Accident Benefits in simple terms
The laws of Ontario have a mechanism to ensure every person who is injured or dies in a motor vehicle accident can access financial help. The mechanism is called Statutory Accident Benefits Coverages, and this is provided, by law, in every auto insurance policy.
The compensation provided by the benefits is available regardless of fault. It is also available whether the injured person was the driver, the passenger, or a pedestrian.
Accident Benefits help create financial security after a dramatic life change. Let us look at a few categories:
FINDING A SOURCE OF INCOME
If someone is seriously injured, it is likely that they cannot work, at least for a while. Income replacement is a benefit that helps provide an income during this recovery period.
Another form of compensation is called non-earner. This compensation provides financial support to people who will not recover medically and do not qualify for income replacement.
Sometimes income replacement is needed for the person required to fill the role of a caregiver. Accident Benefits can also provide compensation to people who must leave work to care for somebody injured in a car accident in Ontario.
COVERING NEW EXPENSES
After a car accident injury, there are many new expenses. There are medical expenses, the cost of aids (attendant care), and money needed for ongoing rehabilitation to improve health outcomes.
Some expenses are less obvious, such as the need for housekeeping, family or friends’ travel to provide support during the recovery or treatment, or lost educational expenses. There is also the cost associated with the repair or replacement of the car damaged in the accident.
Accident Benefits will also cover some funeral expenses and provide additional money to family members if the insured person dies due to the accident.
WHEN ACCIDENT BENEFITS CAN BE DENIED
Accident Benefits can be denied if the injured person is breaking the law. For example: driving without valid insurance or driver’s license or driving a vehicle without the vehicle owner’s consent. Cases of fraud or driving a car while committing a crime would also likely prevent someone from claiming Accident Benefits.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF A CAR ACCIDENT?
If you are a car accident victim, start with reporting your information to the police and then make sure to seek medical treatment right away. After that, seek legal advice, especially if you have already made an insurance claim and have been denied the benefits you feel you are rightly owed.