Types of Spinal Cord Injuries in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Accidents are a common occurrence throughout the Greater Toronto area, including smaller communities like Milton.  So when a personal sustains a catastrophic spinal cord injury, people oftentimes rely on the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer team to ensure they are compensated fairly and reasonably.  In many cases involving spinal cord injuries, the physical damage that the victim sustains can vary considerably.  However, one thing is certain.  Their family could be financially devastated without the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are two types of spinal cord injuries that become the focal point of many personal injury claims and lawsuits – “complete” and “incomplete” spinal cord injuries.  It goes without saying that these types of injuries can have devastating, life-changing effects on the victim.  The emotional and financial impact that is attributed to these types of injuries can be overwhelming, not to mention how taxing the care and treatment of the injured individual can be.  Suffice it to say, adjusting to these circumstances could require extensive rehabilitation, ongoing medical care, and psychological counseling. Some people never get back on the feet again due to the intensity of the injuries that have rendered them confined to the wheelchair for life.

Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

You commonly see complete paraplegia or tetraplegia result in the most severe spinal cord injuries.  While some paraplegics are able to get around with assistive equipment, others require the support of a self-propelled wheelchair.  Complete paraplegia is characterized by the loss of function and sensation in the bladder, bowel, legs, and reproductive region while their arms and hands still function in normal fashion.

With tetraplegia, the individual loses arm and hand function as well as the other areas of the body mentioned in the prior paragraph.  In the more severe cases, the individual requires a ventilator so they can breathe.  Depending on what part of the body that was injured, they may have the ability to use their arms and hands.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

These are far more common than complete spinal cord injuries and there is usually some degree of movement and sensation below the injured area.  Once the initial shock to the spine has subsided, the extent of the injury can be determined.  However, it could take up to 2 months before this is possible.  Additionally, the individual may experience some feeling but little if any movement or some movement but little if any feeling.

The Need for a Personal Injury Lawyer

No matter whether it is a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury, the need for an experienced personal injury lawyer in Milton and their legal support staff cannot be overstated.  If you or a loved one has sustained such an injury, a spinal cord injury lawyer can help you and your loved one get fair and reasonable compensation and ensure that your rights are protected.

How has Attendant Care been affected by recent SABS Revisions?

Revisions to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule that went into effect on the 1st of June, 2016 will change the way in which auto insurance covers attendant care.  This benefit will be eliminated for accident victims if their injuries are not classified as being catastrophic.  For these individuals, the most significant change is financial as these were paid from a fund that was separated from those that covered medical expenses and rehabilitative care.

As of the date these revisions went into effect, they will all be paid from the same fund.  Currently, the maximum benefit amount stands at $36,000 in cases where an individual has sustained non-catastrophic injuries.  Once these revisions go into effect, the funding will be reduced.  Consequently, the attendant care benefit limit will be shared with the medical and rehabilitative care benefit limit.  Essentially, attendant care will now be in direct competition with other types of therapy.  Consequently, those individuals in these circumstances could benefit from retaining a personal injury lawyer team in Lindsay.

So what does this mean? Basically, this places an added burden on a case system where individuals who have sustained non-catastrophic injuries will run out of attendant coverage despite their injuries being serious enough to warrant surgery or other care.  For those injuries that are classified as catastrophic, those benefits along with the aforementioned ones will create considerable problems for individuals who have not sustained catastrophic injuries. This can be worrisome situation for many invalids.

The attendant care benefit is currently $1 million but as of June 1st, it will be sharing that benefit with medical and rehabilitative care.  Given the severity of catastrophic injuries, attendant care is going to take a back seat to surgical procedures and other therapies.  It goes without saying that $1 million will not cover attendant care for rest of your life if you have suffered catastrophic injuries and need ongoing medical attention.  So how can it possibly cover that ongoing medical and rehabilitative care as well?

Ironically at first glance, it appeared that the extension of time (from 2 years to 5) that was allowed for collecting attendant benefits was very positive in and of itself.  But the maximum limit amount did not increase in corresponding fashion.  Statistics already had shown how attendant care benefits were running out for patients who had sustained non-catastrophic injuries.  So the question that personal injury lawyer teams in Lindsay were asking was “how did increasing the time limit benefit these injury victims?”

