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Hamilton Personal Injury & Disability Lawyers Serving all of Ontario

Free Phone Consultation Province Wide 905-333-8888 | 1-833-4-LAWFIRM

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901-105 Main St. E
Hamilton, ON
L8N 1G6

7 Common Causes of Hamilton Motorcycle Accidents in The Fall

3 Minute Read from Hamilton’s Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

The sun is still shining, the autumn colours are vibrant.  Fall is a popular time of year for joy rides, day trips and longer motorcycle road trips.  Sadly, motorcycle accidents are all too common in the fall, and if you’ve ever seen the aftermath of an accident involving a motorcycle, or been involved in one, you know first hand how horrific they can be. The trauma, injuries and fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents are difficult to imagine. The very thing that attracts motorcycle enthusiasts to ride, is the very thing that can be of detriment.  Motorcyclists and their passengers are exposed to the elements, without the protection of a metal box surrounding them.  So, when a motorcyclist is hit by another vehicle, injuries can be catastrophic.

Motorcyclists that are hit by other vehicles or involved in single bike collisions often suffer from injuries such as:

Here in Hamilton Ontario, and throughout the golden horseshoe, fall is a popular time for motorcycle enthusiasts to get out on their bikes to enjoy the crisp air.  While it is true your motorbike offers less protection than a car, you can reduce your risk of accident by obeying traffic laws, doing your best to be a safe rider and by understanding the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Hamilton at this time of year.

Speeding – When a motorcyclist is struck by a speeding vehicle, the sad and incomprehensible result is often death or catastrophic injury.  While a motorcyclist cannot prevent another driver from driving at an unsafe high speed, it is important for a motorcyclist or driver of any vehicle to be aware of other drivers who are operating their vehicles unsafely.

Failure to Use Turn Signals – Lives could be spared if all drivers used their turn signals when turning or changing lanes.  Proper and timely signalling is vital to road safety.  Failure to do so puts other motorists at risk.  Unfortunately, due to the smaller profile, motorcycles are harder to see.  While a motorcyclist is trained to be aware of other drivers, if a driver fails to signal the result can be tragic.

Dangerous Intersections – Motorcycle accidents are very common at intersections.  Again, due to the smaller profile of a motorbike, drivers may overlook or fail to see the motorcyclist.

Intoxicated Drivers – When motorists drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs their response time is lower and their vision can be blurry.  Intoxicated drivers put everyone on the road at risk.

Distracted Driving – Talking, texting etc. can be lethal on the road.  For drivers who look down at their phone while driving or while stopped at a red light or stop sign, they may fail to see a motorcycle and the resulting accident could be devastating.

Road Hazards – Potholes, overbearing leaves, slick roads, weather and other road hazards can be the cause of motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle Stunt Driving – This type of accident is entirely preventable.  Don’t stunt drive.  Unfortunately, in Ontario there are many serious motorcycle accidents each year as a result of motorcycle stunt driving gone wrong.

Despite all these risks, come motorcycle season, the call of the open road draws many motorcycle enthusiasts to grab their helmet and go for a ride.  Our aim is to ensure motorcyclists understand what causes most accidents so they can be more aware to help reduce their risk. When motorcycle accidents do happen – we are here to help put the proper insurance in place.

It is unfortunate that motorists cannot always enjoy driving without having to worry about other drivers on the road.  But, sadly, when you decide it’s time to go for a fall motorbike ride or trip, it is essential you are aware that not all drivers are as concerned about you as you might be about them.  According to a recent study motorcycles account for five times the fatalities, six times the medical costs and ten times the severe injuries compared to cars.

Motorcycles are smaller vehicles and can be more difficult to see if a driver is inattentive or driving too fast.  In the fall, it gets darker earlier which can further add to the difficulty of spotting a motorcycle especially if a driver is intoxicated, speeding or driving without due care.

Due to the impact of the injuries, motorcycle accidents are devastating.  It is common for the injuries sustained to be so severe that the riders are suffering ongoing pain, and such serious injuries that they may be unable to work and support themselves and their families.  For many motorcycle accident victims, their life is, unfortunately, forever changed.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you are dealing with serious injuries, grief, stress and are suffering.  We understand how devastating and overwhelming this time is. That’s why we want to help. The last thing you need to think about is how to handle a complicated insurance case for an accident that is usually not the fault of the motorcyclist.

Lalande & Company Lawyers are Hamilton personal injury lawyers that are experience working with motorcycle accident victims. Our lawyers serve victims Province-wide  and we have a goal to help you recover your lost income and wages, medical costs and other associated costs.  We offer a complimentary consultation and we do not charge upfront costs.  Call us today at (905) 333-8888 or fill in our contact form to schedule an appointment.  It’s important you have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, to inform you of your legal rights and to help protect you and your family.

