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BeLeaf in your Personal Injury Case

I’m not a big hockey fan.

But, I love watching the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I want them to win.

But I really don’t care if they lose. I certainly don’t live and die by their wins, or by their losses. While I am somewhat indifferent to hockey, it’s always nice to see a winner in Toronto and to see frenzied Leafs fans. It’s nice to get caught up in the excitement.

Yet, part of me smiles thinking that the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967; when the NHL had just 6 teams! Please don’t characterize me as a Toronto Maple Leaf hater. I’m not. As I said, I want them to win. I’m just pointing out an objective truth.

All of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup victories came at a time where they only had to be better than 5 other teams! Each year they had a 1 in 6 chance of winning at Stanley Cup. Just by fielding a team, no matter how good or how bad the team; they had a 16.67% chance of winning the Stanley Cup! Those championship odds are remarkable in North American professional sports.

To paint those pre 1967 Stanley Cup victories as remarkable achievements and a sacred part of the franchise’s hockey history is kinda ridiculous. It serves to demonstrate how futile the franchise has been since 1967. It’s like gloating about beating 5 of your cousins in a potato sack race at the annual family picnic.  Ever since the league expanded to beyond 6 teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs have never won a Stanley Cup. Take that in and soak it up.

Does the franchise care about winning; or do they care about something else (money). The two are not mutually exclusive, but I would argue that the focus since 1967 has been largely on profits rather than the on ice product. There was a large period of time (the Ballard years) where winning was an after thought. To their credit, the modern Toronto Maple Leafs want to win, but just don’t know how.

The Toronto Maple Leafs just extended their series against the Bruins. Their last win came on the road, in a hostile environment. The odds makers didn’t like the Leafs’ chances of winning the game. They were down their best scorer (Auston Matthews) and started the backup goalie. Yet, they still won.

They won at a time where the media and their adoring fans had counted them out. They won against the odds.

This is not to suggest that they will win the series. Their hard work is not yet done. It could all be over on Thursday after Game #6.

But, it is a valuable lesson. As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over“. Just because things don’t look your way, does not mean that you give up all hope and fold.

You fight back.

Personal injury cases are the same way.Brian-Goldfinger-03-200x300

For starters, individual Plaintiffs face overwhelming odds. It’s the Plaintiff’s job to build the case from scratch and to establish liability, damages and causation before the Court. All a Defendant has to do is to refute what’s been presented, which is an easier and less onerous task than building the case up from nothing.

The Plaintiff in a personal injury case is often an unsophisticated, inexperienced litigant. It’s likely their first time needing a litigation lawyer to fight for their rights in Court. Their opponent is the opposite. They are a large, faceless, multi-national conglomerate insurance company with unlimited resources. Litigation is such an important part of their strategy and business model such that they have in house lawyers and in house legal departments to fight cases just like yours. They lobby the government to change laws to suit their needs which limit their exposure for cases like yours.

When faced with the decision to fight or flight, insurers want you to give up and run. And if you do fight, they want to make your life during the litigation as difficult, uncomfortable and as painful as possible. The path of least resistance is giving up. Just like the Toronto Maple Leafs, the odds are not in your favour. And just like the Toronto Maple Leafs, you could give up and hit the golf course waiting for the next season to begin.

Yet, unlike the Toronto Maple Leafs, you can’t golf because of your debilitating injuries nor do you have the disposable income to pay for a fancy round of golf! Nor can you turn your back on the irreparable and permanent damage which the negligent party has caused you. You can’t let the at fault Defendant get away with the trauma which they have caused to you. This is not a case where you can just sit back and do nothing. You need to fight back.

This is not a moment to give up and let the insurer win without putting up a fight. Your friends, and family may not even support you wanting to take legal action. But it’s the right thing to do, and in the words of Ted Lasso “doing the right thing is never wrong“.  (note: Lasso’s writers like got that from Mark Twain who said “you’re never wrong for doing the right thing“).

So, when the cards are stacked against you and you feel like you can’t win, it’s important to “believe“. In this instance, we will use the word “BeLeaf” in hour of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Believe in yourself. Believe you’re doing the right thing. Believe that you will get through this ordeal one way or another. Believe that you have a chance of winning the case, even though the laws are drafted in such a way as to reduce your eligible compensation. We tell people all of the time that money does not magically fall from the sky. In order to get the benefits and compensation from the insurance company, the Plaintiff will need to jump through a few hoops. That’s just the way the system has been designed. Our legal system favours pro active Plaintiffs instead of reactive ones who do little to nothing to mitigate their damages/losses. A Plaintiff who is injured, and who believes in their case, will get the compensation which they deserve. Even if the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967.

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