Tips & Tricks: Bike Safety Basics

Cycling is a great way to get around—it gets you from point A to point B all while keeping you fit and helping the environment. Some studies have even shown that it is the safest mode of transportation, particularly for young adults. Even so, around 7,500 cyclists suffer severe injuries every year in Canada, while 70, 000 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to cycling, according to the CBC.

Over half of the Toronto population cycles, that’s 54% of Torontonians. Luckily, the Toronto Cycling Network Plan is working on making Toronto a more bike-friendly city. Hopefully, Canadian cities will one day be as welcoming to cyclists as European cities, where cyclist injury and death rates are substantially lower. As this eco-friendly method of transportation becomes more popular, cyclists and drivers will become more aware of their places on the roads and fewer accidents will occur.

Until then, there are many things cyclists can be aware of to ensure their safety on the roads. Here are some bike safety tips and tricks based on facts from the CBC and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation:

Where you can and cannot ride

  • Cyclists must stay as close to the right side of the road as possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic.
  • Cyclists cannot ride on controlled-access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways
  • Cyclists are only allowed to walk their bikes through pedestrian crossovers.

Where and when it’s best to ride

If cyclists aren’t planning to ride to and from work, they should avoid riding during the afternoon rush hour—17% of cyclist deaths and 23% of cyclist injuries occur during this time.

The worst time for a cyclist to ride is at night—30% of cyclist deaths occur at this time. Avoiding busy cities and intersections is ideal for a cyclist’s safety—despite traffic control signs, cyclists are more likely to be injured in an area with these features. Cyclists should also avoid rural areas where the speed limits are 80km/h or more—44% of cyclist deaths happen on these roads.

Wearing a helmet

It is illegal for any cyclist under the age of 18 to ride without a helmet.

For any cyclist under the age of 16, a parent or guardian must ensure that they are not riding without a helmet. Adults are not required to wear a helmet, although it is strongly recommended, as it lowers a cyclist’s chance of injury by 90%.

Additional cycling laws 

The following are changes made regarding cycling law after the passing of Bill 31- Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act , effective September 1, 2015: 

  • All drivers of motor vehicles are required to maintain a minimum distance of one metre, where practical, when passing cyclists on highways;
  • Persons who improperly open or leave opened the doors of motor vehicles on highways face increased penalties (commonly known as “dooring”).
  • The fine for non-compliance with bicycle light, reflector and reflective requirements will increase; and
  • Cyclists are permitted to use lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red light.

 

For more information on Ontario bike laws, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website. If you know of a cyclist who has been in an accident, have them contact us at our Ajax (905-427-2000) or Barrie offices (705-726-2146) for their free consultation.

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Working from Home: Ergonomic Principles

Working from home has become and continues to be how many people are working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those are lucky enough to have a proper work from home set up and dedicated office space, but a majority are setting up workstations wherever they fit. Whether it’s the dining room table, a coffee table or your lap, people across the province are having to adjust their home lives to accommodate work arrangements.

While working from home does have its benefits, an improper work set up can take a toll on your body. To help combat the aches and pains which can lead to chronic pain and other associated injuries, being familiar with the ergonomic principles may help reduce the impact of work-related injuries.

If you don’t want to visit the doctor for eventual musculoskeletal disorders, implement the following workstation set up guidelines outlined by Ergo Consulting.

 

Establish an appropriate work location

Having a dedicated workspace is important. If you’re new to working from home, there are a few things to consider when choosing your work spot. Try finding a spot where the table is between 27-29” high. Tables higher than this run you the risk of neck and shoulder pain or discomfort. Having a space with minimal distractions is also important. If you’re looking after young children while attempting to work at home, consider creating a daily routine for them. During the times you need to be the most productive or have conference calls, schedule quiet time for reading or think about putting a movie or TV show on.

Get the best chair

In a perfect world, everyone would have fully adjustable office chairs. For the majority of people that don’t, choose a chair that provides back support, allows you to sit upright and supports your upper body weight on the backrest. You should be seated so your elbow height is as close to level with your work surface as possible.

Get a footrest

Sit down, look at your legs. Your thighs specifically. You should be seated so your thighs are parallel with the floor and your feet firmly planted on the ground. There is a good possibility if you’re of average height or shorter, that you’ll benefit from a footrest.

