Brain injury survivor shares story to promote understanding

For some doctors, non-profit employees, personal injury lawyers, and the family and caregivers of survivors, brain injury is a daily fact of life. Yet despite it being the leading cause of death and impairment in Canadians under the age of 44, and even though roughly 1.5-million people currently live with acquired brain injuries nationwide, many Canadians don’t fully understand the challenges faced by brain injury victims.

Christie McLardie of Oshawa, Ontario, wants to change that. In August, she spoke with DurhamRegion.com about the significant struggles she has overcome during her two-year recovery from an acquired brain injury. By discussing her recovery and the challenges still to come, she hopes to inspire hope in fellow survivors and improve awareness in the wider community – an aim that is sure to be lauded by personal injury lawyers.

McLardie suffered her injury when she was struck by a line-drive during a softball game in September 2016. Not yet 40, she was professionally successful, athletic, and the mother of two children.

“I was hit on the right side of my head – I don’t remember much and a lot of traumatic brain injury people don’t remember immediate times (before the hit) – but what would have happened is that line drive was coming and I knew I wouldn’t be able to react and catch the ball so I must have turned my head and as I turned my head the line drive hit me smack in the temporal area of the right side of my brain,” she told DurhamRegion.com.

McLardie was transferred to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto for emergency craniotomy surgery to remove shattered bone fragments, address brain bleeding, and replace a large section of skull with a titanium plate. Walking was difficult following the surgery, and she had trouble communicating due to slurred speech. However, McLardie was cognitively intact.

“I was slow, but Christie was there, I was just a lot slower,” she said.

After six weeks in and out of hospital, McLardie returned home to face a new challenge: the emotional journey that often accompanies recovery from a serious personal injury.

“You’re in shock for a long time, that shock turns to complacency and you feel like this is it,” she said. “Then you go into that anger mode, why is this happening to me, and they you go into a mourning so it’s like you morn the old self, and then after that – and this is where I’m at right now – I’m into acceptance and that journey to acceptance has taken me almost two years.”

If you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury or other serious injury in an accident, contact Will Davidson LLP today to speak with our experienced team of personal injury lawyers. We can help you understand your legal options and provide guidance as you seek compensation.

Brain injury is a Canada-wide issue

Brain injuries are an exceptionally common and unusually diverse affliction. As brain injury lawyers know, they can happen to any person of any age at any time, and vary widely in severity. The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) estimates that nearly 500,000 people in this province are currently living with a brain injury, and 18,000 new cases are added to that total every year.

A recent article from CBC News Nova Scotia highlighted both the prevalence and variety of brain injuries in Canada. It focused on Paul Marvin, who suffered successive concussions in 2010 and 2011, and was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury several years later. His biggest struggle today is with gaps in his memory.

“After the fourth time going to the bottom floor, it was so frustrating that I couldn’t remember what I was doing there,” Marvin told the CBC. “You just sort of stand there in a fog going, ‘What am I doing here?’ It was so frustrating I broke down and cried.”

Paul is one of roughly 100,000 Nova Scotians living with a brain injury, an affliction that has consumed his wife’s life as well as his own. Paige McFarlane left her job with the federal Department of Defence in order to assist her husband in day-to-day tasks. Injury victims’ family members are often forced to make significant personal sacrifices in support of their loved ones, a fact that brain injury lawyers are keenly aware of.

“I have to cue Paul, gosh, probably like three or four times an hour,” she said. “I cue him on different things depending on what’s going on throughout the day. ‘Hey honey, you’ve gotta get ready. We’ve got to get to that appointment.’ And then I have to remind him again, like, ‘Hey, c’mon downstairs and get your shoes on,’ because he has no sense of time. It’s exhausting to keep almost dragging somebody along.”

In the past, Nova Scotian politicians signaled that they understood the scope and gravity of brain injury in their province, and as recently as 2014 the provincial government had discussed the creation of a provincial brain injury strategy.

“We know we need to do more to support those with an acquired brain injury and their families,” former health minister Leo Glavine told Nova Scotia’s legislative assembly at that time. “This strategy will serve as an important road map to determine what needs to be addressed and what the outcomes we expect to see are and how we get there.”

However, plans to create a strategy to aid brain injury victims in Nova Scotia have fallen by the wayside, and the system remains roughly the same today as it was in 2014.

