The Disability Network

The Disability Network is a new world wide online television network for people with disabilities. I had the wonderful opportunity to be a guest on “Let’s Chat” with Jay Stoyan. It may be seen here: http://tdntv.ca/#

The Disability Network officially launches July 5 at Youth Day in Toronto. Looking forward to some great programming in September!

Hamilton Health Sciences Conference 2015

The Hamilton Health Sciences Conference was a great success! Here are some pictures from the event.

The “Stop Reducing Accident Benefits” Petition (#ABPetition on Twitter) which started last Friday has reached over 300 signatures.

We’re asking Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Ontario MPPs to abandon the proposed changes. We will be delivering this petition to all of the MPPs in Ontario.

If you haven’t already, we ask that you please sign the petition and by doing so advocate on behalf of all Ontarians. Also please pass on to family, friends, and colleagues. A sincere thank you to those of you who already have.

The petition is on behalf of all supporters. Anyone interested is welcome to join. Together we can truly make a difference.

Click here for the link to the petition.

Some reasons why people have signed:

“I am witness to someone very close to me who has to benefit from that much needed money.”

“My friend was a victim.”

“My niece was struck by a vehicle. She suffered leg, pelvic fractures as well as a skull fracture which in turn caused a traumatic brain injury. Her physical and cognitive rehab will be a life long challenge. ”

“My daughter Sara suffered a catastrophic TBI in Oct 2013 and even with the $1M med/rehab and $1M attendant care, there’s not enough funds to care for her at home. ”

I signed for all the people that I will work with in the future whom will need these benefits and because it could happen to any of us. Also because I believe that if we all come together, we can have an impact. Please consider signing.

-Sarah Palmer

Sharing my Family’s Mistakes to Help Others Injured in Accidents by Sarah Palmer

NeuroConnect provides resources, advocacy and support for people living with brain injury. It was started with our rehabilitation magazine in 2009 because of a personal journey through brain injury and its consequences that had begun several years prior. From this experience, I learned the importance of finding the appropriate professionals and resources for people injured in accidents.

My grandfather was driving in his vehicle when it was struck by another. The other driver had sped through a stop sign. My grandfather ended up at a major hospital. We were told he had a brain injury but that he was okay and would recover in time. We were oblivious to the full outcome which would take time to develop.

My grandmother called their business lawyer for advice. He said that he would sue the insurance company. Not knowing about how these things worked, I remember being surprised and thinking this was extreme. After all, from what I had heard, it seemed like he was okay. Knowing what I know today, I now view taking legal action in serious brain injury cases as imperative; however, one serious mistake was made: retaining a lawyer not specializing in personal injury.

At the time I was in my first or second year of my undergraduate studies. I had just started working as a Rehabilitation Support Worker for a small company and knew little about brain injury. At my interview I was asked if I had any experience with brain injury. I said “no” but then I returned to the question and said “actually, my grandfather recently had a brain injury” but I hadn’t seen him yet. That is how little my family was informed of the severity and implications of brain injury.

Time passed and my grandfather was never the same. He looked the same but his memory sure wasn’t. He seemed confused much of the time. Although he always had a strong personality, some might have observed him to be a little moodier. He received a $40,000 settlement for his accident. My grandma was handling this and seemed fine with it, though it wasn’t enough for them to sustain themselves.

My grandfather soon developed Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, it seemed like his brain just morphed into the perfect environment for Alzheimer’s after “the accident”. His doctor said the brain injury had brought on this neuro-degenerative disease.

My grandfather began to leave my grandparents’ home and wander outside. As this began, my grandma was unaware and her neighbours would bring him back home. He began urinating in the bath tub at night as he didn’t know where to go. And he became increasingly aggressive. That’s when my grandmother reluctantly decided it was time for him to be admitted to a nursing home. After about a year there, he developed pneumonia and passed away.

My grandfather was not just another person who suffered the consequences of brain injury. No one is- that’s the point. Every one of these individuals is an important person in their family. My grandfather was definitely a keystone person in our family. He was the hero in times of need, the big personality, the teacher of morality and values, the one who lived to see us happy and succeed. I wish for every family out there to know what we didn’t know so as to avoid our mistakes for their loved ones.

