Medical negligence cases are among the most difficult to prove and are defended vigorously by the medical professionals

Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

Medical professionals are highly trained and skilled practitioners who nonetheless commit negligence when treating or caring for patients. Hospitals and other medical facilities also are guilty of injuring patients through negligent practices or failures of oversight. If you or a loved one was injured and suffered damages due to the negligence of a medical provider, you can bring a tort claim against them, though you will be met by defense lawyers with considerable resources who will aggressively defend the doctors, nurses, chiropractors, and facilities who are accused of injuring you or a loved one.

medical-malpractice
Medical Malpractice

What is Medical Malpractice?

A physician, nurse or any other medical provider has an obligation to exercise care when treating or caring for a patient and must adhere to a standard of care. In Ontario, this means that the provider must meet “that degree of care and skill which could be reasonably expected of a normal, prudent practitioner of the same experience and standing.” Similarly, a hospital is held to a standard of care that usually involves preventing defects in its system and policies when caring for a patient. However, hospitals are not held vicariously liable for the negligence of physicians in its facility as they are considered independent contractors and not hospital employees under Canadian law, unlike interns and residents.

A medical malpractice claim is one of negligence and the principles of this cause of action apply. The elements of a medical negligence or malpractice claim are:

  1. Duty of care—the physician must have treated the patient. If so, the provider owes a duty of care to the patient to provide the degree of care and skill that the average medical provider practicing the same specialty would provide
  2. Breach of the duty of care–the doctor’s conduct fell below or breached the standard of care by not properly diagnosing the patient’s condition, or by otherwise not providing the degree of care expected.
  3. Causation–the doctor’s error or failure to abide by the standard of care must be the cause of the patient’s injuries and damages or, if not for the doctor’s error or breach of the standard of care, the patient would not have been injured. This can be demonstrated by a showing that the patient’s condition worsened because of the error.
  4. Damages–the patient suffered damages. This includes medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

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Examples of Medical Malpractice

As  noted, physicians must adhere to a standard of care when treating or caring for patients. This includes taking a thorough medical history, performing a proper examination and ordering applicable lab tests, interpreting and reporting the results, referring and consulting with other physicians, recognizing and acting upon symptoms so as to arrive at the correct diagnosis, disclosing to the patient the risks of a procedure, obtaining informed consent from the patient, prescribing proper medications, doing proper follow-up, and providing proper therapy and treatment options.

The following are other common examples of medical malpractice:

Failure to diagnose

This can include a misdiagnosis as well. If a provider does not correctly diagnose esophageal cancer and instead labels the patient’s complaints as a bad cough and where the correct diagnosis at the time would have vastly improved the patient’s chances for recovery or a longer life, this could be medical negligence. To sustain a claim, the error must have been one that a similar physician exercising reasonable care and skill would not have made. Also, the error must have led to delayed care, improper care, or no care at all which led to a worsening of the patient’s condition.

Delayed diagnosis

Similar to a failure to diagnose, a delayed diagnosis means that the condition becomes worse to where surgery or extreme measures must be taken. If a prudent practitioner of the same experience and standing would have diagnosed the patient’s condition under the same set of circumstances, then the subject physician’s omission fell below the accepted standard of care. The physician’s failure to consult with other physicians or to refer the patient to a specialist who could have correctly diagnosed the patient or earlier may also be considered malpractice in certain circumstances.

Medication Errors

Errors in the type or dosage of medication are not uncommon. If the dosage was incorrect, severe complications can develop. If delayed, it can lead to death.
Medication errors occur as a result of:

  • Poorly written or oral communication
  • Understaffing
  • Failure to take proper precautions or follow established protocol
  • Inexperienced or ill-trained staff
  • System errors

Negligence may be found if the physician or provider:

  • Prescribed the incorrect medication
  • Administered the wrong dosage
  • Delivered an unintended medication
  • Failed to take the patient’s history and allergies
  • Failed to inform the patient of the risks associated with the medication
  • Failed to account for an adverse reaction to mixed medications

Medication error claims also include pharmacists who may have delivered medication to the wrong patient or improperly prescribed it.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia is administered during various procedures so that the patient does not feel pain. The medical care provided by the anesthesiologist must meet the accepted standard of care. Errors in anesthesia may include the following:

  • Excessive anesthesia
  • Too little anesthesia so that the patient may experience pain while not being able to communicate to the doctor or nurses
  • A delay in delivering anesthesia
  • Delivering the wrong type of anesthesia
  • Failing to monitor and recognize severe reactions to anesthesia or to interactions with other medications
  • Failing to determine if the patient is allergic to the anesthesia and administering it either accidentally or intentionally
  • Failing to take into consideration the patient’s positioning during anesthesia administration that affects the patient’s blood pressure or blood supply to the brain that can result in death or brain damage
  • Defective equipment

Complications that can arise due to inadequate delivery or other errors can be catastrophic or fatal. There can be brain damage if there is inadequate oxygen to the brain, a condition called hypoxia. An error can also lead to paralysis, stroke, seizures, malignant hyperthermia, and death.

Birth Injuries

One of the more devastating consequences of medical malpractice is a child injured before, during or just after birth because of a medical error or omission. Common types of birth injuries are:

  • Fractures
  • Hypoxia leading to brain damage (umbilical cord compression or strangulation)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Skull injuries
  • Brachial plexus or Erb’s palsy (nerve damage that can result in arm paralysis)
  • Facial paralysis
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Shoulder dystocia

Some of these injuries are the result of a failure to monitor the fetus which may be displaying signs of distress and not receiving enough oxygen. Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors can cause serious injuries. Along with the attending physician or obstetrician, other responsible parties can include the delivery room staff, hospital staff, obstetric nurses, and doctor who negligently provided pre-natal care or failed to anticipate potential complications that a doctor with similar skills and experience would have noted in the exercise of reasonable care.

The symptoms of a birth injury may be apparent at birth or while the child is developing. You may find that the child is not meeting certain milestones such as crawling, standing or walking. The child may also demonstrate a lack of muscle coordination or have learning challenges.

Surgical Equipment Left in Body Cavity

Surveys from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that surgical instruments such as sponges or tools are left in patient bodies in 12% of surgeries or about 6000 cases per year. In Canada, a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found the rate to be 8.6 of every 10,000 hospital discharges.

A patient may begin experiencing discomfort shortly after surgery that if persistent will show that the tool is the culprit after a diagnostic test. Other patients may go for months or even years before the cause of the extreme pain or complications is uncovered.

Hundreds of instruments and tools can be used during a surgery but all must be accounted for. A sponge or tool left in a body cavity can lead to infections, internal hemorrhaging, and death.

Failure to Obtain Consent

Before you are provided certain care such as surgery or other treatment, your provider is obligated to review with you the side effects, potential complications, and risks such as stroke, heart attack, emotional or cognitive changes, and others. Anything that could conceivably occur needs to be reviewed. If your doctor failed to inform you of a certain risk or complication that does occur and you suffer a severe reaction or condition that causes serious injury, you may have a claim for malpractice.

Issues in Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice claim are notoriously difficult to handle, which is why having an experienced and highly skilled Markham medical malpractice lawyer from Affinity Law is essential. Canadian physicians are protected by the Canadian Protective Medical Association (CPMA), which will vigorously defend the practitioner in a medical negligence claim. Of all medical negligence claims, 55.2% are dismissed or discontinued and 36.7% are settled. Of those claims that do go to trial, around 6.5% are found in favor of the doctor and 1.6% in favor of the patient. However, many of the claims that are dismissed or abandoned are because the legal practitioner failed to adequately investigate the claim, lacked the resources to continue to prosecute or litigate, or simply lacked the skills to pursue them.

