There are quite a lot of different sub-types when it comes to car accidents and other vehicular accidents but the most devastating and serious ones are those which are referred to as catastrophic or CAT cases. However, it’s important to understand that just because the incident looks quite terrible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be catastrophic. Furthermore, just because the injuries are serious, it also wouldn’t mean that they are catastrophic.
The truth is that the term “catastrophic” has a very specific definition stemming from both medical and legal doctrine. This definition has been conveniently and thoroughly tinkered with during the years of practice. This is mainly due to the fact that it carries a tremendous meaning for every single car accident case.
Right as of now in Ontario, if your case is to be classified as catastrophic, your doctor needs to find and fill out an OCF-19 Application form. This is the one which is related to the Determination of Catastrophic Benefits and it’s absolutely imperative for the court to find the accident as catastrophic. There are, however, certain criteria which need to be met in order for this to be even possible. Some of them include:
· Dramatic impairment of your ambulatory mobility or the usage of an arm; amputation.
· Loss of vision in both of your eyes.
· Paraplegia or Tetraplegia
· TBI (Traumatic brain Injury)
· Any kind of physical impairment which results in more than 55% of whole person impairment
· Certain behavioral or mental impairments leading to 55% or more of an impairment of the whole person
Of course, it’s also worth noting that there are additional criteria which are going to allow the court to classify the case as catastrophic but it’s usually the doctor who would do so first.
Why is this important?
Now, a lot of people ask the question why this is important at all. Well, the truth is that this is one of the most important components of your entire personal injury case. The mere fact that an injury is classified as catastrophic could suggest significantly higher compensation claims. Let us give you an example.
A regular case could allow you to claim an approximation of about $65,000 combined for both attendant care benefits and for medication and rehabilitation. On the other hand, a catastrophic claim will allow you to claim up to, get this, $1,000,000 for the same benefits. The difference is quite substantial, isn’t it?
However, winning a case with catastrophic injuries and getting the designated compensation is absolutely no joke. You need the services of a reliable and reputed personal injury lawyer with a lot of experience in handling cases of this particular type. It is important that all evidences and medical reports with the listed injuries be submitted. The lawyers will need to have the presence of the doctors to substantiate the claim and the catastrophic injuries.