Conservative Budget Changes: Restoring Catastrophic Injury Cap

Man Doctor is reassuring his Senior male patient.

In April, the Conservative Government released its budget. Within the changes was a pleasant surprise for victims of automobile accidents in Ontario.

In Ontario, there are two streams to accessing assistance when one is in a car accident: one is through suing the at-fault driver, also known as a tort lawsuit and the second is through your own insurance company, which is known as “Accident Benefits” commonly referred to as “no-fault benefits”.

Historically in Ontario, victims of accidents whose injuries fit the statutory definition of ‘catastrophic’ had access up to $2 million in medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits. In June 2016, these benefit categories were combined and reduced to only $1 million in accessible benefits. This has had huge implications for individuals with serious injuries from car accidents.

For example, an individual who sustains a spinal cord injury will require lengthy and expensive rehabilitation and care, particularly in the acute stages of rehabilitation. It is not uncommon that the medical and care needs of someone in this circumstances exceed over $200,000 in the first year alone and even more if modifications are needed to be made to their home. The reduced access to benefits dramatically impacted the level of care and rehabilitation for the catastrophically impaired individuals.

By bringing the limits back up to $2 million, the law will allow for an increase in the benefits necessary to assist those who have sustained serious injuries. This has a ripple effect, because it takes the strain off our overburdened provincially funded medical system, and provides assistance to those injured to help them re-integrate back into their communities.

When it comes to auto insurance, it is best to consider your options. What many Ontarians do not know is that they have the ability to purchase optional benefits that can further increase their coverage should they become injured in a car accident. Here is a link to our previous blog post that explains the levels of coverage that are presently available under the no-fault regime in Ontario.

We at Howie, Sacks and Henry are at the forefront of legislative changes that impact Ontario automobile law. For more information, please contact Kaitlyn MacDonell at 647-260-4498 or or Michael J. Henry at 416-361-0889 or

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