“Big City” Lawyer or local counsel … what to do?

Town in the West Kootenays of British ColumbiaMany serious vehicle collisions occur in smaller communities throughout British Columbia and Canada where access to experienced legal resources may not be readily available.

Sadly, we often hear, too late, about cases that have been settled for a small percentage of their true value because those involved (including the lawyer) simply did not understand the real costs of proving and providing care for a seriously brain injured person for the rest of their lives. Local legal professionals may be experienced and skilled, but many have not had the opportunity to develop the expertise that we have developed over many years of working in the brain injury field. Families fear that a “big city” firm will be expensive, distant, and won’t provide a high level of personal care that is relevant to their region.  In fact, the opposite is true.

 

Providing service where you are

By only having very experienced lawyers working in one area (brain and spinal cord injury) we are prepared to travel all over the British Columbia to ensure the best possible service is provided.  On many occasions we will travel across the province for a seemingly short, but important meetings or interviews.

 

Working with legal representatives in your area

In some instances we will partner with a local lawyer (at no cost to our client), who can assist in the community, while we work to ensure the full extent of care and income-loss issues are addressed and considered  long before any trial, mediation or settlement agreement occurs.

 

No additional cost to you

It usually costs no more to have an experienced “big city” law firm handle a case than it does to have a local firm who may not have the same level expertise – it may even cost less. If care is needed we are often able to assist to ensure it is provided.

 

Knowledge of local resources

We have spent years working with experienced brain injury professionals all over the province and are often well aware of the local resources to use, and those to steer clear of.

 

Access to brain injury experts

As a firm devoted to achieving maximum compensation for survivors of a traumatic brain injury, we work with the all the necessary experts to prove the consequences of a serious brain injury. This is often required to ensure that all aspects of the injuries suffered by our clients are addressed. We have access to some of the best experts in the fields of: neurology, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, psychiatry, physiatry (rehabilitation medicine), orthopedic surgery, endocrinology, as well as occupational therapy, economics, engineering, and many others.

 

Webster & Associates prosecutes injury claims throughout British Columbia.

We have represented clients in Trail, Castlegar, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon, the Okanagan, the Kootenays, Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince George, Merritt, Vanderhoof, Anahiem Lake, Courteney, Comox, Nelson, Fort Nelson, Terrace, Williams Lake and Prince Rupert. We’ve also represented clients from Alberta, Ontario, the Maritimes, the United States, the United Kingdom and around the world.

 
Read what past clients have had to say about us in the client testimonials section of our website.

 
If you would like to discuss any of the issues referred to above please feel free contact us:

Greater Vancouver: (604) 713-8030
Victoria, Vancouver Island: (250) 589-8030
Toll Free within North America: 1 877 873-0699 Read more

Brain injury during baby’s birth

Newborn babyThe birth of a new baby should be one of the happiest moments in a family’s life. Sadly, at times that joy can turn to heartbreak if a baby is not born healthy or if things go wrong in the hours or days following a birth.

Things can and do go wrong whether in a hospital delivery room, in a hospital nursery or at home during a midwife attended birth. At times, an injury to a baby cannot be avoided even with the best of care. Other times, the baby’s injury is the avoidable result of negligent conduct by a physician, nurse, or midwife. Doctors, nurses, and registered midwives all have insurance that can be made available to help care for a child who has suffered an injury through a breach of their expected standard of care.

Injuries can occur in many ways. Injuries caused by a lack of oxygen are too common and often preventable. A baby who does not get enough oxygen during the labour and delivery process will usually demonstrate fetal distress. Though appropriate monitoring, whether by electronic fetal monitoring or through auscultation, fetal distress can often be picked up at an early stage, and steps can be taken to have the baby delivered quickly in order to avoid any injury.

A lack of oxygen may cause an injury in different ways. It may be the result of a lack of blood flow to the tissues (ischemia) or a lack of oxygen within the blood (hypoxia) and a combination of the two.

After birth, a baby that has sustained a brain injury may show low apgar scores. He may have poor tone, poor colour and require resuscitation before he is able to breathe on his own. Some babies show a poor cry, poor suck, have a need for tube feeding, have persistent abnormal tone, or seizures. Some require medications like Phenobarbital for seizures or antibiotics like Ampicillin and Gentamicin.

Babies who have suffered a brain injury may undergo extensive testing after birth. Abnormal blood gasses, x-rays, CT scans and MRIs may each be indicators of a brain injury.

Some babies with brain injury may have blindness or other vision deficits, epilepsy, quadriplegia or developmental delays. Some have more subtle injuries, which may not be as outwardly obvious but may still be very serious or disabling.

The costs of providing the life-long care and rehabilitation that a child with a brain injury needs can be huge. In addition, that child may not be able to grow up to be independent, or to earn a living in the future. A legal action may provide the funding needed to ensure that an injured child is properly taken care of in the future.

 

Did you know that the limitation period for a birth injury in BC is 21 years from the date of the baby’s birth and may be even longer? If your baby may have suffered a birth injury, competent legal advice should be obtained at the earliest opportunity to be sure you know when a legal action must be commenced.

In addition to a baby’s claim for birth injury, parents may have a separate claim (called an “in trust claim” ). The limitation period for this claim may be as short as two years from the date of the infant’s birth. It usually costs nothing to talk to a knowledgeable lawyer to find out what limitation periods apply in your situation.

In our practice we have been retained to act for families with injured children even ten or twenty years after their injuries first occurred. Although delays may mean that the injury and the negligence that caused it are more difficult to prove, the claim can still be successful and insurance funding is probably still available.

Welcome to the Brain Injury Law Blog

Brain Injury BlogWebster & Associates is pleased to launch their new blog. This blog is the most recent addition to our ever-expanding list of initiatives directed at providing the highest quality of services to our clients, friends and those professionals  with legal or medical interests in brain injury issues.  We hope that this blog will provoke discussions of current legal, medical and rehabilitation issues related to brain injury.  Occasionally we hope you will find an entertaining or humorous story.

The law firm of Webster & Associates was started by Brian Webster, Q.C.  He took on his first brain injury case before CT’s were regularly utilized.  Both law and medicine have come a long way in their treatment of brain injury since then. The firm focuses on prosecuting brain and spinal cord injuries and pride’s itself on providing effective representation focusing on both rehabilitation, and financial recovery.

In addition to Brian, Webster & Associates is home to several lawyers, including Barbara Webster-Evans and Daniel Corrin. Barbara has a background in medical malpractice claims and over 25 years experience as a lawyer, while Daniel  has been working exclusively in brain injury for over 10 years.

We welcome your comments or suggestions about topics to cover.  Please check back regularly for new posts.

– The Webster & Associates team