Injured Ontario drivers or passengers' lives are often significantly impacted after an auto accident. They may be able to recover financial compensation for the pain and suffering they suffered as a result of their injuries. However, as part 1 of this article discussed, Ontario auto accident law only allows injured victims to recover pain and suffering if their injuries are serious and permanent.
It is not enough for injured victims to say their injuries are serious or permanent. They must prove it. Part 2 of this article will discuss how to prove serious and permanent injuries resulting from car or truck accidents in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby.
Medical Records & Medical Expert Reports
One of the most obvious ways to prove that a victim's injuries are permanent and serious is through medical records and/or physician expert reports.
Medical records contain details regarding a victim's injuries, treatments, short and long term prognosis, etc. Medical expert reports will detail whether the injuries are permanent and how an injured car accident victim may be impacted for the rest of his life. For example, a pedestrian who is hit by a car in Kingston may suffer serious injuries to his leg and knee. Even after surgery, the pedestrian cannot bend deeply like he did before the accident. He may need to use a cane to walk for the rest of his life. All of this information may be obtained through medical records and medical expert reports.
Family and friends of an injured car accident victim may also testify to how the injuries have affected the victim. Using the same example above, the pedestrian's injuries may substantially interfere with his usual activities of daily living. For example, if he has a young son and was often engaged in physical activities with his son, such as playing soccer, baseball, running, etc., he may not be able to do those activities after the accident because of his knee and leg injury. He is no longer able to run after the ball or chase after his son like he did to prior to the accident. The young son probably does not understand why his father can't play with him anymore and may grow distant from his father. In this case, his wife may be able to testify as to how his relationship with his son has changed.
The victim's own testimony is also crucial in determining whether his injuries are serious and permanent. However, the injured victim must be credible. Though pain is subjective, the victim cannot over-exaggerate his pain and limitations and underestimate his abilities to do things.
For example, if a driver injured his shoulder in a car accident and medical records show that he has some limitations in his shoulder but can still move it, the driver should not exaggerate his limitations and say that he cannot move his shoulder at all. This would be contradictory to his own medical records.
In addition, many defence counsel hire private investigators to take surveillance videos of the victims. If the above injured driver claims that he cannot use his shoulder at all, but is caught on a surveillance video throwing a ball to his son, the court and jury are not likely to believe his testimony even if he in fact has some limitations in his shoulder.
Help After an Ontario Car or Truck Accident
If you were injured in a car accident and are considering filing a tort claim, call the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford to schedule a FREE consultations. Our personal injury lawyers will answer all of your questions and concerns and help you receive appropriate compensation in the shortest amount of time. 866-384-5886