About: Roger Foisy

Profile: Roger R. Foisy is an experienced Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer helping accident victims and their families in Mississauga, Milton, Georgetown, Brampton, Oakville, and surrounding areas. Roger and his team dedicate a very personal level of attention to each and every client in their care and maximize clients’ personal injury settlements.

All Posts by Roger Foisy

Personal Injury Potential Settlement Values: Hip and Pelvis Injuries

By Roger Foisy on August 13th, 2019

Hip and pelvis injuries were once a common result of motor vehicle accidents. But with advanced safety features including lower console and lower door side airbags, these injuries have been greatly reduced. However they remain a prominent outcome of slip/trip and fall accidents, particularly for the elderly.

In this article, we will take a look at hip and pelvis injuries and historical examples of the personal injury settlement values victims have received:

Intertrochanteric Fracture

Intertrochanteric Fracture Diagram

A fracture in the hip region often caused by a hard fall. These fractures are most common in individuals above 80 years of age. Common symptoms include: the leg feeling shortened, externally rotated, and/or groin pain with leg movement.

In 2014, the Court in Manzoor Ur-Rahman v Oma Devi Mahatoo et al, 2014 ONSC 2636 awarded the injured person $90,000 for injuries that included an intertrochanteric fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

 

Labral Tear of the Hip DiagramLabral Tear of the Hip 

The labrum is a rim of soft tissue surrounding the hip socket that adds to the stability of the hip. Common symptoms of a labral tear of the hip include: pain in the groin or front of the hip, locking, clicking or a catching sensation in the hip. Hip labral tears are generally caused by trauma (IE. car accident), structural abnormalities, and repetitive motions (IE. twisting in golf).

In 2012, the Court in Macdonald v Hazel, 2012 BCSC 2079 awarded the injured person $80,000 for injuries that included a labral tear of the hip.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Right Superior Fracture of the Inferior Pubic Rami Right Superior Fracture of the Inferior Pubic Rami Diagram

These fractures occur in the pelvic area and are often the result of a direct blow. These fractures often result from a fall from a standing position or in motor vehicle accidents. Common symptoms include: groin pain, leg pain, difficulty walking.

In 1992, the Court in Olah v Goedecke, [1992] BCJ No 2585 awarded the injured person $55,000 for injuries that included a pelvic fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Receiving the Settlement You Deserve

People often believe that settlement value is mostly determined by the extent of the injury. While this is a factor, the most important information is how the injury has impacted your life. In other words, what does the injury prevent you from being able to do and how does this affect you?

I encourage you to view my previous article about seeking compensation for arm, wrist, and hand injuries, wherein I discuss, in greater detail, the injury and how victims can receive the compensation they deserve.

A thorough lawyer should take the time to fully understand your specific situation, including your life and responsibilities before and after your accident, to ensure you do not under-settle your case. By quantifying every possible loss, you are more likely to receive a just settlement that will help to ease the financial burdens that usually occur during recovery.


 If you have sustained a personal injury at another party’s fault, please contact me and my team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

*Roger R. Foisy is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.

Watch my video series about personal injury law.

More on Personal Injury from Roger R. Foisy:

Personal Injury Potential Settlement Values: Wrist and Hand Injuries

By Roger Foisy on July 10th, 2019

In our previous article, we discussed arm injuries and how they are often caused by defensive instincts just before impact from a motor vehicle accident. Similarly, wrist and hand injuries are often defensive, and particularly common in slip and fall accidents. In this article, we will take a look at three arm, wrist, and hand injuries and historical examples of the personal injury settlement values victims have received:

Scaphoid FractureScaphoid Fracture

The scaphoid is one of the eight carpal bones of the wrist. Scaphoid fractures are commonly caused by falls onto an outstretched hand. Symptoms include: Wrist pain, swelling or bruising at the thumb side of the wrist.

In 2013, the Court in Matthew Pierce and Robert Pierce v. City of Hamilton, 2013 ONSC 6485 awarded the injured person $75,000 for injuries that included a scaphoid fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Carpal Tunnel SyndromeCarpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Carpal tunnel syndrome results in numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand as a result of pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. Common symptoms include: numbness or pain in the hand, forearm or wrist; occasional tingling in the hand, occasional pain in the forearm, and stiffness in the fingers.

