Catastrophic Injury Lawyers

What is the definition of a catastrophic injury?

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Catastrophic injuries are life-altering events that can result in permanent disabilities, extensive medical treatments, and significant financial burdens. At David Hollingsworth, we understand the profound impact these injuries can have on individuals and their families, and we’re committed to advocating for their rights and well-being.

With our deep knowledge of personal injury law and extensive experience in handling catastrophic cases, we strive to provide compassionate support and tireless representation throughout the legal process so you can get the compensation you deserve.

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury is a designation defined in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) as it relates to the amount and type of benefits to which you are entitled from your own vehicle, the vehicle in which you were a passenger, or the vehicle that struck you. Catastrophic injuries are severe injuries caused by accidents that impact an individual’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. These injuries result in long-term or permanent disabilities, often requiring ongoing medical treatments, rehabilitation, and care. Examples of catastrophic injuries include but are not limited to:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Loss of limbs/orthopedic injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Mental or behavioural impairments
  • Or a combination of these, resulting in 55% of whole-person impairment.  

The classification of these injuries is set by the SABS. Your injuries must be assessed and determined as catastrophic by a physician.

Common Causes of a Catastrophic Injury

A catastrophic injury can be caused by a variety of events. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian/motorist collisions
  • Cycling/motorist collisions
  • Off-road vehicle (ATV) accidents

Understanding the legal implications of catastrophic injuries is crucial when seeking compensation for the harm suffered.


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If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact us free of charge to discuss how we can help you get the compensation and care you need to enjoy a comfortable quality of life.

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The Impact of Catastrophic Injuries

We have seen firsthand how difficult it is to cope with sudden catastrophic injuries. It’s common for people to experience a loss of enjoyment of life and face other repercussions:


The injured individual and their family may face overwhelming medical expenses, including surgeries, hospital stays, personal support and attendant care,  rehabilitation, and ongoing treatments. Additionally, there may be costs associated with assistive devices, home modifications, and long-term care. Lost wages due to the inability to work or reduced earning capacity can exacerbate the financial strain.


Those with catastrophic injuries may experience a range of emotional difficulties, such as feelings of grief, anger, frustration, and depression due to the loss of physical abilities, independence, or the inability to engage in previously enjoyed activities. 


Permanent disabilities or impairments can significantly decrease mobility and function while increasing pain. These physical challenges may require ongoing treatments, therapies, and care.

Impact on Families

People who suffer from a catastrophic injury are not suffering alone — their families are also impacted. Many people who have sustained a serious injury require long-term rehabilitation or care for the rest of their lives. 

These injuries can place enormous demands on family members, which is why it’s important to seek the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer who has experience with helping people with catastrophic injuries receive fair compensation. Permanent medical care and other support can be expensive, and it’s important to access the necessary benefits to rebuild your life. 

What is a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer?

A catastrophic injury lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in representing individuals who have sustained these life-altering injuries. They possess in-depth knowledge of personal injury law and have extensive experience handling these types of cases. They also understand the unique challenges faced by their clients so that they can provide compassionate support, guidance, and effective advocacy on the path toward fair compensation.

What You May Be Entitled To

If your injury is deemed a catastrophic injury, you are eligible for enhanced medical rehabilitation benefits combined with attendant care benefits of up to $1,000,000 over your lifetime. You are also entitled to housekeeping benefits and visitor expenses (expenses incurred by family members when visiting you). A catastrophically impaired individual is also entitled to a case manager, a health professional – often a nurse or occupational therapist, and other benefits. You may also be entitled to income replacement or non-earner benefits. 

Why You Need a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

When facing the life-altering consequences of a catastrophic injury, seeking the assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer, like the David Hollingsworth team, is essential. We possess the knowledge, experience, and resources to navigate your case. Here’s why enlisting the help of a catastrophic injury lawyer is crucial in these challenging situations:

1. Legal Expertise

Catastrophic injury cases are complex, requiring in-depth knowledge of personal injury law, insurance regulations, and the legal system. We specialize in these areas of expertise and have a comprehensive understanding of the legal principles and precedents relevant to these cases. Ultimately, we ensure that your rights are protected, and we will navigate the intricate legal landscape on your behalf.

2. Receiving Compensation

These life-altering events often result in substantial damages, including medical expenses, ongoing care, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. We can assess the full extent of your damages and fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve to make the necessary changes to your life going forward. We understand the nuances of quantifying damages in these cases, so you can rest assured that no aspect of your losses is overlooked.

3. Building A Strong Case

Because of our expertise, we can build a strong case on your behalf. We will gather evidence, interview witnesses, consult with medical experts, review medical records, and engage with accident reconstruction specialists if needed. By conducting a thorough investigation, we can establish liability and demonstrate the full extent of your injuries, strengthening your case for fair compensation.

4. Handling Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting.  We have experience negotiating with insurance companies and will protect your rights, handle all communications, and work to ensure your rights are respected. Where necessary, we engage in disputes at the Licence Appeal Tribunal. 

5. Access to Expert Networks

We have established professional networks that we can use to provide you with fair and compassionate care and patient-focused assessments. This includes access to medical professionals, rehabilitation specialists, vocational experts, and other professionals who can provide expert opinions and testimony to support your claim. These resources strengthen the evidence in your case and contribute to a more robust legal strategy.

