CATASTROPHIC IMPAIRMENT IN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule Regulation of the Insurance Act Last amendment: O. Reg. 347/13.
A catastrophic impairment caused by an accident is,
(a) paraplegia or quadriplegia;
(b) the amputation of an arm or leg or another impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of an arm or a leg;
(c) the total loss of vision in both eyes;
(d) subject to subsection (4), brain impairment that results in,
(i) a score of 9 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale, as published in Jennett, B. and Teasdale, G., Management of Head Injuries, Contemporary Neurology Series, Volume 20, F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, 1981, according to a test administered within a reasonable period of time after the accident by a person trained for that purpose, or
(ii) a score of 2 (vegetative) or 3 (severe disability) on the Glasgow Outcome Scale, as published in Jennett, B. and Bond, M., Assessment of Outcome After Severe Brain Damage, Lancet i:480, 1975, according to a test administered more than six months after the accident by a person trained for that purpose;
(e) subject to subsections (4), (5) and (6), an impairment or combination of impairments that, in accordance with the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th edition, 1993, results in 55 per cent or more impairment of the whole person; or
(f) subject to subsections (4), (5) and (6), an impairment that, in accordance with the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th edition, 1993, results in a class 4 impairment (marked impairment) or class 5 impairment (extreme impairment) due to mental or behavioural disorder. O. Reg. 34/10, s. 3 (2).
- Partial paraplegia or quadriplegia are sufficient to meet the criteria for catastrophic impairment
- If at any moment the GCS reading is “9 or less”. It matters not if the score improves quickly.
- There is case law to support the position that if a medically appropriate GCS registers “9 or less” within a reasonable time after the accident, where the brain impairment as a result of the accident is not contested, this satisfies the criteria even if taken once a person is intubated.
- Six months after the accident, brain injury survivors can be assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale. The Scale is based on overall social compatibility or dependence of the client. It takes into account the combined effect of mental and neurological deficits without listing them as part of the definition.
Catastrophic Injuries: There are four categories of survival:
- Vegetative State
- Severe Disability
- Moderate Disability
- Good Recovery
Where the patient has suffered a “severe disability”, she is deemed catastrophically impaired. A “severe disability” may include situations where an individual may function reasonably well with some ADLs but require assistance with others, may require supervision due to memory, fatigue, or some other impairment. The severe disability may be a combination of mental and physical impairments.
- In determining Whole Person Impairment, the law requires that mental impairments be combined with physical impairments to determine whether 55% is reached.
- Mental impairment (when determining a marked or severe impairment) must be evaluated in accordance with each of these four categories:
- Activities of daily living;
- Social functioning;
- Concentration, persistence and pace;
- Adaptation to work or work-like settings.
In order to qualify as having sustained a “marked impairment”, the applicant must establish that:
“impairment levels significantly impede useful functioning”.
“Significantly” means “more than insignificant, more than minimally. It does not mean “completely”.
“Impede” means “obstruct”, “hinder” or “delay”.
A rating of “marked impairment” in one of the four categories is sufficient to be deemed Catastrophically Impaired.
Occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, and other health care professionals typically evaluate one or more activities of daily living in the course of their assessments.
Activities of daily living include: Self-care, personal hygiene, Communication, Physical Activity, Sensory Function, Hand Function, Travel, Sexual Function, Sleep, Social and Recreational activities.
Sleep and pain levels play a significant role in these assessments.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for more information on catastrophic injuries.
For more on catastrophic impairment and determination please see the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th edition, or visit www.ottawainjury.ca/catastrophic-injury/
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates. What injuries are deemed a catastrophic injury? What is the definition of a catastrophic injury? Well, it has changed and changed for the better….In an interesting case Pastore v. Aviva Canada, the Court of Appeal of Ontario ruled that an injured victim does not need to be markedly impaired in more than one area of life to be deemed ” catastrophically impaired”. In this particular case, the injured party had been hit in a car accident in November 2002 . As a result of the accident, her left ankle was broken and over time her ankle healed improperly. The injured victim had a number of surgeries and consequently her right knee also required surgery due to the injuries in her ankle and the manner in which she now walked. As a result of these injuries, the victim became dependant on others for everyday activities she once was able to perform on her own. This dependency also affected the victim’s emotional and psychological well-being.
