Chronic Pain 01

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain Sufferers Receive Reprieve

If you are in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, “accident benefits” are available to you pursuant to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, an Ontario regulation under the Insurance Act.

If you suffer a “Minor Injury” (defined in the Schedule as being “one or more of a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation and includes any clinically associated sequelae to such an injury”), your medical and rehabilitation benefits are subject to specific monetary cap (known as the “Minor Injury Guideline”) of $3500 unless you suffered from a preexisting condition that was exacerbated by the accident, that was documented prior to the accident, in which case the cap of $3500 may be waived.

If your injuries are not classified as “minor”, you would be entitled to medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits of $65,000.

In 2015. Mr. A. Abyan, a 51 year old airport taxi driver, was involved in a three-vehicle accident. He reported experiencing immediate neck pain, and had injuries throughout his body, as well as psychological trauma. He had x-rays which documented not only his injuries, but also previously asymptomatic pre-existing conditions that had not been documented prior to the accident. He was referred to physiotherapy and continued it for six months, at which point his benefits expired. He returned to work six weeks post-accident, on a limited basis. He continued to live with pain.

Two years post-accident, physicians reported that his pre-existing injuries had been aggravated by the motor vehicle accident, and that his pain was consistent with Chronic Pain.

The insurer classified Mr. Abyan’s symptoms of Chronic Pain as being a Minor Injury as defined by the Schedule, namely a “clinically associated sequelae to such an injury”, and thus subject to the benefits cap of $3500, and refused to take into account Mr. Abyan’s pre-existing medical condition because it had not been documented prior to the accident.

Mr. Abyan fought back, and brought the insurer to arbitration before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, in the reported decision Abyan v. Sovereign General Insurance Company (FSCO A16-003657, September. 14, 2017).

Mr. Abyan claimed that both the definition of Minor Injury, and the Minor Injury Guideline, violates Section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the basis of physical disability, which provides “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

The arbitrator agreed with Mr. Abyan, and declared the definition of Minor Injury and the Minor Injury Guidelines as violating the Charter. He further ruled that Chronic Pain should be excluded from “clinically associated sequelae”, and to strike the words “that was documented by a health practitioner before the accident” from the Minor Injury Guideline.

Both these changes will allow Mr. Abyan to access the $65,000 limit for medical and rehabilitation services for his chronic pain. The long-term effect of this decision is unknown, but it will potentially allow other chronic pain sufferers whose injuries are the result of a motor vehicle accident to now get the treatment that they deserve.

Read More On: sig0otla-logo-colour_green

We're Here To Help

Our Initial Injury Consultation is Free. Please tell us why you would like to speak to a personal injury law firm.

Disclaimer:

  • I have read the disclaimer
  • Yes

“Howard and Najma protected and helped us during a terrible time in our lives.”

At Howard Yegendorf & Associates, we have nearly 50 years of combined experience with personal injury claims. Our primary focus is on catastrophic injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries and wrongful deaths, but we will guide and represent you during any personal injury case.

