Long-Term Disability Law

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.

 

 

Client Reviews

Disability Insurance: Expansion of Special Costs

Disability Insurance: Expansion of Special Costs

disability insurance
 

Introduction

A recent BC Court of Appeal case, Tanious v. The Empire Life Insurance Company, 2019 BCCA 329 [Tanious], gives disability insurance claimants who take their insurers to court greater prospects of obtaining special costs against their insurer, even absent malicious conduct. However, the specific details of the case are very important. This article analyses Tanious with a view to determining the key requirements that will need to be met in future cases to obtain awards of special costs. Leave to appeal Tanious to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied.

Background

Ms. Tanious was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly before beginning a new job. She nonetheless worked at that job for seven years before ceasing work and claiming disability benefits that she was entitled to through her employment. Following her diagnosis, she developed depression and anxiety, and about a year before ceasing work she started using illicit methamphetamines to cope with her deteriorating cognitive capabilities. The insurer, Empire Life, denied that she became disabled during her employment, and further argued that her substance use disentitled her to benefits. At trial, Mr. Justice N. Brown found that she was entitled to disability benefits, and further awarded her $15,000 for aggravated damages for mental distress, loss of peace of mind and of dignity as a person from Empire Life’s refusal to pay benefits.

At the subsequent costs hearing, Brown J. awarded special costs even though the plaintiff conceded that Empire Life did not commit any litigation misconduct. It is this award that was subject to appeal.

The Appeal of Special Costs

The costs scheme in British Columbia is statutory; Rule 14-1 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules sets out the framework for cost awards. It provides that the court may award special costs, but does not set out the circumstances in which they may be awarded. Generally, special costs are only awarded in cases where there has been litigation misconduct. However, there are exceptions, though these are rarely applied. The Tanious case is an example of one such exception.

Overarching Principles

In order to justify a special costs award, the Court of Appeal stated that it is insufficient to simply have a large discrepancy between taxable costs and actual legal costs. There must be some other “unusual feature” in the case, such as “special importance, difficulty or complexity associated with the litigation” (para. 54). The Court cited a handful of examples where special costs had been awarded despite the lack of evidence of misconduct, and explicitly reiterated that in these cases any award of special costs must be made on a principled basis.

Typically, the objectives of costs awards are to provide the winning party with some degree of indemnity for the costs it has incurred during the litigation. However, the Court of Appeal also recognized that costs awards “encourage settlement, deter frivolous actions or defences and sanction unreasonable conduct committed in the course of litigation” (para. 36). Significantly, the Court also indicated that in some instances, “costs may be awarded to enhance access to justice, mitigate severe inequality between litigants and encourage socially desirable conduct” (para. 36).

The Court cited the leading case of Asselstine v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Co., 2005 BCCA 465, which provides that in the context of these objectives, “the application of ordinary costs rules usually produces a just result,” but goes on to say that this does not mean “that the personal and financial circumstances of a litigant can never be relevant on a costs application” (para. 60). The Court acknowledged that such circumstances may come in to play in exceptional cases.

The Court went on to discuss other cases where special costs were “justified in the interests of justice” (para. 65). Given the circular nature of this proposal – that special costs awards are justified by justice – it is challenging to elucidate principled reasons for these awards when they are not related to reprehensible conduct. Instead, these cases are fact-specific and must be considered based on their own merits.

The Court included in its analysis two analogous cases out of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta where special costs were awarded: Hennessy v. Horse Racing Alberta, 2007 ABQB 178, where a judicial review was required to defend the appellant’s livelihood and restore his reputation; and Meleshko v. Alberta, 2013 ABQB 468, where the appellant sought judicial review to reinstate long-term disability benefits, and punitive damages were not available. As well, the Court cited FIC Real Estate Fund Ltd. v. Phoenix Land Ventures Ltd., 2016 ABCA 303 for the proposition that special costs could be awarded if success in the litigation would otherwise “amount to a strictly pyrrhic victory” (para. 65).

The final significant case referenced in the appeal was Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5, wherein the test for awarding special costs was refined by the Supreme Court of Canada, stating that “the plaintiffs must show that it would not have been possible to pursue the litigation with private funding” (para. 63). In these instances, it is not just to ask the individual litigants or their counsel to bear the cost of pursuing the claim.

