1.604.633.4878 j.small@holnesslawgroup.com

Types Of Injuries

Types Of Injuries

Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries have nothing less than a devastating impact on an injured person and  his/her family.  Catastrophic injuries include severe damage to the spine, spinal cord and brain, as well as complex fractures and injuries to internal organs.  The road to recovery is often very long and complicated. 

It is imperative that proper support is in place for recovery such as home care and rehabilitation treatment.  From a legal perspective, it is important to have the right medical experts involved to  ensure that there is proper understanding of the nature and full extent of the injury, as well as the potential long term effects on the ability to work and function.

Concussions / Brain Injuries

Concussions and brain injuries are very complicated and challenging from both a recovery perspective and a legal perspective. They can be hard to diagnose as symptoms can be missed at the hospital or at the initial visits with the family physician.

In fact, certain symptoms may not be realized until weeks or months after the collision and they may not be identified by the injured person, but rather their family, friends or co-workers. The recovery time is unpredictable and it can vary dramatically from person to person. There is also often a significant impact on function such as the ability to work.

I help guide my clients to the proper support they need to help them recover from or manage the effects of a concussion or a brain injury while I handle the legal claim in obtaining evidence from a number of different specialists, as well as from friends and family, to fully understand and to prove the effects of a concussion or a brain injury on an individual’s life.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves. Spinal cord injuries may result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or discs. It often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.

Spinal cord injuries of any kind may result in one or more of the following symptoms: loss of movement, loss or altered sensation (including loss of touch and the ability to feel heat or cold), pain or intense stinging sensation and numbness or paralysis.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries accounting for almost half of new spinal cord injuries each year.  Spinal cord injuries often result in a permanent disability which presents the accident victim with a number of difficult and lifelong challenges.  I work to ensure that ICBC provides the proper rehabilitation support at the onset and that it continues to meet its obligations to ensure it is being provided on a continuing basis.  At the same time, I work with the medical experts to ensure that all injuries are properly investigated, diagnosed and treated, as well as to ensure that there is an understanding of the future treatment needs and costs which can be substantial.

Fractures

A fracture is a broken bone.  It can vary in severity in that it can range from a thin crack to a complete break.  There are different types of fractures.  An open fracture is also called a compound fracture and it occurs when the bone breaks through the skin.  A closed fracture is also called a simple fracture and it occurs when the broken bone does not break through the skin.  The type of the fracture and its location will dictate the treatment plan and recovery time.  Some fractures carry the risk of early onset arthritis and can impact an individual’s function at a much earlier stage in life.

I help guide my clients to treatment and the support they need when recovering from a fracture while I handle the legal aspect of the claim in working with medical experts to better understand the full extent of the fracture and its potential impact on future function.

Psychological Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents do not just cause physical injuries, they can also lead to serious emotional and psychological injuries such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  It is not uncommon for a psychological injury to arise months or even years after a motor vehicle accident as a result of the emotional aftermath of the collision and disability.  If you have a prior condition, you are also particularly vulnerable and susceptible. 

A psychological injury may result in an impairment which disables a person from working or carrying out their normal daily activities and, therefore, it can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life.  I help guide my clients to treatment and the support they need while I handle the legal aspect of the claim in working with medical experts to identify the connection to the motor vehicle accident and to better understand the full extent of the psychological injury.

Chronic Pain and Chronic Pain Disorders

Some people experience lasting chronic pain as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  Medical conditions such as Chronic Pain, Chronic Pain Syndrome and Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) can have a devastating and profound impact on an individual.  Despite the medical science and medical evidence acknowledging the seriousness of these conditions, ICBC and other insurance companies routinely deny claims and attack individuals suffering from chronic pain disorders in arguing that the symptoms are disproportionate to the severity of the collision or that the individual is exaggerating and unreliable. 

I help guide my clients to treatment and rehabilitation while I handle the legal aspect of the claim in working with medical experts to identify the connection to the motor vehicle accident and to better understand the full extent of the chronic pain condition.

Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful trauma involving rapid back-and-forth movement.  Signs and symptoms usually develop within a day or days following the traumatic event and include pain, stiffness and headaches.

The most common soft tissues injured are muscles, tendons and ligaments.  An acute soft tissue injury is caused by a sudden trauma such as a motor vehicle accident.  Acute soft tissue injuries vary in type and severity.  They can result in pain and discomfort in the form of soreness, swelling, bruising and stiffness.

While most people do fully recover from whiplash or a soft tissue injury with weeks or months, it takes some people years to recover and some people never fully recover and are left with chronic pain. 

ICBC and other insurance companies routinely downplay the impact that whiplash and soft tissue injuries can have on a person’s life.  Adjusters and defence counsel often will argue that the injury is not believable because most people recover within a few weeks and that ongoing symptoms are not consistent with the type of injury suffered. 


Contact me for a free initial legal consultation to discuss the legal claim process and your options, as well as to learn more about how I can help you.