Compensation for Personal Care Damages and Personal Service Workers in Ontario

caregiver with patient in wheelchairPersonal care, such as bathing or getting dressed, can be much more difficult after a severe personal injury. Some victims may need assistance with many daily activities.

Fortunately, those injured by the negligence of another party can seek compensation for personal care expenses, including the cost of hiring a personal support worker.

Below, Greg Monforton and Partners’ experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers review what injured victims and their families need to know about personal care damages.

We have helped many people with severe injuries recover compensation to help them move forward with their lives. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an accident, call us to find out how we may be able to assist you with a legal claim.

No upfront costs or legal obligations. Call us today at: (866) 320-4770.

What Is Personal Care for an Injury Victim?

Personal care refers to a wide range of activities that injury victims may struggle to manage on their own. These are day-to-day activities that injured victims may have taken for granted before the accident. Their injuries have made these activities more challenging or even impossible to do alone.

Some examples of personal care include:

  • Using the toilet
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Personal hygiene, such as brushing your teeth, combing hair, etc.
  • Eating
  • Cooking food
  • Getting up out of bed
  • Taking medication
  • Doing laundry
  • Going to appointments with doctors
  • Attending social events
  • And more

Some injured victims need assistance because it would be too dangerous for them to be left alone. For example, if the victim needs help with a trach tube.

The goal of personal care is to help the injured person recover comfortably and safely and work toward regaining independence.

Who Administers Personal Care?

Personal care can be administered by family members or friends, but it is often done by professionals, such as personal support workers, registered nurses or registered practical nurses.

The Problem With Friends or Family Providing Care

While injured victims may be much more comfortable having a friend or family member take care of them, this is not always possible. Family members and friends must make tremendous sacrifices to care for the person. While people may be willing to make these sacrifices right after the injury, they may not be able to continue to do this for years after the accident.

Hiring a professional caregiver is often better for everyone involved. It can help to save family relationships and friendships, especially marriages. In short, hiring a professional may result in better quality of life for the victim and others involved in his or her life.

Hiring a Professional Is Costly

The problem is that it is expensive to hire a caregiver. In Ontario, it typically costs somewhere between $28 to $35 per hour to hire a personal support worker. The cost of this care can be even higher if the worker is a registered nurse.

The cost is lower if the worker does not need to live with the injured victim. Hiring a live-in worker can cost thousands of dollars per month, which includes the cost of room and board.

Attendant Care Benefits in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule

If you or your loved one were injured in a car crash, you may be able to seek compensation for caregiving expenses from your Statutory Accident Benefits, no matter who was at fault for the collision. Your lawyer must establish that you have something worse than a minor injury, and your doctors have determined there is a medical need for caregiving.

Attendant care benefits cover reasonable and necessary expenses for the services of an aide or attendant. The amount of compensation you receive is determined by multiplying the number of hours per month by an hourly rate that is not more than the maximum hourly rate.

There is a limit on the amount of compensation you can receive for attendant care:

  • $3,000 per month, along with applicable sales tax, for accidents on or after June 3, 2019, provided the victim does not have a catastrophic injury
  • $6,000 per month, along with applicable sales tax, for accidents on or after June 3, 2019, if the victim has a catastrophic injury

There is also a limit on how long attendant care benefits can be paid out:

  • No more than 260 weeks after the accident, if the victim was 18 years old or older at the time of the accident
  • After the victim turns 28 years old, if he or she was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident

It is important to note these limits do not apply to catastrophic impairments.

You cannot receive attendant care benefits until your medical issues have been evaluated by a registered nurse or occupational therapist. The assessment must be forwarded to your insurance provider, and they have up to 10 days to respond. Unfortunately, the insurance company may deny your claim, despite what your assessment says.

This is why victims should hire an experienced lawyer to help them seek all the benefits to which they may be entitled. Greg Monforton and Partners has helped many injured victims seek benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits schedule. Contact us to learn how we may be able to assist you.

How To Determine the Value of Personal Care Damages

If you were not injured in a car crash, but in some other type of accident, you may need to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for the cost of personal care. If the injury was caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to cover personal care services from a third party.

Your lawyer must evaluate what you could do before the injury and compare it to what you cannot do now. Your lawyer will need to work with your healthcare providers and caregiver to determine all the tasks for which you need assistance.

Other considerations include how long you will need personal care services and whether you are likely to regain some of your independence over time.

Unfortunately, your lawyer is probably going to have to contend with arguments from the insurance company/liable party. For instance, they may argue that you do not need to hire a caregiver because a family member can do it. They make this argument because paying for a caregiver is expensive and they want to hold onto as much of their money as possible.

However, you can take comfort in the fact that case law does not support this argument. In short, insurance companies need to evaluate the need for personal care in a vacuum. They should not consider the availability of family support when determining if caregiving costs should be paid.

Seriously Injured in an Accident? Contact Greg Monforton and Partners

One of the foundational elements of tort law is the principle that the injured are entitled to compensation to put them back in the position they were in before the accident. For some injured victims, this means they need compensation to hire a caregiver to help them with daily tasks.

If you or your loved one need personal care after an injury that was not your fault, you need an experienced lawyer to help you pursue full compensation.

Our firm has secured hundreds of millions on behalf of the injured and we charge zero upfront fees. We are deeply committed to helping the injured recover full compensation.

Schedule a free legal consultation today. Phone: (866) 320-4770.