February 26, 2014

Helmets a Poor Source of Protection from Concussions

Obviously a football player would never go onto the field without his/her helmet. But a new study concludes that helmets may provide a false sense of security when it comes to protecting players against the effects of concussion.

Concussions a Major Risk for Young Athletes

One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Frank Conidi stated “protection against concussion and complications of brain injury is especially important for young players, including elementary and middle school, high school and college athletes, who’s still developing brains are more susceptible to the lasting effects of trauma”. Conidi is the Vice Chair of the American Academy of Sports Neurology Section.

Only a 20% Risk Reduction

Researchers tested the ten most popular football helmet designs to see how well they protected against traumatic brain injury. The office of the study found that football helmets only reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by about 20% compared to wearing no helmet at all. While 20% is not insignificant it is a surprisingly low figure and one that seems counterintuitive.

However, the office of the study found that while helmets may protect players against trauma from linear assaults. In other words, direct linear blow to the head, helmets do little to protect against injury from rotational forces or blows to the side of the head.

You can read more in my article How does the brain get injured? on our website.

False Sense of Security?

Conidi stated “biomechanics researchers have long understood that rotational forces, not linear forces, are responsible for serious brain damage including concussion, brain injury complications and brain bleeds. Yet generations of football and other sports participants have been under the assumption that their brains are protected by their investment in headwear protection.”

I have not been able to find any comparable studies done on rugby players. One wonders if there are similar incidents of brain injury and resulting chronic traumatic encephalopathy among current and former rugby players.

If studies show that the incidents of traumatic brain injuries is significantly less in professional rugby players then perhaps the National Football League and amateur football organizations should give some consideration towards less protective gear rather than more gear which may provide a false sense of security.

Continue reading "Helmets a Poor Source of Protection from Concussions" »

February 25, 2014

Tracking chronic pain symptoms: There's an app for that

One of the things I deal with every day as a personal injury lawyer in Nova Scotia are clients who have suffered significant injuries that result in long term chronic pain.

Invisible injury

Chronic pain cases can be difficult to prove because the injury is invisible. There is no X-ray that you can produce to show the client's broken bone, no photographs of scars, and there is no such thing as a "Pain-o-Meter" to show the extent and what kind of pain the client is suffering.

In many cases, the best evidence of the injury is, for the most part, the patient’s own testimony about their symptoms.

Pain diary

Many personal injury lawyers recommend that their clients keep a daily diary or journal about their pain symptoms, the problems that their pain causes them, anything that their pain prevents them from doing. Basically a day to day story about how their chronic pain has impacted their life.

The problem with diaries

In 24 years of representing injured people I have seen the same pattern over and over again. My clients bring me their diary and in the first days after the accident there are detailed entries on a daily basis. In the weeks following the accident the entries start to drop off to a couple of times a week. Within a month or two after the accident the client is rarely documenting any information about how their pain is affecting their life.

Discipline required

I recognize that it requires discipline to keep a diary. It is simply something that most of us are not in the habit of doing.

However, in my book: Crash Course: The Consumer's Guide to car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia I have a tip for people who have been injured in an accident.

Most of us have a daily calendar that we keep in the kitchen or somewhere in the house to keep track of household activities. What I recommend to my clients is that they jot a note on their calendar whenever their pain prevents them from doing part of their normal routine.

For example “...could'nt empty the dishwasher today”. Or make a note on the calendar when they miss an important event. For example “...missed Jonny’s basketball game today because of pain”. I find that these types of short entries using a tracking system that the client is already familiar with and uses on a daily basis means that I get more reliable data over a longer period of time.

Make it easy

Therefore, I am always on the lookout for anything that will help my clients keep track of the information that I am going to need to help document their claim. Anything that makes it easier to keep track of their information makes it easier for me to help my clients.

iPhone app

That is why I was interested to read about the “My Pain Diary: Chronic Pain and Symptom Tracker” app.

This app has been designed for iPhone and iPad to make it easy for people who suffer from chronic pain to track and manage their symptoms and identify the activities that may trigger their pain.

The app also allows you to export your entries and send them by email. The app suggests that you may want to send the information to your doctor however, the information could just as easily be emailed to your lawyer.

