Belleville Catastrophic injury Lawyers
If you were recently injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may have already begun the complex process of claiming accident benefits. It is a process that can be tedious, confusing, and challenging, especially for people who sustained catastrophic impairments as a result of their collisions. Without the assistance of catastrophic injury lawyers, it can be difficult to get the insurance coverage you deserve.
In Ontario, the term “catastrophic impairment” is a term that is legally defined by the province’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedules (SABS). It refers to injuries sustained as the result of motor vehicle accidents leading to one or more of the following outcomes:
- Paraplegia or Tetraplegia
- Severe impairment of ambulatory mobility or use of an arm; or Amputation
- Loss of Vision of Both Eyes
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) meeting the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOS-E) criteria
- Physical Impairment or Combination of Physical Impairments (which results in 55% or more of whole person)
- Mental or Behavioural Impairment (excluding Traumatic Brain Injury) Combined with a Physical Impairment (which results in 55% or more impairment of the whole person)
- Marked impairment in three or more areas of function that precludes useful functioning; or an Extreme impairment in one or more areas of functioning due to mental or behavioural disorder
The SABS also determines the amount of accident benefits that should be made available to accident victims based on their injuries’ severity. Accident benefits are intended to offset the injury-related costs incurred by the people involved in motor vehicle collisions.
All basic auto insurance plans in the province must provide the mandatory minimum accident benefits coverage legislated in the Ontario SABS. The amount of accident benefits available to survivors of motor vehicle accidents differs based on the severity of the injuries sustained. For individuals who are deemed catastrophically impaired, the benefits are significantly higher compared to those with non-catastrophic injuries. The breakdown of available accident benefits is as follows:
- $3,500 in medical and rehabilitation benefits for accident victims who sustained minor injuries
- $65,000 over 5 years for the combined total costs of medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for accident victims who sustained non-minor, non-catastrophic injuries
- $1 million for life in combined medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for accident victims who sustained catastrophic injuries
In order to apply for the coverage they are owed, catastrophically injured survivors of motor vehicle accidents are required to submit an Application for Determination of Catastrophic Impairment along with their insurance claim. This OCF-19 form must be completed by the applicant’s attending physician or another healthcare professional familiar with their situation and prognosis. It should include pertinent information about the individual’s injuries, treatment plans, and functional limitations to be assessed by the applicant’s insurer.
Unfortunately, insurance providers may dispute whether an applicant’s injuries meet the threshold of catastrophic impairment. Even after reviewing the information supplied by the applicant’s healthcare provider, insurance providers may argue that the impairment is not severe or permanent, or that it does not meet the criteria for catastrophic impairment as defined by the SABS.
Disputing, delaying, or denying claims for accident benefits can cause catastrophically impaired victims of serious motor vehicle collisions to experience mental, emotional, and financial stress.
Recovering from catastrophic injuries can be emotionally and physically challenging, and dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming. Having our Belleville catastrophic injury lawyers by your side may help alleviate the stress and ensure that your best interests are represented. To learn more about working with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Belleville, contact us today and receive a free initial consultation.
Call Preszler Injury Lawyers Today
After being involved in a car accident causing catastrophic impairment, it is only natural to have questions about the insurance coverage available to you, and the options for financial compensation you may be able to pursue. Our Belleville catastrophic injury lawyers are passionate about helping members of the local community understand their rights.
For more than sixty years, we have fought on behalf of catastrophically impaired motor vehicle collision survivors to help them get the resources they deserve. To take advantage of your free initial consultation, call Preszler Injury Lawyers and learn how we may be able to help.