The bottom line is that these SABS revisions are going to cause additional problems for injury victims who need these attendant care benefits.  Furthermore, doctors and other healthcare providers will be hard-pressed to provide higher-quality medical care when there aren’t enough funds to pay for it.

If you have been injured and require legal assistance, it helps to work with experienced lawyers that have handled similar cases before.

Do you need a Pedestrian Accident Injury Lawyer?

In January, 2016, the Provincial Government implemented the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act in an effort to reduce the total number of collisions that occurred along with those that resulted in injuries and fatalities.  Suffice it to say, thousands of pedestrians sustain serious injuries every year at the hands of impaired or negligent motorists.  The injuries that result from these types of accidents can range from broken bones and soft tissue damage to catastrophic spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.

Pedestrian accidents can occur just about anywhere including crosswalks, driveways, intersections, parking lots, and roadways.  When lighting conditions are poor or the weather turns nasty, the frequency with which pedestrian accidents occur increases significantly.  Needless to say, a significant number of these accidents result in very serious or catastrophic injuries, long-term or permanent disabilities, and fatalities.  When this happens, the families of the victims have a right to seek compensation by retaining a personal injury lawyer in Kitchener and their legal staff.

Common Injuries and Compensation for Them

When a pedestrian is struck by an impaired or negligent motorist, you typically see a variety of injuries including broken bones (fractures), concussions, head and neck trauma, internal bleeding, and more.  In these types of personal injury cases, the victim or their families may be entitled to compensation that pays for:

  • attendant care
  • emotional distress
  • hospital bills and medical expenses
  • loss of earning capacity
  • lost wages (past and future)
  • pain and suffering
  • physical therapy
  • prescription medications
  • rehabilitative therapy

While these types of injuries are oftentimes life-changing and leave the victim physically disabled, it can cause their families to be financially devastated as well.  Sometimes it’s a simple matter of drivers not seeing pedestrians while in other cases, they are driving in such a way that the pedestrian is subjected to considerable harm.

The Pursuit of Your Personal Injury Claim

If you were recently injured when crossing the street or when walking on any of the other venues mentioned in the second paragraph above, the general rule of thumb is that the person who hit you has to prove that they were not driving negligently.  However, if you are found at fault for your injuries, you are legally entitled to accident benefits that would pay for your loss of income, medical treatment, and rehabilitative therapy.  However, you may still need to retain a personal injury lawyer of Kitchener in order to be compensated for your injuries and ensure your rights are protected.

In cases involving pedestrian accidents, some personal injury lawyers offer FREE initial consultation and can usually determine whether or not you have a valid claim,  if they operate on a contingency basis as most of them do, you will only have to pay for their services if you win your case. However, there are petty expenses that are charged separately. You might want to discuss it with your lawyers when you hire them.

Top Ways Insurance Companies Downplay the Claim

All insurance companies try to low ball you to accept a lower amount as claim after an accident. Most of the companies try to minimize payments and look for loopholes to destroy your case. This is why it is important to look into the details and having a good personal injury lawyer to cover your interest.

  • Inconsistency reporting: All medical reports and examinations are cross-referred at the first session with the insurance company. Anything that is not mentioned in the report is not accepted by the insurance company and is considered suspicious. That is why it is important for the doctor to write down all the complaints and details.
  • Psychiatric History and Pre-Accident Medical: The insurance company lawyers look at your medical history much before the accident took place. The psychiatric and physical history is looked into. They check if there is any aspect that they can use to reduce the earning potential. This is usually a point of dispute as clients forget about health aspects in the past. They find key aspects that can pull down the claim amount. Past drug use, alcohol binging depression in teenage years is just a few of the things that can rehash your claim amount.
  • Income Reporting: Income discrepancies and inconsistencies are looked into by the insurance companies. Thus, ensure that the T4 is correct when you file for a claim. It is best to honest with the insurance company.
  • Discontinuing treatment: There are some people that forget to continue treatment including physiotherapy which can be used by the insurance company. That shows that you weren’t that injured and this in turn can affect the claim amount. Thus, if your doctor has prescribed it, you better stick with the treatment.

Importance of First Responder’s Report

When you are in an accident, you are not thinking about calling a lawyer or filing a claim, you just need to be treated for shock and anxiety apart from other physical injuries. However, any of the information put down by the ambulance or first responders is used in the claim. Thus, if you forget to mention some key aspects of the injuries and it has not been noted down in the report, the insurance company is going to play upon it to reduce your compensation amount. They are of the view that if you didn’t mention it at that time, it isn’t probably that bad. You cannot control what the first responders write but share as much as you can. Additionally, it is good to go to a doctor even if you don’t go to the hospital right after the accident. Make sure the doctor writes everything as your claim will require it.

