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

Toronto 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 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).

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 Toronto 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 Toronto 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.

Contact US

Our lawyers have a unique advantage on other law-firms in this area of practice. We have previously defended insurers that provide long term disability insurance to individuals suffering from Chronic pain. Our lawyers can help you understand your insurance policy so that you know what benefits you are entitled to and how to support your claim with the proper medical documentation. We also assist with collecting evidence,that connects your pain to your injury in structured ways,to compel the insurance companies to give proper consideration to your claim.

If you need help, schedule a free consultation with a Toronto chronic pain lawyer by calling us at 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291) or email us at info@affinitylawyers.ca. We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including 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 Toronto disability lawyer from Affinity Law who can guide you through the process of appeals and, if necessary, file a carefully structured claim against your insurer.

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

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 Toronto injury 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.

RETAIN AFFINITY LAW

Our lawyers have a unique advantage on other law-firms in our area of practice. We 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 reach us by filling out the Consultation Form. We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve. We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including 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

Sport 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.

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.

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

Hospitalizations due to sports injuries 2017-2018

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 Toronto 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 Toronto 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 Toronto 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 Toronto 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 Toronto 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. We’re here to help.

Office: 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291)
email us: info@affinitylawyers.ca.

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,

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also known as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with Fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without Fibromyalgia. This is called abnormal pain perception processing.

Fibromyalgia can be a complication or consequence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or severe emotional distress and it cannot be detected on an x-ray, CT scan, or by blood tests.

Some symptoms of Fibromyalgia include

  • Pain and stiffness all over the body.
  • Fatigue and Exhaustion.
  • Lack of focus and attention and an inability to perform routine daily activities.
  • Mood Swings and disorders.
  • Headaches including migraines & sensitivity to lights, sounds, smells.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration.
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.
  • Pain in the face or jaw.
  • Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS).

People suffering from this condition often report sensitivity to certain points on their bodies that remains for long periods of time. Other symptoms are stiffness, headaches, and tingling and numbness in hands and feet.

Fibromyalgia can be triggered by a traumatic event such as a car accident. Severe nerve pain from the accident may increase nerve signals to the brain long after the event has passed. In some cases, victims suffer from this condition over their lifetime and require physical therapy and pain management.

The risk of opioid addiction is high among sufferers. Chronic pain from fibromyalgia is substantial and can be permanent and serious in many cases to warrant an award of pain and suffering in many long-term disability cases.

As with any soft tissue injury, you need the strong advocacy of your medical provider and legal team to support an injury claim where your diagnosis is Fibromyalgia.

Contact US

Our lawyers have a unique advantage on other law-firms in this area of practice. We have previously defended insurers that provide disability insurance to individuals. 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 with a Toronto long-term disability lawyer by calling us at 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291) or email us at info@affinitylawyers.ca. We can help you secure the disability benefits resulting from Fibromyalgia claims that you deserve.

We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including 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.

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

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.

Contact our office at info@affinitylawyers.ca or 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291) for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you gain the compensation you deserve.We serve the whole Greater Toronto Area including Hamilton, Caledon and Ajax.

Psychological and PTSD Claims

Many people experience some level of depression, stress or anxiety at various times in their lives.But if your stress, anxiety or depression was caused by an accident or injury, can you recover compensation for your psychological condition if it impairs your ability to perform your job or to engage in normal, routine activities? Is it necessary that a physical injury be the cause or trigger for a legal claim of psychological injury or post-traumatic stress disorder? These are all questions, issues, and considerations that an experienced Toronto psychological damages lawyer from Affinity Law can address for you.

Claims for Mental Distress or Anguish

In many personal injury lawsuits where an injured person is bringing a claim based on the negligent conduct of another person or entity, the claimant will allege damages for medical expenses, lost income, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, and psychological or mental distress. Mental distress claims can include a wide array of symptoms:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD)
  • Sleeping problems or disturbances
  • Weight fluctuations or inconsistent eating patterns
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Mood swings, irritability and aggression
  • Lack of interest in social activities
  • Chronic pain

It is necessary that a medical professional relate these symptoms to mental distress so as to prove a causal connection to the accident or incident as being the direct cause of your distress.

Types of Lawsuits Involving Mental Distress

Any personal injury lawsuit can include a claim for mental anguish, anxiety, or distress such as:

  • Car accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Product liability
  • Premises liability
  • Wrongful death
  • False arrest
  • Intentional torts—sexual assault, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment
  • Sexual harassment

Although not essential to sustaining a viable claim for psychological harm, the more severe the incident or accident, the more credible your claim. Your psychological damages lawyer from Affinity Law can help with proving the seriousness of your injury so that you can collect the benefits to which you are entitled.

