Ottawa Lawyer | Why You Have to be Truthful in a Defence Medical

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – I want to share with you a section of a case decision that was released in Ontario. It is not my case and I do not know the lawyers or the parties involved. I do know this, however, the case sure does show how dangerous it is to overstate the extent of your injuries. I am not saying that the plaintiff in this case was exagerating. I’d have no way of knowing that. But that is certainly what the defence lawyer’s orthopoedic surgeon thought and ultimately what the judge believed.

Here’s a section of the case summarizing the evidence of the defence doctor at trial:

Dr. Hugh Cameron is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of knees and hips. At the request of counsel for the defendant, he examined the plaintiff in his office on March 19, 2008. Dr. Cameron took a history from the plaintiff and also reviewed an extensive medical brief. Following his examination of the plaintiff, he concluded that:
• the plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident in March 2005 in which she
strained her neck and right shoulder;
• at worst, the plaintiff sustained a simple, uncomplicated musculoligamentous strain from which he would expect a woman of her age to have by now made a full recovery;
• at the time he examined the plaintiff, while there were subjective complaints of pain, there was no objective corroborating evidence of any significant organic pathology with respect to her cervical spine;
• while the plaintiff did have a restriction on range of motion in her right shoulder, he was of the opinion that the restriction was caused by pain inhibition and that if the plaintiff continued with appropriate stretching exercises, she could return to a
full range of activities within one year.

Here’s the kiss of death, right here:

Dr. Cameron expressed the opinion that, where a person favours the use of one arm over the other, there will be evidence of muscle wasting in the underused arm. During his examination of the plaintiff, he observed that there was no muscle wasting when he measured her arms. As well, during his examination of the plaintiff, Dr. Cameron performed a test known as pseudo-axial loading. He testified that this was a fake test which should produce no pain whatsoever. However, during this test, the plaintiff informed the Dr. Cameron that it produced pain in her neck.

The problem is, as a lay person, you just never know what types of testing are done purely to detect malingering. Almost all insurance related tests have some variation of “validity testing”. That includes psychological testing, functional capacity assessments as well as more traditional medical assessments.

As a result of the passage above, as well as other findings that the woman was not honest about her pain and symptoms, this claim for pain and suffering was rejected completely.

Don’t let that happen to your case!

If you have been injured in an Ottawa accident, your first step after getting immediate medical treatment should be to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you make your injury claim. For more information, contact the Ottawa injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 860-4529.

About the Author: Brenda Hollingsworth

Brenda Hollingsworth co-founded Ottawa’s Auger Hollingsworth in 2005 with her husband Richard Auger. Together, their mission was to create a personal injury law firm for Eastern Ontario that is unrivalled in the province for customer service and legal expertise. Brenda was named an Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 award recipient and took home the Women’s Business Network’s Businesswoman of the Year award in the Professional category. She was also recognized as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s “Top 50 People in the Capital.” She is often quoted as an expert and has appeared in media outlets such as CTV, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Sun Media, CBC, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, CFRA and many legal publications.

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