When you are seriously injured in an auto accident or other incident, it can change the whole course of your life and create unexpected burdens. Ontario’s auto insurance laws recognize this, and they require insurers to provide catastrophic impairment benefits to people who have suffered a life-altering injury. However, insurance companies have a financial incentive to deny claims for these benefits, even if your injury has left you severely disabled.
The most common questions we hear from clients with Ontario catastrophic injury claims is, “But this is MY insurance company! Shouldn’t they be helping me?”
Types of Catastrophic Injury
To qualify for catastrophic impairment benefits, your injury must meet the definitions set by Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, or SABS. The specific definitions for catastrophic impairment can be complex, but they usually involve an injury that negatively impacts your ability to care for yourself.
Find Out More About Catastrophic Injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Services From Our Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Contact Us Today
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, are among the most frightening catastrophic injuries you can receive. Your motor skills, your emotions, even your personality can be affected by a mild to severe trauma to your head. A sufficiently severe injury can leave you dependent on long-term medical care and incapable of financially supporting yourself.
While the cause of your traumatic brain injury is often easy to determine, the extent of those injuries is another matter. Symptoms of a TBI can range from the mild signs associated with a concussion to severe mental and physical disabilities. These depend upon a number of factors, and may require a specialist to correctly diagnose them.
Severity of neurological injuries is often measured on the Glasgow Coma Scale, a 15-point measuring system which looks at:
- Eye Response: The type of stimuli needed for your eyes to open, if they open at all.
- Verbal Response: Your ability to speak in fluent and normal-sounding sentences.
- Motor Response: Your range and complexity of motion in response to external stimuli.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is often important because it’s frequently used by insurance companies to determine the level of compensation you receive. If a doctor diagnoses you incorrectly, or a claim adjustor downgrades your scale level for no reason, you could lose large amounts of money.
Services From Our Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys
Choosing a brain injury lawyer is important, because experienced ones can catch issues with your care before they have a negative effect on your life. You may not expect your legal team to take such a large investment in your well-being, but it’s an important part of the services they provide.
A competent brain injury lawyer should be able to:
- Answer any questions about your traumatic brain injury.
- Represent the wishes and interests of a client who is in a coma or brain-dead.
- Keep you informed about developments in your case.
- Gather and present evidence for a civil hearing.
- Earn your trust.
- Take a close interest in the level of care you are receiving.
At Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers, we take a team approach to the legal process. Our staff, case managers, and lawyers have the collective medical knowledge necessary to create an individualized plan of care for your needs. We’ll be sure to get you an appropriate level of care, something you don’t want to leave to an insurance company.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The after-effects of a single catastrophic injury to your spine can cause enough pain and complications to last a lifetime. Even if a spinal injury is not severe enough to leave you paralyzed, you can suffer chronic pain throughout your body and lose a significant degree of motion in your limbs. It is imperative that you receive enough compensation to deal with these effects.
Living with a catastrophic back injury can make it difficult to run, walk, or even stand up in some cases. If you had a job that involved lifting heavy objects, you may be unable to return to it, which can cause financial hardship and psychological issues.
When recovering from a serious back or spinal injury, your expenses may include:
- Basic medical treatment
- Long-term physical therapy
- Psychological counseling
- Change or modification of residence to accommodate disabilities
- Lost wages during treatment/recovery
- Permanent or temporary at-home care
If your spinal injury happened because of the actions or negligence of another, you shouldn’t have to pay for these expenses (and others) out of your own pocket. Competent spinal injury lawyers should do their best to help you receive compensation from the person or company whose negligence caused your injury in the first place.
There are few catastrophic injuries that can affect your life as much as the amputation of a limb. In addition to losing certain physical abilities, victims of amputation often experience psychological trauma associated with their accident. If your amputation occurred in an auto accident or due to another’s negligence, you are likely entitled to receive damages or catastrophic impairment benefits for your loss.
When you are learning to live without the use of one or more limbs, the costs can add up: In addition to treating and healing your limb, you will likely need physical and psychological therapy to deal with the aftereffects. It’s important to get your injury classified as a catastrophic impairment so you get all the additional help you need from the insurance company, which is in addition to their paying for your lost wages, medical care, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Catastrophic amputation injuries qualify for additional benefits not normally available for other injury claims, such as:
- Attendant care
- Therapy and possibly a prosthesis for your amputated limb
- Caregivers who can help with personal care or childcare
- Help with housekeeping and home maintenance
- Extra coverage for care and rehabilitation
- Loss of opportunity, if relevant
Many people who suffer from a severe amputation injury find that this extra help is essential, especially in the early stages of recovery. Legal representation can help secure these benefits, leaving you free to recover as one of our personal injury lawyers continues to advance your claim.
Living with Your Catastrophic Amputation Injury
The good news is that most amputation injuries qualify as catastrophic. Since 2010, the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule has defined catastrophic amputation as “the amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of an arm or a leg,” a definition that covers most major amputations.
However, the level of care you require will vary greatly depending on the specifics of the amputation. Here’s where you need attorneys at Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers, who know the ins and outs of the healthcare and insurance worlds. Our professional legal team will help you decide on a plan of care that meets the needs of your injury and returns you to a functional state as soon as possible.
One of the worst-case scenarios in a spinal cord injury is for you to end up paralyzed. Paralysis is a permanent condition that leaves you with no ability to feel or move anything beneath the injury to your spine. The long-term effects and financial burden of paralysis can be medically and fiscally debilitating over the long term.
While there are medical conditions that can attack your neuromuscular system and cause paralysis, most incidents happen due to sudden physical trauma. Your spinal cord is a strong and remarkably well-protected part of your body, but a sufficiently heavy blow can break the vertebrae and sever the cord permanently. There are a few common sources for such a blow.
Common causes of paralysis include:
- Auto accidents
- Physical violence
- Work injuries
- Slip and falls
Attorneys from Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers can help you bear the cost of your long-term disability by filing suit against the responsible parties and making sure you receive an equitable settlement from your insurance. Insurance adjustors are supposed to represent your claim fairly, but in the end, it’s the insurance company that signs their paychecks. Our lawyers can make sure there is no conflict of interest in the handling of your claim.
Contact our Attorneys Today
At Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers, our concern is not only to secure you a large payout from your insurance company, but also to obtain the best possible medical outcome so you are able to recover as much as possible. Our staff, attorneys, and case managers all have a great deal of knowledge about the healthcare industry, and we will put this to use while working for you.
A fixture of the Hamilton, Ontario community for the last 40 years, Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers has the right people and the right approach to help you gain compensation for your back and spinal injury. We have been helping individuals in this community for decades, and we want to help you too.
Located close to the communities of Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Burlington, Stoney Creek and elsewhere in Southern Ontario, Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers wants to make it easy for you to collect the benefits you are owed under the law. If your insurance company isn’t helping you, we will be sure to do so. Contact us at (855) 862-7258 for a free legal consultation.