Tag Archives: injuries

Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries: Types and Causes

Written By: William Harding and Daniel Garas, Summer Student

Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries: Types and Causes

Being involved in a motor vehicle collision or an accident of another kind may result in an injury to the spinal cord. There are varying types of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and depending on the injury, the symptoms will differ.

TYPES OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES

A) INCOMPLETE Spinal Cord Injury

These injuries are the most common of all spinal cord injuries – accounting for over 60% of SCIs.[1]

With an incomplete spinal cord injury, there still exists some degree of sensory and motor function below the site of the injury.[2] Severe chronic pain may result from these kinds of injuries.[3]

The Most Common Incomplete Injuries

Common types of incomplete spinal cord injuries

1) Anterior Cord Syndrome

Anterior Cord Syndrome results when the injury is to the front of the spinal cord. Predominately, the anterior two-thirds of the spinal cord.[4] This type of injury usually results in “motor paralysis below the level of the lesion as well as [a] loss of pain and temperature at and below the level of the lesion.”[5] Symptoms will vary depending on what portion of the spinal cord is injured.

2) Central Cord Syndrome

Central Cord Syndrome is the most common type of spinal cord injury.[6] In this case, the injury is to the center of the spinal cord. This condition leads to “motor deficits that are worse in the upper extremities as compared to the lower extremities. It may also cause bladder dysfunction (retention) and variable sensory deficits below the level of injury.”[7] Recovery of some movement in the legs is possible; recovery of movement in the arms is rare.[8]

3) Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard Syndrome is when the injury is on one side of the spinal cord – either the left or right side. The side of the body where the injury is located is affected the most. Symptoms of this injury include:  “weakness or paralysis and proprioceptive deficits on the side of the body ipsilateral [same side] to the lesion and loss of pain and temperature sensation on the contralateral [opposite] side.”[9]

Other Incomplete Injuries

Other incomplete injuries include Cauda Equina Syndrome, Conus Medullaris Syndrome, and Posterior Cord Syndrome.

Cauda Equina Syndrome results when there is damage to the “bundle of nerve roots around the lumbar level of the spinal cord.”[10] The cause of CES is spinal compression. This injury weakens the affected muscles and creates a loss of sensation, but the movement is not necessarily affected.[11]

Conus Medullaris Syndrome affects the sacral cord and lumbar nerve roots. CMS has similar symptoms to CES.[12]

Posterior Cord Syndrome results from damage to the back of the spinal cord and causes poor coordination skills.[13]

B) COMPLETE Spinal Cord Injury

A complete spinal cord injury results when the spinal cord is fully compressed or severed and results in complete bilateral paralysis below the injured site. Bilateral means that both sides of the body are affected equally. In other words, sensory and motor function is completely lost below the point of the injury.

Common types of complete spinal cord injuries.

1) Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia)

Quadriplegia is paralysis that affects all four limbs: both of the arms and both of the legs. The lesion is in the cervical spinal cord[14] and as with any spinal cord injury, the location of the injury on the cervical spine will determine the severity of the paralysis.

2) Paraplegia

A paraplegic loses all sensory and motor functions in their legs and generally the pelvis, but not in their arms. The lesion is usually located in the thoracic or lumbar portions of the spinal cord.[15] Those that are paraplegic are generally more independent as a result.

CAUSES OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES

Spinal cord injuries result from damage to the vertebrae or discs, which causes compression on the spinal cord or damage to the spinal cord directly. This can result from a traumatic blow to a person’s spine.

Studies show that the most common causes for spinal cord injuries are the following: motor vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence, and sports and recreation.[16]

HAVE YOU SUFFERED A SPINAL CORD INJURY?

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of the negligence of another person, please contact one of the personal injury lawyers at McLeish Orlando LLP for a free consultation.

 

[1] Types of Spine Injuries, Sonoran Spine, December 27, 2016, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://www.sonoranspine.com/blog/item/types-of-spine-injuries.

[2] What is an SCI, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://sciontario.org/support-services/info-insights/living-with-an-sci/what-is-an-sci/.

[3] Complete vs Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: What You Need to Know, SpinalCord.com, February 11, 2020, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://www.spinalcord.com/blog/complete-vs.-incomplete-spinal-cord-injuries [Complete v Incomplete SCI].

[4] Anterior Cord Syndrome, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Updated on August 10, 2020, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559117/.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Central Cord Syndrome, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Updated on March 6, 2021, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441932/.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Complete v Incomplete SCI, supra note 3.

[9] Brown Sequard Syndrome, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Updated on September 14, 2020, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538135/.

[10] Complete v Incomplete SCI, supra note 3.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Tetraplegia, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gtr/conditions/C0034372/.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Spinal Cord Injury, Mayo Clinic, Accessed on July 7, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20377890; Complete v Incomplete SCI, supra note 3.

McKee v. Marroquin, 2021 ONSC 5400: the Rule 48.04(1) leave requirement and conditionally striking the jury

Written By: Brandon Pedersen and Lori Khaouli, Student-at-Law

McKee v. Marroquin, 2021 ONSC 5400: the Rule 48.04(1) leave requirement and conditionally striking the jury

Overview of the Case

McKee v. Marroquin is a case arising from a motor vehicle collision that occurred on June 10, 2016, in which the plaintiff was seriously injured. The plaintiff issued a statement of claim on August 21, 2017, alleging that the accident and resulting injuries were due to the negligence of the defendants. In response, the defendant served a statement of defense and jury notice on December 14, 2017. Upon the completion of examinations for discovery of all parties, the plaintiff filed the trial record on April 20, 2018. The defendants objected, stating that numerous undertakings given by the plaintiff on discovery were still outstanding.

On November 15, 2019, the parties attended a pre-trial conference and were advised that they were ready to proceed to trial. The action was subsequently set down for trial for May 2020. Due to the disruption of the regular operation of the courts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trial was delayed. At a second pre-trial conference in June 2020, the parties once again advised that they were ready to proceed to trial. The trial was delayed once again and ultimately adjourned to the blitz sittings in January 2022 to be heard with a jury.