Is Physical Injury a Prerequisite?

Physical injuries are not a prerequisite for alleging psychological damages though most cases do involve a physical injury that leads to emotional distress or other psychological harm. You can bring a claim for psychological distress harm against a negligent party if it meets a two-part test:

  1. The emotional or psychological injury was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s wrongful or negligent conduct; and,
  2. The psychological injury you are suffering fromis serious enough to be a recognizable psychological condition or illness

A recognizable psychological injury or condition is typically one found in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM)-VI used by psychologists and psychiatrists when diagnosing patients. If your symptoms fit the criteria of a condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder that is severe or critical enough, you can be awarded certain benefits and your claim can go forward toward collecting additional compensation in a third-party claim. The threshold or standard to pursue a third-party claim for a physical or psychological injury is “a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical, psychological or mental function,” or one that has severely affected your ability to engage in your daily living activities.

Some unusual cases of psychological distress claims that Canadian courts have allowed to continue include:

  • Prison inmates sued the federal government for “uncomfortable detention” wherein they allegedly were denied lack of access to sunlight, a barber, sufficient library resources, and adequate sleep resulting in extreme depression, erosion of self-worth, feelings of hopelessness, and nervous shock.
  • A Calgary resident who sued a grocery co-op after she was banned for shoplifting alleged defamation, shame, loss of family honor, and which led to her husband’s suicide.
  • An Ontario motorist who was allegedly speeding, texting and under the influence of alcohol sued 3 bicyclists whom she ran over and caused serious injuries to one and fatal injuries to another alleged her own psychological suffering including PTSD, extreme depression, and catastrophic impairment and anxiety. She did claim the cyclists did not have lights on their bikes, were not wearing helmets, and were not riding in a “prudent manner.”

Although these claims may seem extreme, there are often issues that news reports do not include that would justify or support reasonable and highly plausible allegations of mental distress. In the majority of accident cases where psychological harm is alleged, there are serious and credible factors that cause injured victims severe distress that diminishes their enjoyment of life and ability to function normally.

How to Prove Emotional Distress

While Canadian courts allow a claim for emotional distress without an accompanying allegation of a physical injury, your opportunity for receiving substantial compensation is heightened if there is a physical injury element. Usually, the more serious or traumatizing the injury, the better chance the claimant has to prove that he/she did suffer emotional distress. For example, a person who suffered a permanent disfiguring scar on her face, or who is permanently impaired and in chronic pain and may never work in his chosen career or pursue a favorite activity has a much more provable claim of depression, anxiety, and distress than someone who alleges a strained back or repairable torn cartilage in his knee has caused him or her extreme anxiety.

While Canadian courts allow a claim for emotional distress without an accompanying allegation of a physical injury, your opportunity for receiving substantial compensation is heightened if there is a physical injury element. Usually, the more serious or traumatizing the injury, the better chance the claimant has to prove that he/she did suffer emotional distress. For example, a person who suffered a permanent disfiguring scar on her face, or who is permanently impaired and in chronic pain and may never work in his chosen career or pursue a favorite activity has a much more provable claim of depression, anxiety, and distress than someone who alleges a strained back or repairable torn cartilage in his knee has caused him or her extreme anxiety.

Other factors that can demonstrate severe distress include:

  • Duration of the condition—the longer you suffer on-going and chronic pain, the more credible is your claim that you are suffering severe emotional distress
  • Related bodily harm or condition—your distress is accompanied by physical signs of distress
  • An extreme underlying cause—you were a victim of a bombing, robbery where you were shot or stabbed, kidnapped, raped, or survived a car accident where one or more persons in your vehicle died or suffered gruesome injuries
  • Loss of employment—you lost your job as a result of your physical injuries
  • Medical records confirming nature and extent of your injuries
  • Psychiatric or psychologist’s records confirming visits, medications, and therapies
  • Physician’s report confirming your symptoms

If you demonstrate certain physical signs, this can be essential in proving that your psychological distress is real and sustainable. These are difficult claims to pursue that will require the skills of an experienced psychological damages lawyer from Affinity Law or an insurer will likely deny your claim.

