Family Doctors and the Role They Have in a Personal Injury Claim

In this fast-paced day and age, where many traditional business and service models are changing, it is not uncommon for people to be without a family doctor or regular doctor who they see on a consistent basis.

As personal injury lawyers, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of a family doctor, or seeing the same physician on a consistent basis, to a personal injury claim. This blog post outlines the important role that a family doctor has in a personal injury claim. Continue Reading

Chronic Pain, Chronic Pain Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia

As personal injury lawyers, we see a number of people who suffer from chronic pain, chronic pain syndromes, and fibromyalgia. These conditions often have a significant impact on injured peoples’ quality of life. Yet, they remain some of the most misunderstood and difficult-to-prove injuries before the courts and around the negotiation table. This blog post aims to provide a quick overview of the conditions.  A future blog post will review some of the difficulties that lawyers and injured people face in personal injury cases when trying to prove that they are suffering from these conditions.

 

Please note: The information provided on this website does not constitute medical or legal advice and should not be construed as such. The lawyers and staff at Moustarah & Company are not trained medical professionals and do not hold themselves out to be such. If you are suffering from an injury, whether chronic pain or otherwise, please contact your doctor or medical care provider.

What is chronic pain?

Pain that lasts and interferes with a person’s quality and enjoyment of life over time can be considered chronic pain.

Experts vary on how long the pain has to last before it is considered chronic. The most common durations used to define whether pain is of a chronic nature are 3 or 6 months (as set out by Turk and Okifuji in “Pain terms and taxonomies”, in Bonica’s Management of Pain (3rd ed.), pages 18–25). Others classify chronic pain differently and apply different time frames to distinguish between acute and chronic pain. Depending on the expert or taxonomy, pain that lasts for more than a certain number of months can be considered chronic.

Chronic pain can come in many different forms. A person may suffer from chronic back pain, chronic jaw pain, chronic neck pain, and so on. Almost any type of pain has the potential to become chronic in nature.

People may develop chronic pain as a result of a number of injuries or conditions. Persons suffering from long-term pain can speak with their doctor about their symptoms.

What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

Some people who suffer from chronic pain can develop Chronic Pain Syndrome (“CPS”) or other similar pain syndromes or disorders. Often, CPS is characterized as going beyond symptoms of physical pain alone, and may include depression, anxiety, or other psychological symptoms or elements.

Persons suffering from pain or other symptoms can speak with their doctor about their symptoms.

What is fibromyalgia?

It may be helpful to think of fibromyalgia as a specific subset of the general category of chronic pain. According to the Arthritis Society of Canada, fibromyalgia is a

nervous system condition that causes chronic pain throughout the body Continue Reading

TMJ Injuries

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, your doctor or dentist may have mentioned TMJ to you. You may have been referred to a TMJ specialist or be undergoing treatment for a TMJ injury. This blog post will explore the different types of TMJ injuries and how they relate to the minor injury “cap”, particularly in light of recent changes to the MIR.

Please note: The information provided on this website does not constitute medical or legal advice and should not be construed as such. The lawyers and staff and Moustarah & Company are not trained medical professionals and do not hold themselves out to be such. If you are suffering from an injury, whether TMJ or otherwise, please contact your doctor or medical care provider. 

What is the Temporomandibular Joint?

The temporomandibular joint, or the TMJ, is the joint located on either side of the head, in front of the ears. This joint connects the lower jawbone (the “mandible”) to the temporal bone of the skull. The TMJ is a flexible joint and is responsible for controlling jaw movements during chewing, talking and yawning.

To learn more about the TM joint and TM joint disorders, click here to visit the Canadian Dental Association‘s page on TMJ.

Types of TMJ Injuries

According to a 2017 publication by the

U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Office of Research on Women’s Health Continue Reading

The Duty to Mitigate

The duty to mitigate is an important legal concept in personal injury law, particularly with respect to quantum of damages considerations. But what is the duty to mitigate and what happens when an injured person fails to mitigate their losses?

What is the duty to mitigate?

Generally speaking, there is a principle in law that injured persons must take all reasonable steps to reduce the negative consequences of their injuries and to prevent the accumulation of losses. An injured person must facilitate their own recovery and take all reasonable steps towards minimizing their losses – whether those be physical, psychological, emotional or financial. This is known as the duty to mitigate.

While it is called the duty to mitigate, it is not, strictly speaking, a “duty” because the mere failure to mitigate is not actionable on its own. Rather, mitigation is a partial defence. A wrongdoer or Defendant may argue that while their negligence or other tortious conduct may have caused the injured person’s injuries, they should not be held fully responsible for the injured person’s losses if the injured person failed to mitigate. The legal onus is on the wrongdoer or Defendant to prove that the injured person failed to mitigate.

For example, in Janiak v Ippolito, 1985 SCC 62, the Court had to determine whether the injured person’s refusal to undergo a surgery to repair his spinal injury meant that he could not claim compensation from the Defendant for his financial losses as he was unable to work with his back injury. The onus was on the Defendant to prove that:

a) The plaintiff acted unreasonably in refusing to undergo the recommended treatment (surgery), AND

b) The extent to which the plaintiff’s damages would have been reduced had he acted reasonably.

What happens when an injured person fails to mitigate? Continue Reading