If you’ve been in an auto accident, and if you are able, there are things you should do immediately.
Most importantly, call the police, take photos of the accident scene, get witness contact information, and call your auto insurance provider. Under Ontario’s no-fault system, accident benefits are provided by your auto insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. The lawyers at Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers in Timmins say a lot of people misunderstand Ontario’s “no-fault” automobile insurance system.
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may have two matters:
- The accident benefits matter, which provides no-fault benefits through your own policy and,
- The third-party liability insurance claim, also known as a tort claim against the at-fault party
It is important to note that you are required to notify your own insurance company of an accident within 7 days and complete an application for accident benefits within 30 days.
Statutory Accident Benefits?
If you are seriously injured in an automobile accident Statutory Accident Benefits pay for expenses not covered by OHIP, such as medical, rehabilitation, attendant care, and income replacement, and non-earner benefits. The lawyers at Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers said, “There are strict deadlines to follow depending on the type of benefit. That’s why you should seek legal advice as soon as you are in an accident, so we can assist you in applying for the benefits.”
You will be sent an accident benefits package, which can be complicated. What if you’re a student? Do you apply for the non-earners, income replacement, or caregiver benefit? The lawyers at Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers said, “Once you make that election, you can’t change your mind. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the legal language and make an informed decision. We can explain the process to them.”
Income replacement benefit
If you are seriously injured and cannot work due to the collision, you may be eligible for weekly income replacement benefits of 70% of your gross income, up to $400 per week. The lawyers at Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers said, “For an additional premium you have the option of increasing the benefit up to $1000 per week.”
If you can no longer provide care to a dependent child or adult, you may be eligible for caregiver benefits to hire someone for that task. Caregiver benefits are an optional benefit which may be purchased and the experts at Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers will be able to review your insurance policy and determine what benefits you have access to.
You may qualify for the non-earner benefit if you were unemployed or retired, or if you were a full-time student at the time of the accident, and if you were suffering a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of the accident.
Medical and rehabilitation benefits
Medical and rehab benefits compensate for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred due to the collision, such as physiotherapy, chiropractic care and prescription costs etc.
The amount of benefits you may receive depends on the level of injury. If you are seriously injured, it’s crucial that you speak with a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are placed in the appropriate benefits category.
Attendant care benefit
This covers the cost of a personal support worker if you’ve been seriously injured in an auto accident.
Out of pocket expenses
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, out of pocket expenses can certainly add up. Some of these expenses may be submitted to your accident benefit insurer for reimbursement, for example, damaged clothing, mileage to and from medical treatment, etc. The office of Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers is able to assist in submitting and obtaining reimbursement for these expenses.
Statutory Accident Benefit limits
The Statutory Accident Benefit limit for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care is $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries and $1,000,000 for catastrophic injuries. The lawyers at Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers said, “We encounter this a lot, clients who only have $65,000 of coverage, but the medical rehabilitation costs are upwards of a million dollars. Many people shop for the cheapest rates but unfortunately, they may not be well protected. Some people don’t put much thought into accident benefits because they think it won’t happen to them.”
Optional additional benefit coverage
For an additional premium, you can increase the limits as follows:
- For non-catastrophic injuries you can increase the benefits to $130,000 or,
- You can increase benefits to $1,000,000 for non-catastrophic injuries, and $2,000,000 for catastrophic injuries.
The personal injury team at Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers can guide you in your application to the insurance company and help you make an informed decision. They can also help you navigate the complexities of dealing with insurance companies, healthcare providers and the legal system when you are involved in a serious motor vehicle accident.
Please call Girones Bourdon Kelly Lawyers at (800) 569-1673 for a free and confidential consultation or visit www.girones.ca.
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