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

Can You Claim LTD Because of COVID-19?

By Roger Foisy on May 26th, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of life and the direct and indirect psychological, social, and economic effects of COVID-19 could affect mental and physical health now and into the future.

Studies have shown that large-scale disasters, whether traumatic, natural, or environmental are almost always accompanied by increase in depression, PTSD, substance use disorder, and a broad range of other mental and behavioural disorders.

COVID-19 is unique from other traumatic events because the government issued lockdown and social distancing protocols affect every person in society, not just those in direct proximity to the virus or in quarantine.

Many of us have lost our jobs while others have had to cope with stress and anxiety while working on the front lines or from home. Some of us have been exposed to the virus, either contracting it, having their loved ones falling sick, and in the worst scenario passing away.

If you are an already fragile person, the stress, anxiety, and PTSD brought on by COVID-19 may lead to your mental health deteriorating. You may no longer be able to work and can be eligible for long term disability (LTD) insurance. When applying for LTD it is important to consider that in most claims the cause of your mental health condition is not relevant.

To better understand the link between LTD and COVID-19, let us explore some scenarios.

Scenario 1: Single Parent Whose Income and/or Bonuses Have Been Cut Due to COVID-19

You are a single parent who was working a mid-level 9-5 job and was living paycheque to paycheque. Due to COVID-19, you had to take a pay cut and/or your yearly bonus was eliminated. This sudden decrease in income which you previously depended on is no longer available to you and is the reason your stress levels have increased drastically. While you were barely keeping it together before, this added stress is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Under this scenario, you are unable to continue work and could be eligible for LTD.

Scenario 2: Loved One Infected With/ Passes Away Due to COVID-19

You experience tremendous stress when your relatives or friends’ contract COVID-19 or fear that they might become infected with the virus. You research and learn about the worst outcomes associated with the virus, which leads to your mental health being impacted. Even worse, you have had a loved one pass away due to COVID-19 and you were unable to be by their side. You feel immense guilt and are unable to move beyond it. Such scenarios can lead to mental health breakdowns and have a direct impact on a person’s ability to work.

Scenario 3: You Work Close to Others

You work in a job that requires you to be close to others and all the information you have received regarding COVID-19 says you should stay at least 6-feet apart from someone else. There is trauma caused by the fear of your existing environment and this will not allow you to work anywhere else.

Scenario 4: Mental Health Deteriorates Due to Unavailability of Treatment

With psychological trauma, if you get treatment quickly you can develop strategies to cope with it. However, with COVID-19, there is a lack of psychiatric or psychological treatment available as some doctors and facilities have closed their offices and are not seeing new patients. There are options available for telephone and videoconferencing, but you are not comfortable with this and want to wait to see a medical professional in-person. The limited options available at this time for your treatment can lead to your mental health becoming worse and increase your inability to work.

The nature and response measures as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented in modern history. Not only does COVID-19 impact those in close proximity to the virus, but the economic lockdown and social distancing protocols affect every single person in a variety of ways. What is clear is that COVID-19 will have a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental and physical health.

For your convenience, we have provided answers to the most commonly asked LTD questions. If your LTD has been denied or terminated contact us for a free consultation.

Watch my video series on LTD.

We Are Open and Available to Help

By Roger Foisy on March 31st, 2020

We are available for new consultations during the COVID-19 crisis. Please contact us regarding your Personal Injury or Disability Claim. While our physical offices are closed, our staff is fully functional and working remotely.

To contact us, please call us at 905.286.0050 / toll-free 877.286.0050, or email us at info@injurylawyercanada.com.

We will follow up with you within 2 hours of your call or voice mail that is received during the regular business hours of 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday, and schedule a call or video conference to discuss your situation. By special appointment we can also schedule an appointment later in the evening or on the weekend.

We look forward to speaking with you soon.

The Roger Foisy Team

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Roger Foisy on December 16th, 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A very Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones from the team at Roger R Foisy! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and relaxation, and we wish you health and happiness in 2020.

 

 

Our Holiday Hours

  • December 24th: Closed at noon
  • December 25-27: Closed
  • December 31: Closed at noon
  • January 1: Closed

A Season of Giving

Leading up to Christmas, we seek to support organizations that make a positive change in our communities.

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


Learn about personal injury from Roger R Foisy:

Personal Injury Potential Settlement Values: Knee Injuries

By Roger Foisy on November 27th, 2019

Knee injuries can occur with little impact and are often the result of a slip and fall or a minor motor vehicle accident.

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

ACL Tear

An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear is one of the most common knee injuries, especially in athletes that play high demand sports (IE. soccer, football, basketball). ACL tears can be caused by changing direction rapidly, stopping suddenly, slowing down while running or landing from a jump incorrectly. Symptoms include: pain with swelling, loss of full range of motion, tenderness along the joint line, and discomfort while walking.

