Catastrophic Injury

A serious injury can profoundly affect your life for months or even years. You might require ongoing care as a result, dealing with a prolonged recovery but living with certainty that things will return to normal. Contrastingly, a catastrophic injury may impact you for the rest of your life. You might never regain the sense of independence you had before, living with physical and/or mental health effects that will change the way you see yourself and interact with the world around you.


In Ontario, an injury is classified as catastrophic if it permanently impairs your ability to live your life the same way you did before the accident. Examples of this include amputation and/or disfigurement. Catastrophic injuries will require extensive medical and rehabilitative care, and could possibly lead to mental health issues due to the emotional toll they can take. Even after working with doctors and other professionals, you may be unable to return to work or work the way you did before your accident. It will likely affect your home life as well, impacting how you care for your family or participate in the activities you did before. You may even need help to do everyday tasks like getting dressed, eating, and/or moving around.

Determining Catastrophe

Injuries such as these can be the result of all kinds of incidents. The events that cause catastrophic injuries can be traumatic and devastating, causing far-reaching issues beyond physical problems. Common occurrences include:

Due to the many possible causes of a catastrophic injury, the scope of diagnoses is quite extensive. The types of injuries that are considered catastrophic include, but are not limited to:

An injury may take some time to be recognized as catastrophic. Typically, many people are fairly hopeful right after an accident and expect to make a full recovery with enough time and effort. However, a lack of progress or slowing of improvement can be signs that the injury will not heal completely and leave you with ongoing issues. Some injuries, particularly ones that affect the brain, spine, or cause psychological damage, can take longer to show their full ramifications. 

A catastrophic injury lawyer can help you to fight for adequate compensation for your injuries, as the expenses and financial losses can quickly add up. At Bergeron Clifford, we will take into account both physical and mental damages as well as the outcomes these complications have had on your life. Our years of experience, proven track record, and passion for securing our clients’ fair settlements keep us motivated, and our goal is to ease your burdens that resulted from an untimely tragedy. To learn more about our services, please contact us.

Catastrophic Injury Case Summary

Our client was stopped behind traffic at a red light when a distracted driver smashed into the rear of her vehicle from behind. Our client’s head whipped back and forth and struck off the steering wheel, but the airbag didn’t deploy because of the angle of the collision. The trunk was collapsed inwards up to the rear wheels. The client was knocked unconscious for almost a minute.

Extent of the Catastrophic Injuries

Our client suffered a concussion, serious whiplash, and soft tissue injuries to her upper back and shoulders.

How Our Client’s Life Was Impacted

Unfortunately our client’s injuries never resolved, and they developed into a deep seated chronic pain condition. Our client suffered daily headaches, mental fog and mental fatigue, poor sleep, and full body pain. Our client’s emotional health deteriorated as she was unable to return to work and lost many of her relationships with former coworkers, and was unable to cook or take care of her family and her home.

After a lengthy battle by our office, our client was deemed catastrophically impaired by her Accident Benefits car insurer.

Results of the Personal Injury Case

We fought with our client’s Accident Benefits insurer, her LTD insurer, CPP Disability, and the Tort insurer for the at fault driver. We were successful on all fronts, and our client obtained significant financial settlements and compensation from each claim.

Impact of The Settlement

The settlements obtained were crucial to our client’s long term medical recovery and allowed her to pay for ongoing treatment.  Our client also avoided losing her home and was able to pay her mortgage and put aside money to cover off her unwanted and unexpected early retirement, and to pay for her kids’ college and university.

Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We represent clients throughout Eastern Ontario and can meet you at any of our office locations, including Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth. We can also come to your home, hospital, or wherever is most convenient for you.

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Recovering from, or adapting to, a serious injury can take time. However, given enough time and proper care, many injured people are able to return to a life very much like the one they knew before suffering the injury.

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