Personal Injury Litigation Tips

Personal Injury Lawyer Vancouver

personal injury case

Personal Injury Lawyer Tim Louis

by Tim Louis

I have been fighting for injured clients for over 37 years. My goal is to achieve an out of court settlement for trial dollars. My motto is the best way to avoid a trial is to prepare thoroughly for the trial. This sends a clear message to the other side that I mean business and that if they are not prepared to offer trial dollars, then we will proceed to trial.

For most clients, the foundation of their case is getting excellent expert reports. This begins with my client’s family doctor who I ask to provide not just a clear diagnosis of the injuries, but also the treatments provided and, perhaps most importantly, a prognosis. The length of time an injured person will require to fully recover plays a large role in determining the amount they would receive at trial.

Next, I obtain expert reports from medical specialists. Finally, if my client is never going to fully recover, I obtain expert reports from an occupational therapist and a vocational expert. These two types of reports build a strong case for a claim for compensation for loss of income.

Personal Injury Lawyer: Examinations of Discovery

One of the most important steps in a lawsuit is Examinations for Discovery. At this step, the lawyer for the defendant examines my client over oath. There is no judge present, but there is a court reporter, who takes a transcript of all of the questions and answers. By thoroughly preparing my client in advance of the Discovery, the defendant’s lawyer gets a glimpse of what they will be up against if the case goes to trial.

Throughout my client’s case, I keep them fully informed and up date. This mean copying them on all incoming and outgoing correspondence such that the file they keep in their home is a copy of the file in my office. My law office prides itself on how accessible we are.

Personal Injury Cases

As a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver, I have represented clients with every type of injury including slip and falls, dog bites, and burns. While I get great satisfaction no matter what the type of case, I particularly enjoy fighting for clients who have been turned away by other lawyers who felt the case was too weak. I just settled a case where my client fell while boarding a bus.

The questions was had she slipped or tripped. If she had slipped, then the bus company was probably not at fault. If she had tripped and it could be proven that the cause of her trip was an object that should have been repeal, then the bus company would be at fault. Immediately after her fall, she was taken to the emergency department where the nurse made a note that she said she had slipped.

The first personal injury lawyer she retained would not continue acting for her. I enjoy difficult cases and took her on with open arms. By aggressively and thoroughly examining the bus driver under oath at an Examination for Discovery, I was able to establish that, in all likelihood, she had tripped on a protrusion. We settled out of court for trial dollars.

Many of my clients want to know at the very beginning whether or not they have a case. As the above example shows, even a weak case is worth pursuing if you have an aggressive lawyer willing to put in the time to build your case.

The worth of your claim depends to a large degree on the quality of the expert reports your lawyer obtains for you. I take the time to obtain expert reports that will help you get what you deserve – trial dollars without going to trial.

Personal injury settlements are not taxable. This is a piece of great news most of my clients are unaware of.

Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

One of the best ways to find the right lawyer for you is to see what other clients say about them. Google reviews is a great place to start. Once you have selected one or two lawyers, you should discuss the possibility of a contingency fee if you are unable to afford paying hourly.

Contact Personal Injury Lawyer Tim Louis

If you would like a free consultation, call me any time – 778-855-3494.

Learn more about Tort Law in Canada

Personal injury law is categorized under Tort Laws in Canada.
Learn more about Personal Injury and Tort Law

Slip and Fall

Slip and Fall

Slip and Fall Injury

If you are suffering from a slip and fall injury, you do not need to prove that it was not your fault. What you do need to prove is that it was the fault of the owner or occupier of the property where you suffered your injury. Many slip and falls occur in stores, and are caused by something having been left on the floor such as a liquid or an object.

Your lawyer will make a demand for the store’s floor inspection policy. If they do not have such a policy, you have a very strong case. If they have such a policy, your lawyer will make a demand for the floor inspection log. If the log does not confirm that the floors were being inspected as the schedule called for, then you have a very strong case.

Sidewalk Slip and Fall Cases

Sidewalk slip and fall cases are much more difficult, but with the right facts, you may still have a very strong case. BC courts have held that municipalities must have a written policy requiring sidewalks to be repaired if there is a lip above a fixed height. The courts leave it to the municipality to decide what height is specified in the policy.

If you suffer a slip and fall caused by a lip higher than that permitted in the municipality’s policy, then you have a very strong case. However, even here you will lose your case if you or your lawyer do not give written notice to the City Clerk within 60 days of your Slip and Fall. The notice does not need to be fancy: just the date, location and a general description of your injuries.

