Injury Claims

Chronic Pain & Long-Term Disability Claims

Chronic Pain and Long-Term Disability Claims

Chronic Pain & Long-Term Disability Claims – Contact Tim Louis

Suffering injuries from an accident or mishap can be a frustrating experience. Ongoing chronic
pain some individuals experience is a general term but is a reality that numerous accident
victims have to learn to cope with even after fulfilling their medical treatments.

If you find it challenging to get through the workday and cannot fulfill your daily work-related
duties or function day-to-day, you are not alone. According to the Canadian Pain Task Force
Report (Sept 2020), an estimated 7.63 million, or 1 in 4 Canadians aged 15 or older, live with
chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is the result of changes within the nervous system. The nerves continue to fire and signal, leading to pain that remains long after an injury has healed. It may take weeks, months,or even years to completely heal. Lingering chronic pain can take control of your life and causefurther damage, especially to your mental state. Chronic pain can result from a musculoskeletal
injury, nervous system dysfunction, chronic diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

In 2019 chronic pain was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a disease inits own right for the first time, resulting in updates to the latest (11th) version of the InternationalClassification of Diseases (ICD-11). This distinction is significant as it validates the struggle forthe millions of people around the world who are living with chronic pain.

Chronic pain is classified as chronic primary pain or chronic secondary pain. Acute pain is short-lived and typically lasts no more than 30-60 days, whereas chronic secondary pain can range in intensity and lasts from 6 months or longer.

Chronic Pain Education & Support

For more information, we highly suggest visiting Pain BC, a non-profit, helpful organization that
works to reduce the burden of chronic pain for individuals in BC. They empower people who live
with pain; providing them with a wide variety of helpful, informative resources and the support
required to enhance their well being: https://www.painbc.ca

The Most Common Claims Associated with Chronic Pain

Several injuries are commonly associated with long-term disability claims:

  • Neck pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain stemming from Fibromyalgia
  • Recurring headaches and migraines
  • Cancer pain
  • Arthritic pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Chronic migraines and headaches
  • Pain associated with Lupus
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms of chronic pain include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Sensitivity to touch, cold, heat, and more
  • Flare-ups
  • Dull Ache
  • Throbbing
  • Soreness
  • Stiffness

What Causes Chronic Pain?

  • Repetitive stress injury, including carpal or cubital tunnel problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and fibromyalgia
  • Neurological problems
  • Loss of hearing and vision
  • Chronic pain after a motor vehicle accident

Filing a Long Term Disability Claim for Chronic Pain

If chronic pain has affected your ability to continue working, you may have the option of
receiving long-term disability benefits if you are covered under such a policy through your
employer. You must however present verification that chronic pain has resulted in the inability to
continue working. The evidence required depends on the nature of your condition and any other
associated ailments.

What You Need to Provide for Filing a Long-Term Disability Claim

To file a disability claim for chronic pain, you must document your symptoms and experiences
and discuss them with a medical professional. Your doctor will assess your medical history and
order x rays, tests, and/or scans to determine if there is joint or tissue damage that may explain
your pain.

Examples of documentation that may be required:

  • Any physician statements and an official diagnosis
  • A journal documenting your pain over time
  • Test results
  • Information about your history of treatment
  • Witness statements from family, friends, and or co-workers who can attest to your
    condition affecting your ability to work and function day-to-day.
  • Any accidental reports

Our Law Firm Provides Results-Oriented Representation for Even the Most Complex Cases.

Do not give up hope if your long-term disability benefits have been denied. If you have been
experiencing chronic pain that has affected your ability to function personally or professionally
and would like to discuss legal options, the compassionate team at Tim Louis Law & Company
will provide you with a free, no-obligation evaluation. We represent clients in a broad range of
injury claims and will take all necessary steps to obtain fair and full compensation for injuries.

Contact us today by calling 604-732-7678 or email us at timlouis@timlouislaw.com

Sources:


https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/about-health-canada/public-engagement/ext
ernal-advisory-bodies/canadian-pain-task-force/report-2020.html

https://www.iasp-pain.org/PublicationsNews/NewsDetail.aspx?ItemNumber=8340

Undercompensation of Mental Distress Damages in Disability Insurance

disability insurance - mental distress undercompensation

Disability Insurance: Undercompensation of Mental Distress Damages

Insights into Disability Insurance undercompensation by Long-Term Disability Lawyer Tim Louis

Introduction

Disability insurance is contractual in nature. When a disability insurer denies benefits to a disabled claimant, the claimant may sue for breach of contract to recover the benefits. Additionally, the claimant may seek mental distress damages, punitive damages, and special costs. Mental distress damages are intended as compensation for the claimant’s psychological injury; punitive damages are intended to punish the insurer’s misconduct; and special costs are awarded only in unique circumstances.

