Questions & Answers on Personal Injury, Wills & Estates, Real Estate Law, Corporate Law, and Family Law

The law is very complicated. We must look at the individual facts of your case, along with the applicable Alberta law. You might need to have some questions answered before you even know if you have a case. We, at KBL Law, are here to provide you with answers.

We have provided you with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the most common legal concerns. These are not meant to replace sound legal advice. Get help with a legal problem by contacting KBL Law by phone at (780) 489-5003, or online.

Personal Injury

How can I win a personal injury case?

Your personal injury lawyer must prove that you were injured through the negligence of others. Personal injury help can include collecting evidence and representing you during a trial. If your MVA lawyer can prove that the other party was negligent and at fault for your injury, you may win your case.

Are court awards only for physical injuries?

No, you can also receive compensation for emotional pain and suffering, lost days from work and lifelong work income reduction, among other things.

How are damages calculated?

Damages are based on the severity of the injury, the amount of negligence of the guilty party, healthcare, recovery time and lifelong loss of earning capacity, and other factors.

If I am partially responsible, can I still win a lawsuit?

Yes, but you can only recover a portion of your claim.

How long do personal injury lawsuits take?

Every case is different.  A lawsuit might be resolved quickly or last for years depending on the case.

Do all personal injury cases go to trial?

Very few personal injury civil cases go to trial; most are resolved by settlement or agreement.

The insurance company told me that I must sign an agreement. Should I?

No. You should talk to a lawyer first. Some insurance companies even offer you a settlement for much less than you would win in a courtroom. A KBL Law personal injury attorney can assess the merits of your case and advise the best path forward.

Don’t sign anything without consulting your lawyer.

Can personal injury lawyers negotiate settlements?

Most insurance companies engage in risk management assessments. They calculate the chances of their winning a case. If you have a personal injury lawyer, then you may force the insurance company to settle out of court. Your personal injury lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.

The other party doesn’t have any insurance, can I still be paid?

The Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Fund may pay for those who do not have car insurance.  There may also be other sources of recovery including your own insurance.  Speak with a personal injury lawyer before settling.

Are there Statutes of Limitations for filing claims?

Yes, there are time limits that govern when you must file a claim. Consult with a personal injury lawyer at KBL Law to discuss the time limits for filing a claim as soon as possible.

Wills & Estates

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document, identifying how your assets will be distributed amongst your beneficiaries, as well as naming an Executor of said will and Guardians of your children.

What is a Codicil?

A Codicil is a legal document changing part of the will.

What is an Estate?

An Estate is the accumulation of all the belongings, assets and property of an individual.

What is a Personal Directive?

A Personal Directive states your wishes concerning health and personal care.

What is Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney gives you legal right to make financial decisions for someone who gives you the ability to do so on their behalf.

What is Intestate?

If you die without a will, you are declared to be intestate.  Your estate will then be divided among your beneficiaries as chosen by the Wills and Succession Act, without your input.

What is Probate Court?

Probate Court deals with estate matters.  In the Province of Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench handles probate.

Who is a Dependent Adult?

The Adult Guardianship & Trustee Act (AGTA) governs Trusteeship and Guardianship for someone over the age of 18 who is unable to make personal or financial life decisions by himself.

Real Estate

What is a Mortgage?

A Mortgage is a loan which uses your house as security. The bank places a lien on the property in exchange for providing you with the money to buy a new home, renovate your existing one and much more.

What is a Builder’s Lien?

A Builder’s Lien may be placed on a property after work is done, or material is supplied if the provider is unpaid.

What is a Title Search?

The Alberta Land Titles Office confirms the ownership and status of the land through a title search.  Legal documents are collected by the Alberta Land Titles Office to confirm ownership, restrictions upon real property, transfers, security for loans and so much more, which appear on a title search.

What is a Real Property Report?

According to the Alberta Land Surveyor’s Association, a “Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries.”  It is a survey or map of the subject property.

Can I have the property inspected?