Factors in Tanious in support of special costs

On its face, the trial judge in Tanious made the decision to award special costs on the basis of very few factors, none of which are unusual in a long term disability insurance case: the purpose of the insurance contract is to provide subsistence level income, and when the insurer failed to pay these benefits, the plaintiff had to bring a lawsuit, which cost money. However, the Court of Appeal recognized that when the trial judge’s reasons were read as a whole, it was apparent that he also considered “the nature of the case, including its unique characteristics and related litigation challenges, complexities and costs, together with Ms. Tanious’ personal and financial circumstances and her need for counsel as established by the evidence” (para. 21).

The particular litigation challenges of this case included several factors that added to the effort required by counsel. Ms. Tanious was a difficult client to represent. She could not meet at counsel’s office; counsel had to drive to her. Similarly, she could not review documents to prepare for an examination for discovery as it was too stressful, and she likely would not be able to remember what she had reviewed. Additionally, she attended hospital 33 times over the course of the case, and often called her counsel from hospital to ask for help with various other issues. Ms. Tanious attempted suicide more than once as her disease progressed; if she had died, her claim for benefits would have ended. In preparing for this case, it was difficult for counsel to predict what Ms. Tanious would say at trial.

Though the insurer did not commit misconduct, it could have acted better. The trial judge noted that the insurer made only a cursory response to Ms. Tanious’ initial application for disability benefits, but once in litigation, mounted a vigorous defence. In combination with Ms. Tanious’ poor mental health and declining cognitive abilities, the actions taken by the insurer necessitated that she obtain legal representation in order to pursue the benefits to which she was entitled.

Notably, Ms. Tanious had separate counsel for the costs hearing. This was perhaps because her original counsel had to testify at the hearing via affidavit as to the many special circumstances in Ms. Tanious’ case; s. 5.2-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct precludes counsel from testifying to controversial matters. Though it was not mentioned by the Court, as a practical matter, this ethical rule adds to the challenges of obtaining special costs.

Future Implications

The courts now recognize that in matters of insurance disputes and also in other exceptional situations, many people do not have access to justice unless they are able to retain counsel. Access to justice is recognized as being one of the policy objectives of the courts that thus far is not adequately being met (para. 81). As the consequences of these shortcomings become clearer, it may be possible to seek special costs as a means of ensuring adequate access to justice for members of otherwise underrepresented and vulnerable populations.

It can be difficult to make a financially viable practice taking long term disability cases to trial. While aggravated damages are sometimes awarded, they are typically small awards that are woefully insufficient in comparison to the costs of litigation. Punitive damages require misconduct on the part of the insurer. The risk of a special cost award, absent litigation misconduct, provides the plaintiff with more leverage in negotiations with an insurer, and may allow a plaintiff to recuperate the full benefits to which they are entitled, while also appropriately compensating their counsel.

 

 

Client Reviews

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.

 

 

Client Reviews

Long-Term Disability Coverage: How Long Will Benefits Last?

Long-Term Disability Coverage

Long-Term Disability Coverage

Some insurance policies issue payments for a certain amount of years, while other policies may stop payments after up to a decade. The question, unfortunately, does not have a definitive answer, as every insurance policy is unique.

When you read over your employer’s group benefits package, or even if you purchase your own private insurance, ensure that you read through the policy carefully to ensure that you understand the long-term disability requirements. Understanding the requirements, application deadlines, waiting periods and duration of benefit payouts is important.

While every insurance policy handles long-term disabilitycoverage and benefits differently, there are certain aspects to these policies that are mandated by law – this depends on your ability to return to work before your injury and your ability to work, period. There are certain policies that will stop benefits indefinitely after 2 years if you are able to return to any full-time work (regardless if it pays the same as your pre-injury job), while some insurance policies will continue paying out benefits at a reduced rate if you end up securing a new position that pays less than your previous employer. If however, you are unable to return to work, long-term benefits could last for a number of years.

What is Long-Term Disability Coverage?

If you become disabled during employment, Long-term disability insurance coverage pays benefits. Under most LTD policies, in order to qualify for these benefits, you would need to prove that you are unable to continue working as a result of a medical condition. These medical conditions can include physical, psychological, cognitive, and emotional – or a combination of any of the above. If you qualify for LTD coverage, the payout for benefits ranges between 60%-70% of your pre-disability income. There are certain policies that cover less, but most policies will pay benefits for qualified individuals up to age 65.