This article focuses on mental distress damages. As these damages are compensatory, they are comparable in nature to damages for psychological injuries in tort; yet, mental injuries have given rise to substantially higher quantum awards in tort claims than in disability insurance cases. This disparity is only partially explained by disability insurance claimants’ pre-existing conditions. In this article, we examine this disparity and the case law through which it has arisen, and propose that this disparity has no principled basis.

Contract and Tort Law: Similar Compensatory Principles

Hadley v. Baxendale (1854), 9 Ex. 341 [Hadley], a decision of the Court of Exchequer Chamber, provided that where one party had breached a contract, the other party could claim compensatory damages arising “from such breach of contract itself, or such as may reasonably be supposed to have been in the contemplation of both parties, at the time they made the contract, as the probable result of the breach of it.”

In Fidler v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, 2006 SCC 30 [Fidler], the court applied the principles of Hadley to a disability insurance contract. The court reasoned that disability insurance contracts are “peace of mind” contracts: the insured party has entered the contract for the tangible benefit of financial payments if disabled, but also for the intangible psychological benefit of having a reasonable expectation of income security. Both parties would have reasonably contemplated these benefits at the time they made the contract. As such, if an insurer wrongfully withheld disability benefit payments, the insured’s mental distress arising from their loss of income security would be compensable, following the principle set out in Hadley.

Psychological injuries are compensable in tort claims through non-pecuniary damages. The courts have implied that the mental distress damages arising from breach of contract should be the same as those arising through a tort claim. In Mustapha v. Culligan of Canada Ltd., 2008 SCC 27 [Mustapha], the court stated with respect to damages that “[w]ith regards to Mr. Mustapha’s psychiatric injury, there is no inconsistency in principle or in outcome between negligence law and contract law.” This was followed in Lau v. Royal Bank of Canada, 2017 BCCA 253 [Lau], with the court stating “[t]he test for mental distress damages is, in principle, the same in contract and in tort.”

In Saadati v. Moorhead, 2017 SCC 28 [Saadati], the court determined that a psychiatric diagnosis was not a prerequisite for compensation for psychological injuries in tort law. The court reasoned that the damages awarded for mental injury are not based on the injured party’s diagnosis, but rather on that party’s symptoms and their effects (para 31). While Saadati was based on a tort claim, its reasoning was adopted and applied in Lau for mental distress arising from a breach of contract.

Contract and Tort Law: Similar Tests for Psychological Damages

Where an insurer has wrongfully denied disability benefits, the test for whether to award mental distress damages is provided in Fidler at paragraph 47:

The court must be satisfied: (1) that an object of the contract was to secure a psychological benefit that brings mental distress upon breach within the reasonable contemplation of the parties; and (2) that the degree of mental suffering caused by the breach was of a degree sufficient to warrant compensation

The test for whether to award damages in negligence is set out in Mustapha at paragraph 3:

A successful action in negligence requires that the plaintiff demonstrate (1) that the defendant owed him a duty of care; (2) that the defendant’s behaviour breached the standard of care; (3) that the plaintiff sustained damage; and (4) that the damage was caused, in fact and in law, by the defendant’s breach.

These are very similar tests. Firstly, there must be a breach, whether of a contractual duty to pay disability benefits, or of a common law duty.

Secondly, there must be sufficient damage sustained to warrant compensation. In the tort claim in Mustapha, the court set stated that for psychological injury to be compensable, it must be “serious and prolonged and rise above the ordinary annoyances, anxieties and fears that people living in society routinely, if sometimes reluctantly, accept” (para 9). Similarly, the court in Fidler stated it must be “of a degree sufficient to warrant compensation” (para 47). As noted in Saadati and Lau, this will not necessarily require expert medical evidence.

Finally, the damages must be caused in fact and in law by the breach. In Mustapha, the court found that the plaintiff’s psychological injuries must be a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s breach of its duty of care in order to meet the test for legal causation. The court in Fidler, applying the principles of Hadley, applied a test of whether damages arising would have been in the reasonable contemplation of the parties; this is quite similar to the reasonable foreseeability test in Mustapha.

Contract and Tort Law: Different Quantum Ranges

In Asselstine v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Co., 2005 BCCA 292 [Asselstine], the court reviewed previous awards for mental distress damages in disability insurance, and found they typically ranged between $10,000 – $20,000. The court upheld the trial judge’s award of $35,000, finding this amount to be at the upper end of the range for mental distress damages.

In contrast to Asselstine, tort cases in BC have provided a significantly wider range of damages for psychological injuries. In Hans v. Volvo Trucks North America Inc., 2016 BCSC 1155, the plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident claim suffered debilitating and long-lasting PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder, though he did not sustain any physical injuries. He was awarded $265,000 in his tort claim. In Saadati, the plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident was awarded $100,000 in non-pecuniary damages for his tort claim for psychological injuries alone, despite having significant pre-existing chronic pain and minimal pre-accident income.