Use external hardware

According to the Office Ergonomics Application Standard for Workplace Ergonomics, laptops shouldn’t be used for prolonged computer entry. The exception being a laptop that is hooked up to a docking station or other external devices. Laptops can put additional strain on your neck because the monitor height isn’t high enough. If you must use a laptop it’s recommended that it be raised/elevated, so the screen becomes level with your eye height. This can be achieved by placing the laptop on a stack of books or by using a monitor riser. An external mouse and keyboard are also beneficial and positioned at elbow height on the same surface.

Get moving

Getting up and moving around every 30-60 minutes to stretch or walk around is good for your ergonomic health. It should be done even more frequently the less “ideal” your workstation set up is. Standing around and pacing while you’re on a conference call or creating your own stand up desk by putting your computer on a filing cabinet or counter (for short periods of time) are a couple of ways of getting up, moving around and changing your posture.

Mental Health

Anyone new to working from home can tell you it can be isolating. Especially if you’re someone who enjoys the social atmosphere that an office environment brings. Make a point of calling colleagues for larger issues rather than writing a lengthy email; video conferencing is another popular option. Most importantly, get outside. Give yourself a reason to get dressed and schedule yourself a daily walk around the neighbourhood. The fresh air will do you wonders!

 

For anyone working from home, make sure you are following the ergonomic principles to reduce potential injury. Neck, back and shoulder pain can start as just that but can quickly become chronic pain. Call an experienced lawyer like the ones at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers if you or someone you know is experiencing pain due to a poor workstation set up.

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Skye OliverWorking from Home: Ergonomic Principles
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Helping Canadians During COVID-19: Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

 

It’s no surprise that Canadians are facing challenges during this difficult time that is COVID-19. Families may be facing job insecurities or experiencing increases in costs for medications, medical supplies and PSWs (personal support workers).

Earlier this month Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau announced there would be increased financial support to help Canadians with disabilities offset extra expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This support will be available to persons who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020.

 

What is the Disability Tax Credit (DTC)?

The Disability Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit for persons with disabilities or their supporting person. The objective of the tax credit is to help reduce the income tax they may be required to pay.

Being eligible for the DTC can also lead to other federal, provincial, or territorial programs.

 

Who is eligible for the DTC?

To be eligible, the Government of Canada must approve your application (Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate). The form is completed by a medical practitioner who certifies the person has a severe & prolonged impairment. The effects must also be described.

According to the Government of Canada one of the four requirements must be met to be eligible:

  • “be blind
  • be markedly restricted in at least one of the basic activities of daily living
  • be significantly restricted in two or more or the basic activities of daily living (can include a vision impairment)
  • need life-sustaining therapy

In addition, the person’s impairment must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be prolonged, which means the impairment has lasted, or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months
  • be present all or substantially all the time (at least 90% of the time)”

 

What does the additional support look like?

The financial aid being provided is a one-time tax-free payment. Those that are eligible for this one-time payment will receive it automatically.

  • Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will receive $600
  • Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate & eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will receive $300
  • Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate, are eligible for the OAS pension & the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will receive $100

 

How to apply

Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate is a two-part form. Part A, to be filled out by the person with the disability and Part B, to be filled out by a medial practitioner. Once the form is received the application is reviewed by the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency). A notice of determination is sent to inform you of the decision made.

 

If you or someone you know has been denied or cut-off from disability benefits because the appropriate treatment cannot be continued for reasons related to COVID-19, or other causes, it’s important you reach out to our experts at Dye and Russell immediately.

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Skye OliverHelping Canadians During COVID-19: Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
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Water Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children

Teaching your kids to swim & understanding how to be safe around pools or open water is a responsibility every parent takes on. Knowing your toddler or child(ren) can swim can be comforting for parents, but it shouldn’t be your only strategy for keeping them safe.

You teach them to stop & look both ways before crossing the street, not to run out on to the road, to look for cars & where to safely cross the street, yet you wouldn’t leave your toddler or young child unattended playing by the road.

The same goes for pools, open water & even bathtubs. Drownings can occur in as little as 1.5 inches (4 cm) of water.

 

Supervision

A parent or guardian should always be present when toddlers & or young children are near water. They should always know where their child(ren) are & what potential hazards are nearby.

