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Frequently Asked 
Questions

Get a head start on your legal consultation by viewing some of the most common questions asked by clients. It cannot supplement the advice of legal counsel, but may shed some light on your legal issues and their practical consequences.
Staying Informed, so you can stay ahead
Every legal question brings its own unique set of facts. For this reason, a one size fits all approach to litigation is nearly impossible. Although these questions often share similar answers, they are not a replacement for true, individual legal advice. To answer your questions with your situation in mind, please feel free to schedule a consultation with a litigation lawyer.

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Your Representation

What is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is just what it sounds like - a fee that is paid contingent upon money being awarded. If no money is obtained by the lawyer in the case, then the client does not have to pay a lawyer's fee. If a monetary award is obtained, either through settlement or verdict, the lawyer gets a percentage of the total recovery. For more information about contingency fees, please review the "Contingency Fee" blog posts. 

In most cases, the contingency fee is 30-35% of the total amount recovered. In some cases, it may be less expensive for you to pay your lawyer by the hour. You should discuss all of payment options with your lawyer before signing up for representation.

Do you give free consultations?

Villeneuve Litigation offers free consultations on all personal injury matters and, depending on the circumstances of your case, will extend the free consultation to another litigation matter. To request a free consultation please fill out the "request consult" questionnaire accessed through the above menu bar. 

How long will it take to settle my case?

This is the second most prevalent question lawyers get and clients are always surprised to hear that their case could take X number of years. Villeneuve Litigation has developed a strict file management system focused on efficiency and time. You can rest assured that your case will not be delayed by the firm for any unnecessary reason. 

Do I need a Lawyer?

Villeneuve Litigation has developed a tool to answer this specific question. Its intake protocol filters out cases that require assistance, do not require assistance and may require assistance. To find out if you need a lawyer, simply fill out the "request consultation" form found at the top menu bar. A lawyer will get back to you as soon as possible to let you know what services are required and available at Villeneuve Litigation.

What type of lawyer do I need?

Villeneuve litigation is both trusted and experienced in managing personal injury, employment, commercial and contract disputes. Your lawyer will provide services that fit your needs. If the firm does not offer the services requested, you can request a referral to another trusted firm in your area. 

Personal INjury

How much will it cost me?

Villeneuve Litigation offers a contingency arrangement on all personal injury matters. This means you don't pay a fee unless you get a settlement. It's important to note the difference between a fee, disbursements and costs. Costs are the amounts owed to the other side if you're unsuccessful. Disbursements are the amounts contributed toward holding and building the file. Those are due regardless of the result. Villeneuve Litigation offers costs protection insurance to cover some, if not all, of the adverse costs award. This is not a unique contingency arrangement. Some lawyers might avoid advertising the obligations toward costs and disbursements. If you are shopping around for a personal injury lawyer, be sure to inquire about how these obligations are handled and included in the fee structure. 

What type of injuries get compensation?

Villeneuve Litigation seeks compensation for various injuries, caused by various intentional and negligent incidents including: 
Car Accident
Pedestrian Accidents
Bike Accident
Motorcycle Accident
Truck Accidents

Distracted Driving Accidents
Tire blowout Accidents
Slip and Fall Accident
Faulty Product & Product Liability
Aircraft Accidents
ATV Accidents
Boating & Watercraft Accidents
Diving & Swimming Accident

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone else's fault, reach out for a free consultation.  

I was in a car accident. What should I do?

Your first priority is your health. Get a proper diagnosis of your injuries and schedule follow-ups if needed. You might think you're not hurt, but adrenaline can mask your actual pain. The seeing physician will document an initial accident related medical entry. This will help your case.

The next thing you should do is report your accident to the authorities. Make sure there is a police report or some record of what happened. If possible, get photos of your injuries and the accident itself.

If you were in a vehicle at the time, contact the proper insurer and advise them of the accident. This will trigger available benefits. There may be time limits involved, so provide notice as soon as you can. 

I may have been at fault. Do I still have a claim?

Assessing fault in a car accident is not always as simple as it may seem. Several factors are looked at before courts can make a decision on liability. A police report does not bar you from providing your own explanation. 

At the same time, your fault is not always apportioned at 100 percent. 

Lastly, your insurer may provide benefits regardless of fault. You may have a claim against your own insurer if they refuse or delay proper use of accident benefits to cover treatment, income replacement and much more. 

EMPLOYMENT LAW (EMPLOYEES)

Was I Wrongfully Dismissed?

Whether your employer dismissed you for or without cause, you may have rights or entitlements that have been neglected. To properly assess your case, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a lawyer. Until you do so, it's important that you make no commitment to your employer and avoid signing any documents provided to you upon termination. 

Does my employer have to give me a reason for firing me?

Employers are not handcuffed to their employees. They are free to end the relationship "without cause" as long as they provide sufficient notice and follow all contractual and statutory obligations in doing so. If you have been terminated without cause, it is strongly recommended that you seek advice from a lawyer to confirm that your termination was lawful and that you are receiving sufficient notice pay and other entitlements. The difference could be significant.

What kind of evidence do you need to support my claim?

A good starting point is the most recent employment agreement and the termination letter (if any). In order to subtantiate and properly assess a case, the lawyer will require as much information as is necessary to understand the employment relationship. 

Can you review my employment offer?

It is always nice to see an employee come in to review an employment contract at the front end of the employment relationship. Your lawyer will advise you on the pros and cons of every offer and allow you to make an informed decision. Villeneuve Litigation offers two contract review options: (1) a contract review and verbal opinion for a flat fee of $150 (plus tax); or (2) a contract review and formal opinion letter for a flat fee of $250 (plus tax). Contact the firm for more details and to confirm the appropriate costs. 

EMPLOYMENT LAW (EMPLOYERS)

How do you fire an employee?

Firing an employee is both difficult and dangerous. Done right, the employer can protect itself against any resulting damage claims, but cannot avoid them in their entirety. The cards are weighed heavily in favour of the employee, so it's important that the employer do everything in its power to meet its contractual and statutory requirements. Villeneuve Litigation offers services in claim prevention including drafting the employment agreement, drafting the termination letter and attending the exit meeting. 

Do I need an employment contract?

They are not required, but they are recommended. Not having a contract creates uncertainty as to the employees rights on termination, lay-off, vacation, etc. Any uncertainty will be interpreted in favour of the employee. The difference could be devastating. For instance, in a wrongful termination case of a longstanding employee, notice would not be limited by the statutory minimum of eight weeks. That employee could be entitled to notice in the range of 8 months because there was no contract in place. Villeneuve Litigation offers customized employment agreements for $350 (plus tax). Contact the firm to discuss the details and confirm the costs. 

Can I fire an employee for cause?

Cause is not as discretionary as many employers assume it to be. Just because you think an employee is not "cutting it" doesn't substantiate a "for cause" dismissal, and the law creates a high threshold in determining cause. Employers often act hastily in assuming there is cause where there isn't. It is always best to seek the advice of a lawyer before terminating an employee. Your lawyer will assess whether cause exists and the pros and cons of proceeding in this manner.