The Problems with measuring Pain and Suffering

When the subject of personal injury claims in Cambridge is being discussed, the first thing that often comes to mind is compensation and general damages for a person’s pain and suffering.  A personal injury lawyer that specializes in this particular area of the law knows that compensation for pain and suffering is oftentimes significant.  However, there is much more involved in many personal injury cases.  So some cases will be considerably more lucrative for the plaintiff than just damages.

How much is Your Case worth?

One of the many responsibilities of personal injury lawyers aside from seeking monetary compensation is the establishment of value in claims that involve the pain and suffering factor.  Consequently, the question “How much is my case worth?” can be difficult to answer initially without a serious evaluation of the circumstances surrounding it.  The value of a personal injury case is calculated by taking a number of factors pertaining to the case into consideration.  These include:

  • how well you recover if you do
  • nature and extent of your injuries
  • your health prior to the accident
  • your life style prior to the accident

Unlike in the US where personal injury victims are oftentimes awarded millions of dollars for general damages, the largest amount of damages recorded in a Canadian personal injury case a couple of years ago (2014) was just under $360,000.  Although it sounds crazy to put that high of a price tag on the concept of pain and suffering, there was a reason why the Canadian Supreme Court established limitations on the award amount.

For any injury lawyer in Cambridge and their support team that is involved in a personal injury claim, measuring an individual’s pain and suffering is literally impossible.  After all, how can you put a price on an intangible object? As a result, a judge or jury will be concerned with answering questions such as “Why is person A’s pain and suffering greater than person B’s?” Suffice it to say, answering such a question and establishing a value can be extremely challenging and somewhat frustrating.  You have to wonder if it is calculated fairly under these circumstances. If you like, you can always get a second opinion by referring to another lawyer. That will help you get more clarity.

The Supreme Court of Canada made pain and suffering somewhat easier to quantify by capping or setting a ceiling on the amount of damages that could be awarded.  Also, the Supreme Court did not want to see a situation evolve like it has in the US where these damages could skyrocket into the millions of dollars.  Unfortunately, many personal injury lawyers along with their injured clients feel that the cap is unfair and that the person will not be adequately compensated for their pain and suffering.  As it currently stands, receiving the maximum award is a rare occurrence.

The 6 Key Elements of a Mediation Session

Your personal injury claim has progressed to the mediation stage which your personal injury lawyer in Toronto and you have prepared for it diligently.  Everyone that is involved will be in attendance, most likely positioned around a large conference table.  The mediator opens the session and once he has provided his credentials and explains why he is qualified to be the mediator in your case, the real work begins.

After the opening statement, which he will most likely direct at you, you should expect a discussion revolving around the following 6 key elements of your session:

  • Closure – it will take about 30 days from the time you mediate a settlement until you actually receive your award.  This does depend on whether or not there are medical liens that need to be resolved.  Unfortunately, if you cannot settle in mediations, it could take years to settle your claim in a trial.

Compromise – this is required on both sides if either party has any intention of agreeing to a settlement.  It’s impossible for the plaintiff or defendant to get everything exactly the way they would if there case went into the courtroom.  The hope is to settle somewhere in between your “best day and worst day” in court.  The goal is to see both sides agree on a satisfactory settlement.

Confidentiality – everything is confidential and nothing can be used in a court trial in Toronto.  But as a general rule of thumb, mediation statements cannot be used against you in a trial.  However, the information that those statements contain can be.  This does not preclude what a defense attorney chooses to do outside of court and mediations.  He may find people who attended the session and get the information he is looking for then.

Impartiality – mediators are prohibited from taking sides in a mediation session.  So they cannot give the plaintiff or defendant any legal advice unlike your personal injury lawyer in Toronto and the defendant’s lawyer.  Additionally, the mediator is not there for the purpose of determining a loser or a winner.  He or she is there to facilitate specific communication between the plaintiff and defendant as well as reaching a settlement.

Risk factors – in mediation sessions, each side is allowed to examine those risk factors that could have an impact on your claim.  This is the only time that both lawyers will have a chance to identify those risks that each side could be facing during the course of the session.

The benefit of mediation over a jury trial is that you can control the outcome of your claim and case.  If it goes into the courtroom, the jury controls it.  The bottom line is that even in the best case scenario, a trial by jury yields an uncertain outcome. That is why it is essential that out of court settlements finalizes and you get the compensation amount faster.

Recent Changes affecting Accident Benefits Claims

The world of personal injury law is a very complex, constantly evolving entity where change is inevitable where certain laws are concerned.  One area that seems to be constantly changing is accident benefits claims.  As a result, the world of the personal injury lawyer in Brantford and his or her legal teams are in a continual state of self-education in order to stay current with the laws at hand.  So it goes with saying that these benefits are a tremendously dense and complex area of personal injury law.

There are those who contend that accident benefit rules and regulations have been designed to impose limits on an injury victim’s ability to recover what they have lost and that they tend to favor the large insurance companies.  However, it is not a group of injury victims that is responsible for making and enforcing these laws, occasionally tweaking them from time to time.  Instead it’s the insurance companies and their deep pockets, along with a handful of experts, who do so in order to satisfy political lobbyists.  But enough for the political aspects of accident benefits claims.