Creating barriers between the child(ren) & the water reduces the ability & likelihood that the child can reach the hazard. Fencing around a pool is a common method used to keep the area inaccessible. Self-latching or locking gates that are also self-closing add additional safety measures. Any gates or barriers should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re functioning properly.

 

Pool Rules

Having established pool rules can help instill the need for safety around the water.

The most common & well-known pool rule of them all is no running around the pool. A slip & fall is more likely to occur on wet surfaces & can result in serious injury.

Cleaning up the pool deck so it’s free from water toys or other pool accessories can minimize a child’s temptation to play in that area. It can also reduce the potential for someone to trip over the objects & fall into the water headfirst.

No adult, no entry. Teach them that entering the pool, lake, pond etc. can only be done once a parent has done so. This will enforce to toddlers & younger children that they shouldn’t be going in the water by themselves & that an adult needs to be with them to be in the water.

Follow through. If you say you’re going to go swimming, make sure you keep that promise. By following through with this promise, the child(ren) won’t feel as strong of a need to go near the water when you aren’t around.

 

Open Water VS Swimming Pool

Swimming at the cottage or in another open body of water is not the same as swimming in a pool at home or recreation centre. A swimming pool is a contained space where the elements can be controlled. Open water brings new hazards that swimmers are faced with. Strong currents, colder water temperatures, greater distances to land or shore, undertows, & even other watercrafts to name a few.

If you or a child has become caught in a river current or fast moving water, the Canadian Red Cross suggests rolling on your back & pointing your feet downstream. This is to avoid hitting any obstacles headfirst. When out of the strongest part of the current, swim straight towards the shore.

 

Lifejackets & Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)

Drowning accidents can be preventable. When worn properly, a Canadian approved standard lifejacket is designed to turn an unconscious person from their front, over to their back so their face up in the water, allowing them to breathe.

When buying a lifejacket for a child there are certain things you want to look for:

  • Canadian approval label containing the chest size or weight it is intended for
  • Large collars will help support a child’s head & give additional protection
  • A strap on the collar to grab on to
  • A secure strap that fastens between the child’s legs, so the device doesn’t slip off
  • Bright colours are more noticeable in the water; red, yellow & orange are preferred options

Having a lifejacket or PFD close by, even within reach, isn’t close enough. The need for adult supervision is always required around water & lifejackets or PFDs aren’t a replacement.

 

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident your road to recovery is important to us. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and our experienced team at Dye and Russell will get you the support you need.

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Skye OliverWater Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children
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Long-Term Disability & COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept uncertainty, frustration and anger across our Country. It has impacted people in all aspects of their lives. There are people that aren’t able to continue working right now and those that are working – in essential services or remotely – are faced with challenges like they’ve never seen.

For a lot of people, the fear of contracting and transmitting the virus and battle with self-isolation/social distancing is enough to lead to severe anxiety, depression, or other types of mental illnesses. Others have similar feelings, but they stem from the fear of returning to work and going into public places or the ability to cope after losing a loved as a result of the virus.

We want to reassure you that you’re not alone. Many clients have reached out with their concerns and we’re here to help.

 

Mental Health During COVID-19

Balancing home-life and work-life while also trying to manage the additional stress, fear and anxiety brought on by COVID-19 is a lot to handle. A million things are running through your head.

 

Will I catch Coronavirus? What if it’s serious?

 I’m worried about my family members who work in health care.

 Will this impact my job? Will I have a job once this is over?

 I can’t afford to lose another client. I’m already struggling.

 I hope my partner doesn’t lose their job.

 Will there be sanitizer or toilet paper at the store this time?

 I miss seeing people and being around my family.

 

If worries like these are keeping you from performing and focusing on work or functioning at work, there are things you can do.

 

Disability Insurance

 Applying for STD or LTD benefits is recommended and encouraged if you think you’re unable to work.

Long-term disability (LTD) coverage is a benefit that is paid out to you if you become disabled from working. Utilizing these benefits is exactly what disability insurance is there for and what you’ve been paying into; don’t hesitate to apply if you need to.

Policies will almost always require that the individual be unable to continue working because of a diagnosed medical condition. The medical condition can be emotional, cognitive, or physical.

No one should suffer from psychological injuries caused by a pandemic. Insurance companies will need to step up and take care of those who have been impacted by COVID-19.