Family Law Act

Immediate family membersthat includes spouses, children, siblings, parents, and grandparents can also pursue a separate claim for pain and suffering or emotional harm if a loved one suffered serious and permanent injuries or was killed in an accident. These damages are for the loss of the loved one’s guidance, comfort, care, or companionship.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A consequence of a particularly distressing or traumatic accident or incident such as a serious car accident,combat, a horrific natural disaster, sexual assault,pervasive sexual abuse or harassment is the onset of PTSD. This is a recognized psychological disorder characterized by feelings of anxiety, panic or fear from a triggering factor that can cause them to re-experience the trauma even if they are not in imminent danger of physical harm.  PTSD can present as intense or serious an impairment as any physical injury.

Assault victims can sue their assailants for emotional distress or PTSD if they exhibit the recognized symptoms in civil court, even if the defendants are not prosecuted in criminal courts. The civil standard for holding a defendant liable for civil damages is less than that for criminal defendants and is not dependent on the defendant being found criminally responsible. Along with seeking damages for emotional distress, a victim can also pursue damages for lost income, medical expenses, and any other financial losses attributed to the defendant’s negligence or criminal conduct.

Mental health professionals have classified PTSD and its symptoms into 3 distinct categories:

  1. Re-experiencing symptoms and suffer flashbacks and nightmares
  2. Intentionally avoiding symptoms—staying away from triggering events that can revive the traumatic incident, experiencing memory loss, emotional numbness, avoiding social contacts
  3. Hyper-sensitivity—overly sensitive, quick to anger, being constantly on edge, trouble sleeping

Car accident victims may suffer injuries that extend beyond the physical ones. It is not uncommon for an injured claimant to experience panic, anxiety, an extreme reluctance to drive a car or even be a passenger. This can cause substantially interfere with a person’s enjoyment of life or ability to engage in routine, daily activities. However, insurers typically are skeptical of PTSD claims and will require significant proof and medical or psychiatric documentation that you are indeed suffering form this condition and that it is severe enough to interfere with your ability to perform your job or to engage in routine, daily activities. For this reason, retaining a PTSD lawyer from Affinity Law soon after your accident can prevent any rejection or delay in receiving benefits.

Car accidents are the most prevalent incident that leads to PTSD in those claiming emotional harm in lawsuits or claims since they are the most common personal injury claims. This is unsurprising given the millions of cars on our highways and roads every day. Some estimates are that 10% of car injury victims experience PTSD to some degree. Risk factors that can precipitate PTSD from a car accident include:

  • Severe or traumatic car accidents
  • A serious physical injury
  • Other vehicle occupants were severely injured or killed
  • You felt that your life was threatened
  • You may have had a prior traumatic experience
  • There is a history of mental illness
  • You mentally re-experienced the trauma shortly after the accident
  • There is a history of drug and substance abuse that has unduly influenced your mood and behavior

There is a family history of PTSD

Limits on Damages for Pain and Suffering or Emotional Distress

Damages for pain and suffering, which includes psychological or emotional distress, in Canadian courts are limited. Before your claim is even eligible for a non-pecuniary (non-economic) award, you must prove that your psychological injury in this case has resulted in “a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical, psychological or mental function.”

If your claim meets this threshold test, then your non-pecuniary damages award is statutorily limited to a current cap of $380,912, a figure that fluctuates annually depending on the rate of inflation. However, your award in an Ontario court is subject to a deductible of $38,818 unless your award for pain and suffering is at least $129,395.49 as it currently sits. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 for emotional distress, it will be reduced to $61,182.00. If your award was $40,000, you would receive only $1,182.00. Any award that does not exceed the deductible will result in your not receiving any non-pecuniary damages. There is no cap or limits on economic losses, which includes lost income and medical expenses.

For family members who are able to claim non-pecuniary damages for their loved one’s catastrophic injuries, their damages are subject to a current deductible of $19,409.49, unless their loved one died in which case the deductible does not apply to reduce the award. Their claims, however, must exceed a floor of $64,697.21 before the deductible can be waived. These deductibles increase by a rate of 1.6% annually.

Retain a Toronto Psychological Damages Lawyer

Obtaining benefits for emotional distress or for suffering from PTSD as a result of the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person can be difficult. There are significant barriers to overcome, complicated applications to complete for benefits, deadlines to meet, and medical and other documents to obtain. Having an experienced and dedicated Toronto personal injury lawyer from Affinity Law to handle your case from the outset can significantly increase your opportunity to receive benefits and reasonable compensation for your damages.

Call us today for a free consultation at 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291).

