A lot of the clients at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers suffer from Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia and Depression. It’s not easy because nobody seems to understand these conditions. More on that later.
We have expertise in handling chronic pain, fibromyalgia and depression cases which present in a variety of forms such as car accident cases, accident benefit claims, short term disability cases, long term disability cases, Canada Pension Plan Disability Appeals, dog bite cases, slip and fall cases, assault cases and bike accident cases just to name a few.
There are a few things which chronic pain, fibromyalgia and depression have in common.
For starters, they are are invisible to the naked eye. Your chronic pain, fibromyalgia or depression does not show up on any x-ray, CT Scan or MRI. There are no objective diagnostic tests which show that you have chronic pain, fibromyalgia or depression.
Normally, your family doctor or treating specialist (like a rheumatologist, psychiatrist, physiatrist or psychologist) will make a diagnosis of chronic pain, fibromyalgia and depression (depending on their specialty).
But for every specialist who will attest that you cannot function or cannot work on account of your chronic pain, fibromyalgia and depression; there will be another specialist who will say the opposite. Usually that specialist is retained by, or contracted by the insurance company in the context of an accident benefit, long term disability benefit or tort claim. Because they have been retained by the insurance company; and the insurance company is paying the cost of the assessment; you must take their findings with a grain of salt.
But despite this, too many negative reports against the Plaintiff/Claimant will create a compelling chain of denials making it harder and harder for a Plaintiff/Claimant to get the results/benefits which s/he deserves.
Which bring me to my next point:
The Plaintiff dealing with a chronic pain, fibromyalgia or depression will feel very alone. Nobody will understand what they are going through. But it’s very important for the Plaintiff/Claimant not to give up hope and hang in there. The sky is always darkest right before the dawn. There is light at the end of the tunnel. If you give up hope, you are playing right in to the insurance company’s hands. They want you give up. They want you to quit and drop your case so that they don’t have to deal with your claim any more. Don’t give the insurance company the satisfaction of beating you down. Don’t give up.
Another similarity of chronic pain, fibromyalgia and depression cases is that there are medications out there which can alleviate the symptoms or bring those symptoms under some form of control. This is not to say that all medication will work. But unlike a brain injury where no amount of medication will get you better, pain and depression can be brought under some form of control through medication (or cannabis). Again, this is not to say that medication or cannabis is going to cure you. But, it can make your pain and depression easier to manage so that you can better cope with your day.
There is a notion out there that everyone who complains about chronic pain, fibromyalgia and depression is a liar, a faker or a cheater. This is a common theme which insurers try latch on to. You see, contrary to popular belief, most personal injury cases are NOT about finding the truth. They are about creative a narrative which a Judge and Jury will accept. Insurance companies attempt to create a false narrative in order to discredit an injured Plaintiff so that the Judge and Jury will see the case through their lens. Most of the time, these tactics work well before a Jury. Those same tactics which work before juries aren’t as effective for Judge alone trials. This is significant because effective January 1, 2020, the Rules of Civil Procedure changed to increase the limits under the Simplified Procedure to $200,000 and provided that there are no jury trials under the Simplified Rules. Insurers used to be able to file Jury Notices as a reflex. Given the changes in to the Simplified Procedure, juries won’t play as a significant role in personal injury cases as they used to. But keep in mind that the same tactics will be used in cases which fit over the $200,000 threshold. Our prediction is that insurers will continue to file jury notices as a reflex whenever possible. It’s easier to prey of the legal inexperience of a jury than it is a Judge. And when I mean prey on a Jury, I mean it. Here are some headaches for jurors:
- Long hours with very limited compensation
- Bad food
- Disruption of your normal work and daily routines
- Being isolated from friends and family for long periods of time
- Travelling far from home to sit on a jury (Brampton Courts are overflowed, so they are transporting cases and their juries to Kitchener so that the cases can be heard. This means that Brampton Jurors are being transported by shuttle bus to Kitchener every day for jury duty!!!! I am not aware of this happening in any other jurisdictions but it wouldn’t surprise me)
- Uncomfortable seats. Yes. Uncomfortable seats. Do you really think that jurors like sitting for prolonged periods of time on outdated foam chairs or uncomfortable wood chairs?
- Boring cases. Personal injury cases aren’t “sexy” cases like you see on TV. It’s not a high profile murder case, or a case about a notorious drug lord. Often, these are cases where medical experts are battling over whose information is more credible. Or insurance defence lawyers are trying to establish that an accident victim is a liar, a cheater or a faker. Neither of these are compelling narratives which is why you don’t see any personal injury themed dramas on network cable television. They leave those sort of cases to the criminal law sphere which are more intense and higher drama in nature.
- Not wanting to be there in the first place. While most jurors take their jobs very seriously, there are likely 1001 places they’d rather be than sitting on a jury for a long period of time.