Ontario Accident Benefits and Catastrophic Injuries. Good news for Ontario accident victims.

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 david@ottawainjury.ca

We understand, we care, we’re here to help …and our track record proves it.

What are rehabilitation benefits and should you opt for additional coverage? Is it worth it? Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth gives his opinion on Ontario accident benefits.

Rehabilitation Benefits

If you own a vehicle , you must insure it in Ontario. The question is, should you also purchase all the extra additional coverage.  As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I feel strongly about certain additional benefits that can be purchased and then others that you may not need.  One additional benefit that can be purchased is an increase in rehabilitation benefits.

What are rehabilitation benefits under your Ontario accident benefits insurance policy?

Depending on your accident, injuries and the type of insurance policy you have, you may be entitled to rehabilitation benefits. Rehabilitation benefits cover the cost of expenses incurred by you or for you, as a result of injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident in Ontario.  It is important to understand that the expense incurred must be as a result of the injury you sustained in the car accident, as well as being reasonable and necessary. Rehabilitation benefits are designed to reimburse accident victims for treatments and expenses related to:

• reducing and/or eliminating the disability resulting from the injury,
• assisting individuals in reintegrating into a family role or back to work,

Rehabilitation benefits cover expenses for:
• training;
• family counselling,
• rehabilitation counselling,
• financial counselling,
• employment counselling,
• vocational assessments,
• modifications to one’s  workplace, home or vehicle,
• transportation to and from counselling and training sessions,
• miscellaneous items and services required for rehabilitation.

How much are you entitled to in rehabilitative benefits?

For medical and rehabilitation expenses such as physiotherapy, chiropractic services and dental services, standard Ontario insurance covers up to $50,000. For minor injuries medical and rehabilitation Ontario accident benefits are capped at $3,500. You have additional benefits that may be purchased. I recommend to all my clients that if you can afford it, opt for the additional benefits which can increase your limits to $100,000 or $1,100,000.

Rehabilitative benefits for catastrophic injuries For catastrophic injuries, the standard coverage for medical and rehabilitation expenses is $1,000,000. You may also opt for additional coverage and increase the limit by $1,000,000. Catastrophic injuries include quadriplegia, paraplegia, permanent loss of an arm or leg and total vision in both eyes.

Why might you need a treatment plan to receive rehabilitative benefits? If your injuries are more serious in nature, your insurance company may ask that an application be made which includes a treatment plan prepared by your health professional or a designated health professional. A treatment plan typically includes a description of the injuries and impairment and resulting disability from the injuries along with the goods and services to be implemented throughout the treatment. Insurance companies respond to a treatment plan within 10 business days of receiving the plan. Once the plan is accepted, your insurance company will pay for expenses within 30 days of receiving your invoices for rehabilitation. When it comes to purchasing insurance, it is tough to know what to do. As a personal injury lawyer, I always recommend to my clients that if possible to purchase the additional Ontario accident benefits.  They cost a little more; however your benefits coverage increases significantly. I believe it is a decision you would not regret.

For more information on other Ontario accident benefits, visit www.ottawainjury.ca/insurance-claims/