6. Peace of Mind

In the midst of a very stressful, emotional and confusing time, a catastrophic injury lawyer can offer compassion and peace of mind. This means that we are dedicated to keeping your best interests at heart while handling all the complexities of the legal process for you.


What to Do if You or Someone You Love Has A Catastrophic Injury

Catastrophic injuries are just that — catastrophic. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what to do:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. The most important priority is your health. Ensure you (or your loved one) receive prompt and comprehensive medical care.
  • Document the incident. If possible, gather information about the circumstances surrounding the injury. This may include taking photographs of the scene, noting down the names and contact information of any witnesses, and preserving any physical evidence related to the incident. Such documentation can be valuable for building your case later on.
  • Preserve medical records. Keep a record of all medical documentation, including hospital records, diagnostic tests, treatment plans, medication information, and rehabilitation progress. These records serve as critical evidence of the severity and ongoing effects of the catastrophic injury. Our lawyers will also obtain these records. 
  • Keep a journal. Document the pain, emotional distress, and limitations experienced as a result of the injury.
  • Consult with a catastrophic injury lawyer. Contact a reputable catastrophic injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. They will provide a professional evaluation of the situation, assess the potential legal claims, and guide you through the necessary steps to seek compensation. 
  • Follow medical recommendations. Consistency in following medical advice supports your recovery and strengthens your legal claim by demonstrating your commitment to healing and mitigating damages.
  • Build a support network and prioritize your care. Coping with a catastrophic injury can be emotionally and physically draining. Surround yourself with people you trust who can offer emotional support and practical assistance. 

These best practices are steps you can take to secure the emotional and financial support you need during this challenging time. The most important thing is to take care of yourself first — let us do the heavy lifting of navigating your legal claim.

Why David Hollingsworth?

When considering legal representation for your catastrophic injury case, the David Hollingsworth team offers a range of unique qualities that set us apart from the rest:

  • Proven Track Record: We’ve achieved many successful settlements for clients. We’re committed to developing the best legal strategies to provide you with the long-term financial security you need.
  • Compassionate and Personalized Methods: Dealing with a catastrophic injury is difficult. We understand your unique needs and provide compassionate support. We’ll take the time to listen to your story and understand the impact the injury has had on your life. From there, we will customize a legal strategy tailored to your distinct circumstances, ensuring all angles are accounted for.
  • Strong Professional Network: We collaborate with a network of top experts, including medical professionals, to ensure all aspects of your case are thoroughly assessed.
  • Open and Transparent Communication: We will keep you informed about the progress of your claim, promptly address your questions, and ensure you’re actively involved in the decision-making process.
  • Contingency-Based Fees: Pursuing a catastrophic injury case can be financially burdensome. You only pay us once we’ve successfully obtained compensation on your behalf.
  • Accessible Team: We’re a multilingual team to make seeking help from personal injury lawyers as accessible as possible.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, contact us free of charge to discuss how we can help you get the support, compensation, and care you need to begin enjoying a comfortable quality of life. We will start immediately to get you the necessary benefits for your recovery and financial security for your future. We offer:

  • Free, no-obligation, initial consultations
  • Hospital and in-home visits
  • No fee unless and until the resolution of the claim

We understand, we care, and we’re here to help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A catastrophic injury is a severe injury resulting from an accident. This incident leads to long-term or permanent effects on an individual’s well-being and overall quality of life. In Ontario, specific criteria must be met to be classified as a catastrophic injury, as defined under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). Most catastrophic injuries include an injury to the spine or brain, vision damage, an amputation, or multiple severe impairments, but the specific classification of your injury must be determined by a physician.

Most personal injury lawyers charge on a contingency basis. This means that throughout the claim, they will cover the costs associated with your case. At David Hollingsworth, we won’t take a retainer fee but instead collect a set, agreed-upon percentage when the case resolves successfully. This ensures our clients aren’t stressed about or limited in treatments because of money.

Catastrophic injuries are unique, and many factors go into determining the average settlement. When you work with us, we will spare no expense in gathering the necessary information to assess your claim and achieve fair compensation.

In a catastrophic injury case, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, home modifications, and long-term care needs. We can help assess your damages and pursue the appropriate compensation on your behalf.

Depending on the nature of your injury, there are specific timelines for assessments and tests to be performed to determine whether or not you meet a catastrophic injury designation. If you have a tort claim against an at-fault driver, you generally must file the claim within two years of the accident date or two years from the 18th birthday of a minor.

While it is difficult to predict the exact outcome of every case, most catastrophic injury claims are settled outside of court through negotiations. In some instances, however, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to trial. We will assess the specifics of your claim, weigh the potential outcomes, and advise you on the best course of action. We’ll be here every step of the way.

Ontario follows the legal principle of contributory negligence, which means your compensation may be reduced if you are found partially responsible for the accident. However, even if you share some degree of fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. Consult with us to get advice on how contributory negligence might impact your claim.

Insurance companies may attempt to deny or undervalue catastrophic injury claims to protect their own interests. If you believe your claim has been unjustly denied or insufficiently compensated, we’re here to help pursue the compensation you deserve.

The duration of a catastrophic injury claim can vary significantly based on the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, and the cooperation of the involved parties. Some claims may be resolved within months, while others may take years.

We are lawyers who understand, who care, who are here to help… and our track record proves it.
We can’t change the past but we can help change your future.