Brockville Catastrophic injury Lawyers
When unexpected, traumatic motor vehicle collisions occur, in the blink of an eye, a person’s life can be changed forever. Victims of motor vehicle accidents who sustain catastrophic impairments often face extraordinary challenges. In addition to struggling to cope with their new physical realities, catastrophically impaired car accident survivors often face difficulties relating to both their mental health and their finances.
Sustaining severe, permanent injuries can be extremely costly. Between medical expenses, attendant care services, essential lifestyle adjustments, home renovations to accommodate newly acquired disabilities, lost wages, reduced future earning capabilities, and other common financial losses incurred by motor vehicle accident survivors, catastrophically impaired people may find it challenging to keep up with their new financial obligations.
In accordance with Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS), all basic auto insurance plans in the province must include no-fault accident benefits coverage. Regardless of which party was responsible for causing the collision, anyone who was injured as a result should be eligible to receive accident benefits to offset the costs of their injury-related financial losses.
Accident victims are entitled to different amounts of accident benefits based on the severity of the injuries they sustained. Per the province’s SABS, the coverage amounts that must be included in all basic auto insurance plans in Ontario are as follows:
- Minor injuries: $3,500 in medical and rehabilitation benefits
- Non-minor, non-catastrophic injuries: $65,000 for the combined total costs of medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits over 5 years
- Catastrophic injuries: $1 million in combined medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care for life benefits
Since their injuries are associated with substantially higher and more ongoing costs, catastrophically impaired motor vehicle accident survivors are entitled to the highest amount of accident benefits. In order to clarify which injuries insurers should consider “catastrophic,” the SABS provides a specific definition of the term “catastrophic impairment.” Motor vehicle collision survivors may meet the threshold of catastrophic impairment if their accidents resulted in at least one of the following permanent, severe 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
When submitting a claim for accident benefits, catastrophically impaired applicants should consult with a physician who is familiar with their injuries and qualified to provide an opinion about their prognosis. This physician should complete an OCF-19 form encouraging their patient’s insurance provider to approve a designation of catastrophic impairment and, therefore, allow them to receive higher amounts of accident benefits.
Unfortunately, insurance providers do not always agree with physicians’ findings. When this happens, they may ask the claimant to undergo independent medical evaluations, participate in lengthy, time-consuming dispute resolution processes, and/or deny their claims for accident benefits.
Our Brockville catastrophic injury lawyers know how frustrating, disheartening, and legitimately frightening it can be to receive a denial for an accident benefits claim. If your insurance company refuses to pay you what you are rightfully owed, by working with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Brockville, you may be able to recover the accident benefits you deserve. To learn more, contact us and schedule a free initial consultation.
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Dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath of a severe, injury-causing accident can be confusing, overwhelming, and unpleasant. Our Brockville catastrophic injury lawyers strive to make the process of fighting for fair coverage as simple and straightforward as possible.
To receive your free initial consultation with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Brockville and learn about options that might be available to you, call us today.