In a world where almost everyone has a smart phone I think My Pain Diary is a great addition for anyone who is pursuing an injury claim.

Continue reading "Tracking chronic pain symptoms: There's an app for that" »

February 20, 2014

Assessment of Damages after Default Judgment: What's the Burden of Proof?

Reasons for judgment were issued recently in an interesting case: MacKean v. Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada

The plaintiffs were injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver. The plaintiffs settled their claim against their own insurer under the uninsured driver provisions of their own automobile policy. When the claim was settled, the plaintiffs assigned their claim to their insurer RSA.

The uninsured driver was sued but failed to file a defence and had a default judgment entered against him.

RSA then brought a motion for assessment of damages against the uninsured driver.

On the motion RSA argued that all the company had to prove was that the settlement paid was "reasonable". If so RSA asked that judgment be entered against the uninsured driver in the amount of the settlement.

Justice Wood characterized the insurance company’s argument as follows:

“I interpret the position of the plaintiffs in this litigation to be that for a reimbursement claim by an insurer, the normal burden of proving damages on an assessment should be relaxed. For the reasons that follow I have concluded that this position is wrong in law”

Justice Wood reviewed the Civil Procedure Rules and the various avenues by which an assessment of damages can take place.

Wood J. pointed out:

“...the procedure followed for the assessment process does not change the substance of the hearing. The burden of proof and the rules of evidence remain the same, whether the matter is determined on affidavits or with witness testimony.”

At a hearing for assessment of damages, a party must prove their losses on a balance of probabilities using admissible evidence. It does not matter whether the assessment takes place by way of motion, application or a trial. Wood J paragraph 21

Justice Wood concluded his analysis of the Civil Procedure Rules and the relevant authorities “I agree that the assessment of damages ought to be carried out by the Judge based upon the evidence presented.”

Justice Wood pointed out that there may be a variety of factors that influence an insurance company’s decision to settle a claim, many of which have nothing to do with the admissible evidence or the burden of proof.

The decision is interesting because one might logically assume if a defendant fails to participate in a legal proceeding by defending the matter then that defendant should be bound by any compromise achieved by the remaining parties.

Justice Wood points out that this is not the case. Even where a defendant has failed to defend a proceeding and had a default judgment entered, the defendant is still entitled to participate in the assessment of damages and the plaintiff is still required to prove those damages on the grounds of probabilities through admissible evidence.

December 20, 2013

Hockey Players Sue NHL for Concussion Claims

It's the time of year that hockey is on the minds of many Canadians as we gear up for a Christmas tradition, watching the World Juniour Hockey tournament in Sweden.

Concussion Class Action

But in the United States, hockey is in the news for a different reason. Ten former National Hockey League players have filed a class action against the NHL claiming the league concealed evidence of the risks posed by repeated concussions and failed to protect players from head injuries by failing to implement rules that would protect players from head shots and other high risk behaviour.

Over the past couple of years I have seen an increased interest in sports concussions. I have tried to help raise awareness of the issue in some of the articles I have published on the blog about the dangers of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. See for example:

Mooseheads player fights back after concussion

Using Their Heads: New Study of Athletes and Concussions

Football Concussion Class Action

Last year former professional football players sued the NFL for brain injuries they claim to have received as a result of the NFL covering up their knowledge of the long term dangers of concussion. That claim was recently settled in the United States with the NFL agreeing to pay 765 Million Dollars.

College Athletes File Concussion Lawsuit

College athletes in the States have also filed similar a class action against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Hockey Class Action

The proposed NHL class action is still in the early stages. The lawsuit is looking for compensatory as well as punitive damages as well as funding for ongoing medical monitoring of players who retired on or before February 14, 2013.

The class action only benefits players who are still alive. However this year the parents of former NHL tough guy Derek Boogaard filed a lawsuit against the NHL. An autopsy after Boogaard’s death indicated that he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy a degenerative brain condition caused by repeated trauma to the brain. Boogaard’s parents claim that repeated concussions suffered during his six seasons in the NHL caused the CTE. That lawsuit is still awaiting a trial date.

No Canadian Lawsuits...

