PJKJ Law brings peace of mind and le­gal ex­per­tise to those fac­ing a health cri­sis

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS - 108 John Street North Hamil­ton, Ont. 905-523-6464 pjkjlaw.ca

Good health is taken for granted by most of us. Of­ten, it’s not un­til we face the strug­gle of fail­ing health that we re­al­ize the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect it can have on our daily lives as well as the lives of those clos­est to us. These chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances are made worse when your abil­ity to work to sup­port your liveli­hood is no longer an op­tion. For many peo­ple, their long-term dis­abil­ity (LTD) ben­e­fit of­fers a much-needed fi­nan­cial safety net. Yet, what hap­pens when that cov­er­age is de­nied?

The un­for­tu­nate truth is that many peo­ple don’t re­al­ize they can take le­gal ac­tion when cop­ing with se­ri­ous in­jury, ill­ness and wrong­ful death. How­ever, when some­one is faced with de­nial of LTD cov­er­age or is suf­fer­ing as a re­sult of a med­i­cal pro­ce­dure gone wrong, le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion may be the only way to en­sure his or her rights are fairly rep­re­sented.

Pheroze Jee­jeeb­hoy, a prac­tic­ing lawyer and owner of PJKJ Law in Hamil­ton, has more than 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in de­fend­ing clients in med­i­cal le­gal lit­i­ga­tion. Over this time, he has de­vel­oped an ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of medicine and in­sur­ance health ben­e­fits as well as ac­quired a high level of com­fort with med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers.

“It’s a bit like go­ing to med­i­cal school one dis­ease at a time,” ex­plains Jee­jeeb­hoy. “You need to know the fine points of an ill­ness and how it af­fects some­one’s life, and in some in­stances be able to ex­plain how the health got worse be­cause of treat­ment.” A com­fort level with com­plex health is­sues and ac­cess to the med­i­cal com­mu­nity are both cru­cial to pro­vid­ing clients with peace of mind dur­ing a time of cri­sis.

When to con­tact a lawyer

A per­son’s LTD cov­er­age can be de­nied by in­sur­ance for a num­ber of rea­sons. Un­for­tu­nately, most peo­ple don’t have the tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise to un­der­stand whether the de­nial of cov­er­age is based on a fair as­sess­ment.

In some in­stances, a ben­e­fit is de­nied af­ter two years of cov­er­age when the def­i­ni­tion of LTD changes from an en­ti­tle­ment based on the in­sured’s in­abil­ity to per­form as­pects of the cur­rent job to an en­ti­tle­ment based on the in­sured’s abil­ity to per­form any job. While an ap­peal through the in­sur­ance com­pany is of­ten the first step in pro­tect­ing one’s ben­e­fit, a more fruit­ful ap­proach may be to con­tact a lawyer to de­ter­mine if this is a case that can be won with le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

“Long term dis­abil­ity is a con­tract of in­sur­ance,” says Jee­jeeb­hoy. “It’s about word­ing of the con­tract and whether your med­i­cal records en­ti­tle you to cov­er­age.”

Pa­tients can feel just as over­whelmed when faced with the pos­si­bil­ity of su­ing for med­i­cal mal­prac­tice. The doc­tor pa­tient re­la­tion­ship is built on trust – so what hap­pens when the per­son with whom you placed your life doesn’t per­form their job prop­erly? It can be a huge be­trayal and the prospect of chal­leng­ing health­care pro­fes­sion­als and the med­i­cal field that backs them, can be daunt­ing. Es­pe­cially when the pa­tient is also deal­ing with a health cri­sis.

“Be­ing able to turn to some­one who can deal with this and con­fi­dently man­age your con­cerns in a time of cri­sis is paramount,” says Jee­jeeb­hoy.

When look­ing for le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, Jee­jeeb­hoy of­fers the fol­low­ing ad­vice: • In­ter­view the lawyer to en­sure you’re com­fort­able with him or her. • Con­sider how re­spon­sive the lawyer is to your en­quiry. Are all your ques­tions be­ing an­swered in a timely man­ner? • Re­mem­ber the lawyer works for you and your con­cerns need to be ad­dressed.

Jee­jeeb­hoy stresses that the most im­por­tant rea­son for con­tact­ing a law firm like PJKJ Law is peace of mind. Peo­ple’s lives have of­ten been de­stroyed and cases, such as these, are de­fended very ag­gres­sively by both the in­sur­ance com­pa­nies and the health­care field. It’s im­por­tant that one’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion is pre­pared for this fo­rum.

“When peo­ple come to us, they are in a state of cri­sis and we try to take that bur­den of cri­sis from them,” says Jee­jeeb­hoy. “When they’re fac­ing such un­cer­tainty, we want to give them a sense of com­fort that they have some­body look­ing out for them now.”

PJKJ Law busi­ness hours:

Mon. to Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Week­ends by ap­point­ment only

Left to right: Mar­lene DeMelo, San­dra Per­ron, Zeno­bia Jee­jeeb­hoy, Pheroze Jee­jeeb­hoy, Tricia Doyle and Kim Jee­jeeb­hoy.

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