Leave under Rule 48.04(1)

The defendants objected to the plaintiff’s ability to bring a motion to strike the jury notice in violation of Rule 48.04(1). Under Rule 48.04(1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, a party that has set an action down for trial shall not initiate or continue any motion or form of discovery without leave of the court.

The defendants maintained the position that the plaintiff should not have been able to bring a motion due to the fact that the action had already been set down for trial. The defendants’ further argued that the plaintiff had not answered all of the undertakings given on discovery.

Emery J., for the Court, outlined a three-step test to determine whether leave should be granted under Rule 48.04(1):

[14] First, the court must determine whether the change to the circumstances is substantial or unexpected. Second, the court goes on to decide whether it would be manifestly unjust if leave was refused, or if it is necessary in the interests of justice to grant leave, as the case may be. Third, the court should exercise its discretion whether to grant leave having regard to all of the circumstances.

In granting leave, Emery J. referenced recent decisions on motions to strike jury notices in actions from Central West Region, the majority of which found that the pandemic was a substantial or unexpected change in the circumstances such that leave to bring the motion to strike should be granted.

Motion to Strike

Emery J. reviewed the principles related to motions to strike the jury notice:

[28] The bedrock principles behind the right to a jury in a civil case, what is required to displace that right, and the discretion of a judge to strike a jury notice are well settled.  Those principles were reviewed by Hourigan J.A. on the appeal in Louis v. Poitras, and by Trimble J. in Roszczka.  Notably, they include the principle restated by the Court of Appeal in Cowles v. Balac 2006), 2006 CanLII 34916 that the right to a civil jury trial is a substantive right that must not be interfered with except for just cause or cogent reasons.  The Court in Girao v. Cunningham2020 ONCA 260 also confirmed that, while the right to a jury trial is fundamental, it is not absolute and must sometimes yield to practicality.

[29] Brown J.A. described the scope of this discretion in Belton v. Spencer2020 ONCA 623 as a qualified right.  The judge hearing the motion has “rather broad discretion” to decide “whether the moving party has shown that justice to the parties will be better served by the discharge of the jury.”  Brown J.A. went on to emphasize that the paramount objective of the civil justice system is to provide the means for the disputes of parties to be resolved in the manner most just between the parties.

[30] In Louis v. Poitras, Hourigan J.A. put a fine point on this discretion by stating that “motion and trial judges have the discretion to respond to local conditions to ensure the timely delivery of justice.”  This corresponds with the view expressed by Brown J.A. in Spencer that the discretion given by the law to the presiding judge is intended to better serve the justice between the parties.  The question of whether a jury notice should be struck is case-specific, and best answered by the judge hearing the motion and likely most aware of local conditions.

[31] Similarly, the motions judge is most able to answer whether striking the jury notice will better serve the justice of the case between litigants in practical terms.

Having regard to all of the circumstances, Emery J. recognized that it would be necessary in the interests of justice for leave to be granted. Emery J. considered the significant backlog of cases requiring jury trials in the coming months and the undue delay that would prejudice the plaintiff’s case, stating that it justified the departure from the defendant’s right to a jury trial.

Jury Conditionally Struck

Emery J. ordered that the action shall remain on the Brampton trial list for the January 2022 sittings. But, if trials by jury are not provided for January 2022, the jury notice is struck, and the trial shall proceed before a judge alone. However, if the matter is not reached during the January 2022 sittings – whether by jury or judge-alone – it shall be set for a trial on the next earliest sittings by jury. If no jury trials are provided at that time, the jury notice is struck, and the trial is to proceed before a judge alone.

Why This Matters

Recent case law supports the view that the pandemic qualifies as a substantial and unexpected change in circumstances in the context of granting leave — this is especially significant for actions that were set down for trial prior to March 2020. As noted by Emery J., the trial list for May 2022 is currently closed in Brampton, and the earliest the parties in this action could expect a jury trial would be January 2023. The recent decisions of the Court overwhelmingly point to the fact that the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have a significant impact on the regular operation of the courts for the foreseeable future. However, conditionally striking the jury is an attempt to balance the interests of both plaintiffs and defendants by utilizing a modified wait-and-see approach. Given the court’s willingness to favour conditionally striking the jury over an absolute striking, counsel will have to prepare for trial without knowing whether the action will be heard by a jury or by judge-alone.

New Watermark for Loss of Care, Guidance, and Companionship Damages: Moore vs 7595611

Written By: Patrick Brown and Daniel Garas, Summer Student

In the recent decision of Moore v 7595611[1], the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld an award of $250,000 for loss of care, guidance, and companionship – a new watermark for damages of this kind.

PREVIOUS WATERMARK

The previous high-end for this head of damages was $100,000, established in To v. Toronto (City) Board of Education.[2] This 2001 decision involved a student that was killed during his physical education class when the handball net, on which he was doing pull-ups, fell on his head.[3] Under loss of care, guidance, and companionship, the parents were each awarded $100,000 – an award that would not be interfered with by the Ontario Court of Appeal.[4]

NEW WATERMARK

In the decision released on June 25, 2021, a unanimous Court dismissed the appeal by the numbered company. The Appellant, among other issues raised, challenged the jury award for loss of care, guidance, and companionship ($250,000 to each Plaintiff).

This case arose when the Plaintiffs’ daughter, as tenant, suffered serious injuries which she sustained during a house fire.[5] She was trapped, with no way of escape, and later died at Sunnybrook Hospital. [6] The Plaintiffs decided to commence an action against the Defendants for their negligent conduct.