 

Speak with your Doctor

Your mental health is extremely important in this difficult time. Getting help for anxiety, depression or another mental health concern is not something to be ashamed of. Especially if it’s impacting you, your family, your work or ability to work, or your daily life.

Seeking proper medical treatment for issues that prevent you from working is crucial. Not only will it help your well being, but it also supports your disability claim to the insurer.

 

Denied Disability Claims

Unfortunately, denied claims are common.

The doctor that is treating you agrees that you shouldn’t be working (or returning to work), but once the insurance company reviews the file, they disagree and say you can work. All without having another doctor assess you or review your file.

Doesn’t make sense, does it? Well, you’re not alone in thinking that. The doctor that is treating you is in the best position to decide whether you can work or not.

Lack of “appropriate treatment” or “insufficient medical evidence” are common reasons for a claim denial. Insurers have even come back to say you don’t “meet the test for total disability”.

If you’re told by your treating doctor that you aren’t in a position to work or return to work, then you likely aren’t and there is a good chance you’re entitled to receive LTD benefits even if your claim has been denied.

 

Have Questions?

If you or someone you know has been denied or cut-off from disability benefits because the appropriate treatment cannot be continued for reasons related to COVID-19, or other causes, it’s important you reach out to us at Dye and Russell immediately.

 

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Skye OliverLong-Term Disability & COVID-19
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10 Tips to Enhance Your Driving

Even the most experienced drivers can pick up bad habits. This happens over time as we become more comfortable behind the wheel.

The problem with these bad habits is that they not only put you at risk while you’re on the road but other people that are driving around you and following the rules of the road.

There are things you can do to help get your driving back on track. Not only will these tips help keep you and others safe on the road, but they’ll serve as a reminder to share the road with other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

 

  1. Back to basics

Some of the basic rules of the road are the easiest to forget when you’ve been driving for a while. For example, remaining in the left lane of the street you’re turning on to when you’re making a left turn at an intersection, always using your turn signal, or stopping completely at a stop sign. These are only a few of the bad habits that should be corrected; they’re instrumental in keeping the roads safe. Driving while you’re in a rush, tired or dealing with another distraction should be avoided as they can also lead to reckless driving.

 

  1. Check your mirrors

Just because you drive the same car every day doesn’t mean the mirrors can’t move slightly. Maybe someone moved your car or borrowed it to run to the store, if so, they likely adjusted the mirrors. You should check your side mirrors and rear-view mirror each time you get into the driver’s seat.

 

  1. Know how to use your high-beams  

Your high-beams are meant to be used to help you see on poorly lit roads at night or in extreme daytime weather. They should always be turned off when another car is approaching you because of how bright they are. The improper use of your high-beams can be distracting to other drivers who become blinded by your bright lights. If you encounter a driver who has failed to turn their high-beams off as you approach, it’s suggested you look to the right side of the road and follow the painted edge line.

 

  1. Left turns

Safely making a left-hand turn in an intersection isn’t just about staying in the left lane when you turn. When you’re waiting to make your turn safely, it’s important to keep your wheels pointed straight. If you should be hit from behind, your car would move forward as opposed to it rolling into oncoming traffic if your wheels pointed left.

 

  1. Be alert

It’s easy to fall into autopilot when you have years of driving experience under your belt. Remaining alert is an important and necessary step in safe driving. Checking your mirrors regularly, using your turn signal appropriately, and pay attention to the other cars around you. Too often people focus on the car immediately in front of them and don’t notice when they’re getting too close.

 

  1. Distance

This one happens all the time – tailgating. Leaving adequate space between your vehicle and the ones around you is essential for avoiding accidents. A great method for keeping a safe space away is by timing the distance. Pick a marker on the road and when the car in front of you passes it, time how long it takes for you to reach the same spot. A recommended time-distance between you and the car in front is 4 seconds.

 

  1. Drivers education

When was the last time you took a driving course? Not since you got your license, right? Overtime rules of the road can change and it’s important for you to keep up with them. If it’s been a while since you’ve been behind the wheel, you want to sharpen your driving skills or think a refresher course may be useful, don’t be afraid to connect with your local driving school.

 

  1. Know your car

Have you ever seen people back into a parking space with what seems like no effort? Well, knowing your car may have something to do with that. The better you know your car, the more comfortable you feel driving it. Knowing what features it has and using them to your advantage, like back up cameras or park assist abilities, can help make those hard to see spots easier.