There has been speculation over whether the Canadian Football League would face a similar lawsuit. CFL Hall of famer Matt Dunigan has agreed to donate his brain and spinal cord to be studied after his death by researchers with the Canadian Sports Concussion Project.

While there have been some statements by former CFL players, as of yet there have been no class actions filed on behalf of the players here in Canada.

However, in an article written for Lawyers Weekly Magazine Sudden Impact: Liability for Sports Related Concussions I suggested that the potential liability for sports organizations here in Canada is a real and significant risk and one that professional and amateur sports organizations need to pay close attention to.

I will be watching the NHL class action with a great deal of interest.

November 10, 2013

Lest we forget

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July 15, 2013

Do bicycle helmets prevent head injuries? The answer may not be as obvious as you think.

Protect your noggin

If you were given the option of being hit on the head with or without a helmet, which would you choose? Wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by approximately 85-percent. The choice seems obvious doesn't it?

If the choice is so clear then why do one-third of Nova Scotian's still not wear helmets when cycling? According to Statistics Canada approximately 35% of Nova Scotia's still refuse to wear bicycle helmets on a regular basis.

Helmet laws

For the other two-thirds of the Nova Scotia population, wearing a helmet when riding a bike has become as natural as putting on a seatbelt in the car (another obvious choice for most of us). Approved bike helmets are mandatory for all persons in Nova Scotia. If you are caught riding without a helmet you can be fined $141.16.

Drop in head injuries due to helmet use?

Since the laws implementation in 1997 there has been a drop in biking head injuries reported in the province. Between 1994 and 2004 there were approximately 19,140 hospital admissions for cycling related head injuries. The rate of cycling related head injuries decreased from 18 to 4.9 percent between 1994 and 2008. Surely these numbers are evidence of the laws effectiveness?

Well, not so fast. A recent report from BMJ (British Journal of Medicine) suggests that the number of cycling related head injuries were in decline prior to the enactment of the laws, and that they had very little to do with the decline in head injuries.

Natural trend?

The report in the BMJ concluded that while the rates of admissions to hospitals for cycling related head injuries had decreased following the passing of helmet laws, the rate was already dropping at roughly the same rate prior to the passing of the legislation.

The report also noted that the provinces with helmet laws experienced a drop in head injuries that was almost the same as the drop experienced by provinces without helmet laws. The report concluded that the helmet laws did not do much to reduce hospital admissions for cycling head injuries.

Helmets still prevent injury

What the report is NOT saying is that helmets do not prevent head injuries. Rather, it is saying Canadians were beginning to wear bicycle helmets more and more prior to the enactment of the helmet laws.

Canadians were becoming more aware of the importance of proper headgear when cycling and were voluntarily protecting themselves from head injuries before the law told them to do so.

Conclusion

While it may be that the decrease in cycling-related head injuries is not a direct result of the helmet laws, this does not mean the law itself is flawed. What we can take from the BMJ study is that maybe there should be a greater focus on educating cyclists about the dangers of riding without helmets.

If more people began wearing helmets once they became aware of the risks, can we convince the last 35% of non-helmet riders to protect themselves?

July 11, 2013

Protecting yourself from adverse drug reactions

For younger Canadians an adverse reaction to a pharmaceutical drug could be an inconvenience, but to seniors it could be life threatening. A report from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (“CIHI”) states that roughly 27,000 patients a year over the age of 65 end up in the hospital as a result of adverse reactions to their drugs.

According to the CIHI approximately 0.5% of Canadian seniors end up in the hospital every year due to their medication.

Further the cost to health carecare system in Canada of adverse drug reactions among seniors comes to approximately $35.7 million a year.

Not surprising

While the numbers of seniors at risk are high, they are not particularly surprising considering the fact that seniors often have to take a large number of drugs (polypharmacy) and their bodies are generally weakened due to aging.

More drugs = more adverse reactions

The report states that seniors on fifteen or more drugs were 11 times more likely (2.2%) to be hospitalized due to adverse reactions than seniors on five or less drugs (0.2%).