If you or a loved one has a potential malpractice claim, there are certain facets of it of which you need to be aware:

  • All records need to be obtained. This includes any correspondence with the hospital or doctor, pamphlets that you were given, consent forms, bills, and any other records and documents related from all medical providers whom you saw for this case.
  • A team of experts is necessary who will advocate on your behalf. Having second, third and even fourth opinions on your case is beneficial, especially if they all confirm that a preventable error was the cause of your injuries and damages.
  • At least one expert is needed to establish the applicable standard of care that your provider was required to follow and to testify or report how your provider deviated from that standard or breached his/her duty to adhere to it.
  • There must be a direct connection between the alleged error and the condition or injury. Your experts must demonstrate that the doctor’s deviation from the standard of care directly led to the injury.
  • The medical provider will have to show that the error was unintentional and occurred while he/she was providing quality medical care that was consistent with and met the applicable standard of care.
  • You have 2-years from the date of the surgery or last time you received care from the doctor to file a lawsuit or it is waived.
  • If you are under 18, the 2-year statute of limitations is tolled, or delayed, until 2-years after your 18th
  • Even if the physician or staff committed an error, you have a high burden in showing that your injury and damages were the direct result of the error and would not have occurred but for the error.

There is a cap on general or non-pecuniary damages such as pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases of $380,912 with some exceptions in particularly egregious cases. There is no cap on pecuniary damages such as past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and burial and funeral expenses.

If an error or omission in care or treatment is shown, the doctor can often prevail by introducing defense medical experts who will testify that the condition or injuries were caused by some other condition or would have occurred regardless of the alleged error. If a court determines that the defense experts are more credible or that your experts have not proved to its satisfaction that malpractice occurred or that it was the direct cause of your damages, you will not prevail. A poor result or outcome of a procedure or treatment is not enough to sustain a malpractice claim. Some conditions are difficult to treat and a doctor cannot be considered a guarantor of a favorable outcome. If you were informed of the known risks and complications such as infection or stroke, the provider will not be found liable. If more than one treatment option was available and acceptable by the medical community but which turned out poorly, the provider is not responsible.

Also, unless your condition or injury is severe or serious, few legal practitioners will pursue the claim even if the error clearly constituted malpractice.

For any medical malpractice claim brought to us, you can expect a Markham medical malpractice lawyer from Affinity Law to:

  • Obtain a detailed history from you or family
  • Determine if your damages are significant enough to purse the claim
  • Accumulate all medical records pertaining to your claim from every practitioner who cared for you or the family member
  • Carefully review, identify and analyze the medical issues relating to the standard of care
  • Provide the records to medical experts to review and provide opinions on negligence, causation, and damages

Call a Markham medical malpractice lawyer from Affinity Law if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries and damages from a suspected medical error. We will take the time and effort to explain our procedures for handling such cases and give you an informed opinion about the possibilities for a satisfactory resolution of your claim.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

A dog bite is usually a nip or a small tear to your hand or leg, but in some cases the dog can leave permanent and disfiguring scars,

Chronic Pain

CHRONIC PAIN

Markham Chronic Pain, Neck & Back Injury Lawyers

Neck and back injuries are one of the leading causes of chronic pain for individuals. A 2019 survey by the Chronic Pain Association of Canada (CPAC) reported that chronic pain patients are experiencing a decline in quality of life, increase in pain, destruction of relationships, and are at a higher suicide risk. Approximately 10.5 million Canadians (30%, or one in three) suffer from chronic pain and 2 million Canadians suffer intractable, high-impact chronic pain, with most requiring opiate medicine to function and carry on with life.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is usually defined as constant or intermittent pain that stays for longer than three to six months after initial onset. Often, chronic pain is caused or worsened by injuries that do not heal properly like whiplash or a back injury from a car accident. Back injuries also account for many workers’ compensation payments. Activities involving bending and twisting like lifting, carrying, and lowering are most likely to result in back and neck injuries. Neck injuries can result from repetitive movements that place strain on the neck and shoulder area. Activities like weightlifting, contact sports, heavy duty construction work and others can cause chronic damage to the neck and shoulders.

Insurance Companies and Chronic Pain Claims

Insurers can be skeptical regarding claims of chronic pain as it is an invisible injury in numerous cases (unlike an objective injury e.g.fractures) and may deny your claim as a result.Many individuals with chronic pain disorders also suffer mental health issues like depression. Chronic back pain has many causes including car crashes, traumatic accidents, and more. These injuries can be devastating, stressful, and very challenging (financially and otherwise) to manage on your own.

Many long-term disability (LTD) claims involve individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. These can include Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Very serious back injuries can also result in paralysis.

Symptoms of a back injury include but are not limited to muscles spasms, lower back pain, chronic back pain, tenderness and stiffness and numbness or tingling of an extremity (limbs).

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How Affinity Law Can Advocate for You?

The most important thing to do after an incident is seek medical attention as many will not be immediately apparent. If your back was injured in an accident, it is expected that you will be receiving therapy for months, if not longer. These therapies can get expensive and with the assistance and support of a Markham accident lawyer from Affinity Law, you can leverage relevant legal expertise and engage our extensive network of legal and medical professionals, to help you in securing the best treatment and compensation you deserve.

We understand the devastating effect that chronic pain can have on one’s quality of life, and we are devoted to serving our clients and support them in getting back to the normality of life. At Affinity Law our Markham injury lawyers understand the impact of chronic pain and help you recover the compensation you need and deserve to improve your quality of life.

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

A dog bite is usually a nip or a small tear to your hand or leg, but in some cases the dog can leave permanent and disfiguring scars,

Breaks and Fractures

Breaks And Fractures

Fractures & Broken Bones

A bone fracture means there is a break in the continuity of any bone. Individuals can suffer from broken bones in almost any part of the body, from the skull or spine to the ribs, arms, legs, or pelvis.

Fractures can result from falls, impact injuries, or another traumatic events. People working in dangerous occupations, e.g. industrial workers and those who have been involved in car, bicycle or truck accidents are particularly at a high risk of suffering from a broken bone. Bone fractures are usually very painful and often incapacitate the individuals from performing routine tasks.

Depending on the location of the bone and the type of fracture that occurred, different treatment and pain management techniques are used.

Toronto Serious Injuries Lawyers
Fractures & Broken Bones

Types of Fractures

Below is a non-comprehensive list of various fractures that are commonly experienced by individuals involved in accidents etc.

Complete fracture – this happens when the bone fragments are entirely separated
Simple fracture – occurs when the bone breaks but does not puncture the skin
Compound fracture – happens when bone breaks and pierces the skin.
Compression fracture – usually occurs in the spine, where one or more vertebrae collapse
Displacement fracture – occurs when the broken bone moves from its original location to a strange angle
Incomplete fracture – occurs when the two bone fragments are still partially joined
Spiral fracture – occurs where some part of the bone has been twisted

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EFFECTS of FRACTURES and BROKEN BONE INJURIES

The best option for any fractures or broken bone injuries is prompt and appropriate medical attention, either by surgery or through a cast or sling, pain management or any other type of non-surgical treatment.

However, even after these remedies, fractures can still result in serious and permanently debilitating complications for patients, occasionally resulting in multiple surgeries or amputations.

Below are some of the long-term effects of bone fractures:

  • Permanent reduced range of motion and loss of use;
  • Permanent or partial loss of use or disability;
  • Chronic pain;
  • Nerve damage;
  • Joint problems;
  • Anxiety and depression;
  • Loss of strength; and/or
  • Arthritis

Suffering from any of the above long-term effects can affect your job, employ ability, and the standard of living (social, recreational, and family life).

Depending on your case you may be entitled to compensation for these injuries including money for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, out-of-pocket expenses (including medical expenses, transportation costs etc.), cost of future care, past and future wage loss, and loss of earning capacity.

Talk to us to – we can advise you on the next steps

Our lawyers have a unique advantage on other law-firms in our area of practice. We have previously defended insurers that you are fighting, and we intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim calculation process. We effectively advocate for our client’s best interests with that advantage.

If you or a loved one have suffered a fracture injury because of another party’s negligence, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Affinity Law can help evaluate your specific case to determine whether you have a valid claim.
We have a remarkable track record of victories in handling cases involving all types of personal injuries and accidents, including catastrophic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, work accidents, slip and falls and industrial accidents.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

A work-related injury is an event or any combination of events that occurs while on the job site or while engaged in an activity related

Work Related Injuries

Work Related Injuries

A work-related injury is an event or any combination of events that occurs while on the job site or while engaged in an activity related to your work, and results in a physical or functional abnormality from a workplace event or occupational disease.