When Does Long-Term Disability Start?

Long-term disability payments are never available immediately and considered a last resort after short-term disability options have been exhausted. Before you can be approved for LTD payments, you must go through short-term options first – even if following a serious, catastrophic injury. Short-term options may include sick leave and short-term disability benefits.

How Do I Know If I Have Long-Term Disability Coverage?

If you are fortunate enough to have an employer that has provided you with a group medical benefits package, it is likely that you have insurance for Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage, which may also grant you coverage if you have been laid off or terminated from your job. If you do not have group benefits through your employer, you have the option of purchasing a private LTD plan.

Meeting Important Deadlines

There are strict deadlines that go along with long-term disability claims, so it is important to carefully read through your policy to understand the time limits. Failure to submit a claim on time can result in your claim being denied.

What if My Long-Term Disability Claim is Denied?

If you submitted an LTD application and your claim is denied, you will not receive any payments and will be expected to return to work. Claims can be denied for numerous reasons, such as incomplete information, unclear or improper medical treatment or diagnosis etc. Keep in mind, diagnosing mental health can be complex, but insurers are very specific in their guideline requirements. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision – an appeal process will commence, which is why it is important that you contact a trusted lawyer that specializes in such long-term disability cases.

How a Long-Term Disability Lawyer Can Help

When understanding the length of your LTD policy, it is important to understand the language and the integral details you should be aware of. At Tim Louis Law, we are experienced with the process of filing long term disability claims and look forward to discussing your unique situation with you. Contact us today for a free consultation by
calling (604) 732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com

Source:
https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/loo69/loo69/13_409_97

Termination Without Cause While on Long-Term Disability

Termination Without Cause

Termination Without Cause – while on long-term disability

The laws covering whether you can be terminated while recovering from long-term disability are complex.

Ordinarily, in a case in which an employee is absent from work as a result of illness or disability, the employer does not have “just cause” to instantaneously terminate the employment relationship, because a mere absence from work due to illness or disability is not a contractual breach.

Since the medical prognosis for many illnesses and disabilities can be very uncertain, when an employee is absent from work, this uncertainty can create difficulties within the workplace.

As a consequence, there are indeed some instances in which you can legally be terminated whilst on disability leave, but only as long as your employer follows the rules. The question is often asked: “When is an employer justified in terminating employment where an employee is absent from work due to a temporary, but prolonged, illness or disability?”

In fact, this question often arises in matters relating to employees who have been away from work and are receiving long-term disability benefits for protracted periods.

Generally, the fundamental issue for terminating an employee who is on long term disability is whether or not that worker has a reasonable prospect of recovering and returning to work in the foreseeable future.

Frustration of contract

Surely, at the beginning of a contract, it is assumed the employee will be fit and able to report to work. However, where an illness or disability prevents the employee from reporting to work, the contract may be “frustrated”. This means the circumstances, which are not the fault of either party, make it impossible to continue with the employment contract, and therefore the employee is excused from reporting to work, and the employer is excused from continuing to employ the employee.

The employer though will have to establish that the worker is incapable of performing the basic duties associated with his or her post, with or without modifications to accommodate restrictions; is incapable of undertaking any other productive work, and, as noted earlier, has no reasonable prospect of returning to work.

This though is subject to applicable statutory entitlements relating to termination pay and severance, and is also predicated on the type of coverage the employee, has as well as whether or not that employee is unionized.

This is because, within the unionized context, an employer’s right to terminate a disabled employee while on long-term disability will depend on whether the dismissal deprives the worker of continued access to negotiated benefits specifically tied to the illness or disability.

One crucial consideration as it relates to termination is the period of past employment. An employment relationship that is of long-standing is not so easily frustrated. For example, an employee who has been working for an establishment for 30 years and becomes afflicted with an illness, absence for two years would not be considered being away long enough to frustrate the employment contract.

That said, the termination of an employee on long-term disability requires careful deliberation and so, an employer ought to first evaluate an employee’s prospect for recovery and return to work, as well as provisions for accommodating him or her.

When to contact a long-term disability lawyer

If your employment was terminated without cause while you were on long-term disability, you should contact a long-term disability lawyer.

