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New rules limit ability to claim for catastrophic injuries

A change in the rules of auto insurance has cost at least one victim millions of dollars and could cause the same problem for you if you're looking to seek catastrophic injury compensation in Ontario. An Oct. 11 news report states that a man involved in a serious car accident suffered severe injuries and should have received more than he was able to collect. He received $86,000 as compensation, but had he crashed just 12 hours earlier, he would have been eligible for up to $2 million.

The man, 34, was mistakenly pronounced dead at the scene when the police saw his motorcycle had been T-boned in Delhi. He was not dead, though, and he survived with major injuries. He suffered multiple broken bones, internal injuries and brain trauma.

Why does the law matter in this case? The man was not able to receive as much money as he had hoped, and his family is now on the verge of bankruptcy as he goes through a long rehabilitation process. Just three weeks prior to this report, the man was released and able to return to his home. He needed to receive an elevated bed, which cost $4,000, and his family medical insurance has changed since he hasn't been able to work.

His wife has had to take time off work, reducing her hours to just one day a week. In reality, the family only has access to the same amount of money as someone who had broken a foot or toe in an accident. The family doesn't qualify for catastrophic compensation, because new rules no longer use the Glasgow Coma Scale. If they did, the man would have automatically qualified.

Source: CBC News, "Auto insurance rule change costs injured man millions in rehab support," Amanda Margison, Oct. 11, 2016

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