If your employment is covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA), then you will be unable to sue your employer directly if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence or by another employee. The WSIA is a no-fault insurance system whereby you can still collect benefits even if you unintentionally caused your own injury, or your employer was not negligent.

Toronto Work Injury Lawyers
Work Related Injuries

Any injury, whether it results in lost work time or not, should be reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). But even if not reportable to the Board, the injury should be reported to health and safety committees, occupational health and safety organizations, or to your union office.

Many times, injuries are not apparent at the workplace such as symptoms from strained back or an illness from years of inhaling toxic chemicals or handling them. Heart attacks or cancer can sometimes be linked to your job from the environmental or other risks that you were exposed to over the years.

What is Considered Work-Related?

Work-related incidents that occur off the job site but still qualify as work-related include any activity that benefits your employer or occur while being in a place that is controlled or supervised by the employer. Examples include:

  • Driving to a work site
  • In a parking lot or common area controlled by the employer
  • Traveling to and from work if your employer provides the transportation
  • Going off-site to retrieve supplies or equipment for your employer or job
  • If you regularly work at home
  • Or are working at home at the request of your employer

You could also develop a psychological injury that has developed because of chronic stress or traumatic mental anxiety. Harassment or extreme work stress can produce deep depression, which can also develop following a physical injury due to changes in your life where you find yourself unable to enjoy certain activities any longer. In some cases, these non-physical conditions may not be accepted as legitimate or work-related and your claim for benefits denied. If so, you need to contact a Markham work-related injury lawyer from Affinity Law.

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Steps to Take if Injured

If you were injured at work or suspect that your heart attack, extreme anxiety, or chronic pain is the result of a work event or events over time, here are the steps to take to protect your right to benefits:

  • Report the injury to your employer or human resources department
  • Follow all rules set forth by your employer regarding work injuries
  • Get medical attention and inform the clinic, ER, or provider to report it as work-related or as a WSIB injury
  • Give a detailed account of your injury or condition to your clinic, ER or provider about how the accident happened, what time it occurred, what parts of your body were impacted, all symptoms, and why you may waited before getting medical attention
  • If there are witnesses, record their contact information
  • Complete a Form 6
  • Maintain a journal of your medical visits, medications, symptoms, and any activities you can no longer perform or have tried to perform
  • Ask your employer about modified duties
  • If no modified duties are available, attempt to find other work within your physical limitations and document your efforts to find such work
  • Promptly complete a Functional Abilities Form

It is essential that you cooperate with the WSIB and the case manager assigned to your claim and to provide any and all information requested of you. This includes attending a health examination if requested by the WSIB or your own provider, taking the prescribed medications and attending physical therapy sessions. Stay in touch with your employer and work with him/her to find you suitable employment that is within your physical limitations and skills and restores your pre-injury earnings. If there is a transition program or return to work strategy, you must follow it. Any issues with your employer about your return to work should be reported to the WSIB or case manager.

Responsibilities of the Employer

An employer has certain responsibilities if an employee is injured on the job. The primary one is to report the injury to the WSIB if the following occurred:

  • The employee had to seek health care for the work-related injury or occupational illness or injury
  • The employee had to take time off from work because of the work-related injury or occupational injury or illness
  • For construction-related injuries, the incident and injury must be immediately reported to an inspector at the Ministry of Labour, the union, and joint health and safety committee or its representative.

During the period of the employee’s absence, the employer must continue benefits such as regular contributions to the employee’s pension, life insurance, and health insurance for one year

Return to Work Obligations

Once the employee recovers and is able to return to work, the employer is obligated to reinstate the worker if the employer has at least 20 employees. If the worker has not worked continuously for at least one year before the time off, the employer is not obligated to reinstate the individual.

Should the job be no longer available, then another job must be offered to the employee that meets the worker’s physical ability and work skills. Re-employment and reinstatement rights last for two years from the date of injury or one year from the time the worker is able to return to work, unless the person turns 65.

It is up to the WSIB to determine when the employee may return to work. If partially able, the employer must provide a job suitable for his capacity. Should the employer be unable to provide accommodations to the worker to perform the essential tasks of the pre-injury job, then any vacant job that is similar to the pre-injury work must be offered. Any worker returning to work with a disability must be provided an accommodation to enable her to perform the essential duties of her pre-injury job.

In the construction industry, any worker who returns to work after an injury must be offered a job. This is regardless of how short a time he has been working or how many people are employed. This does not apply to administrative or office staff who must have been employed by this employer for at least one year before the injury and where there are at least 20 employees in the company or business.

Penalties for Violations

The WSIB can levy penalties on any employer who violates these obligations. Should an employee be terminated within 6-months of returning to work, the onus in on the employer to adequately demonstrate that the termination was not due to the injury or claim for benefits.

Benefits for a Work-Related Injury

For a work-related injury, you may be eligible to receive the following benefits:

  1. Loss of earnings
  2. Health care expenses
  3. Transportation or travel costs for medical or therapy visits
  4. Retirement compensation
  5. Work transition assessment if unable to return to your previous job or occupation
  6. Independent living allowance if seriously and permanently disabled

Work-Related Injuries Not Covered by the WSIB

There are many industries not part of the WSIB. These include:

  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Medical doctors and chiropractors
  • Trade unions
  • Private daycare facilities
  • Health clubs
  • Travel agencies
  • Photographers

If you are not covered and your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence or an agent of the employer, you could bring a personal injury claim directly against the employer for your lost earnings and medical expenses. Compensation for pain and suffering is limited to those injuries that are serious and permanent.

Even if you have no negligence claim against your employer, you can still seek benefits if available from:

  • Sick leave or other wage loss benefit
  • Short-term or long-term disability insurance
  • Health care
  • Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit
  • Ontario Works
  • Ontario Disability Support Program

Know your rights as an employee if you suffer a work-related injury. A Markham work-related injury lawyer from Affinity Law is here to assist and represent you if your benefits are not being paid or you encounter problems regarding your benefits or return to work.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

A life-time of chronic back pain, or partial or complete paralysis with its various complications characterize many spinal cord injuries.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Markham Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

A life-time of chronic back pain, or partial or complete paralysis with its various complications characterize many spinal cord injuries. These are often life-changing injuries that can require ongoing medical and even home care. To get the compensation you need, retain a Markham personal injury lawyer from Affinity Law to handle your claim from its onset to resolution.

Don’t let an injury cause you additional stress because an insurer or defendant has denied your claim or made a low-ball offer. Our lawyers have recovered millions in compensation for accident victims, even in the most difficult cases. We also understand that legal fees can be costly, which is why we only take payment upon settlement or verdict.

Markham Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Whiplash Injuries and Issues

What is the Spinal Cord?

The spinal cord is a collection or package of nerve fibers and tissue that control and make up our sensory and motor reflexes. Serious spinal injuries can cause life-long suffering and disability, significantly interfering with our customary daily activities and quality of life. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, or assaults can damage the spine in numerous ways and result in substantial and ongoing medical care and expenses.

Spinal injuries are of the following types:

  • Whiplash or soft tissue damage to tendons and ligaments from sudden and dramatic acceleration/deceleration motion of your neck that is often seen in rear-end motor vehicle collisions. A whiplash motion can also lead to fractures to the neck vertebrae.
  • Disc herniation—this is a disc rupture from trauma whereby the gelatinous material contained in the center of the disc leaks out through a tear and irritates surrounding nerves. In some cases, it canproduceintense pain necessitating surgery.
  • Incomplete spinal cord injury—a condition where the spinal cord is partially severed so that the victim may retain some degree of function. About 60% of serious spinal cord injuries are of this type.
  • Complete spinal cord injury—the spinal cord is completely severed leaving victims with no discernible motor or sensory functions. Some victimsare able to regain some function from therapy or electrical stimulation.

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Medical providers can diagnose a spinal injury through x-ray, CT scan, or an MRI. A neurological exam can verify the level of the injury, and the degree to which your muscle strength, movement, and ability to sense touch has been affected. In the case of a whiplash or soft tissue injury, the diagnosis can be made after a clinical examination based on subjective symptoms, but which correlate with the examination findings.