Blood thinners a common problem

According to the report from CIHI the most frequently associated drugs with adverse reactions are Anticoagulants (blood thinners). Seniors take Anticoagulants to prevent strokes and avoid heart attacks. The percentage of adverse reactions due to blood thinners was noted to be approximately 12.6 percent. The risk with Anticoagulants is they can lead to Hemorrhagic disorder (bleeding) due to misuse.

Cancer medication comes in at a close second with 12.1 percent.

Solution?

So how do we stop our seniors from suffering health risks from adverse drug reactions?

Dr. David Hogan of the Health Sciences Centre in Calgary put together a useful tip sheet for avoiding adverse reactions. He recommends that patients:

(1) Know their medication – names and why they are taking them;

(2) Communicate with their doctor and pharmacist about ALL of their medication, and;

(3) Organize their drugs so they don’t mix up medications or end up taking their partner’s drugs by mistake.

A suggestion

Perhaps doctors should recommend certain organizational systems for seniors on multiple medications. For example, doctors can take the initiative in providing or recommending labeled plastic weekly dispensers.

Also, if you are close to a senior who uses multiple drugs it might be a good idea to double-check that they follow Dr. Hogan’s recommendations.


July 4, 2013

Kids and Cars Canada offers warm weather warning

The tragic deaths of two toddlers in less than two weeks has brought attention to the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars: Children, cars and hot temperatures a deadly mix

Through my volunteer efforts with KidsandCars.org I have learned how dangerous it can be to leave children unattended in cars.

There are two facts that most people simply are not aware of that contribute to the danger.

Cars become ovens

First how hot a car can become: When it's 25 degrees C outside a car parked in the sun, even if the windows are cracked open, can reach temperatures of more than 50 degrees C (130 degrees F) in less than 10 minutes!

It gets dangerous fast!

The second thing most people don't realize is how dangerous that is for children. Adults can tolerate temperature over 100 degrees. But because children are so small, they don't eliminate heat from their body as well as adults.

Infants core temperatures increase 3 to 5 times faster than adults.

So when toddlers or infants are left alone in a hot car their core temperature can increase to over 40 degrees C in less than 10 minutes.

That's hot enough to serious brain injure, or even kill, a child.

Failure of memory

When something horrible like this happens it is human nature want to cast blame. People say: "I would never forget my child!" Because it reassures us it couldn't happen to us.

But what Neuroscientists will tell us is that with the demands on our attention and the cognitive distractions we face evey day, anyone can suffer a similar lapse of memory.

Most cases of children being left alone in cars are not intentional.

In most cases these are not failures of love, they are failures of memory and it can happen to anyone.

Teddy bear trick

That's why KidsandCars recommends some simple reminders to help parents and guardians remember that they have children with them.

My favourtite is what I call "The Teddy Bear Trick".

Keep a Teddy Bear in your child's car seat. When you place your child in the car seat, put the Teddy Bear in the passenger seat beside you.

When you get to where you are going, if Teddy is beside you, then you have a little passenger behind you.

Have a safe summer!

For more information you can go to Kidsandcars.org/canada.

June 5, 2013

The Cost of an Offer to Settle: Visual Design Consultants Inc. v. Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada

Litigation can be costly and time consuming. As a result, most personal injury claims in Nova Scotia are settled before trial. Most settlement negotiations are "without prejudice", meaning neither side is allowed to refer to the negotiations at trial. This allows either side to make concessions in the negotiations that they will not be held to at trial.

Formal offers to settle

However, there are times when you may want your negotiations to be "with prejudice". If the claim ends up going to trial, a "with prejudice" or formal offer to settle can have a major effect on the amount of costs awarded, even if the offer is rejected.

I recently posted about the effects that an offer to settle can have on legal costs.

As I discussed, making a strategic offer to settle well in advance of trial can result in the other side paying a substantial portion of your legal costs.

In a recent case: Visual Design Consultants Inc. v. Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, Justice Wright of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court dealt with the amount of costs should be paid to the successful plaintiff.

Background

Visual Design was a graphic design firm whose property was demolished by Hurricane Juan. Their insurance policy included coverage for “business interruption loss”. The two parties were unable to agree on the amount to compensate Visual Design for the hurricane’s interruption of business.

A six-day trial resulted in a judgement of $275,265.00 (inclusive of interest) being awarded to the Plaintiff. The parties were not able to agree on legal costs.