The numbered company cited To v. Toronto (City) Board of Education, for the proposition that the award of $250,000 was too high.[7] The Appellants specifically quote paragraph 37 of the To decision, where the Court held that the $100,000 award represented the “high end of an accepted range of guidance, care, and companionship damages.”[8]

Despite this, the Court held that the threshold for interfering with a jury award is “extremely high”[9] and in the present case, agreed with the Plaintiffs’ that it should not interfere because the high standard had not been met.[10] The Court further noted that the decision in To stated that “each case must be given separate consideration.”[11]

The Court of Appeal states that ultimately “there is no neat mathematical formula that can be applied to determine the correct amount” when calculating this type of damages.[12]

In summary, Justice Fairburn writes that “while there is no question that the jury award for loss of care, guidance, and companionship, in this case, is high, in light of the factual backdrop of this case, it does not constitute an amount that ‘shocks the conscience of the court’…Nor does it represent an amount that is ‘so inordinately high’ that it is ‘wholly erroneous’ in nature.”[13] (Emphasis is my own)

WHAT THIS ALSO MEANS

Even though this case deals with the loss of a daughter, the amount and decision by the court of appeal should impact all awards relating to loss of care, guidance, and companionship (including loss of spouse, parent, grandparent) as well as adjusting the ranges given by judges at trial.

INJURED?

If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando LLP for a free consultation.

 

[1] Moore v. 7595611 Canada Corp., 2021 ONCA 459 [Moore].

[2] To v. Toronto (City) Board of Education, 150 O.A.C. 54, 204 D.L.R. (4th) 704 [Toronto Board].

[3] Ibid at para 3.

[4] Ibid at para 31.

[5] Moore, supra note 1 at para 1.

[6] Ibid at paras 2 and 3.

[7] Ibid at para 22.

[8] Ibid; Toronto Board, supra note 2 at para 37.

[9] Moore, supra note 1 at para 24.

[10] Ibid at para 26.

[11] Ibid at para 27; Toronto Board, supra note 2 at para 29.

[12] Moore, supra note 1 at para 27.

[13] Ibid at para 30.

How to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries in Sports

Written By: Lindsay Charles and Cody Malloy, Summer Student

How to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries in Sports

Let the kids play, as they say, but put safety first.  The risk of brain injuries in sports is very real.  The following statistics published by the Government of Canada illustrate the realities of brain injuries in youth sports in Canada:

  • For children and youth ages 5-19, brain injuries from this age group were about 80% of emergency department visits out of all head injuries from sports and recreation
  • For boys, brain injuries were most common in hockey for ages 10-14 and rugby for ages 15-19
  • For girls, brain injuries were most common in ringette for ages 10-19

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, concussions from hockey almost double the concussions from each of cycling, football/rugby, and ski/snowboard.  The Government of Ontario reports that concussions are the most common form of head injury in Ontario.

The Ontario government has taken action to reduce concussions in athletes moving forward.  In 2013, Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player from Ottawa, passed away from Second Impact Syndrome as a result of suffering multiple concussions in a short period of time.  In response, the Ontario legislature unanimously passed Rowan’s Law in 2016, which put the recommendations from a coroner’s inquest into her death into action.  The objective of the bill was to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future.  Rowan’s Law makes it mandatory for sports organizations to adhere to the guidelines set out by Ontario’s Concussion Awareness Resources with regards to removal from sport and return to play.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a less common brain injury from sports, is a degenerative brain condition caused by repeated blows to the head.  Athletes that play high-impact sports, such as hockey, football, and rugby, are especially susceptible to CTE.  According to the Cleveland Clinic, CTE causes changes in a person’s thinking, personality, mood, and behavior.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a comprehensive page breaking down the brain injury risks in a variety of sports.  As an athlete or a parent of an athlete, it’s important how to prevent you or your child from suffering from a traumatic brain injury in sports.

Wear the proper safety equipment

Sports such as baseball, field hockey, skiing, hockey, lacrosse, softball, wrestling, and cycling all require the use of a helmet.  Athletes need to ensure is that their helmet fits properly.  For example, a batting helmet in baseball that is too big can shift, causing part of the forehead to be exposed.  If a ball strikes you, or your child, while your helmet rises up above your forehead, you risk suffering a serious brain injury from the impact of the ball.  Hockey helmets that are sold in Canada must meet the safety standards set out by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).  Check out this informative webpage from the Government of Canada regarding wearing the proper safety gear in sporting activities.

Mouthguards are another form of athletic safety equipment.  Not only do mouthguards protect against dental damage, but they also protect against brain injuries.  According to the Government of Canada, in most cases when an athlete suffers a blow to the head, the force of their teeth biting together redistributes the force to the soft tissue in the brain.  A properly fitted mouthguard prevents an athlete’s teeth from biting together after an impact to the head, cushioning the blow, and reducing the exposure to a traumatic brain injury.

Also consider that non-contact sports, such as basketball and volleyball, where athletes don’t wear safety equipment, also present risks for athletes to suffer brain injuries.  Collisions between multiple players are common in basketball.  In volleyball, players at times have to dive.  Both instances open athletes to serious brain injuries.  As a result, some basketball players choose to wear mouthguards to reduce their exposure to brain injuries.  Volleyball players should be taught how to properly dive to ensure their safety.  It’s important to remember that just because you don’t wear a helmet, it doesn’t mean you’re playing a sport immune from brain injuries.

Practice safe play

Although safety equipment can prevent serious injury in sport, it’s still important to play safely, even in contact sports.  Hockey Canada urges coaches to instruct players on the dangers of hitting from behind.  In basketball, players should not strike other players on the head in an attempt to take the ball off the opposing player.  In football, helmet-on-helmet collisions should be avoided at all times.  In baseball, intentionally throwing a ball at another player’s head is extremely dangerous.  Safety equipment can reduce injury, but there’s no excuse for reckless behaviour in sport that subjects others to unnecessary bodily harm.

Be aware of the signs of a brain injury

According to the CDC, a blow to the head “causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”

It’s very important to be aware of the signs of a brain injury.  By recognizing the existence of a possible brain injury, you prevent yourself or your child from worsening the injury.  The CDC outlines the following as examples of concussion symptoms:

  • Concussion symptoms observed by a bystander of the injured person:
    • Dazed or stunned
    • Forgetful when engaged in conversation
    • Clumsy movements
    • Speaks slowly
  • Concussion symptoms reported by the injured person:
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Irritation to light or noise
    • Confusion

Concussion symptoms can be present right away, but sometimes they take days to set in.  If any of these symptoms are present and worsen over a few hours or days, take yourself or your child to see a doctor right away.  By getting the proper treatment early, you can prevent the brain injury from worsening.

