In the judgment M … M … c. SAAQ, after being struck by a motor vehicle, the applicant retains significant sequelae in the knee limiting him in his daily activities. While he used to be very active, he now spends whole days in front of the television, he no longer shows spontaneity and enthusiasm as usual and he is often irritable. It appears from the evidence presented that, as a result of the accident, the applicant has lost his bearings and does not have the resilience or adaptability to respond to the stress of his new condition.
The peculiarity of this case is that the applicant has an intellectual deficit, making medical assessment difficult as it is practically impossible to question him. In order to come to the diagnosis of an adjustment disorder, the psychiatrist must therefore request the participation of the applicant’s brother to fully understand the changes that occurred in his life following the accident.
In the decision, the Tribunal acknowledges the existence of an adjustment disorder and mentions in its reasons that, although it is not 100% convinced of the validity of this diagnosis, the applicant’s burden of proof must be reasonable and cannot be expected to be virtually impossible to prove. Since the applicant does not have the intellectual capacity to demonstrate maladaptation, the Court considers that the burden becomes almost impossible to prove and that is why he accepts to consider circumstantial evidence, that is, his brother’s testimony. Indeed, not to do so “would be tantamount to denying people with intellectual disabilities the same rights as those granted to the general population. “
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