Whiplash Injuries and Issues

Whiplash injuries are a milder form of spinal injury and are generally treated with rest, ice and immobilization with a neck collar immediately following the trauma. Chiropractic treatment is commonly sought where a chiropractor may perform spinal manipulation or adjustments, do massage, apply heat packs, and subject the patient to a series of rehabilitative exercises.

Soft tissue injuries from a whiplash do not appear on diagnostic tests like x-rays or MRIs, though an x-ray that reveals a straightening of the normal curvature in the cervical spine, called hyperlordosis, along with certain symptoms might be evidence of trauma caused by a motor vehicle accident, fall or other incident where there is a sudden distortion of the neck. Symptoms of a whiplash include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Neck pain
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Trouble focusing or loss of memory

In injury claims where whiplash has been alleged, insurance adjusters for the responsible parties will often profess skepticism that the claimant was injured. In many of these cases, victims do not experience any symptoms for hours or a day or two following the trauma and may have denied any injury at the accident scene. The issue of whether the person was injured at all is compounded by the lack of any visible injury, such as bleeding or bruising. However, a physician or chiropractor trained to identify such injuries should conduct a careful and thorough clinical examination so as to verify the injury and rule out malingering, which is an exaggeration or fabrication of an injury in the interest of monetary gain. It often takes a seasoned Markham spinal cord injury lawyer to prompt a doctor to definitively state in a report or in testimony that the client was not a malingerer if this is an issue.

Other complicating factors are proving the degree and severity of the injury where the claimants are unable to perform their normal work duties, household duties or engage in recreational activities. Although many reliable and credible studies confirm that even low impact car collisions can result in whiplash injuries, it can be difficult to convince an insurance adjuster or a jury that the claimant has suffered a serious enough injury that has necessitated months of treatment, thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and lost income. Retaining an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer from Affinity Law who has successfully handled such claims is essential if you want a satisfactory resolution of your case.

Paralysis Injuries

The most severe spinal injuries are paralysis cases. Though there is no cure, many patients are able to restore some degree of function though occupational and physical therapy or through use of assistive and technological devices. Early intervention is often crucial and, in many cases, can minimize the severity or extent of the paralysis.

Treatments for a spinal cord injury can also entail:

  • Surgical removal of bone splinters; spinal fusion, or removal of discs
  • Reduction of inflammation by steroid injections
  • Transplanting neural stem cells to innervate muscles

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Injury symptoms may include:

  • Loss of sensation
  • No longer able to sense heat or cold
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in hands, fingers, and toes
  • Inability to controlbowel or bladder functions
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Muscle spasms
  • Diminished or complete loss of sexual function and sensitivity
  • Loss of movement
  • Respiratory difficulties

C-1 to C4 Injuries

A serious injury to the cervical or neck from C-1 to C-4 level is crucial, as it likely will result in quadriplegia (tetraplegia), which is paralysis of all four limbs. This condition may require a victim to use a ventilator to breath along with complete assistance in eating, dressing, and bathing and 24-hour care. Victims will need a specially equipped and powered wheelchair to move independently. Upper cervical cord injuries are often fatal.

Death among serious spinal cord injury victims is usually from respiratory complications, typically pneumonia.

C-5 to C-8 Injuries

The nerves in this area of the cervical spine control the arms and hands. An injury can cause partial or total paralysis of the wrist, hands, and legs. Victims will need assistance with most daily living activities.

T-1 to T-5 Injuries

The nerves in the mid-back affect muscles in your upper chest, mid-back and abdominal areas. While function in arms and hands may be unaffected, there can be paralysis in the trunk and legs. A victim can use a manual wheelchair in many cases and may stand while others will need braces.

T-6 to T-12 Injuries

Injuries to this area usually results in paraplegia, affecting the abdominal and back muscles. Upper body movement is unaffected. Victims will generally lose control of bowel or bladder function but may manage with specialized equipment. Sufferers can drive a modified vehicle and may stand or need braces for walking.

L-1 to L-5 Injuries

An injury to the lumbar spine can result in loss of bowel and bladder function and loss of movement in the hips and legs. More severely injured victims will need a wheelchair and may walk with braces.

Recovery and Prognosis

Doctors are often reluctant in many spinal cord injuries to give a firm prognosis. If there will be some recovery, it will be seen in the initial one week to 6-months after the trauma. Some patients will continue to show some improvement over the first 1-2 years.

Modern Treatments

Modern technologies are providing hope to paralysis victims. Wheelchairs are lighter and more adaptable with electric ones able to climb stairs, traverse rough terrains, and elevate the person to reach higher levels without assistance. Computers with voice commands allow anyone to type and work. More sophisticated devices use electrical stimulation that controls arm and leg muscles to permit paralyzed persons to stand or even walk. Robot technology is quickly advancing to re-train persons to walk following a spinal injury.

Damages in severe spinal cord injury cases can be substantial and ongoing. Retain a skilled Markham spinal cord injury lawyer from Affinity Law if you or a loved one has suffered such a catastrophic injury.

The Issue of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

In many cases where a person suffered spinal injuries in a car, bicycle, motorcycle accident or fall caused by the negligence of another person or entity, insurers for the at-fault party mayargue that the claimant had pre-existing degenerative disc disease (DDD), particularly if current or past diagnostic tests indicate that the claimant is suffering from this condition. DDDis often the result of the aging process that erodes the discs between the vertebrae leading to stenosis, which is a narrowing of the disc space between the vertebrae. Millions of people suffer from DDD to some extent.

Those who suffer from this condition may not exhibit any symptoms at all. Others may have sharp back pain,tingling in their hands, fingers and down to their feet, and are unable to or have extreme difficulty performing daily living activities. But trauma as a result of a car accident or fall can also cause DDD.

For all personal injury claims, the plaintiffs or claimants have the burden of proving not only fault by another party but that the accident was the cause of their injuries. You areentitled to collect compensation even if you have a pre-existing injury or condition such as DDD if you can show that the accident exacerbated or worsened your condition, though a medical expert will need to opine as to the degree that it was worsened.Alternatively, your physician can state that the accident was the cause of your condition.

If you had a previous MRI or other diagnostic test that showed the absence of DDD, or of any other pre-existing condition that constitutes the injury you claim, this can be powerful evidence that the trauma caused your injuries. In the absence of prior medical evidence, you can still offer credible proof that the accident was the cause of your symptoms and condition after the accident by demonstrating the lack of documented complaints and symptoms. If you can also show that you had been vigorously engaged in certain daily or routine activities or recreation such as golf, tennis, running, or any other sport, but which you can no longer performsince the accident as verified by your doctor, then this may be sufficient to persuade a jury that trauma was the substantial cause of your injuries.

An experienced serious injury lawyer can have your treating physician, physical therapist, neurologist, or orthopedic doctor provide a detailed medical report or testify as to the nature and extent of your injury, how it has affected your life, and the prognosis for your condition.

Retain Affinity Law

Spinal cord injuries often involve complex issues of coverage and liability issues, causation, and proof of damages. An experienced Markham catastrophic injury lawyer from Affinity Law can investigate and discover other parties who may have contributed to the accident. Because of the severity and substantial damages sustained by spinal cord injury victims, having a skilled and resourceful Markham spinal cord injury lawyer on your side can ensure that you receive all the available compensation to which you are entitled.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

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Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

A dog bite is usually a nip or a small tear to your hand or leg, but in some cases the dog can leave permanent and disfiguring scars,

Sport Injuries

Sports Injuries

Most Canadians love sports and recreation. However, these activities carry an element of risk and can lead to substantial injury and harm. If things go wrong when you are participating in a sport, sadly the effects can be catastrophic. Many thousands of Canadians are injured every year and the recovery can be complex,including seeking reimbursement for your losses.

If your injury is the result of negligence, intentional or careless conduct, inadequate supervision, unexpected aggressive behavior or unsafe facilities, you may be entitled to make an injury claim. Careers can be ruined by sports injuries, resulting in loss of income and earning potential. Some injuries also require ongoing medical treatment, surgery and attendant care.

