Catastrophically injured car accident victims in Ontario are going to face another change in terms of accident benefits next June.
Currently, in order to receive catastrophic injury accident benefits after a car accident, injured individuals must meet the catastrophic impairment definition pursuant to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). However, a new definition of catastrophic impairment will be introduced in June 2016. The new definition narrows the current definition of catastrophic impairment and requires victims to meet detailed criteria in order to be considered catastrophically injured.
For example, an injured car accident victim has catastrophic injuries under the current SABS if he is paraplegic or quadriplegic as a result of the accident. However, the new definition will require victims with spinal cord injuries to be graded using the American Spinal Injury Association Classification System, and they must meet a certain classification grade to be deemed paraplegic or quadriplegic.
This change in the definition of catastrophic impairment comes after other SABS changes which were passed in the Ontario legislature earlier this year. The changes affect the amount of benefits injured drivers may receive in the event of car accidents. Catastrophically injured car accident victims are the ones most affected by these changes. See A Closer Look at the Changes to Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) – How are Catastrophically Injured Motorists Affected?
When individuals are injured in car accidents and file accident benefits claims, they are put in one of three categories which determine the amount of benefits they will receive:
- minor injury,
- non-minor injury, and
- catastrophic injury.
Prior to the changes, catastrophically injured drivers, passengers or pedestrians were eligible to receive up to $1,000,000 in medical and rehabilitation care benefits. In addition, they were eligible to receive up to $1,000,000 in attendant care benefits. Therefore, they were eligible to receive a combined total of $2,000,000 in accident benefits. However, after the changes, catastrophically injured car accident victims can only receive up to a combined total of $1,000,000 for both medical and rehabilitation care and attendant care benefits.
Therefore, not only are the accident benefits slashed, catastrophically injured auto accident victims will also need to satisfy detailed criteria in order to meet the definition of catastrophic impairment for accidents that occur after June 1, 2016.
With these changes, it is even more important for seriously injured auto accident victims in Ontario to seek counsel from an experienced car accident lawyer. Our catastrophic injury lawyers have extensive experience helping victims obtain accident benefits and are prepared to address these SABS changes for injured victims.
If you were in a car accident in Ontario cities, such as Kingston, Ottawa and Whitby, call the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford to schedule a FREE consultation. 866-384-5886