Proper return to play

After recovering from a brain injury, it’s imperative that you or your child eases back into playing.  By rushing back into playing, you or your child’s brain injury can worsen, potentially leading to serious health issues down the road.

The CDC published a six-step plan for return to play, including getting cleared to return from a doctor:

  • Back to regular non-sporting activities (school, work)
  • Light aerobic activity
  • Moderate activity
  • Heavy, non-contact activity
  • Practice and full contact
  • Full competition

By safely returning to play, you or your child can get back to playing your favorite sports!

Although brain injuries from sports are usually an accident, sometimes it’s due to the negligence of others.  If you or your child has suffered a sports or recreation injury due to someone else’s negligence, McLeish Orlando is here to help.  Do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for a free consultation.  One of our lawyers will evaluate your child’s case.

Overcoming the Municipal Limitation Period: Graham v. City of Toronto

Written By: Dale Orlando and Cody Malloy, Summer Student

Overcoming the Municipal Limitation Period:  Graham v. City of Toronto

Municipalities owe a duty of care to individuals to protect them against bodily harm and property damage.  Municipalities have to protect people and their property from a variety of hazards, such as potholes, tree or branch damage, floods, and various other types of hazards.

One of the most common claims against a municipality is negligent road repair.  The drastic change in temperate from cold winters to hot summers creates no shortage of potholes on Toronto roadways.

If I’m a victim of the City of Toronto’s negligent road repair, what’s my next step?  According to the City of Toronto Act section 42(6), in order to advance a claim against the City of Toronto for damages arising out of their negligent road repair, written notice must be given to the city clerk within ten days of the incident.  Failure to provide written notice is a complete bar to bringing an action unless the injured party dies or has a reasonable excuse for not providing notice and the City is not prejudiced in their defence by the failure to provide notice within the specified time.

The recent Superior Court of Ontario decision Graham v. City of Toronto, 2021 ONSC 2278 examines the exceptions to the mandatory 10 day notice period where.  Papageorgiou J. held that a plaintiff was able to file a claim against the City despite filing more than three months after the limitation period had expired. [1]  In Graham, the plaintiff suffered injuries after tripping on a large, deep pothole on a pedestrian crosswalk on January 2, 2018.  The plaintiff did not give the City notice of her claim until March 22, 2018.  The City filed a motion to dismiss the claim since the plaintiff failed to give proper notice under section 42(6) of the City of Toronto Act.

Plaintiff’s reasonable excuse for delay

Papageorgiou J. recognized different factors relevant to a plaintiff’s reasonable excuse, such as the seriousness of the injury and any treatment associated with it, whether the plaintiff was capable of forming the intention to sue the municipality, the length of the delay, and the explanation for the delay. [2]

The plaintiff’s explanation for her delay was given in her affidavit, which stated that she had “never been injured before, was dealing with work and treating my injuries, and had never dealt with anything like this before. I was also unaware of the ten-day notice period and remained undecided as to whether I wanted to make a claim until I realized that my injuries were not resolving.” [3]

Additionally, the plaintiff’s family doctor thought she would get better with physiotherapy, but after a couple of months, the plaintiff realized her injuries were more severe than her family doctor thought. [4] Papageorgiou J. also noted that it took time for the plaintiff to realize her injuries would affect her lifestyle in the form of being unable to ski or golf. [5]

Papageorgiou J. ultimately found the plaintiff’s excuse to be reasonable because she demonstrated that her uncertainty with regards to suing the City stemmed from waiting to see if her injuries would heal. [6]

Prejudice to the City

To overcome this prong of the test, the onus is on the plaintiff to show the City was not prejudiced by the delay. [7] Evidence that is relevant for the plaintiff might include the City investigating the scene despite no notice, the plaintiff taking timely photographs of the scene, and the plaintiff obtaining witness information from the scene of the incident. [8]

In Graham, the plaintiff produced evidence such as retaining a forensic engineer who measured the pothole dimensions from the photographs taken by the plaintiff and the City fixing the pothole shortly after her incident due to an unrelated complaint about the size of the pothole. [9] Additionally, the plaintiff’s three-month delay in providing notice was relatively short in comparison to previous cases that had been permitted to proceed despite significantly longer delays in giving notice.  For these reasons, Papageorgiou J. held that the City was not prejudiced by the plaintiff’s claim.

Ultimately, Graham is a great illustration of the exception to the ten-day notice requirement in the City of Toronto Act.  The Superior Court of Ontario has reaffirmed that victims of municipal non-repair are not strictly held to the notice requirement.

If you are a victim of an injury from a pothole or any other form of municipal non-repair, McLeish Orlando is here to help.  Please contact us for a free consultation, and one of our lawyers will evaluate your claim.

 

[1] Graham v. City of Toronto, 2021 ONSC 2278 at para 48.

[2] Ibid at para 18.

[3] Ibid at para 20.

[4] Ibid at para 22.

[5] Ibid at para 23.

[6] Ibid at paras 34.

[7] Ibid at para 38.

[8] Ibid at para 39.

[9] Ibid at para 43.

[10] Ibid at paras 35 and 44.

Escaping the MIG with Chronic Pain

Written By: Lindsay Charles and Brandon Pedersen, Student-at-Law

Escaping the MIG with Chronic Pain

Is a formal diagnosis of ‘chronic pain’ necessary to escape the Minor Injury Guideline (“MIG”)? A recent LAT decision suggests no, provided there is medical evidence documenting persistent pain for greater than 3 to 6 months.

In C.G. v The Guarantee Company of North America, 2020 CanLII 40333 (ON LAT), the applicant was involved in a motor vehicle accident in 2004 and then a subsequent accident in 2009. She suffered physical and psychological injuries as a result of these previous accidents and was deemed catastrophically impaired as a result of the 2004 accident.

The applicant was in a third automobile accident on February 20, 2015, when she was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended. She sustained injuries to her back and right elbow and suffered post-accident headaches, as well as an exacerbation to her pre-existing injuries. As a result, she sought benefits pursuant to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.

