your unique priorities in order to give you the personalized advice you need to reach your recovery goals.


Our local lawyers will take the time to understand your unique priorities in order to give you the personalized advice you need to reach your recovery goals. Learn more about our personal approach and the difference having a local car accident lawyer can make.

Getting the Benefits You Need

When you’ve been injured in a car accident in Ontario, accident benefits insurance can provide you with funding to help you rehabilitate from your injuries, and to compensate you for some of your losses – regardless of whose fault the accident was. This is called no fault insurance.

Accident benefits are provided by your own insurance company and will pay for:

  • medical and rehabilitative treatment not funded by OHIP
  • income replacement benefits
  • attendant care and housekeeping benefits
  • non-earner benefits
  • compensation for lost education expenses
  • and more

When it comes to choosing a lawyer to help you deal with your insurance company and succeed in your recovery, local matters. One of our biggest strengths as a proudly local law office is our strong relationship with the local legal community as well as local healthcare and rehabilitation specialists. We will work with you and your treating professionals to help you get the treatment and assistance you need, close to home, and from reliable and recommended service providers.


Fighting Insurance Companies to Get What's Yours

No one likes paying insurance premiums, but at least we know the benefits we’ve paid for will be there for us when we need them… at least, that’s the idea. Unfortunately, all too often, Ontarians injured in car accidents get let down by their insurance companies in their time of need. They end up having to fight not only the driver who caused their injuries, but also their own insurance company.

Disputes often arise with your insurance company when they:

  • wrongly decide that your injury is a “minor injury” (or is in the “MIG”) and restrict the benefits you can claim
  • refuse to recognize that you have suffered a “catastrophic injury” and fail to pay the full benefits to which you are entitled
  • wrongly deny treatment plans for treatment recommended by your healthcare providers to help you recover from and manage your injuries
  • fail to pay income replacement benefits even though you are still unable to work because of your injuries

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to spend your energy focusing on your recovery, not on trying to navigate the complex world of insurance dispute resolution. To effectively stand up for your rights against a big insurance company, it helps to have the full backing of our team of knowledgeable and experienced car insurance lawyers to advise you on the intricacies of the car insurance dispute system, and to successfully stand up for your rights when your insurance company breaks its promises.

Fair Compensation by Starting a Lawsuit

Getting you the benefits you need from your car insurance company is only half the battle. In cases where someone else was at fault for the car crash that caused your injuries, it may be possible to start a lawsuit against that driver to get additional compensation from his or her insurance company.

It’s not always easy to start a lawsuit for a car accident in Ontario, and recent changes in the law have made it even harder for injured people to recover fair compensation. Finding a lawyer with expertise in Ontario’s complex system for car accident lawsuits is more important than ever to ensure you can get compensation from the insurance company of the driver who caused your losses.

Our team of local Burlington car accident lawyers, including Bruce HillyerStephen AbrahamDavid HaywardLaura Hillyer, and James Page are all experienced lawyers with a special familiarity with Ontario’s new rules around car accident lawsuits.

We will work to build your case, advise you about your options, and advocate tirelessly on your behalf to maximize the compensation you recover – either from a settlement, or after fighting all the way through a trial.


If you need advice after a car accident, get in touch with us for free consultation to find out what your options are, and learn how we can help you in your recovery.




Click here to download our free car accident checklist – 10 simple steps to help you ensure your rights are protected after an accident.

It’s important for you to understand how your lawyer will be paid. During your initial consultation, we will speak with you in detail about how our legal fees and expenses will work in your specific case so that you understand all your options before deciding if and how you would like to proceed.

Lawyers usually charge fees in one of three ways:

    1. contingency fee is usually used in personal injury and insurance litigation. Under a contingency fee, you do not pay your lawyer’s fees until the end of your case, and the fee depends on the result obtained in your case. Typically, the lawyer’s fee will be a fixed percentage of any amount recovered on your behalf. This means that if nothing is recovered, the lawyer will not charge you a fee. In this way, the risk of litigation can be shared between the client and the lawyer.

      When you see headlines in advertising such as “no win, no fee” or “you don’t pay unless we win,” a contingency fee arrangement is what is being referred to. But these headlines can be misleading: what counts as a “win?” Do expenses still have to be paid? How is the fee calculated? We believe it’s important that you understand exactly what a contingency fee is, and what it is not.

    1. In most other cases, where a contingency fee is not available, lawyers will charge an hourly rate. When charging on an hourly basis, the lawyer and his or her staff bill you at a set hourly rate for all the time they spend working on your file. Hourly rates are used in most non-litigation work, including real estate, estate planning, corporate and commercial transactions, business law, family law, etc. Hourly rates may also be charged in litigation cases where a contingency fee is not feasible.
  1. A final option is a flat rate fee, which is only used for routine legal services such as notarizing a document or drafting a simple will or power of attorney.

In addition to fees, lawyers will charge for the disbursements they have to incur when working on your file. Disbursements are expenses that must be paid for over the course of your case and include things like paying court fees, paying doctors for copies of their records or for medical opinions, paying for administrative expenses such as photocopying, couriers and long distance calls, and so on. Disbursements are separate from the lawyer’s fee for the services they provide.

To find out more about the legal fees and expenses that would apply in your case, get in touch with us to arrange a consultation.