Brain injuries are a daily reality for families in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and around the country. If you or a loved one has suffered a blow to the head, contact Will Davidson LLP’s brain injury lawyers today to learn how our team can help you access compensation.

 

Image Credit: U.S. Army graphic

Ontario researchers close in on groundbreaking concussion test

Concussions are perhaps the most common form of brain injury: they can occur at any time and to anyone, from high-level athletes to retirees walking from their car to their front door. While a single concussion is unlikely to cause lasting damage, these injuries become more dangerous as they reoccur. Unfortunately, because concussions are notoriously difficult to diagnose, victims often do not realize they are vulnerable and leave themselves susceptible to additional injuries. The effects of multiple concussions are life-changing; brain injury lawyers can help victims access compensation.

Concussions are most commonly seen in contact sports like hockey and football; athletes suffer a blow to the head, shake it off, and get back into the action because no fast and simple diagnostic test exists.

However, a team of researchers in London, Ontario is aiming to change this. They have developed a blood test that they say can determine whether an individual has suffered a concussion with between 90 and 95 per cent accuracy, easily surpassing the medical community’s generally accepted 70 per cent threshold.

The development has generated excitement among researchers, athletes, and brain injury lawyers.

“For the last 10 years or so it’s kind of been the Holy Grail in traumatic brain injury research,” said Dr. Douglas Fraser, the project’s lead researcher and a physician in the London Health Sciences Centre’s Pediatric Critical Care Unit, to the CBC.

Today, doctors generally rely on two tools to diagnose concussions: medical imaging, which often produces inconclusive results; and physical testing to assess the presence of a variety of observable physiological symptoms. Blood tests have also been used, but generally focus on one or two molecules at a time. Dr. Fraser’s test ‘focuses on the levels of metabolites in the blood, a waste product generated by the body that acts as a set of chemical fingerprints,’ the CBC reported in November.

“By measuring all of these things it gives you a very good idea of what’s going on in the body at any given time, including an injury,” Fraser said. “We were very pleasantly surprised to find out that the pattern of change for 174 metabolites was really quite dramatic with an injury. It got to be quite easy to separate who had had an injury and who had not based on those patterns.”

The researchers’ concussions blood test remains in its infancy, and today can only be performed in the confines of a high-tech laboratory. However, the team believes it could soon require much more accessible equipment and be performed for as little as $40. Brain injury lawyers believe this accessibility could help reduce concussion’s troubling prominence.

“This is something with today’s technology would be the size of a toaster and could sit on a bench somewhere,” Fraser explained. “This is something that could be in an emergency room, in an athletic locker, it could be on the front lines of a military conflict.”

Until such time as Dr. Fraser’s test becomes more widely available, the brain injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP urge head injury victims to remember the risks of incurring multiple concussions. If you’ve received a blow to the head and are unsure whether you’ve suffered a concussion, err on the side of caution and avoid risky behaviour. Contact Will Davidson LLP today for more information.

Photo credit: shgmom56/Flickr

Ins-and-outs of e-bikes

The Regulation of E-bikes in Ontario

E-bikes (electric bicycles) are an increasingly common sight on Ontario roads and sidewalks. They can be the cause of significant personal injury.

Many people wonder – are e-bikes regulated the same as motor vehicles?

e-bike
An E-bike

For all regulatory purposes, e-bikes are treated the same as non-motorized bicycles. Riders must be 16 years of age or older, wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet and follow the rules of the road applicable to cyclists. Fines for riding an e-bike without an approved helmet range from $60 to $500. E-bike riders are subject to the same laws and penalties under the Highway Traffic Act and other legislation applicable to cyclists.

E-bikes are required to have pedals are not permitted to travel faster than 32 kilometres per hour. It is also an offence to modify an e-bike to operate at speeds faster than 32 kilometres per hour. It is up to each individual city or town to decide where e-bikes can be operated – whether it is on municipal streets, bicycle lanes or walking trails. In Toronto, e-bikes are not permitted to ride on bicycle paths or in bicycle lanes if they are making use of the motorized. E-bikes with over 24 inch wheels are not permitted to ride on Toronto sidewalks. E-bikes are not permitted on any 400-series highways or expressways anywhere in Ontario.

What is concerning about e-bikes is the fact that e-bike owners and operators do not need to hold a valid drivers license or insurance. E-bikes are frequently seen weaving in and out of vehicular traffic on busy city streets. Many owners remove the pedals from their e-bikes. However, removing the pedals will classify the e-bike as a motor vehicle, and riders of such modified e-bikes will then run the risk of being convicted under the Highway Traffic Act for driving without a license or driving without insurance.

