Long-Term Disability Lawyer

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.

       

Addiction & Long-Term Disability: Are You Covered for Benefits?

long-term disability and addiction

Addiction & Long-Term Disability: Are You Covered for Benefits?

Addiction resulting from prescription medication, gambling, or other substances, can be mentally and physically debilitating. While some individuals can walk into a casino and gamble a few times a year, others can become chronically addicted. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental health, 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness or addiction problem in any given year.

Now More Widely Understood, Addiction is No Longer Considered a Choice

Unlike the United States, Canada views addiction as a disease. Human rights legislation protects individuals on the grounds of disability and includes those who suffer from drug and alcohol dependency.

If You Struggle With Addiction, You May Qualify for Long-Term Disability Benefits

Whether or not you qualify for long-term disability benefits from an insurance carrier depends on your employer’s group insurance policy. Specific requirements must be adhered to concerning rehabilitation and or treatment programs to qualify. It is important to distinguish between addiction regarding legal substances (alcohol, cannabis, prescribed medication) and illegal substances (cocaine, meth, heroin).

You can count on the team at Tim Louis Law to thoroughly review your private or group insurance policy to ensure that your rights are protected — providing you with peace of mind that in turn allows you to focus on treatment.

Insurance Companies Routinely Deny Claimants with Substance Abuse Issues

Insurers do not always make it easy to claim disability benefits since many companies do not consider addiction a disability. A qualified long-term disability lawyer can help. Your lawyer will challenge the insurer’s decision on your behalf, as many individuals do not realize that substance abuse is considered a disability in Canada.

Medical Evidence is Integral

Medical documentation as evidence is integral for any disability claim. The claimant must show that their addiction has inhibited their ability to function. The medical evidence must also meet private or group policy standards that dictate the criteria for eligibility.

Treatment Options

Addiction treatment is almost always long-term as relapse is common if undergoing short-term treatment.

Typical treatment options are as follows:

  • Detox
  • Counseling
  • Medication if required
  • Mental health evaluation
  • Treatment for any mental health conditions if necessary
  • Follow-up care for relapse prevention

Gambling as an Addiction

Just as serious of a condition as other more common addictions, compulsive gambling is on the rise in Canada and just as destructive. Gambling addiction leads to a range of personal and social harms such as depression, bankruptcy, anxiety, suicide, and abuse. Unfortunately, in Canada, compulsive gambling may not qualify as a disability.

Compliance Is Key

Compliance is key with regards to disability benefit eligibility. The individual seeking insurance benefits must proactively participate in treatment and/or rehabilitation programs to continue to receive compensation. Failure to do so will result in being disqualified or denied the claim.

Most policies have time limitations that can be difficult to interpret. If your application for disability benefits has been denied by an insurer, do not give up hope. We strongly encourage you to obtain legal advice from a trusted and experienced long term disability lawyer to discuss your dispute case to help navigate your way to a fair and equitable resolution of your claim.

Contact an Experienced & Empathetic Long-Term Disability Lawyer

If you are suffering from an addiction and unsure if you qualify for long-term disability benefits through an insurer, our trusted and compassionate team at Tim Louis and Company will protect your rights so you can focus on treatment and recovery. Reach out to us by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com for a free consultation, and we will provide you with the best possible options.

Source: https://www.camh.ca/en/Driving-Change/The-Crisis-is-Real/Mental-Health-Statistics

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain – we can help!

Fibromyalgia is a neurological condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain that can be triggered by physical trauma to the body from an accident or from the mental stress of dealing with an injury. 

For years, Fibromyalgia was often misdiagnosed. Today, medical professionals recognize Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain as a chronic medical condition that can cause extreme pain for both men and women. According to the Arthritis Society, Fibromyalgia affects 2% of Canadians with 80 to 90% of patients with Fibromyalgia being women. 

Fibromyalgia is not life-threatening; nor is it damaging to muscles, joints or organs. However, it does impact one’s quality of life. Living with chronic pain can prevent patients from working, socializing and even completing day-to-day tasks. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from Fibromyalgia resulting from an accident, contact our trusted and experienced team at Tim Louis & Associates.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms 

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain - Get the help you needPain is the most common symptom of Fibromyalgia. Patients may experience widespread or specific pain in certain areas of the body, which may include the neck, back, chest, arms and/or legs. Often the pain is felt when firm pressure is applied to muscles, tendons and or soft tissue. 

Other symptoms may include: 

  • Headaches 
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch 
  • Stiff muscles 
  • Irritability 
  • Widespread pain all over the body, with some areas worse than others 
  • Fatigue 
  • Cognitive issues also known as ‘brain fog’ 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Disturbed sleep 
  • Abnormal temperature regulation 

Other Symptoms 

  • Restless leg syndrome 
  • Depression and or anxiety 
  • Painful periods 
  • Occasional dizziness 
  • Extreme sensitivity to temperature and scents 

Fibromyalgia Causes 

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. For certain people, FM can be the result of a stressful, traumatic event such as a vehicle collision or can be triggered as a result of repetitive injuries, certain diseases, or illness. Research studies have also found that there is a genetic component to Fibromyalgia. 