 

  1. Using a roundabout

Roundabouts are something even experienced drivers have issues with. For some reason, they’re intimidating and can cause a lot of confusion for people. If you’re one of these people, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has released a guide to help you understand how to properly use roundabouts.

 

  1. Check your eyes

Having your eyes regularly checked by an optometrist ensures your eyesight is at the level it needs to be at to safely operate a vehicle.  The aging population may have noticed a decline in their sight, regular check-ups can help catch problems early and address them before they get worse.

 

You can be a safe driver, but accidents can happen. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident your road to recovery is important to us. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and our experienced team at Dye and Russell will get you the support you need.

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Skye Oliver10 Tips to Enhance Your Driving
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Can You Claim For Emotional Distress?

Falling and getting a concussion, breaking a bone or suffering from a serious laceration as a result of another’s negligence are common injuries people think of when they’re talking about personal injury law. Injury claims such as these have evidential aspects that are easier to prove. External injuries are visible and possible internal injuries can be proven with X-rays or other medical scans. Claims for mental pain and suffering and emotional distress aren’t as easily proven but are still genuine to the individual suffering.

 

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a highly unpleasant emotional reaction (as anguish, humiliation, or fury) which results from another’s conduct and for which damages may be sought”.

Damages for emotional distress may be recovered whether there was intentional or negligent behaviour. In cases where negligent actions resulted in emotional distress, the plaintiff is generally required to have also suffered from a physical injury.

Signs & Symptoms
Too much of anything can affect a person. If you eat too much cake, you will end up with a stomach ache. Listening to upbeat, energetic music repeatedly can cause you to feel certain emotions such as happiness or excitement. Similarly, too much stress can lead to both emotional and physical symptoms. Knowing these signs and being able to identify them can help you reduce and learn to manage them.

Healthline outlines some of the emotional signs to pay attention to.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability & mood swings
  • Problems concentrating or remembering things
  • Compulsive behaviour

 

How Can It Be Proven?

The burden of proof falls on the victim when it comes to emotional distress lawsuits. Since emotional distress is mainly psychological, it becomes even more difficult to prove in court. Unlike a broken arm where an X-Ray can allow for a visual of the injury, there is no physical evidence to prove an injury has even occurred when it comes to mental health.

Andrew Lu describes some of the ways you might be able to prove your emotional distress claim.

  • Intensity

The more intense one’s mental suffering, the more likely it can be to prove. However, cases claiming negligence against another party often require some kind of physical injury to be present.

  • Duration

Proving the pain is consistent, reoccurring and stays with you for a significant period, like PTSD.

  • Related bodily harm

Proving a related injury, like migraines or ulcers, can help point to signs of distress.

  • Underlying cause

An extreme situation that brought on emotional distress (e.g. surviving a bombing) is more likely to show a court emotional distress was brought on by a traumatic incident. As opposed to a car accident where no one suffered any injuries.

  • Doctors note

This will help support your claim and should be incorporated for this exact purpose.

 

How to Manage Stress

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to help manage and even reduce your stress. Identifying the source of your stress is the starting point for addressing your emotional symptoms.

As explained by the American Institute of Stress, there are several ways to manage stress. It’s important to find techniques that are right for you; nothing is universal when it comes to stress management. Some may find taking a hot yoga class to be relaxing while another could find it quite boring and become irritated.

  • Participating in physical activity; running, playing sports, dance etc.
  • Calming activities; meditating, yoga etc.
  • Listening to music, reading, writing in a journal/diary etc.
  • Getting a massage or attending a therapy session (private or group)

Claiming emotional distress is a complicated and overwhelming process. Involving an experienced personal injury lawyer, like Dye and Russell, to help guide you through your case is the easy part, and the first step in your road to recovery.

 

If you or someone you know is suffering from emotional stress due to the negligence of another, a workplace incident or traumatic event, contact the experienced team at Dye and Russell today.

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Skye OliverCan You Claim For Emotional Distress?
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Common Questions Personal Injury Lawyers Get

The field of personal injury law can be unclear and often leave people feeling confused and overwhelmed. There is emotional and financial stress that coincides with an injury and navigating the recovery process, both legally and health wise, can be daunting.

At Dye & Russell it’s our mission to help guide you and your family through the entire process, protecting your rights and fighting to make sure you receive what you’re entitled to. Big insurance companies don’t have your best interests at the forefront and aren’t going to fight to get what you deserve; they want to pay out as little as possible.

