Changes to Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule and Catastrophic Injury
Automobile insurance is constantly changing . It seems that the government continues to strip away at some of the most vital services required for injured people, especially those who are severely injured and need it most, those with a catastrophic injury. The new definition will apply to all accidents in Ontario on or after June 1, 2016. The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (“SABS”) provides accident benefits for people who are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario. Regardless of whether or not they were at fault, or whether or not they were a driver, passenger or a pedestrian.
Definition of Catastrophic Injury Impairment
Many of the changes are in the area of Catastrophic Injuries. The most significant of the reductions in Accident Benefits are in the Medical and Rehabilitation and Attendant Care benefits for individuals with catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries.
There are also new measures used to assess whether or not someone is deemed “catastrophic”.
1- Paraplegia or Tetraplegia
The two scales or measures that are the primary source for the catastrophic determination for spinal cord injuries are the The ASIA -International Standards for Neurological Classification for Spinal Cord Injury as well as the SCIM Spinal Cord Independence Measure Version III The definition of “catastrophic impairment” has been revised to reflect current medical studies.
2-Residual Neuro-Urological Impairment or Urological Impairment
3-Loss of vision of both eyes
4-Traumatic Brain Injury
When assessing whether or not a patient has sustained a catastrophic brain injury, the appropriate health professional must conduct, among other things, the following clinical interview: a Structured Interview for the Glasgow Outcome Scale.
5-Traumatic Brain Injuries for person under the age of 18 at the time of the accident
The scale is dependent upon imaging of the brain, extent of admission to a rehabilitative facility and the King’s Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury, as published in Crouchman, M. et al
And where 2 or more years have elapsed since the accident, or where, after 3 months, a physician is of the belief that the patient’s condition is unlikely to improve and,
6- Physical Impairment
55% or more physical impairment of the whole person pursuant to the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th Edition (1993)
7-Mental or Behavioural Impairment Combined with Physical Impairment
A mental or behavioural impairment, excluding traumatic brain injury, that, when the impairment score is combined with a physical impairment described in paragraph 6, results in 55 percent or more impairment of the whole person.
8. Mental or Behavioural Impairment
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) in three or more areas of function that precludes useful functioning or a class 5 impairment (extreme impairment) in one or more areas of function that precludes useful functioning, due to mental or behavioural disorder.
Along with these tests, a patient must also undergo a neuropsychological assessment and must meet the following criteria to obtain what is deemed “catastrophic status”. The patient must have positive MRI findings, vegetative or disability rating on the Glasgow Outcome Scale (as mentioned above) , significant decreased activities of daily living via client interview, interview of treating practitioners (mentioned above) and/or a file review of collateral medical documents.
The definition and criteria for a catastrophic injury can be confusing and complex. We have provided a quick snapshot here. Our personal injury lawyers are happy to speak with you to go over any specific questions you may have.
Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer, Ontario Head Injury Lawyers: As an eastern Ontario brain injury lawyer, I continue to be shocked at the brain injury statistics that come out each year as most brain injuries are preventable. A Brain Injury is an invisible personal injury, unlike a cut or a bruise. A brain injury is a catastrophic injury and trauma to the brain is not visible. Often times victims of a brain injury or head injury appear to be uninjured and go about their lives. However; often times someone with a brain injury is suffering and is not showing it. Typically friends, family members, co-workers and employers start to notice small changes…The incidence of brain injury is high in Canada:
Head injury from trauma occurs every 500 out of 100,000 individuals yearly.
It is estimated that there are some 27,000 children with Acquired Brain Injuries in Ontario schools.
- people who wear helmets suffer fewer head injury rates (an average of 25% lower) .
- Bicycle injuries are one of the leading causes of injury for children ages 10-14 years old, and traumatic brain injuries account for close to one third (29%) of all cycling-related hospital admissions.
- Research shows that 20% of people in psychiatric settings appear to have a history of brain injury.
- Helmets use reduces head injury by 88%.
Each year, 50,000 Canadians suffer an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). In Ontario, 44 people sustain a brain injury daily.
- Close to 500 000 people in Ontario are living with an acquired brain injury.
795 children out of 100,000 individuals suffer a brain injury each year
456 people suffer a brain injury daily in Canada — this amounts to one person injured every 3 minutes.
Most head injury occur in males aged 16 to 24.
Brain injury from trauma is the greatest killer under the age of 45;
The greatest cause of disability under 44;
and kills more children under 20 than all other causes combined
As an Ontario head injury lawyer and one of the top Ottawa brain injury lawyers, I urge everyone out there to slow down, buckle up, put a helmet on ,be alert and be safe out there. A brain injury is life altering and can happen to anyone in an instant.
Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth
Study Shows Increase in Spirituality Following Brain Injury
Did you know that individuals who suffer a brain injury are likely to have an increased feeling of spirituality due to damage or personal injury of the right parietal lobe, which is the cerebral area within the brain that determines an individual’s place in time and space, both emotionally and physically, according to the latest study from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The study is very interesting and focused on 26 individuals that had a traumatic brain injury (TBI), but who were functioning within society as the “walking wounded” or suffering silently. The study revealed that those who suffered personal injury from the right parietal lobe damage felt more feelings of being lost or dazed, which was the equivalent of measuring higher on the standard measure of spirituality test. The study also revealed that Contralateral Neglect Syndrome can cause those with such injury to retrieve “information from the contralateral side, but patients may not have a conscious awareness” of this and therefore feel dislocated from the world. These types of studies help us understand what someone with a head injury is going through. Often times , after a car accident, someone who has suffered a brain injury is not the “same person” and it is difficult for friends and family to recognize their behaviour. There are many support groups for not only people suffering from a brain injury but also their families. As an Ottawa brain injury lawyer, I can’t stress enough how important getting support is.
If you have been involved in an accident and suffer from a brain injury, you may need an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer to help you get the help and support you need. As a highly experienced injury lawyer, I have helped many Ottawa injury victims through some very difficult times and got them the finances and medical support they needed. You may have questions you want to ask an experienced Ottawa injury lawyer and you are welcome to give me a call or email me directly. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information on a brain injury. Call for a free legal consultation with no obligation. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. You owe it to yourself, you have been through enough.