The applicant applied for medical benefits and was denied by the insurer because she was placed into the MIG. The applicant disagreed with the insurer’s decision and submitted an application to the LAT for dispute resolution.

MIG Determination

A minor injury, for the purposes of the MIG, means a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation, and any clinically associated sequelae. Someone with minor injuries only has access to a maximum of $3,500 for medical and rehabilitation benefits, whereas someone with more severe injuries has access to up to $50,000 in benefits.

Adjudicator Johal agreed with the reconsideration decisions in T.S. and Aviva Insurance Canada, 2018 CanLII 83520 (ON LAT) and the decision in P.L. and Aviva Insurance Canada, 2019 CanLII 22223 (ON LAT), which found that chronic pain is not a minor injury and does not fall within the definition of the MIG. In P.L. and Aviva, Vice-Chair Trojek stated the following:

[12] I find that an actual diagnosis of CPS [chronic pain syndrome] is not required to remove an applicant from the MIG.  My finding is based on the reconsideration decision of Executive Chair, Linda Lamoureux, in T.S. v. Aviva General Insurance Company.  The Executive Chair in that decision found that chronic pain is by definition a condition that persists for three to six months, and that a diagnosis of CPS is not required to remove an applicant from the MIG.

In C.G., the clinical notes and records of the applicant’s family doctor showed a diagnosis of a right elbow contusion and back strain following the 2015 accident, and referenced ongoing right elbow pain for more than two and half years post-accident. However, the applicant never received a formal diagnosis of chronic pain. The insurer’s position was that the lack of a formal diagnosis should prevent the applicant from escaping the MIG.

Adjudicator Johal stated that “Chronic pain is a condition that persists for three to six months and a formal diagnosis of chronic pain is not required to remove an applicant from the MIG.” Adjudicator Johal found that the applicant escaped the MIG due to her chronic pain:

[34] In my view, the medical evidence establishes that she suffers from chronic pain.  She has visited her family doctor and other medical practitioners with respect to her elbow pain as discussed above repeatedly since the subject accident.  Furthermore, the applicant’s treating physician, Dr.  Hadcock, notes in an OCF-3 dated November 5, 2017, which is more than two and a half years post-accident that the anticipated duration of pain will be more than 12 weeks “due to severity of injuries (sic) & current chronicity, poor prognosis for return to significant activities.

The applicant was found to be outside the definition of the MIG and entitled to treatment beyond the monetary limits of $3,500.

Six Things You Should Do After a Motorcycle Crash | McLeish Orlando

Six Things You Should Do After a Motorcycle Crash

Written By: Patrick Brown and Ryan Marinacci, Student-at-Law

Six Things You Should Do After a Motorcycle Crash | McLeish Orlando

Summer is around the corner and motorcycles are coming out of storage.  Safety should always be the number one priority but crashes do occur, most of the time completely out of a rider’s control.  A rider can be doing everything right: wearing up-to-date safety equipment, obeying the rules of the road, and driving cautiously.  Yet, the rider is still involved in a collision through no fault of his or her own.  The same can be said about driving a car but the difference lies in the seriousness of injuries that an exposed motorcyclist can sustain.

The lawyers at McLeish Orlando understand that motorcyclists face considerably higher risks and are much more vulnerable than individuals driving cars.  Here are six things you should do if you have been in a motorcycle crash:

  1. Call 9-11 and request officers at the scene.
  2. Do not touch your motorcycle and take pictures.
  3. Demand the other driver’s information.
  4. Obtain witness names and contact information.
  5. Seek medical attention.
  6. Consult a lawyer.

First, call 9-11.  Request officers at the scene.  When officers attend the scene, witness statements are taken and more details are recorded.  Ask for the officers’ business cards.  This ensures that the motor vehicle collision report and investigative field notes accurately detail what happened and are easy to obtain.

Second, do not touch your motorcycle.  Take pictures of everything: injuries, property damage, vehicles involved, street signs, road conditions, weather, and lighting.  There is no such thing as too many pictures.  The better the documented property damage and injuries, the better the case.

Third, demand the other driver’s information, including insurance slip, driver’s license, and license plate number.  Do not negotiate.  Information easily gets lost and slips through the cracks in the mayhem after a crash.  Having your own easy access to the other parties’ information will avoid having to rely on the police or the insurance companies to initiate legal action.  This saves time and legal resources.

Fourth, obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene.  Witnesses with critical information regularly leave the scene before police officers arrive to investigate the crash, often assuming someone else will report what they saw to police.  Obtaining witness names and contact information yourself might avoid losing crucial evidence regarding the circumstances of the collision when individuals who saw the crash leave the scene without speaking to police.

Fifth, seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash.  Report every single injury and symptom you experience to doctors and nurses.  Be detailed.  Most injuries and symptoms present in the first 48 hours after a collision.  Ensuring that the medical records document all of your injuries and symptoms early on will make it easier to link them to the crash, track your prognosis, and claim compensation.

Sixth, consult a lawyer before talking to insurance companies.  Do not give a recorded statement.  Do not sign anything.  What seems like a harmless detail could seriously hurt a claim down the line.

The importance of hiring the right lawyer after being injured in a motorcycle crash cannot be overstated.  An experienced lawyer will be able to maximize results by combining accident reconstruction with a detailed investigation into the long-term consequences of the injuries, and a robust analysis of economic losses, including lost income and future cost of care.  Grappling with the nuances and paying attention to every single detail are necessary assets.  Being able to persuade an insurance company of the amount it should pay to secure an injured motorcyclist’s future is of critical importance.

Through years of experience in representing injured motorcyclists, the lawyers at McLeish Orlando have developed a well-recognized ability to obtain outstanding results for clients who have been injured in a motorcycle crash.  There is no charge for initial consultations.  Feel free to contact one of the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for an assessment of your case.

 

Solanki v. Reilly, 2021 ONSC 1326 | McLeish Orlando Injury Lawyers

Solanki v. Reilly, 2021 ONSC 1326

Written By: Michael Warfe and Endrita Isaj, Student-at-Law

Solanki v. Reilly, 2021 ONSC 1326 | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers

In a mid-trial ruling, Tranquilli J. held that the plaintiffs may pursue their claim for housekeeping and attendant care losses as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision in December of 2012.

