June 1, 2016 has come and gone and how have the cuts to the standard level of accident benefits affected claimants? As previously reported, the standard level of $50,000.00 for medical and rehabilitation and $36,000.00 for attendant care has been reduced to a new combined medical and rehabilitation and attendant care amount of $65,000.00 for accidents on and after June 1, 2016.
The amendments also removed the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) testing for brain injuries. The GCS testing is taken at the scene of the accident and at the hospital. Prior to the June 1, 2016 amendments, if the score was nine or less then the injured person would have qualified as catastrophic and would have been entitled to the catastrophic level of benefits. The amendments removed the GCS testing leaving claimants with head injuries insufficient benefits to cover the cost of rehabilitation.
In early October 2016, the CBC news posted an article about Mr. Adam Bari’s motor vehicle accident of June 1, 2016. See article here.
Mr. Bari suffered brain trauma, multiple broken bones and was in a coma for a month. His GCS score was first a three and then rose to an eight. Because the June 1, 2016 amendments removed the use of the GCS testing, this meant Mr. Bari did not qualify for the catastrophic level of accident benefits and he was left with only $86,000.00 of benefits available to him. Upon release from the hospital Mr. Bari required an elevated bed costing $4,000.00, since he could not return to work his drug plan changed, he has a two-hour round trip for hospital visits and will require extensive physical rehabilitation and assistive devices to help him recover.
If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you contact your insurer and purchase optional benefits. With optional benefits you can have up to $1,000,000 available to you for non-catastrophic injuries and not be left in the same terrible financial situation as Mr. Bari with insufficient accident benefits coverage available. Call and get a quote and you may discover it is not that much more expensive to have optional benefits. My own experience, I purchased optional benefits to the maximum available and it only cost me another $40 a year – well worth the peace of mind.
Nicholson Gluckstein Lawyers