People involved in extremely serious car accidents may end up suffering from a catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries are life-changing events, and victims often suffer from a significant reduction in quality of life for years afterwards. While some catastrophic injuries may heal over time, in the vast majority of cases these injuries stay with a person for the rest of his life and often prevent him from returning to work or from being able to perform basic tasks. Because of the nature of these injuries, victims are often entitled to much higher benefit claims than other accident victims. However, while Ontario law does provide specific guidelines about what is considered a catastrophic injury, making claims on such injuries is not always easy. Anybody who has suffered from a catastrophic injury and needs to make a claim will need the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond.
If you are suffering from an injury as a result of a catastrophic accident, a personal injury lawyer from our team can help you seek compensation. We service the following areas in and beyond the GTA:
Important Things to Know About Catastrophic Accidents
Ontario law provides six definitions of what can be considered a catastrophic injury. The definitions are paralysis, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, that leaves a person unable to use some or all of his limbs or torso; amputation that results in complete loss of function of an arm or leg; complete loss of vision in both eyes; severe brain impairment, such as suffering from a vegetative state; a combination of impairments that results in a 55 percent impairment of an entire person; or, any marked or extreme impairment caused by a mental or behavioural disorder.
While some catastrophic injuries, such as amputation, may appear fairly straightforward to diagnose, other injuries will require a much more thorough medical process to determine if they qualify as catastrophic. Brain impairments and impairments due to mental and behavioural disorders are classified according to legally accepted scales. If a person suffering a catastrophic impairment is misdiagnosed then the implications for the victim, including available financial compensation, could be devastating. Victims of catastrophic injuries should seek legal advice as quickly as possible as a personal injury lawyer will often be able to see to it that the victim gets a proper diagnosis and, if need be, a second opinion from another qualified medical professional.
Sufferers of catastrophic industries are entitled to benefits that are much higher than what most other car crash victims are entitled to. Medical and rehabilitation benefits are capped at $1,000,000, as are claims for attendant care. Additionally, suffering from a catastrophic injury can often extend the period of receiving other claims, such as income replacement benefits and caregiver benefits, especially if the injury means that finding employment after a certain period of time is unlikely. Finally, while catastrophic injury benefits may seem high, the associated cost of treating and dealing with such injuries means that for many sufferers this money may not be enough. In motor vehicle accidents, issues of liability may arise if the other driver, or even the vehicle’s manufacturer, were at least partially at fault for the crash. Dealing with a catastrophic injury is both emotionally and financially draining, and it is important to hold any at-fault parties responsible in order to help ease this burden. Fighting for compensation after a catastrophic injury, however, cannot be done alone, and one of the first steps victims should take is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer about what options are available.