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Personal Injury

What is objective evidence in injury law?

In essence, this is evidence that can be created by a medical professional that does not require opinion.

X-Ray medical evidence

Objective evidence is medical or professional evidence that relies on objective diagnoses obtained through testing that support the existence of a condition, injury, or illness and related limitations. Insurance companies paying benefits after a car accident or responding to an injury claim may request that objective evidence of a person’s injury be shared with them. This evidence can include:

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • Blood tests
  • CT Scans
  • Lumbar puncture

In essence, this is evidence that can be created by a medical professional that does not require opinion. This is some of the highest evidentiary standards and is irrefutable, which is why insurance companies prefer it. It is irrefutable, but it is not the only type of evidence that the Courts will accept.

How does objective evidence impact your case?

In some instances, insurance companies may deny a claim based on the claimant having “insufficient medical evidence” of their injury or disability. The issue with the concept of “objective evidence” is that it does not account for injuries and disabilities that present themselves in ways that are not detectable in so-called objective measurements. Some serious issues, such as chronic pain syndromemental illness, fibromyalgia, and recurring migraines, do not have simple, objective tests for claimants to produce to prove their condition to insurance companies. Insurance companies may try to reject a claim for lack of objective evidence in these instances.

The insurance company said that I have insufficient medical evidence, so what should I do now?

Get in touch with an injury lawyer to determine a path forward. During a consultation, a lawyer will help you assess what evidence you may be able to produce to build a stronger claim and ultimately a fair settlement.

You may think that by threatening to involve a lawyer will get you a more fair settlement. If you are negotiating with the insurance company, you may feel that you have leverage by threatening to hire a lawyer. Even if you could value your case accurately, the threat of hiring a lawyer is not enough. To have leverage, the case has to be properly documented with the right evidence, so the insurance adjuster can justify the settlement to the insurance executives who oversee them. To use an analogy, if two countries were in a dispute and there is a threat of violence, it is better to have troops on the border, than simply threaten to raise an army and then send them to the border. The threat of hiring a lawyer is a soft threat that does not worry the insurance company. Having a lawyer who can build the evidence and leverage the process to help obtain a fair settlement can make a significant difference.

The insurance company wants me to do an Independent Medical Examination. What should I do?

After starting your lawsuit, you might have to undergo an independent medical examination (IME), where a neutral doctor will examine you. Either your lawyer or the insurance company will request the IME.

The IME will probably take a few hours, during which the doctor will evaluate you, assess your injuries, and review your medical records. After the IME, the doctor will write a detailed report explaining the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. This report helps us explain your limitations and provide evidence of how your injury might progress in the future. IME reports often support claims of your inability to return to work, enjoy your hobbies and perform household chores. IMEs also provide treatment recommendations to help you recover and return to your activities.

It is your lawyer’s role to ensure that the requests made by the insurance company are reasonable. An independent medical examination could present new delays for your claim, unnecessary travel, or be unreasonable in scope. By having a skilled injury lawyer, you will have someone on your side who is familiar with the process and what is reasonable given your circumstances.

What kinds of evidence will I be able to get with a lawyer?

Objective medical evidence isn’t the only evidence that can help build a strong case for you. Your injury lawyer at MacGillivray Law will be able to connect with experts to give their professional opinions to help build your case and get you the settlement you’re entitled to. Your lawyer can retain engineers, other experts called actuaries, economists, therapists, psychologists, and other experts to help prove fault or the effect of the accident on you.

By including a broad range of experts, MacGillivray Law is able to build a case that demonstrates the entirety of your injuries. This helps show how severe your injuries are, as well as how much compensation you are entitled to.

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MacGillivray Law is a personal injury law firm with offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We serve clients all across Canada.

If you cannot travel to one of our offices, we will accommodate your circumstances and travel needs. We can provide a consultation by phone, Zoom, or FaceTime, or travel to meet you in your home when required.

If you would like to learn your legal options at no obligation, contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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