From Experience with Personal Injuries to Rebuilding Helping Hand Clients’ Lives
With a dedicated, passionate and experienced team of knowledgeable staff, Ed Hand became a Client Relations Specialist and helped hundreds of people and their families.
Ed Hand is a founder of Helping Hand Inc., which provides immediate support and assistance to victims of injury or accident. With his sons Adam and Peter, and the law firm of Daniel J. Balena, Ed helps families that experience trauma after catastrophic accidents to overcome the countless hurdles between accident and recovery. His reputation in the industry is above reproach and he has built a network of contacts to help his clients with their needs. His clients are his No. 1 priority, and they benefit from his 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access and availability. Dolce recently sat down with Ed Hand to discuss personal injuries and their impact on a person’s life.
Q: You were a victim of a serious car accident. Did it have an impact on your career?
A: It definitely did. After the car accident, my original career was ended. To this day I suffer from permanent hearing loss in one ear and received a cochlear implant in order to help with my condition. I also suffer from tinnitus, where I experience intense ringing in my ears. This accident made me realize how traumatic the recovery period can be and what physical and financial costs people must pay to heal their trauma. Now my family and I work very hard to help victims of such accidents, as I know from personal experience what it takes to rebuild a life.
Q: What types of personal injury cases does Helping Hand deal with? Can you highlight the most significant type?
A: We are dealing with almost all types of personal injuries, including car and motorcycle accidents, brain and spinal injuries, slips and falls, children’s injuries, amputations, etc. All of them have a significant impact on a person’s life. It’s impossible for me to underline just one. Victims of such injuries face costs associated with medications, hospitalization, ongoing medical treatment, and lost wages or income, and we help them to maximize their compensation.
Q: Many people decide not to claim personal injury compensation, as they think it can take too long to receive it and, therefore, might not be worth the effort. Is it true? How long does injury compensation usually take to proceed?
A: There is no set amount of time for the completion of a personal injury claim. The time the claim will take is based upon a number of factors which include the complexity of the claim and the quantum of the loss being claimed. Modest claims can frequently be handled more quickly and brought to an early resolution. On average, larger more complicated claims take longer to resolve.
Q: Let’s imagine that the accident was my fault. In this case, does it make any sense for me to make a claim for compensation?
A: Even in a situation where the accident was your fault, the law still entitles you to advance an accident benefit claim in most cases. You will likely be entitled to benefits paid by your own auto insurance company, however you may also be entitled to other sources of benefits including short-term and long-term disability benefits.
Q: Let’s talk about prices. How much would it cost to proceed with the lawsuit?
A: Mr. Balena’s office frequently works on a contingency fee basis. Essentially this means that a client would likely not have to pay any fees unless an accident benefit claim or a tort claim were to settle. Upon successful settlement of the claim, legal fees are generally paid from the settlement award and are usually quantified based upon a percentage of the award.
Q: What if the injured party is unable to work after an accident?
A: If a party is injured and unable to work following the motor vehicle accident, and depending upon that person’s employment status at the time of the accident, he or she may be entitled to the payment of income replacement benefits calculated on that person’s pre-accident earnings. Benefits are generally paid at the rate of 70% of the injured party’s pre-accident gross income to the maximum of $400.00 per week.
Q: How to choose the right personal injury lawyer? What to pay attention to?
A: In my view, an injured party should seek a personal injury team that they are comfortable with, and which they trust. I have learned over the years that it is extremely important that the injured party be able to freely communicate with their lawyer as well as the entire personal injury law team. When choosing the right personal injury lawyer, the ability to readily communicate with that team, in my view, is essential.
Q: Despite the decreasing number of total injuries caused by car accidents in Ontario over the past several years, we still hear about the auto accidents on our roads. Can you please navigate what to do after a car accident in Ontario?
A: Following emergency personnel being called, and quite possibly the police, it is important in most instances that the injured party seek legal assistance from a personal injury law firm. As indicated earlier, that law firm will likely employ a personal injury team to address the injured party’s injuries and economic and financial needs Upon being contacted by an injured party, and once again depending upon the seriousness of the injuries, arrangements will be made to see the injured party as soon as possible and to ascertain both the injuries and that individual’s need for services.
When the injuries are more serious, arrangements are made to employ a personal injury team to address the injured party’s needs. This generally includes an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, and in many cases a case manager. The team ensures that the injured party receives the treatment they need. It is also particularly important that the injured party has access to legal remedies when issues arise with respect to first party accident benefits claims and a tort claim. Once again, an ongoing dialogue with the personal injury lawyer and his team, is essential for the eventual resolution of an injury claim.