In 1986, the Court in Papamonolopoulos v Board of Education for the City of Toronto, 56 OR (2d) 1 awarded the injured person $40,000 for injuries that included a torn ACL.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Dislocation of the Knee Joint – Lateral View

A dislocation of the knee joint happens when bones of the leg are moved in relation to the bone in the thigh. Knee dislocations usually happen after major trauma, such as falls or motor vehicle accidents. Common symptoms include: pain, no feeling below the knee, deformity of the knee, and swelling of the knee.

In 1992, the Court in Moody v Windsor, [1992] BCWLD 405 awarded the injured person $85,000 for injuries that included a dislocated knee.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is the rubbery, C-shaped disc on your knee. A meniscus tear is a common knee injury often caused by twisting or turning quickly with the foot planted and the knee bent. Meniscus tears can also be caused when lifting something heavy. Common symptoms include knee pain, swelling, stiffness in the knee, and popping or locking of the knee.

In 2004, the Court in Ouellette v Hearst (Corp. of the Town), [2004] OJ No 1120 (QL) awarded the injured person $110,000 for injuries that included a meniscus tear.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

 

Comminuted Fracture of the Patella

The patella is a small bone located at the front of the knee that protects the knee and connects the front thigh muscles to the tibia (upper part of the leg). Comminuted fractures of the patella are commonly called by a direct blow, such as from a motor vehicle accident or a fall. Common symptoms include pain and swelling in the front of the knee, bruising, and an inability to straighten the knee or walk.

In 2005, the Court in Mason v Moore, [2005] OJ No 3799 awarded the injured person $90,000 for injuries that included a fracture of the patella.

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 leg 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: Leg and Ankle Injuries

By Roger Foisy on October 17th, 2019

Lower extremity (leg, knee and ankle) injuries tend to occur over a wide range of unfortunate accidents.  As a general rule, less impact is required for knee and ankle injuries which can result from a slip and fall or a less impactful motor vehicle accident.  In contrast, the femur (thigh) – which is the longest, heaviest, and strongest bone in the human body – tends to sustain injury from more serious motor vehicle accidents involving greater force of impact.

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

Tibial Shaft Fracture

A fracture that occurs to the long bone that runs below the knee and above the ankle (tibia). Tibial shaft fractures are often caused by high-energy collisions, such as motor vehicle accidents and falling while playing sports such as skiing or soccer. Common symptoms include: pain, inability to walk or put weight on the leg, the bone protruding through a break in the skin, or a loss of feeling in the foot.

In 2012, the Court in Riehl v Hamilton (City), 2012 ONSC 3333 awarded the injured person $75,000 for injuries that included a tibial shaft fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Lateral Malleolus Fracture

A fracture to the bone located to the outer aspect of the ankle. Lateral malleolus fractures are commonly caused by a roll of the ankle, an awkward landing from a jump, or a directly blow to the outer ankle. Common symptoms include: sharp outer ankle or lower leg pain, swelling, and bruising.

In 2002, the Court in Hutchison v Dalton, [2002] OJ No 4764 awarded the injured person $50,000 for injuries that included a lateral malleolus fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

 

Bimalleolar Fracture

A bimalleolar fracture is the result of a fracture to the two lower bones that make up the ankle: one on the outside of the ankle and one on the inside. Bimalleolar fractures are often caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, and twisting the ankle. Common symptoms include: swelling, tenderness, bruising, and inability to bear weight.

In 2011, the Court in Druet v Sandman Hotels, 2011 BCSC 232 awarded the injured person $55,000 for injuries that included a bimalleolar fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Medial Malleolus Fracture

A medial malleolus fracture is the result of a break in the bony process located at the inner part of the ankle (medial malleolus). These fractures can be caused by a rolled ankle, an awkward landing from a jump, or a fall. Common symptoms include: sharp inner ankle pain, lower leg pain, swelling, and bruising.

In 2002, the Court in Hutchison v Dalton, [2002] OJ No 4764 awarded the injured person $50,000 for injuries that included a medial malleolus fracture.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

 

Fracture of the Distal Fibula Along the Medical Cortex Above the Level of the Fibial Plateau

As one of the more common fractures at the ankle, distal fibula fractures are often the result of an inversion injury. Distal fibula fractures are often caused by trauma and the ankle twisting inward or outward. Common symptoms include: severe ankle pain, swelling, bruising, and an inability to bear weight.

In 2009, the Court in Rizzolo v Brett, 2009 BCSC 732 awarded the injured person $125,000 for injuries that included a fracture of a distal fibula.

To read the full decision on CanLII, click here.

Fracture of the Lateral Tibial Plateau

A tibial plateau fracture is the result of a break in the proximal part of the shinbone. Tibial plateau fractures can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Common symptoms include: swelling, bruising, and an inability to bear weight.

In 2012, the Court in Riehl v Hamilton (City), 2012 ONSC 3333 awarded the injured person $75,000 for injuries that included a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau.

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 leg and knee 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: 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.