Necessary facts everyone should know about Accident Benefits

Every person who was injured in an automobile accident faces with problem:  “What to do first”. The Article “10 Facts You Need To Know About Accident Benefits” includes necessary information you must know for solving your current problem with insurance company or for the future.

Potential claims after automobile accident

Injured in an automobile accident has two options of claim:

  • the accident benefits claim
  • the tort claim

Almost everyone thinks that first step after suffering in an automobile accident is to sue driver with the purpose of compensation for injuries. But it is not the right one. First of all, in accordance with the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule under Ontario’s Insurance Act, there are specified benefits that an injured is entitled to receive. A person should refer to the provincial Statutory Accident Benefits scheme.

There may be some damages that cannot be covered by the provincial Statutory Accident Benefits scheme. So that there is another option of claim – sue driver responsible, accordingly.

Regardless of your fault you are entitled to receive benefits

According to SABS, an injured has the right to receive some benefits immediately (medical and rehabilitation expenses, attendant care expenses, income replacement benefits). It depends on optional coverage a person can purchase (housekeeping and home maintenance, etc.). If there are some disputes arising between you and your insurance company – you should resolve them through the Financial Services Commission.

You do not to have your own vehicle

It does not matter either you are owner of the car or just a pedestrian, being injured, you are entitled to receive benefits. You may apply for benefits though your auto insurance policy or through another insurer. Also Ontario government may determine necessary fund.

Hire lawyer/paralegal to deal with your case

Every insurance company does not want to pay a large sum of money for injured, as they can make more money paying less in claims. So that, it is better for you to hire person who is able to provide legal services and helps you to receive all necessary benefits.

Premium does not increase if you make accident benefits claim

Your premiums may increase if an automobile accident was your fault and it does not matter if you make an accident benefits claim or not. Otherwise, premium must not be affected.

Benefits are not paid automatically

If you want to receive your benefits, you should apply for them within 7 business days. All necessary forms must be provided by you insurance company and must be filled within 30 days.

There are some circumstances when you cannot receive your benefits:

  • driving without valid insurance,
  • driving without the owner’s consent,
  • using an automobile for participation in criminal activity, ect.

If there is a dispute between you and your insurance company concerning accident benefits, there are a few options:

  • Dispute resolution through mediation at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario
  • arbitration at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario
  • bringing a lawsuit (within 2 years since your insurance company denied to pay your accident benefits).

Another and the last important fact is that family members are eligible to receive accident benefits not being involved in an automobile accident. These benefits cover treatment of psychological, mental and emotional issues.

Inna Maister is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

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