BLOG

Recent Posts

Vancouver Plaintiff’s Injury Lawyers

Hiring one of our Vancouver Plaintiff’s Injury Lawyers at the start of the case can ensure you obtain the best result possible. Our Vancouver Plaintiff’s Injury Lawyers know that a case is often won or lost based on how you and your skilled legal team go about creating a credible personal injury case. Delay in meeting with us can do grave harm to your case.

Creating a Credible Case Personal Injury Case

We know our clients are honest with us about the cause and extent of their injuries but without our Vancouver Plaintiff’s Injury Lawyers on your side to prepare you, a skilled defence lawyer will attempt to show:

  • inconsistencies in your case;
  •  you exaggerated your injuries;
  • you were whole or partially ay fault in the accident;
  • you were responsible for the delay in your recovery from your injuries.

In personal injury matters the credibility of the you as the Plaintiff can often be central to the case.

Pain and suffering are inherently subjective experiences. Only the person who is injured can truly describe their levels of pain, and how it makes them feel. A distinct reliance is always placed on the Plaintiff to explain their injuries in this context, and is especially heightened in cases of psychological injury. As a result, the truthfulness of the Plaintiff can often come into question.

The credibility of the Plaintiff may be challenged in various ways through cross-examination including testing their memory, looking to explore gaps in their story, or presenting evidence which is contrary to their testimony. Clinical records are usually part of this exercise: the way injuries and functional limitations are reported to doctors, specialists and caregivers are frequent fodder for cross-examination.

In the recent case of McLean v Kraft, Madam Justice Watchuk commented on the reliability of the Plaintiffs evidence based on its lack of consistency and insufficiencies, among other problems:

[149]     There is therefore a pattern of exaggerations, minimisations, gaps, and internal and external inconsistencies in the evidence of the plaintiff and her reports to physicians and treaters.  The absence of memory renders some of her evidence less reliable.  While for the most part I accept that her testimony was well-intentioned, it is not entirely credible.

[150]     I am mindful of the stresses of testifying in court regarding an event which caused pain and stress to a witness.  I am also mindful of the law with regard to reliance upon statements in examinations for discovery and clinical records as set out in Edmondson v. Payer, 2011 BCSC 118 at paras. 32-33:

[32]      That observation applies with even greater force to statements in clinical records, which are usually not, and are not intended to be, a verbatim record of everything that was said.  They are usually a brief summary or paraphrase, reflecting the information that the doctor considered most pertinent to the medical advice or treatment being sought on that day.  There is no record of the questions that elicited the recorded statements.  

[33]      When statements of a party are relied on for the truth of their content, the authors of Sopinka, Lederman & Bryant, The Law of Evidence in Canada, 3d ed. (Markham, ON: LexisNexis Canada, 2009) point out at paragraph 6.398 that one rationale for the admissibility of such statements is that “it is always open to the party to take the witness box and testify either that he or she never made that admission or to qualify it in some other way.”  The authors also emphasize at paragraph 6.413, that the whole of a statement must be put into evidence:

Thus, if an admission contains statements both adverse and favourable to a party and if an opponent tenders it, he or she may thereby be adducing evidence both helpful and damaging to his or her cause.

[151]     However, after considering cross-examination of the plaintiff on her statements, I conclude that I must view the evidence of the plaintiff and her reports to physicians and caregivers with caution.  While I generally accept her evidence that she was injured in the motor vehicle accident and that she suffered pain and detriment to her working ability and enjoyment of life, the degree of pain, the history of improvement and the effects of the injuries must be more carefully considered in the context of the evidence as a whole.

Delay Is Often Fatal To Maximizing Your Money Recovery

Proper preparation at the start of the case and before you meet with doctors and other experts is as critical as being properly prepared for discovery and for your mediation or trial. We want to discuss your injuries and strategy with you immediately after you are injured. You wouldn’t delay getting medical help if you are injured and neither should you delay in getting top legal advice from our Vancouver Plaintiff’s Injury Lawyers. Call us across BC at 1-877-602-9900 toll free to have a complimentary initial consultation with one of our top Vancouver Plaintiff’s Injury Lawyers.



alterFantastic Law Firm! Right from the very start, I knew I had called the right people.alter