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury due to an accident with an e-bike, please contact our Oakville personal injury law firm for more information about personal injury sustained due to e-bikes.

 

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Accident Benefits Denials 101

Accident benefits being denied? You can do something about it!

Denied DocumentIf you have been in a car accident you may apply for and receive accident benefits. Accident benefits can be in the form of income replacement benefits or a caregiver benefit, but accident benefits also can help with medical costs, treatments and attendant care costs. The insurance company will pay these accident benefits to the person injured in the car accident once the appropriate Auto Insurance Claim Forms are filled out.

However, accident benefits are not necessarily a long-lasting payment and it is important to understand what happens if you receive a letter denying your claims.  Take the following example: When you submit a form to the insurance company for a treatment plan, the insurer will often set up a medical examination to confirm the necessity and reasonableness of the proposed treatment plan. Depending on what the insurer’s medical examiner determines, you may be denied accident benefits for that treatment plan.

What happens next? It is important that you understand that this does not always mean accident benefits are no longer possible for you. You must apply to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). If your medical treatment benefit, or other benefit, has been denied  it is important you take action and contact FSCO for mediation. FSCO will then schedule a mediation, supposedly within 60 days of receiving the application for mediation, but this might take longer. At mediation, negotiations around your disputed accident benefits will take place. You can negotiate for yourself, or through your lawyer. These negotiations will ideally come to a resolution of the disputed accident benefit that pleases both parties.

If mediation fails, your plight is not necessarily over with. You may either file a Statement of Claim through the Courts, which will begin a court action, or you can apply for arbitration through FSCO. With both of these, a decision-maker will decide what, if anything, you receive. Like any court action, there are deadlines to submit a Statement of Claim or an application for arbitration. Make sure to educate yourself on these deadlines so you are not prevented from getting what you deserve! This is basic information regarding the process you can do if and when your accident benefits are denied. An important website you can check out for information/instructions and important forms is:

http://www.fsco.ca/en/forms/Pages/default.aspx

If you or a loved one has sustained personal injury from a car accident and wish to gain more information on accident benefits, accident benefit denials, and tort claims and legal options, do not hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm about your legal rights!

 

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Halloween horrors-slip and falls and accidents that lead to frightening injuries

Halloween accidents causing injury

On Halloween, children and adults alike will be wandering about in frightening costumes looking to receive delicious treats and provide a few “scares”. You may expect to jump from an actor causing horror and to see lots of fake blood, but it is important to ensure that you stick to the fake stuff and not have to worry about real injuries and real blood that may occur from a slip and fall or other accident.

A slip and fall can happen at any time or any place and injuries can be quite futile, but also extremely dangerous. Nobody wants to see a true Halloween horror occur, but it is important to understand what may happen if you slip and fall as you are roaming around to different neighbors’ houses collecting goodies. It is not only your neighbor, as an occupier of the property, that has responsibility (a duty of care) to reasonably ensure people on their property are kept safe from a slip and fall, but you the patron, visitor, pedestrian or even the trick-or-treater, have a responsibility to be careful too.  If you are injured in a slip and fall, you must prove that there was a dangerous condition and that dangerous condition caused you to slip and fall. You must also prove that the owner was aware of this dangerous condition and had the chance to reasonably fix the danger. Dangerous conditions can be many of a thing, but some include an uneven sidewalk, ice on the walkway that has not been attempted to be remedied or a dangerous object lying on the ground.

Jack O LanternAnother Halloween horror, that has been an increasing problem, is the danger of haunted hay ride accidents. Whether a horse is spooked, or you are spooked and fall off the hayride, they can be a dangerous activity. Only a couple of weeks ago, 5 teenagers were injured in a hay ride accident in Alabama. There is always a risk of an accident when partaking in these types of rides; however, if there has been negligence on the part of the hay ride owners or drivers, as to the trail they use and the manner in which the ride is operated, there could be a case to be made. Currently, in Michigan, a lady who was operating the hay ride tractor had an accident, fell and became paralyzed. She has begun a law suit for compensation for her injuries from the accident. According to CBS Detroit, the claim may include that the trail the hay ride took was down a dangerous and steep hill with uneven grounds which caused the accident. If this case does not go through workers compensation, this is one of the factors that the Plaintiff will argue was an act of negligence on behalf of the Defendant.

