What Is A Catastrophic Accident?

November 1, 2021

In a moment, one injury could change your life. When car accidents are more severe, that’s when injuries can be considered catastrophic and lead to life-altering, permanent changes. However, even minor accidents can sometimes lead to serious injuries and impairments. 

In Canada, catastrophic accidents are at a record high. Although the pandemic and lockdowns have led to traffic being lower on most major highways, the number of catastrophic accidents has increased. 

What Is A Catastrophic Accident?

A catastrophic accident (also called a traumatic accident) is one that causes ‘catastrophic impairments’, as defined by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule of Ontario. Severe injuries such as to the brain or spinal cord, permanent disabilities, and other irreversible harm can be considered catastrophic. 

What benefits are you entitled to after an accident? Click here to learn more about accessing accident benefits from your insurance company.

Types Of Catastrophic Injuries

Some types of injuries that can be considered catastrophic include: 

  • Head injuries including brain damage or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a blow to the head or damage to the brain. Long-term injuries can include speech problems, mobility issues, concentration issues and memory loss. 
  • Spinal injuries including trauma to the spinal cord caused by a violent impact to the neck or back. Spinal injuries can be severe and lifelong, including paralysis, loss of motor function, weakness, and extreme pain. 
  • Amputations or loss of limb caused by a catastrophic accident.
  • Internal injuries such as irreversible damage to major organs.
  • Loss of eyesight.
Learn more about catastrophic accidents:How Car Accident Victims Can Access Treatment After Exhausting Their Accident BenefitsCatastrophic SABS Amendments: How Catastrophic Are They?The New Catastrophic Impairment Definition: Brain Injury In Children

How Does A Catastrophic Accident Impact The Compensation You Can Receive?

Because of the loss caused by a catastrophic accident, and the immediate impact it can cause on your life, victims may be entitled to: 

Up to $1,000,000 in benefits from the insurance company for medical and rehabilitation treatment, including attendant care benefits, as well as a weekly housekeeping benefit (IFyou are deemed to have sustained a catastrophic impairment by your accident benefit insurer). 

You can also pursue a personal injury claim in court if one or more parties involved in the car accident acted negligently. In that case, you can claim enhanced compensation for your loss, including for pain and suffering, lost income, medical and rehabilitation costs, and more. A lawsuit allows victims to claim for non-pecuniary damages and can far exceed what is paid out by insurance.

You Need To Talk To Experienced Trauma LawyersAfter A Catastrophic Accident

If you have been in a serious or catastrophic accident, it is vital to get in touch with a trusted trauma lawyer as soon as possible. We will be able to guide you on the next steps and important records and information that you will need to advance your claim(s).  

Only after you speak to a trauma lawyer will you get a complete picture of your accident-related rights and understand your options. 

Beware if someone says you are only entitled to the compensation provided by your accident benefit insurance company – that may not be the case. If your injuries are caused due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to pursue a tort claim for the pain and suffering and other losses you have suffered.

Book your free consultation with one of our trauma lawyers today to discuss your case. We can schedule a virtual meeting, or can meet you at-home or in-hospital.


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