Counsel for the plaintiff requested costs of $70,766.00 as a contribution to the plaintiff's legal fees, while Counsel for the Defendant argued that $34,750.00 was appropriate.

The main issue decided by the Court was whether or not they should increase the standard tariff costs from $34,750.00.

Analysis

Justice Wright applied the principles from Civil Procedure Rule 77 which specifically notes:

(d) A judge who fixes costs may increase or reduce tariff costs, for example, when a written offer of settlement, whether made formally or otherwise, is not accepted or where the conduct of a party affects the speed or expense of the proceeding.

Beating the offer

In deciding appropriate costs, the Court considered the effect of the Plaintiff’s formal offer to settle. Before the case was set for trial the Plaintiff made a formal offer to settle the matter for $235,000.00 inclusive of costs. This offer was never accepted by the defendant.

The court recognized that the Plaintiff received a more favourable judgment at trial.

Since the plaintiff did better than their pre-trial offer to settle, the Court ordered a 75% increase to the Tariff A costs (pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 10.09). This comes to $60,812.50 plus disbursements for a total of $85,152.00.

Conclusion

The Court specifically noted that the increased cost award “reflects a substantial contribution to the plaintiff’s legal costs which is the overall objective of our costs regime.”

This case is simply another example of the strategic value of making a considered offer to settle.

May 9, 2013

Hockey Canada insurance doesn't cover concussions! Say what?

As a personal injury lawyer I have seen many examples of the dangers of brain injuries in sports. In particular I have written about the potential lasting effects that brain injuries can have on child athletes. See for example:

Sudden Impact: Liability for Sports Related Concussions

Brain Injuries: Minor Hockey Players 10x More Likely to Suffer Brain Injuries

Brain Injury Myth #6 - Children Recover Quickly From Brain Injuries

Everybody knows that concussions are dangerous right? Everybody knows that kids who play hockey can suffer concussions right? Hockey Canada has even created a Concussion Awareness App for parents.

Hockey Canada provides insurance for all it's players to cover injuries they may suffer while playing.

While Hockey Canada is aware of the fact that your child may suffer a brain injury while playing hockey, the organization actually doesn't insure against concussions or brain injuries.

This is surprising considering the recent attention concussions and their consequences have been garnering from the media. According to an article in The Province, a Toronto study of children injured between 1990 and 2009 found that hockey accounted for approximately 45% of the brain injuries.

But if your child suffers a crippling brain injury while playing hockey, they will not be covered under their Hockey Canada insurance policy.

What is covered?

The Hockey Canada information guide to their insurance coverage “Safety Requires Teamwork” is available here:

The guide lists the following as injuries that are covered under the policy:

For Loss Of:

Life …………………………….. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 25,000
Entire sight of both eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 50,000
One hand and sight of one eye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 45,000
Speech and hearing in both ears .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 45,000
Sight of one eye. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 35,000
Speech or hearing in both ears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 30,000

For Loss Of, Or Loss Of Use Of:

Both hands or both feet or both legs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 45,000
One hand and one foot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 45,000
One armor one leg …. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 30,000
One hand or one foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 30,000

Critical Incidence Stress Counselling:

Off-ice maximum per incident
Per insured: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 2,000
For all insureds: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 10,000
On-ice maximum per incident: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 25,000

For Paralysis of:

All four limbs (Quadriplegia).. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,000,000
Both Lower Limbs (Paraplegia) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 1,000,000
One arm and leg on the same side of the body (Hemiplegia) . . . . . . $ 1,000,000

So why aren't brain injuries being covered? According to the Hockey Canada handbook, “...many times the desired coverage is simply unaffordable.”

I have many friends whose children play hockey. i would be willing to bet that most have no idea that their children are not insured for one of the most common injuries that children suffer while playing hockey.

I understand that the cost of insuring against concussion or other types of brain injuries may be expensive. But how much is too much to pay to cover our children’s brains?

If your child is playing a sport where there is almost a 50% chance they are going to suffer a brain injury, shouldn't parents be told about the lack of coverage and, at the very least, be given the opportunity to purchase optional coverage?


