Navigating Insurance Coverage for Catastrophic Injuries: Tips for Maximizing Compensation

Navigating Insurance Coverage for Catastrophic Injuries: Tips for Maximizing Compensation

Written by: Brandon Pedersen, and Mandeep Tamber, Student-At-Law

The first step in maximizing compensation for any injury, and especially catastrophic injuries, is to make sure you pick the right team of legal representatives. How do you know if you are picking the right legal team? With several personal injury law firms out there, it is important to pick one that will see you as a human, and not as a file number. It is also important to pick one that will keep you well informed and feeling supported throughout the legal process and beyond, which is often over the course of many years.

The following guidelines can assist you in coming to a decision:

  • Recognition in the legal community – Has the personal injury firm been recognized for its achievements? This can include recognition by LEXPERT, a Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory List; Best Lawyers in Canada, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, and the Law Society of Ontario.
  • Experience with Personal Injury Cases – Select a firm that only handles personal injury cases, as opposed to firms that practice many areas of law. A lawyer practicing only personal injury law comes with knowledge and experience that is unique and specialized. Also, you want to look for a firm that has a hand in shaping Canadian personal injury law by handling precedent-setting cases. Further, it would be helpful to select a firm that has a team of multilingual employees to get your needs met in the language that you prefer. You may also want to ensure the legal team you are leaning towards retaining holds a good reputation for dealing with cases involving catastrophic injuries in particular, if your injuries are of that nature.
  • A good reputation – Selecting a firm with a good reputation is a must. This not only means you have a quality team working for you, but it also means you have a track record of success to lean on during one of the hardest times in your life.
  • The relationship between the client and their lawyer – Arguably, this is the most important piece to consider when selecting the right representation for you. The last thing an injured individual needs during this difficult time is to be left in the dark. Select a firm that prides itself on involving its clients in every step of the process. It is important to know whether the firm you are working with is efficient. Ask questions: is the firm paperless, meaning, will your documents reach you instantly, or is their practice to send documents via mail, resulting in loss and or delay of the documentation? Will your information be handled sensitively? It is equally important to know whether the team supporting the lawyer assigned to your injury is dedicated to their work. Law firms work best when they are like a well-oiled machine, you want to make sure you have that in your representation.
  • The financial terms of your retainer – Ensure you understand the retainer. Will your lawyer’s fee be a percentage of what you receive, if so, what is the percentage? Also, will the firm finance the entire case, including obtaining and paying for all reports and medical illustrations that are necessary? Ensuring you understand the financial side of things avoids any unwelcome surprises at the completion of your case.

Once you have picked the right legal team for you, here is what you should do to maximize compensation for your catastrophic injuries.

   1. Don’t neglect medical treatment

Ensure you attend your medical practitioners as often as they advise and make sure you are carefully communicating your symptoms. These complaints will eventually form a medical record that will be used to analyze your injuries and quantify your losses. Even if you feel your complaints are relatively “minor”, you should still be sharing them with your treatment providers. It is equally important to discuss the mental or psychological impairments you may be experiencing.

   2. Communicate with your teams

 Talk to your legal team (both your accident benefit and tort teams), your medical team and the people who are closest to you about your recovery process. When you talk to your friends and family about your progression, or lack thereof, it can often prove to be helpful in the litigation progress; especially when your legal team is thinking of having witnesses testify at trial.

   3. Gather documentation

Depending on the claims being advanced, you will want to gather specific information. For example, if a loss of income claim is being advanced – be sure to have your paystubs and tax returns accessible. If you are claiming housekeeping, be sure to have your receipts handy. Your lawyer may ask you for these documents on an as-needed basis.

   4. Document your recovery by way of photos and videos

Take pictures and videos. Whether it’s on the scene of a collision, in the hospital, or at home during recovery. This type of evidence can prove to be very helpful down the line when discussing settlement or when approaching trial. It sets a clear picture of where you were at, and where you are now.

   5. Keep in touch with your legal team about your progress

Keep your team updated regarding your status. For example, if you see a new specialist, or something has changed with your employment, your legal team needs to know.

In conclusion, navigating insurance coverage for catastrophic impairment can be a daunting process. If you are injured, contact the personal injury lawyers at McLeish Orlando are here to help. We can help you get the help you need. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation, and we will evaluate your case.


Brandon Pedersen


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