If you are searching for a long-term disability lawyer in Vancouver, contact us at Tim Louis and Company. Our Vancouver long-term disability lawyer has over 25 years of experience and would be pleased to assist with your case.

Call us today to schedule a consultation.

Mental Health and Long-Term Disability: Are You Covered?

Mental Health Issues | Tim Louis & Company Law in Vancouver
In the not so distant past, employers viewed mental health issues as temporary and less serious than other physical injuries. At the time, having a mental health disability resulting from a traumatic event was not seen as a legitimate reason to be approved for disability — only physical injuries were considered to be applicable for disability claims. Sadly, psychological or emotional related claims were not seen as harmful to the quality of life.

Today, with more awareness and education about the damaging effects mental health issues can have on individuals and their ability to work and lead a normal, healthy life, mental health is now discussed more and has been proven to be a frequent and substantial issue among Canadians. Each year, thousands of British Columbians miss work due to a mental health-related disability.

Long-term Disability & Mental Health Through Your Employer

As an employee who is covered by a disability insurance policy at work, you as a policyholder/employee have the right to submit a claim for benefits following a lengthy injury or illness. This claim submission will also include diagnosed with mental health conditions. Depending on the type of policy, you may have additional resources available to you where you can receive further assistance on steps to access mental health services, counsellors, and or educational materials where employees can have access to preventative measure guidance.

Time Limits on Recovering

It is important to note that you are not entitled to long-term disability benefits when you begin to experience mental health issues. Just like any other injuries, you must have experienced your disability for 2 years in which you were unable to sustain employment. However, there are some insurance policies that cover claimants under short-disability insurance, so it is important to clearly understand your policy.

No two policies are alike. Be warned that there are numerous insurers that will do all they can to avoid paying out to the applicant. In some cases, even when there is a valid policy in place, insurers will still do what they can to keep from paying out. This is when you need a qualified, trusted long-term disability lawyer who can represent you to fight back. Below are the most common reasons why mental health disability claims can be denied:

  • You have not completed the required details or have not been responsive to the insurer to ensure applications or documentation is updated to fulfill your policy.
  • Failing to seek treatment for mental illness can have numerous consequences for your disability claim. The insurance company may conclude that you refused to take the steps necessary to support your mental illness claim.
  • Your chosen medical professional has not documented your treatment. Insurance companies can deny an application even if your doctor has provided you with a thorough physical examination – if there is not thorough documentation, it is highly likely that your application could be denied.
  • Your doctor may not be providing you with the adequate care you require. An insurance company may deny a claim if they feel you need to see another professional who can provide you with better care for your needs.

Contact Your Trusted Long Term Disability Lawyer

A mental health disability can have a lasting impact on one’s quality of life. If you or a loved one has experienced a mental health issue, contact Tim Louis and his compassionate and experienced legal team today by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com.

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.

Common Workplace Injuries

Prevent Workplace Injuries

When we think about workplace injuries, what often comes to mind are high-risk occupations in construction, manufacturing, or those dealing with hazardous materials – but the fact is, workplace injuries happen across all industries, in all occupations – and most of them are entirely preventable with proper care and preparation.

workplace injuries

Workplace Injuries

Although the types of injury commonly sustained at work are as numerous as the number of jobs that can be listed – some of the more common and preventable injuries are:

Strains/Sprains

These types of injuries also referred to as “repetitive strain injuries (RSI)” or “musculoskeletal disorders” are very common workplace injuries due to the number of occupations dealing with repetitive tasks throughout the day.

Some of the more frequent causes of these injuries can include:

  • Repetitive or vigorous movement over long periods of time
  • Lack of movement/holding your posture or limbs in an unnatural position for long periods
  • Overusing a particular group of muscles
  • Poor posture or a non-ergonomically designed workspace

Back Injuries

back pain

Injuries related to the back are common among numerous occupations and can have an affect — both personally and professionally, long after the initial injury itself. Some of the more common factors resulting in back-related injury can include:

  • Repetitive lifting or moving of heavy objects, reaching or bending
  • Sustained whole-body vibration or jarring from the use of machinery
  • Poor posture, improper or inadequate back support seating in the workplace
  • Prolonged periods of inactivity

Head Injuries

A head injury can be serious and can lead to contusions, hematomas (bleeding in the brain), and concussions. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon in the workplace –, especially in manufacturing and construction industries. ‘Closed’ head injuries do not pierce the skull and “open” head injuries happen when an object has pierced through the skull, causing possible brain injury. Generally, recovery time may be longer than other common workplace injuries, although most people fully recover from minor to moderate head injuries.

