When your life has changed and the path forward is unclear.
Gain peace of mind on your path to recovery with Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP.
Our priority is to make sure you feel empowered, confident and optimistic about the legal process and your recovery.
lawyers take the time to:
Understand your needs
unique circumstances and priorities
Help you learn
about your rights
rehabilitation specialists and
Guide you through
claims and litigation to ensure
your financial compensation
Identify the financial
security you need
focus on your health
We are here to help get you on the path to physical and financial recovery.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Nursing Home Negligence
Bike and Pedestrian Accidents
Mass Tort & Class Actions
Slip and Fall Claims
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Frequently Asked Questions
We know you have many questions about what has happened and how to move forward. The answers below are a good place to start in understanding your rights .
How can a personal injury lawyer help me?
Our personal injury lawyers help accident and injury victims in many ways you might not even think of.
At Howie, Sacks & Henry, we:
- Help manage your case against those who have caused your injuries
- Handle claims against your insurance company for accident benefits
- Work directly with your treatment team and make sure that you see the right specialists and treatment providers to improve your chances of making a full and good recovery
- Take the time to understand the medical issues you are dealing with and assemble a team of highly specialized medical consultants to help present the best possible case
- Help families with complicated housing situations, including finding the right place to live after the accident, if the injuries don’t allow them to move back home
- Help those in financial crisis solve their financial problems until their case gets resolved
- Assist you and your family in finding good counsellors to help with family issues often caused by the accident and serious injuries
- Make sure you have access to financial advice to help understand how you can best use and protect the money that you receive from your case
What information should I have ready for my free consultation?
Thankfully we don’t require much information at our initial consultation, other than your memory of when, where, and how the accident happened; what injuries you’ve sustained and how it’s affected you. We use this initial consultation to have a open and friendly conversation to get a sense of whether you would like us to represent you and whether we believe that we can help with your claims.
How long do I have to make a claim?
You should consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident or injury. In some cases, you must send a notice letter within a few days after an accident. If you don’t, you may completely lose your legal right to claim compensation.
How long do personal injury cases take to settle?
Personal injury cases can take time to settle, just as injuries take time to heal.
Some injuries, if they’re severe enough, can take up to two years before the full consequences of the injury are known. A good law firm shouldn’t try to settle your case before then.
More importantly, it takes two sides to arrive at a settlement. Often we ask an insurance company to settle for what we consider to be the fair value of your case, but they refuse. In those situations, the case must go forward until the insurance company agrees to pay an amount that is fair. And if they don’t, a trial is the only way to get a fair result for you.
It usually takes about four to five years after the case is commenced to get to trial. Unfortunately, a big part of that delay is due to the back log in all of our courts in Ontario and that back log can take up to two years all by itself. The good news is that at Howie, Sacks & Henry, over 95% of our cases settle, before a trial is necessary.
Rest assured that at HSH, we will move your case forward as fast as possible, without compromising our work, to ensure you get a fair result.
How do I pay my lawyer fees?
It’s simple. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
If we’re not successful for you, we don’t charge you a legal fee, and if we are successful our fee is a percentage of what we are able to recover for you. This makes it very simple for you to calculate and understand our legal fees.
At Howie, Sacks and Henry our contingency fee agreement complies with all of the rules and regulations of the Law Society of Ontario.
Contingency fees provide seriously injured victims with access to justice. Many of our clients can not work. They need care, they need treatment. They don’t have any extra money lying around to pay a lawyer.
Contingency fees allow you to access some of the best personal injury lawyers in the province without adding to the tremendous financial stress that you are already under.
When we take on your case you can be confident that we believe in you and that we will fight using all of our resources and expertise to get you the best result possible and to get you the compensation you deserve.
What areas do our lawyers serve in Ontario?
Our personal injury lawyers help clients all across Ontario.
Our main office is located in downtown Toronto adjacent to the Eaton Centre and we also have consultation offices in Markham, Brampton, Oakville, Kitchener, Georgetown, and Bobcaygeon.
We are also able to meet with you virtually through the use of video conferencing technology. Whether you want to communicate by email, telephone or video conferencing, our communication is always confidential.
How can a medical malpractice lawyer help me?
Medical malpractice claims are some of the most complex claims to litigate. They require an in depth investigation and review of medical records, imaging, clinical notes and other technical information. These cases require expert evidence from a multitude of experts in various specialties. A medical malpractice lawyer will know which areas of care to focus on and which experts to consult with, in order to build a strong case. A medical malpractice lawyer knows what questions to ask, and how to get the right answers from medical practitioners to help learn what role medical malpractice may have played in the outcome. A lawyer can also help ensure that the injured party has access to trusted medical and rehabilitation specialists while the case is underway. It is imperative that a plaintiff have the support and guidance of a lawyer to help them navigate the legal process from the outset of their claim to resolution.
