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Spinal Cord Injuries in Canada

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Spinal Cord Injuries in Canada

Spinal Cord Injuries in Canada 

  

Each year there are more than 1,500 new spinal cord injuries in Canada. If you have sustained this type of injury, it’s possible that the last thing you will be thinking about is hiring a lawyer. There are many challenges for a spinal cord injury patient, not the least of which is coping with uncertainty about just what the future will hold. Most of a patient’s energy will naturally be directed toward dealing with the physical and emotional effects that accompany a severe injury. However, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer fairly soon after the accident, because you may be entitled to compensation. By assessing the circumstances of your particular injury, a lawyer may be able to tell you what compensation is due and the steps you need to take to get it.

 

 

In Ontario, the provincial health plan pays for most medical expenses. Your hospital stay and any necessary surgical procedures, for example, are all covered by OHIP. However, the severity of some spinal cord injuries means that patients will incur additional costs, such as caregiver expenses, or lost income. Because it’s best to get the process of seeking compensation as soon as possible after the accident occurs, time is of the essence. You may know someone who can give you a referral to a good lawyer, or you may want to look online to see if you can find an experienced personal injury law firm with a website that appeals to you philosophically. Call and ask to have a meeting with a lawyer. Don’t hesitate to ask the firm to supply you with recommendations from the lawyer’s previous clients, or with information about other similar cases he or she has handled.

 

 

Meeting with a Lawyer 

Your lawyer will help you to get your documents in order and make sure they’re filed in time for an insurance or long-term disability claim. He or she will ensure that any settlement offer is reasonable, and if necessary, will go to court to get the compensation you deserve.

 

There are many factors that go into how a lawyer will approach your case. He or she will want to know exactly what caused the accident. Most spinal cord injuries in Canada are caused by either falls or by motor vehicle accidents.

 

Your lawyer may ask:

  • Was it a car accident?
  • Was another car involved?
  • Were you wearing a seatbelt? 
  • Were you driving?
  • What were road and weather conditions like?
  • If it was a fall, did it happen at work?
  • Was it due to negligence or unsafe work practices?
  • Did it take place on private or public property?
  • What kind of insurance do you and/or your employer have?

Be prepared to answer many questions!

 

Be sure to ask some questions of your own. Find out what experience your lawyer has had with these types of cases, and what the outcomes were in cases similar to yours. Ask how the lawyer communicates with clients – how often will you see him/her in person; how often can you expect updates on your case? Find out how the lawyer expects his/her fees to be paid. If English is not your first language, find out if you can obtain service in your mother tongue.

 

 

Necessary Information

Before you meet with the lawyer, try to gather as much information as you can. The following can be critical or useful to your case:

  • Medical records. Request copies of your medical records, and make sure that doctors document any new or emerging symptoms, since it can take months or even years for the full effect of a spinal injury to become clear. You will need records from the doctors who saw you immediately after the accident, as well as records from specialists, physical therapists, and others.

     

  • Document the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, get the contact information of any witnesses, and gather information about insurance policies that may pertain to the situation.

     

  • WSIB. If your case involves a work injury, make sure that the accident was reported to your supervisor, and that you have filed a WSIB claim.

     

  • Impact statement. Write a statement that details how the accident has affected your life and the lives of the people you love. Describe how the injury has caused you to suffer, and the physical effects it has had. Report about how your day-to-day life has been impacted by your injury, and how your routine now differs from pre-accident days. What activities have you had to give up? What have you had to relearn? What strategies have you had to employ? What effect has your injury had on your relationships with family members: does it keep you from picking up your children? has it impacted your sexual relationships? Do you suffer from PTSD or flashbacks due to the accident? You should also include details such as expenses for medical supplies and caregivers that have had a detrimental impact on your finances.
 

Get the compensation you need to help you on your journey back to health from your spinal cord injury. Contact a personal injury lawyer today.

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