Sault Ste. Marie Catastrophic injury Lawyers
Living through the aftermath of a car accident that causes catastrophic impairment can feel like an insurmountable challenge. The impact of such a traumatic event can affect every aspect of a survivor’s life, from their physical abilities to their mental health. Additionally, catastrophically impaired motor vehicle accident survivors and their families may feel the strain financially, as they struggle to reacclimate to life with devastating, injury-related financial losses.
In Ontario, no-fault accident benefits can serve as a lifeline for catastrophically impaired motor vehicle accident victims. Regardless of who was responsible for the collision, the accident benefits available to injured car accident victims can provide some financial relief and security, as they cover certain costs associated with the injuries they sustained as a result of their traumatic experience.
The amount of accident benefits available to injured car accident survivors depends on the severity of the injuries caused by their collisions. These amounts are mandated in the province’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS), and are 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
Insurers take several factors into consideration when assessing policyholders’ claims for accident benefits. In order to receive the highest amount of accident benefits coverage, claimants must be able to prove that their injuries meet the threshold of “catastrophic impairment.”
Ontario’s SABS also provides a definition for the term “catastrophic impairment.” By doing so, it makes it clear who should qualify for higher accident benefits coverage. Any victim of a motor vehicle collision who has sustained at least one of the following criteria should fit the SABS’ definition of catastrophic impairment:
- 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
Accident benefits are meant to provide ongoing support to catastrophically impaired accident survivors, helping them manage their newly acquired medical conditions and the costs associated with them throughout their lifetime. However, insurance companies do not always provide catastrophically impaired accident benefits claimants with coverage commensurate with their injuries’ severity.
If an insurer disputes the claim of a catastrophically impaired accident survivor, the injured party may be required to undergo independent medical examinations conducted by other physicians and healthcare providers. Insurers may use findings from these evaluations to deny a policyholder’s accident benefits claim or offer them far less coverage than they are owed. They may also threaten to engage in daunting and drawn-out dispute resolution processes to pressure the applicant into accepting a lower amount.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, our Sault Ste. Marie catastrophic injury lawyers may be able to represent your best interests in negotiations and other dispute resolution processes with our insurance provider. Our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Sault Ste. Marie are dedicated to standing up for the rights of injured accident survivors in the region to help them get the compensation they deserve. To learn more, book your free initial consultation by contacting us today.
Don’t Hesitate – Call Us Today
For more than sixty years, Preszler Injury Lawyers have stood up to the unfair tactics used by insurance companies to withhold essential funds from the policyholders who need it the most. To discuss your case with our Sault Ste. Marie catastrophic injury lawyers and receive personalized feedback, contact us today and take advantage of your free initial consultation.