Here are some recent customer stories that show the value of Legal Expense Insurance in providing financial protection and empowerment to defend or pursue the legal rights of your clients.
When a client refuses to pay
Alex operates a small construction firm. He became involved in a dispute with a customer who refused to settle an invoice after he alleged that the work was substandard. Being a small business, Alex could not afford to write off the amount owed. He was unsure of his options and stressed about the prospect of a counter-suit from the customer. He had given the customer several options at the outset of the job. Despite Alex's warning that it may not be enough, the customer chose the cheapest option. Alex called DAS and explained his situation. A DAS lawyer was assigned to the case and successfully defended a counter-suit. He recovered $5,000 in outstanding fees from the customer. 100% of the amount recovered was returned to Alex.
Threatening letters from an ex- accountant
Sheila owns a small dry cleaning business. She became involved in a dispute with her accountant who claimed that he was owed $26,000 for services rendered. In fact, the retainer had been cancelled several months earlier and all outstanding invoices had been paid. Sheila was nervous and stressed, especially when she received a letter from the accountant saying that he would take Sheila’s business to court to recover the “unpaid” amount. After receiving the threatening letter, Sheila called the Legal Advice Helpline and a claim was opened. The DAS lawyer contacted the accountant who then stopped sending the letters. No legal action was taken against Sheila and she saved over $700 in legal fees. Had the accountant continued to push to have this dispute resolved in court, DAS would have continued to defend Sheila and and would have paid for all her legal expenses.
Avoiding collection fees
Meghan is an insurance broker with a medium-sized portfolio of commercial clients. She sold a policy to a man who then moved to another province. The client still owed $15,000 on his policy, and did not provide Meghan with any updated contact details. She was unable to reach him to recover the money he owed. Meghan knew that if she used a collection agency to recover the money, she would lose a significant portion of it in collection costs. She decided to put her DAS policy to use. DAS assigned a lawyer who was able to locate the client and recover the money. 100% of the recovered money was returned to Meghan. Without her legal expense policy, Meghan would have had to pay about $3,000 in collection fees to recover the outstanding debt.
Recovering money owed
Kevin is the owner of a medium-sized construction company. He provided upgrades to a client who then refused to settle the $25,000 bill. This left Kevin in a very difficult situation, as his business was not large enough to absorb such a hefty financial hit. Kevin called DAS and explained the situation. He was provided with a lawyer who was able to recover $21,000 from Kevin’s client. DAS covered all of the legal fees, and 100% of the recovered amount was returned to Kevin.
A customer ignores her bill
Valerie, a dentist, was involved in a dispute with a patient who refused to pay her $2,500 bill. Valerie tried to contact the patient numerous times to no avail. This caused Valerie a great amount of stress as she was not sure what to do next. She called DAS, who assigned a lawyer to the case. The lawyer sent a demand letter to Valerie’s patient, advising that DAS would commence legal proceedings if the bill was not paid. The patient agreed to pay the amount in full. Valerie did not have to pay any legal fees, which would have been over $750 if she did not have a DAS policy.
When contractors cause damage
Mark owns a small accounting firm. He hired a contractor to build and install cabinets and counter tops for the firm’s kitchen area. When the contracting company arrived to install the cabinets, they damaged several walls in the office. They also damaged the counter top that was being installed and refused to repair or pay for the damages. In addition to causing damage, the contractor did not install one of the cabinets that had been included in the contract. Mark also found issues with the cabinets that had been installed; the doors were not opening properly. Mark was very frustrated, as he had paid nearly $6,500 for the faulty work, and the contractor refused to respond to his calls. Mark called DAS and was put in touch with a lawyer. After the contractor failed to respond to a demand letter, the lawyer issued court proceedings. The case eventually settled out of court, with the contractor agreeing to cover the cost of the repairs and the missing cabinet. Mark paid nothing out of pocket, saving approximately $4,000 in legal fees.
When an employee alleges wrongful dismissal
Kate is a business owner who was sued for wrongful dismissal by one of her ex-employees. The former employee alleged that he had been discriminated against and was seeking $40,000 in damages. Kate was very worried as she knew her business could not afford to pay $40,000. She called DAS and a claim was opened. A DAS lawyer contacted the former employee, who agreed to drop the case. Thanks to her DASbusiness policy, Kate saved approximately $10,000 in legal fees.
Counter-suing for wrongful dismissal
A DAS lawyer is currently defending Graham, a retail business owner. Graham received a claim for $10,000 from a former employee for wrongful dismissal, outstanding vacation pay, and breach of human rights legislation. The lawyer has submitted a defence to the allegations, as well as a counter-claim for losses Graham suffered as a result of the allegations. Without a DAS policy, Graham would already have had to pay $1,200 in legal fees and likely even more as the case works its way through the human rights tribunal process. But as a DAS policyholder, Graham has peace of mind knowing he will never receive a bill from his lawyer. All legal fees will be covered by DAS until the case is resolved.