In 2012, the Court in Shaw v Shaw, 2012 ONSC 590 awarded the injured person $65,000 for injuries that included carpal tunnel syndrome.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Partial Tear of the Flexor Tendon of the Fifth DigitPartial Tear of the Flexor Tendon of the Fifth Digit

A partial tear of the flexor tendon of the fifth digit (the “pinky”) can affect your ability to bend and straighten the fifth digit. Tears can be caused by cuts or sudden pulls against a strong grip. Common symptoms include: inability to bend the fifth digit, pain when fifth digit is bent, and numbness in the fingertip.

In 2003, the Court in Allen v Lawrence Avenue Group Ltd, 2003 CanLII 43571 awarded the injured person $50,000 for injuries that included a tear for the fifth digit.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Receiving the Settlement You Deserve

People often believe that settlement value is mostly determined by the extent of the injury. While this is a factor, the most important information is how the injury has impacted your life. In other words, what does the injury prevent you from being able to do and how does this affect you?

I encourage you to view my previous article about seeking compensation for arm injuries, wherein I discuss, in greater detail, the injury and how victims can receive the compensation they deserve.

A thorough lawyer should take the time to fully understand your specific situation, including your life and responsibilities before and after your accident, to ensure you do not under-settle your case. By quantifying every possible loss, you are more likely to receive a just settlement that will help to ease the financial burdens that usually occur during recovery.


If you have sustained a personal injury at another party’s fault, please contact me and my team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

*Roger R. Foisy is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.

Watch my video series about personal injury law.

More on Personal Injury from Roger R. Foisy:

Dress Down for Brain Injury Awareness Month This June

By Roger Foisy on June 4th, 2019

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month. In Canada, approximately 160,000 Canadians suffer brain injuries every year with incidence and reporting rates continuing to rise. The prevalence of brain injury outpaces breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and HIV/AIDS combined, and it remains the number one killer and disabler of people under 44.brain injury month

Last year, my team and I launched “Dress Down for Brain Injury” to raise awareness and funds in support of Brain Injury Awareness Month. Every Friday, each of us will contribute $5 so we can enjoy wearing casual clothes for the day. At the end of the month, the firm will match those donations 100% and give all proceeds to the Brain Injury Association of Halton Peel.

I encourage you to join us by having your own office take part in Dress Down for Brain Injury Awareness Month, matching whatever amount you are comfortable with to help us support this important and worthwhile cause.


Roger R. Foisy is an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Ontario who has helped clients with brain injuries receive compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, please contact us for immediate support and a free consultation.

*Roger R. Foisy has completed courses in Neurorehabilitation, Neurobehavioral Disorders, Advanced Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Cognitive Interventions for Adults with Acquired Brain Injuries, and Neuropsychological Assessments: Beyond Testing from Brock University. However, he is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.

More on Brain Injury from Roger R. Foisy:

Personal Injury Potential Settlement Values: Arm Injuries

By Roger Foisy on May 16th, 2019

Arm injuries are often caused by instinctively holding out ones arm as a defensive action just before accident impact and sometimes due to the impact from air bags deployed at explosive speeds. In this article, we will take a look at four arm injuries and historical examples of the personal injury settlement values victims have received:

  • Dislocation of Elbow Joint
  • Monteggia Fracture: Anterior Dislocation of the Radial Head with Anterior Angulation of Fractured Ulnar Shaft
  • Colles Fracture
  • Comminuted Intra-Articular Fracture of the Olecranon

Dislocation of Elbow Joint Settlement Value

Dislocation of Elbow Joint

A dislocation of the elbow occurs when the bones of the elbow move out of place compared with the bone of the arm. Elbow dislocations are commonly caused by hard falls where the arm is extended completely, as well as motor vehicle accidents. Symptoms include: severe pain in the elbow, swelling, and an inability to bend the arm.

In 2008, the Court in Thorp v Gerow, 2008 BCSC 622 awarded the injured person $50,000 for injuries that included a dislocated elbow.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

 

Monteggia fracture anterior dislocation of the radial head with anterior angulation of fractured ulnar shaft Settlement Value

Monteggia Fracture: Anterior Dislocation of the Radial Head with Anterior Angulation of Fractured Ulnar Shaft

A fracture of the forearm involving a dislocation of the radial head and a fracture of the ulna. Monteggia fractures are most commonly caused by falls on an outstretched arm. Symptoms include: arm pain, swelling of the forearm, deformity, swelling of the hand, swelling of the wrist, limited range of motion.