Learn more
Rony Podolsky
Rony Podolsky
13:34 19 Jan 18
Mr. Yegendorf is very different than the stereotypical lawyer. He is sympathetic to his clients and eager to help.Probably one of the most ethical, professional and experienced lawyers out there.Highly recommended!
Natalia Bradu
Natalia Bradu
15:46 17 May 17
I can not express my warmest wishes to Howard Yagendorf and his amazing team. I had a great experience working with them and I'm so thankful to his expertise and help in my difficult situation. He guided me and my family through the process and helped us to get the outcome we've never hope about. Great people, great team and overall experience was easy and worry free. Thank you so much.
Michael Dagenais
Michael Dagenais
16:42 14 Mar 17
I have known Howard for nearly 20 years. During that time he not only helped me with sound, expert advice pertaining to a "Ponzi scheme" that devastated my family, he has helped countless others. He is dedicated to the law and a true expert in his field. I know first hand that he has changed the destiny of many of his clients , allowing them to move forward with dignity after suffering catastrophic events. He cares deeply , has dogged determination, vast experience and his team of lawyers and support staff are second to none. I would highly recommend Howard and his team.
Brian Mandelker
Brian Mandelker
15:41 21 Apr 17
Howard is an excellent, meticulous lawyer. Perhaps even more important though, is that he is a compassionate human being. A very good listener and an even better questioner!
Stephen McGill
Stephen McGill
14:22 16 Feb 17
I've known Howard Yegendorf for well over a decade and consider him to be one of the most capable, professional, knowledgeable and trustworthy people I've met in my business career. His attention, compassion and skills were reinforced to me when he helped a very close family member with a potentially serious legal situation. Without hesitation I will continue to recommend Howard and his firm to anyone who wants exceptional legal representation.
Carol Dunlop
Carol Dunlop
02:09 04 Mar 19
2 years ago I was hit by a car on Hunt Club and Riverside intersection in Ottawa, the lady behind the wheel was not looking at me at all even though I had white sign for crossing. She stopped before the traffic light, I stepped on the crosswalk and she just turned right while looking to the left. She bumped me with her car and my foot got stuck under rear passenger wheel. Then she apparently panicked and went backwards rolling over my foot one more time. Later at emergency they diagnosed me with multiple bone fractures, I had to go through 2 complicated surgeries and over a year of rehab before I could use my foot again. And it still hurts when I run, jump, stand for too long or stress it somehow else.Engaging Howard Yegendorf and his team shortly thereafter was one of my best decisions ever. His knowledge, and confidence told me I was working with the best professionals I could have found. Howard guidance was invaluable. He listened and helped me throughout the case. We were both patient and that patience produced positive results.He helped me to deal with insurance company, guided me through LTD insurance and closed my case for really good amount of compensation.
Jonny Hare
Jonny Hare
09:00 05 Mar 19
In 2014 I was involved in a car accident on HWY 417 near Ottawa. It involved myself and two other vehicles being rear ended. I was the middle vehicle and ended up being transported by ambulance to Queensway hospital. My injuries were misdiagnosed at the time of the accident and I was referred to Howard Yegendorf. I met with Mr. Yegendorf and he showed me overwhelming concern and care for my situation, injuries and surgery. He explained how he could file liens for surgery and physical therapy to resolve my health issues sooner rather then later. He then fought 100% with the auto insurance company completely looking out for my best interest.I cannot put into words how tremendously grateful l am for everything that Howard Yegendorf has done for me and my family!
rath khan
rath khan
20:04 28 Jul 19
Receptionist She is always in bad mood. I did observe her a lot. If you are happen to be other ethnicity than caucasian , she will racially profile you. She doesn't have simple courtesy . Also one of the lawyer I dealt with not professional at all and rest of the lawyers I don't know much about them. At this place, you don't feel like they care about your situation much.
rath khan
rath khan
20:04 28 Jul 19
Receptionist She is always in bad mood. I did observe her a lot. If you are happen to be other ethnicity than caucasian , she will racially profile you. She doesn't have simple courtesy . Also one of the lawyer I dealt with not professional at all and rest of the lawyers I don't know much about them. At this place, you don't feel like they care about your situation much.
Jonny Hare
Jonny Hare
09:00 05 Mar 19
In 2014 I was involved in a car accident on HWY 417 near Ottawa. It involved myself and two other vehicles being rear ended. I was the middle vehicle and ended up being transported by ambulance to Queensway hospital. My injuries were misdiagnosed at the time of the accident and I was referred to Howard Yegendorf. I met with Mr. Yegendorf and he showed me overwhelming concern and care for my situation, injuries and surgery. He explained how he could file liens for surgery and physical therapy to resolve my health issues sooner rather then later. He then fought 100% with the auto insurance company completely looking out for my best interest.I cannot put into words how tremendously grateful l am for everything that Howard Yegendorf has done for me and my family!
Julie
Julie
13:50 23 Nov 19
Najma from Howard Yegendorf's office represented me and she is the lawyer you want on your team. Najma has incredible skills at negotiating and getting the results that you deserve.Najma helped me through the worst nightmare of my life and I will always appreciate the compassion she showed me. From the moment I handed my case to Howard Yegendorf and Associates it was like a weight was lifted off of me and I knew everything was going to be just fine.
See All Reviews