As personal injury lawyers, it’s important that our clients feel empowered and knowledgeable about their case; after all it’s their lives that are impacted. To alleviate some of the unknown, here are some of the common questions asked of our lawyers at Dye & Russell.

  1. Why do I need a personal injury lawyer?

Simply put, personal injury law is one of, if not the most, complex areas of law. It requires going after compensation from large insurance companies, all while navigating the elusive, ever changing laws and regulations. Having been in the industry for over 20 years, our personal injury lawyers have the experience and expertise to protect your rights and get you on the right path to a complete recovery.

 

  1. How soon after and accident or injury can I contact a personal injury lawyer?

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, it’s important that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There are certain cases that require you to put the defendant on notice within a matter of days if you will be suing. If this doesn’t occur, the defendant can argue the claim is out of time & that you weren’t really injured, potentially barring your claim. Dye & Russell aims to protect your rights and provide you access to the treatment needed in the beginning stages of your injury. Acting quickly to collect and preserve necessary evidence to present your case makes a difference in receiving what’s fair.

 

  1. How do I pay for the legal services?

One of the common reason’s individuals don’t seek out a personal injury lawyer is the fear of what it will cost. Often their injury has prevented them from working so the thought of another expense is off-putting. At Dye & Russell we offer a free claim evaluation of your case, no obligation. When you do decide to have us represent you, you don’t pay until we’ve settled or won your case. We ensure you receive the proper funding for necessary treatment and do whatever it takes to properly assess and present your claim. Little things like this can help relieve some of the stress and financial burden that is tied to a personal injury case.

 

  1. How long does it take to settle my claim?

The amount of time it takes to settle a personal injury claim can change based on the complexity of the case. It isn’t uncommon for cases to range from 2-3 years before being resolved; although some are resolved much quicker. When you contact Dye & Russell we’ll happily explain the claim and litigation process, in addition to providing you with an estimate on how long it will take to resolve the claim.

 

If you feel you have been wrongfully injured in an accident due to the negligence of another or have had your claim denied, contact Dye & Russell.

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Skye OliverCommon Questions Personal Injury Lawyers Get
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11 Ways to Manage Your Chronic Pain

If there’s one thing that makes day to day activities or tasks more difficult, it’s chronic pain. That constant throbbing in your neck, sharp pains in your back or aching in your knees. So many people spend countless hours trying to relieve their pain or symptoms with no satisfaction. Common ailments linked to chronic pain can include injuries received in a motor vehicle accident, slip, trip or fall or more severely as a result of a catastrophic or traumatic accident.

To give you a hand this holiday season and to help bring some relief to your suffering, we’re sharing WebMD’s list of 11 tips for living with chronic pain. Some of these you might be more familiar with, some may be new, but everything is worth a try once!

 

  1. Relax using deep breathing or meditation practices

When we’re stressed, our muscles can become tense and tight. Practicing deep breathing or forms of meditation can reduce these symptoms and help you relax. Having a gentle massage or taking time to focus on clearing your mind are other ways to combat tension.

  1. De-stress

Did you know that feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger can increase the intensity of chronic pain? Learning to manage these types of emotions has been said to provide some relief. There are several ways that you can de-stress. For example, listening to calming music can uplift your mood or writing out your emotions in a journal.

  1. Exercise

This is a popular way to deal with injuries. When you exercise your body naturally release endorphins which help improve your mood. Exercise in general is good for your health, it keeps your blood pressure regular, cholesterol levels normal and decreases risks for heart diseases. It also strengthens your muscles which, when strong, limit the chance of reinjuring yourself and reduces chronic pain symptoms.

  1. Limit alcohol intake

When you deal with chronic pain, getting a proper restful night’s sleep is next to impossible. Having a drink to take the edge off may seem like a good idea. However, unlike popular belief, alcohol can make sleep problems worse. Limiting how much you drink alcohol can help improve your quality of sleep.

  1. Connect with others

It’s natural to associate with people who have similar traits to you or like interests. Going to group meetings with others who’ve been in serious motor vehicle accidents or are now suffering from side effects of others negligence keep you from feeling alone. Connecting with people who are also suffering from the same or similar chronic injury or disease can evoke the same feelings of belonging. Others may also offer symptom relief methods or practices that you may not have tried.