Yes. Your KBL Law real estate lawyer might suggest that home inspections are prudent. There could be some structural deficiencies that are identified by a qualified property inspector. You are investing a lot of money into the property, it is important to consider an inspection.

What is an Easement?

An Easement is a right for another to use a portion of a property, allowing someone to perform a necessary task such as place and mark services or pipelines, among other things.

What happens if I miss one mortgage payment?

When you sign your mortgage, you must make mortgage payments, on time. If you are one day late, you are technically in default. While most banks do not allow foreclosure immediately, they do have the right to commence a claim against you.

What is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the legal process where the bank asserts its legal right to possess your property because you failed to satisfy your end of the bargain. You failed to pay your mortgage on time, so you are in default. You could lose your home, and the bank can apply to the court to sell the property.

When should a seller meet with their lawyer?

The earlier the better after you have sold your property, but you should meet with your Edmonton law firm at least 10 days before the completion date.

What is a Restrictive Covenant?

The land developer can restrict how a property is used, the size of the house and how it looks, the colour of your siding or your front door, the type of fence you can build and so forth.  Experienced real estate lawyers provide help with real estate transactions, so you are aware of restrictive covenants.

Can I put conditions on home purchase offer?

Yes, you can place any sensible conditions on a home sale. The most common conditions will include inspections, repairs, selling their current home, financing and legal approval.

What should I include in a home purchase offer?

The Province of Alberta requires you to include the following in your purchase offer: seller name, buyer name, price, legal property name, additional fixtures included in the purchase, warranties, time requirements, insurance, GST, signatures, dates and provisions for a default.

A standard form contract is often used for residential real estate.

What are Common Real Estate Fees?

Common Real Estate Fees can include legal advice, documentation preparation, appraisal, inspection, closing costs, title insurance, registration, adjustments and GST.

Who pays the Real Estate Agent’s Commission?

The seller usually pays the Real Estate Agent.  Often a buyer will also sign an agreement to pay a portion of commissions, if not paid by a seller.

Business

What is Incorporation?

Incorporation is the act of creating a new company with all of the rights and obligations relating to it.

What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

The Non-Disclosure Agreement prevents former employees from revealing corporate secrets to their new employer.

Family Law

How long does it take to divorce?

It all depends on circumstances, the number of children involved, property and debts.  When couples separate, except in certain circumstances, typically the minimum separation period is 12 months before the Court will grant a divorce.  We can work with you during that time in hopes of resolving any issues, so you can be divorced quickly.  Unfortunately, if parties don’t cooperate, sometimes it can take more than a year to finalize a divorce.

Meet Our Legal Team

C. Kenneth W. Kolthammer
Lawyer
Ken Kolthammer has been practicing law for over 45 years and has extensive experience in motor vehicle personal injury and litigation.
Brian J. Laidlaw
Lawyer
Brian Laidlaw has been practicing law in Edmonton since 1996. Brian is extensively involved in the tainted blood class action litigation against the Federal Government, and lead negotiator for the Plaintiffs’ Group in the tainted blood settlement with the Provincial Government for Hepatitis C victims.
Andrew F. Cao
Lawyer
Andrew Cao joined the firm in October 2012 as an associate and was admitted as a Partner of KBL Law LLP in January 2020. Andrew has extensive experience in real estate transactions and wills & estates.
Twitter for Andrew Cao, @ThatLawyerGuyFacebook page for Andrew Cao, @ThatLawyerGuy
Reshma Bhambhani
Lawyer
Reshma Bhambhani attended law school at the University of Ottawa and completed her articles in Edmonton. Reshma was called to the bar in June 2014 and joined the firm as an associate in June 2015. Reshma was admitted as a Partner of KBL Law LLP in January 2020.
James Arendt
Lawyer
James attended law school at the University of Newcastle in Australia and was admitted as a solicitor in the state of New South Wales in 2017. James was called to the Alberta Bar in 2019 after completing his articles in Edmonton.