A final Halloween horror can happen as you are being terrified at a Haunted house. In the case of Deborah Mays v. Gretna Athletic Boosters Inc., the Plaintiff went to a haunted house for a fright, but ended up with an injury: a broken and bleeding nose. The Plaintiff got so spooked that she ran directly into a cinder block wall. In this case, the Defendant was not responsible for the Plaintiff’s injury. The haunted house was not unreasonably dangerous, nor was the Defendant’s actions unreasonable, since the Plaintiff presumably went to the haunted house for a good scare, which is what she got.

Whether you are trick-or-treating on your neighbors’ properties, or taking part in Halloween adventures that cause you to have a slip and fall or other accident, it is important for you to take the proper precautions to ensure your own safety. However, if someone else has not taken the proper and reasonable precautions to ensure your safety and a slip and fall or accident occurs, you may have questions about what your legal options are. If you or a loved one has sustained personal injury from a slip and fall or another accident, do not hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm about your legal rights. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

 

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Distracted Driving Accident taken to New Heights

Texting while Driving interferes with driver multitasking

The statistics on distracted driving car accidents throughout North America are quite horrendous.  In the United States it’s estimated that approximately 5,400 people lost their lives in distracted driving car accidents in 2009. It’s further estimated that nearly half a million others suffered injuries in car accidents involving distracted driving.   In a recently released statement by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) we learned that we are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident if we text while driving and four times more likely if we talk on a cellphone (hand-held or hands-free) while driving. The IBC also told us that distracted drivers experience the same level of impairment as someone man driving and using cell phonewith a blood-alcohol content of .08 and that distracted driving is estimated to be a contributing factor in eight out of 10 police-reported car accidents. Distracted driving could be described as any type of activity that takes your attention away as a driver which takes away from the responsibility of controlling your car – thereby causing a car accident.  Distracted driving can be caused by a hand held devices such as a cell phone, smart phone or iPod but also caused by hand held GPS’, eating or drinking, watching a video, reading a map on your iPhone or even something as simple as putting on makeup.

In 2011 texting and driving was taken to new heights.  A recent NTSB investigation showed that a pilot that was flying a medic helicopter in Missouri was highly distracted from texting.  The NTSB documented 240 text messages sent and received by the pilot during his day shift leading up to the accident.   Right before the accident there was 20 recorded texts.  The distraction from texting prevented the pilot from taking off without enough fuel and without knowing he did not have enough fuel reserves.  The pilot also failed to properly perform a manoeuvre that could have possibly allowed a soft landing after the engine quit but he was not sufficiently trained to do so.  The NTSB found that the pilot had missed three opportunities or checks to discover that he did not have enough fuel and that he could have possibly made an emergency landing minutes before the crash.  The NTSB was unsure if he was texting during the flight or texting during the moments before the crash.  This unfortunate accident killed a patient that was being transported from one hospital to another as well as a paramedic and flight nurse.  This was the first time the NTSB had recorded a Smartphone device causing or contributing to a fatal commercial accident.

Distracted Driving Accidents

This is an extreme example of distracted driving although quite seminal for the fact that it  was the first recorded air crash which was caused or contributed to by being distracted by texting.  Texting was thought to have interfered with the pilot’s multitasking requirements to ensure flight safety.  Quite similarly distracted driving has become a major threat on Ontario’s roadways and a main contributor of car accidents.  Driving also requires multitasking and those who use hand-free devices, speech-to-text technology, texting while driving or emailing requires a technological “tunnel vision” level of concentration that prevents drivers from taking in the visual information of their surroundings.  Being distracted while driving with a Smartphone or any hand held device causes a fundamental constraint that limits ones ability to drive and cause deadly car accidents.  Unfortunately people are still disobeying the law in droves and car accidents keep happening.

If you have been the victim injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver you have legal rights.  Please contact our Oakville car accident law firm for more information.

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High tech fishing expedition?

Insurance Companies & Plaintiff Facebook Photos – an Argument that Never Ends.