In 1996, the Court in Roy v Benvie, [1996] BCWLD 2293 awarded the injured person $60,000 for injuries that included a monteggia fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Colles fracture Settlement Value

Colles Fracture

A Colles Fracture occurs when the radius bone in your forearm breaks. The radius bone extends from the elbow to the thumb. This fracture is most often caused by an individual falling onto a hard surface while stretching their arms out to break their fall. Common symptoms include: change in the shape or swelling of the forearm right above the wrist, inability to hold or lift heavy objects, and wrist pain.

In 2008, the Court in Guy v Toronto (City), [2008] OJ No 5126 awarded the injured person $30,000 for injuries that included a Colles Fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Colles fracture Settlement ValueComminuted Intra-Articular Fracture of the Olecranon

Involves a fracture of the lower portion of the elbow and is often caused by a fall or direct trauma to the elbow, particularly in motor vehicle accidents. Common symptoms include: intense elbow pain, swelling over the bone, inability to straighten the elbow.

In 2004, the Court in Milnes v Burlington, [2004] OJ No 1407 awarded the injured person $30,000 for various injuries that included a fracture of the olecranon.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

 

 

Receiving the Settlement You Deserve

People often believe that settlement value is mostly determined by the extent of the injury. While this is a factor, the most important information is how the injury has impacted your life. In other words, what does the injury prevent you from being able to do and how does this affect you?

I encourage you to view my video on how personal injury settlement values are determined wherein I discuss, in greater detail, how victims can receive the compensation they deserve.

A thorough lawyer should take the time to fully understand your specific situation, including your life and responsibilities before and after your accident, to ensure you do not under-settle your case. By quantifying every possible loss, you are more likely to receive a just settlement that will help to ease the financial burdens that usually occur during recovery.


If you have sustained an arm injury or other personal injury at another party’s fault, please do not hesitate to contact me and my team of experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

*Roger R. Foisy is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.

More on Personal Injury from Roger R. Foisy:

Understanding the Lasting Impacts of a Spine Injury

By Roger Foisy on March 6th, 2019

Whether the result of a slip and fall, a serious motor vehicle accident, or another accident, a spine injury can be serious and have profound impacts on a person’s life. Often, the effects extend far beyond the physical injury itself and may have lasting influences on someone’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

In this article, I begin by highlighting six of the most common types of spine injuries before discussing the short and long-term impacts they can have and how these repercussions can affect a personal injury settlement.

Common Spine Injuries

Cervical Fracture of the C5/C6

Among some of the most devastating injuries, cervical fractures may occur in high-speed motor vehicle accidents with significant head or facial trauma. Cervical fractures to the C5/C6 may cause some or total paralysis of the wrists, hands, trunk, and legs.

 

Learn more about potential settlement values.

 

Back – Thoracic Compression Fracture – T9

These fractures most often occur when the spinal column is subjected to forces that are greater than its strength and stability. Thoracic compression fractures are most often caused by falls from heights, motor vehicle accidents, and penetrating trauma. Common symptoms include: severe back pain, deformity of the spine (i.e. “hunchback”), and some pain relief when lying down.

 

Learn more about potential settlement values.

 

Back – Compression Fracture of the L1 Vertebrae

Compression fractures are generally the result of too much pressure on the vertebral body. Compression fractures can be caused by trauma to the spinal vertebrae from falls, jumps, or motor vehicle accidents. Common symptoms include: pain or numbness in the back, legs, and arms.

 

Learn more about potential settlement values.

 

Back – Lumbar Fracture

A lumbar fracture is a fracture in the lower back, where the spine curves inward to the abdomen. Lumbar fractures can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries. Common symptoms include: back pain, tingling, muscle spasms, bowel/bladder changes, and paralysis.

 

Learn more about potential settlement values.

 

Sacral Fracture

A sacral fracture is a break of the triangle-shaped bone found at the bottom of the spine. Sacral fractures can be caused by hard falls and motor vehicle accidents. Common symptoms include: lower back, buttock, or hip pain; pain in the front of the thigh and groin; bruising and swelling around the sacral area; and weakness of the lower limbs.

 

Learn more about potential settlement values.

 

Coccyx Fracture

A fracture of the coccyx is a fracture of what is commonly referred to as the tailbone. Fractures of the coccyx are often caused by falls onto a seated position or childbirth. Common symptoms include: pain and tenderness in the tailbone area, bruise, and straining and painful bowel movements.

 

Learn more about potential settlement values.

 

Recovering After a Spine Injury

Close Up of Doctor with Stethoscope Around Their Neck and Pens in Their PocketOne of the challenges associated with injuries of the spine is that people often expect themselves to recover more quickly than they actually do. While the initial spine injury may heal in six to eight weeks, the road to complete recovery is often much longer or unfortunately never attained..