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Hospitalizations due to sports injuries

According to Government of Canada Data Blog, Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common in sports. A concussion is type of a minor traumatic brain injury, and usually happens from a hit to the head, neck, face or another part of the body, causing the brain to move inside the skull and become injured. The short- and long-term effects of concussions and other TBIs can be serious — particularly for children and youth.

On average, concussions make up 93% of the sports and recreation-related TBIs among children and youth that are reported to CHIRPP. Ice hockey is the most common sports and recreation-related activity with reported concussions or other TBIs among males aged 5 to 14 years.All-terrain vehicle (ATV) use is also one of the leading causes of moderate to more severe TBIs.

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The chart below gives an idea of numbers of hospitalizations due to sports injuries (Statico).

Hospitalizations due to sports injuries 2017-2018

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Why Hire A Lawyer?

Establishing negligence of a 3rd party and receiving compensation for injuries suffered can be extremely complex.If you have suffered a significant injury during a sporting or other recreational activity, it is important to see a lawyer as soon as possible to understand your rights. In order to be successful, you generally have to prove that the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.

Each sport comes with different risks and the courts apply distinct criteria (standards of care) to judge each case on its own merit. If there has been a breach by a negligent party (like your employer or school etc.) in properly carrying out their responsibility (duty of care), resulting in injuries, you may be entitled to make a claim.

Examples of compensation include but are not limited to;

  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment
  • Medical expenses including cost of medication
  • Loss of income and earning potential
  • Home care assistance
  • Nursing and attendant care
  • Equipment aids and housing modifications
  • General damages for pain and suffering

The clearest way to find out if you’re entitled to claim compensation and benefits is to takeprofessional legal advice.You may have a claim for compensation if you are a professional or amateur athlete, a university, college or school student or an employee injured in a sporting event organised by work etc.

Some examples of sporting injury claims include:

  • Contact sport injuries
  • Slips and falls around swimming pools
  • Golfing injuries caused by golf balls and carts
  • Injuries caused by improper exercises prescribed by personal trainers
  • Faulty sports equipment accidents
  • Skiing and snowboarding related accidents
  • Boat, jet ski and watersports accidents

Sporting facilities, associations, clubs, schools and employers generally have insurance to cover injuries during sporting activities, and it is typically the insurance company which will pay the compensation to cover your injury claim.

If you require legal advice about making a sport injury related claim, then you have come to the right place. Our Markham sports injury lawyers are skilled in representing the rights of injured folks. No matter the type of sport or injury, Affinity Law can advise you if you are able to make a successful compensation claim for damages. Our initial consults are always free with one of our Markham personal injury lawyers.

What to do if injured while playing sports?

  • Complete medical records including the tests, blood work reports, doctor’s diagnosis along with treatment protocols and long-term prognosis
  • Complete Employment information – job duties, responsibilities confirmed by employer, nature of the job, duration of employment
  • Impact of the injury on your daily life – supported with evidence of you being unable to perform simple daily tasks necessary for living

Time Limits

Every disability insurance policy has certain time limits in which claims need to be filed. Insurance companies can reject disability claims not filed within specified time limits.Not attending medical appointments or providing medical documentation are other reasons that can result in claim denials.

Which Injuries Qualify for LTD And STD?

Coverage of STD and LTD benefits are majorly dependent on your insurance policy. An employee may be entitled to short-term disability benefits if they are considered to be continuously totally disabled for a specific time period.

Injuries arising as a direct result of motor vehicle accidents (car/bike/boat etc.) and slip and fall cases are generally included under the coverage. The treatment time is different for every disability, based on the intensity of injuries and the time required to get back to normal health.

A long term and short-term disability claim can include several types of injuries causing disability including physical and mental disabilities. Chronic pain, fractures, partial or full body paralysis etc. are types of physical disabilities while examples of mental injuries include (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, phobias, Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), mood swings, irritability and aggression.

These illnesses and injuries can adversely affect your ability to work temporarily or permanently, giving you a valid reason to file a disability claim.

If you require legal advice about making a sport injury related claim, then you have come to the right place. Our Markham sports injury lawyers are skilled in representing the rights of injured folks. No matter the type of sport or injury, Affinity Law can advise you if you are able to make a successful compensation claim for damages. Our initial consults are always free with one of our Markham personal injury lawyers.

What to do if injured while playing sports?

Regardless of the seriousness of your injury, these steps should be taken if you are injured while playing sports:

1) Get medical treatment

If you are not taken to a hospital from the location of the incident, please consult a doctor as soon as possible to get the right diagnosis and treatment for your injuries.

2) Record all the details of the accident

Write down the date, time, location, how the accident happened, and any witness information if possible, etc. If feasible, take photos of the vicinity, any hazards, and your injury.

3) Report the incident

Report your injury to the site management or organization where the incident happened.

4) Keep your records

Retain any receipts/invoices for any expenses you have from the injury, and any related communication from any insurance providers, employers, organizations or schools etc.

5) Seek professional legal advice from Affinity Law

Strict time limits usually apply in making a sports injury claim. If you have suffered a significant injury or loss, you should seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer specialised in this area of injury law.Our Markham sport injury lawyers will fully explain to you what is involved in making a claim, including the evidence requirements needed(witness statements, medical reports, independent expert reports etc).

Our team understands the impact of a serious injury on your quality of life and we’re committed to providing a clear, honest assessment of whether you are eligible to make a claim and assist you in the entire process all the way to recovery.Our firm normally works on a No Win No Fee basis. Contact us today for a no obligation free consultation.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

Serious injuries to children are not only tragic but can mean substantial medical expenses for many months or even over a life-time.

Children’s Injuries

Children’s Injuries

Child Accident Claims

Serious injuries to children are not only tragic but can mean substantial medical expenses for many months or even over a life-time. Injured children may not only be entitled to damages for their pain and suffering and diminished quality of life but also to the loss of income that they could have earned if not for the injury.

In Canada, injury is one of the leading causes of death for not only children, but for all Canadians between the ages of one and 44 according to the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. The three leading causes of injury-related deaths are motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) (17%), drowning (15%) and threats to breathing (11%) (Statistics Canada).

Toronto Children's Injury Lawyer
Child Accident Claims

Type of Child Accident Claims

There are several types of claims that can be brought on behalf of the children who are injured by the negligence of a 3rd party. These can include Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, Daycare Negligence, Birth Injuries, Injuries Involving Food,Accidents Involving Other Children, Improper Supervision and Defective Child & Infant Products etc. There are specific rules that oversee negligence against children.

While nearly all licensed caregivers do their best to safeguard children from injury, individuals and organizations sometimes do act negligently and fail to meet their “duty of care” to safeguard the children from harm. Its often reported in the news that some daycare providers intentionally cause harm to the children in their care, resulting in devastating trauma.

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Your child can also suffer serious or permanent injuries during labor and delivery by negligence of a medical professional. It is usually difficult to prove such a case by yourself.Moreover, it is your responsibility to prove that malpractice occurred. Without necessary medical and legal expertise, you are at a disadvantage while fighting for what you deserve from the parties at fault.

The experienced Markham child injury lawyers at Affinity law passionately fight for the children who have suffered injuries. We have successfully advocated numerous claims against negligent 3rd parties. We are here to defend you and your loved ones in these difficult times.

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Defective or Dangerous Children& Infant Products

Parents and caregivers have a reasonable expectation when buying children’s products (car seats, cribs, bike helmets and strollers etc.)for the products to have passed stringent safety tests. They rely on the manufactures for safety of their child’s well being and future by providing the best they can afford for their children. Unfortunately, companies frequently produce ill tested products with serious defects. Also, many products do not include appropriate directions on safe use and necessary warning labels to ensure correct use. These lapses frequently result in children being seriously injured and, in many cases, are left with permeant life alerting injures or even death.

Defective Car Seas, Dangerous Toys and Choking Hazards

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of children’s injuries. Sometimes the improper size of the seat or restraint is used but often it happens due to a defective car seat. This can include bad handles, weak construction, or buckles etc. If your child was injured due to a defective car seat, contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation with a lawyer you can trust. If another driver’s carelessness or negligence caused the car accident, you can count on us to advocate aggressively to prove it and fight for the rightful compensation you deserve.