Martin & Hillyer Associates has been providing quality and reliable personal injury representation to our clients for over 49 years.   We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, and our individualized approach to each case.  

As of July 1, 2021, the Law Society of Ontario is requiring all lawyers offering contingency fee agreements to publish the maximum percentage charged on their website.  The maximum fee percentage that Martin & Hillyer Associates will charge for motor vehicle cases is 30%, plus HST.  During our free initial consultation, we will discuss the possibility of a contingency fee agreement and the percentage applicable to your case.  We believe it important to be transparent when discussing legal fees and will be pleased an answer any questions you have.

Limitation periods restrict how long a person has to start a lawsuit for most types of lawsuits in Ontario. In most (but not all) cases, a person has 2 years from the date of an injury or loss to start a lawsuit against someone. If someone does not start a lawsuit before the limitation date, in most cases they are unable to ever do so – even if they had no idea a limitation period existed.

Sometimes it is tricky to determine a precise limitation date, particularly if your injuries weren’t (and could not have been) clear right away, or if the incidents that caused your injuries took place over an extended period.

Since the consequences of missing a limitation period are so serious, it is important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after you have suffered a loss so that he or she can tell you what limitation period applies. Even if you think you might have already missed the limitation period, you should speak with a lawyer to confirm, since there are sometimes exceptions and ways around the deadline that could save your claim.

In some cases, in addition to a limitation period, you need to worry about a notice period. This is a period of time within which you need to warn the defendant that you are going to sue them in the future. They usually apply when governments are the defendants.

Notice periods are usually much shorter than limitation periods – for example, in most cases you only have 10 days to warn a municipality if you are going to sue it for a dangerous condition on a sidewalk.

Missing a notice period without a very good reason can prevent you from starting your case at all, so again – make sure you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure no time limits are missed.

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 vehicle. What people are often shocked to learn is that there is a far higher deductible which could apply to claims for personal injuries. Click here to learn more.

The vast majority of lawsuits in Ontario settle before they go to court. A settlement is where both sides in the lawsuit voluntarily agree to a compromise in order to resolve a dispute without the costs, risks and delays that come with taking a case to court. If your case is settled, the defendant will agree to pay you some amount of money for your damages, and in exchange, you will agree to drop your lawsuit.

While you won’t have to go to court if a case settles, there are other preliminary stages your case might go through that you will have to participate in.

A settlement has to be voluntary for both sides, and we can’t force a defendant to settle. Even if a defendant makes an offer to settle, if the offer doesn’t adequately compensate you for your losses, it may be our advice that you not settle your case.

If a case does not settle, you can go to court to have a judge or jury make a final decision. Going to court increases the costs and risks in your case, but sometimes, where a reasonable settlement is not possible, it is the only way to reach a fair outcome.

We will be there to advise you and represent your interests throughout any settlement negotiations, and throughout a court case if one is necessary. In all cases, the decision about whether to settle your case or to take it to court will be yours to make.

You do not have to settle with your insurance company. Depending on the money being offered, however, settlement may be in your best interest. You need to consider such things as future medical expenses, lost wages, and potential health complications. Do not settle with an insurance company until you have spoken to a lawyer.

When you bring a claim against someone or something (like a company) that has caused an injury to you, you must specifically identify the person, persons, or corporation responsible for your injury.   And even though you might be suffering from a serious injury, and be upset that you were injured, you might still have some concern about what will happen financially to the person you are suing.  You might wonder:

  • If I sue someone will that person lose their home?
  • Will I cause that person to become bankrupt?

And, perhaps of most concern to you from a financial perspective:

  • Will that person or company have enough money to pay me proper compensation?

The good news is that for motor vehicle claims, it is the law in Ontario that everyone owning a car must have insurance for those who are driving the car.  This requirement is set out in the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act.  So 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 same reality applies to the majority of claims that people make who are injured as a result of the negligence of businesses.  People are often injured as a result of errors committed by businesses or corporations, such as failing to properly clear ice from a property, failing to install adequate handrails on stairways, or failing to maintain driveways and walkways free of potholes and other hazards.   And these are not the only ways that people can be injured as a result of the negligence of individuals, businesses or corporations!   But no matter how the injury occurred, the majority of businesses and corporations carry liability insurance, so that if someone is injured on their property or in their store, there will be an insurance policy there to compensate the injured person for any negligent acts or errors that caused or contributed to the person’s injury.

No!  If you are an innocent person who is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, your insurance company will not increase your premiums.   This includes claims for car accidents!     If you were not at fault for your car crash, and you did nothing wrong, then there is no basis for your insurance company to raise your premiums just because you were injured in a car crash.

Similarly, if you are injured because you slipped and fell on ice in front of your favourite convenience store, your decision to sue the person or persons responsible for your injury will not cause any of the insurance premiums that you pay to increase.

Unfortunately, no.  Lawyers and judges are prohibited from informing juries when there is an insurance policy involved that will be paying out the claim being made by the injured person for compensation.   So it is important that everyone understand that the majority of claims being made as a result of an injury that occurs while driving a car, or an injury that occurs while people are attending at a business will likely involve an insurance company that will pay out any claims successfully made against the person or business.  That is, after all, why all of us have insurance – to provide financial protection to us in the event that we unintentionally injure other people through our acts or failure to act.