When lawyers in Ontario get asked about the Province’s definition for a catastrophic injury, those members of the legal profession refer the questioner to Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. According to that Schedule, a catastrophic injury is one that burdens the victim with life-changing challenges. The challenged victims must have been in a motor vehicle accident.
Examples of the victims’ injuries:
• Amputation of an arm or a leg
• An impairment of some body part/function that deprives the victim of the ability to use an arm or a leg
• Blindness in both eyes
• Brain damage that produces a score of 9 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale
• Impairment to 55% or more of the victim’s whole body
• Development of a marked or extreme impairment
• Chronic pain
• Severe psychological damage
Why do lawyers in Ontario have a special interest in the sorts of medical conditions that have been included in the above list?
An accident victim that must meet the challenges created by the need to deal with such a condition can claim a maximum of $1,000,000.00 in accident benefits. The Car Accident Lawyer in Cambridge representing such a client strives to win an award that comes as close as possible to the maximum amount.
A lawyer’s support can also help a challenged victim to enjoy a second benefit that Canada offers to anyone that was burdened with a catastrophic injury, after having been involved in a motor vehicle accident. That second benefit concerns the availability of attendant care. Eligible victims can expect to have such care for a longer amount of time, than those with less serious medical problems.
What evidence can support a lawyer’s claim that a client’s life has been altered by the burden created through development of a serious medical problem?
An attorney with such a client needs to provide the court with a medical report. That report should offer details on the exact nature of the client’s problem/injury. Ideally, that report shows the readiness of the victim/client to seek medical help as soon as possible, following occurrence of the reported accident.
In a courtroom situation, the report’s contents get studied by the judge. It then becomes the judge’s responsibility to determine whether or not the lawyer’s client has an injury that appears to be of a catastrophic nature. At the same time, the judge’s assessment of the injury’s nature reflects any evidence of the victim’s/client’s readiness to seek medical assistance.
In the absence of such evidence, the defense could counter the plaintiff’s/client’s claim. The attorney for the defendant might argue that the plaintiff’s injury got worse, following the accident, because the plaintiff had failed to visit a facility that was equipped to offer both diagnostic procedures and a reliable treatment.