Wrongful Death

There is nothing more devastating than losing someone you love in an accident. These lethal accidents can occur as a result of someone else’s negligence in a variety of situations such as a car, truck, pedestrian or motorcycle accidents to name a few. If you have lost someone you love, it is imperative you do not hesitate to consult with an experienced Toronto wrongful death lawyer.

 

WHAT QUALIFIES AS WRONGFUL DEATH?

Unfortunately, thousands of wrongful deaths occur every year, and many lead to lawsuits. When a person’s negligence or intentional acts lead to the death of another, the family of the victim has a right to expect compensation. The family members often need an experienced lawyer to protect their rights and to investigate the circumstances of the accident, to determine whether it was preventable and to protect the rights of the surviving family members. A wrongful death claim can be made by family members who have lost a loved one due to the unlawful behaviors of someone else.

 

TYPES OF INCIDENTS THAT MAY QUALIFY AS WRONGFUL DEATH

Wrongful death does not include just any kind of incident that causes the death of another. The negligent or intentional behavior of a 3rd party must have caused the death. This requirement can make some cases more obvious than others and cover a wide range of incidents.

For example, the following can potentially qualify as wrongful death claims:

  • Workplace accidents due to deficient training or oversight
  • Unlawful actions like stabbings, assaults or other forms of attacks causing death
  • Motor vehicle accidents caused by impaired driving, texting or recklessness
  • Drowning accidents under premises liability
  • Medical malpractice by doctors failing to treat an illness correctly
  • Defective products or drugs causing death

 

CAN I FILE A TORONTO WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

If you have lost someone in an accident caused by another party, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against that individual or business. Those eligible for compensation include the spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and siblings of the deceased person. There is no requirement for a person to have been financially dependent on the deceased person to be eligible for compensation. To determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, you should consult with a lawyer about the circumstances of your case.

At Affinity law, our lawyers have over 30 years of combined experience in helping families who have suffered the most tragic losses.  We have real experience in advocating claims arising from fatal accidents and in helping recover the benefits and financial compensation for families. We have dedicated resources, for conducting appropriate investigations, to root cause the incidents and determine who is responsible.

It is important to note that a statute of limitations exists in cases of wrongful death claims. This means that there is a time limit before filing a wrongful death claim.  You must act quickly if you wish to obtain compensation. We help families navigate the complex legal claims that often follow from the loss of a loved one.

 

WHAT DAMAGES ARE RECOVERABLE IN A TORONTO WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, a person filing a wrongful death claim may be able to recover financial compensation for three general types of damages.

Economic Damages – These include funeral and medical expenses related to the death, loss of the deceased’s future earnings, and loss of the deceased’s future benefits.

Non-Economic Damages – These damages are things that have less tangible value. This includes pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of inheritance, and loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages – Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages as a way of punishing the responsible party for willful or grossly negligent acts.

 

CONTACT OUR TORONTO LAWYERS FOR A FREE & CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION

We intimately know the criteria that is applied in the legal and insurance claims process and we effectively advocate for our client’s best interests. No matter whether the incident involved a motor vehicle crash or the use of a defective product or drug, we have the experience you need to investigate your claim and take the necessary legal steps properly.

If you would like to discuss your case, give us a call today at 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291) or email us at info@affinitylawyers.ca. We offer a completely free and confidential consultation of your case. We are here to help you and your family.

Accident Benefits

Accident benefits, also referred to as Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS), are for motor vehicle accident victims and are a no-fault insurance benefit that is a compulsory part of every automobile insurance policy in Ontario. Benefits are paid to eligible individuals regardless of who was at fault in a car accident. These payments compensate victims for lost earnings, medical expenses, and other economic losses incurred as a result of the accident. The amount of SABS funds and the categories under which an individual can claim benefits largely depends on the nature and extent of the injury, if the insured was employed, and other factors. To receive full accident benefits for your accident, you will need the assistance of an experienced accident benefits lawyer from Affinity Law.

Who is Eligible for SABS?

A person who suffers an impairment as a consequence of the use or operation of a motor vehicle is eligible for benefits. This includes the insured’s spouse, children and any other dependent under the applicable policy of insurance. You are not eligible for income replacement, non-earner benefits, lost educational expenses, visitor expenses, house-keeping and home maintenance expenses, however, if you were driving and lacked a valid driver’s license at the time of the accident, did not possess auto liability insurance, were driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired or were found guilty of any other criminal offense while driving.

Which Policy Pays the SABS Benefits?

