Sudbury Catastrophic injury Lawyers
The aftermath of a car accident resulting in catastrophic impairments can be fraught with overwhelming physical, emotional, and financial challenges. However, regardless of who was responsible for causing the collision, accident survivors who have been catastrophically injured should be entitled to no-fault accident benefits.
In Ontario, the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) requires all auto insurance plans to include accident benefits coverage for injured motor vehicle accident survivors. Accident benefits provide crucial financial support to drivers, passengers, motorcycle riders, pedestrians, and cyclists who have been injured in accidents.
According to this legislation, the severity of the injuries sustained should determine the amount of accident benefits that should be allocated to individual claimants, as well as the amount of time for which these benefits should be made available. The SABS requires the following accident benefits amounts to be included in all basic auto insurance plans throughout the province:
- $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
Since catastrophically impaired accident victims are entitled to higher levels of coverage, the SABS provides a clear and specific definition as to which injuries meet the threshold of catastrophic impairment. A car accident survivor whose collision resulted in at least one of the following outcomes should be able to receive a catastrophic impairment designation:
- 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
To apply for a designation of catastrophic impairment, a claimant’s physician or a medical expert familiar with their injuries must complete an OCF-19 form to be included along with the applicant’s insurance claim. However, insurers may disregard or dispute the medical opinions and evidence submitted by claimants’ physicians. In doing so, they may require claimants to submit to independent medical examinations to delay or withhold payment of appropriate accident benefits.
Insurance companies might also use a host of coercive tactics to try pressuring injured claimants into accepting lower settlement amounts than what they should be owed. It might seem easier to simply give in to the insurance company’s unfair methods rather than engaging in a potentially long-lasting dispute resolution process.
The challenges of facing catastrophically impaired accident survivors can seem insurmountable, especially when insurance providers refuse to pay what they rightfully owe. However, our Sudbury catastrophic injury lawyers are committed to helping injured members of our community receive fair coverage and treatment from their insurance providers. To learn about options for financial recovery that might be available to you, schedule a free initial consultation with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Sudbury today.
Call Today for Your Free Initial Consultation
During a free initial consultation with our Sudbury catastrophic injury lawyers, you will have the chance to review your case, receive personalized legal feedback, and learn how we may be able to support you throughout this difficult time. To get started, contact us today to schedule your cost-free, no-obligation first meeting with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Sudbury.