My most memorable case of 2016.

The past year has seen many interesting and surprising cases land on my desk. But my most memorable case involved a woman I’ll call April. April had been employed by a financial institution for a number of years when she developed cancer that forced her to stop work in May 2001. She applied for long-term disability benefits under her employer’s group insurance policy. Her claim was approved and benefits were paid starting in November 2001. Although the cancer treatment went well, April developed a number of mental illnesses including major depression, a generalized anxiety...

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The best clients in the world.

I have the best clients in the world. This is largely due to the fact that most people are sincere, hard-working and honest. Most people do not want to be “on disability”, and would give anything to return to the productive workforce. I take some credit for the quality of my clients as well. I recognize that there are only so many hours in the day, and if I want to give each client’s file the attention it deserves I must limit the number of files I take on.  So when I interview a potential new client I ask myself: can I see myself devoting my best efforts to this...

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What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

Functional capacity evaluations, functional assessments and functional abilities evaluations are all different names for the same thing: a series of tests and observations used to estimate your ability to function at work. For simplicity I will just refer to them collectively as functional capacity evaluations. Functional capacity evaluations (FCE’s) usually take place over one or two days and are administered by a health professional (usually an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or kinesologist). The testing usually will take the entire day (for a one-day FCE) or a day and half (for a...

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What are discount rates and present day values?

Discount rates are used to calculate the present day value of a loss of future income or cost of future care that is awarded as a lump sum in personal injury cases. The discount rate assumes that the lump sum will be invested and will earn enough income to create a sufficient stream of compensation for the injured party over the appropriate time frame, with the fund being fully exhausted at the end. This is one methodology of calculating and compensating future financial loss endorsed by the so-called 1978 “Trilogy” of catastrophic injury cases decided by the Supreme Court of...

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Reducing the risk of bicycle accidents.

Many BC residents are health conscious citizens that embrace cycling. BC continually ranks as the healthiest province in Canada, according to reports by the Conference Board of Canada. Cycling is fun recreation with considerable health benefits and, for some, it is a means of daily commuting. BC has a network of over 300 lane kilometres of bike infrastructure in Vancouver alone. Outside of Vancouver, there are many bike paths as well and some cyclists try out exceptional mountain bike trails through Revelstoke, Whistler, Squamish and Vancouver Island. Unfortunately, cycling comes with...

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Conduct money rates set Sept. 14, 2015.

The BC Supreme Court has determined the rates a defendant should pay when a plaintiff is compelled to travel to see a defense selected physician. In Nieman v. Joyal the defendant wished to have the plaintiff examined by an occupational therapist int he course of an injury lawsuit but could not agree on various terms including appropriate conduct money. In finding 50 cents / km is reasonable Master McDiarmid provided the following reasons: [28]        A careful reading of Rule 7‑6 reveals that it refers to an order that the person submit to examination by a medical practitioner, and then the...

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