  1. Don’t smoke

Reduced circulation levels are a known side effect of smoking. This can intensify any circulation conditions and further increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.

  1. Track pain levels

Keeping your doctor informed about how you are feeling helps them provide the proper care. Between visits, track how you are feeling in a journal. Using a scale of 1 – 10 and listing out activities or things done that day can help pinpoint what triggers higher pain levels. Sharing this with your doctor can help in the management of chronic pain. This can also be useful if you’ve suffered an injury at work, such as a slip and fall, and need detailed documentation for medical appointments.

  1. Give Biofeedback therapy a try

This method of therapy is new to us. Biofeedback claims to allow you to control various body functions. Using sensors, you can “hear” or “see” different body functions. It’s displayed on monitors as squiggly lines that you eventually learn to control these functions using your biological system.

  1. Get a massage

Quite possibly the most widely used form of stress and chronic pain relief. Massages alleviate the tension in your muscles and allow for complete relaxation. Those who suffer from back and or neck pain as a result of a slip and fall or motor vehicle accident find this method of relief a fantastic way to manage their symptoms.

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Believe it or not, what you eat plays a part in how you feel. Eating a well-balanced diet keeps your digestive system running well, reduces risk of heart disease and keeps your weight under control.

  1. Get distracted!

Get out and get your mind off things. Sitting around and thinking about your bad knee, cursing the sidewalk for causing you to slip and fall doesn’t make things better, in fact it does the opposite. Doing something you enjoy will take the focus off your pain and instead keep you preoccupied with the activity at hand.

 

If you experience chronic pain due to a motor vehicle accident, slip, trip or fall or other traumatic accident and are being treated unfairly, you might need legal assistance. Call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Skye Oliver11 Ways to Manage Your Chronic Pain
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What You Should Consider When Disputing an Insurance Claim

 

Everyone knows that dealing with the big insurance companies can give you a headache and have you running around in circles with no answers. Policies can be so complex that sadly, insurance companies have often used their inside knowledge to take advantage of insureds through policy loopholes. This can leave insureds at a standstill in regards to their insurance claims and even result in a claim being denied.

Insurance is one of those things that you love to hate but have it anyways. It gives you and your family the protection they will need if something should happen to them or yourself. However, even if you are paying your bill on time each month and never miss a payment, insurance companies will look to find the cheapest way to pay out your claim to save money for themselves, if they pay out at all. This can be the last thing you want to deal with when you’re faced with a loss.

Here are four steps to consider when resolving a dispute with an insurance company.

Gather information

  • Insurance policies aren’t always easily understood by the average person. Ask your agent, broker or insurance representative for clarification about your concern/issue. The rights and responsibilities of all parties are written within the policy (aka contract), however miscommunications can occur.
  • If you have general questions you can contact the IBC Consumer Information Centre (CIC). They can assist with basic questions about policy wording, coverage or how to proceed with a complaint

Get in touch with the insurance companies Complaint Liaison Officer or Ombudsperson

  • Licensed insurers have a complaint resolution process, and someone assigned to enforce this process. This role is regulated by the provincial regulator.
  • If you plan on making a complaint through this channel, be sure to state your complaint clearly, including the expected resolution. Be sure to have all your documentation readily available and take note of all persons you spoke with regarding the complaint as well as what was spoken about. Finally, give the Complaint Liaison Officer or Ombudsperson sufficient time to investigate & respond to your complaint.

Reach out to the GIO (General Insurance OmbudsService)

  • If you’ve gone through your insurers complaint processes and aren’t satisfied you can request a Final Position Letter and contact the GIO. The GIO is an impartial consumer dispute resolution system. It is in place to help you and the insurer resolve disputes about claim-related matters.

Take it to the Federal or Provincial level

  • If your dispute cannot be solved by the GIO, or if the insurance company isn’t a member of the GIO, you can take it a step further by contacting a Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Dye & Russell should be your first call if you’re having issues claiming insurance compensation. We have the experience and knowledge of the industry that keep us from being pushed around by policymakers. Let us handle the big insurance companies and take the stress away from you to get you what you deserve.

If you’ve experienced a claim denial or want to dispute a claim, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

 

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Skye OliverWhat You Should Consider When Disputing an Insurance Claim
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