Timmins Catastrophic injury Lawyers
Coping with the fallout of devastating motor vehicle accidents often requires physical stamina, emotional fortitude, and robust financial support. This is particularly true for motor vehicle accident survivors who have sustained catastrophic impairments, who often struggle underneath the burden of their newly acquired, injury-related financial obligations. That is why the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) requires all basic auto insurance plans in the province to include provisions for no-fault accident benefits.
Regardless of who was directly responsible for the accident, anyone injured in a motor vehicle collision in Ontario should be entitled to certain accident benefits to offset the costs of injury-related expenses. The SABS specifies the amount of accident benefits that must be included in all insurance plans. The following accident benefits could be made available to motor vehicle collision survivors depending on the severity of their accident-related injuries:
- $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 catastrophic impairments can be permanent and require ongoing expenses, individuals who have sustained these kinds of injuries are entitled to higher amounts of accident benefits. However, insurers may dispute or deny claims, leaving victims to fight back against unfair practices.
The SABS provides specific eligibility criteria for accident benefits commensurate with catastrophic impairments. To qualify for this level of insurance coverage, individuals must have suffered one of the following outcomes as a result of their accident:
- 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
This standardized eligibility criteria should provide clear factors to be considered by insurers when determining whether an accident benefits claimant meets the threshold of catastrophic impairment. A claimant’s application for a catastrophic impairment designation should be supported by a physician or medical expert familiar with their injuries.
Unfortunately, in spite of the provincially mandated eligibility criteria and recommendations of qualified physicians supporting applicants’ claims, insurance providers often find ways to reduce the amount of accident benefits they offer to catastrophically impaired collision survivors. Insurers might also deny an applicant’s claim for accident benefits for a number of reasons, many of which can seem incomprehensible to individuals struggling to rebuild their lives after sustaining catastrophic impairments.
If you believe your insurer is treating you unfairly, consider scheduling a free initial consultation with our Timmins catastrophic injury lawyers.
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To speak with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Timmins about your experience with your insurer and learn about options that might be available to you, contact us today. During a free initial consultation, our Timmins catastrophic injury lawyers may be able to help you understand your rights and provide insights as to how we may be able to help you through this challenging process. Do not hesitate to call our offices and take advantage of your free initial consultation with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Timmins.