Examination for discovery is one of the most important parts of a personal injury case. It allows the parties to meet and preview the evidence for mediation, trial, and settlement.

The Plaintiff (person or persons who have been injured or wronged) and their lawyer(s) will arrange a time to meet for the examination with the Defendant(s). The examination itself is conducted virtually or in-person. The goal of the examination is to “discover” the evidence that is intended to be used to support a claim for damages. The Defendant is allowed to ask questions to the Plaintiff about what happened during an accident / incident and what proof is available to support his / her version of events. The Plaintiff’s lawyer acts as a guide and protector for the Plaintiff to ensure the questions asked are civil (polite) and relevant to the case. During an examination for discovery, a court reporter will be in attendance who writes / types everything that is said – both the questions and the answers. The Plaintiff(s) will be asked to swear or affirm to tell the truth as the answers given can be used at a trial.

At a separate time, the Plaintiff’s lawyer gets to examine the Defendant(s) with their lawyers subject to the same rules and principles. In Ontario, the “rules” for conducting an examination of discovery that is legally binding are contained in the Rules of Civil Procedure. These Rules can be found in the Courts of Justice Act, R.R.O. 1990, at Regulation 194. Following “discoveries” of the Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s) the answers to the questions posed by both sides may form the basis of evidence used to support a claim for damages in the form of an “undertaking”. This refers to an agreement given at a discovery to obtain and provide a specific piece of evidence to support or refute a claim. Each specific piece of evidence e.g. the records of a medical doctor, an OHIP summary, an accident report constitutes a separate undertaking.

Without the presence of a lawyer to protect the interests of a Plaintiff, a discovery can become arduous and confusing. Even scheduling a discovery takes time and effort. Your lawyer should know whether or not they wish to use the ‘Simplified Procedure’ for lawsuits claiming for $200,000 or less in damages versus the ‘Ordinary Procedure’. No matter which procedure is used, the results are what matter. In the case of discoveries, the results should be clear and precise undertakings that will create a road map to fruitful negotiations and settlement.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs when a person has been exposed to trauma. This includes accidents, serious injury or even witnessing a fatality. Nightmares, accident flashbacks, and heightened anxiety for a prolonged period may be signs of PTSD. Unfortunately, many insurance companies want to insist that this condition simply ‘passes after a few weeks’ and is not serious.

We have had many clients who had PTSD as a result of their serious injuries, or seeing loved ones injured or even killed in an accident. Many have developed depression, severe anxiety, and avoidant behaviours. Without proper treatment, PTSD may become unbearable and cause a person to spiral psychologically, ruining careers, relationships, and future plans.

The primary treatment for PTSD is psychotherapy, but can also include medication. Combining these treatments can help to improve symptoms by teaching skills to cope and reframe trauma, treating co-morbid depression, anxiety, or addiction, and relaxation techniques. The types of psychotherapy usually employed include:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) This type of talk therapy helps you recognize the ways of thinking (cognitive patterns) that are keeping you stuck. This could be negative beliefs about yourself and the risk of traumatic things happening again. For PTSD, cognitive behavioural therapy is often combined with exposure therapy.

Exposure Therapy

This behavioral therapy helps you safely face situations and memories that you find frightening to learn to cope with them effectively. Exposure therapy can be particularly helpful for flashbacks and nightmares. Guided sessions with virtual reality programs allow you to re-enter the setting in which you experienced trauma and reframe them.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR combines exposure therapy with a series of guided eye movements that help you process traumatic memories differently so that they are no longer physically and emotionally draining. EMDR aims to reduce symptoms of trauma by changing how your memories are stored in your brain by leading you through a series of bilateral (side-to-side) eye movements as you recall traumatic or triggering experiences in small segments. EMDR may also help relieve symptoms of other mental health concerns, especially those intertwined with past trauma.

Insurance companies may deny you benefits to access these types of therapy because of treatment costs compared with usual physical rehabilitation. We understand how difficult it is to experience an invisible illness and have assisted many clients with denied claims for PTSD. We are available to speak with you and answer your questions.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration in brain function or other evidence of brain pathology caused by an external force. An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative or induced by birth trauma.

An acquired brain injury alters how the brain performs tasks and can be described as mild, moderate or severe. The primary causes of acquired brain injury are trauma (accidents that cause closed or open injuries), stroke (blocked artery, aneurysm), anoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain), infection (encephalitis, meningitis), tumor, and surgical procedures.

Many of our clients who have sustained severe whiplash in a car accident also sustain a concussion due to the rapid acceleration / deceleration forces. As a result, the blood vessels in their brains stretch and cranial nerves are damaged. A person may or may not experience a brief loss of consciousness due to concussion. The injured may remain conscious, but act or state that they feel “dazed” and unable to remember what happened. Most concussions happens at a microscopic scale, and may or may not show up on a diagnostic imaging tests such as CAT scans. As a result, a concussion causing ABI is sometimes defined by exclusion, and is considered a complex neuro-behavioral syndrome with many signs and symptoms including mood changes and cognitive impairment.

Our team at SLSPC has over 20 years experience managing claims for acquired brain injury due to accident or medical malpractice. Call 416-644-3999 or for a free and confidential consultation.