Long Term Disability
Common Disabling Conditions

4 Minute Read from Hamilton Long-Term Disability Lawyers serving Ontario

When your life has been impacted by a serious illness, injury or accident, you expect to rely on your long-term disability benefits to help assist with replacing your income when you cannot work. Policies are typically purchased privately or through group insurance at work as a “piece of mind” – i.e. knowing that income replacement is there to protect us in the event of an injury or disability.  While none of us anticipate becoming incapacitated to the point that we can no longer work, the reality is that thousands of people in Ontario find themselves seriously injured or ill each year.  The following is a list of physical and mental conditions that commonly result in claimants  filing for long term disability income benefits.  This list does not include all of the illnesses that can limit a person’s ability to perform their own occupation or any occupation.

CANCER
Cancer is a dreadful disease that mostly affects Canadians that are over the age of 50, but it can happen at any age.  Breast cancer is the most common among women, affecting 1/8 women. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis among men, affecting 1/7.  Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancers accounted for half of all cancer cases in 2016.  In Canada, lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer over the age of 50.  Among people under 25, testicular cancer was the most common type for men, and thyroid cancer for women.

DEPRESSION
Depression as the leading cause of ill health and disability not only in Canada, but worldwide. Depression is a major cause of long-term disability claims for income replacement.  In Canada, depression is the second most debilitating chronic medical condition outside of cancer. Depression is a personal experience that takes on many forms and emerges from many causes. Although depression occurs on it’s own, depression also occurs at high rates along with many other chronic medical conditions, for example, with serious and chronic injuries.   Depression has been shown to unfortunately worsens other medical illnesses, interferes with ongoing pain management, and amplifies the detrimental effects of pain on health-related quality of life.

MENTAL ILLNESS
Mental illness is also a leading cause of disability claims in Canada. Common types of mental illness that can cause an applicant to apply for long term-disability are:

  • Schizophrenia – schizophrenia is a mental disorder which includes delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation.
  • Schizoaffective disorder – schizoaffective disorder consists of schizophrenia along with mood disorder, such as bi-polar disorder or symptoms of paranoid delusions.
  • Severe bi-polar disorder (Type I and II) – bi-polar disorder is a characterized as interval periods of depression and mania.
  • Severe PTSD – Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — such as a near death experience, witnessing death, shell-shock, combat stress, witnessing the loss of a spouse or child or being involved in a terrible accident. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Extremely serious PTSD will cause emotional numbing, prevent a victim from returning to normal daily activities, constant intrusive memories, negative changes in mood or thinking, avoidance, hopelessness or consistently reliving a traumatic event.

DISABLING BACK PAIN 
Severe back pain may impair your day-to-day functioning and can hamper your ability to walk, bend, lift and move, crouch, stoop, kneel, run, ascend stairs ect.   Back pain can often be catalyzed by experiencing trauma, trauma surgery or by disc degeneration, damaged discs or mechanical disfunction that is severe enough to cause fusion surgery.   Other types back pain that can caused a claimant disability includes  scoliosis, nerve root compression, foraminal stenosis, spinal stenosis, inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Cardiovascular and heart disorders include coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart attacks or arrhythmias can make it extremely difficult to return to work or perform your day-to-day tasks. Living with a congenital heart condition or life after heart failure or a transplant can be exhausting. We regularly assist those with heart conditions in obtaining long term disability benefits. We understand the complexities involved and why many insurance companies will deny long term disability claims.  Providers often expect people can return to work immediately following heart surgery.  What is harder to articulate in a claim, is often with heart disease, stress can significantly impact a cardiac condition.  By modifying lifestyle, people can often control their symptoms. Sometimes, returning to work can put someone at a substantial increased risk for relapse or cardiac symptoms.

Have you been denied long-term disability benefits?

Dealing with a long term disability claim denied or having income benefits cut off can be challenging for claimants who rely on this monthly income. Our Hamilton long term disability lawyers represent claimants Province-wide.  If you are suffering from a long-term disability, illness or injury, our Hamilton long term disability lawyers  represent  disability insurance claimants with private policy and group disability plans who have been denied or cut-off their long term disability benefits.

Please call us at 1-833-4-LAWFIRM or (905) 333-8888, fill in a contact form or chat with our live operator 24/7 who will be happy to set up an appointment with our Hamilton long-term disability lawyers to discuss your long-term disability case.

$350,000.00 Personal Injury Settlement

Bicycle Accident Victim with Broken Leg

We believe it’s great benefit to readers and injured parties to have an idea of the verdicts and settlements that are awarded or negotiated for seriously injured victims.  We are very proud to say that in one of our recent settlements,  our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers have recovered $350,000.00 for a young man hit by a car while riding his bicycle.  He suffered a Tibial Plateau Fracture and knee ligament damage, which caused him a tremendous amount of pain, discomfort, the inability to weight bear for months and now suffers ongoing symptomatic and functional limitations which currently interrupted his career plans.

