Catastrophic Injuries Lawyer

At Campisi LLP, our precedent-setting team of personal injury lawyers have assisted hundreds of catastrophically injured clients receive the care, compensation and support they need. We understand the devastating impact such severe injuries can have on your life and the lives of your loved ones, and we approach every case with deep expertise and unfailing compassion.

Catastrophic impairments, such as amputations, blindness, traumatic brain injuries and more are often caused by negligence of other parties. These injuries are life-altering, and many victims face years of treatment, multiple surgeries and ongoing counselling for psychological trauma.

If you or a loved one has a catastrophic impairment, we are here to make sure that you are treated fairly by your insurer and that you get the care and compensation you deserve.  Your family can also be seriously impacted- financially, emotionally and psychologically.  In such cases, we will provide advice and assistance so that you make it through this difficult time together.

NOTE:

We will look at your case for free and take the time to ensure you understand every detail of your lawsuit. Rest assured that you won’t pay anything until your case is won or settled.

Catastrophic Injuries

“NO FAULT” BENEFITS AND HOW THEY APPLY TO CATASTROPHIC INJURIES

No fault benefits refer to the Accident Benefits that you receive from your own insurance company after you have been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident. You notify your insurer of the collision and submit an application for Accident Benefits. They will pay reasonable and necessary amounts for treatment and assessments, income replacement, caregiver or non-earner benefits, attendant care, housekeeping and home maintenance.

If you are seriously injured in a vehicle accident, the standard accident benefits will likely not be enough to provide for your ongoing care and rehabilitation needs. You will need to try to claim the enhanced benefits under your policy, by proving that you have been catastrophically impaired. This is a complicated process and your insurance company may try to deny your entitlement. Our personal injury lawyers are experts in catastrophic claims. We are here to provide free consultations and we will communicate clearly to you the issues facing you in your rehabilitation and in seeking a determination of catastrophic impairment.

HOW TO MEET THE CATASTROPHIC CRITERIA

Catastrophic impairment is a category under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) of the Insurance Act that applies to a variety of severe and generally permanent post-accident impairments. It requires proof of at least one of the following:

  • Amputation;
  • Paraplegia;
  • Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia);
  • Severely impaired use of an arm;
  • Traumatic brain injury of sufficient severity;
  • Loss of vision in both eyes;
  • A Whole Person Impairment (WPI) rating of 55% or greater loss of overall function; or
  • A Mental or Behavioural Disorder (MBD), that causes Marked Impairment in 3 or more functional areas; or an extreme impairment in one functional area

A client’s catastrophic designation unlocks entitlement to greatly enhanced benefits. For vehicle collisions after June 1, 2016, a claimant can receive up to $1,000,000 in medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits, if required. The amount of available attendant care is up to $6,000 per month. Note that the laws that determine whether a victim’s injuries are catastrophic are very complex, and insurance companies may not make it easy as they may want to keep the cost of your care down. We are experts at getting you the compensation you need and deserve, and have represented hundreds of clients in catastrophic claims.

WHOLE PERSON IMPAIRMENT (WPI) RATING

The WPI rating system assumes a person without any impairment has a WPI of 0%. To meet the threshold for catastrophic impairment, a person’s WPI must be 55% or greater. This percentage is calculated by considering all the various physical and/or psychological impairments a person has suffered and assigning a percent value to each one.

MENTAL OR BEHAVIOURAL DISORDER (MBD) RATING

The MBD rating system evaluates loss of function from a mental or behavioural disorder in the following key areas:

  • Activities of daily living;
  • Social functioning;
  • Concentration, persistence and pace;
  • Deterioration or decompensation in work or work-like settings.

For collisions after June 1, 2016, a person must experience impairment levels that significantly impede useful functioning (“Marked” impairment) in 3 of these areas to qualify or impairment levels preclude useful functioning (extreme impairment) in one functional area.

THE PROCESS OF QUALIFYING AS CATASTROPHICALLY IMPAIRED

If your injuries and ongoing impairment fall within one of the “straightforward” categories, such as a leg amputation, your insurer might accept that you are catastrophically impaired as part of adjusting your claim.  However, because each of the categories sets out criteria to be met, more often they will insist that you be evaluated by doctors and therapists of their choice.  For many claims, particularly ones based on WPI or MBD, you must apply for a determination of catastrophic impairment. In response, your insurer will schedule a series of assessments to determine your impairment level.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY INSURER DETERMINES THAT I AM NOT CATASTROPHICALLY IMPAIRED?

If the insurance assessors conclude that your impairments do not qualify under any of the categories, you will have to start a proceeding against your insurer and challenge the assessors’ findings. It is essential that you hire an experienced and decisive personal injury law firm like Campisi LLP to represent you in this complex proceeding. Often, the insurance company will want to settle your claim on a full and final basis rather than proceed to a hearing. We will provide you with clear and prudent advice so that you can determine whether settling is in your best interest.

