Disability Lawyers Discuss Disability Rights in Personal Injury Case

Accidents can be both unexpected and traumatic. During this challenging time, disability benefit plans are important as they help cover lost income due to the injury. Navigating personal injury cases often includes dealing with disability claims. 

Many people run to Edmonton disability lawyers for professional legal advice. This article aims to help you understand the complexities of personal injury cases related to disabilities.

Disability in Canada

In Canada, around 4.4 million children and adults have disabilities, which makes up about one in seven Canadians. CBC News reports that this number increased mainly due to an aging population and more reported learning disabilities.

Among adults, the most common disabilities are related to pain, mobility, and agility, mainly because more seniors reported them compared to the overall population.

Federal Laws Protecting Disability Rights

Canadian laws ensure the equality of rights for people with disabilities. The 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms shows that discrimination based on mental or physical disability. The Canadian Human Rights Act of 1985 aims to prevent discrimination and enhance access to employment, services, and facilities under federal jurisdiction.

Various laws outline the responsibilities of policymakers, employers, and unions in eliminating discrimination. These laws ensure accommodation and ensuring equal treatment for individuals with disabilities.

Overcoming Barriers

Canada’s policies, programs, and services aim to help individuals with disabilities overcome barriers to participating in society. These barriers include accommodation issues (physical, communication, etc.), language and communication challenges, learning and training difficulties, and safety and security concerns. The primary concern is to create an inclusive environment for everyone.

edmonton disability lawyer

Disability Rights in Canada: An Overview

Important federal laws safeguard the rights of people with disabilities and prevent discrimination, based on an article by Dustin Galer from the Canadian Encyclopedia. The two primary laws are the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

This is a part of the Canadian Constitution, a set of rules for the country’s operations.

  • Key Section

Section 15 ensures equality for everyone in Canada, regardless of factors like race, religion, age, or disability. This means the government can’t make discriminatory laws or programs based on these factors.

  • Balance

While promoting equality, the Charter allows for laws or programs that help disadvantaged groups. For instance, programs enhancing job opportunities for people with disabilities may be protected.

The Canadian Human Rights Act

Enacted in 1977, this Act shields Canadians from discrimination, especially in federal employment or services provided by the federal government, First Nations governments, and regulated private companies.

  • Scope: It covers discrimination based on 11 grounds, including physical or mental disability.
  • Protection: Individuals can use this Act to defend themselves against harassment or discrimination.

These laws ensure that people with disabilities are treated fairly and equally in Canada, both by the government and private entities regulated at the federal level. They create a framework that promotes inclusivity and fights against discrimination.

Categories of Disabilities

Disabilities resulting from personal injuries exhibit a broad spectrum, from minor to substantial and from temporary to permanent. These disabilities are classified into two main categories: physical and mental. 

Physical disabilities may involve difficulties related to mobility or the impairment of limb function. On the other hand, mental disabilities may include conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects emotional well-being. 

Identify the specific category to which your disability belongs to facilitate and determine the most appropriate legal actions to get compensation.

Common enduring disabilities resulting from personal injury accidents include:

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Damage to the brain leads to memory, concentration, and mood issues.
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)Loss of sensation or mobility below the level of injury.
AmputationsLoss of limbs affecting daily activities and employment.
BurnsSevere burns cause scarring and nerve damage.
Vision/Hearing LossPermanent impairment impacting daily life.

Disability Benefit Plans & Programs

If you’ve experienced a personal injury, you must know the disability plans and programs you might be eligible for. Here are some simplified options:

Workers Compensation Benefits

In the service of: Those with workplace injuries (for Ontario workers, WSIB).
BenefitsIt covers lost pay and helps in the recovery process.

Short-term Disability Benefits

In the service of: Individuals needing 1-3 months off work.
ConsiderationsBenefits vary, so check your specific plan.

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

In the service of: Offers income replacement for up to 15 weeks.
EligibilityRequires employment by a qualifying employer, 600 hours of insurable work, and a 40% income reduction.

Long-term Disability Benefits

When applicableIf you can’t return to work for the foreseeable future.
RequirementsCovered under an insurance policy or disability plan.

Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPP)

EligibilityUnder 65, meeting CPP contribution requirements.
PaymentsBegin after 4 months off due to a continued disability.

Disability Claims for Serious Cases

ScenarioIn severe personal injury cases, which prevents a return to work.
VariabilityEvery case is unique; benefits depend on injury, circumstances, and eligibility.
Legal AssistancePersonal injury lawyers Edmonton can help you navigate your case, determine eligible benefits, and guide you.

Importance of Disability Benefits in Personal Injury Cases

  • Financial Support. Disabilities result in lost income from needing time off work. Disability benefits act as a financial cushion during this tough time.
  • Rehabilitation Costs. Personal injuries might require rehabilitation. Disability benefits help cover the costs of these treatments.
  • Ensuring Stability. Disability benefits help preserve financial steadiness. They support individuals and their families during periods of hardship.

Navigating Disability Claims in Personal Injury Cases

One of the most effective ways to increase your chances of success is by hiring an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable legal representative can guide you through the intricacies of the process, which ensures that your claim is handled effectively and efficiently.

Understand the specific eligibility requirements of each disability benefit plan. Knowing these conditions helps ensure that you meet all necessary criteria. Additionally, be aware of the deadlines for filing disability claims. Missing these deadlines could lead to a loss of benefits.

Common Challenges in Disability Claims

ChallengeSolution
Denied ClaimsAppeal the decision and provide additional supporting documentation.
Lengthy Approval ProcessStay informed about the expected timeline and communicate openly with your legal representative.

disability lawyer

Seek Help From a Disability Lawyer

Understanding disability rights in personal injury cases is highly significant for those facing life-altering consequences. Disability benefit plans help provide financial support and stability during recovery. 

Remember, a professional Edmonton disability lawyer, like Sidhu Personal Injury Lawyers Edmonton, can make a significant difference in the success of your disability claim. Stay informed, know your rights, and ensure you receive your deserved compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your health improves during your disability claim, you should:

  1. Immediately notify your disability lawyer Edmonton and your insurance company about your health changes.
  2. Get assessed to determine if you still qualify for disability benefits.
  3. Be prepared for possible changes to your benefits, depending on your improved condition.
  4. Maintain documentation of your health progress and medical consultations.
  5. Consult your lawyer for advice on how your improved health might affect your claim.
  6. Discuss a suitable transition plan with your employer.

Common reasons for disability claim denials include:

 

  • Not enough medical proof of the disability.
  • Conditions existing before the policy starts.
  • Not following medical treatment plans.
  • Not meeting the policy’s disability criteria.
  • Errors or missing information in the application.
  • The condition doesn’t match the insurer’s definition.
  • The insurer’s surveillance contradicts the claim.
  • Disability doesn’t last long enough per policy terms.
  • Inconsistencies in income or employment status.
  • Specific exclusions in the policy are applicable to the case.

If affording a disability lawyer is a concern, you have several options. Many disability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only charge if you win your case. You can also seek legal aid for free or low-cost legal services or seek lawyers offering pro bono work. 

Law schools have legal clinics where supervised students provide free advice. Additionally, disability advocacy groups can offer resources or referrals, and some lawyers might be willing to arrange flexible payment plans to suit your financial situation.

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