Know Your Rights
What you need to know if you have been in an accident.
Recent information regarding the automotive insurance industry
The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) has built a website to provide public education regarding the auto insurance industry. The Plaintiff Personal Injury Group at Lerners, many of whom are active members in OTLA, invites you to visit this website at www.truthaboutinsurance.ca for some helpful information.
Sources of compensation
If you, or someone you love, has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, there are two primary sources of compensation for the damages, expenses and losses you have suffered, and may continue to suffer in the future.
The first source is “accident benefits” sometimes referred to as “no-fault benefits.” These benefits are available subject to specified exclusions) regardless of who is at-fault for the accident. Injuries are classified as either minor, non-catastrophic or catastrophic. How your injury is classified will have an impact on the benefits you may receive.
Those not completely at fault for the accident may also, within specified limits, sue those at-fault for pain and suffering, loss of income and future earnings, and future care costs. Compensation is available regardless of how the injuries are classified.
For those employed at the time of the accident, the lesser of $400.00/week or 70% of gross income from employment after a 7 day wait), may be available if an impairment resulting from an automobile accident prevents you from working at your usual occupation. There are time limits on the duration of payment depending on the type of injury.
Benefits for Non-Earners
Individuals over 16, who did not work prior to the accident and, as a result of the accident, suffer an inability to carry on a normal life may be entitled to a non-earner benefit of $185.00/week, payable after 6 months.
Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses
For minor injuries, up to $3,500.00.
For non-catastrophic injuries, up to $50,000.00, over a period of 10 years after the accident.
For catastrophic injuries up to $1,000,000.00, over a lifetime.
For minor injuries, not available.
For non-catastrophic injuries, up to $3,000.00 per month and to a maximum of $36,000.00 over two years at $3,000.00 per month, the $36,000.00 maximum entitlement would be reached in 12 months).
For catastrophic injuries up to $6,000.00 per month to a maximum of $1,000,000.00 over a lifetime.
Caregivers who are unpaid stay at home parents for example) and who are unable to engage in caregiving following the accident may be reimbursed for expenses up to $250.00/week for the first dependent child, plus $50.00/week for each additional dependent child. Only available for catastrophic injuries.
There are also additional benefits that may be available including visitation expenses, lost education expenses, housekeeping and home maintenance benefits, damage to clothing expenses, and in cases of death, death and funeral benefits. The availability of benefits will vary based upon the severity of your injury and whether optional insurance benefits are available to you.
Optional Enhanced) Accident Benefits
If purchased, optional enhanced) accident benefits will be available for income loss, medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits, caregiver benefits, dependent care benefits, housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, death and funeral benefits and for indexing of specified benefits.
If you do retain a lawyer to assist you with the claims arising out of your motor vehicle accident, it is important to advise them if you purchased the enhanced benefits.
Claims Against the At-Fault Driver
In addition to accident benefits that you may be entitled to, those not completely at-fault may also claim, within specified limits, against the at-fault driver to recover economic losses income loss, expenses) and non-economic losses pain and suffering).
In serious injury claims, family members may also be able to bring claims for:
• Loss of care, guidance and companionship
• Services rendered to the injured person
There are other situations where someone who is injured may have a right to claim for their losses.
Some examples are:
• Slips and falls
• Accidents on other people’s property
• Recreational vehicles
• Boating accidents
• Defective products
• Criminal acts assaults)
Timing is Critical
There are time limits within which accident victims must take steps to preserve their right to claim compensation failing which they may be barred from ever suing and being compensated for their injuries. It is very important to seek qualified legal advice on your rights and entitlement as early as possible.
E. & O.E. This information is accurate at time of posting.
For up-to-date information contact:
Toll-free Accident Hotlines Free Initial Consultations)
1-800-263-5583 London) / 1-888-742-1113 Toronto)
80 Dufferin Avenue, P.O. Box 2335
London ON N6A 4G4
225 King Street West, Suite 1500
Toronto ON M5V 3M2