In claims for mental distress damages in disability insurance cases, there is the obvious hurdle that the plaintiff will have significant pre-existing conditions – enough to be disabled from working. However, even accounting for this, the courts in BC have awarded quite conservative damages.

In Gascoigne v Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company (Desjardins Insurance), 2019 BCSC 1241, aff’d on other grounds 2020 BCCA 316, the plaintiff initially developed a physical disability. The insurer denied her disability benefit payments. The plaintiff eventually developed depression and anxiety, largely “related to the financial pressures she and her family felt when the plaintiff stopped bringing home an income” (para 36). As a result of the denial of disability benefits, the plaintiff went from being happy and optimistic to withdrawn and distressed about finances. She became less able to cope with the demands of daily life. She separated from her husband and was expecting to divorce. Despite these significant impacts on her life, largely brought about by the insurer’s breach of contract, she was awarded only $30,000 for mental distress.

In Tanious v. The Empire Life Insurance Company, 2016 BCSC 110, aff’d on other grounds 2019 BCCA 329, leave to appeal to SCC refused, the plaintiff was denied disability benefit payments. She had significant disabling conditions, including multiple sclerosis, depression, and anxiety, and she had used illicit methamphetamines to try to cope with her disabling conditions. The insurer’s denial of her disability benefits made her living situation substantially worse. She could not afford good housing or food, and at times could not even have her soiled clothes washed. She had worked hard and paid for her insurance, and she felt she was being looked upon as a liar and a criminal when the insurer rejected her claim. She was awarded a mere $15,000 in mental distress damages.

There may be room to expand the range of mental distress damages in disability insurance claims. The court in Godwin v Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc., 2018 BCSC 99 stated at paragraph 169:

Had the defendant been responsible for the entirety of the plaintiff’s psychiatric symptoms, an appropriate award may have been in an amount somewhat higher than the $70,000 to $80,000 contended for by the plaintiff. In the present case, the award must reflect the fact that Desjardins’ conduct only marginally aggravated Ms. Godwin’s illness. I award damages for mental distress in the amount of $30,000.

This judgment reflects that future awards for mental distress in disability insurance may come closer to those in personal injury torts. Additionally, in Greig v Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company, 2019 BCSC 1758 the court awarded $50,000 in mental distress damages, though the case is currently under appeal. The majority of cases, however, continue to assess damages within the range set out in Asselstine, despite acknowledging that this range is “modest” (C.P. v. RBC Life Insurance Company, 2015 BCCA 30 at para 65).

Conclusion

The gap in psychological damage awards between disability insurance claims and tort claims is worthy of further examination in the courts. Both areas of law aim to provide compensation for the same types of injury, and the courts have recognized that damages in contract and tort should be similar. To prevent arbitrary distinctions, previous case law setting out a “modest” range of damages in disability insurance cases should not be given undue weight. Instead, case law on psychological damages in both disability insurance and in tort should be considered of equal precedential value with respect to future awards of damages for mental distress.

Why You Should Hire a Long-Term Disability Lawyer

Long-Term Disability Lawyer

Why You Should Hire a Long-Term Disability Lawyer

Disability insurance is an affordable option to protect you financially if you have an accident at work and become injured or ill. If you cannot perform your job due to injury, you should receive a monthly benefit resulting from a psychological or disabling physical condition. Sadly, employees are often denied or cut off from receiving benefits before they are able to continue employment. Every insurance policy is unique and outlines conditions that must be met. Although these conditions are outlined, sometimes satisfying these conditions can be challenging.

 

An experienced Long-Term Disability lawyer can help.

If you have applied for long-term disability benefits and your claim has been wrongfully denied, we strongly advise that you hire an experienced Long-term disability lawyer.

 

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer for Long-Term Disability Benefits

  • Communicating with insurance companies can be challenging and stressful. Your lawyer will reduce your stress by handling all the details; so you can focus on your health and well-being.
  • Insurance companies commonly use wording in their policies that can be confusing and may lead to the possibility of damaging your case. A long-term disability lawyer will take charge and will ensure you avoid any pitfalls.
  • Some insurance companies hire Private Investigators to build a case against you by conducting surveillance; documenting your activities and capabilities. They may also edit this footage to discredit you. These are all ways insurance companies can prove to a judge that you are capable of more significant activities than your claim indicates. Your long-term disability lawyer has seen it all before and will guide you through the process and gather evidence to support your claim accurately.
  • Your lawyer will know the information required and the specific questions that need to be asked of your doctor — ensuring that all possible evidence is presented to support your appeal.
    •  

      When You Should File a Claim

      There are statutes of limitations in British Columbia, meaning that there are strict deadlines you must adhere to when you file a disability claim. An experienced lawyer in this area of expertise will ensure that your doctor(s) have provided an adequate amount of information or anything else required to support your appeal. You will want to contact your lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss any crucial deadlines during the process.

