Tag: injury lawyers Toronto

A New Rule In Auto Insurance Changes Coverage Based On Timing

On June 1, 2016, a man who was riding his motorcycle on a rural road southwest of Hamilton, Ontario was hit by a car. The man suffered several broken bones, damages to a few internal organs and brain trauma. He was put in a coma for nearly a month as a result. The injuries were so severe that he was pronounced dead at the scene for a moment.
However, his family did not get the $2 million in compensation that they could have gotten had the accident occurred just a few hours earlier on May 31, 2016, Instead the family got a little less than $100,000 in compensation.
The family is struggling to take care of his medical bills. The family cannot get into a proper drug plan because he is not working due to his injuries. The expenses for constant hospital visits have gone up as well as the added costs associated with traveling an hour each way to a hospital in Hamilton. His wife has also been working less because she’s trying to take care of him in his recovery.
The family has lost so much money and has become unable to make a living that they are facing bankruptcy. The worst part about this is that had the injury occurred a day earlier, the family would have qualified to get more compensation so they would not be in this massive financial bind.
The situation has gotten to where the family may not have enough money from the compensation in time for Christmas. The family is even suing the driver that hit the man’s motorcycle. This is to potentially recover additional costs associated with the man’s health care.
What Caused the Compensation Change?
The compensation for the accident was less than it should have been as Ontario insurance laws had changed. While the family knew that the terms on their policy from Intact Insurance were changing, they were not informed of how the process for evaluating injuries changed. This dramatic change in the policy occurred without warning, thus making it harder for the family to get the compensation they needed.
The original compensation rules stated that a catastrophic injury was listed with a Glasgow Coma Scale rating of nine or less. The GCS is used to determine how functional a person is. The man in this story had a rating of three but eventually moved to an eight when he became more responsive.
Had the accident occurred hours earlier, he would have gotten added benefits because he was deemed to have suffered a catastrophic injury. However, the rules changed to where the GCS is no longer used to determine what compensation someone may have. While trauma teams and hospitals still use the GCS when understanding how to take care of a patient, it is not a point of consideration for insurance purposes.
Brain Trauma Patients Suffer
The worst part about this is that brain trauma patients will not be able to get the compensation that they demand for injuries. The fact that the GCS is not fully utilized like it was in the past especially keeps patients from getting all the services and treatments they require. While CT scans and MRIs may still be used, these are often not conducted until weeks or months after an injury.
Outdated Terms
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario, an organization that reviews insurance functions within the province, stated that the terms used to define what injuries are and aren’t catastrophic were outdated. Specifically, those terms were drafted in 1996.
The organization adjusted those terms in accordance with scientific and medical reporting. This includes reporting designed to state how catastrophic injuries are defined and what signs occur with them.
The fact that people were not informed on how catastrophic injury definitions were changed is a serious concern. This shows that the public had been misled over how injuries are to be reported and reviewed.
Reducing Insurance Costs
In addition, the Ministry of Finance adjusted auto insurance rules as a means of keeping insurance from being expensive around Ontario. These rates were changed by altering the requirements associated for covering certain injuries.
However, this is not good enough for many families that are dealing with serious injury problems and the added costs associated with recovering from an injury. The family discussed earlier has struggled to stay afloat financially as a result of those changes.
This is a concern for all drivers in Canada to be aware of. While the cost associated with insurance might go down for some, the coverage points for injuries will decline as well. This is a significant issue that could cause many families to suffer financially if their loved ones experience serious injuries while on the road.

How long do I have to make a claim or sue for compensation?

Personal injury lawyers understand that when it comes to making a claim, timing is very important. Once an accident occurs, you have one week to notify your insurance company that you will be making a claim. Once you receive the benefit forms from your insurance company, you have 30 days to fill them out and submit them. If you intend to sue the at fault party, you have 120 days after the accident to let them know that you will be suing. While there are a few exceptions, you generally have two years to start the suit of the at fault party for damages for your injuries.

Contacting Personal Injury Lawyers

If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think legal action is needed, it is always a smart idea to speak with an expert who can let you know what your rights are and what you should be expecting in terms of fair compensation.

You’ll also want to know from whom you may receive compensation. Most often, compensation comes from insurance companies for the involved parties, but your personal injury lawyer may be able to identify other liable parties that you had not considered, from whom you may also be able to receive compensation.

At Clarke Law, we understand that getting to a law office may not be your first priority when you are dealing with an injury. Doing so may even be very difficult for you if not impossible depending on the extent of your injuries. That’s why our injury lawyers are willing to consult with you either in your home or at the hospital in order to make it easier for you. We also have offices located in Mississauga and Whitby in order to better serve potential clients who live further afield.

The Nature of Injuries

Sometimes the full impact of an injury may not be realized for weeks, months or even longer. This fact is part of the reason that victims have up to two years to file a claim. But because the full impact of injuries may not be realized right away, it is also important that a personal injury lawyer review any offers that are made to you in order to ensure that that you are not cheated out of any compensation that you may deserve and need.

Just as the physical impact of injuries is not always apparent, neither is the financial impact. You may expect to require in home care for a few weeks and have it end up being a few months. You may think at first that you don’t need help with childcare or housekeeping only to realize later, that some tasks are just too difficult or painful while you are recovering.

Injury lawyers have seen hundreds of cases that are similar to yours. They know from experience what their clients might reasonably expect to need over the course of their recovery.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is strongly advisable to speak with an injury lawyer to determine whether bringing a claim is advisable. If it is, your lawyer will help to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken within the proper timeframe.