Month: August 2021

Long-Term Disability Lawsuit

Long-Term Disability Insurance Lawsuit

Long-Term Disability Lawsuit:

Expert insights from long-term disability lawyer Tim Louis.

Many of my long-term disability clients are under the mistaken belief that if they win at trial the judge will order the insurance company to pay my client one lump sum equivalent to the amount of each monthly payment multiplied by the number of months from the trial to the date of my client’s retirement. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If you win your long-term disability lawsuit the court will order your insurance company to begin paying you monthly. There will be no lump sum representing what is referred to as “future benefits”.

With the above in mind, I was quite interested in the Court of Appeal decision in a case approximately three years ago. The Plaintiff, Nadine Lydia Gascoigne, had successfully sued Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company for her long-term disability benefits. Her lawyer had asked the trial judge to aware a lump sum for Ms. Gascoigne’s future benefits. The trial judge refused to do so and instead ordered Desjardins to begin making monthly payments. Her lawyer appealed the trial judge’s decision not to award a lump sum for future benefits.

The BC Court of Appeal turned down Ms. Gascoigne’s appeal. Here are two paragraphs from the BC Court of Appeal Decision:

[29] In short, in my view, the trial judge correctly found he was bound by Warrington, as we are, to find that a non-contracting beneficiary of a group policy is entitled to enforce the payment of benefits, but not entitled to terminate the group policy or accept the insurer’s repudiation.

[30] The appellant did not advance any basis other than fundamental breach of the policy as a ground upon which she might be entitled to a lump sum award. It is not necessary, therefore, for us to determine whether such an award can be made for the breach of a disability insurance contract and breach of the duty of good faith. However, in this case, two obstacles stood in the way of such an award. First, the bad faith established was not found to be such as to preclude continuing performance of the parties’ contractual obligations, and second, the appellant’s own expert witness testified that she has “not yet reached the point of maximal medical improvement”. Some further interventions were contemplated, and she would suffer “some degree of vocational disability” for “an unknown period of time”. There was clearly a basis for the judge to say the evidence did not establish that the appellant would remain disabled from any occupation. He could properly regard that as a reason not to grant any relief other than the declaratory order made with respect to continuing benefits.

This means that the law remains as it always has been – if you successfully sue your long-term disability company, you will not be awarded a lump sum for future benefits, but rather begin receiving monthly payments.

Read more about the long-term disability lawsuit case here:

Gascoigne v. Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Co. (c.o.b. Desjardins Insurance), [2020] B.C.J. No. 1821, 2020 BCCA 316, British Columbia Court of Appeal, November 3, 2020, M.E. Saunders, P.M. Willcock and G.B. Butler JJ.A.

 

Personal Injury: Understanding Whiplash

Personal Injury - Whiplash

Personal Injury: Whiplash
Seek medical attention right away and contact an experienced personal injury lawyer, like Tim Louis,
who has the background, compassion, and skill to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

 

Personal Injuries: Understanding Whiplash

Whiplash is a relatively common personal injury caused by a sudden and forced rapid
back-and-forth motion of the head. Most people associate whiplash with a vehicle crash,
however, a personal injury like whiplash can also happen at any time, such as at the workplace, in sports, or from any type of fall or physical trauma. All forms of neck injuries can cause an intense flexing and extension of the neck — and usually involve the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons.

How Do You Know if You Have Whiplash?

Your doctor will conduct a physical exam, observing your range of motion, and may order an
X-ray, MRI, or CT scan if they suspect you have whiplash or any other injury that has caused
damage to your spinal cord or if you have any other broken bones. In many cases, the injury
occurs within structures too microscopic to be visible on these tests, resulting in relying on
symptoms to tell if a patient has whiplash.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Many people assume that one must be hit hard from the front or behind to experience whiplash,
but in reality, it only takes roughly 5-10 mph speeds to get a jolt hard enough to give you a
serious whiplash injury. Thankfully, whiplash is not life-threatening, but for some several
symptoms can appear days, months, or even years later — leading to a substantially lowered
quality of life for those who suffer from a severe form of whiplash. Common symptoms may
include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Headache
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Vision issues
  • Muscle spasms
  • Head and neck pain
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Tinnitus
  • Issues with concentration

If you have been involved in an accident, ensure that you seek medical attention right away.
Even if you do not experience any of the above symptoms, it can take 48 hours or longer for
whiplash symptoms to present themselves after an injury. In more severe and chronic cases of
“whiplash associated disorder” symptoms may include:

  • Depression
  • Frustration and anger
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Possible drudge dependency
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)
  • Insomnia

How Long Will Your Neck Hurt After An Accident?

Most people recover from whiplash within a couple of weeks up to a few months. However,
there is no specific timeline with regards to how long symptoms will last after a whiplash or any
other personal injury. Everyone is unique, and healing times can depend on the severity of the
injury, and whether scar tissue has formed — leading to other chronic issues such as disc
herniation and lifelong pain.

While some people may never experience symptoms after an injury, others may live with excruciating pain for weeks, months, or even years. Any severe neck injury requires ongoing medical attention and care, which can get expensive and should be taken into consideration related to your injury claim.

How is Whiplash Treated?

Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxers and or anti-inflammatories to manage pain and
inflammation. Ice is often recommended for the first 24 hours after injury, and later, applying
heat may help loosen up tightened muscles and knots. For more serious whiplash injuries,
physical therapy may be recommended to help regain strength and range of motion. Studies
have shown that stretching and rotating the neck muscles is a more effective form of therapy.
Medical professionals now recommend this form of controlled movement as opposed to
immobilizing the neck in a soft cervical collar, which was the recommended option in the past.

How Can Personal Injury Lawyer Tim Louis Help With Your Whiplash Personal Injury?

Patients with minor symptoms may find that whiplash pain goes away within days or weeks.
However, those with more severe symptoms may require medical attention and extensive
therapy for pain relief and recovery. If you or a loved one is suffering from whiplash, your injury
may be more serious than you expected. Seek medical attention right away and contact an
experienced personal injury lawyer, like Tim Louis, who has the background, compassion, and skill to help you
receive the compensation you deserve. Delaying your personal injury case may be detrimental
to your future.

Contact our team today by calling 604-732-7678 or email Tim Louis at timlouis@timlouislaw.com for a no-obligation, free consultation. We’re on your side.

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