       

      What You Should Do If Your Claim Has Been Denied

      There are several reasons why an insurance company would deny disability benefits:

      • The medical condition does not fall under the definition of ‘disability.’
      • An inadequate amount of evidence to support the injury.
      • The claim was not filed on time.

       

      We highly suggest that you contact your disability lawyer as soon as you find out that your claim has been denied. Even though your claim was denied, this does not necessarily mean your case is closed. A trusted disability lawyer will review your policy and ensure that all information required is submitted to help prove that your condition meets the definition of ‘disability’ according to your insurance policy.

       

      Talk to a Long-Term Disability Lawyer for a No-Obligation, Free Consultation

      You do not have to handle this alone. If your long-term disability claim has been denied, speak with Tim Louis & his compassionate, trusted team of experts by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com for a free consultation, and we will provide you with the best possible options.

       

Disability Claims for Self-Employed Professionals

Disability Claims for Self-Employed Professionals

disability claim for self-employed
If you are self-employed and have purchased a disability insurance policy, you have assumed that this policy serves as income replacement if you are unable to run your business for a period of time due to injury or illness.

Private disability insurance is commonly more expensive than group insurance, and generally, the type of coverage it provides is usually more valuable as it often provides benefits in the event you are unable to work in your regular occupation. Unfortunately, just because you have purchased an insurance policy, this does not necessarily mean that the insurer will not make it challenging for you to receive benefits after you have submitted a claim. Insurers often heavily scrutinize claims submitted by independent, self-employed individuals – this is because of the sometimes-large benefit amounts provided by some of these policies.

Know the Terms & Conditions of Your Insurance Policy

To protect your rights, it is integral that you understand the limitations and restrictions outlined in your disability insurance policy. The definitions of certain disabilities can change over time, so it is important to keep up to date and understand these changes that may apply to you.

Know Your Rights about Disability Claims

Once you have purchased your insurance policy, be sure you are aware that although you have coverage, this does not mean you should “rest easy.” In reality, what you are really buying are rights that you can enforce against your insurer if they fail to provide the protection that was sold to you.

Know the Strict Time Limitations

 Many people do not realize that there are strict limitations with regards to filing a lawsuit against insurers, and oftentimes they are missed. If you do miss a limitation period, the insurance company is not required to pay your claim, and therefore your right to sue them is null in void.

Here some common red flags you should be aware of:

  • The claim is taking an unusually long time to resolve
  • Irrelevant information is asked of you
  • A claim has been denied

Hire An Experienced Disability Lawyer

In many cases, filing a lawsuit is not necessary. The first step involves a demand letter, outlining any discrepancies, pointing out the facts, and the law – with the demand that an insurer complies with the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. Insurance companies are often fully aware when they are not in full compliance, and take advantage of policyholders because most people do not know the law in-depth, and are privy to any red flags before signing off on their policy.

Contact Tim Louis & Company

Insurance companies may deny legitimate disability claims, as the majority of individuals will give up instead of fighting for the monetary compensation they deserve. If you are self-employed and an insurance company has denied your long-term disability claim, the team at Tim Louis and Company is on your side and will fight in your corner.

For a free, no-obligation appointment, contact us today by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com

Surveillance: How You Can Lose Your Long Term Disability Compensation

long term disability surveillanceHow You Can Lose Your Long Term Disability Compensation

Have you applied for Long Term Disability coverage and have the feeling you are being followed while out in public?

If you have submitted an application for disability or are collecting disability compensation, your intuition may be accurate, as there is a good chance an insurer has hired a professional private investigator to conduct surveillance on you, seeking an excuse to save money and attempt to deny your claim.

Insurance companies, like all businesses, are profit-based and lose money if they approve too many claims — so it is in their best interest to prove that you can work without the need to receive compensation for your reported medical condition.

Disability claims are on the rise, and surveillance is an efficient way for insurance companies to gather evidence against you – intending to prove that you are fully capable of fulfilling your job duties and do not require financial support.

Surveillance May Work Against You

Insurance companies may hire a private Investigator, follow you, or set up surveillance in front of your home to observe your daily activities.

Suppose you applied for Long Term Disability due to back pain and then observed via surveillance moving or twisting your body in a way that contradicts what you detailed in your claim. In that case, your credibility may be diminished and lead to a denial of your Long Term Disability insurance benefits claim.

