Feb 12th, 2003, 11:30 AM
I hope this isn't too off topic but there seems a wealth of knowledge here that I hope I can call on for a customer of mine. She is a 60 yr. old woman that I am painting for and she was telling me about her accident involving a wet floor at a large grocery-store in which she broke her hip. The store has acknowledged it's fault in the event and she is about to get compensation for her injuries. The question she asked me about is whether it's normal to have the compensation take 3 years to be paid out and should lawyers be friends with the company officials who will finalize the payment? (apparently they are old friend's) She dropped 1 lawyer already and the one now seems a bit patronizing when asked questions. This older women has only her daughter to assist her in the process and she isn't familiar with it either. Does anybody have a guess as to what would be an expected amount that she might be awarded and is 3 years a normal process time?
Thanks for any input.
Feb 12th, 2003, 12:07 PM
Under Tort law (ie suing somebody, as compared with either no-fault or legislated limitations) 3 years is nothing to complain about; it's probably better than average.
Her age is a real problem, and don't think the grocery store's lawyers don't know it. So, I would expect they would try to take advantage of a willingness to settle.
Normally, assuming the client's circumstances allow for it, for injury it's often better to wait so as to determine if there are any long-term (ie permanent) repercussions; this will increase an award, when they exist, and won't do much if they don't.
Don't expect a large settlement; that only happens in the US.
The legal profession is a bit incestuous, so in an of itself, it's not suprising they know each other. If you feel the familiarity is causing your client to be mis-represented, that's different.
She will have to determine that for herself.
Every little thing her lawyers do will end up costing her more money (in legal bills, which I'm assuming are coming out of the settlement). So, a long, drawn-out affair may not be in her best interests.
I am not a lawyer. The above is based on my individual, personal experience with a couple of settlements, including 1 held in the USA.
Probably the best advice would be to seek out some opinions from legal experts she could avail herself of. I would ask her if she has any no-cost resources she could take advantage of for this; is there a public education branch of the Ontario Bar, for example (we have Prarie Legal Education Association, or PLEA, which gives pro bono legal education seminars here in Sask).
A family friend, or relative? Are there resources she could avail herself that she hasn't tried? Former Employer, Life Insurance company, Health Insurance company, the Ontario Bar, Community groups, her Church and it's congregation, whatever.
Feb 12th, 2003, 10:51 PM
Thanks Gord..the time it's taken has proved benificial in that she has had complications from the initial surgery and has a permanent disability although she can still get around on her own.She is a nice person and I hope she doesnt get taken advantage of , I will pass on the advice.Thanks again
Feb 13th, 2003, 02:02 AM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...GordGuide is a fountain of knowledge. On a multitude of subjects.
And I, for one, am very happy he's here with us. :cool: :cool: :cool: :D
Feb 13th, 2003, 12:53 PM
I am just in law school and I don't know all the facts so don't rely fully on this but I am pretty sure there is a way of expediting a case or settlement. You just have to get another lawyer to do make the motion. Her age could certainly be a valid reason. Also, you can ask for interest if the settlement/fault has already been determined.
As for the amount, in Canada, there are caps to your average physical injuries. For example, if you lose an eye at work, your cap is $75 000 I think.
I hope this helps. She should also look into legal aid specifically for older people. They fight for your rights.