Why did David suffer a tibial plateau fracture?

Doctors in the case have told our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers that David suffered the type of injury because of the way the car bumper hit him while he was riding his bicycle.  David was riding his bicycle lawfully on the sidewalk. While crossing the sidewalk a car turned left into him and out him over the room and onto the ground.

What is a Tibial Plateau Fracture Exactly?

Bicycle accidents and tibial plateau fractures are common because of how cars and trucks hit a bicyclist’s leg on side impact. A fracture in the shinbone right below the knee is called a proximal tibia fracture.  The tibial plateau is a critical loadbearing area of the body. When you break yourshinbone right under your  you can end up with problems with knee alignement, stability, motion, bending, stooping, crawling, kneeling and lifting.  knee alignment, stability, and motion. Proper treatment is  critical for minimizing and reducing the risk future complications, particularly posttraumatic arthritis. 

 Why was David’s case settled for $350,000.00?

For a mix of reasons. The insurance company for the at-fault driver recognized David’s potential future complications. The insurance defence lawyer involved was highly experienced. Also, David was a body shop apprentice at a major auto dealership and had a future there. He has no other education to fall back on.  He was now in a position in his mid-20’s where he had to start over, re-educate and find a job in a field that was sedentary and not physically demanding.  It was determined that he would have life-long problems with

  • crouching
  • Kneeling
  • Squatting
  • Lifting
  • Carrying
  • Pulling and
  • Pushing anything heavy

It was determined he would never reach pre-injury status.  He had problems with stairs, walking distances.  He suffers pain daily, required pain injections, continued therapy and overall, was set-back in life tremendously.

Do you know someone that has been injured in a bicycle accident?

For the past 15 years Matt Lalande has been representing victims that suffer serious orthopedic injuries and has recovered reasonable compensation by trial or settlement. You can see a list of verdicts and settlements here. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious orthopedic injury in a bicycle accident, our Hamilton Bicycle Accident Lawyers can help. Please call us at 905-333-8888, fill in a contact form or chat with our live operator and we will get back to you.  Our consultations are free and certainly, without obligation.

My Broken Body: Spinal Cord Injury and the Experience of Grief.

6 Minute Read from Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Hamilton

My thoughts as a Lawyer, from the a person on the outside.

As a Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyer, every time a new client’s family hired me it makes me think….There is nothing foreseeable about the psychological sequelae of a Spinal Cord Injury.  From what I have seen over the past 15 years, how accident victims respond to such life changing trauma is no doubt individual and is influenced by their pre-accident character, their own self-perception, prior injuries, self-management, medical/ secondary complications and external factors such as finances and medical care, financial resources, family and social support, among other things.

Spinal Cord Injury, Emotional Pain, and Emotional Loss.

Over the years and while helping spinal cord injury victims, I have tried to understand the loss that SCI patients go through, but have accepted that it’s simply not possible.  What I have see, however, is the same underlying emotions. I have seen that the majority of people with spinal cord injuries will experience very high anxiety or worry and find it tremendously difficult to handle emotions. There is confusions. There is non-acceptance. There are questions. .Sometimes, it seems, that this can partly be a reaction to acute injury, pain, lack of sleep, the high dosage of pain medication, and/or being in the hospital for an extended period of time. Initially, I would say that, more often than not, spinal cord victims experience severe negative emotional reactions, which are even more pronounced if the victim suffers accident related cognitive impairments or TBI, which can contribute to mental and psychological changes even though they may be mild or short lived. It is certainly not uncommon to sustain a TBI and a spinal cord injury in the same accident.

Spinal Cord Injury and the Grieving Process.

An SCI is a huge assault on one’s body, an assault that is for the most part, irrecoverable. Within moments, someone like you and I, that was active, healthy and independent, is immobilized and becomes dependent. The instantaneous effects of a spinal cord injury result in a total disruption of a victim’s life, and the beginning of a life-long psychological adjustment process which all starts with how a spinal cord injury victim is treated during the rehabilitation phase.

Experiences are often frightening, overwhelming and confusing for the client who has just experienced an SCI, and from what I have seen, the best attempt at emotional recovery seems to be dependent on proper structure and routine, proper rehabilitation, and support from loved ones. It is crucial that all of this occur as soon as possible in the rehabilitation phase. There is no doubt that the daily routines set out in rehabilitation units will help to establish some structure with the help of various health professionals.