Normally, the applicable policy to seek SABS benefits is the one covering the injured person. This can include a family member within the household such as a spouse or child. If you are a passenger and not insured, you look to the policy of the owner of the car in which you were riding. If that person was uninsured, then you can still seek benefits from the policy of any other car involved in the accident.

If no accident insurance is available, then you can still collect benefits under the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund or MVACF. This program provides compensation for SABS as well as for property damage and personal injury. MVACF is only available if you are a resident of Ontario and the accident occurred in this province.

How an Accidents Benefits Lawyer Can Help

The SABS application process is a complex one. Your accident benefits lawyer from Affinity Law can assist you with completing the application and ensuring that all documentation has been provided. The process has continuing obligations, meaning that you need to continually provide receipts, medical bills, employment and medical records if you are to continue receiving benefits. There are deadlines as well that your Affinity personal injury lawyer can keep you apprised of and to assure are timely met.

Your lawyer can also ensure that your full benefits to which you are entitled are being paid by the insurer. It is not unusual for an insurer to suddenly dispute a benefit or claim that your impairment or condition is not as serious as alleged or that you sufficiently recovered so that benefits may be reduced or terminated. There are significant differences in the available coverage depending on how your injury has been classified. Having an experienced accident benefits lawyer advocating for you is essential to meeting any challenge or dispute from the insured and to prevent any delay in receiving income replacement, non-earner benefits and for paying for essential medical services.

Another consideration is if your car accident occurred in the United States. If so, you can elect to receive benefits under SABS or those of the state in which your accident occurred. Your election of benefits can have a significant effect on the benefits available to you. Having a personal injury lawyer from Affinity Law to represent you is vital to receiving all the benefits and compensation to which you are entitled.

How to Apply for SABS Benefits

Insured Benefits

To apply for SBS benefits from your own or the applicable insured’s policy, follow these steps:

  1. Complete an OCF-1 form, or Application for Accident Benefits Form and submit it to the insurer
  2. Submit an OCF-3 form, or Disability Certificate that must be completed by a physician or health care professional as defined in the SABS who confirms and certifies that the insured was in an accident and that his/her injuries fit the criteria for the disability tests as set forth in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule
  3. Your employer submits an OCF-2 or Employer’s Confirmation of Income for income replacement benefits that sets forth the amounts you were paid over the 4 to 52 weeks before the accident. If you were self-employed, submit your business records for proof of income to the insurer who will confirm your gross income
  4. Keep all receipts for visits and all other out-of-pocket expenses related to your care and submit them to the insurer as soon as possible and on a regular basis

MVACF Benefits

To apply for MVACF benefits, take the following steps:

  1. Complete the OCF-1 form, or Application for Accident Benefits
  2. Sign a Consent for collection, use, and disclosure of personal information
  3. Complete Form 3 or Application for Statutory Accident Benefits
  4. Obtain and submit a police report confirming the accident
  5. Submit a letter confirming that you are not a named insured or spouse or dependent of an insured

What are the SABS Benefits?

The available benefits are listed below:

Non-Catastrophic Injuries

  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits: $50,000 payable over 10-years
  • Attendant Care Benefits: Up to $3,000 per month to a maximum of $36,000 payable over no more than 104 weeks or until the $36,000 is exhausted, whichever occurs first

However, the combination of these benefits cannot exceed a total of $65,000

  • Income replacement benefit of up to $400 weekly or 70% of weekly gross income, whichever is lower, to be paid until age 65 at which time the benefit will be reduced
  • Lost educational benefits of up to $15,000
  • Visitor expenses for up to 104 weeks
  • Non-earner benefits of $185 per week with a 4-week waiting period with payments up to 2-years

Optional benefits for non-catastrophic injuries are:

  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits: $100,000 for up to 5-years for adults
  • Attendant Care Benefits: $72,000 for up to 5-years for adults
  • Income replacement coverage can be increased to $600, $800, or $1,000 per week

However, the combination of these benefits cannot exceed a total of $130,000. An option is to purchase $1,000,000 coverage for all injuries, but you cannot purchase non-catastrophic and all injuries coverage together.

Non-earner benefits (NEB) are for those insureds who are not employed and do not qualify for income replacement benefits but who are unable to “completely carry on a normal life” because of their injuries. To be completely unable to carry on a normal life does not necessarily mean that you must be a paraplegic, bed-ridden, or suffer from some other totally incapacitating injury or illness. Rather, you must suffer from an impairment that continuously prevents you from engaging in substantially all of the activities for which you normally engaged in before the accident.Statutory Accident BenefitsSchedule Section 3 (7)(a). An impairment can also be a high level or degree of pain that prevents you from practically engaging in those activities.

Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries are for the most serious and permanently injured persons such as paraplegics, quadriplegics, the blind, amputees, and persons with significant brain trauma and psychological impairments. You can be classified as having a catastrophic injury that qualifies you for enhanced benefits by combining impairments that results in a 55% whole body impairment. A psychological impairment can be used in combination with others to determine a whole-body impairment.

Total blindness is not required to be considered catastrophic. If your loss of vision is extensive enough so that you are unable to perform your usual employment, it qualifies.

Other examples are second and third degree burns that cover more than 25% of your body, or third degree burns that cover more than 5% of your face and hands.

Catastrophic injury victims are entitled to the following:

  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits: $1,000,000 over the recipient’s lifetime
  • Attendant Care Benefits: $1,000,000 with payments of up to $6,000 per month until the benefit is exhausted. However, the combined total for these benefits cannot exceed $1,000,000
  • Housekeeping and home maintenance: $100 per month over the recipient’s lifetime
  • Caregiver benefit of $250 per week for the first-person needing care and $50 per week for the second and subsequent persons needing care. This is available for 104 weeks unless the insured sufferer is totally incapacitated or unable to continue living a normal life at which point the benefit is paid for life
  • Visitor expenses for life
  • Lost educational expenses up to $15,000
  • Non-earner benefits of $185 per week with 4-week waiting period with payments up to 2-years

Optional Coverage for Catastrophic Injuries

  • All injuries coverage–$2,000,000
  • A combination of all injuries and catastrophic coverage–$3,000,000
  • Income replacement coverage may be increased to $600, $800, or $1,000 per week

Minor Injuries (MIG)

If your injuries are minor, you are still entitled to limited benefits. These include $3,500 for medical and rehabilitation expenses only. No attendant care benefits apply. You may still be eligible for income replacement if you meet the SABS test, which requires that you be substantially unable to engage in your employment tasks.

Under some circumstances, you can be removed from this category and into the non-catastrophic where you are eligible for more and higher benefits. For instance, your medical provider could find that the accident has caused you deep depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other non-physical conditions that are the predominate cause of your disability rather than the minor physical injuries you sustained.

Death Benefits

Eligible surviving family members may receive:

  • $25,000 to the spouse
  • $10,000 to each dependent
  • $10,000 to be split among those persons in respect of whom the decedent was a dependent
  • $6,000 as a funeral benefit

These can be increased with the purchase of optional coverage to:

  • $50,000 to the spouse
  • $25,000 to each dependent
  • $25,000 to be split among those persons in respect of whom the decedent was a dependent
  • $8,000 funeral benefit

Treatment Team

Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may have a team of medical and care providers to care and support you. Medical providers and those providing therapy and other services should be advocates for you and be willing and available to communicate with you, your other providers on the team, and your lawyer. Reports and records are vital to establishing the nature and extent of your injuries, what care is needed, and if you are substantially unable to perform your pre-injury work duties so as to be eligible for income replacement or non-earner benefits.

Case managers are assigned for catastrophic injury cases to coordinate care and services for the injured party. For non-catastrophic cases, an occupational therapist or OT takes care of services and support and assesses the need for attendant services and home maintenance requirements. The OT does need to first submit a Treatment and Assessment Plan, form OCF-18, to the insurer before beginning the process. Once received, the insurer has the right to have the client examined by a physician of their choosing, referred to as a Section 44 Insurer’s Examination, to determine if the client needs to be assessed and if the requested treatment and care is reasonable and necessary. The cost of the assessment by an OT and of the examination cannot exceed $2,000. This cost is deducted from the $50,000 available for medical and rehabilitation benefits for non-catastrophic injuries.

There can be other medical and rehabilitation providers as part of a treatment team. Any assessment done by a professional must first be approved and the request submitted through a Treatment and Assessment Plan. The inclusion of these professionals depends on the nature and extent of your injuries. These individuals may include:

  • Social worker—who handles the emotional and psychological issues following a traumatic accident
  • Chiropractor—deals with physical issues such as back and neck pain
  • Psychologist—if depression and anxiety are especially severe
  • Personal support worker—person who handles attendant care
  • Massage therapist—for ongoing or chronic physical issues that massage can alleviate
  • Speech and Language therapist—if brain damage caused cognitive issues

Rehabilitation Support worker—person who assists with the implementation of various care and for re-integration into the community

The OT or case manager can determine with the assistance of these professionals what assistive devices are necessary and what workplace and home modifications are needed to accommodate the client. The insurer is obligated to pay for any modifications or assistive devices. Examples are walkers, canes, guardrails, handheld showerheads, ergonomic keyboards, ramps, wheelchairs, and other specially designed chairs.