Car accident victims often face an uphill battle when seeking compensation for their injuries. As specialists representing car accident victims we try our best to place our clients injuries within a realistic range of compensation – and then advocate to get our clients into the higher end of the range. Contrarily, insurance companies advocate that the particular car accident victim’s injuries should be assessed in a lower range of compensation. Insurers often advocate that a plaintiff’s injuries may not seem as serious as the victim explains and that the victim does not suffer from a substantial  loss of enjoyment of life. One of the ways insurers do this is to try to often access (by direct access or by undertaking) a plaintiff’s Facebook profile or Facebook photos.

dislike facebook stampIn the recent case of Garacci vs. Ross the insurance company sought production of approximately 1100 photos located on the private portion of a car accident victim’s facebook profile. The plaintiff, Christina, was hit by a car while walking in January 2008. As a result she claimed compensation for serious injuries she sustained her left leg and ankle including a fracture to the ankle.

During her discovery (which is a questioning period under oath – but not in court) the car accident victim told the insurer for the driver that the accident had prevented her from enjoying her life and activities that she previously did before she was hurt. For example, after the accident she was unable to pursue activities such as soccer, waterskiing, competitive dancing and snowboarding. Her recreational and social life was affected. With this, she did not claim that she was totally disabled and did say that she went swimming at her cottage, she went to the gym, she traveled to Mexico and attended concerts.

The insurance company requested photographs that they believe were relevant to the issue of Christina’s loss of enjoyment of life. They argued to the judge that there was about 12 photos of Christina found on her public Facebook profile which showed her socializing with friends, having dinner and drinks, kneeling on the ground, climbing a tree and wrestling a friend to the ground. It was argued that if these pictures were available to the public that there must be other similar photographs depicting Christina doing some of these activities and the other 1100 pictures.

The judge found that the public photographs really didn’t show the car accident victim engaging in any kind of significant physical activity. The judge said that for the most part, Christina appeared to be simply socializing with friends and having a good time. The photos were consistent with her evidence. The judge degree with the insurance company that there may be some relevance to any of Christina’s private photographs that she engaged in significant physical activity, especially of the nature she says she is unable to enjoy. However, the judge also noted that Christina’s law firm reviewed all 1100 photos and there was nothing showing any type of physical activity. In addition, the judge reviewed approximately 10% of the 1100 photographs sought by the insurance company and he also confirmed that none of those photographs depicted Christina engaging in any significant physical activity.  The judge noted that some photos showed Christina socializing with friends, sitting in chairs, fishing, pumping gas, having a beer at a party and other low impact activities. Most of the photos are from the waist up.

It was found by the court that the request by the insurance company amounted to nothing more than a “high tech fishing expedition” and that in his view they simply wanted to rummage through 1100 personal photos to see if something turned up. This was not an appropriate or proportional form of discovery.

 

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Car Accident Victim nets 140K in compensation.

Nurse nets 140k in damages for car accident related injuries

Ms. Guzman was a licensed practical nurse when she was involved in a car accident on April 26, 2011. She was t-boned by a driver that ran a red light. She was alone in her car and wearing her seatbelt at the time of her car accident. She was taken by the ambulance to the hospital and released a few hours later.  car accident emergency crewMs. Guzman testified at her trial that she suffered injuries to her neck, left upper shoulder, left elbow, right forearm, and both of her lower legs in the car accident. What was primarily in dispute was the accuracy ever complained of ongoing pain and discomfort and the extent to which the injuries have affected her ability to work.

At the time of the accident Ms. Guzman was 53 years old, single ended not have any dependents. She lived with her younger sister who is employed as a care worker. She enjoyed cooking, working, socializing with friends and various other social activities. She described that the car accident has had interfered with her work and personal life. She was off work after the car accident for approximately 10 months. She then returned on a gradual return to work program and resume full-time employment. She testified that although she return to full-time work she found that the work was much more difficult than it was prior to her car accident. She no longer had the energy to do many of the things she used to do both at and away from work. She attended rehabilitation therapy for several years until she reached the plateau. She remained anxious about driving and being involved in other car accidents.

Various of friends, coworkers and doctors testified in this case. Most testified that Ms. Guzman no longer display the same energy and enthusiasm for work and happiness for life as she did prior to the car accident.

Various doctors testified that there was a risk that Ms. Guzman would not be a will to continue in her capacity as a nurse for the balance of her work life. Some physicians agreed that it was too early to say definitely as the remained a chance of further improvement.

Recommendations were made that included ongoing physiotherapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Psychological counseling was also recommended.

