Personal Injury

Ron Strike helps accident victims feel empowered

By AdvocateDaily.com Staff

Bowmanville personal injury lawyer Ron Strike cringes every time he sees a law firm advertisement on the back of a bus or overlooking the highway.

Strike, counsel to Will Davidson LLP, tells AdvocateDaily.com it pains him to see the plaintiff bar’s reputation dragged down by tacky ads that focus on big payouts.

In reality, he says insurance companies only pay out substantial awards for serious injuries and the emphasis on cash does a disservice to accident victims.

“You can get someone significant money, but I haven’t met one yet who wouldn’t trade it in a heartbeat to get their health back,” Strike says. “The message that needs to get out is that our job is to help clients understand the system, feel empowered and get the most out of their rehabilitation.

“When I first meet a client, I tell them not to focus on the money, but rather on making the best recovery possible. It’s a joy helping people put their lives back together,” he adds.

Strike has a strong legal pedigree but says he wasn’t always so sure he wanted to follow his father and grandfather into the profession. Having pursued a degree in physiological psychology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., he considered indulging his athletic side by entering the world of sports psychology, but surprised himself with a strong LSAT score, and decided to enter the university’s law school.

The extra years at Queen's would also give him a chance to realize his ambition of making the varsity men’s hockey team, and he was ultimately rewarded with a role in the side that won the university’s only Ontario championship in 1981. Strike remains a keen sportsman, and you may find him on the golf course, playing tennis or windsurfing when not in court or the office.

Calling on his background in psychology, Strike decided to pursue personal injury work, and articled under legendary insurance litigator Ian Outerbridge in Toronto.

“It was a way to follow in the family footsteps, but do something specialized that was of great interest to me,” Strike says.

In the three and a half decades since, there’s little Strike hasn’t done in insurance litigation, having worked on both sides of the bar. After moving back to Bowmanville, he established his own practice, working in family law and personal injury work.

Over the years, he has worked for insurers, but in the past 15 years, he's practised exclusively in the plaintiff personal injury world.

“Not only did I once work for the defence side, but my wife is an insurance broker and I may be the only personal injury lawyer who is a certified risk manager. But it was always plaintiff-side work that interested me most,” Strike says.

Still, his previous experience often comes in handy.

“It gives me more impact and legitimacy with the defence because they know that I understand what is going on with them,” he explains.

A number of Strike’s clients have been employed by insurers, and come to him for help with their own injuries. He has also been invited to insurer-focused conferences to provide the view from the plaintiffs’ bar.

Strike’s caseload is broad-based. “People get hurt in many different ways,” he says. In addition to his motor vehicle injury practice, he represents victims of slips-and-falls and has established a growing niche in snowmobile and ATV accidents, where he often pursues manufacturers on behalf of clients.

He’s also prepared to take on clients who have had trouble finding a lawyer.

“Many firms take clients from the trauma ward where the liability and insurance are strong,” Strike says. “I’ve taken on many cases where there are bad injuries and liability issues, but little to no insurance."

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