Beyond the nature of the physical injury itself, other factors that influence recovery include:

  • Age: Typically, younger people are able to recover more rapidly than those who are older.
  • Lifestyle: Personal circumstances such as needing to return to work or take care of young children may prevent someone from taking the time and space they need to fully recover; therefore prolonging or possibly preventing a full recovery.
  • Location: Depending on where a person lives, they may struggle to find good care or may not be able to access it at all.

It’s important to recognize that, especially if the spine injury is the result of a severe motor vehicle accident, the harm may be so great that damage to the spine isn’t the only injury. Any additional injuries may further complicate or extend recovery and need to be taken into account when assessing how injuries have affected a person’s life and the type of supports they will need going forward.

The Long-Term Impacts of a Spine Injury

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects up to 70% of patients diagnosed with spine injuries[i] and can include both nociceptive and/or neuropathic pain:

  • Nociceptive chronic pain is the more common of the two and includes visceral and musculoskeletal pain like throbbing bone aches, tense muscles, or headaches. It can develop as a response to the initial injury, due to muscle or joint overuse, or a combination of both.
  • Neuropathic chronic pain occurs when nerves themselves are damaged. This type of chronic pain can be sporadic or constant and may feel shooting, burning, aching, or numbing. Ultimately, how it manifests varies between individuals.

Appropriate treatment for chronic pain may include medication as well as physiotherapy, psychological counselling, and other services.

Psychological Pain

A majority of people affected by a spine injury also suffer a degree of psychological harm. In some cases, it may be due to how the injury happened. Someone involved in a motor vehicle accident, for example, may find themselves becoming nervous or scared to drive afterwards. Other times psychological pain may be more related to the effects the injury has on someone’s life. If an individual’s injuries prevent them from socializing with friends and family, they could find themselves becoming depressed, while concerns about money could lead to feelings of anxiety.

Managing chronic pain can be a long and multi-disciplinary process. A person’s care team may include pain specialists, spine injury specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists, and other experts, all of whom work together to address physical and psychological sources of persistent pain.

Getting the Right Care Following a Spine Injury

In my experience, I have found that one of the best actions someone with an injury (spine or other) can take is involving an Occupational Therapist in their care early on. Occupational Therapists have a robust understanding of the body and its physical, psychological, and cognitive functions and are focused on identifying tools and strategies that can help patients return to their normal lives.

Physical therapist (30s) helping patient (60s) through gait training.

In assessing individual situations, Occupational Therapists consider holistic questions such as:

  • Do a person’s living arrangements enable their recovery? If the home has stairs, for example, will that be a challenge?
  • Are there any aids that would further a person’s recovery and rehabilitation like body pillows or an ice pick for a person’s cane?
  • How is the individual doing psychologically and cognitively? Would they benefit from a referral to a specialist in pain, psychology, or another area of care?

Occupational Therapists can also help patients work through the concept of hurt versus harm in their day-to-day lives. After a spine injury, many people find that otherwise normal motions like lifting their arms while getting dressed can cause pain. Avoiding these movements altogether can sometimes lead to unintentional consequences down the road like muscle stiffness or fatigue.

This isn’t to say that all pain is good pain, and there are many situations where hurt either does mean or will lead to harm. By working with a rehabilitation specialist like an Occupational Therapist, an individual will be able to better understand their own limitations and learn exercises, activities, and modifications that will advance their recovery without adversely affecting them in the long term.

Working with an Occupational Therapist also benefits those seeking compensation for their injuries. When I recommend an Occupational Therapist to my clients, I get a report that provides me with a comprehensive breakdown of where my client was before the accident, where they ended up because of it, and where they have returned to since. This detailed information gives me the ability to precisely quantify my client’s claims and the damages they have sustained so I can clearly demonstrate how the injury has affected them.

To learn more about Occupational Therapists and the work they do, visit solutionsforliving.ca or function-ability.com. Both provide overviews of some key services as well as articles and other helpful resources.

Receiving the Settlement You Deserve

People often believe that settlement value is mostly determined by the extent of the injury. While this is a factor, the most important information is how the injury has impacted your life. In other words, what does the injury prevent you from being able to do and how does this affect you?

A thorough lawyer should take the time to fully understand your specific situation to ensure you do not under-settle your case. By quantifying every possible loss, you are more likely to receive a just settlement that will help to ease the financial burdens that usually occur during recovery.