Car Accident Injury Award

The court explained the purpose of non-pecuniary general damages in it’s decision. These damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff’s pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the car accident. The award, as the court explained, was to compensate the plaintiff for the damages they suffered up to the date of trial and for the damages will suffer into the future. There are factors to be considered when awarding non-pecuniary general damages such as (no-nexhaustively) the age of the plaintiff, the nature of the injury, severity and duration of the pain, the degree of disability, the impairment family, marital, and social relationships and loss of lifestyle. It is also influenced by the individual plaintiff’s personal experiences in dealing with injuries and their consequence. The judge in this case found that a fair and reasonable award of compensation for pain and suffering in this car accident case was $50,000.

The court also explored a past economic loss. Past economic loss is to compensate the plaintiff for what he or she actually lost as a result of the car accident. In this case, Ms.Guzman had to use time from her sick bank. The judge found that to only compensate her for the net amount of her sick bank time would result in deductions being taken from her twice – now and then later when she used them in the future. This is because when she does use replenish sick bank time, she will have income tax and other deductions taken from her by her employer and would only receive the net income amount. The judge awarded past wage loss in the amount of nearly $46,000.

The court also considered future wage loss and the loss of future earning capacity. A claim for future loss of earning capacity, as the court explained, raised two key questions. Number one, whether or not the  plaintiff’s earning capacity had been impaired by his or her injuries caused in the car accident and number two, what compensation should be awarded for the financial harm that will accrue over time as a result. The essential task of the court is to compare the likelihood that the plaintiff’s future working life (that she would have had, had the accident not occurred) to the working life and losses that she may reasonably sustain as a result of the car accident. This is a matter of judgment based on the evidence and is not a pure mathematical calculation. The court noted that the appropriate means of assessment will vary from case to case.  The judge found that the plaintiff had proven on a real and substantial possibility basis that her income capacity was impaired by the car accident and awarded her $20,000 in past losses.

The court also explored a claim for future care costs as a result of the car accident. Future care is compensation for the cost of care that somebody would incur in the future as a result of their car accident injuries. The court found that a fair and reasonable award for future care for rehabilitation as well as some counseling was $16,000.

The court also looked at special damages. In this case these were mainly out-of-pocket expenses. The court awarded $6500 to reimburse her for physiotherapy and massage paid out-of-pocket. In total, this car accident victim was awarded $130,000.

If you have been in a car accident you have rights. Unfortunately our Ontario car accident laws place strict timelines on various applications and processes that an injured victim can make. Please talk to one of our lawyers and learn what your rights of recovery may be if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident. We specialize in complex and critical personal injury law and would be pleased to explain your rights to you at no obligation.

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I am injured and I keep hearing the term “general damages.” What the heck is this?

Pain and Suffering Compensation Simply Defined by Oakville Lawyers

Heard your lawyer throw around this term? Read it online? General Damages sounds pretty boring – or general but it’s actually the money paid to you as compensation. Damages by definition is essentially the same as compensation. A leading legal dictionary defines “damages” as “every person who suffers detriment from the unlawful act or omission of another may recover from the person in fault a compensation therefor in money, which is called “damages.”

Non-pecuniary simply means an imprecise assessment of how much money is appropriate to compensate. Unlike your loss of income that can be calculated to the lost dollar, or your out-of-pocket expenses – that can be calculated precisely,non-pecuniary general damages cannot.

Non-pecuniary damages are essentially intended to compensate you for your pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life and of amenities experienced as a result of the defendant’s negligence.  They are meant to compensate for such damages suffered to the date of trial and those that you will suffer into the future.

How are these General Damages calculated?

injured man on coastIn calculating general damages our courts have told us that an award should be fair and reasonable for both parties as those concepts are measured against the adverse impact of the particular injuries on the particular plaintiff: Hunt v. Ugre.  While fairness is assessed by reference to awards made in comparable cases, because each case is decided on its own unique facts and calls for an individualized assessment, it is neither possible nor desirable to develop a “tariff”.  The process is one of assessment and is not amenable to mathematical precision.

The Judge in the case of  Stapley v. Hejslet set out a non-exhaustive list of factors to be considered in awarding damages under this head.

They include: the plaintiff’s age; the nature of the injury; the severity and duration of the pain; disability; emotional suffering; loss or impairment of life; impairment of family, marital and social relationships; impairment of physical and mental abilities; loss of lifestyle; and the plaintiff’s stoicism.

For more questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

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