Be Specific On Your Application for Long Term Disability Compensation

Detailing your injuries and being specific about your abilities on your Long Term Disability application is essential. Provide context and be mindful about anything observed via surveillance that may be used against you.

Such that if you are observed merely walking down the street for a more extended period than you mentioned you were able to in your claim, you could be at risk of losing your Long Term Disability insurance coverage.

The same goes for mental health disability claims. For instance, if you claim that you are chronically depressed and unable to leave your home and then observed via surveillance leaving your home on a daily basis, you may be questioned and risk losing your coverage.

Why Surveillance is Not Reliable

Context is everything when it comes to surveillance with regards to Long Term Disability insurance claims. As mentioned in the example above, surveillance is not a reliable measure to understand one’s abilities.

Video evidence does not present the aftermath of the activity, such as the stiffness and pain you may experience immediately after or the next day resulting from specific activities such as reaching, carrying grocery bags, or shovelling snow.

Fighting Against Surveillance Evidence

  • Ensure that you are truthful regarding your disabilities and injuries from the start. Do not stretch the truth because you think it will be more believable.
  • Take extreme caution when posting on any social media channels. Any comments, videos, or images involving events, activities, sports, or vacations, can be used as evidence to affect your disability claim. Be mindful before you post.

Denied Long Term Disability Coverage? Hire an Experienced Lawyer

If you have Long Term Disability coverage, and if you’re suffering from a debilitating illness or injury, then you deserve compensation, and that’s where Tim Louis and Company can help.

When dealing with a Long Term Disability claim, it is essential that you have an experienced, reputable lawyer on your side that specializes in Long Term Disability cases.

Long Term Disability Lawyer Tim Louis has been representing those who suffer from LTD for over 25 years and has successfully sued some of the world’s largest insurance companies on behalf of deserving clients.

Contact Tim Louis and His Team Today

You owe it to yourself to explore your options. Contact Tim Louis and his compassionate and experienced legal team today by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com for a no-obligation consultation. We will make sure to evaluate your situation and advise the best possible options for your unique situation.

Anxiety and Long Term Disability Claims

Anxiety and Long Term Disability Claims

Anxiety has become a far more common challenge for many in recent years. While the severity of symptoms may vary, many of us have experienced a certain level of anxiety at some point in our lives. For some people, anxiety and panic levels can interfere with daily activities — requiring professional help to cope and help manage the symptoms.

anxiety 1156279 640

Below are the 5 most common types of anxiety disorders:

Panic Disorder

People who suffer from panic disorder experience sudden and ongoing intense feelings of terror and emotional control loss. Many symptoms are unique to each individual and can include a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, and numbness, to name a few. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are twice as likely to suffer from the condition.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A mental health disorder that affects individuals of all ages, OCD occurs when a person gets caught up in a pattern of sudden compulsions and obsessions. These obsessions (thoughts/images/behaviours are not welcomed by the person and can severely disrupt important daily activities.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD can be characterized by persistent, uncontrollable, ongoing worry about a wide variety of things and events. People who suffer from this disorder excessively worry and anticipate disaster — even if there is no reason to warrant this type of worry. Symptoms can include irritability, having a constant sense of danger, difficulty concentrating, disrupted sleep, fatigue, and increased rapid heartbeat, to name a few.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can develop after being exposed to a traumatic event such as a motor vehicle accident, natural disaster, war, assault, a threat with death, or witnesses who have experienced these traumatic events. People with PTSD feel a heightened sense of danger, causing them to feel fearful even when, in reality, they are safe. This is due to the natural fight-or-flight response, which is altered with those who suffer from the disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety disorder that causes extreme distress in social settings. Social anxiety is different from shyness, as it is more extreme, persistent, and debilitating. Symptoms can include nausea, rapid heartbeat, trembling, excessive sweating, worrying for days before a social event, excessive worry about embarrassment, missing school, or work because of anxiety. These are just a few symptoms that can take over someone’s life in a negative way.

Why Long-Term Disability Claims are Denied

Long-term disability claims may be denied because of the lack of regular medical care or treatment. Ensuring that you attend all medical appointments and any necessary prescribed medication from a professional specializing in mental health is essential if you want to reduce your chances of having a long-term disability claim denied.

Documentation is Important

Having all of the correct documentation in order and submitted on time is a must for any long-term disability claim submission. Hiring an experienced lawyer specializing in long-term disability claims can ensure that you have all of the correct documents submitted within the specified time frame and any other necessary details that must be sent with your long-term disability application.

Contact Tim Louis & Company Today

An anxiety disorder can have a lasting impact on one’s quality of life. If you or a loved one is experiencing anxiety and has been unable to work because of the condition, contact Tim Louis and his compassionate and experienced legal team today by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com. We will make sure to evaluate your situation and advise the best options.