Some slip and falls occur on stairways. In this case, your lawyer will not be looking for a policy. Instead, your lawyer will hire an architect or an engineer who measures the stairway, and compares it with the Building Code. You would be surprised at the number of stairways, both residential and commercial, that do not comply with the Building Code.

Slip and Fall Cases

One of the first things I ask all of my slip and fall clients for are pictures of the location. This helps me begin to get an idea as to whether or not my client has a case.

Sometimes the defendant owner or occupier will argue that your Slip and Fall was at least partially your fault. The defendant’s lawyer will want to know what type of shoes you were wearing. Had you consumed any alcohol or drugs immediately before the slip and fall. Did you already know of the unsafe condition – for instance, you knew that the stairway was unsafe to use.

Your lawyer will order medical legal reports from your caregivers including your family doctor and any specialists you were referred to. Your lawyer will ask your caregivers to provide a diagnosis of the injury you suffered and also a prognosis – are you going to recover or is it a permanent injury.

If your injury has made it harder for you to work, or worse yet stopped you from working, your lawyer will order an expert report from a vocational consultant and a report from an economist who will measure the worth of your future income loss. If your injury is going to result in care costs into the future, then your lawyer will also order a Future Cost of Care report. Care costs are things such as treatment fees and housekeeping.

Personal Injury Lawyer Tim Louis – Slip and Fall Injury Claims

I recently settled a case for Michael Lesik. He suffered injuries when he fell walking down a stairway. He left the following review:

“If you are looking for a lawyer who is very intelligent, organized, knowledgeable, experienced, knows the law, humanistic and is committed to represent your interests. STOP!! Go no further!! Your search is over!! Your legal representative is Tim Louis. In addition, Karolina and Krista make a formidable legal team. They are knowledgeable, reassuring and a pleasure to work with. Collectively they make a winning team.”

I have been successfully representing Slip and Fall victims for 37 years. If you would like a free consultation, call me at 778-855-3494.

If you would like to know what my previous clients have to say about me, check out my reviews. Testimonials

Learn about the Occupier’s Liability Act:
https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/00_96337_01

 

 

Client Reviews

Personal Injury Questions

Personal Injury

Personal Injury Law Questions

Have you recently suffered injuries because of a personal injury such as a slip and fall? You don’t have to suffer ongoing pain and deal with a loss of income on your own. Personal Injury Lawyer Tim Louis will fight for a fair settlement and the compensation you deserve. When you get injured due to someone’s negligence, you need the best advice possible from an experienced lawyer.

In the last month, I have received a number of questions about personal injury. Here are just a few of these questions with the answers I provided.

“Are personal injury claims taxable?”

The good news here is that personal injury claims are not taxable. However, you should be aware of the fact that if you are compensated for past loss of income (income you did not receive because of the personal injury) the defendant is only liable to you for what your net income would have been. Your net income is your gross income minus all deductions, including income tax.

“How to hire a personal injury Lawyer?”

One of the best ways to choose the right personal injury lawyer is to see what previous clients say about that lawyer. It is next to impossible to fully assess a lawyer’s ability to serve you during an interview. On the other hand, former clients who have been represented throughout their entire claim up to and including settlement or trial, will be able to give you a much more complete and well-rounded assessment of the lawyer you are considering.

Once you have selected a lawyer, you will meet with her/him for an initial appointment at which the lawyer will obtain from you all the information necessary to open your file, draft a contract between you and the lawyer and start the law suit.

“When do I hire a personal injury lawyer?”

There are very few situations I am aware of where the injured party did not require a lawyer. Even where liability is admitted by the at-fault party, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the injured party to get full compensation without a lawyer. A lawyer will know how best to go about getting all of the necessary expert reports. These expert reports may not just come from the family doctor and other caregivers, but also from a vocational consultant and an economist.

If you have been injured, contact Vancouver personal injury lawyer Tim Louis at (604) 732-7678.

Tim Louis is a personal injury lawyer who represents your best interests, rather than a big law firm’s bottom line. With over forty years experience in Personal Injury Lawyer, he is your best choice for a lawyer when you get injured. Whether it is a dog bite, or you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve the guidance and support of and experienced lawyer who is ready to fight for your rights.