The parties took differing positions on the matter after the testimony of the plaintiff participant expert witness, an occupational therapist (OT), at trial. The defendant objected to the OT’s opinion evidence, claiming that the plaintiff had eliminated these past care claims at her examination for discovery in 2015, and would face prejudice if the plaintiff was allowed to pursue these claims at trial. The plaintiff submitted that the defendant had notice of the claims for housekeeping and attendant care losses.

At an examination for discovery on July 10, 2015, previous defence counsel had asked plaintiff counsel, “And counsel, will you confirm for the record that there is no economic component being advanced for this plaintiff?” to which plaintiff counsel answered, “That’s correct, there is no, none being advanced.”[1]

The plaintiff maintained that she did not eliminate her past care claim with this answer. Defence counsel argued that the questions at the plaintiff’s examination for discovery did not put the defendant on notice of a pecuniary loss being advanced due to the express acknowledgement that no economic claims were being advanced.

Justice Tranquilli held that the definition of “economic loss” lacked the necessary precision in narrowing the nature and scope of the damages being claimed. As such, there was no duty on the plaintiff to correct her answer on discovery.

Justice Tranquilli held the defendant should have clarified their understanding of the issue. This was in light of the fact that the defendant had the occupational therapist’s report for some time and knew the occupational therapist was going to be called as a participant witness at trial. Moreover, Tranquilli J. found that the broad nature of the term “economic loss” and the various bases on which damages can be claimed meant that the defendant ought to have clarified the issue and their understanding of economic loss.[2] The defendant had also been put on notice of the claims for housekeeping and attendant care in a pre-trial that had taken place in July 2018.

Consequently, Tranquilli J. was satisfied there would be no prejudice to the defendant and as such, the plaintiffs were granted leave to lead evidence in support of past care claims related to housekeeping and attendant care claims.

 

 

[1] Solanki v. Reilly, 2021 ONSC 1326 at para 8.

[2] Ibid at para 11.

Who’s Responsible for Clearing Ice and Snow from the Sidewalk in Front of My House?

Written By: Dale Orlando and Ryan Marinacci, Student-at-Law

Ice and Snow Removal at Home: Who is Responsible? | McLeish Orlando

Many of us live in communities where the local Municipal government has enacted by-laws that require property owners to clear snow and treat ice on adjacent sidewalks despite the fact that the sidewalk lies outside of the owner’s property line.  What happens if the property owner fails to maintain the Municipality’s sidewalk in a safe condition and someone falls and is injured as a result?

With winter around the corner, the dangers of the accumulation of snow and ice on City sidewalks once again become an important concern for municipalities and property owners alike.  The thaw-freeze conditions that occur when temperatures rise and quickly drop result in run-off from snow melting on one property that can flow easily onto another and freeze. Serious injuries can occur when someone falls on a private or municipal property due to a failure to address winter conditions.

In general, a Municipality cannot escape liability for their failure to maintain their sidewalk in a condition that makes it reasonably safe for ordinary users, despite any by-law that places the responsibility for winter maintenance on the adjacent property owner.  Likewise, an adjacent property owner will not be found to be liable for ignoring the obligation imposed by a Municipal by-law requiring the property owner to maintain the adjacent sidewalk that lies outside of the boundary of their property.

Addressing what is now s. 44 of the Municipal Act, the Court in Bongiardina wrote:

…s. 284 of the Municipal Act imposes a duty on municipalities to keep highways (which include sidewalks) in a reasonable state of repair. It is doubtful that a municipality could circumvent this duty by trying to impose a replacement duty on its own residents.

As authority for that proposition, the Court in Bongiardina relied on Lutz v Toronto, 1975 CanLII 585 (ON SC), where Justice Goodman held that passing a by-law imposing on adjacent property owners a duty to remove ice and snow did not relieve the Municipality from liability imposed by legislation such as the provisions of the Municipal Act.

However, a property owner may be found liable for a slip and fall incident that happens outside of the bounds of their property if they have done something to create the hazard on the adjacent sidewalk.  For instance, if an adjacent property owner modifies the downspout on their eaves trough causing water to flow to the sidewalk and freeze rather than running off to their sideyard, both the property owner and the Municipality could be liable.  The property owner could be liable in negligence or nuisance for creating a dangerous condition that he or she knew or ought to have known could cause injuries to pedestrians using the sidewalk.  The Municipality could be liable because it cannot shift its statutory duty to maintain the sidewalk onto the property owner but it must have been grossly negligent for liability to arise.

The Court on Appeal wrote in Brazzoni v Timmins, 1992 CarswellOnt 6427, that property owners have a duty to ensure that conditions on their property do not flow off the property and cause injury.  In that case, the adjacent owner TD Bank allowed runoff from the melting snow to flow from its property onto the sidewalk and freeze.  The Court of Appeal apportioned liability 50:50 as between TD Bank and the Municipality and reversed the trial judge’s finding that TD Bank was not liable:

…the trial judge found that water flowed from the respondent’s property across the sidewalk at the time the plaintiff fell. By allowing the water from melting snow, on the roof of its building and from its parking lot, to accumulate on its property and to run across the sidewalk which was covered with snow and ice, the respondent, in our opinion, created a dangerous condition that it knew or ought to have known could cause injury to pedestrians using the sidewalk. Regardless of whether liability is based on nuisance or negligence, the respondent, in our opinion, is liable.

The Court stated that liability could be based on nuisance or negligence.  The Court of Appeal confirmed in Bongiardina v Vaughan (City), 2000 CanLII 5408 (ON CA), that the “flow exception” presented in Brazzoni was an exception to the general rule that a property owner is responsible only for his or her property.  The “flow exception” is an intricate area of law where the private law duty of care owed by property owners overlaps with the statutory duty owed by Municipalities.  Add in the gross negligence requirement for a finding of liability on a Municipality and the process of determining who is at fault becomes even murkier.

Needless to say that when someone is hurt after falling on an icy sidewalk, all of the circumstances leading to the buildup of ice must be examined.  Whether the Municipality, an adjacent property owner or both bear some responsibility might depend entirely on where the water originated from.