When the tax man comes knocking
Janine was contacted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), advising that her business owed $560,000 in untaxed income after underpaying its taxes for three years. Janine believed her business had been overvalued but was unsure how to respond to the CRA or navigate the tax court system. She contacted DAS, and a tax lawyer was assigned to respond. We also provided Janine with an accountant to assist with the audit. The lawyer was able to negotiate the amount of undeclared income down to $280,000, cutting Janine’s tax bill in half. Thanks to her policy, Janine also saved $15,000 in legal fees.
Joanne owns a small transport company. When one of her drivers was charged with careless driving, Joanne was worried about the possibility of losing five CVOR points, not to mention six demerit points for her driver. She called DAS, who sent a representative to the hearing. Our lawyer was able to argue to reduce the charge to Interference with Traffic, resulting in no points lost and a $110 fine. Without DAS, her case would have cost Joanne approximately $1,000.
When another of Joanne’s drivers was charged with Driving without a valid permit, Joanne called DAS right away. A lawyer was appointed, and he advised the driver to plead guilty. In exchange for the guilt plea, the lawyer negotiated with the prosecutor so that the driver would receive a suspended sentence and no CVOR point penalty. Joanne’s company saved $800 in legal fees.
Jimmy owns a small fleet of transport trucks and faced two logbook infractions after one of his drivers was stopped on the road. He was unsure of the impact these tickets would have on his business, so he called DAS. We appointed a lawyer who negotiated with the prosecutor to withdraw the first and more serious offence. Jimmy was happy with the outcome, as his company did not lose any CVOR points. Without DAS, his company would have paid $1,000 in legal fees and a potential increase in their commercial auto insurance premiums.
Adrienne drives a large truck to make deliveries for her small furniture rental company. On one delivery, she received a ticket for displaying the incorrect permit on her vehicle. Adrienne was frustrated because the permit had been sent to her by the Ministry of Transportation. Unfamiliar with the rules and regulations surrounding permits, she called DAS. We sent a lawyer to meet with the prosecutor prior to the trial date, and the ticket was completely withdrawn on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to convict Adrienne’s business. By being a DAS policyholder, her company also saved over $1,000 in legal expenses.
Four charges reduced to two
Mike is the owner of a small transport fleet. One of his drivers received four tickets following a roadside inspection, causing Mike to worry about potential fines and CVOR point penalties. Mike called DAS and a lawyer was able to argue to have the two more serious offences withdrawn. His company saved over $1,000 in legal fees and possibly avoided an increase in his commercial auto insurance premiums.
A dispute with an unhappy customer
John is the owner of a small company that repairs and maintains small to mid-sized boats. Following a collision, an insurance company sent a boat into the shop for repairs. John’s team completed the work that the insurance company had authorized. When the owner of the boat came to pick it up, he was not satisfied with the work, and claimed that further work needed to be done. John contacted the insurance company who told him that they would not authorize any further repairs. When John told the owner of the boat that he could not complete any additional repairs, the owner became angry and refused to remove his boat from the shop. Forced to store it at his expense, John had to turn away paying customers who could have used the space being taken up by the angry customer’s boat. John was losing money and was unsure of his options. He called DAS and a claim was opened. DAS assigned a lawyer who sent a demand letter to the owner of the boat, indicating that the boat would be sold to recover losses if the client did not reclaim it. As a result of the lawyer’s letter and some negotiations, the boat was picked-up by the owner and John received $17,000 in outstanding storage fees. Without a DAS policy, John would have faced a legal bill of $15,000 to simply pursue his company’s legal rights.
Martin is the owner of a mid-sized downtown hotel. A group of small businesses chose to organize their quarterly conference in the establishment. During the course of the evening, most of the attendees ended up in the bar. The liquor inspector showed up and found the bar was over capacity. This was the third time that the hotel received a warning, jeopardizing the establishment's liquor licence. DAS provided their defence and the penalty was reduced to a $1,500 fine.
Robert, a property manager, had to hire emergency restoration services for one of the units in the building he manages. The unit owner, who was new to Canada, did not realize that it was his responsibility to pay for such repairs and he did not have the personal property insurance that could help cover the costs. Rather than incurring the cost of a small claims lawyer and putting the property manager in a position where he would have to pay a $2,500 deductible, our Claims Adjuster wrote a polite, but firm, demand letter to the debtor. As a result, the amount owed was recovered and the claim was closed without the need to resort to costly litigation.
Herman is the operator of a dry cleaning business. He specializes in formal wear, and is proud of always providing the best customer service and high quality laundering. One day, a customer brings in an expensive, but spoilt wedding dress the week before her wedding. The customer wants the dress to be cleaned in under 3 days, which is a short notice for Herman. Unfortunately, due to a manufacturing defect, the dress was returned to the customer in a damaged condition. Even though Herman’s dry cleaning service did not cause the damage, the customer alleges he is responsible for ruining the dress to the point that it could not be used.
The wedding dress had cost over $10,000, and the customer issued proceedings against Herman’s dry cleaning business for that amount. Unsure what to do, Herman turned to DAS for help. We assigned a lawyer to represent him, and the lawyer was able to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement where Herman was only required to pay $1,000 to the customer. Thanks to his Legal Expense Insurance policy, Herman saved over $3,000 in legal fees.