If you have sustained a spine injury or other personal injury at another party’s fault, please do not hesitate to contact me and my team of experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

*Roger R. Foisy is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.

More on Personal Injury from Roger R. Foisy:

[i] Finnerup NB. Pain in patients with spinal cord injury. Pain 2013; 154 (Suppl. 1): S71-6.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Roger Foisy on December 18th, 2018

On behalf of the Roger R Foisy team, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. We hope you are able to enjoy the season in the company of your closest family and friends, and we wish you all the best in the New Year.

Our Holiday Hours

  • December 21: Closed at 2:30 pm
  • December 24-26: Closed
  • December 27-28: Open
  • December 31: Closed at 2:30 pm
  • January 1: Closed

A Season of Giving

Leading up to Christmas, we have been getting into the giving spirit by contributing to a number of organizations and causes:

Our biggest initiative this season, however, has been our staff food drive. As a team, we collected food and packaged it along with gift certificates to help several local families with the extra burdens and expenses that often come with the holidays. The packages were delivered to the families this past week.


Season’s Greetings from Roger R Foisy to you and your family. Stay safe this Christmas season!

Learn about personal injury from Roger R Foisy:

How Past Marijuana Use May Impact Personal injury Claims

By Roger Foisy on November 15th, 2018

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in North America. Most marijuana users begin experimenting in adolescence, and according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, over 25% of Canadian youth aged 15-24 use marijuana.1

With the recent legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Canada, I wanted to explore both how marijuana affects the brain and the impact that the past use of marijuana may have on personal injury claims.

How Marijuana Affects the Brain

Although cannabis flowers produce more than 100 types of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, the two most common are:

  • THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive component.
  • CBD(cannabidiol), which is not as psychoactive and is being studied primarily for medicinal applications.

When inhaled or ingested, these chemical compounds enter the blood stream and are carried towards the brain where they bind with cell receptors and change the ways in which cells communicate with each other. This in turn can trigger reactions in regions throughout the brain that influence memory, thinking, concentration, sense, perception, and coordination.

Scientific Studies: The Effects Marijuana May Have on Developing Brains

medical professional holding a human brainAccording to neuroscientific studies, our brains continue to develop through our early to mid-20s and are sensitive during this time to long-term or lasting harm that can be caused by substances like marijuana. For example, the frontal cortex (the area responsible for memory, judgement, and planning) is one of the last areas to develop and is therefore highly susceptible to permanent damage2:

  • 43 studies of chronic marijuana users found evidence of brain abnormalities and altered neural activity. After adolescents started to use marijuana structural and functional changes occurred rapidly, and users who started smoking marijuana before the age of 16 were more likely to be impulsive and more susceptible to addiction.3
  • In another study, neuroscientists used MRI to look for changes in the brains of individuals aged 18-25 who weren’t dependent but smoked at least once per week. Results showed brain changes that affected motivation, pleasure, and addiction, with participants who smoked more often showing more severe differences.

Scientists skeptical of these studies have argued that most fail to control for the use of alcohol and other societal factors. Others have proposed that genetics could have a greater impact on brain development than marijuana, while other research still has suggested cognitive changes may only be temporary unless used in dangerously high quantities from a very early age.4

Ultimately, while further study is needed into whether slightly frequent or infrequent use of marijuana among adolescents has significant long-term effects, the general consensus is that very frequent use of marijuana from an early age is likely detrimental to brain development.

Could Past Marijuana Use Impact Personal injury Claims?

In accident or injury cases, medical proof is crucial for determining what benefits an injured claimant is entitled to. When medical opinion is attributed to the accident, the claimant is generally entitled to benefits. If marijuana use from adolescence permanently or significantly impacted that person’s brain development, that information could be used to assess whether the injuries were caused by the accident or marijuana use. That result could have a significant effect on the benefits a long-term marijuana user receives if injured in an accident.

It is important emphasize that, as of today, it would be difficult to prove on a medical basis that a claimant’s past use of marijuana plays a significant role in brain development. That could change, however, as more in-depth research is conducted and new evidence emerges.

1 “Cannabis”, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (August 2017).

2 Kristin Weir, “Marijuana and the Developing Brain”, American Psychological Association (November 2015).

3 ibid.

4 Hansa Bhargava, “Marijuana and the Developing Brain: Current State of Evidence” Medscape (20 April 2018)


If you have sustained a personal injury at another party’s fault, please contact me and my team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

Watch my video series about personal injury law.

More on Personal Injury from Roger R. Foisy:

Social Media and Personal Injury Law: Can Social Media Affect Your Case?