In May 2005, the victim Ms. Pastore applied to the Aviva insurance company to have her injuries deemed as a “catastrophic impairment” and it was determined that she had a catastrophic impairment : “mental or behavioural disorder.” It was deemed that Pastore had a class 4 or “marked impairment” due to her daily living and she was rated with an overall assessment of class 3, which is a moderate impairment. What this meant was that she was now meeting the threshold for a catastrophic impairment in one category. A catastrophic impairment designation requires impairment in all four categories. The case was brought to the Court of Appeal and it was there decided that Pastore’s position, according to the language in the Statutory Accident benefits did not require “marked impairments” in each of the four categories of a catastrophic impairment designation.
This is excellent news for Ontario accident victims. This decision allows for additional Ontario accident benefits for injured victims. We have many clients who thanks to this decision, will be able to receive the help and support they need. This is great news for Ontario accident victims and their families. Many accidents leave people with physical injuries , but also injuries such as chronic pain, and emotional and psychological impairments . Thanks to this decision, there will be increased benefits for people suffering from these impairments.
David Hollingsworth and Associates . We are Ottawa injury lawyers with a wealth of experience . Our lawyers work closely with you our clients to make sure no stone in unturned and that our clients receive all the support and compensation they need following an accident in Ontario. If you are injured, it’s important that you meet with an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer who knows how best to help you. There is far too much at stake to be with the wrong lawyer. We pride ourselves on our high success rate, our experience and our valuable relationships with our clients. Your future and your families future is important and we understand that. We are here for you and with you every step of the way. Contact us for a free consultation. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We understand, we care, we’re here to help …and our track record proves it.
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth and Associates. A terrible Ottawa accident has left 2 people were serious personal injuries after a Kanata accident, late yesterday afternoon. The Kanata accident occurred at Kakulu and Castlefrank road. The vehicle involved in the accident left the road, drove over a chain-link fence and then hit a tree before it rolled onto the roof of the vehicle. At the time of the Kanata accident, 2 people were inside the vehicle. Ottawa rescue crews were able to extricate both accident victims. The driver was a 62 year old man was rushed to a hospital in serious condition with possible stroke-like symptoms. His passenger was also a 62 year old woman. She was rushed to an Ottawa hospital in serious condition with a possible spinal cord injury. My thoughts go out to both of them and their family at this incredibly stressful time. I wish them both full and speedy recoveries.
The Injury Lawyer report is created regularly by Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth. David has been an Ontario personal injury lawyer since 1999 and focusses on helping all eastern Ontario accident victims with serious personal injuries such as wrongful death and personal injuries resulting from Ontario accidents. The Ottawa Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer reports on eastern Ontario accidents such as Ottawa area accidents, personal injury, safety, insurance in Ontario, and events or news that relate to Ottawa . Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information.
Kanata Accident Kakulu and Castlefrank road
OC Transpo Bus Accident
Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth
Tragically, a 14 year old girl is at CHEO hospital with a severe life threatening head injury. She was hit by an OC Transpo bus this morning shortly after 8am. The young girl was running to catch the bus. Ottawa rescue crews were able to treat her at the accident scene within minutes of the terrible accident and she was rushed right away to CHEO for advanced medical care. The OC Transpo accident happened at St. Laurent Boulevard, close to Hemlock Road. My thoughts are with this young girl and her family. I hope she is able to pull through this terrible accident and is able to recover.
Our injury lawyers have many clients who have been injured in an OC Transpo bus accident and who have come to us for free legal advice. Often times people who use the OC Transpo bus system do not have their own car insurance because they do not drive. When it comes to insurance compensation and accident benefits, they do not know their rights and where to start. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are able to sit down with families who have had someone injured in an OC Transpo accident and provide all the information they need when it comes to resources available, supports in place and compensation amounts they may be entitled to following a bus accident.
Know your rights after an OC Transpo accident
If you require information regarding an OC Transpo accident, get informed by requesting a free consultation with one of our lawyers. We will travel to you and be there to answer all of your questions. There is no obligation on our end whatsoever. If you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, our Ottawa bus accident lawyers can help.
