Ontario to redefine catastrophic impairment from auto accidents

Published: September 4, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

CATEGORY: | |

Share:

Starting in 2016 there will be new definition for catastrophic impairment from vehicle accidents in the province of Ontario, or so suggested Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

A catastrophic impairment is considered to be any injury that impairs a person’s life moving forward, such as a loss of limb or eyesight. The new definition under Ontarian law will feature in standard accident benefits schedule (SABS) in the province and will include:

“New and/or updated definitions and criteria for traumatic brain injuries for adults and children, amputations, ambulatory mobility, loss of vision, and mental and behavioral impairments, and introduces a new process for combining physical with mental and behavioral impairments," FSCO said in a bulletin Tuesday.

FSCO added that the new definition will come into effect for vehicle accidents occurring on or after June 1, 2016.

Under the revised definition the term "also provides for an automatic designation of catastrophic impairment for children with traumatic brain injuries in specified circumstances," FSCO noted Aug. 31.

Drivers in Ontario are currently obligated by law to carry car insurance that covers up to $1 million for injuries and recovery that fall under the definition catastrophic impairment, this is included as a benefit in all basic insurance policies. Likewise attendant care coverage to $1 million is also mandatory in the province.

"A new optional benefit for catastrophic impairment of up to an additional $1 million for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care will be available, if the insured person sustains a catastrophic impairment. The current optional $100,000 medical and rehabilitation benefit and $72,000 attendant care benefit have been eliminated."

Currently the definition of catastrophic impairment is:

For the purposes of this Regulation, a catastrophic impairment caused by an accident is,

 

  1. paraplegia or quadriplegia;
  2. the amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of an arm or a leg;
  3. the total loss of vision in both eyes;
  4. subject to subsection (4), brain impairment that, in respect of an accident, results in,
  5. a score of 9 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale as published in Jennett, B. and Teasdale, G.,Management of Head Injuries, Contemporary Neurology  Series, Volume 20, F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, 1981, according to a test administered within a reasonable period of time after the accident by a person trained for that purpose, or
  6. a score of 2 (vegetative) or 3 (severe disability) on the Glasgow Outcome Scale, as published in Jennett, B. and Bond, M., Assessment of Outcome After Severe Brain Damage, Lancet i:480, 1975, according to a test administered more than six months after the accident by a person trained for that purpose;
  7. subject to subsections (4), (5) and (6), an impairment or combination of impairments that, in accordance with the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th edition, 1993, results in 55 per cent or more impairment of the whole person; or
  8. subject to subsections (4), (5) and (6), 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) or class 5 impairment (extreme impairment) due to mental or behavioral disorder.