Long-Term Disability Lawsuits: Know the Steps

Long-Term Disability Lawsuits: Know the Steps

Long-Term Disability Lawsuits: Know the Steps

A long-term disability lawsuit can be an intensive, lengthy process. The time it takes depends on the type of disability plan and can be a complex undertaking. The best option is to contact an experienced and knowledgeable long-term disability personal injury lawyer for trusted advice.

Which Disability Plan Do You Qualify For?

First, your lawyer must determine which disability plan you qualify for:

  • Short-term disability
  • Employer sick pay
  • Employer insurance sickness benefits
  • Canadian pension plan (CPP)
  • Long-term disability
  • Canadian pension plan

Professional Medical Support

Secondly, in order to begin the process, you must have medical evidence supporting your disability claim. Without support from a medical professional, a long-term disability lawsuit claim cannot move forward.

When You Apply for Disability

Ensure that you collect and accurately fill out all related paperwork and/or applications for disability coverage and submit them. If you have any questions, contact your trusted lawyer for clarification – it’s essential that applications for disability are filled out completely before submission, and of course, turned in by the deadline.

Right After You Apply for Disability

Once you have submitted your application for disability, it’s important to know that you may harm your benefits during the transmission period from an employee, to someone on sick leave. For instance, if your employer requests that you accept a severance package, or encourages you to resign from the company, do not agree under any circumstances. If you agree with any of the aforementioned, ruining your chances of receiving disability will be likely (resigning from the company revokes your ability to receive disability benefits).

Waiting for a Decision

In some cases, you may have to be patient when it comes to waiting for a decision to be made on your disability lawsuit. However, generally, it takes roughly 30 days after you have submitted your application. If you have waited longer than 30 days, ensure that you follow up with your lawyer.

When Do I File a Long-Term Lawsuit?

If your disability claim is denied or the amount you sued for is less than you require, your lawyer will assist and collect all of the required documentation to present as evidence for your long-term disability lawsuit. Additional medical examinations may be required to show that you have a disability and are unable to commence work – this filing is called a Statement of Claim.

The Discovery Process

During the discovery process, both parties meet and are interviewed under oath. Your lawyer will spend the time required to prepare you for the questions and explain the entire procedure. Your lawyer will also request all applicable documentation and a detailed explanation as to why their decision was met. Once all information has been reviewed, your lawyer will discuss your options as to whether negotiating a settlement is recommended or whether proceeding to trial is a risk worth pursuing.

Negotiation VS. Trial

Negotiation:

Usually negotiating a fair settlement is a logical alternative than moving forward to trial. If both parties are satisfied with the settlement compensation amount, there is obviously no reason to go to trial and the lawsuit will be dismissed. However, if the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement, the case can go to trial where an actual judge makes the decision.

Trial:

Trials require substantial preparation and unfortunately may take 2 years or more for the case to even enter the courtroom. A trial, of course, can go two ways: the insurance company can agree to pay you back benefits — plus your current benefits, OR if the decision goes against you, you receive no benefits. Note that a judge may require you to pay part or all of the insurer’s legal fees – one reason why it’s better to reach a settlement over taking a risk by going to trial.

“Oftentimes it’s a relief just to turn the case over to a lawyer so it can be fought vigorously on their behalf…just knowing that someone is fighting the battle so they can concentrate on the quality of life issues can be a huge benefit.” – Tim Louis
http://timlouislaw.ca/bctimlouislaw/long-term-disability-attorney-vancouver-bc/

Tim Louis & Co has been representing those who suffer from long-term disability for over 2 decades. He has successfully sued some of the largest insurance companies in the world on behalf of deserving clients and has appealed the decisions of the Federal government in CPP disability claims on behalf of clients. Tim Louis and his compassionate, experienced team can give you the reliable and trusted advice you deserve. Contact 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com for a free consultation.

Leading Accidents that Result in Concussion

A concussion is a mild form of Traumatic brain injury (TBI) that affects brain function and usually caused by a blow to the head, bump, violent shake or any blunt force to the area. Concussions are usually temporary but are a common result of motor vehicle accidents or any other form of personal injury. It’s important to note that even a violent shake of the upper body can cause a concussion.

Neck Massage on Patient After Concussion | Tim Louis and Company
Most of those who suffer from a concussion, recover quickly and fully. However, in more serious cases, symptoms can last for weeks or longer.

Symptoms of a Concussion

It’s important to know that concussions don’t always present symptoms. If symptoms do show up, they may not present themselves right away and can last for days, weeks or longer. The most common symptoms of a concussive traumatic brain injury are amnesia (memory loss), headaches and disorientation.

