Waterloo Catastrophic injury Lawyers
Commuting to work, picking the kids up from school, walking to class on the university campus are regular daily activities for Waterloo residents. Unfortunately, when motor vehicle accidents occur, these regular activities can turn into life-changing events, especially for those who sustain catastrophic impairments as a result.
In addition to the physical and psychological hardships that typically ensue after surviving a debilitating motor vehicle collision, catastrophically impaired accident victims frequently face substantial challenges when dealing with insurance providers, especially when it comes to determining whether their injuries meet the definition of “catastrophic impairment.” This term has a specific, legal definition and is associated with higher amounts of accident benefits than those available to accident survivors with less severe injuries.
In Ontario, the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) legislates the mandatory accident benefits coverage that must be included in all basic auto insurance plans provincewide. The mandated coverage amounts are based on the severity of the injuries sustained by motor vehicle accident survivors. Catastrophically impaired accident survivors are, therefore, entitled to the highest amounts of accident benefits.
The SABS is also a piece of legislation that provides specific criteria for accident-related injuries in order for them to be considered “catastrophic impairments.” In order for a motor vehicle accident victim to meet the threshold of catastrophic impairment, their collision must have caused them to sustain at least one of the following:
- 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
Motor vehicle collision survivors whose injuries meet the threshold of catastrophic impairment are eligible for the highest level of accident benefits coverage. These permanently and severely injured accident survivors should be entitled to $1 million in combined medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for life.
The accident benefits available to motor vehicle accident survivors who have sustained less severe injuries are substantially lower. While some policyholders may choose to purchase additional coverage, in accordance with the Ontario SABS, all basic auto insurance plans include the following coverage:
- Non-minor, non-catastrophic injuries: $65,000 for the combined total costs of medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for 5 years
- Minor injuries: $3,500 in medical and rehabilitation benefits
Unfortunately, insurance providers do not always provide claimants with accident benefits amounts that are commensurate with their injuries’ severity. If an insurer believes a catastrophically impaired accident survivor’s injuries do not meet the threshold, they could dispute or even deny their claim for accident benefits.
Insurance providers may dispute whether an applicant’s injuries meet the threshold of catastrophic impairment for a variety of reasons. If your insurance provider has disputed your claim, they may require you to supply additional documentation or submit to independent medical assessments. They may also attempt to negotiate a settlement for a lower amount of accident benefits.
It is important to remember that you have the right to legal representation throughout this process. Our Waterloo catastrophic injury lawyers may be able to help you fight for the amount of benefits that you are rightfully owed. To learn more about your options, contact us today.
Call Our Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Serving Waterloo Today
In the aftermath of a traumatic motor vehicle accident that ends in catastrophic impairments, the path forward can seem confusing, overwhelming, and expensive. Our Waterloo catastrophic injury lawyers have experience fighting on behalf of the clients we represent so that they can get fair treatment and fair coverage from insurance providers who should have their best interests in mind. To learn more about working with our catastrophic injury lawyers serving Waterloo, call us today and receive a free initial consultation on your case.