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Mar 21, 2017 in News Accident Benefits Claims

Accident Benefits Claims: The difficult question of accident benefits qualification

person in wheelchair

Accident benefits lawyers work to secure their clients’ access to the benefits they need for a successful recovery. Individuals who suffer serious injuries may require substantial medical, rehabilitative and therapeutic attention to regain control of their lives. In cases where a full recovery is impossible, the injured person may require significant financial aid over a long period of time.

Despite their clients’ sometimes desperate needs, securing access to accident benefits is not always an easy task for accident benefits lawyers. Insurance companies are known to hire biased medical professionals to produce patient assessments that underestimate the level of care the victim may need. At other times, especially in cases involving acquired mental illness, physicians are simply unprepared to accurately measure individuals’ level of impairment.

The problem with subjective medical assessments

A January study produced by researchers from Switzerland, the Netherlands, and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario found ‘high disagreement among medical experts assessing disability claims,’ the Hamilton Spectator reports. The notion that independent medical assessments may determine the long-term well-being of injury victims is seen by the researchers as “disconcerting.”

“If you have two professionals and they assess the same individual, they very often do not agree on whether that person can return to work or not,” Jason Busse, one of the study’s authors and a insurance medicine research at McMaster, told the Spectator. “You have this problem where you’ve got large numbers of individuals being referred for these assessments and it’s quite influential in their lives and the evidence suggest the results often depends on who does it.”

The study also examined insurance companies’ involvement in medical assessments and found ‘disagreement among evaluators … in nearly two-thirds of studies that took place in an insurance setting.’ This is an issue with which accident benefits lawyers are exceedingly familiar: Can doctors who are paid by insurers be trusted to return results that harm their employers?

Benefits for mental illness

Today, access to accident benefits is tilted towards survivors of physical injury. Diagnosing and quantifying these injuries is a relatively straightforward process. However, mental illness is a common side effect of physical injury, and can have far-reaching, long-lasting effects.

Referring to the Canada Revenue Agency’s Disability Tax Credit, psychiatrist Dr. Ariel Shafro, speaking with the Toronto Star, outlined the difficulties faced by Canadians with mental illness for: “There are many Canadians with serious mental illness who, experts say, are missing out on benefits and tax breaks because of the way doctors interpret CRA requirements, which can seem to favour the physical over the psychological.”

It is challenging to define ‘disability,’ especially in the context of mental health.

“It’s how they’ve constructed the term ‘disability in our minds, both amongst lay people but also clinicians,” said Centre for Addiction and Mental Health physician-in-chief Dr. Vicky Stergiopoulos to the Star. “Many physicians are not comfortable (approving) disability benefits … for people with mental health conditions.”

Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers’ accident benefits lawyers can help

Whether you are suffering from the mental or physical ramifications of a personal injury, Neinstein’s team of accident benefits lawyers is here to fight for your rights. We can help you better understand your legal situation and advise you on your path to accessing the accident benefits to which you are entitled.

Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Stacy Koumarelas

Partner, Personal Injury &
Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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Area of Expertise

Accident Benefit Dispute

 

Accident benefits, or "no-fault" benefits, are available to anyone involved in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we can help advance your accident benefit claim while providing you and your family with the guidance and resources necessary to focus on your recovery. Our accident benefits lawyers based in the Toronto region will act as your advocate and trusted advisor in all matters related to personal injury litigation.

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Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Stacy Koumarelas

Partner, Personal Injury &
Medical Malpractice Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Accident Benefit Dispute

 

Accident benefits, or "no-fault" benefits, are available to anyone involved in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we can help advance your accident benefit claim while providing you and your family with the guidance and resources necessary to focus on your recovery. Our accident benefits lawyers based in the Toronto region will act as your advocate and trusted advisor in all matters related to personal injury litigation.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


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At Neinstein we have been advocating for injured victims for over 50 years. Our committed and compassionate team will do everything necessary to help you and your family find solutions to the new challenges that arise from serious injuries.

Our team will ensure you access the proper healthcare support to aid in your recovery. While you focus on your rehabilitation, we will thoroughly investigate your case and guide you through the litigation process so we can achieve the maximum compensation that you deserve.