Physical Symptoms of Concussion:

  • Ears ringing
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Fluid or blood draining from the nose or ears

Other symptoms may include:

  • The inability to remember the traumatic event that caused the concussion
  • Confusion
  • Feeling of dizziness / Confusion
  • Problems with speech
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feelings of depression, nervousness and/or anxiety
  • Feeling isolated or alone

When to Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention immediately if you or your child has suffered from a head injury – even if emergency care isn’t required.

Leading Accidents that Result in Concussion:

Motor Vehicle Related Injury

Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of mild or severe TBIs or concussions. These head injuries can occur from any head injury such as hitting the dashboard, driver window or another passenger.

Slip & Falls

When you think about a slip and fall injury, you probably imagine sprains, broken bones, bad bruises or pulled tendons. Head injuries though are very common – so common in fact that they are one of the leading causes of mild to very severe, life-changing forms of concussion.

Any of these slip and fall accidents can result in a mild to severe concussion:

  • Slipping on the wet floor
  • Falling in a store and knocking your head on the floor or against a shelf
  • Tripping over an obstacle or crack on the sidewalk resulting in a blow to the head
  • Falling in around someone’s residence and knocking your head

Assaults

It’s obvious that victims of any type of physical assault are at risk for having a concussion. Any blow to the head, twist and or fall can result in a mild to serious head injury.

Playing Sports

The Public Health Agency of Canada Reports that for females, approximately 20,000 (45%) of brain injuries result from sports and recreation. For males, approximately 26,000 (54%) of brain injuries result from sports or recreational injuries.

According to the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), Ice Hockey, Rugby and Ringette are the most common sports with the highest the proportion of brain injuries among children and youth 5-19 years of age, ranging from 27% to 44% of all injuries that happened while playing these sports.

According to the government of Canada, 1 in 2 Canadians has little to no knowledge about concussions. Since only 4 in 10 Canadians are aware of available concussion tools and resources, we have added some reliable and trusted sources below to learn more about the causes and treatment of mild or severe concussions.

Contact A Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered from a mild or severe concussion resulting from a motor vehicle collision, or slip and fall, Tim Louis and his compassionate and talented legal team can give you the reliable, trusted advice you require. Contact us today for a free consultation at 604-732-7678 or TimLouis@TimLouisLaw.com

Sources:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/concussion-sign-symptoms/concussion-sport-infographic.html

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15038-concussion

Personal Injury Claims for Children

For any parent or guardian, knowing that a child in their care has been injured can be a stressful ordeal. Of course, the number one concern after a vehicle collision is the child’s well being. However, if you are unsure about the next steps to take after an accident, we have gathered essential information necessary to ensure your child’s personal injury claim is filed. Note it is always best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to alleviate the stress of dealing with a complex claim involving children.

Personal Injury Claims for Minors

Personal Injury Claim for Your Kids | Tim Louis & Company Law in Vancouver
Personal injury claims for children can be an intricate and complex process. As much as you may want to just focus on your child’s health during this difficult, stressful time, it’s important to be aware of the steps necessary to ensure that your child’s injury resulting from an accident is documented and a personal injury claim is submitted as soon as possible.

Start a Claim As Soon As Possible

It is always ideal to start a claim sooner rather than later. If a claim is submitted immediately, key evidence can be submitted before it is lost and any witnesses will still have clear details of the accident fresh in their mind — which will, in turn, help the claim.

Children do not always have the ability to articulate express their feelings – so documenting any changes in mood and behaviour is important. Children’s claims can span a number of years — another good reason to start a claim immediately and document every detail along the way.

How Long Does a Child Have to Make a Personal Injury Claim?

Another good reason to start a claim right away is the fact that there can be certain time limits to adhere to. As an example, if a child has been injured in a vehicle collision, he or she may be entitled to ICBC part 7 benefits (a no-fault portion of ICBC insurance coverage). http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/447_83_07

ICBC Part 7 Benefits include the following:

  • Medical and rehabilitation benefits
  • Funeral and death benefits
  • Disability (lost earnings) benefits

The most commonly known limitation for child claims is 2 years, which doesn’t start until the child turns 19. Another less common limitation in relation to ICBC is also 2 years, but begins right after the crash occurred – and can end as early as the 1-year mark after the accident occurred.

Compensation Settlements for Children

BC law recognizes that children under the age of 19 may be unaware of their rights and may not be able to fully understand the complexities of the situation and are unable to represent themselves. For this reason, minors are prohibited from representing themselves and require an adult to submit the personal injury claim on their behalf. There are 2 options available:

1. A litigation guardian can be appointed
(Typically a parent or close relative will pursue a claim on the child’s behalf)

2. The child may wait until their 19th birthday to pursue a claim. When this happens, he/she has 2 years in which to submit a claim (must be settled by his/her 21st birthday).

