Case Commentary – The Importance of an Experienced Disability Claims Lawyer

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  • In last week’s blog, we discussed how most civil lawsuits are governed by a two-year limitations period, which precludes anyone from bringing a claim more than two years after it was discovered.

    In a recent case, an Ontario court has granted summary judgment in favour of an insurer that denied payment of disability benefits. The plaintiff’s claim was barred by the Limitations Act, which required him to initiate his claim for payment within two years of its denial. This claim illustrates the importance of retaining a lawyer with experience handling short term disability claims.

    Parmar v. Teachers Life

    The plaintiff had suffered a workplace injury and applied for short term disability benefits through his insurer. He hired a paralegal to assist with his disability claim. The paralegal, on behalf of the plaintiff, refused to allow the insurer to review his WSIB file regarding the injury. This refusal constituted a breach of the policy, and the insurer accordingly denied the plaintiff’s claim, in writing, to his paralegal. Two and a half years later, the plaintiff contacted his insurer regarding his claim, and was advised it had been denied. The next year, the plaintiff began a civil claim against his insurer.

    The defendant sought summary judgment on the grounds that the limitations period began to run from the date the plaintiff’s paralegal received the denial letter, and therefore expired over a year before he began his claim. The court ruled that when a person hires a lawyer or paralegal to represent them, any knowledge of their representative is imputed to that person. The letter sent by the defendant was a clear and unequivocal denial, and the plaintiff’s claim was dismissed.

    Toronto disability lawyers assisting with short term disability claims

    If you are making a claim for disability benefits, it is critical to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side. At Jasmine Daya & Co., our disability claims lawyers have many years of experience managing insurance claims and disputes over access and entitlement to benefits.

    We offer free consultations for new clients. When you meet with one of our lawyers, we will review your situation and help you decide the best way to move forward. Contact us online to make an appointment, or call our office at 416-967-9100.