  • Surveillance as a tool: If you say you cannot do it due to the pain, don’t do it. You don’t want to show up on the surveillance video doing the things you said were out of bounds due to the pain. You might be just trying to do it before retreating due to the pain, but if you are caught on video, the damage is forever.

Know What To Do After A Construction Site Accident

One of the most risky workplaces is a construction site. The danger of getting injured is high at multi-floor under constructed buildings as you might pass under it and get hit by a falling brick or cement bag. If you are somewhere up on the scaffolding, the chances of falling from a height is always there or you might just slip. Thus, if safety precautions are not adhered to, personal injuries abound. And that is when the personal injury lawyer needs to step in. However, if you do suffer with an injury, then calling on the assistance of a personal injury lawyer is a must. They will help you with filing the compensation claim with the Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB). To ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, there are some things that you need to do after the unfortunate accident has occurred.

Things to know about the construction site

  • Know about the owner of the construction site. To determine liability, the interaction between your employer and the construction site owner needs to be clarified.
  • Did the property owner interfere with the safety at the construction site or put limitations that compromised with the safety leading to injury.
  • Has negligence of your employer led the injuries?
  • Are there sub-contractors working from different companies at the site? Have they compromised with safety?

As most of the sub-contractors are brought in from different companies, not all of them have the same level of safety standards to adhere to. If they are one of the reasons of your injuries, they are partially liable for the personal injuries you sustained.

What to do when you are injured

  • The first thing that you need to do is seek medical care for the sustained injuries. Make sure that all injuries, treatment and medical costs are documented properly.
  • Notify your supervisor and report the accident. It is essential that you adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety guidelines as per your employer’s policies.
  • It is important to document the circumstances and location of the accident. This will include the condition of safety equipment, type of safety devices used, state of the site where construction is going on.
  • If safety equipment has manufacturing defects, the manufacturer is liable for part liability in the personal injury case.
  • Keep contact information of witnesses because when the case is filed and legal action is needed, witness testimony will play a part in defining liability.
  • Preserve any evidence of equipment failure if that was the reason of the accident

Additionally, it is important to file a claim as quickly as you can. Most of the claims are rejected because they were filed much after the accident and crucial evidence is lost. It is important to document your injuries, recovery and treatment apart from tracking the medical care and cost incurred. When you hire a personal injury attorney in Ontario, provide all of this information so they are able to work and draft a solid case.

Can Medical Malpractice Claims be Due to Misdiagnosis of Neck or Back Pain?

Most of the Canadians suffer with neck or back pain and that is why statistics show that over 70% of the adult population has experienced it and sought treatment for it. Usually the neck or back pain is self-limiting and no cause is found for the physical condition. It resolves on its own, over time. Many physicians prescribe pain medication for the aches and chronic medical conditions. Usually the pain subsides over time and the related health conditions improve.

However, the fact is ignoring the pain does not help as neck and back pain are one of the most common symptoms of chronic and serious health conditions. If the doctor fails to recognize the symptoms and assess the pain as a normal condition, it can lead to potentially serious complications. That is why it is important to consult a lawyer of a wrong diagnosis has been given and it has led to further complications.

Differential diagnosis

This is a procedure that is taught to doctors to be able to differentiate between diseases with similar symptoms, which may help them diagnose better. The purpose of this diagnostic method is that it helps to identify life threatening conditions. All symptoms and possibilities are eliminated to help reach a conclusion on the diagnosis.

Elimination procedure

It is by the process of elimination that the diagnosis is done. The doctor obtains a lot of information and creates a checklist of potential conditions and ailments. This will help them pinpoint the symptoms and signs of medical conditions that the patient suffers with.

A common ailment that is missed is Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES), a neurological condition which has a prominent symptom of back pain. It causes paralysis as the nerve cells get compressed. If diagnosed in time, surgery can help but if the doctor misses the symptoms, it can lead to debilitating disability and paralysis. This will then create a case for medical malpractice. Other aspects and diseases that doctors miss include renal ailments, fractured spine, variants of bone cancer and spinal cord infections. It is important for doctors to look for signs of infections like fever and increase in the white blood cells.

