Legally Speaking

Chronic pain: a victim’s roadmap following a personal injury.

One of the most challenging outcomes for accident victims are injuries that result in chronic pain.

We typically categorize clients as suffering from chronic pain where pain lasts six months or more from the date of injury. When the injury is catastrophic (e.g., loss of limb or severe spinal cord injury), chronic pain is often expected.

However, most other chronic pain victims face two common obstacles for compensation and treatment:

  1. their pain extends beyond the “typical” recovery period; and
  2. their disability is “invisible” in that there often is not obvious evidence of disability both to the average person, and on diagnostic testing, such as MRIs.

Helping chronic pain patients requires us to keep in mind that statistics used to establish a “typical” recovery apply to majority of the population, but there are those who fall outside of that grouping.

Those suffering from chronic pain have a range of options for medical treatment including:

  • physical treatments (physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, occupational therapy, and kinesiology etc);
  • medicinal treatments (various types of injections, nerve blocks, cannabis products etc); and
  • psychological treatment including consulting on acceptance and pain management techniques.

Which treatments are explored depends on the individual patient and should be discussed with your medical treatment provider. It is important to know that no-fault benefits (Section B) run out 4 years from the date of a car accident.

Three important things we, as your lawyers, must consider in valuing your claim for compensation as it relates to your chronic pain are:

  1. Lifestyle – impact on your lifestyle, relationships, and activities.
  2. Income – whether it has and/or will impact your employment/income.
  3. Treatment – any ongoing cost of care/treatment.

Your treatment providers, along with your family physician, play important roles in assessing and documenting ongoing suffering from chronic pain and how it impacts your employment, daily activities etc.

In some circumstances, we may use qualified experts outside of your medical team to help assess/prove any degree of pain and disability to ensure fair compensation for income, retraining, and cost of care. This can include physiotherapist examiners, specialist physicians, forensic accountants, and vocational specialists.

Correia & Collins represents accident and injury victims. If you or someone you know is suffering with chronic pain from a personal injury, contact us by phone at (506) 648-1700, or online for advice. Your first consultation is free.