Some of the more frequent causes:

  • Being hit by falling or flying objects
  • Slipping or tripping and falling
  • Falling from above such as tumbling down stairs or falling off a ladder
  • Walking into objects such as a wall, cabinet or glass window

Herniated/Bulging Discs

Both herniated and bulging discs can affect a person’s nerves, tendons, muscles, and joints. These are common injuries and can result from repetitive motion trauma and or soft tissue disorders resulting from a workplace injury. If you injure your back or neck, a spinal disc can move out of place and can bulge outward from between the vertebrae — putting pressure on spinal nerves. Sciatica (nerve pain radiating down one leg) is a
common symptom of a herniating disc injury, as well as numbing, tingling pain in the legs and weakness in the back and legs.

Some of the more frequent causes of these injuries can include:

  • Heavy lifting and overexertion
  • Hard blows to the lower back
  • Ongoing, repetitive motion
  • Sitting for extended periods of time in an awkward position
  • Slip, trip or fall

PREVENTION:

workplace safety

With a little care and consideration, most of the workplace injuries we’ve listed can be prevented with proper understanding and preparation. Some of the methods for preventing these common injuries are:

  • Proper lifting techniques
  • Make exercise a part of your daily routine
  • Listen to your body
  • Pay attention to posture and form
  • Proper protective gear such as helmets to protect the head from injury
  • Safety training, preparation, and education on behalf of the employer

These common workplace 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: 604-732-7678

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Experiencing a traumatic event can have a lasting effect — both physically and psychologically. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can remain with you for months, years or even indefinitely if the initial trauma is significant enough. This is why post-traumatic stress disorder is a common condition affecting the mental health of so many people — specifically those who have sustained a personal injury through workplace or traffic-related incidents.

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

post traumatic stress disorderThe Mayo Clinic defines post-traumatic stress disorder as a condition triggered by an extremely horrific experience -– whether a person is directly involved in the event itself, or just an outside observer.

Although popular media and literature commonly associates PTSD with trauma resulting from active military combat, exposure to a natural disaster or violent physical assault, the simple fact is PTSD can be brought on by any trauma that is severe enough to affect the individual on a deep psychological level. This can include trauma and/or personal injuries sustained through workplace injuries, traffic accidents, or many other common traumatic events.

Symptoms of PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress DisorderWhen someone is injured during a traumatic event, they may have more than physical injuries to contend with. They may find themselves feeling anxious or extremely keyed up (also known as hyper-arousal) or on edge.

So, how do can someone know if they have PTSD? Many common signs of PTSD can include:

Avoiding Reminders of the Traumatic Event

Avoiding locations associated with the trauma, such as a frequently used intersection – or even previously common activities such as driving or riding in a vehicle.

Fear and Sensations of Helplessness

When you are in an accident, it makes you feel immensely helpless and at the mercy of outside forces beyond your control. People who suffer from PTSD often suffer rapid onset of extreme fear or feelings of helplessness that can become a real barrier to their day-to-day life.

Physical Symptoms

Dealing with many of the psychological aspects of trauma can also have a direct physical effect on those dealing with PTSD – such as rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, chills, sweating and other physical symptoms. Uncontrollable Thoughts Constant anxiety and fear can lead those who have experienced trauma to have thoughts that simply won’t go away. These negative thoughts can be overwhelming; often needing medical assistance or long-term therapy.

Difficulty Concentrating or Sleeping

insomnia ptsdAn individual dealing with PTSD-related symptoms can often find themselves suffering from exhaustion and will commonly have problems maintaining a regular sleep schedule.

This can become a repetitive and draining cycle as time goes on — often leaving those suffering from these symptoms with little energy and focus during their day-to-day lives.

These and many other PTSD related symptoms may arise in victims of trauma. If you’ve been involved in an accident and think you may have PTSD, it is in your best interest to contact a medical professional as soon as possible.

PTSD Treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severe condition that requires immediate and careful attention. PTSD may be treated successfully even after time has passed after the traumatic event, which means it is never too late to seek professional help. Your doctor will often conduct an initial assessment, followed by a referral to a licensed specialist who can work with you to create a short to long-term treatment plan.