By Roger Foisy on October 11th, 2018

Social media plays a prominent and important role in our day-to-day lives—enabling us to share photos we like, post updates about experiences, and catch up with friends and family. But if you have sustained an injury and are involved in a personal injury case, these simple posts and pictures can have major implications.

Today, social media evidence is most commonly used in personal injury, family law, and employment practices. Over half of the lawyers surveyed in one report noted a rise in the last two years in lawsuits related to data, images, and posts made on social media networks and other online platforms.

Here, I take a closer look at this topic and explore the ways in which people are using social media, how it is impacting personal injury law, and some steps plaintiffs can take to keep themselves protected when using social media.

How Canadians Are Using Social MediaPeople standing on the side of train railway on their phones

Digital technologies, social media included, have become important parts of many people’s lives. Regardless of their age or gender, individuals are posting, sharing, or being tagged—and usage rates are only going up.

In 2017, over 22 million Canadians (64% of the population) were social media users. Ontario accounted for nearly half of that number with 10 million active social media users (67% of the population) across the province. Two-thirds of all social media users in Canada—especially those on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat—use the platforms on a daily basis. Facebook remains the most popular platform with 82% of individuals 18-35 and 61% of people over 55 using it regularly.

When we take a closer look at the demographics, we find some compelling trends. Maybe the most interesting among them is that although young people continue to dominate when it comes to the regular engagement with social media, the fastest joining age group is actually older Canadians. Between 2013 and 2016, the number of Canadians between the ages of 65 and 74 using the internet increased 16%, while those 75 and older saw a 15% increase.

A gavelHow Social Media Is Impacting Personal Injury Law

A decade ago requests for access to plaintiffs’ social media profiles and the court’s willingness to accept social media as evidence would have been exceptions, but today this is rapidly becoming the norm. The case of Ottenhof v Ross (2011), for example, concluded that pages of social media accounts are documents for the purpose of discovery and should be listed in a party’s affidavit of documents if relevant. In Ottenhof, the plaintiff brought an action claiming damages for an assault by the defendant. The defendant discovered the existence of the plaintiff’s Facebook profile and requested access, but the plaintiff refused. In a motion to ‘compel refusal on an examination of discovery’, the judge held that the defendants have permission to cross-examine the plaintiff on the affidavit of documents and that the plaintiff must preserve Facebook contents like any other piece of evidence. In addition, the judge stated that access to a party’s social media account by acquiring his or her password is overly intrusive unless the party claims a level of disability that inhibits use of technology as part of the damages.

Many people might assume that photos and posts hidden behind privacy settings cannot be seen or accessed, but this is not always so. Consider two relevant cases that highlight this:

  • Leduc v Roman (2009) held that both public and private social media profiles can be scrutinized for evidence. Although the plaintiff’s pictures were under a private setting, the court ruled that because posted public pictures on Facebook as well as hundreds of her friends had access to her private Facebook content, the plaintiff did not have a serious expectation of privacy. Essentially, if a plaintiff put out evidence publicly on social media, any private information can be cross-examined to learn what relevant content was posted on the profile.

Where, in addition to a publicly-accessible profile, a party maintains a private Facebook profile…it is reasonable to infer from the presence of content on the party’s public profile that similar content likely exists on the private profile. A court then can order the production of relevant posting on the private profile.
– Superior Court Justice David Brown in Leduc v Roman


  • Papamichalopoulos v Greenwood (2018) affirmed the upward trend towards the production of private social media material. In Papamichalopoulos v Greenwood, the court ordered the injured plaintiff to turn over social media material despite it being shielded under a privacy setting. The plaintiff had claimed damages for sustained back injuries. However, publicly available Facebook pictures revealed the plaintiff socially active with no signs of pain or discomfort. Citing Leduc, the court argued that it is reasonable to assume that content on a party’s public profile is similar to content in their private profile. Therefore, access to the plaintiff’s private social media was considered reasonable because pictures of the plaintiff before and after the injury can shed light on the extent and legitimacy of the injury.

As these examples illustrate, it has in many ways become standard practice for lawyers to examine the social media profiles of a plaintiff in a personal injury case.

The Role Social Media Can Play in Determining the Extent of Injuries in Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury cases, social media evidence can play a role in helping the defence disprove or discredit a plaintiff’s claim about the extent of their injuries. A few recent cases highlight the importance of social media evidence in the litigation process including:

  • A 2007 case, Kourtesis v Joris, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s personal injury claims because pictures from her social media account contradicted the extent of her injuries.
  • A 2015 case in which a claimant from British Columbia sued for damages resulting from two car accidents that left her depressed and stuck to her house. The plaintiff’s case was dismissed because social media pictures revealed her partying, drinking, and engaging in fun activities that were inconsistent with her claims of emotional and physical trauma.