After the trauma of being injured, the last thing you want to do is deal with the stress of legal issues – Tim Louis is here to guide you through the legal issues, answer your questions and fight for you. Settling before a trial is the best way to get the compensation for a personal injury.

Tim Louis’ goal is to obtain for his clients an out-of-court settlement equal to what the client would achieve by going to trial. He does this by thoroughly preparing for trial, even though the goal is to settle before trial. In this way, he is able to get you the very best settlement.

Have more questions? Contact us at (604) 732-7678 or send us an email at timlouis@timlouislaw.com.

 

 

Client Reviews

Disability Claims for Self-Employed Professionals

Disability Claims for Self-Employed Professionals

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

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

Know the Terms & Conditions of Your Insurance Policy

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

Know Your Rights about Disability Claims

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

Know the Strict Time Limitations

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

Here some common red flags you should be aware of:

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

Hire An Experienced Disability Lawyer

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

Contact Tim Louis & Company

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

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

 

 

Client Reviews

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

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/

The Differences Between Litigating Personal Injury in Canada Versus the United States

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There are a number of differences between countries when litigating personal injury cases in Canada versus the United States. While the two legal systems generally share the same core values and principles and basic notions of rule of law, there are some major differences between the two systems. Canadians have a reputation of being less litigious than Americans, but the differences don’t stop there.

Court system

Canada has a three-court system, which includes superior, federal and provincial. Personal injury and car accident cases are legislated under the provincial court. In the United States, the federal court plays a larger role in these types of cases. Judges in Canada are also appointed by the federal or provincial government, as opposed to being elected, as they are in the States. This can lessen the influence of politics on a judge’s taking to the bench.

During the court procedures in Canada, claims are assigned to one court, which can result in different judges hearing the motions over the course of a civil action. In opposition, civil cases in the U.S. are assigned to one judge, who will preside over all court actions. It is also rare for Canadians to employ a jury system in the courts during a civil matter.

When assessing cases and history, Canadian courts not only look to Canadian judgments but also what’s happened historically in foreign cases. The U.S., on the other hand, relies mainly on what’s happened in the U.S. when they have legal questions.

judges gavelThe Province of Quebec has a court system much different from the other Canadian provinces, which applies many of the civil law traditions of France.

In Canada, the pretrial process is much more restricted than it is for their U.S. counterparts. Examinations of witnesses in the United States allow for multiple witness testimony, whereas in Canada, only one witness is able to testify on behalf of each party. As well, examinations for discovery can’t exceed seven hours in Canada, so they are time-limited. The U.S. rules for depositions (as it is called in that country) are much broader and allow for more time and examination of witnesses and evidence.

Cost & Damages

Litigating cases in Canada is less expensive than what it would cost in the U.S. and this is mainly because the rules of procedure are reduced. As well, what the winner of a legal case will get in damages can be much less than what they would get in the U.S., although losers are often made to pay for legal costs. In Canada, the losing side of a dispute will be asked to pay legal costs to the winning side, which can typically include lawyer’s fees and disbursements. If the losing party refused a reasonable offer before judgment, these costs may be even greater, although punitive damages are an infrequent occurrence in Canadian courts. General damage awards for pain and suffering are capped at CDN$300,000 in Canada. In the U.S., the losing party is often penalized with compensatory and punitive damages, in a greater amount (often astronomically greater) than what is typically seen in Canada.

Filing a personal injury claim if you are a Canadian injured in the United States

If you’ve been hurt outside of Canada, there are limitations to whether you can get your personal injury case heard in a Canadian court. The defendants need to either live or carry on business in Canada in order for the case to be under the jurisdiction of the Canadian courts. When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, if the insurance companies for both parties are located in Canada or have Canadian subsidiaries, you are able to file your case in a Canadian court.

The courts will look at other factors when determining jurisdiction, such as if the plaintiff is unable to pursue the matters outside of the country due to their extensive injuries. If they need medical attention in Canada as required because of the accident, the courts may decide to allow the case to be tried in a Canadian court.

Cross-border personal injury cases are complex and often the at-fault party in the U.S. may not have sufficient insurance to pay your claim due to lower minimum insurance requirements. Consulting a car accident lawyer is your best bet in getting your claim heard and your rights protected.

For more information about filing a claim if you have been injured through no fault of your own, contact Vancouver personal injury lawyer Tim Louis today at 604-732-7678.

Additional information for this post provided by the Law Office of Rodney K. Okano in Las Vegas, Nv.

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