When do I need to file my lawsuit?

Generally, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. However, lawsuits against municipalities require that notice of a pending suit be submitted within 10 days following the injury date. Speak to our catastrophic injury lawyers right away to ensure you file your case within the proper time limits.

NOTE: The two-year limitation period does not begin for a child until they reach the age of 18 in Ontario.  This does not mean you should wait to speak to our pediatric injury experts.  It is important that you discuss your child’s case with our personal injury lawyers right away to ensure the case is investigated and managed properly from the start.  As these claims can go on for many years while the child’s development continues, it is important to lay the right groundwork.

How much compensation can I get?

Although compensation depends on the specific circumstances of the case, catastrophic injury claims can result in very large damages awards because of the potential for all areas of your life to be impacted permanently.

Damages for pain and suffering (called “general damages”) are only one aspect of your overall claim.  Since there is no accurate way to put a monetary value to your losses from pain and suffering, our courts have set a cap on the amount you can recover.  For the most serious injuries, the cap is approximately $390,000 as of July 2019.  Compared to American lawsuits, where there is no similar cap, this is a small award. However, there are other significant areas of compensation, including:

  • Past and future loss of income or earning potential;
  • Future costs of care;
  • Loss of housekeeping and home maintenance capacity.

Damages under these headings have no cap and are determined through expert analysis. They can total millions of dollars, depending on the specific life circumstances of the victim.   At Campisi LLP, we have extensive experience determining appropriate ranges of damages for our clients.  We engage leading economists, vocational and other experts to ensure we accurately calculate our clients’ needs so that you can rest assured that you will be taken care of, now and in the future.

You might also be entitled to recover:

  • Economic losses incurred by family members;
  • Cost of future attendant care;
  • Cost of caregiving;
  • Loss of shared family income;
  • Loss of care, guidance and companionship suffered by your immediate family;
  • Out of pocket expenses;
  • and more.

Medical expenses, including rehabilitation;

  • Costs of adapting/modifying homes and vehicles;
  • Psychological and vocational counseling;
  • Out of pocket expenses;
  • and more.

We will look at your case for free and take the time to ensure you understand every detail of your lawsuit. Rest assured that you won’t pay anything until your case is won or settled.

In many serious personal injury claims, it can be challenging to identify sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate an injury victim. We have this expertise, and have provided valuable insight in presentations at legal conferences on how to access all available sources of compensation for our clients, including:

  • Umbrella policies and reinsurance (e.g.: commercial landlord or tavern liability claims),
  • Insurance brokers (e.g.; negligent representation to a defendant regarding coverage),
  • Property owners (failure to maintain property safe for use),
  • School boards (e.g.: negligent supervision)
  • Municipalities (e.g: construction hazards, substandard road maintenance).

Can I file a lawsuit to claim compensation?

You can commence a lawsuit to claim compensation if your catastrophic injury was caused in whole or in part by the negligence of another party. Examples include:

  • Negligent, distracted or drunk drivers;
  • Failure by individuals or corporations to meet Occupiers’ Liability standards
  • Failure to implement proper safeguards and procedures, such as in the case of workplace accidents, playground accidents and more;
  • Product malfunction;
  • Medical negligence and malpractice.
No-Fault Benefits

If your injury involved a motor vehicle, Ontario has an Accident Benefits system that is designed to provide you with fast access to essential benefits when you are injured, regardless of who is to blame for the accident. They are often referred to as No-Fault Benefits. Under the no-fault system, each person deals directly with their own car insurance company for health care, income replacement and other benefits. Note that if you were injured on a snowmobile, ATV or other recreational vehicle, you might also be entitled to no-fault benefits.

Download our Free Accident Benefit Book

We have achieved exceptional results for our clients against some of the world’s largest and most prominent insurance companies, law firms and corporations including: AIG, Allstate, Aviva, Chubb, Cooperators, Desjardins, Economical, Intact, Lloyd’s, Northbridge, RBC, RSA, TD, Travelers, Wawanesa and Zurich, among others. Contact us today to learn how Campisi’s experts can help you with your case.

Why Campisi

We Win Cases That Change The Law

At Campisi LLP, you and your family are in good hands. Our Managing Partner is not only an exemplary personal injury lawyer and a past member of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto, he is a Professor of Insurance Law at one of Canada’s top law schools – the only Personal Injury Lawyer in Ontario with a Ph.D. in Insurance Law. Our lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients with serious injuries like these, and use their extensive knowledge of the law, the medicine and the insurance system to win your case.

We Guarantee to Always Put Your Future First

You don’t pay for anything until your case is won or settled. We treat you as we would our family, making ourselves available 7 days a week to guide you through these difficult times. We are selective when taking on new clients so that you receive the attention you deserve, and the commitment to win your case.

You don’t pay until your case is won or settled

7050 Weston Road, Suite 101
Vaughan, ON, L4L 8G7

24/7: 416 820 9434
Toll Free: 1 855 351 1115