For most that go through all of this, there is a grieving process that is normally always associated with negative emotional reactions, which may not be evident initially, but evidence based studies are quite clear that people with SCI’s have raised levels of depressive mood and negative psychological states such as apprehension and anxiety which hold strong through stages of grief if not properly treated.  On top of this, I have seen (and read my own clients’ reports) that post-traumatic stress reactions are common in persons following a major stressful life event like a car accident or assault which caused the SCI.

Grieving my broken body: an account of spinal cord injury as an experience of grief.

From the outside, watching a spinal cord injury victim deal with this new situation is somewhat akin to the loss of a former life and the start of a new one, which seems much more pronounced in the transition from rehab center to home, where SCI patients are confronted with their disability head-on and immediately meet miscellaneous barriers, be it physical, social, psychological, and environmental barriers…what ever the barriers may be, for the first time.

Recently a physician sent me a great  piece to read called “Grieving my broken body: an autoethnographic account of spinal cord injury as an experience of grief” (A summary of which is available here) which is an medical article that explored the analogous links between the losses from an SCI and the experiences of the grief that accompanies the death of a loved one – but that loved one is simply your former self.

It was your former self that walked, ran, jumped, skied, biked, played baseball, basketball walked to school.  The story drew on the author’s own experiences of becoming a C5 incomplete quadriplegic, and more particularly on his account of navigating the levels of grief, and how deconstructing and reconstructing the story of one’s own life is essential to learning to accept and live with an SCI.

Deconstructing – letting your past life go, and reconstructing – learning to adapt with resiliency.

Over the past decades there have been a lot of great articles written on the psychological effects of dealing with a spinal cord injury. A popular pieced, known as the stages theory, written by Lindeman and Kubler-Ross (1940’s and 60’s) has been very helpful over the years in recognizing the emotional stages and the responses of those stages:

  • shock and denial;
  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • anger;
  • bargaining and;
  • adaptation

These stages are seen as a normal, healthy, and appropriate part of adjustment to SCI – although not all persons might go through these all of these stages, some more than once or some might not experience them at all not at all. The theory, however, is long standing well-known work on grieving post SCI.

My Broken Body is a great small piece of literature that seems to make most sense to me, as a Hamilton Spinal Cord Injury  lawyer, from the outside looking in. The article “recognizes that adjusting to an SCI involves complex swings in emotion–sadness, anger, and melancholy, alongside hope and determination” but in doing so, one must deconstruct and reconstruct the narratives of one’s own life – which is essential to learning to accept and live with an SCI. Grief therapy should encourage people to help mourn their loss (their old self) and make sense of their new lives.

Health is wealth – Especially Psychological Health.

Experiencing grief helps those experiencing spinal cord injuries come to terms with the emotions associated with their loss, to accept the reality of life as it is today and to begin to make adjustments towards life reconstruction –  so that new life can be lived with a reason to get out of bed everyday.  If proper psychological rehabilitation is not put into place (along with physical rehabilitation) there is a danger that one might not be able to accept the death of his or her former self, and learn to learning to adapt to their new life with resiliency and determination. Proper psychological care is an absolute must, in addition routine, so that victims can adapt to that purpose and routine on their own, find health, happiness and self worth and maintain and/or strengthen their relationships with others.

Deconstructing and reconstructing is not an easy thing to do – but health is wealth, or so is the common saying. It is important to recognize that for a spinal cord injury victim, their grief and emotional pain is a reflection that something, valued or treasured, has been lost forever. Proper counselling is needed immediately, and should continue beyond the rehabilitation centers and hospital. It should go on indefinitely and that therapy should encourage victims to construct and reconstruct a new  life story to help them mourn their loss and make sense of their new lives.

To do this, proper financing needs to be put into place, for life.

Contact a Hamilton Spinal Cord Lawyer Serving Ontario.

For the past 15 years, Matt Lalande has represented hundreds of people that have suffered major life altering injuries.  Our Hamilton Spinal Cord Lawyers understand that instantaneous effects of the injury result in total disruption of the accident victim’s life, and the beginning of a life-long psychological adjustment process. If you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence or carelessness, it is important that you are obtain the appropriate compensation to protect your future. There is no doubt that significant costs are incurred throughout the life of a spinal cord injury victim, including acute rehabilitation, home modification, vehicle modifications, and recurring costs for durable medical equipment, medications, supplies, and attendant care assistance.  We take proactive preventive interventions and ensure that a proper life care plan (along with physicians) is put into place and costed out based on the needs of your loved ones, which represent the ranges of the local market rate where you live, along with estimated inflation.

Contact us at 905-333-8888 for a free no obligation consultation. We are available 24/7 to speak with families of spinal cord injury victims.  Alternatively you can chat with out live operator, or fill in a contact form and we will get back to you immediately.

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