Hurt in an Accident? Living with PTSD? Tim Louis Law Can Help.

If you or a loved one has symptoms of PTSD, contact our compassionate and experienced legal team at Tim Louis Law & Associates. We will help build your claim for the compensation you deserve. To book your free consultation, call 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com. We’re here to help.

source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Hire a personal injury lawyer after concussion

Do you need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

A lawyer is not needed when making an injury compensation claim, but it is highly recommended that you have one. When you hire a lawyer it doesn’t mean you are ready to go to court it just says you want to seek legal advice from someone rational who is not emotionally involved in the claim.

Things You Should

It is not necessary to hire a lawyer when dealing with the Insurance Corporation of British Colombia (ICBC), but if you do, then you must make very informed decisions. The ICBC will appoint an experienced adjuster, who works for them, to negotiate for the settlement of your claim at a reasonable amount from ICBS’s point of view. The adjustors continuously deal with injury claim so they will be tough negotiators.

A good lawyer will do the following for you:

  • Advise you accordingly
  • Try and obtain a fair settlement for you
  • Collect evidence and proper medical information
  • Decide the extent to which you should be compensated in regards to your case

If your lawyer and the designated adjustor can’t come to a proper settlement, then it’s up to your lawyers to take the case to court so that they can obtain a full and fair compensation on your behalf. Less than 1% of the ICBC claims proceed to court.

Advice

If you are unsure on whether you should enlist for the services of a lawyer then pay a visit to one of the many experienced BC personal injury lawyers and seek legal advice and also obtain knowledge on the matter. Most of the lawyers offer initial legal consultation free of charge or obligations. After the meeting, you will be in a better position to decide whether you need to hire a lawyer.

the worldwide logo of personal injury lawyers

What Do Lawyers Cost?

The cost of a lawyer is entirely dependent on the case in which they are handling. In a personal injury insurance claim, you have the right to hire a lawyer and pay on a contingency basis. A contingency fee agreement means that the lawyer you hire will accept a predetermined fixed percentage of the recovery or the money to be paid to the client, if you recover nothing from your claim then you shouldn’t spend your lawyer anything. Regularly, contingency fees in British Colombia range from 20 to 33 percent of the total recoverable amount. Lawyers hired on contingency basis receive their payments at the time when they collect your compensation cheque from the insurance firm not before.

Most of the time when you want to enlist for the services of a lawyer you have to visit him. During the first meeting the lawyer gets to familiarize himself with a case, and then you will move on to the sensitive fee issue, make sure you understand the fee contract before signing it. In some cases the lawyer’s services can be paid using a predetermined hourly rate, when using such a mode of payment the lawyer may ask you for a retainer, a retainer is an amount of money that acts as security and will be used to meet the lawyer’s upcoming expenses, the lawyer will thereafter send you interim accounts for immediate payment. The method of payment while hiring a lawyer is entirely up to you.

While still discussing the topic of remuneration you must get to understand who will be responsible for disbursements. Disbursements are the expenses that the lawyer will incur in the prosecution of the claim example of such fees are the cost of medical records, cost of hiring experts, court registry fees, and other similar expenses. The disbursements may quickly sum up to thousands of dollars.

If you are to pay the lawyer on a contingency fee basis, then all the expenses incurred in the prosecution of the claim are covered by financed by the firm. It’s important to understand who will be responsible for this cost is they can’t be recovered from the ICBC. At times lawyers will deduct the expenses from their final fee if they can’t be collected as part of their final settlement.

Protection Of The Public

There are specific laws in place to govern the relationship between the lawyers and their clients. The rules of the law society of British Colombia states that in case a court awards a higher amount, the maximum amount a lawyer is entitled to for personal injury and wrongful death arising from the use or operation of a vehicle is 33.33%. Lawyers rarely charge this percentage except in exceptional circumstances like a highly complicated case or if several numbers of procedures need to be taken to bring the claim to an amicable solution.

Also, there is a 90 day cooling off period; the law states that within 90 days of hiring a lawyer you can appeal to the district registrar of the supreme court of British Colombia to have the agreement reviewed if the fee is found to be too high it shall be adjusted accordingly.

Personal Injury Attorney Vancouver

Tim Louis & Company
175 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1W2
(604) 732-7678
http://bc.timlouis.com/

Scroll to top