Damages for Personal Injury cases

Personal injury lawyers are experts at assessing the value of a personal injury file.  Personal injury lawyers in Ottawa are no different.  The value of the damages for someone who is catastrophically injured will differ greatly from someone who slips and falls at a grocery store.  Each quantum of damages rests on the unique facts that are associated with every personal injury case.  Assessing the damages on a personal injury file can help the personal injury lawyer to identify what gaps in information are present so that they can retain experts in order to fill those gaps.

Bryan Delaney has been practicing as a personal injury lawyer for ten years. He articled at McCarthy Rastin Kerr, a personal injury boutique law firm.

Here are some typical heads of damage for a personal injury file:

Generals:  General damages for pain and suffering.  There is a ceiling that was set by the Supreme Court of Canada, which, with inflation, is just under $400,000.  There is a deductible on general damages of $30,000 for those involved in motor vehicle accidents – that is, your general damages are reduced by $30,000.

Past loss of income:    If you had to miss work due to your injury you are entitled to recover the lost wages.

Past out of pocket expenses:    Keep your receipts in an envelope and organize them onto a spreadsheet if possible.  These include taxis, general medical devices, treatments, and miscellany.

Future loss of income/Loss of competitive advantage:  Typically an expert report will be produced to establish the range in this category.  If your injury will prevent you from earning as much as you have in the past you will be compensated for that.

Future care costs:  The cost of future treatments (ie. massage therapy, physiotherapy, psychotherapy) once the Accident benefits carrier drops out of the picture (typically two years post-accident)

Lawyers are up-to-date on the recent cases that establish the boundaries and definitions for these various heads of damage and can give you advise to help you decide what level of compensation is fair and reasonable.If you have been injured you should consult with a personal injury lawyer.  It’s free – start by completing the intake form below.

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Ottawa Family lawyer provides tips on minimizing family conflict

I have been practicing conflict resolution for ten years.  Here is a basic model to help people resolve their disputes in a family setting.

Basic conflict resolution model:

1.  STOP before you lose control of your temper and make things worse.

2.  SAY what you want.

3.  LISTEN to the other person’s ideas.

4.  THINK of possible solutions

5.  If you still can’t agree ask someone else to help work it out.

1.  STOP

Don’t have an important discussion when you are upset.  Plan a time with the other party that makes sense (I recommend Sunday evenings, or Friday afternoons).  Come prepared to the meeting and address the issue with respect.

2.   SAY

If you are the person with the issue then it is your responsibility to communicate it.  Framing the issue is of the utmost importance in order to work towards resolution.   Do not disparage or “attack” the other party when framing the issue.  A basic rule of thumb is to frame the issue in terms of your own needs, as opposed to how you would like the other party to contribute towards resolution.

Example:

“You need to come home earlier.”  or

“You always come home late.”  vs.

“I’m really tired from being with the baby all day and I really need a break by 6 p.m.”

Very subtle difference in language and tone but it can go along way to reducing conflict.  Most dysfunctional or chronic conflict contains an element of power/control – one party having an issue and attempting to control the other’s behaviour in order to resolve the issue.

3. LISTEN

You have to understand what the problem is before you can solve it.   Listen, ask questions,   and confirm what you understand  the issue to be.  Dig down and get it to a very basic level.  “OK – so basically – by 6 p.m. you are strung out and need to have a break.  It’s not that you necessarily need me home, but that you need to rest because you are at your limit.”

4.  THINK

Now it’s time to start spitballing.  The key to success in this step is to resist the urge to evaluate (and probably shoot down) potential solutions.  At the outset simply record the ideas and encourage discussion.  Talk about what you can do, as opposed to what you can’t.”

“I can’t come home on Mondays, but I can do Fridays.”

“Even if I had three days I think I could manage the other two.”

“Who are some people we could ask for help?”

5.    GET HELP

If two parties can’t agree on a possible solution then it becomes necessary to engage a third party to help resolve the dispute.  Usually the third party is either a mediator, arbitrator, or an expert, but it can ultimately be anything.  Roll dice, high card, paper rock scissor, whatever the parties agree to.  Try anything that gives both sides what they want.  The idea at this stage isn’t to resolve the dispute, but to agree on how the dispute will be resolved.

“We’re at an impasse.  What do you say we’ll try it your way for two weeks, and then my way for two weeks.  We’ll see what works and then come back and try again.”

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