What is Whole Person Impairment?

Car Crash Traffic Accident scene

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you have probably heard the term “Whole Person Impairment” (“WPI”) with no explanation. At JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP, it is very important to us that our clients have a comprehensive understanding throughout the entire litigation process.

WPI is a rating that is used in order to determine the extent of an individual’s catastrophic impairment. This is measured in percentages. The WPI rating is then taken into consideration when you apply for a catastrophic impairment under Statutory Accident Benefits. In order to recover compensation for catastrophic injuries, there is a higher threshold to meet. This is made easier with the use of the WPI technique.

A catastrophic impairment is essentially when an individual suffers from an injury that drastically impacts their ability to carry out their normal day-to-day activities. In order for your injury to be classified as a catastrophic impairment, you are required to prove at least one of the following:

  • Paraplegia
  • Tetraplegia
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Blindness or a loss of vision in both eyes
  • Amputation or severe impairment in the mobility of your arm or ability to ambulate independently
  • Physical impairment or a combination of physical impairment that results in a WPI rating of 55% or more
  • Severe mental and/or behavioural disorder in three or more areas of function.

Previously the law allowed for individuals that were seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision to receive up to $1 million in medical and rehabilitation benefits and up to $1 million in attendant care benefits. However, as the law currently stands, severely injured individuals are entitled to receive up to $1 million for medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits.

Typically, assessments to determine catastrophic impairments are completed after two years from the date of the collision, however, assessments can also be done as early as three months following the collision if your condition fulfills a specific test for a brain injury or renders a WPI rating of more than 55%, and is unlikely to improve to less than 55%.

If you or a loved one has been catastrophically injured or if your catastrophic designation has been denied by your insurer, contact us at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP to speak with our team of experienced personal injury lawyers.
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