If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injurycontact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for a free consultation.

“Accident” under SABs revisited in CKD v Wawanesa Mutual Insurance | McLeish Orlando

“Accident” under SABs revisited in CKD v Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, 2020 ON LAT

Written By: Patrick Brown and Brandon Pedersen, Student-at-Law

C.K.D v Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, 2020 ON LAT

In December 2017, a man left his house and drove to a nearby gas station to purchase a lottery ticket. He was wearing snow boots due to the wet and somewhat snowy conditions at the time. He parked his vehicle adjacent to the station’s store, got out of his car, and walked into the store where he purchased a lottery ticket. He then left the store and walked back toward his car. He reached out to open the car door with his hand, but he slipped and fell before he could open the door, suffering injuries that required extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation.

The man applied for accident benefits through his automobile insurer for compensation due to being injured in an automobile accident. His insurer denied coverage, saying that the incident was a slip and fall, one unrelated to a vehicle. The applicant took the position that because he was in the process of getting into his vehicle, the incident was an “automobile accident.”

The License and Appeal Tribunal (the “LAT”) was tasked with making the determination of whether this incident qualified as an automobile accident under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (the “Schedule”). The LAT stated:

For the incident to be considered an “accident,” the applicant must prove on a balance of probabilities that it meets the definition according to s. 3(1) of the Schedule, which defines an “accident” as “an impairment in which the use or operation of an automobile directly causes an impairment or directly causes damage to any prescription eyewear, denture, hearing aid, prosthesis or other medical or dental device.”[1]

The Court of Appeal in Greenhalgh v ING Halifax Insurance found that the language of this provision sets out the test as involving a consideration of the following two questions:

  1. Did the incident arise out of the use or operation of an automobile? – The Purpose Test
  2. Did such use or operation of an automobile directly cause the impairment? – The Causation Test

Satisfying this two-part test is fact-dependent and determined in light of the particular circumstances, such as: what the applicant was doing at the time of the incident and whether he was operating his vehicle; the timing of the events that led to the injuries, and whether the vehicle was involved; the location of the applicant in relation to the vehicle; and whether the injuries he suffered were directly caused by his operation of the vehicle.

The Purpose Test

The LAT reviewed the applicant’s examination under oath and determined that the fall resulted from the act of unlocking the vehicle and reaching for the door handle as part of the applicant’s attempt to re-enter the vehicle. The LAT found that the act of entering a vehicle is an ordinary use of a vehicle, and therefore, this incident satisfied the purpose test.

The Causation Test

In referencing Greenhalgh, the LAT asked whether the use or operation of the vehicle was a direct cause of the injuries, or was there an intervening act(s) that was not part of the ordinary course of things? The LAT found that the applicant would not have been injured “but for” being in the process of re-entering his vehicle. The slip and fall was not considered an intervening act that would disqualify the incident from being an “accident.” The applicant was not simply walking in the parking lot or walking in any direction other than toward his vehicle or engaged in any activity other than getting into his vehicle when he slipped and fell. The LAT found that a direct cause of the accident was a result of the use and operation of the vehicle that was parked in that gas station under those conditions. The LAT stated that:

[T]he dominant feature of the incident is the applicant’s attempt to get into his vehicle, which confirms direct causation. While there is no dispute that the slip and fall caused the injuries, this was secondary to the fact that the applicant was getting into the vehicle, the very act that initiated the incident.[2]

The LAT concluded that the applicant was indeed operating his vehicle when he fell and was injured and that his injuries were directly caused by the operation of his vehicle. As a result, the applicant was involved in an “accident” as defined by the Schedule.

What does this mean?

The Purpose Test is meant to capture a broad range of uses and is not intended to prevent insured drivers from accessing accident benefits simply because they were not involved in a standard automobile accident. The “use or operation of an automobile” may include a wide variety of automobile-related incidents, and the analysis should be guided by the particular circumstances of the incident in question.

The Causation Test seeks to determine whether the ordinary use or operation of a vehicle caused the injuries sustained. Despite the presence of slippery conditions, the fact that someone attempts to enter their vehicle and falls in the process may meet the causation branch of the test.

If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injurycontact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for a free consultation.

[1] CKD v Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, 2020 CanLII 80305 (ON LAT) at para 10.

[2] Ibid at para 34.

Speed Limit on Some Ontario Highways Increased to 110km/h | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Speed Limit on Some Ontario Highways Increased to 110km/h – Two Important Concerns

Written By: Dale Orlando and Ryan Marinacci, Student-at-Law

Speed Limit on Some Ontario Highways Increased to 110km/h | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

The province is currently just over half-way through a two-year pilot project which saw the speed limit increased to 110km/h on the following three stretches of 400-series highways as of September 2019:

  • Queen Elizabeth Way from Hamilton to St. Catharines (32 km)
  • Highway 402 from Sarnia to London (90 km)
  • Highway 417 from Gloucester (east of Ottawa) to the Ontario-Quebec border (102 km)

By all means, the project is going well.  Six months in, the province announced that the project is receiving widespread support.  Indeed, the government announced that 80 percent of survey respondents supported the project while 82 percent supported increasing the speed limits on more sections of 400-series highways.  The province also has not reported any increases in collisions, injuries or fatalities on these roadways as a result of these increased speed limits.

That said, here are two important concerns related to the increased speed limits that have yet to be meaningfully addressed.

Increased speed limits and winter driving

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, winter conditions are a cause for concern as they relate to the pilot project.  This is due to the issue of drivers failing to reduce their speeds and account for inclement weather.  Add a 10 percent increase in the speed limits, and those drivers who would otherwise be driving dangerously fast through a snowstorm at 100km/h will now be going 110km/h.

In addition, the data from last winter are likely not representative because COVID restrictions resulted in a 20-70% reduction in road traffic.  This coincided exactly with the end of winter which sees drivers remove their winter tires too early when there may still be winter conditions on the way, resulting in an increase in collisions.