Disputes

It is not unusual for an insurer to categorize your injuries as non-catastrophic or as minor even if you and your medical provider dispute this. Insurers will also dispute the reasonableness or necessity of certain treatments and deny consent or refuse to provide payment for care already rendered. Your Toronto car accident injury lawyer from Affinity Law can help by ensuring that your medical provider and treatment team offer the necessary documentation to support your injury. But if the dispute is unresolved, you can bring the issue before the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT) for resolution.

Settlements

If you have been receiving SABS benefits for some time, the insurer may approach you with a settlement offer. Any settlement offers, though, cannot be extended until one year after your accident that precipitated the payments. Any offer will be for a fixed amount. If you do decide to accept it, you will not be able to collect any further SABS benefits from this accident regardless if your injuries worsen or further medical treatment is necessary such as surgery and therapy. You should be cognizant that any settlement you do accept could affect any third party claim you have against the party or parties who were responsible for your accident.

RETAIN AFFINITY LAW

It is highly recommended that if you do not have a lawyer already, you at least consult with a Toronto Accident Benefits lawyer from Affinity Law to understand what options you have and what would be a fair and reasonable settlement amount. One of our knowledgeable Toronto personal injury lawyers can negotiate a reasonable settlement for you and represent you on a third party claim. Most accident benefits claims are settled after the one-year period.

Call us today for a free consultation at 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291).
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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,

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are probably the most prevalent type that occur in the majority of accidents and personal injury claims. Soft tissue refers to tissue such as ligaments, which are strong bands of inelastic connective tissue connecting bone to bone; and tendons, which are slightly elastic connective tissue connecting muscle to bone.

These injuries may accompany more serious injuries such as broken limbs, lacerations, or head trauma but may stand alone. Although most soft tissue injuries suffered in a fall, collision, assault, or other trauma are slight, non-permanent and heal or resolve with days or a few weeks, many are serious enough to warrant long periods of medical care and to result in a permanent disability.

Without a medical provider rendering a diagnosis or opinion that an injury is serious enough to meet the threshold to qualify for damages for pain and suffering, your damages will be limited to pecuniary losses such as medical expenses and lost earnings. If suffered in an auto accident, you can collect additional funds from your own auto liability policy or Accident Benefits. But to obtain damages for pain and suffering, your injuries must result in serious disfigurement or loss of a limb, or permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function. For soft tissue injuries, this threshold is not always easy to meet.

For any type of soft tissue injury caused by the negligent conduct of another person or entity, contact a Toronto soft tissue injury lawyer from Affinity Law to handle your claim.

Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back strains and sprains
  • Whiplash
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Torn ligaments
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprained ankle or wrist

These injuries often result from overuse such as carpal tunnel, bursitis or tendonitis, or from a sports injury such as torn knee ligaments or torn achilles heel.

A slip and fall can easily result in a soft tissue injury from the abrupt twist or torque of the back, neck or knee. Car accidents, especially rear-end collisions, are notorious for producing whiplash type injuries to your neck and back.

Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries

The symptoms of a soft tissue injury are varied:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Back and/or neck pain
  • Swelling
  • Headaches, dizziness nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Muscle spasms and weakness

Joint instability

If these symptoms last long enough or become chronic, a victim can become extremely depressed and require therapy or medication.

Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash injuries suffered in a car accident are likely the most common type of claim brought in any kind of personal injury action since rear-end collisions are so routine. Although most are fender-benders with no injuries, a significant number do result in acceleration-deceleration injuries of varying degrees. When a vehicle is struck from behind, the occupants in the impacted vehicle will experience a reaction in three phases:

  1. A forward bending movement or flexion of the neck that can result in the cervical spine losing its normal lordotic curvature
  2. The bones in the neck extending in an opposite direction from flexion so that the cervical spine assumes an S shape
  3. The movement continuing toward extension affecting the entire neck

Symptoms of a whiplash are not always immediately apparent at the scene of the accident. In many cases, a victim is in slight shock from the incident and symptoms will not begin to manifest until hours or days later. Further, many whiplash injuries occur when the impact speed is slight, at 15 miles per hour or even less, which can present issues of causation and result in denial of an injury claim by the responsible party’s insurer.

