As you may guess by the sound of it, catastrophic injury claims are definitely the most serious claims that any personal injury lawyer is going to have to deal with throughout his career. As far as the characteristic “catastrophic” goes, it has a special meaning when it is regarded from a legal stand point. The lawyers refer to it as a term from an act which means that it’s of particularly special significance defined by the Insurance Act. If you manage to meet the requirements set forth in the description of the “catastrophic” term, you are going to be eligible for a greater amount of benefits. These include:
· $1,000,000 in benefits for rehabilitation instead of just $50,000 or $3,500 as specified in the Minor Injury Guideline.
· As much as $1,000,000 in benefits for attendant care as opposed to the $36,000 allowed for non-catastrophic claims
· $100 per week for home maintenance and housekeeping as opposed to none for non-catastrophic claims
· $250 per week for claims for caregiver as well as $50 for every single dependant as opposed to none for none-catastrophic injuries.
As you can see, the differences are absolutely dramatic and tremendous when it comes to it. However, as we mentioned above, you have to meet the description of “catastrophic” in order to be eligible for them. How do you do that?
In the first place, a licensed doctor has to fill out and submit the OCF-19 form. It bears the name Application for Determination of Catastrophic Impairment. Now, the entire procedure is extremely complicated and quite frankly, a lot of doctors wouldn’t be able to complete it, simply because they are widely uncomfortable with the terminology which is used in the OCF-19. So, if you are to go through it, you should most certainly arm yourself with quite a lot of patience as it’s going to take months to set up an appointment with a catastrophic determination professional and even more time to get the report done. Once the report is through and you submit it to your insurance company, it’s likely for them to take their sweet time for another month in order to go through the report and digest the information. Keep in mind that these reports often consist of 200 and more pages.
What is more, you can rest assured that the insurance company is almost always going to disagree with the report. Why? Well, because it is their job to do so. Of course, this shouldn’t discourage you and you should, by all means, pursuit the entire amount of your compensation, especially if you’ve been involved in a catastrophic car accident. However, the procedure could be rather tough. However, it is good to have a legal expert handling your claim because they understand all aspects of the tort laws. Thus, work with an experienced lawyer that can evaluate your case and offer to work on contingency basis.