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Mental Impairment - Ontario Injury Lawyer


The legislation regarding catastrophic injury in Ontario is unique within Canada. In addition to statute relating to catastrophic injury, the Court of Appeal has clarified certain aspects of mental impairment which can now be aggregated with physical injuries for subsequent assessment, within the definition of catastrophic impairment provided by law. If a physical injury or multiple physical injuries together with a mental or behavioural disorder fit the definition of a catastrophic impairment in Ontario, then benefits and compensation payable to the victim are enhanced, compared to the financial award that the injured person might otherwise expect to receive. It is therefore a matter of some importance that a catastrophic impairment lawyer assesses the situation in detail with a view to maximising the ultimate pay-out. An Ontario lawyer will seek to prove that the victim suffered a “55 per cent whole person impairment” which is the trigger point for enhanced benefits. To satisfy the test, an accident victim must substantiate and subsequently prove that they have suffered from a very severe physical and/or psychological impairment which will thereafter allow them to access a greater source of benefits from which to establish entitlement. A determination of catastrophic impairment may make an unparalleled difference to recovery and quality of life for the victim and those who care for them.

Impairment - Definition

Ontario statute determines that a catastrophic impairment caused by an accident is defined as :-

  • paraplegia or quadriplegia
  • amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of both arms or both legs
  • amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of one or both arms and one or both legs
  • blindness in both eyes
  • brain damage subject to statutory parameters
  • impairment or combination of impairments that results in 55 per cent or more impairment of the whole person or class 4 impairment (marked impairment) or class 5 impairment (extreme impairment) due to mental or behavioural disorder


If it is determined that the injury is a catastrophic impairment, the following enhanced benefits entitlement applies in Ontario :-

  • case management services
  • enhanced attendant care
  • enhanced medical benefit limits
  • enhanced rehabilitation benefit limits
  • extended expenses for visitors
  • extended housekeeping benefits over a lifetime
  • extended home maintenance benefits over a lifetime


In order to claim damages in car accident compensation claim it is necessary to show that another driver has been negligent and is to blame for causing the accident. In its simplest terms negligence is a lack of care for the consequences of ones actions or using less care than a reasonable person would use. One of the earliest definitions from the 19th century is as follows :-

    “Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable person guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable person would not do”.

To establish liability for negligence in a car accident compensation claim it is necessary to show the following elements :-

    Duty of Care

      Establishing a duty of care in a motor vehicle accident is very straightforward. All road users owe all other road users a duty of care by law.

    Breach of the Duty

      To show breach of the duty of care it is necessary to prove that the defendant acted in an unreasonable manner without consideration for other road users when compared to a prudent road user.


      It must be proved that the breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of the injury and loss. Any items that are claimed must be reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the breach failing which they will be deemed as remote and un-claimable.


      All items that are claimed must be proven as actual losses.

Time Limits

There are time limits in all personal injury cases. Failure to settle a claim or failure to issue legal proceedings in a court of law prior to the expiration of the limitation period which is defined in a statute of limitation may mean that the opportunity to claim compensation is lost forever. There are certain limited exceptions to the general rules for minors and for the mentally disabled. If you have been involved in an accident that has caused personal injury and loss you should urgently seek advice from a qualified lawyer at the first opportunity.

Ontario Injury Lawyer

A catastrophic injury lawyer is a specialist personal injury advocate with expertise in serious personal injury compensation claims. Our Ontario personal injury lawyers offer a wealth of experience relating to catastrophic impairment and give free advice, with no further obligation, on liability and the potential value of a catastrophic injury compensation claim. Payment for services is based on a contingency fee basis which means that we only get paid when you get paid. If the case is lost there is nothing whatsoever to pay. If you have suffered from a catastrophic injury caused by a negligent third party you should contact a personal injury lawyer without delay.