May 9, 2013

Predicting recovery time from concussions: New research may help brain injury claims

As a personal injury lawyer in Nova Scotia I commonly deal with clients who have suffered head injuries and concussions.

One thing that I have noticed is the symptoms and severity of head injuries, and how long it takes the patient to recover can vary greatly.

One of the challenges brain injury lawyers face is proving what the long term consequences will be for someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury. I discuss this in more detail in my public legal education guide: Brain Matter: The Survivor's Guide to Brain Injury Claims.

Recovery time difficult to predict

Most people who suffer a concussion will recover within hours or days. But as we have all seen from the recent challenges faced by Sidney Crosby, concussion symptoms can last for months. A small percentage of patients who suffer concussions will develop post-concussion syndrome, where the symptoms last a year or more.

What that means in brain injury compensation claims, is that the injured plaintiff shouldn't settle their claim until all the symptoms of their concussion have resolved.

One of the most common questions people ask me when they first come to see me is: "How long will it take to settle my claim?"

The honest answer to that question is: "I don't know." To understand why read Personal Injury Claims in Nova Scotia: The “Golden Rule”

To date, there has never been an accurate tool or system for predicting the required recovery time for concussions.

Recovery time related to symptom severity

But new research designed to help treat brain injury victims may also end up helping plaintiffs who have filed a compensation claim as a result of having suffered a concussion.

This article highlights research in The Journal of Pediatrics from the Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center which attempts to correlate symptoms of concussion with recovery times.

Previous studies tried to correlate recovery time to the ages of patients or whether recovery time was related to having previously experienced a concussion.

Relating symptoms to recovery time

The Boston - Pittsburg study analyzed 182 patients who suffered from concussions. The patients ranked the severity of their symptoms on a scale from 0-6 with 0 meaning ‘not experiencing this symptom’ and 6 meaning the symptom was ‘severe’.

The researchers then compared the severity of the symptoms with the recovery times and found a correlation.

Long term problem

One of the researchers on the study, Dr. Meehan, says:

“Parents, physicians, and caregivers of athletes who suffer from a high-degree of symptoms after a sports-related concussion should start preparing for the possibility of a prolonged recovery.”

Patients who are suffering from a concussion should be careful about rushing back into strenuous activity. I have posted about the dangers of repeat concussions here: Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries in Sport

This useful website provides step-by-step guidelines for parents who are assisting their children in recovering from a concussion.

Hopefully, with a little more research, physicians will eventually be able to accurately predict the length of recovery times for concussions based on the severity of the symptoms experienced.

Research may help doctors...and lawyers

This will serve to assist physicians in properly coordinating the appropriate treatments for their patients. But it will also help brain injury lawyers, and their clients, because it will allow lawyer to estimate, in advance, how long a client will be disabled as a result of their concussion, which in turn should allow lawyers to more accurately predict, and prove, the quantum of damages the brain injured plaintiff may be entitled to receive.

If you suffered a concussion what are your legal options?

Concussions are a serious injury that can have long- term, potentially devastating, effects. With careful investigation an experienced brain injury lawyer can increase the odds of scoring a win for injured athletes.


Continue reading "Predicting recovery time from concussions: New research may help brain injury claims" »

May 3, 2013

End Distracted Driving in Nova Scotia

I received a very kind note today from one of the teachers at Bicentennial JHS about the presentation we gave to the students a few weeks ago.

Talking with the students at BJHS

"Thank you again for your dynamic presentation to our students two weeks ago. You handled them really well and they took in the importance of what you had to say. Your presentation had an impact on me, too. I drive every day and am consciously trying to focus more on the road and let distractions wait!"

In the last 4 months I have been able to give this presentation to more than 1600 students at 14 schools throughout HRM. My goal for next year is to give this presentation to every high school and junior high school in HRM. I'm recruiting volunteers to give this presentation to schools in other parts of Nova Scotia and I have teamed up with Trial Lawyer Associations across the country to get the message out across the rest of Canada.

I have to say my volunteer work with EndDD.org has been a great experience. I have met lots of bright young students, had some very interesting discussions and I think I have learned as much as the kids have learned.

What more information? Read my article The Deadly Consequences of Distracted Driving (and what you can do to help)