Catastrophic Injury in Ontario- Changes Ahead?

If you have suffered a serious Ontario personal injury, you may be interested to know about some of the recent changes
surrounding some of the legal concepts, insurance issues and definitions involved in your Ontario Accident Benefit Claim.  One recent issue is the changing of the definition of catastrophic impairment.  While there is still no final change put in place, there has recently been a lot of debate about what constitutes catastrophic impairment and the implications of changing the definition.

 A panel was assigned the task of analyzing and reassessing the definition of catastrophic impairment, including the
criteria an individual needs to fulfill in order to receive that designation.  The panel made some recommendations, but so far, nothing has been implemented.  In fact, many see the report as controversial and potentially problematic due to the fact that the panel did not have much time or resources to conduct their research and make decisions.  Some lawyers argue that there is no need to re-define catastrophic impairment and that in doing so, only the insurance companies will benefit, not the injured persons.

It is important to note that being designated as having a catastrophic impairment does not guarantee that you will receive compensation.  It merely means that you are qualified to receive the highest level of compensation.  While this designation sometimes means that the injured person receives a high compensation due to the severe nature of their injuries, it does not guarantee it.

Some of the proposed changes include new tests to assess an injured person’s condition and it also required that the person received in-patient rehabilitation.  The latter recommendation poses some problems because there is a general
lack of hospital beds which means that many individuals who may require in-patient rehabilitation may not receive it due to lack of beds and will therefore not qualify for the designation of catastrophic impairment.

Since the panel’s recommendations have not been implemented, it is yet to be seen if and how the definition of catastrophic impairment will change.  Lawyers will certainly continue to fight for the outcome that best serves their clients.  If you are facing
a personal injury and you are looking for experienced legal advice, contact the Ontario injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.

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