As of June 1, 2016, there were significant changes made to the motor vehicle accident benefits in Ontario.
The change in the definition of catastrophic impairment is important to note as it will drastically reduce the number of injuries that qualify a person as catastrophically impaired following an injury. One of the biggest reasons for this is the removal of the Glasgow Coma Scale as an evaluation tool. This was the only existing test, used shortly after an accident, which was accepted as a measure of whether an injury could be deemed catastrophic. The modified definition includes a minimum 6-month delay in determining whether an injury should be identified as catastrophic. This delay has a significant impact on the recovery process as a whole.
In addition to this change in definition, the amounts of compensation and coverage have changed:
- Non-catastrophic injury coverage (medical/rehabilitation/attendant care) is now capped at $65,000. Previously, it was $86,000.
- Catastrophic injury coverage (medical/rehabilitation/attendant care) is now capped at $1 million. Previously, it was $2 million.
Now that a 6-month delay has been imposed, those admitted to hospitals to recover won’t immediately be considered as catastrophically injured. This means they won’t be entitled to a case manager to help them with specifics like transportation from the hospital to their home or a long-term care facility. Outside of personal insurance, it’s unlikely any special attendant care services will be available. This will complicate matters for seriously injured victims in receiving the appropriate care when being discharged home!
Overall, there are numerous places throughout the recovery process that are affected. Properly understanding the issues surrounding these changes can help the injured, the families of the injured, hospitals, and hospital workers better navigate the recovery process.
For more information read the full article Questions on recent changes to accident benefits in Ontario or contact personal injury lawyer Leonard Kunka at firstname.lastname@example.org.