If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed about a disease by the doctor, that led to further complications, it is important to connect with a personal injury lawyer that deals with medical malpractice cases. It is important to file for a claim as quickly as possible after you realize the malpractice.

The experienced lawyer works on a contingency basis, but there will be additional expenses which you will have to pay for record gathering and medical opinions. This ranges from $5000 to about $15,000. Once the medical case enters the boundaries of the court, confidentiality and privacy of the medical records and details is off. It is public domain then on.  Thus, it is best to check out of the hospital or treatment facility before suing the doctors.

All You Need to Know About Long-Term Disability Claims

There are many instances when you are left injured and disabled, without employment after an accident. To help you through this difficult time, plenty of insurance companies offer benefits of long-term disability which are a part of the employment benefit package.To ensure that you need to fulfill the eligibility criteria of ‘total disability’ before you can be compensated for the claim. This means that you are unable to fulfill the regular duties and go to work because of the injuries and illness. However, it does not mean you are incapacitated completely but it signifies that you need to rest and recover to lead a better quality life. This includes any employment even something that you can do.

The insurance company will conduct a complete examination apart from looking at the previous medical documents and reports to ensure that you do meet the total disability criterion. If the examination indicates that you are disabled for years or months, you will qualify for long term disability claims. You need to know that this claim benefit is different WSIB insurance that covers injuries and accidents.The disability claim ensures that you get a part of the wages till you return to work. Disability insurance ensures that it covers all illness and injury that prevents you from working, irrespective of when the accident occurred. As employment insurance covers your expenses in the first 119 days and the long term disability takes on from the 120th day.

Additionally there are many people that get access to benefits of short-term disability to tide over the period before the long term benefits start.  This lasts till the individual is 65 years, but it is not necessary. Most of the recipients get evaluated every 2 years while the criterion of ‘total disability’ changes over the years.

Reasons to deny claim

There are number of reasons for a long term disability claim to be denied. These can lead to court cases and disputes. These are:

  • Lack of evidence of disability: This ensures that the insurance company was not able to measure and diagnose the level of disability. As pain is not objective but subjective, it becomes a ground for such disputes.
  • Lack of restrictive injury: This limits your ability to work and the insurance company assesses that your illness/disability does not have total disability. This can lead to error by the insurance company does not understand the nuances of your job.
  • If you are not disabled: If the insurance company does not consider your disability as total, your claim will be rejected. Surveillance by insurance company can be an important reason to prevent fraud. It is important that personal injury lawyer, is consulted before the appeal process begins.

Most claims come under the purview of Statute Of Limitations which is two years from the time of disability or accident that led to the current health conditions. It is better to hire the services of an experienced lawyer before you file the disability lawsuit.

Why Dog Bites Are Covered Under Canadian Tort Laws?

While dog bites may be somehow rare, they tend to happen a lot more than you think. However, it’s important to note that the legislation which governs these particular types of accidents is fit within the Dog Owners’ Liability Act. It governs the accidents over the province of Ontario and therefore in the city of Lindsay. This is an act which puts clear definition and limitations of the responsibility which is carried out by the owner of the dog in the event in which said dog does damage to another person and/or to another pet. The responsibility is incredibly broad and it is definitely a sign that the legislation takes the matters seriously enough.

It is notable that the liability of the owner is present even if he is not. This means that if you have left your dog unattended and at that period of time it attacks another person you are going to be held liable even though you weren’t physically there. The solution is incredibly fair because dog bites are grave and disturbing and they can cause a lot of pain. This means that the responsibility of the owners should be according to that. As per tort laws, the level of injuries covered under it govern the amount of compensation.

Govern duty of care

At the same time the law sets forth clear legislative rules which govern the duty of care which the owner is responsible for. He must take all necessary precautions in order to prevent any potential mishaps involving his dog. This means that he must do whatever he possibly can to prevent his dog from biting or attacking other people. In fact, the bite is not even a requirement for grounds for a legal case. The simple attack could cause enough emotional traumas to the victim and it could serve as merit for filing a compensatory claim against the owner.

