My services focus on workers’ compensation law—that is, on advising and representing workers in their WSIB claims and appeals. I also advise workers with other legal problems that often come hand-in-hand with a WSIB claim, such as employment law and human rights issues.
This page provides more detail about my services and fees.
Types of proceedings
There are multiple levels of decision-making in the life of a typical WSIB claim. I advise and represent workers at all levels of the system, including
- Filing a WSIB claim
- Claiming benefits for secondary injuries (e.g. a psychological condition that develops after a physical injury)
- Reconsideration of operating-level WSIB decisions
- Appeal Resolution Officer hearings (ARO hearings)
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal hearings (WSIAT appeals / hearings)
- Requests for an extension of a time limit
- Requests for reconsideration at the WSIAT
- Applications for Judicial Review to the Divisional Court
In many cases, a work injury results in several legal problems: in addition to dealing with the WSIB, you may find yourself in a dispute with your employer, experiencing harassment from your co-workers or supervisor, or not getting the support you need from your union.
I give legal advice about all of the workplace issues arising from a work injury, and can assist in trying to resolve them with the parties concerned. If it becomes necessary to commence another legal proceeding, such as a Human Rights Application or a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, I can assist with that too. When it comes to litigation in forums other than the WSIB and WSIAT, I work in association with another lawyer who shares my philosophy on representing workers, Ron Franklin, to ensure we have the resources to effectively pursue your case.
Levels of service and fees
Many working people are afraid that they cannot afford a lawyer, even though they need help with an important legal issue—like a problem with the WSIB—that is hurting them badly now, and could affect them financially for the rest of their lives.
I understand the concern. There are three things I do to make my services affordable to working people.
First, I charge reasonable rates. After we’ve had a discussion about how much it would cost to hire me for your particular case, I have no problem with you shopping around before you make a decision. You should compare for yourself what other lawyers and paralegals are offering, in terms of the type of service and the price.
Second, I can tailor the level of service I provide to fit your budget. Depending on what you can afford, I can provide valuable assistance with an individual aspect of your claim, or take on your case in its entirety, or something in between. For example, at the low end, I can help you to gather the evidence you need by ghost-writing letters to your doctors asking for medical reports, or coach you so that you can better represent yourself at a hearing; at the upper end, I can act as your representative throughout the appeal process, including the hearing. The point is that even if you can’t afford full representation, you don’t have to face the WSIB completely on your own.
Third, I work with clients to find a fee-structure that meets their needs. Some examples are:
- A flat fee, paid in installments (this is an increasingly popular option, as it means that you know exactly how much you will pay in total for a particular service, and you can pay for it over time)
- Hourly billing (a traditional arrangement that mostly suits lawyers, but in some circumstances it’s the option that makes the most sense for clients too)
- Hourly billing with a fee cap (a hybrid of traditional hourly billing and the flat fee)
In exceptional cases, I also work on a contingent fee basis (i.e. “no win, no fee”). Unlike other areas of the law, it’s hard to make contingent fee arrangements in workers’ comp cases that are fair to both client and lawyer. But in rare circumstances, it can be the best approach.
My services always begin with an initial consultation appointment, for which I charge $150 (+HST).
I set aside two hours for consultation appointments. In all but the most complex of cases, that’s enough time for me to get to know your claim, give you detailed advice about your specific situation and, where appropriate, even provide you with some “brief services,” such as ghost-writing letters to the WSIB, your employer or your doctors, so you can move forward with your claim immediately, either on your own or with my ongoing assistance.
If you don’t have a viable claim or appeal, I’ll make sure you understand why, and discuss what other options are available to you.
For more information about consultation appointments, or to book an appointment, click the button below.