Arbitrary Decisions to be Aware of

While the list is rather lengthy, the following are some of the more important decisions regarding accident benefits that have recently been imposed:

  • A maximum of $400/week in standard auto insurance coverage for income replacement benefits which DO NOT reflect the past 15 years of inflation
  • Claims that are not classified as catastrophic but are not minor either will have a maximum recovery of $50,000
  • No monetary reimbursement for any injury victim that travels less than 50 km to visit their physician or healthcare provider
  • Pain and suffering deductible increases to $36,500 from $30,000
  • Soft tissue injuries that have been categorized under the guidelines for minor injuries will be eligible for no more than $3,500 maximum recovery

It would appear that the government just picked out random numbers when establishing these deductibles and maximum recoveries.  But the bottom line is that an injury victim will have to rely on the experience and expertise of an injury lawyer and their teams of legal assistants in Brantford if they feel those amounts are not satisfactory. If you or a loved one is looking to get maximum compensation, seeking the assistance of an expert lawyer is necessary.

Over and above the information presented here, the biggest amendment or change is the eventual elimination of the FSCO (Financial Services Commission of Ontario) which is scheduled to happen on March 31st, 2016.  After that point, all accident benefit claims will be handled by the LAT (License Appeal Tribunal), an organization that is already flush with other responsibilities.  Unfortunately, there is a downside to this and that is the elimination of the injury victim’s ability to dispute their claim in court.  This will also predicate the need for legal representation in some instances.

Motorcycle Riders and the Greater Risk of Personal Injury

How many times can you remember driving down one of the many Provincial highways or roads and seeing a pack of motorcycle riders cruising past you? Probably a number of times, correct? It’s difficult to imagine what drives a person to travel down the road at high speeds without having any more protection than the helmet and leather clothing that they are wearing.  There’s a simple reason for this – motorcyclists love their bikes and how it feels to take on the open road unprotected.

 

Unfortunately because of that lack of protection, these individuals are at the highest risk of getting into a serious accident with another vehicle and sustaining catastrophic injuries in the process.  There are no air bags, seat belts, or any other type of protective safety devices to decrease their exposure when being struck by a considerably heavier and much larger vehicle.  Consequently, when they encounter another vehicle and an accident ensues, their industries are very serious or catastrophic in nature.

 

In past situations such as these, many motorcyclists have had to rely on the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer in Cambridge who specializes in these types of cases.  These individuals are highly knowledgeable of the laws that apply to motorcycle riders and know how to protect their rights to getting fair and equitable compensation for their injuries and other damages.  Whenever you or loved one has been hurt or has got injured in an accident and is a victim for no-fault because the accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim is your only recourse in such matters.

 

Impact on Injury Victims

 

In Cambridge, motorcyclist accidents involving cars, semi-trucks, SUV’s, vans, trucks, and other types of vehicles can be extremely serious at the least.  As a result, motorcycle riders rarely walk away unscathed from their experience.  In many cases, the injured rider is left permanently disabled or the accident is fatal.  So as you can readily see, motorcycle accidents are rarely minor in nature and result in catastrophic injuries more often than not.  Some of the more common injuries include:

 

  • amputations
  • broken bones or more serious fractures
  • orthopedic injuries
  • spinal cord injuries
  • traumatic brain injuries

 

Your personal injury lawyer and his or her support staff understand the many challenges that motorcycle riders oftentimes face when they take to the open road so they tend to be extremely compassionate towards injured clients and their needs. Thus, if you have been injured, talk with them today.

 

So it is easy to understand why they are committed to protecting your rights to compensation for your injuries.  Your recovery is critical to your health and well-being.  So the last thing you need is the stress and worry involved with navigating the legal process. If you’ve recently been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer so you can focus on what’s more important – you and your recovery. Start looking online or get referrals from friends and family. You need to be compensated and get justice for no fault of yours.

Which Is Better -Product Liability Or Professional Indemnity Insurance?

The areas of Professional Indemnity and the one of Product Liability are definitely amongst the most interesting in the field of personal injury. The former provides monetary coverage for injuries deriving from accidents which occurred to an employee while conducting his professional obligations. Product liability on the other hand provides coverage for damages caused by faulty products. The claims in the first case are directed towards the employer or the insurance company while the claims in the second one are directed towards the manufacturer of the faulty product.

However, it becomes interesting and worthy of debate when an employee uses a faulty product while he is conducting his professional obligations. The question would be whether to take advantage of his professional indemnity insurance or the compensation provided by the product liability. To answer this, it’s important to break the areas down.

Product liability

Product liability entails the legal responsibility of every manufacturer towards a consumer who’s purchased and using its’ product. The liability is only going to arise when the product has been negligently manufactured and thus is incapable of serving its general purpose. This has to cause the user some sort of injuries in order for him to bring the case up in court. The damages can be either physical or emotional. The court won’t make a difference. For instance if a ladder breaks off and the worker falls on the ground but he doesn’t experience any severe injuries but his colleagues start making fun of him which leads to a harmed reputation – it could serve as grounds for a case.

Product liability cases are preferable because they are brought towards huge companies. This means that they are likely to offer fair settlements in order to keep the case on the low and not drag any unwanted public attention. This is something that should be taken to your advantage.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

There are different hypothesis in which this particular policy is going to take effect. However, the one that is of interest for the particular debate would include the events in which a worker has suffered an injury while conducting his professional obligation. Under the Labor legislation which is enforceable over the province of Ontario and therefore over the city of Brantford, the employer is obligated to compensate the workers for these injuries. Of course there are some underwater stones.

The work that was being conducted must have been authorized by the employer. If it wasn’t it would have to be something that is obviously going to contribute to his well-being. With this being said, it’s important to go over the particular circumstances in which the accident happened and base your decision on them.

Talking with an experienced personal injury lawyer will give the victim better clarity and information about how to progress with the case.