Whether the higher speed limit results in more winter collisions this year remains to be seen.  In any event, it will be important for the government to consider the effect of COVID on traffic volume when determining the success of this program.

Increased speed limits and stunt driving

At the same time as it increased the speed limit to 110km/h, the province also amended the definition of stunt driving under Races, Contests, and Stunts, O Reg 455/07.  Section 3 para 7.1 now states that stunt driving includes driving a motor vehicle at a rate of 150km/h or more, in addition to driving 50km/h over the speed limit under para 7.  This means that going 40km/h over 110km/h on a pilot project road will result in a stunt driving ticket, and that police officers will not be prevented from issuing stunt driving tickets to those going less than 160km/h, as would have been the case under the previous version of the regulation.

While this amendment does show that the government is cognizant of this issue, it does little to address the far more pressing concern: the people speeding at 150km/h.  To make matters worse, COVID may have reduced overall traffic volume, but the empty roadways also resulted in a 600 percent increase in stunt driving incidents.  The government ought to have implemented a long-overdue system to meaningfully address stunt driving rather than spending resources on a program to increase speed limits across the board.  And this is particularly so given the increase in people openly flouting posted speed limits during COVID.

Driver and occupant safety should always be the first priority and preventing entirely preventable injuries and road fatalities should take precedence over testing increased speed limits.  While this pilot program may not have worsened the numbers of road collisions and fatalities, it certainly did not make them any better.

If you or someone you know has suffered a serious injurycontact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for a free consultation.

One to Watch: City of Nelson v Marchi, 2020 CanLII 57554 (SCC)

Written By: Michael Warfe and Ryan Marinacci, Student-at-Law

One to Watch: City of Nelson v Marchi, 2020 CanLII 57554 (SCC) BCCA | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers

On August 20, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal from the decision of the Court Appeal for British Columbia.  The Municipality sought leave when the BCCA ordered a new trial after setting aside the trial judge’s order dismissing Plaintiff’s action.

The Supreme Court of Canada will likely hear submissions sometime in 2021.  With winter just around the corner, this is definitely one to keep an eye on as the Court revisits the 30-year-old leading case on municipal liability and the operational-policy distinction that can give rise to Crown immunity from liability.

The Plaintiff was seriously injured after stepping onto and falling through a snowbank.  She argued that the City was liable for having created a hazard when it cleared snow by creating snowbanks (or windrows) on the edge of the street along the sidewalk.  Having parked her car in an angled spot on the street, the Plaintiff had no way of getting onto the sidewalk other than walking across the snowbank, which is when she seriously injured her leg after her foot fell through.

The trial judge concluded that the actions of the snow removal crew were the result of policy decisions and that as a result, the City owed no duty of care to the Plaintiff for the circumstances that led to her injury.

The Court of Appeal disagreed and found that the trial judge had erred in accepting the City’s submissions that every decision made in relation to snow removal was a policy decision.  The Court turned to the Supreme Court decision in Just v British Columbia, 1989 CanLII 16 (SCC), which held that not every governmental decision could be designated a policy decision, otherwise complete Crown immunity would result.

Rather, Cory J drew upon the High Court of Australia’s decision in Sutherland Shire Council v Heyman (1985), where policy decisions were properly characterized as involving or being governed by financial, economic, social, or political factors or constraints.  By contrast, operational decisions—which attracted no Crown immunity and could give rise to liability—were the product of administrative direction, expert or professional opinion, technical standards, or general standards of reasonableness.

In concluding that all snow removal decisions were policy decisions, the trial judge had not engaged in the analysis mandated by Just, and this the BCCA found to be a reviewable error.  Indeed, the Court found that several of the decisions in question could properly be characterized as operational decisions.  These included the decision not to extend the hours of snow removal and the decision not to move snow into specific parking spots to provide access to the sidewalk.

In addition, the BCCA found that the trial judge had further erred by concluding that the Plaintiff’s decision to step into the windrow was the proximate cause of her injuries because the province’s Negligence Act precluded such a finding.

After the BCCA released its decision, the Municipality sought and was granted leave to appeal to the SCC.  This decision will provide an opportunity for the court to revisit Just, which has stood for over 30 years.  Stay tuned for how this one turns out!

Things you should do before you call a personal injury lawyer | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Things you should do before you call a personal injury lawyer

Written By: Michael Warfe and Brandon Pedersen, Student-at-Law

Things you should do before you call a personal injury lawyer | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

When hiring a real estate agent to help you pick the perfect house, you may ask yourself: what do I need to do to ensure I get the best outcome and best representation possible?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is no different. You want to ensure that you are hiring a professional that will work tirelessly to achieve your desired result.

Like most important decisions, there are a number of things you should do before calling a personal injury lawyer.

Firstly, you should do your research. There are countless personal injury firms and lawyers out there, but you should do your due diligence to find the one that’s right for you. Use the internet and look for testimonials and peer-reviewed rankings that can help you make an informed decision regarding your representation. If you know somebody who is a lawyer, whether or not they practise personal injury law, there is a good chance that they will know of the most reputable personal injury lawyers and firms in your area.

Once you’ve decided on who you will meet with, start gathering your documents. Lawyers like to see records in order to provide you with an accurate assessment of your case. Organizing the medical documents you have, preparing a list of prescriptions and bills incurred as a result of your injuries, and providing pictures of your injuries will help inform the lawyer of the circumstances of your case. Further, having these documents prepared and ready for your meeting will help to speed up the sometimes lengthy litigation process.

You should also write down any questions you may have. The law is not an easily understood concept, and that is why lawyers exist. There are many topics that will be complicated. It is essential that you ask the questions you want to be answered and to do so, it is recommended that you come prepared with a list of questions. A good lawyer will always welcome questions and provide you with thoughtful, well-informed answers.

Lastly, be open to the lawyer’s recommendations and advice. You may have a pre-determined idea of what your claim is worth or what you think should happen. However, it is essential that you remain open to the lawyer’s advice and recommendations because after all, they are a professional dedicated to ensuring you obtain the best result possible.

If you do the above, you’ll get better legal information and a better evaluation of your claim.

If you or someone you know has suffered a serious injury, contact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for a free consultation.