Statutory Accident Benefits
Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury. In Ontario, a person injured in an automobile accident, whether or not they are at fault, is entitled to compensation. They can claim this compensation via the Statutory Accident Benefits coverage defined and regulated by the province.
In cases where the injuries suffered in the automobile accident are serious and permanent, it is also possible to file a lawsuit for additional damages against the at-fault driver. You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if your injuries meet this threshold.
No Fault Policy
Automobile insurance law in Ontario provides a “no fault” policy in cases of automobile accident injuries; however, “no fault” should not be taken to mean that no one is declared to be responsible for the accident. No fault simply means that the injured person will receive compensation from their own insurance company regardless of who is at fault. This system was put in place to eliminate the need for injured parties to wait for compensation while the insurance companies debate who is at fault and which insurance company will pay the benefits.
The police and insurance companies have different definitions of “no fault”. To the police, “no fault” means that no charges will be laid; while for insurance companies, it is necessary to attribute fault among the parties involved in the accident according to the fault determination rules written in the Ontario legislation.
Types of Statutory Accident Benefits Available
- Income Replacement Benefit – This type of benefit will partially compensate for the loss of income if the person is not able to work due to the injuries that resulted from the automobile accident.
- Non-Earner Benefit – If the person has been rendered completely unable to carry on normal activities as a result of the injuries incurred during the accident, this benefit will be their compensation.
- Caregiver Benefit – One can claim this benefit if at the time of the vehicular accident, he or she was primarily taking care of another person such as a dependent child or an adult needing care; and as a result of the accident is unable to do such responsibilities.
- Medical and Rehabilitation Benefit – Any reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses not covered by a government health plan or a private health plan acquired through work or a spouse will be covered by this benefit.
- Attendant Care Benefit – This type of benefit will pay for an aide, attendant or long-term care facility if as a result of the accident, the injured person is unable to carry out certain personal care activities such as bathing, toileting, dressing or feeding themselves.
- Other Expenses Benefit – Depending on the injured person’s eligibility, this benefit may cover lost educational expenses, the cost of certain people who visited the injured person while under treatment and recovery and reasonable costs related to housekeeping or home maintenance required due to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision. This benefit may also cover for repairing or replacing certain items of clothing lost or damaged in the collision.
- Death and Funeral Payments Benefit – This benefit is available for the survivors of a person killed in a motor vehicle collision.
Who and Where to Claim Statutory Accident Benefits
Any person injured in an automobile accident can make the claim as well as their relatives and dependents. A person; however, who is found to have been in contradiction of the law during the accident will not be able to receive income replacement benefits, non-earner benefits, lost education expenses, expenses of visitors and the housekeeping and home maintenance benefits.
The person injured may claim these benefits from their own insurance company. If they do not have an insurance company, they can claim it at the driver at-fault’s insurance company. If none of the persons involved have insurance, the claim can be made through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
Important Things to Remember
Each type of benefit has certain requirements before a person is eligible to receive them. The insurance company will notify the claimant if their application is qualified for more than one benefit.
A claimant must also keep in mind that Statutory Accident Benefits only pay for losses which are not covered by some other private or group benefit plan. If the injured person is covered by another benefit plan acquired through work or through a spouse, the mandatory accident benefits will only pay for the balance.
These benefits may have been created to give drivers more control over their car insurance coverage and premiums and to allow for the fast and easy facilitation of compensation; however, deciding which among the benefits will best compensate or which one an injured person is most eligible to receive may not be easy especially if he or she has just experienced a vehicular accident. It may be best if they seek the aid of the lawyer to make sure that they will get ample compensation for what they have gone through because of the accident. Getting a lawyer will not necessarily mean that a lawsuit will be filed; however, only a lawyer can also advice the injured person if they will be better compensated by filing a lawsuit.
Your Next Steps
For over 15 years, Deutschmann Law has been assisting individuals who have suffered personal injuries including automobile accident injuries. We understand that your ability to pay for legal representation is limited after you have suffered a serious automobile accident injury so our fees are contingency based. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Please take advantage of our easy to use claim form to provide the details of your automobile accident injuries. One of our experienced personal injury lawyers will contact you promptly to discuss your case in further detail and the next steps to be taken.
Learn more about Car Accident Claims.
Learn more about Car Accident Benefits (before September 2010).
Learn more about Car Accident Benefits (after September 2010).
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