Ottawa Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth
Some of my most severe personal injury cases are where someone has been involved in an accident which has resulted in a spinal cord injury. Not only has their life completely changed; so has their families. Every person who suffers a spinal cord injury faces different challenges. Some have excellent family support; while others are alone. Some have insurance coverage; while others have none. A spinal cord injury can be devastating and life-altering. It’s important to completely understand your spinal cord injury and ensure that you are adequately provided for throughout your rehabilitation and throughout the rest of your life moving forward.
Types of spinal cord injuries.
Any spinal cord injury can occur anywhere along one’s spinal cord. Typically a spinal cord injury is the result of damage to spinal cord cells. This damage causes a loss of communication between the brain and the parts of the body below the injured area. In other words, the higher the injury along the spinal cord, there is a higher chance of having problems with the injury. Often times, there is a loss of movement and sensation in body parts.
Paraplegia is often the result of an injury at the thoracic level of the spinal cord. It often results in loss of sensation and paralysis in one’s lower body and legs.
Quadriplegia is often the result of an injury to the cervical area of the spinal cord. It also may result in loss of sensation and paralysis in both the arms and the legs or it can also result in sensation loss in all areas below the neckline.
Spinal cord injuries are divided into 2 types of spinal cord injuries: complete spinal cord injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries. It is possible that a spinal cord injury classification change during the recovery process.
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries.
Typically a loss of sensation and motor ability is associated with a complete spinal cord injury caused by bruising, loss of blood to the spinal cord, severe pressure to the spinal cord, or cuts and severed spinal cords. Typically a complete spinal cord injury results in a total loss of sensation and movement below the spinal injury site.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury:
An incomplete spinal cord injury does not always result in complete loss of movement and sensation below the injury site.
Most common causes of spinal cord injury:
Auto and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of most spinal cord injuries. Car accidents cause up to 40% of new spinal cord injuries every year.
Slip and Fall Accidents:
Spinal cord injury after the age of 65 are most often caused by a slip and fall accident. Overall, slip and fall accidents cause more than 25% of spinal cord injuries.
Violence: Close to 15% of spinal cord injuries result from acts of violence.
Athletic injuries: Athletic injuries, sports injuries, dives cause approximately 8% of spinal cord injuries.
Alcohol: Alcohol is a factor in approximately 25% of spinal cord injuries.
Diseases. Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and spinal cord inflammation are also some causes of spinal cord injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s vital that you consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in spinal injuries. Spinal injuries are the most severe of injuries and require extensive support, rehabilitation and compensation for a life-time. Our personal injury lawyers have helped many families who have a loved one with a spinal injury and we can help you.
Head Injury in Sports
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth
I receive calls regularly asking me questions about sporting injuries and does one have the right to sue. In every sport, there are injuries. While some injuries may be avoided in sports, others aren’t. Sporting injuries can happen anywhere; a friend’s house, school, gymnasiums, sport fields and sport training facilities. Football and hockey seem to be the sports with the highest rates of severe injuries that hear of due to the high impact and high number of head injuries associated with these 2 sports. Some sport head injuries become mild concussions and people are able to return to their sport within a few days or weeks. As we all know, there are also severe head, back, brain, neck and spinal cord injuries that result from sporting accidents. These injuries are life-altering and catastrophic injuries.
I’m often asked about compensation about such injuries. Not all cases of sporting injuries result in the right to sue and seek insurance compensation. In order to receive compensation, it needs to be proven that the facility where the injury took place provided unsafe, or dysfunctional equipment. If this is proven, then they can be help liable. It may be difficult to prove negligence , but with proper documentation, pictures and witnesses , a personal injury lawyer can help build a personal injury case to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Consult a top Ottawa personal injury lawyer
If you have suffered a sports injury and feel it is a result of someone else’snegligence, contact an Ottawa personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. The top Ottawa personal injury lawyers will be able to provide you with immediate feedback on whether or not they think you have a personal injury case or not.
Play hard and play safe !
