Etobicoke Catastrophic injury Lawyers
Life can change in a blink of an eye. A driver running their daily errands, a passenger accompanying their friend on a road trip, a cyclist commuting to work, a pedestrian walking their children home from school, and indeed any member of the local community can be suddenly and severely injured as the result of an unexpected motor vehicle accident.
The physical, psychological, and financial challenges that follow devastating, life-altering car accidents can be overwhelming for injured survivors, particularly those who have sustained catastrophic impairments. Many catastrophically impaired motor vehicle collision survivors are not financially prepared for a personal calamity. They may struggle to afford the immediate costs required to cope with their injuries and worry about how they will be able to continue supporting themselves and their families in the future.
In Ontario, all basic auto insurance plans are required to include no-fault accident benefits. These insurance benefits are intended to provide support to those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. The amounts of accident benefits vary depending on the severity of the injuries. Accident survivors who sustained catastrophic impairments should be entitled to higher benefits amounts due to the ongoing, pervasive, and expensive costs associated with their injuries.
The costs of accident benefits that must be included in all auto insurance plans provincewide are included in the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). These costs are as follows:
- Accident survivors who have sustained minor injuries: $3,500 in medical and rehabilitation benefits
- Accident survivors who have sustained non-minor, non-catastrophic injuries: $65,000 for the combined total costs of medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits over 5 years
- Accident survivors who have sustained catastrophic injuries: $1 million in combined medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for life
The official definition of “catastrophic impairment” is also provided by the SABS to minimize confusion as to who should be entitled to higher amounts of accident benefits. The provincially mandated eligibility criteria is intended to ensure that those car accident victims whose lives have been most profoundly impacted by their injuries will qualify to receive insurance coverage commensurate with their injuries’ severity.
According to the SABS, a person meets the definition of “catastrophic impairment” if their motor vehicle accident led 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
However, insurance companies often dispute the severity of claims made by catastrophically impaired accident survivors. They may unfairly deny accident benefit claims, or offer accident victims settlement amounts that do not take the full spectrum of their injuries into consideration. Insurers often make claimants undergo independent medical examinations and, occasionally, drawn-out dispute resolution processes as a way of coercing catastrophically impaired car accident survivors to accept less than what they are owed. These manipulative tactics can cause people to feel powerless, afraid, and unsure about their future, adding to the already overwhelming challenges of coping with a catastrophic impairment.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, our Etobicoke catastrophic injury lawyers may be able to help. With over sixty years of experience advocating for accident survivors throughout the province of Ontario, our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Etobicoke are dedicated to helping people who have been mistreated by insurance companies get the accident benefits they are rightfully owed. To learn how our Etobicoke catastrophic injury lawyers may be able to assist you, contact us for a free initial consultation.
Call Today for Your Free Initial Consultation
Our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Etobicoke know that navigating the complex and frustrating process of fighting for fair accident benefits can be overwhelming. That is why we offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients in the local community. If you have been involved in a car accident and have been denied fair coverage, do not hesitate to contact our Etobicoke catastrophic injury lawyers for personalized, case-specific legal advice.