Residents of Ontario use a SABS, when referring to the Province’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. SABS arranges for the delivery of specific benefits to anyone that has been injured in a given accident. Each injured victim becomes eligible for those benefits, regardless of who has been declared responsible for that injury-causing incident.
What payments does SABS make, and how large is each of them?
• Reimbursement for medical treatments for up to 5 years.
• Income replacement: 70% of the prior earnings, up to a maximum of $400/week.
• Non-earner benefit for 2 years, if the victim is not employed.
• Survivors’ benefit: $25,000 for loss of a spouse; $10,000 for loss of dependent; $6,000 for funeral expenses
Victims needing a caregiver receive $250/week. The total amount paid depends on the nature of the victim’s injury. Those with a minor injury cannot receive more than $65,000. That must cover the costs for medical care, rehabilitation care and attendant services. Those with catastrophic injuries cannot receive more than one million dollars, unless they had purchased optional coverage.
How does the cap on benefits change for those with optional coverage?
It allows those with a minor injury to receive as much as $130,000. It allows those with catastrophic impairments to receive as much as 2 million dollars.
What types of injuries qualify as catastrophic impairments?
• Vision loss
• Traumatic brain injury
• A severe ambulatory impairment
• Impairment of at least 55% of the victim’s body, or of that percent of the body’s functions.
Some severe medical problems have been classed as minor injuries.
For instance, an accident victim with a concussion can get no more than $65,000 from SABS, unless that same victim has purchased optional coverage. Even then, the total amount available comes to only $130,000. There are also special conditions to be met by victims that claim to have suffered vision loss, as the result of an accident. The loss must make both eyes unable to function above the level observed in someone that is legally blind.
How do personal injury lawyers offer help to victims that need more benefits?
The cap is on benefits for pain and suffering, but not for income replacement. Consequently, an Injury Lawyer in Richmond Hill must argue that an injured client faces a future in which he or she has to deal with a diminished earning potential. Proof of that fact can increase the size of the awarded income replacement. In addition, lawyers can focus on more than just the days that the client was home recovering. An attorney might point out the client’s lack of ability to add to the funds in a 401k account, or the absence of an opportunity to earn an annual bonus.