However, it’s important to note that there is also a certain limitation on the liability of the owner. This is provided by the institute of so called contributory negligence. Even though the law assumes that the owner was negligent in the event of the attack, it is also possible that the attacked party has also contributed for the bite. If a person has aggravated the dog so much that it causes the attack and respectively the damages, his compensation is going to be reduced according to his share in the negligence. The judges have to determine this in every single case individually but it is a subject of proving and it could just as well serve as a defending tool for the dog owner. Nevertheless, it’s not easy proving that the other people have contributory negligence because it’s not as easy to classify a behavior as negligent, especially in the victim.

Injuries Related To Severity Of A Car Crash

The fact is that most people in Canada are killed by car crashed than by anything else. Recent statistics brought up by the Provincial Police of Ontario state that the majority of accidents tend to occur due to the fact that drivers have been distracted. The reasons for this can be numerous such as texting, talking or emailing someone on your handheld mobile devices – the smart phones. It’s also important to note that this causes more deaths than impaired driving, driving under the influence or even driving with a speed above the speed limit.

This is why the legislation is constantly moving in a direction which brings up the charges related with distracted driving. As of June, 2015, everyone who is pulled over for using a handheld device can be fined with as much as $1,000. Another thing that is enacted is the possibility for the driver to be deprived of 3 demerit points on his license which is also rather fair. The fact is that the legislation should be strict when it comes to driving accidents. The fact is that they kill more people than anything else and awareness should be promoted.

In fact, it should be promoted amongst the younger audience because younger and inexperienced drivers are much more likely to get distracted by their mobile devices. The usage of hands-free systems is heavily encouraged as it’s currently the only option to legally use your phone and talk on it while driving your car. Your other option under the current Canadian legislation is to pull over and have your conversation while the car isn’t running.

It’s also worth noting that the legislation is definitely getting stricter. However, other precautions should also be taken in order to make sure that the numbers of car accidents actually goes down because right now it’s just the opposite. Police patrols should be present on the roads with a lot of traffic in order to provide regulation. Most of all, people should start taking responsibility for their own actions. There are a lot of campaigns undertaken and initiated by the Department of Justice in order to show people how serious this actually is.

A car accident can literally lead to any kind of injury. This includes severe brain trauma and spinal cord injuries as well as other kinds of dangerous orthopedic injuries and even death. Serious car crashes often lead to permanent disabilities and terrible disfigurements which can make the rest of the life of the victim incredibly complicated and uncomfortable. The fact is that the cases involving car crashes are demanding and they require a great deal of expertise on behalf of the lawyer in order to get the most out of the compensation.

How Serious Are Slip and Fall Injuries?

Even though when most people hear about a slip & fall accident in the city of Kitchener they think of something harmless which is rather a joke, the situation can get very serious. While it’s true that most of the cases only end up with damages on the ego of the victim, there are some incredibly severe injuries which could be suffered in an accident of this particular type. The prime example involves blows to the head and the respective brain trauma. It is also worth noting that spinal cord injuries are also an ever present danger when it comes to slip & fall accidents.

About Occupiers’ Liability Act

The act that governs this particular type of accidents is called the Occupiers’ Liability Act. It was consolidated back in 1990 on the 31st of December and it hasn’t been amended ever since. This speaks to the stability and longevity of the act and the way that it serves the needs of the law. The act is obviously put together perfectly because the fact that it hasn’t been changed means that it serves the needs of the public. This is ultimately what’s most important in the legislation because every single law should be made out with the needs of society as its prime concern. On top of that the legislation should be versatile and flexible because the aforementioned needs change constantly. This means that the law should be able to meet the new demands of society or it would have to be changed. The fact that this particular Act hasn’t been changed for over 25 years clearly states that it is doing a great job adapting to the new trends and tendencies.

The law clearly defines who can be held liable in cases of this particular type – the occupier. The occupier is a term which could be interpreted as an owner or as a tenant, e.g. someone who has the legal responsibility to take care of the premise. A premise in the current act is considered any kind of construction which allows people to enter and stay on it. The accidents can occur while entering or while staying and for that matter even while leaving the premise.

The occupier owes the so called duty of care which requires him to do everything possible in order to provide reasonable safety for the people on his premises. The key term here is reasonable because it’s impossible to provide them with something beyond that. The act also recognizes that the liability can be limited if the person takes a willing risk even though he is well aware of the fact that it could lead to an accident. The solution is rather fair. However, after the accident, irrespective of whether you are the victim or on the other side, having a lawyer in your corner helps.