The motor vehicle accident legislation in Ontario can be very difficult to understand and can cause a lot of undue stress for accident victims. Intraligi Law Firm will help ensure that you understand the process so that you may receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
A simple way to explain the current framework would be to divide the process into two parts: Accident Benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) which are available to all parties, irrespective of fault, followed by Tort Claims which are reserved for accident victims who were not at fault and who have sustained a serious and permanent injury.
ACCIDENT BENEFITS (NO FAULT BENEFITS FOR ALL PARTIES)
The rule of thumb in Ontario is that anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to Accident Benefits. These benefits are provided to drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians and all other parties whether or not they are at fault.
You have 7 days to send a notice to your insurance company and 30 days to begin an application for Accident Benefits. Accordingly, it is imperative to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you possibly can following an accident, otherwise you may lose out on a number of benefits to which you would have otherwise been entitled. DO NOT fill out any forms without first consulting with an injury lawyer.
The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule was drastically changed on September 1, 2010. Some of the important changes include the following”
- The elimination of Housekeeping and Caregiver Benefits unless the injury is deemed catastrophic
- The implementation of the Minor Injuries Guideline (MIG), which limits the total cost of medical and rehabilitation benefits to $3,500 for minor injuries
- The reduction of Medical Rehabilitation benefits to a maximum of $50,000 from $100,000 if the patient does not fall within the MIG or within the Catastrophic Impairment definitions.
- The reduction of Attendant Care benefits to a maximum of $36,000 from $72,000 unless the injury is deemed catastrophic
- The reduction of Income Replacement to 70% of your gross income up to $400 per week.
TORT CLAIM (AGAINST THE PARTIES AT FAULT)
If you were NOT at fault in the car accident and if you have a serious and permanent injury, then in addition to receiving Accident Benefits, you are entitled to issue a tort claim, or lawsuit, against the party who was responsible for the accident. Your lawyer must prove that you meet the threshold set out in the law. If this threshold is met, you will be entitled to pursue a settlement compensating you for your losses. A deductible of $30,000 applies to such lawsuits, unless the award is in excess of $100,000. This threshold does not apply to financial losses such as a loss of income. You may be entitled to a settlement for:
- Pain and suffering
- Income loss
- Medical rehabilitation expenses
- Expenses related to housekeeping and attendant care
- Family Law Act damages for family members of the injured person
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact us immediately at 416-900-5121 for a free consultation.