Diagnosis 

While there are no lab tests to confirm a Fibromyalgia diagnosis, there may be other illnesses that present the same symptoms. A doctor may want to order blood tests to rule out other conditions that may include:

  • Cyclic sedimentation rate test 
  • Complete blood count test 
  • Rheumatoid factor test 
  • Thyroid function test 
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate 

Additional tests may be ordered depending on symptoms, which may include X-rays or an EMG to test the muscle’s electrical activity.

Treatment 

Although there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, certain medications that can help reduce and manage pain or other symptoms associated with FM. Your doctor will recommend the best options for your unique needs. These medications may include: 

  • Pain relievers (over-the-counter or prescription) 
  • Anti-seizure medication 
  • Anti-depressants 

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Relief

Research has shown that Fibromyalgia patients can reduce symptoms with proper self-care and lifestyle changes. Adequate sleep, managing stress and practicing low impact exercises such as water therapy and aerobics can help reduce symptoms over time. It’s important to consult with a medical professional that can recommend the right treatment to benefit a Fibromyalgia patient’s unique needs. 

We Will Help Get You Compensation for Your Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain 

Fibromyalgia is a painful illness that can affect one’s quality of life and cause chronic pain. If you or a loved one is suffering from Fibromyalgia resulting from an accident, contact our trusted and experienced team at Tim Louis & Associates. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve. Book a free consultation with us today by contacting us at 604-732-7678 or email: timlouis@timlouislaw.com 

Sources: 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354785 

https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/arthritis-types-(a-z)/types/fibromyalgia 

 

 

Top 5 Mechanical Failures that Cause Car Accidents

car accidents

Mechanical Failures that Cause Car Accidents

With car accidents a regular daily occurrence, it is not always clear what the underlying cause is until a thorough investigation has been concluded. With a number of accidents attributed to excessive speed, driving under the influence, driver error or weather conditions – it can be easy to forget that some accidents are caused simply due to the neglect of routine maintenance — leading to vehicle complications or even mechanical failure if left unchecked.

Keeping your vehicle maintained can go a long way in avoiding accidents caused by mechanical failures. Here are a few of the most common mechanical failures and what to look out for to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape:

Prevent Car Accidents – Check Your Brakes

brake padsBrakes are an essential safety feature we use as drivers on the road. However, brakes can also be one of the most ignored when it comes to routine checks – often being left completely worn before a proper inspection or needed replacement. If your brakes are not properly maintained, you could find yourself braking harder on the road,
throwing off drivers behind you, or prevent you from stopping – injuring other drivers, pedestrians or yourself and your passengers.

Here are some early signs of brake wear to look out for:

  • Excessive vibration when applying pressure to your brakes
  • Reduced responsiveness while braking (spongy or soft brake pedal)
  • Noticeable pulling when applying pressure to your brakes
  • Frequent or infrequent squealing or screeching noises while braking
  • Loud metallic grinding noises coming from your brakes

Tires – maintain them to prevent car accidents

Your vehicle’s tires keep you moving – gripping the road through poor road conditions, ensuring that you arrive at your destination safe and sound. This is why it is crucial to conduct routine checks on your tires daily and before taking any extended trips – ensuring your tires are in the best shape possible.

Early signs that you may need to have your tires rotated or replaced can include:

  • Bulges, gouges, or cracks in the tire or tire sidewall
  • Significant and/or uneven tread wear
  • Tires losing pressure or deflating faster than normal
  • Excessive vibration while driving

brake light

Headlights/Taillights/Brake Lights

The lights on your vehicle allow you to see – and be seen. This makes them one of the most important safety features for your vehicle in terms of accident prevention while driving. However, lights do fail — which is why you should be conducting a routine inspection of all lighting systems on your vehicle before driving.

Signs that you may need to have your headlights or taillights inspected or replaced can include:

  • Significant dimming over time
  • Flickering or random fading
  • One or multiple bulbs going dark
  • Significant time passing (better safe than sorry)

Malfunctioning Windshield Wipers can Cause Car Accidents

windshield wipersWindshield wipers can make a big difference in overall driver safety and visibility — removing dirt, rain, and snow – while running for hours at a time to keep your view of the road clear at all times.

Unfortunately, windshield wipers do wear over time – often warping, cracking or even tearing from long-term use in heavy weather — this can cause them to lose their flexibility and even fail altogether. You should always keep an eye on your wipers and check them daily to ensure they are functioning properly.

Signs that you may need to have your windshield wipers replaced can include:

  • Streaking
  • Unusual noise or squealing
  • Skidding or Irregular movement
  • Ragged or distorted blades

Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer

Drivers and passengers who are injured in accidents that are the result of mechanical failure may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer. 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.

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.

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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/

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