Despite the above examples, it is important to acknowledge that the courts have treated social media evidence with some skepticism when assessing emotional trauma in particular. Evidence shows that individuals generally post positive content on their social media profiles that does not necessarily accurately represent their life. Certain pictures may only be snapshots in time, which do not reflect the significance of a person’s pain or suffering. Thus, the judge has the discretion to weigh the evidence based on the entirety of the facts and not simply on a single social media post.

Nevertheless, there is always a risk that social media content may sway a jury against a claimant who posted images, statements, or other information online that contradicts their claim.

Girl drinking coffee while reading a bookHow Plaintiffs Can Protect Themselves on Social Media

Although you don’t need to avoid social media entirely during your case, it is in your best interest to exercise caution in terms of how, when, and why you use it.

Some tips to keep in mind are:

  • Don’t post about your lawsuit or conversations you have had with your lawyer.
  • Change your privacy settings to prevent being tagged in photos after the event or ask anyone who has posted any to remove them. Talk with your friends and family as well so they know and understand what your new social media preferences and limitations are.
  • Avoid posting, tweeting, sharing photos, or releasing other status updates.
  • Never accept a connection request from an individual you neither know nor recognize.

The general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing it with the defence lawyers, don’t post it.

Based on the exponential increase of social media networks and platforms among Canadians across all ages, personal injury lawyers must ensure that claimants suffering from physical or emotional injuries and who are seeking legal help are prepared for all possible outcomes. More and more this means warning prospective clients of the pitfalls of social media and how it might negatively impact their case.

Approaching a case with detailed preparation and a solid plan will alleviate potential issues and benefit a client in the litigation process. Building a relationship between a lawyer and a client that both manages and monitors social media use can further aid a client’s case or deter any issues that may arise. Remember, social media posts may not accurately represent a person’s everyday life, which can ultimately affect what a client deserves to receive as compensation for their loss.


If you have sustained a personal injury at another party’s fault, please contact me and my team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

Watch my video series about personal injury law.

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After the Event Insurance: The New Legal Safety Net

By Roger Foisy on August 20th, 2018

Personal Injury Client Costs and Fees

In Ontario automobile and non-automobile personal injury cases, the costs and fees can be a heavy burden for a client. Generally, lawyers and clients establish a Contingent Fee Agreement (CFA) where a client agrees to pay the lawyer’s costs only if successful. If the case is unsuccessful, a client does not have to pay the lawyer’s costs. However, the client may still have to pay the lawyer’s outstanding disbursements.

Adverse Cost Award

The adverse cost award rule requires that an unsuccessful party pay a portion of the winning party’s disbursements. However, even if a client is successful they may still have to pay a portion of the opposing party’s costs and fees if the opposing party made an offer to settle before trial and the award is less favourable than the settlement offer.

Please see below for detailed explanations of costs and disbursements, the adverse cost award, and settlement offers rule.

What Is After the Event (ATE) Insurance?

ATE Insurance is one of the most effective ways to protect a client financially after the trial process and provide a safety blanket if unsuccessful.After the Event (ATE) insurance is a legal expense Insurance policy now available in Ontario that covers some of the fees and disbursements at the end of a case or settlement. ATE Insurance is one of the most effective ways to protect a client financially after the trial process and provide a safety blanket if unsuccessful. Before deciding to purchase ATE insurance it is important to understand how ATE Insurance works and its implications in the trial process. ATE Insurance benefits can vary widely depending on the policy you purchase, settlement offers, and the outcome of your case.

Common Questions about ATE Insurance

1) What’s in it for the Firm?

We don’t make a profit.

Our only incentive to provide the ATE Insurance option is to protect our clients and provide a safety net if needed.

By providing the ATE Insurance product through a specified broker we are also able to offer a lower premium rate because the product is purchased as a group rate which is offered to all of our eligible clients.

2) What are costs and disbursements?

Costs are defined as a portion of legal fees of one party that the opposing party must pay usually if they are unsuccessful.

Disbursements are other legal expenses such as court fees, travel costs, experts, printing, office expenses, and more.

Generally, an unsuccessful party must pay 60% the costs and disbursements of the opposing party. However, a judge has discretion to compel a party to pay up to 100% of the costs and disbursements depending on each case.

