Any type of motor vehicle accident may seem like a catastrophic event to the involved parties. There’s no denying that even minor vehicle accidents can provide a level of inconvenience that may seem catastrophic to the people involved in the accident. However, what may seem like catastrophic to the individuals involved may not fit the legal definition of catastrophic in connection to a motor vehicle accident.
The legal definition is complex when it comes to personal injury lawsuits, and it’s defined by Ontario legislation. Due to the complicated nature of personal injury law, it’s important to make sure you get an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Milton if you find yourself injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident. A skilled lawyer will be able to help you determine if the injuries you’ve sustained fit the legal definition of catastrophic. And if the injuries do, a skilled personal injury lawyer will make sure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to receive.
Be aware than in Ontario, the standard vehicle insurance policy provides accident benefits to anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident regardless of who is responsible for the accident. Fault is irrelevant to coverage. This is because benefits are defined by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule regulation.
Severity of Injuries
To fit the legal definition of a catastrophic vehicle accident, the injuries sustained need to be very severe. A catastrophic injury generally needs to involve one of the following: total or permanent loss of use of a limb, blindness in both eyes, brain damage that results in a score of 9 or lower on the Glasgow Coma scale, marked or extreme impairment as a result of mental or behavioral problem caused by the accident, or a 5o percent whole person impairment.
Severe psychological damage and chronic pain can be considered catastrophic under certain circumstances. Legislation sets out conditions for these types of injuries in order for them to qualify as catastrophic. The conditions may be open to interpretation which is why it’s important to make sure you have effective legal representation if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident.
Catastrophic Designation and Benefits
A catastrophic designation will have a significant impact on the amount of money or benefits you’re entitled to receive. The bigger and more life altering the injury, the bigger the potential monetary compensation to make up for what the injured person would be missing out on life due to the injury.
Someone who has catastrophic injuries will need to receive more intense care. This means that the available limits for attendant care benefits and medical and rehabilitation benefits will be much higher for someone who has experienced a catastrophic injury. For example, the medical benefits for non-catastrophic injuries is $50,000 while a catastrophic injury can receive medical benefits for one million dollars. A case manager will also be funded to assist in coordinating good and services needed as a result of the injuries.
Medical evidence is needed to prove a catastrophic designation as a result of a vehicle accident. Insurance companies often fight against this type of designation due to the increased costs so sometimes additional medical examinations are necessary to prove the level of injuries sustained.