Choking hazards are very common in children’s products and toys. These can include things like small teethers, un-inflated balloons, small pieces (like buttons on a stuff toy) that can come off with little force, and magnets in toys etc. Many children’s products are recalled due to strangulation, choking, and suffocation. Recently, Ikea agreed to pay $46 million to settle a lawsuit over a child killed by tipped dresser.

Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts to protect our children, a defective product will cause them injury. If your child has suffered any type of injury as the result of a defective child or infant product, make sure you discuss your legal options with a product liability lawyer at our firm. We can determine how you can hold the responsible party liable. No matter the particular nature of product liability claim you may have as related to a children’s product, you can count on our knowledge and experience.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury because of another party’s negligence, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Affinity Law can help evaluate your specific case to determine whether you have a valid claim.We have a remarkable track record of victories in handling cases involving all types of personal injuries and accidents, including catastrophic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, work accidents, slip and falls and industrial accidents.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

A dog bite is usually a nip or a small tear to your hand or leg, but in some cases the dog can leave permanent and disfiguring scars,

Bipolar & Mood Disorders

Bipolar & Mood Disorders

Long-term disability (LTD) insurers are usually hesitant to approve claims of psychological illnesses such as depression or bipolar disorder. Even if your treatment provider (family doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist) supports your claim, your LTD provider can deny your application.

In these challenging situations, it is crucial to hire a skilled and experienced disability lawyer who can guide you through the process of appeals and, if necessary, file a carefully structured claim against your insurer.

Bipolar & Mood Disorder Lawyers Toronto
BIPOLAR & MOOD DISORDERS

Trauma-Induced Mental Disorders

Lots of individuals do not realize that accidents (like a car or work-related accident etc.) can cause a lot more than just physical injury. People can suffer harmful mental and emotional distress which can sometimes be more devastating and life-altering than even the most serious physical injury.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes a person to experience periods of depression and altered mood. According to CAMH Bipolar disorder typically consists of three states:

  • a high state, called mania
  • a low state, called depression
  • a well state, during which many people feel normal and function well

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Most people experience some emotional ups and downs, but the mood swings for those suffering with bipolar disorder are more severe.

According to the Government of Canada public health services, about 1 in 50 adults aged 25-44 years or 45-64 years reported symptoms consistent with bipolar disorder at some point in their lifetime. Nearly 9 out of 10 Canadians who reported symptoms that met the 12-month criteria for bipolar disorder (86. 9%) reported that the condition interfered with their lives.

Individuals with bipolar disorder and depression frequently suffer from incidents of extreme sadness, feeling miserable, anxiety and confusion. With increasing intensity, the individual may struggle to cope with overwhelming feelings and distress which can sometimes take form of acts of self-injury.

Bipolar Disorder symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Inflated self-esteem, uncritical self-confidence and poor judgement.
  • Incoherent speech that others find difficult to interrupt.
  • Distractibility.
  • Disregard for consequences or risks.
  • Restlessnes spacing and decreased need for sleep.
  • Irritability or angry outbursts.

Depression symptoms may include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling sorrowful, anxious, empty, nervous, hopeless, worthless or guilty.
  • Having no or little interest in social or other activities like hobbies, sexual activity and leisure activity.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Feeling restless or lethargic.
  • Not being able to concentrate or make decisions.
  • Memory issues.
  • Poor appetite and /or involuntary weight loss or gain.
  • Pain or physical symptoms not related to an illness or injury.
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

The appropriate diagnosis of bipolar disorder, early intervention and constant support and therapy are vital to the well being and recovery of individuals suffering from this illness.Causes of Depression are not exactly known, but are thought to include chronic pain, stress, substance abuse, and genetic factors. Treatment usually consists of talk therapy and/or medication.Treatment for bipolar disorder involves a combination of counseling and pharmacotherapy (mood-stabilizing or antidepressant drugs).

How Affinity Law Can Advocate for Your Mental Illness

Most insurers, employers and co-workers do not have sufficient understanding regarding the challenge of living with mental illness and its effects. This makes dealing with it a lot more difficult and challenging and leaves people feeling isolated.

The experienced Markham disability lawyers at Affinity Law are long-term advocates for people with mental disorders that have dramatically altered their lifestyle. If you or somebody you love has been suffering an injury accident of any sort or has their disability claim denied, then you should not wait to contact our firm as soon as possible. We pride ourselves on delivering the best legal representation to those who need it most.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

Bicyclists and pedestrians have the same right to the roadways as motorists and in many instances have additional protections.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

Bicyclists and pedestrians have the same right to the roadways as motorists and in many instances have additional protections. Motorists who unlawfully turn into bike lanes, who fail to give a bicyclist enough space, or who neglect to stop or notice pedestrians legally crossing the roadways are liable for the often catastrophic injuries and damages caused by their negligence. Retain a Markham personal injury lawyer from Affinity Law to represent your interests if you have a bicycle or pedestrian injury claim.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents Lawyer Toronto
Bicyclists and pedestrians have the same right to the roadways as motorists

Bicycle Accidents

Bicycles are a wonderful and healthy mode of transportation. However, if you ride on city or suburban streets, you should be as conspicuous as possible to motorists and obey all traffic laws since you are obligated to do so. Wearing colorful clothing, having lights on your bike for night riding, staying within marked bike lanes and obeying the traffic laws can reduce your risk of being in an accident.

Also, be aware of the common causes of bicycle accidents by motorists:

  • Dooring (motorist opens door in pathway of bicyclist)
  • Driving in a bike lane
  • Passing a cyclist too closely
  • Failure to yield to bike at an intersection
  • Distracted driver
  • Impaired driver
  • Turning in front of cyclist at light or stop sign
  • Poorly designed bike lanes

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Other factors that lead to accident are road and weather conditions and a defect in the bike that affects the tire or it braking.

Drivers should maintain at least 3-feet of space between them and bicyclists and not drive in bike lanes unless making a turn. Before entering a bike lane, the motorist should signal and ensure that no bicyclists are at risk. Motorists in parked vehicles also have a duty to safely open their car doors so as not to interfere with an approaching cyclist.

In some cases, a poorly maintained road surface or defectively designed bike lane could leave a municipality liable for a cyclist’s injuries. If the bicycle was negligently manufactured or serviced, the manufacturer or the bike shop that performed the service could also be found responsible. These cases are usually brought if the injuries are severe and permanent since insurers for these parties will vigorously defend their insureds, and negligence can be difficult to prove. Consult a Markham bicycle accident lawyer from Affinity Law if you were injured in a bicycle accident from the fault of another party.

Proof of Negligence

Typically, in a third party injury claim, the onus is on the plaintiff or injured party to prove that another party’s negligent conduct caused the accident. However, where a bicyclist or pedestrian is the one injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, there is a “reverse onus” pursuant to Section 193(1) of the Highway Traffic Act. This section presumes that the motorist was negligent so that the burden of proof is upon the motorists to demonstrate that they acted reasonably. If they present evidence of their reasonable conduct, then the claimant must present evidence that rebuts it. In many bike accident cases, liability or the degree of fault is challenged so that having an experienced Markham bicycle accident lawyer from Affinity Law is essential so that you can pursue a third-party claim against the responsible motorist.

Currently, only minors are required to wear bicycle helmets in Ontario. But you could be found comparatively negligent in an accident even if it was caused by a motorist if you suffered a head injury that evidence shows could have been prevented or minimized if you had worn a helmet. In such cases, your compensation would be decreased by your own degree of fault.

Accident Benefits

Accident Benefits are available to injured parties in motor vehicle accidents regardless of who was at fault. Injured bike riders can look to their own auto policies for benefits, or to that of a household member such as a parent who possesses a policy. If no policy is available, the injured rider can obtain benefits from the involved vehicle’s insured. If the motorist was uninsured, then the last resort for benefits is through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

A claimant needs to notify the insurer from whom benefits are sought within 7-days of the accident. You will receive an Application from the insurer for which you have 30-days to complete and submit. The form Includes a Disability Certificate to be completed by a health provider along with a Treatment Plan if you are unable to return to work or to normal or household activities for any period of time.