Speak to a Lawyer Right After Your Child’s Accident

Personal injury cases involving children are extremely complex. If you or your child has been injured in a motor vehicle collision in Metro Vancouver, Tim Louis and his compassionate and experienced team can give you the reliable and trusted advice you deserve, deal with ICBC on your behalf and ensure that the limitation for your child’s Part 7 ICBC benefits does not get missed. Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll do everything we possibly can to get the personal injury settlement your child deserves. Contact 604-732-7678 or timlouis@timlouislaw.com. We’re here to help.

Sources:
http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/447_83_07

Repetitive Strain Injuries: What You Need to Know

When we think about workplace injuries, we often think about slip-and-fall accidents, injuries resulting from falling objects or the various back and neck strains that come with the territory within many workplaces. However, some work-related accidents are often far less dramatic.

A number of injuries occur over time, through constant repetition of daily tasks, which negatively impact the body causing strain to sensitive joints and muscle groups. These repetitive strain injuries, or RSI, can have a long-lasting effect on our health and daily life.

Injuries Resulting From Repetitive Motion

A Repetitive Strain Injury, whether it is temporary or permanent, will need rest or a change in daily habit that provides time to heal. It is crucial to see a medical professional right away to prevent any further damage to the muscles, ligaments, nerves or tendons through continuous, repetitive motion.

Most Common Repetitive Strain Injuries

typingRepetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) can result from a buildup of damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves from repetitive motion or strain on specific parts of the body. Repetitive Strain Injuries are quite common and may be caused by a variety of common work activities, including:

  • Using a computer mouse or trackpad
  • Excessive typing (data entry)
  • Swiping items at a supermarket checkout/cash register use
  • Grasping and manipulating tools
  • Working in an assembly line environment
  • Training for sports or other athletic activities

Some commonly diagnosed Repetitive Strain Injuries are:

  • Tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon)
  • Pertendonitis (inflammation of the sheath of a tendon)
  • Trigger finger (difficulty bending or straightening any of the fingers which is caused by inflammation and thickening of the tendon)
  • Tenosynovitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath that surrounds a tendon causing joint pain and stiffness)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (numbness, tingling and pain in the hand or arm resulting from compression of the median nerve which is squeezed as it travels through the wrist
  • Epicondylitis (inflammation of tendons surrounding an epicondyle)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of the bursa sac which is common around the elbow, hips, knees and shoulder)

Repetitive Strain Injuries

What Are the Symptoms?

There are many possible causes of repetitive strain injuries and a wide range of symptoms that result. Tenderness or pain the affected muscle or joints are common, a throbbing or pulsating sensation in the affected area and or tingling in the hands or arms. Any other symptoms will depend on which part of the body is affected.

It’s important that you visit a medical professional for a proper diagnosis as soon as you experience symptoms to prevent any further damage over time.

Repetitive Strain Injury Prevention

The primary ways in which you can reduce the risk is to stop or limit the intensity of the activity. If the activity cannot be stopped, tips for reducing the risk may include:

Taking breaks: Taking regular breaks from any repetitive task may help reduce the strain on your body.

Stand up: Standing up, stretching and frequently moving your limbs may reduce the risk. Stretch your back, arms, fingers and legs regularly.

Vision break: Rest your eye muscles by looking up and staring for a moment at objects in the distance or simply looking around the room. The key is to give your eyes a regular break from screen time.

exerciseOverall health: Eat healthy and get regular exercise to keep your body as resilient as possible, and try to avoid smoking, as this reduces blood flow and oxygen in the body.

Posture: Try to keep yourself from slouching. Ensure your desk, chair and computer screen are aligned as much as you can in an ergonomic setting.

Wrists: Avoid bending or overextending your wrists, and keep the arms, wrists and fingers aligned when typing as much as possible.

Typing: Try to touch type as much as possible and avoid hitting your keys too hard.

Keyboard Shortcuts: Try to use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible, as this can reduce the amount of typing needed.

Mouse or Track-pad: Do not grip too tight or press too hard, and try to slow your speed in order to reduce muscle tension in your hand and wrist.

Temperature: Keep an eye on the temperature of your work area and regulate where necessary.

Phone Use: If you need to use a phone while working, try wearing a headset as this will keep you from needed to grip the phone for long periods or needing to clamp the phone between your head and shoulder.

You can trust Tim Louis & Company to ensure the best possible outcome for your personal injury case

These common RSI injuries can have a lasting impact on one’s health and quality of life. If you or a loved one has experienced a serious injury while on the job, contact Tim Louis and his compassionate and experienced legal team today by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com.

Sources:
https://www.enjuris.com/workplace-injury/repetitive-strain-injuries-work.html

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17424-repetitive-stress-injury

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/overuse-injury/art-20045875

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