As mentioned previously, the biggest mistake we made was not retaining a lawyer who specializes in personal injury. These lawyers know the ins and outs of Accident Benefits. They can guide you to Rehabilitation services and the proper providers and make sure appropriate services get covered by your insurance company. My grandfather should have received these but didn’t. He might have been entitled to Attendant Care (having a Personal Support Worker assist in basic needs), Occupational Therapy, Psychological Services, Rehabilitation Support, Physical Therapy and more.

Further, my grandfather should have received a much larger settlement than $40,000 for economic loss. There is no cap on that and he had a very high income from his own business which had to close because of this injury.

One concern people injured in car accidents – whether brain, spinal, or orthopaedic injury may have with regards to obtaining a lawyer, is cost. A qualified personal injury lawyer won’t ask for a retainer or money before settlement. He or she will take an agreed percentage of the settlement awarded to you. This means no upfront costs.

Whether you or your loved one has sustained a brain, spinal, or orthopaedic injury through a car accident or other means, there are options for recovery. If you would like more information on resources available, rehabilitation, or assistance, please feel free to contact me at 416-999-2383 or info@neuroconnect.ca. I’d be more than happy to share what I know to help other families in need. And when it comes to your health or the health of your loved one, its always better to ask.

Interview with Neurosurgical Nurse

Today I had the privilege to interview Neurosurgical Nurse and Nursing Instructor, Wendy. We discussed Wendy’s tips on recovering from brain injury. Thanks, Wendy, for joining us and I look forward to sharing our video!

Listen to us on Brain Injury Radio!

We’ve been invited to be interviewed on Brain Injury Radio on March 11, 2015 at 10 pm, hosted by Kim Justice, author of “In a Flash”.

Links to our interview will be posted or join us on that date with this link:

Constitutional Challenge Launched Against Flawed Ontario Liberal Government Auto Insurance Legislation- Discriminatory and Unconstitutional

Joseph Campisi, lawyer and advocate, is launching a constitutional challenge in the Ontario Superior Courts.  Mr. Campisi is seeking a declaration from the courts that parts of the legislation that were recently passed by the Liberal Government are discriminatory and unconstitutional and should be inoperative.

“The right to access the Superior Courts is a fundamental right for Canadians.  I am concerned that the recently proclaimed legislation will deny this right to individuals who have been severely disabled.” said applicant and noted Personal Injury Lawyer Joseph Campisi.  “Historically, the deck has been stacked against collision victims.  The recent amendments to the legislation have turned a bad situation into a worse one for these vulnerable individuals.  No longer will these individuals be allowed to have the assurance of impartiality and independence that is a cornerstone of our justice system when litigating a claim against their own insurance company.  I could not stand idly by and let this happen.”

In the fall, of 2014, the Ontario Government passed Bill 15 which is titled Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates.  One of the legislative amendments changes how disputes between insurers and insured are settled.  Historically, disputes could be brought before the Superior Courts or before sophisticated arbitrators with expertise in interpreting insurance law.  Bill 15 has changed how disputes are resolved by giving the sole adjudicative power to individuals who will be appointed at the whim of the Liberal Government.  These are the same decision makers who have jurisdiction on matters ranging from film classification to upholstered and stuffed articles. Unlike historical appointments, individuals without any specialization or guaranteed independence or impartiality will be ruling on disputes that can run into the millions of dollars and will determine the quality of life that an automobile victim will face going forward.

“This application will challenge Bill 15 on the basis that it violates disabled persons’ Charter s.15 (1) right to be free from discrimination.  Bill 15 is also being challenged based on s.96 of the Constitution which relates to the public’s right to have access to the courts.  The way in which Bill 15 is drafted opens the door to political interference.  The government of the day can choose who will hear any dispute and if the government does not agree with the arbitrator’s decisions, the government can get rid of the adjudicator the next day.  When it comes to lobbying the government there is little doubt as to who has the deeper pockets- automobile insurers or accident victims.  Introducing such laws is undemocratic and detracts from the rule of law.  This legal challenge will fight for disabled individuals’ right to fair treatment and the public’s right to access the impartial court system.”

For more information go to https://www.campisilaw.ca

Source Campisi LLP