TIPS FOR FILLING OUT THE OCF-19 APPLICATION FOR DETERMINATION OF A CATASTROPHIC IMPAIRMENT (ONTARIO)
In the event you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you are entitled to Accident Benefits. There are three categories of Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits which are based on the degree of injury you have sustained: catastrophic, non-minor, and minor injury. For the purpose of this article, we will provide an overview of the catastrophic injury application form. These applications are generally referred to as CAT applications.
DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT YOUR INJURIES ARE CATASTROPHIC IN NATURE
The most common criteria that are submitted under an OCF-19 are spinal cord injuries, amputations of an arm or a leg, loss of vision, traumatic brain injuries, and injuries that together comprise a significant disability (whole person impairment). There are a number of factors that come into play when assessing whether an injured victim’s injuries are catastrophic. It is not uncommon for the plaintiff’s lawyer to argue that the injuries are catastrophic, and the defendant to argue the contrary, leading to a number of assessments and examinations to follow from both sides.
A personal injury lawyer should be able to offer guidance on how to best go about determining whether the injuries are catastrophic under the most recent Accident Benefits guidelines.
ENSURE THE APPROPRIATE PARTIES COMPLETE THE APPLICATION
A physician is required to complete the majority of the OCF-19 form, and often times it is beneficial if the family doctor fills it out. However, although the family doctor may fill out this form, you will eventually have to hire a paid medical expert to provide a comprehensive medical-legal report. Often times family doctors are trusted and impartial physicians, and therefore make a good candidate when filling out this form.
WHY IS A CAT DETERMINATION IMPORTANT?
As you can imagine, determining whether your injuries are indeed catastrophic in nature or not, largely has to do with making certain benefits available to you. Whereas for non-minor injuries, $65,000 is the max for medical rehabilitation and attendant care combined, injuries deemed catastrophic allow a maximum of $1,000,000 available for medical rehabilitation (the number increases with optional benefits).
It is not uncommon for benefits to be depleted quicker than one would hope, therefore, it becomes critical to receive a CAT designation whenever possible.
SEEK LEGAL HELP
Catastrophic claims can be the most complicated and costly when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. Insurers are often reluctant to agree to a file being designated CAT, which in turn triggers a number of assessments and examinations which can cost a lot of money on both sides. Our law firm covers all disbursements up until trial or settlement, to ensure we get you the best possible results.
If you need legal advice on a personal injury matter, contact our office for a free no-obligation evaluation of your case.
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