Accident in Blackburn Hamlet
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth …
A terrible Blackburn Hamlet accident has left a 17 year old girl and a 20 year old man with serious personal injuries Sunday night. The accident occurred on the westbound Blackburn Hamlet Bypass. The accident happened just before 7 p.m. on Sunday night between Navan Road and Innes Road. Once the car left the road, it hit a large cement pole and ejected both victims. The girl was rushed to the CHEO and treated for spinal cord injuries. She remains at the Children Hospital of Eastern Ontario in serious condition. The driver also suffered serious injuries including several serious head injuries. He was rushed to The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus Trauma Centre and is listed in critical condition. I wish them both complete recoveries. My thoughts go out to these 2 young people, their recovery, their family and their friends at this very stressful and difficult time.
Ottawa Spinal Injury Lawyer
A spinal cord injury is considered to be a catastrophic injury and requires extensive support, therapy, rehabilitation and compensation. In most cases, when someone has suffered a spinal cord injury, the chances of a full recovery are not strong and typically there is some form of paralysis that remains and is life-altering for the injured and their family.
When the time is right, our spinal injury lawyers can help by assessing funding for specialized services and equipment that may not be covered under regular OHIP. Most spinal injury equipment is highly specialized and many modifications need to be made to one’s home, cars etc..
Our spinal injury lawyers have the expertise in spinal injuries and access to the resources available in Ottawa and throughout eastern Ontario. We have helped many, many families rebuild their lives after someone has suffered a spinal injury. We have even brought personal injury cases involving a spinal injury to the Ontario Court of Appeal, when insurance companies were trying to not provide adequate compensation to our clients. We have not only won at this high level of court, we helped secure maximum spinal injury compensation for our clients on more than one occasion.
If you are a loved one has suffered a spinal injury, you are in good hands with us. Our lawyers are here to help you rebuild your life with the highest possible quality of life. This also means support and compensation for your loved ones, whose lives have also changed dramatically. Call us for a free consultation and we can help.
Boating Accident Lawyer
Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…
Sadly, a young boy from Belleville, Ontario was critically injured when he was swimming at his summer camp and a boat hit him. The terrible boating accident occurred close to Kingston Ontario. He now remains in serious condition at a Kingston Hospital and is being treated for severe personal injuries. Ontario Provincial Police reported that the young boy was at a beach with his day camp on Wednesday, close to North Beach Provincial Park, about 20 km south of Trenton, Ontario. The young boy had been swimming in North Bay, a lake close to Lake Ontario and had just finished a tubing before he was hit by the boat. Another boat being driven by a 19 year old counsellor was pulling a different camper when he hit the swimmer. The boat’s propeller hit the boy and he suffered serious personal injuries, which include lacerations to his chest. He was transferred to the Kingston General Hospital in serious condition.
Boating Accidents and Insurance Claims
A boat is considered to be a motor vehicle and is just as dangerous as a car when it comes to accidents.
What a terrible boating accident and awful event for this young boy and his family. My thoughts are with them at this very stressful time. I wish the young boy a full and hopefully speedy recovery.
Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth.. A terrible accident on Highway 17, north of Renfrew has left one woman dead and others with injuries. Highway 17 was closed between Haley Station and Cobden, from Cheneaux Road to Forresters Falls Road. The deadly accident involved 3 vehicles on Highway 17 yesterday morning. The Ottawa accident occurred when a dump truck was travelling west on the highway and hit the back of a transport truck, which spun into the eastbound lane, and tragically crashed head-on into a car around 7:30 a.m, killing the female driver. The cause of the accident is unknown and investigators are trying to determine why the dump truck was unable to stop. If you have any information related to this terrible accident, please contact the Ottawa police.
—-The Ottawa Ontario Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. The Ottawa Injury Lawyer and Accident Blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, Ottawa accidents, personal injury, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ontario insurance, Ottawa, accidents, wrongful death and personal injury. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information.
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth…A terrible Ottawa accident, close to Almonte Ontario has left 2 people were serious personal injuries after a head-on accident on March Road this morning. The Ottawa accident took place near Corkery Road, and resulted in a pickup truck veering into a ditch and hitting a hydro pole, engulfing the truck in flames. Thankfully the driver was able to free himself.
One driver, a 38-year-old man, suffered serious personal injury, including a broken ankle and possible spinal cord injury. The other driver, a woman in her 40s, also suffered serious personal injury and has a possible broken collarbone and possible spinal injury. My thoughts are with both accident victims’ friends and families at this very stressful time… Ontario Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth
—-The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information.