Your Accident Benefits include:

  • Income replacement (up to the first 104 weeks if employed and you suffered a substantial inability to perform your work. You may receive more than 104 weeks if you are totally unable to perform work). The maximum payable is $400/week but you may receive more if you paid a higher premium.
  • Non-earner benefit of $185 per week if you suffered a total inability to carry on a normal life. Payments begin after 26-weeks have passed. You can receive $329 per week if a student or you had completed education in the year before the accident but were not yet employed.
  • Caregiver benefits if you were a caregiver at home and suffered a catastrophic injury, and you were not being paid.
  • Medical and rehabilitation if not covered by OHIP or other health and disability plan. You can receive up to $50K over 10-years, but only $3500 if it is a minor injury. In a catastrophic case, you may obtain up to $1M over your lifetime.
  • Housekeeping benefit in catastrophic injury cases or if you are substantially unable to perform household services that you actually had performed for up to $100 per week.

Third Party Claims

As an injured rider receiving Accident Benefits, you can also pursue compensation against the responsible party for pain and suffering as well as for lost income and future medical expenses that were not covered under your Accident Benefits. To have a valid third-party claim, your injury must meet a threshold standard, which is that your injury be a permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function, or a serious and permanent disfigurement.

A $30,000 deductible remains with the responsible motorist’s insurer if your award for pain and suffering is less than $100,000.

Your claim for additional compensation if you meet the threshold injury standard may include the following damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality or enjoyment of life
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Psychological impairment
  • Past and future income loss
  • Family Law Act claim by close family members

You have 120-days from the date of the accident to notify the other party of your intention to claim damages, and 2-years from the accident to file your claim in court.

Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian is any person on foot, a scooter, long board, wheelchair or bicyclist. When lawfully crossing the street, a pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle is presumed under the law to have had the right of way and fault is ascribed to the motorist pursuant to Section 193 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, referred to as the “reverse onus’. In other words, the motorist has the burden of proving that he/she was not negligent or responsible for causing the accident. In the typical injury case, the plaintiff or victim has the burden of proving the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. Once the pedestrian demonstrates that she was hit by the motorist, the driver has to prove that he acted lawfully and reasonably under the circumstances.

Any age group is vulnerable to motorists when crossing the street or being on the roadway attending a disabled vehicle or for any other reason, though seniors 65 and older seem particularly at risk probably due to moving more slowly across the street or in not being aware of approaching cars from poor eyesight or hearing. They may also be more likely to cross against the light.

Injuries in a pedestrian accident can be catastrophic, even if the impact was slight since you can be thrown to the pavement and suffer a traumatic head injury. Other injuries include:

  • Broken limbs
  • Fractured pelvis
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Spinal injuries, including paralysis
  • Death

Factors in Pedestrian Accidents

The factors that lead to pedestrian accidents are numerous:

  • Impairment
  • Distraction—cell phone use by driver or pedestrian
  • Poorly lit or illuminated intersections or roadways
  • Motorist turning at intersection and not seeing pedestrian in crosswalk
  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield to pedestrian
  • Passing car that had stopped to allow pedestrian to cross
  • Failing to stop at signal light or stop sign

A motorist might argue that the pedestrian was at fault for causing his own injuries. If he can prove the pedestrian was crossing outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk, was impaired, distracted, or created a dangerous condition such as running into the street, then a court might determine that there is no liability on the part of the motorist or impose a degree of comparative liability on the pedestrian. If the pedestrian was jaywalking, the court will want to determine if the person did not keep a proper lookout before crossing, or if the motorist should have seen the pedestrian in any event and avoided the accident.

If the pedestrian is found to be partly at fault, the damages awarded would be reduced by his degree of comparative fault. Ontario’s comparative negligence law can be characterized as a “pure” standard. In the US, many states have a modified comparative negligence standard where the plaintiff’s own negligence cannot be more than 49% or the claim will be dismissed. In Ontario, any degree of comparative negligence will not be fatal to an injury claim, even if it is 99%. It only reduces the damages awarded by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.

Compensation in Pedestrian Injury Claims

A pedestrian injured by a motorist can collect Accident Benefits from their own auto liability police if they have one, or from the at-fault driver’s policy. All auto liability policies in Ontario are required to have these benefits.

You can collect non-pecuniary damages, or pain and suffering, if your injury was serious and permanent, a serious disfigurement or loss of a limb, or a permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function

A claim for Accident Benefits must be submitted within 30-days of the accident. Eligible recipients may recover the following benefits:

  • Income replacement –Pays up to $400 weekly if your injuries prevented you from working. You can purchase optional benefits for increased payments up to $1,000 per week.
  • Non-earners—Compensates you for up to 26-weeks if disabled from engaging in normal daily activities at $185 per week
  • Caregiver—If you are the main caregiver for a dependent and unable to no longer care for them, you can be compensated for hiring someone else. This only covers certain injuries but you can purchase optional coverage that includes all injuries
  • Medical and rehabilitation—Pays for reasonable and necessary expenses not covered by a government or supplementary health plan
  • Attendant care—Expenses for hiring a caregiver for yourself due to the injuries caused by the accident
  • Other—Covers possible lost educational costs, housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, and items damaged in the vehicle
  • Death and funeral expenses–$25,000 is paid to your spouse, $10,000 to each dependent, and up to $6,000 for funeral costs. Optional coverage can increase these amounts to $50,000 for your spouse, $20,000 to each dependent, and up to $8,000 for funeral costs.

In serious cases, your insurer will often attempt to settle your Accident Benefits claim though a settlement cannot be offered until one year from the date of the accident. Once you settle, you can no longer claim these benefits. A settlement can also affect any other claim for additional compensation that you may bring against the motorist who struck you. Be sure to consult with a Markham pedestrian injury lawyer from Affinity Law if you have been offered a settlement.

Limits on Medical Payments

Medical payments are limited to $3,500 for care not covered by OHIP and if your injuries are deemed “minor” by the insurer. For injuries between “minor” and “catastrophic,” you may claim medical benefits up to $50,000. You are covered for up to $1M for catastrophic injuries such as loss of a limb, vision, paraplegia, or traumatic brain damage.

Pain and Suffering

Under Canadian law, you are limited in the amount of non-pecuniary damages you can receive, which includes pain and suffering or your diminished ability to enjoy life as you did pre-injury. The cap on these damages is raised annually per the rate of inflation and is currently at $380,912.00. Only the most egregious injuries are awarded the maximum amount.

There is no limit on pecuniary or economic damages that covers past and future loss of earnings, medical expenses and care.

The law also imposes a deductible on injury awards in car accident cases. As of 2019, there is a deductible of $38,818.97 on awards less than $129,395.49. The deductible does not apply for awards exceeding that amount. These amounts are adjusted yearly for inflation.

Hit and Run Accidents

Unfortunately, a high number of pedestrian accidents result in the motorist fleeing the scene without stopping to offer assistance, call for help, or to provide the required identification. Many drivers flee for a variety of reasons:

  • Panic
  • They are on probation for a prior criminal offense
  • Intoxication or other impairment
  • Driving a stolen vehicle
  • Unlicensed or driving on a suspended license
  • Uninsured
  • Possess or transporting contraband
  • Undocumented immigrant
  • Unaware of accident

If the driver remains unidentified, the pedestrian can still claim Accident Benefits under the unidentified or uninsured provision of their own auto liability policy or one that covers them. If they do not have a policy, they can still collect benefits under the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF). They may still bring a tort claim against the MVACF as well. Third party claims brought under the unidentified or uninsured provision or against the MVACF are limited to $200,000.

Pedestrian accidents are not always clear-cut cases of liability. Also, there are often other issues such as collection of Accident Benefits and bringing a claim against the responsible motorist or an uninsured claim. To be sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, consult and retain a Markham pedestrian accident lawyer from Affinity Law.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

Although any severe injury can be traumatic and life-altering, sustaining a brain injury might be one of the most devastating.

