OCA ruling a “huge leap forward”
A recent ruling that granted a Toronto woman access to enhanced medical benefits is a “huge leap forward” for accident victims that suffer from chronic pain, says Toronto personal injury lawyer Ilana Raynai.
In a precedent-setting decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently deemed chronic pain a psychological condition that can result in a catastrophic impairment. The result of Pastore v. Aviva Canada Inc. means chronic pain sufferer Anna Pastore, who was represented by Toronto personal injury lawyer Joseph Campisi, is entitled to enhanced accident benefits, including up to $1-million in medical and rehabilitative treatment and up to $1-million in attendant care benefits from her insurer, Aviva Canada Inc. See Prior Story
“The majority of people involved in motor vehicle accidents in Ontario suffer from soft tissue injuries. Many of the cases that end up in litigation involve chronic pain,” Raynai says. “This means that more people may be deemed catastrophically impaired than in the past, which in turn means those people will have access to more money to pay for rehabilitation.”
Raynai, an associate with Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP, says the ruling is significant because it gives a more defined framework on how to interpret the statute and guidelines with respect to the definition of catastrophic impairment.
Raynai notes the case doesn’t mean that everyone who has a broken ankle is catastrophically impaired, and says it’s too soon to tell how great the impact will be on her practice area.