Have you recently been hurt in an accident and are confused about how to categorize your injury? Getting medical attention should be your first priority after being hurt in any form of accident including those that happen on the job, a slip and fall injury in a restaurant or grocery store or a vehicle accident.
Understanding the difference between catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries can help you in filing an injury claim and understanding the damage compensation that might be presented to you in the form of a settlement or in a lawsuit.
Understanding Statutory Accident Benefits
Were you aware that you might be entitled to accident benefits through your vehicle insurance carrier even if you didn’t sustain a catastrophic injury? If you live in Ontario, the statutory accident benefits schedule states that Ontario accident benefits can include medical and rehabilitation benefits, attendant care benefits, and income replacement benefits as well.
People who have sustained a catastrophic injury are also eligible for case management services, including support like housekeeping and home maintenance benefits that are paid weekly for the duration of their lifetime in association with a catastrophic injury. Injuries that are designated as catastrophic are typically those that will affect a victim for the remainder of his or her life.
These can include brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and amputation. Catastrophic injuries are frequently associated with months of rehabilitation, recovery time, and even a lifetime of necessary at-home care.
Despite coming to terms with the possibility of not being able to go back to life again, insurance companies will often wrongfully attempt to deny a catastrophic injury claim. This means that it is even more important for you to retain the services of an experienced attorney to recover the maximum benefits possible to help you adjust to life after the accident. You shouldn’t have to worry about medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses because of a catastrophic injury.
Defining Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury refers to a medical condition or set of medical conditions that have significantly impaired your ability to care for yourself or continue living your life in the same way you did prior to the accident.
Catastrophic injury classifications are frequently tied to physical injuries like spinal cord damage, brain injuries, and amputation. Even if you do not have just one catastrophic injury, a combination of lesser injuries could affect your life and could be catastrophic for the impact on your well-being. Mental conditions also associated with your accident can even be combined with physical injuries and therefore, designated catastrophic.
The regulations and rules in Canada defining what can be classified as a catastrophic injury are very complex and an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer in Canada is often necessary to help you navigate this complex process. Auto-insurance in Ontario, for example, is no-fault; meaning that regardless of whether or not you were at-fault for the accident, your insurance should pay out benefits to help with your recovery and lost wages.
The amount you are entitled to in the event of a catastrophic injury is much higher than if you were classified as having non-catastrophic injuries, but most insurance companies have a goal of doing everything they can in order to avoid paying out full accident benefits. Sometimes benefits from your insurance policy might be enough, but it is more often the case that you will need to file a lawsuit in an attempt to recover full and fair compensation with the support of a lawyer.