3) Who is our ATE Insurance brokerage?

The Judge is an Insurance brokerage working in the litigation field. The Judge focuses on providing clients with financial protection by covering unsuccessful litigation costs. The goal of The Judge is to encourage affordable access justice.

4) Who is the policy holder?

The plaintiff is usually always the policy holder.

5) How much does ATE Insurance premium cost?

The standard premium rate is $1,350 (not including taxes), which covers $100,000 in costs and disbursements. These rates can vary widely between $25,000 and $250,000. The premiums can reach between $2,500 and $3,500 depending on projected costs of litigation.

Policy terms can vary from each case and insurer.

6) When do you have to pay?

Premiums are deferred until a case concludes.

The premium is only paid if the plaintiff is successful and does not face any adverse cost awards.

7) How does the ATE Insurance premium work?

If you are awarded under $10,000 there is no premium owed. If you lose and the court awards costs against you, the insurance company will cover those costs up to $100,000 and no premium will be charged as well.

8) When can ATE Insurance be purchased?

ATE Insurance is acquired ideally within six months of retaining a law firm. However, it can be purchased later at an increased premium.

9) What does the ATE Insurance policy cover?

A typical policy will be triggered by one of these events:

  1. You are unsuccessful at trial and are required to pay defence costs and disbursements awarded at trial.
  2. You are successful but failed to beat a settlement offer by the opposing party.
  3. If you seek to abandon a claim, disbursements may be covered.

10) What is an offer to settle?

Generally, any party in litigation can make an offer to settle at any time. To ensure that it is recognized by the court as a valid offer to settle it should be made at least seven days before a hearing.

11) How do offers to settle affect costs and disbursements?

There are litigation rules that affect the outcome of costs and disbursements in a case where a settlement offer was rejected. Where an offer to settle is made and the opposing party rejects the offer, the costs and disbursements may be changed depending on the outcome of the trial.

Example: Where the opposing party makes an offer to settle, the offer is not withdrawn, and the plaintiff rejects the offer.

  1. If you are successful at trial but receive a judgment as favourable or less favourable than the settlement offer the plaintiff rejected, you will generally have to pay 60% of the opposing party’s costs and disbursements from the date the settlement was offered onward. The judge has discretion to compel the claimant to pay a higher percentage of costs and disbursements depending on each case.
  2. If you are unsuccessful at trial and the opposing party receives a judgment as favourable or less favourable to the settlement offer the plaintiff rejected, the opposing party is entitled to 90% of the costs and disbursements of the plaintiff from the date the offer to settle was made.

It is important to remember that because of the “offer to settle” rule, the plaintiff may be faced with adverse costs despite being successful in a case.

12) How many cases settle?

Approximately 96% of cases settle annually.

13) What does ATE Insurance not cover?

ATE Insurance does not cover the plaintiff’s lawyer legal fees.

Minimize the Financial Risk and Uncertainty of Litigation with ATE Insurance

For our clients, the primary advantage of purchasing ATE insurance is the peace of mind it provides knowing that, regardless of the outcome, potential costs will be covered.


If you have sustained a personal injury at another party’s fault, please contact me and my team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

Watch my video series about personal injury law.

More on Personal Injury from Roger R. Foisy:

Members of Our Legal Team Completed the Ontario Brain Injury Association’s Brain Basics Training Program

By Roger Foisy on July 17th, 2018

The Ontario Brain Injury Association’s (OBIA’s) Brain Basics Training Program is a foundational course that gives professionals, caregivers, and survivors alike the opportunity to develop a holistic understanding of how the brain works.

We are always seeking ways to improve ourselves individually and as a group. Towards this end, we are proud to announce that Stephanie, Harpreet, and Rusald, members of our legal team, recently completed the Brain Basics Training Program.

Click here to learn more about our team.

Despite the name, mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) are serious and complex injuries. To truly understand how brain injuries manifest and are treated an understanding of the brain itself—how it’s structured and operates—is essential. The OBIA’s Brain Basics course equips our legal team with knowledge that enables us to better help and serve our clients.


Roger R. Foisy is an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Ontario who has helped clients with brain injuries receive compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, please contact us for immediate support and a free consultation.

*Roger R. Foisy has completed courses in Neurorehabilitation, Neurobehavioral Disorders, Advanced Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Cognitive Interventions for Adults with Acquired Brain Injuries, and Neuropsychological Assessments: Beyond Testing from Brock University. However, he is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.

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