Treatment for these injuries usually consist of:

  • Ice for the first 24-hours
  • Heat packs
  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Neck brace or collar for support
  • Injection of lidocaine into painful areas to enable physical therapy
  • Series of range of motion exercises
  • Massage
  • TENS Unit that applies mild electric current to ease neck pain
  • Chiropractic manipulations
  • Acupuncture

Causation Issues

Because soft tissue injuries are based largely on subjective signs of trauma, insurers for parties whose negligence or intentional act caused the accident or incident are often skeptical of such claims. This is especially true if the car accident was a low impact collision. Personal injury lawyers will have to carefully but aggressively handle these claims to get their clients the compensation that they deserve. Factors to consider include:

  • Property damage to both vehicles
  • Results of clinical examination and their consistency with your symptoms and complaints
  • Progress or lack thereof in reducing pain and increasing range of motion
  • Diagnostic test results that can show loss of lordotic curve or development of herniated disc
  • Inability to perform routine daily or recreational activities
  • Inability to work or to substantially perform your normal work duties
  • Medical opinion that you have reached you MMI or maximum medical improvement

Documentation of chronic pain symptoms and limitation of activities

With strong and supportive testimony from your medical provider or chiropractor and documentary evidence of medical expenses and lost earnings, you have a better opportunity to get the compensation your injury claim deserves.

Damages in Whiplash Claims

In any car accident in Ontario, you are first required to seek accident benefits from your own insurer, regardless of fault. These pay up to $400 per week for income losses or income replacement, and $3,500 for physical therapy or other rehabilitation costs. You can still pursue damages for income and medical costs not covered by these accident benefits.

As noted, you can only collect damages for pain and suffering if the court determines that your injuries are serious and permanent. In whiplash or any other soft tissue injury case, you will need a medical opinion supported by clinical evidence of your disability. There is also a deductible on the amount awarded. In Ontario, it is $38,818.97. For instance, if you are awarded $75,000 in pain and suffering, you would receive $36,181.03. You are also limited to the maximum award for pain and suffering of around $340,000. There is no cap on pecuniary damages. No deductible applies to awards of at least $129,395.45.

Fibromyalgia

Another type of soft tissue injury is fibromyalgia, which can be a complication or consequence of post-traumatic stress disorder or severe emotional distress. The condition is marked by chronic pain, fatigue, exhaustion, lack of focus and attention, and an inability to perform routine daily activities. Sufferers often report sensitivity to certain points on their bodies that remains for long periods of time. Other symptoms are stiffness, headaches, and tingling and numbness in hands and feet.

Fibromyalgia can be triggered by a traumatic event such as a car accident. Severe nerve pain from the accident may increase nerve signals to the brain long after the event has passed. In some cases, victims suffer from this condition over their lifetime and require physical therapy and pain management. The risk of opioid addiction is high among sufferers. In any event, chronic pain from fibromyalgia is real and can be permanent and serious in many cases to warrant an award of pain and suffering in many cases.

As with any soft tissue injury, you will need the strong support or advocacy of your medical provider to support an injury claim where your diagnosis is fibromyalgia. Contact a Toronto soft tissue injury lawyer from Affinity Law to handle these often difficult claims.

ACL and Other Knee Ligament Tears

ACL tears are usually attributed to injuries suffered by athletes, but car accidents, work-related incidents, and slip and falls can certainly produce severe and debilitating knee injuries. Permanent impairment can result even after surgery since the knee generally never regains the strength it once had nor its former stability and mobility. This applies to any kind of ligament tear in the knee, including the medial cruciate ligament (MCL) or anterior cruciate (ACL). Unlike other soft tissue injuries, an MRI can clearly reveal the tear.

The ACL provides 90% of knee stability. An abrupt jerking or twisting motion can tear or sever it as can direct impact such as in a car accident or from a fall. An ACL injury can be disabling and prevent someone who was engaged in physical labor from returning to their employment or from enjoying certain recreational activities forever.

Retain Affinity Law

Soft tissue injuries can present substantial challenges to your receiving full compensation for your injuries especially for whiplash and fibromyalgia where diagnostic tests may not reveal the nature and extent of these all too real injuries that can produce permanent and chronic pain and disability. Contact one of our soft tissue injury lawyers from Affinity Law if you are suffering from injury caused by someone else’s negligence.

Call us today for a free consultation at 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291).

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

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.

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 Toronto work-related injury lawyer from Affinity Law.

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 Toronto 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 today for a free consultation at 1 844 786 LAW 1 (5291).