Finding a Lawyer
- Finding a Lawyer - Suggestions from the Law Society of BC on how to find the lawyer who is right for you.
- Justice Access Centre Self-Help and Information Services - Lists links to a number of groups in BC that offer free legal advice or services for people who cannot afford a lawyer.
Litigating Balance and Dizziness Disorders
Cases involving balance and dizziness disorders are some of the most difficult to deal with. These cases are difficult because often the majority of symptoms are subjective and can only be verified by the individual who is experiencing them.
Anyone who suffers from these conditions knows how difficult it can be to convince supportive friends, family and employers that their condition is real. It is easy to imagine how difficult it can be to prove the realness of these conditions to a neutral Court where the injured person has the onus of proving the condition is real.
The Court’s position on these types of claims is well summarized in the decision of Reilly v. Lynn, 2003 BCAA where it was stated:
“I am not stating any new principle when I say that the Court should be exceedingly careful when there is little or no objective evidence of continuing injury and when complaints of pain persist for long periods extending beyond the normal or usual recovery.”
These cases can be handled effectively if the primary focus is placed on maintaining the credibility of the injured person. Most people are credible and are likely to be believed by a Court as long as the insurance company and their lawyers have no basis to attack their credibility. Quite simply, the key is not to give the insurance company any basis to do this.
During a lawsuit, there are many instances where a person is required to give information to others. This occurs when people:
- attend doctors and caregivers;
- fill out forms;
- give statements to investigating authorities; and
- give evidence in the context of the lawsuit.
It is the giving of information inaccurately that allows an insurance company to create the perception that a person is not credible.
Here are some simple tips to guard against this:
- Answer only what is being asked of you.
- Do not argue the merits of your position and instead simply answer the questions that are being asked of you.
- Do not answer any question if you do not understand it. It is okay to ask for something to be rephrased.
- Take your time and answer each question fully, accurately and completely.
- Never guess at a question. It is okay to say you do not know something or you do not remember if that is in fact the case.
- Never try to hide information that you think may be unhelpful. It is almost always better to disclose unhelpful information than to be seen as not credible for trying to hide it. In fact, one of the most credible things a person can do is agree or admit to information that is not helpful to their case.
- Avoid using strong words like “never,” “ever” and “always” as these create statements that can easily be challenged and often shown to be technically inaccurate.
If these simple tips are followed, a person can usually preserve their credibility and obtain a good result with their claim.