How is negligence established in malpractice claims?
In order to succeed in proving negligence in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must show that (1) the defendant physicians and/or nurses breached the applicable standard of care; and (2) that the breach caused harm leading to compensable damages.
Generally speaking, standard of care is defined as the level of care that is required of a professional, with the same training, education and experience, as the defendant. In order to determine if a physician and/or nurse breached the standard of care, the plaintiff must adduce expert evidence, typically from a professional in the same specialty as the defendant(s).
Once a plaintiff overcomes the first part of the negligence test, then they must prove that the breach in fact caused physical and/or psychological harm. If a physician and/or nurse breached the standard of care but the breach did not cause any harm, then the plaintiff would not have any compensable damages.
How do LTD claims work?
If you become too sick to work and submit a claim to receive long term disability benefits, your claim can be denied even if you have been a hard worker who has paid into a health and disability insurance plan for years.
If your LTD claim has been denied, a disability lawyer can help by:
- Sending your relevant medical information to your insurance company.
- Ensuring you meet all timelines set out in your insurance policy.
- Working with the doctors who are treating you (and other expert doctors, if necessary), to obtain the proper documentation needed to address to the specific provisions of your insurance policy. This is particularly important because often the forms sent to you by your insurance company can be very biased. Knowing what the right questions are to ask your doctor can often be the difference between having your claim approved, rather than denied.
- Moving your case toward resolution through the settlement negotiations or, if necessary, the legal process.
How do you determine what my case is worth?
Cases are evaluated based on the evidence, the credibility of the people involved, and professional judgement.
Evidence comes in many forms, including your own description of how the accident happened and how it has affected you; medical records; tax, employment, insurance records; and more. Some of the evidence can only be provided by experts, often doctors, and this evidence is particularly important because it helps us understand not only how the injuries are impacting you now, but how they will continue to impact you in the future. These reports, that we will obtain for you, will help us answer key questions like “Will you need more surgery?”, “Will you be able to go back to work, and if so, when and under what circumstances?”, “What medical needs will you have in the future?”, and other important questions about your case.
The second important factor is credibility or believability – always an important consideration in any personal injury case. Everything the insurance company does is viewed through the lens of “How would this look to a Judge or Jury?” Even though most cases don’t go to trial, the value of the case is often shaped by the likelihood that whoever is making the claims will be believed.
And finally, there is professional judgement. Ultimately, our experience in handling thousands of cases over the years gives us the ability to know what damages to pursue, how to prove them, and how to maximize the recovery that we can get for you.
What is the difference between a mass tort and class action claim?
A class action is a type of lawsuit where a group of people with the same or similar injuries sue the defendant. The claim is commenced by a Representative Plaintiff who will effectively act as the face of the class.
Once the court certifies the class action, a notice is put out to all potential members of the class to ensure everyone with similar injuries are informed about the class. Keep in mind, however, that a plaintiff who does not opt out of a class action forfeits his/her rights to pursue an individual action.
When a class action is resolved – whether by mutual settlement or trial – everyone in that class is bound by that resolution. The funds from the settlement are then distributed according to the Court approved procedure.
Alternatively, sometimes it makes sense to pool similar cases together in what is called a mass tort action. This way of proceeding allows plaintiffs to bring an individual case against a defendant alongside what is often hundreds of other individual plaintiffs in the same situation.
Unlike class action lawsuits, where the representative plaintiff pursues the claim on behalf of the class members, mass tort actions allows for plaintiffs to pursue their cases individually. These plaintiffs may have different interests and assessments of individual damages may vary.
Both mass tort actions and class actions are generally funded through contingency fee agreements, which means a plaintiff to an action does not have to pay expenses related to the case out of pocket while it works its way through the legal system. Instead, legal representatives only receive compensation (a portion of the award) if the action is successful. This means there is substantially less risk for plaintiffs or class members and it can significantly enhance access to justice
I’ve heard that you cannot sue if you are injured in a car accident in Ontario. So why would I need a lawyer?
Unfortunately, many people are under the mistaken belief that they can’t sue the responsible person for their injuries. Innocent accident victims with serious injuries have always been able to get compensation in Ontario. Even less seriously injured victims may be entitled to compensation. You need a lawyer to ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries.