Toronto lawyer writes practical guide to accident benefits
Lawyers and insurance adjusters now have a new reference on the theory behind accident benefits law and, more importantly, how to apply it, says Toronto personal injury lawyer and author Darryl Singer.
Accident Benefits: A Practical Desk Reference is an accessible “how-to guide” for personal injury lawyers looking for a refresher, particularly useful to attorneys who don't specialize in this area of law. The book is also helpful for paralegals, law clerks and insurance officials, Singer says.
“It’s an overview of the different benefits available, but it’s also a step-by-step process on how to actually run an accident benefits file from beginning to end,” says Singer, principal of SINGER Barristers Professional Corporation.
The book, now available to order from Emond Publishing, allows users to properly file, negotiate and complete accident benefits claims.
Accident Benefits analyzes the many forms of compensation available to injured parties after motor vehicle accidents.
“Every full-time personal injury lawyer has the same basic knowledge in accident benefits law, and a working knowledge of the accident benefits schedule and the Insurance Act,” Singer says.
“But having the knowledge of what the law is and how to apply it are two very different things.”
The book cites real examples, including shaded “practice tips” sections for all parties involved in a claim, and cases Singer has personally handled.
In one section, Singer writes about a specific case from last year when his client wanted to go to trial to fight for the maximum benefits allowed, which was more than $2 million. The client was being offered a settlement of $900,000.
“I set out the reasons why the $900,000 was actually the better deal even though she might have won at trial,” Singer tells AdvocateDaily.com. In that case, the benefits in dispute would typically be paid directly to the third-party service provider, and only as the services are used.
“This was an example of having to understand the law, and winning her case would actually mean getting less.”
The book also includes insurers tips, Singer says, valuable to accident benefits insurance adjusters.
It covers the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule regime from 2010 up to and including the anticipated 2016 changes in Ontario, highlighting key differences.
Singer, who has 23 years of experience as a civil litigator, says he often finds it useful to check a reference on a regular basis. This book makes it easy.
“It gives the reader an A-to-Z overview of accident benefits law in practice as opposed to theory,” he says.