Glossary of Terms

All-inclusive settlement
If your claim is settled on an “all-inclusive” basis, the amount we recover includes compensation for all heads of damages, costs and disbursements. Disbursements are deducted from the amount recovered and reimbursed to your lawyer, and legal fees are payable only on the balance.

Chronic Pain Syndrome
“Chronic pain” is a term usually used to define pain which has lasted longer than three to six months or beyond the usual time expected for recovery from an injury. Chronic pain syndrome occurs when a person suffering chronic pain develops an additional constellation of symptoms including psychological problems (anxiety or depression) and sleeplessness, fatigue and/or lack of energy. The symptoms aggravate each other and together are resistant to treatment and often cause some degree of disability.

Contingency Fee Agreement
In personal injury claims, a contingency fee agreement is one where the injured claimant pays his or her lawyer at the conclusion of the claim, contingent upon whether the lawyer is successful in recovering compensation for the client. In other words, if the lawyer recovers no compensation, then the client owes the lawyer no fees.

Contributory Negligence
Contributory negligence refers to circumstances where a person suffers injury or loss in part through the negligence of another person, and in part by his or her own negligent act or omission. If you sue another person for damages and that person can prove you are partially responsible for your own injuries or losses, then the amount of compensation you are entitled to is accordingly reduced.

A successful party to a lawsuit is entitled to costs, which is money intended to offset your lawyer’s fees. Generally, costs are assessed pursuant to a Schedule provided under the Rules of Court, and the total amount payable to the successful party will depend upon the complexity of the issues and the steps taken in the lawsuit.

Expenses which your lawyer incurs on your behalf in the prosecution of your claim are called disbursements. These expenses, which typically include Court Registry fees, administration costs, the cost of obtaining medical evidence or any other evidence necessary to advance your case, and the cost of experts’ reports, are financed by your MacIsaac & Company lawyer, and
to paid back to him or her at the conclusion of your claim. Typically, we will recover the cost of disbursements from the responsible insurer.

Free Consultation
At MacIsaac & Company, we are pleased to offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your claim, the services we provide, fees, or any other matter of concern to you at absolutely no cost or obligation to you.

Litigation Guardian
In British Columbia, a person under the age of 19, or an adult who lacks the mental capacity to make certain decisions, is a “person under disability”. Persons under disability must be represented by a Litigation Guardian before commencing an action for damages. A Litigation Guardian is someone over the age of 19 who has authority to instruct counsel throughout the litigation, and is presumed to make decisions and to instruct counsel in the best interests of the person under disability.

Tort Claim
In general terms, a tort is a civil wrong, involving a breach of duty or a negligent act by one person which results in injury or loss to another, and gives the injured party the right to bring a legal action for damages. Personal injury claims are tort claims.

Underinsured Motorist Protecton (UMP)
Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP) is part of your ICBC insurance coverage. It protects you in circumstances where you are injured in a motor vehicle crash and the at-fault driver does not have enough third party insurance coverage to pay the full amount of your damages. In those circumstances, you are covered up to $1 million from your own policy, even if the other driver has no insurance at all. Coverage is available under your policy for everyone in your household who is driving or riding in a vehicle insured in British Columbia, or if they are injured as a pedestrian or cyclist.

Vocational Assessment
If it has been determined that an injured person can no longer return to the job they held before suffering their injury, a vocational assessment can help determine whether or not that person can return to work, and if so, at what type of job. A vocational assessment will typically take into account a number of factors, including medical, psychological, social, vocational, educational, cultural and economic factors, with the end result of identifying a person’s vocational potential for realistic job and training options.

Work Capacity and Functional Capacity Evaluations

Work capacity evaluations and functional capacity evaluations involve testing that provides an objective measure of a person’s physical and functional capabilities and limitations relating to the performance of specific occupations or classes of occupations, or work related tasks within an occupation. In the context of personal injury lawsuits, these evaluations can help answer questions related to a person’s functional strengths and limitations relative to particular employment and whether a person would be capable of returning to his or her pre-accident occupation.