Brain Injuries

Brain Injuries

Although any severe injury can be traumatic and life-altering, sustaining a brain injury might be one of the most devastating. A victim might not display any visible signs of trauma such as bleeding, scarring or disfiguration but the changes in cognitive abilities, memory, mood, and personality that brain injuries can produce are all too real. Contact a Markham brain injury lawyer from Affinity Law if you or a loved one has sustained a severe or traumatic brain injury.

Toronto Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Brain injury might be one of the most devastating
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  • Bicycle
  • Pedestrian
  • Slip and fall
  • Near-drowning
  • Gunshot wound to the head
  • Struck by object on a construction site
  • Negligent medical procedure where oxygen to patient was cut off
  • Failure to monitor fetal distress leading to permanent brain injury
  • Assault
  • Child abuse
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Explosion
  • Sports activities

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Even a simple blow to the head can lead to hemorrhaging in some cases. Because of the invisible nature of many head injuries and the catastrophic consequences they may create, victims need to be examined promptly after any accident where they suffered head trauma. Also, be sure to retain one of our Markham personal injury lawyers at the outset so that your claim is handled with competence and care.

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Symptoms of a Brain Injury

The symptoms from a head injury are many and varied:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of balance
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sudden depression
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stuttering
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Anger or rage from minor provocations
  • Changes in behavior and moods

Do not ignore any of these symptoms as they can quickly escalate to more serious consequences.

Types of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries range from mild to catastrophic. They can be minor and resolve after a short time or can be permanent and catastrophic. The most common types of brain injury include:

Concussions

This is the most common type of brain injury and can occur without a loss of consciousness. When you strike your head or you suffer a violent shaking, your brain moves from side to side, damaging brain cells in the process. The severity of a concussion often depends on whether you did lose consciousness and for how long. If longer than 15 minutes, there may be more complications. If you are out for 6 hours or more, your chances of having suffered permanent brain damage is heightened. Any of the above noted symptoms are common in persons who sustained a concussion regardless if they lost consciousness or not.

Contre-coup injuries are similar to concussions and occur when contusions to the brain occur at the point of impact and on the opposite side. This can cause bleeding in the brain, usually in the frontal and temporal lobe that affects speech, swallowing and balance.

Hematomas

A more serious head injury is a hematoma where blood vessels rupture and bleed into the brain, resulting in swelling that must be relieved by surgery. There are different types of hematomas:
• Epidural—bleeding under the skull but outside the brain and dura (membrane surrounding the arachnoid mater that protects the brain)
• Subdural—bleeding between the brain and dura
• Subarachnoid—bleeding within the dura and under the arachnoid layer
• Intracerebral—bleeding within brain tissue
• Intraventricular—bleeding into the ventricles. There are four interconnected cavities in the brain where cerebrospinal fluid is generated

Skull Fracture

A blow to the head or a gunshot wound can produce a skull fracture where bone fragments are splintered and become lodged in the brain. These are classified as:

  1. Simple—minor cracks with no brain damage
  2. Linear—thin crack(s) in the skull with no brain damage
  3. Compound—a break in the skin; the bone splinters and carries a high risk of infection
  4. Depressed—a broken or crushed bone fragment becomes imbedded in the brain leading to abscesses and possible infection
  5. Penetrating—debris or a bullet pierces the skull with a high likelihood of infection and severe damage to brain tissue and cells
  6. Basilar—fracture at the base of the skull

Symptoms of a skull fracture are more serious and ominous than those associated with a concussion, and typically include:

  • Clear fluid leading from the nose or ears
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headaches
  • Slurred or loss of speech
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling in the head
  • Convulsions
  • Ringing in the ears

Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI)

One of the most serious types of brain injuries are Diffuse Axonal Injuries. In cases where a victim is unconscious for at least 6-hours, doctors will look for signs of a DAI. If the injury is serious, the victim will generally never regain consciousness. If the victim does recover, there is a high probability that he will suffer some degree of brain damage. A DAI can be diagnosed by MRIs to find lesions that may signal this type of injury. An EKG may reveal abnormal brain wave activity.

Mild to moderate sufferers may have to endure months of speech, occupational, and physical therapy.

Proof of Liability or Injury

Unless liability is acknowledged, the claimant has the burden of proving fault by another party or entity. Insurers will usually try to impose some degree of responsibility on a claimant whom they allege may not have been riding his bicycle in a marked bike lane, who crossed the street outside of a crosswalk, made an unsafe lane change, or was not wearing a helmet. One of our Markham personal injury lawyers can investigate the circumstances of your accident and if necessary, retain an accident reconstruction expert or expert in human factors to demonstrate that the other party was substantially at fault. An expert in injury biomechanics can further show how the forces of the accident generated by the defendant’s negligence contributed to the head and brain injury suffered by the plaintiff or victim. These experts are often necessary to dispel arguments that if the victim wore a helmet, he would not have suffered the injury or it would have been less severe. If proven, then the compensation awarded to you whould be reduced accordingly.

Use of Experts to Prove Damages

Similarly, in cases where a victim has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and substantial damages are alleged, the testimony of experts is not only essential but necessary to prove damages. These include medical experts in neurology, occupational and physical therapy. Medical experts can explain to a jury how the injury has affected the plaintiff’s ability to engage in daily or recreational activities, as well as her severity of pain, the likelihood of future treatments and therapy, and prognosis.

An expert in forensic economics can verify a plaintiff’s future loss of income and earning capacity as well as the value of household services provided by the injured victim. Retaining a credible expert for your case is essential to proving all your damages. Our highly experienced Markham personal injury lawyers routinely use such experts to obtain maximum compensation for our clients.

Damages in Brain Injury Cases

Your damages in a brain injury case can be substantial depending on its severity, the victim’s ability to return to work, future treatments, and prognosis. If you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle accident including as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you are entitled to Accident Benefits regardless of fault. These benefits include:

Income Replacement—if unable to work, you can receive up to 70% of your gross income but no more than $400 per week unless you opted for higher coverage that can be as much as $1000 per week.

Non-Earner—if you were not working or are a student and unable to engage in routine daily activities, you can receive up to $185 weekly.

Care-Giver—if you provided care to a dependent and are unable to do so, you may receive compensation to hire a replacement worker. These benefits only cover certain injuries.

Medical-Rehabilitation and Attendant Care—Coverage is up to $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries and to $1M for catastrophic. These are doubled if you purchased higher coverages. You can also receive assistance at home or at a facility if you sustained a serious injury.

Other benefits can include lost educational expenses, housekeeping and home maintenance, and damage to items such as a computer, glasses, clothing and other personal possessions.

You can only pursue a third-party claim for additional compensation such as pain and suffering in a car accident if your injury was “serious and permanent.” This refers to disfigurement or impairment of an important physical, mental, or psychological function. If you were injured in any other type of accident, your injury need not meet this threshold.

Damages in a brain injury case can include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future income loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Expenses for household and attendant care
  • Family claims for loss of the plaintiff’s care, love and guidance and any expenses incurred in caring for her

Damages for pain and suffering are presently capped at below $400,000. There are no limits on other damages, though they must meet the standard of reasonableness. Be sure to retain a Markham brain injury lawyer from Affinity Law to ensure that you receive all the benefits and damages to which you are entitled.

It is recommended in many brain injury cases that negotiating a settlement be delayed in order to fully assess the extent of the injury and the impact on the victim’s life and that of his/her family. If there is limited insurance or compensation available, though, your attorney may want to demand the policy limits if the injury is obviously serious and permanent. Otherwise, it may take months or even years before the injury has stabilized and the damages can be more clearly assessed.

You have 2-years to file a personal injury claim in the appropriate court. But it is vital that you promptly retain a skilled and resourceful Markham brain injury lawyer from Affinity Law so that your claim can be professionally handled, and no egregious errors made that could jeopardize the compensation to which you are entitled.

Call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have a unique advantage over other law-firms in the practice of disability claims. Our lawyers have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance. We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the claim denial process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests, fighting the very same insurance providers that have denied your disability claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation by calling us at

1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)

or email us at

info@affinitylawyers.ca

(We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.)

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including
Markham, Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.