St. Catharines Catastrophic injury Lawyers
Most people who are involved in sudden and unexpected motor vehicle collisions are not prepared for the financial burdens associated with catastrophic impairments. These injuries can result in lifelong costs and acute financial losses that have the ability to impact the economic stability of both an accident victim and their dependents.
The financial losses incurred by catastrophically impaired motor vehicle collision survivors can be related to the loss of wages and the loss of future income as an unfortunate side effect of a reduced earning capacity. They can also be related to medical expenses, rehabilitative treatments and therapies, home modifications, the costs of attendant care, and other ongoing costs that continue affecting the injured survivors of motor vehicle accidents throughout their entire lifetimes.
In order to offset the costs of injury-related financial losses, all basic auto insurance plans in the province of Ontario should provide a prescribed amount of accident benefits to all injured survivors of motor vehicle collisions. The amounts of benefits to which each individual accident survivor is entitled should be commensurate with the severity of the injuries they have sustained. As such, catastrophically impaired accident survivors should be entitled to the highest accident benefits amounts available.
Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) determines the amounts of accident benefits that must be included in all of the province’s basic auto insurance plans depending on the claimant’s injuries. These amounts are:
- $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
The SABS also determines which injured accident survivors should receive a designation of catastrophic impairment from their insurance provider. According to this definition, anyone who has sustained at least one of the following conditions as a result of a motor vehicle accident should be entitled to accident benefits commensurate with catastrophic impairments:
- 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, despite the clarity of this eligibility criteria, insurance companies still find ways to deny or dispute the claims of catastrophically impaired accident benefits claimants. Even when supplied with supporting evidence and expert medical opinions from healthcare providers familiar with the applicant’s injuries, insurance companies may still look for reasons to offer unfairly low settlement amounts to claimants who meet the qualifications for a catastrophic impairment designation.
Our St. Catharines catastrophic injury lawyers have combined decades of experience dealing with the unfair tactics used by insurance providers to pressure car accident victims into accepting unfairly low settlement amounts. We are committed to helping injured members of the local community receive fair compensation and fair treatment from their insurance providers. To learn how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to assist you, contact us today and schedule a free initial consultation with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving St. Catharines.
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Our St. Catharines catastrophic injury lawyers are here to help injured community members navigate the complex insurance landscape after being injured in serious accidents. Take advantage of your free initial consultation to learn more about how we may be able to assist you on your path to recovery.