Ottawa accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth explains Ontario No-Fault Accident Benefits
Important: Report Your Accident!
The first step in the personal injury process is to report your accident! If you have been injured in an accident in Ottawa or Ontario, there are specific rules that must be followed to secure your personal injury claim. Your top Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you through this process, to help you gain compensation for your injury, lost earnings, pain, and suffering, or simply getting the insurance company to repair or replace your car. Remember, if you do not report the accident, the insurance company may not pay for any of these things enumerated. Let our top Ontario personal injury lawyers help you to ensure that you do not risk losing out on the many important benefits expanded upon below.
The “No-Fault” System of Insurance
In Ontario, we have a “no-fault” process or set of rules for auto accidents. These benefits are called “accident benefits” and basically mean that irrespective of who is responsible or “at fault” for the accident, you are still entitled to a large range of benefits to help you in a time when you are most vulnerable and need the benefits most. Generally, this system of insurance was introduced to provide accident victims with a large variety of benefits to foster their rehabilitation and to reduce the number of claims against insurers.
It is important to note, that such benefits do not cover damages for pain & suffering or future income loss. A lawyer will need to be retained if you want to claim for a tort action to recover for such things. A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general. A tort action is lodged against the driver who may have caused your accident. To succeed with a tort claim, your injuries need to be of a “serious and permanent” nature. This requirement of “serious and permanent” to claiming in tort is known as the “threshold”, subject to judicial interpretation and defined by the courts. A top Ottawa personal injury lawyer such as David Hollingsworth will have the fluency to understand the fluid nature of the threshold since the judicial interpretation of the threshold changes constantly. Your success depends on the facts of your case, and how the case is presented. Generally, a victim of an Ottawa personal injury or auto accident has two cases: first, a no-fault case against the insurance company, and second, a tort case against the person or insurance company for the driver responsible for the accident. There may be an accident benefits claim and no tort claim or a tort claim and no accident benefits claim, and sometimes there is both a claim in accident benefits and tort. In short, your success depends on the facts of your case, the extent of the injuries, and the skill of your top Ottawa Lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help to explain the nature of the threshold, and its complexities to you so that you do not lose out on the benefits that you deserve.
Top Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth can help you to recover accident benefits, including (1) Medical/Rehabilitative, (2) Income Replacement (3) Caregiver Benefits, (4) Housekeeping / Home-maintenance Benefits, and (5) Attendant Care Benefits.
(1) Medical/Rehabilitative Benefits
As the name implies, Medical and Rehabilitative Benefits are designed to deal with costs of treatment for physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, health club, adaptive/assistive devices, aquatic rehabilitation, and generally any other relevant treatments deemed reasonable and necessary for your recovery secondary to your accident. The list of features provided by these benefits is extensive and can include devices such as therapeutic beds, wheelchairs, canes, ramps, and even modified vehicles to accommodate for your accident injuries. A health care professional like a physiotherapist, massage therapist, or doctor must complete a “treatment plan” for you in order to recover these benefits. This form is submitted to the insurance company for consideration. Generally, accident victims in “non-catastrophic” cases are entitled to a maximum of $100,000 in benefits over 10 years in med/rehab benefits. Accident victims in “catastrophic cases” are entitled to a maximum of $1,000,000 over the course of a lifetime.
(2) Income Replacement Benefits
Income replacement benefits are designed to replace your income if you are not able to work secondary to your accident. Generally, there is an 80% entitlement to your net pre-accident income (which is averaged from your last year’s pre-accident earnings, or 26 of the 52 weeks before your accident). Generally, the maximum allowable income replacement benefit under a standard automobile insurance policy in Ontario is $400/Week. Issues can arise in claiming income replacement benefits when it is difficult to prove that you were working before your accident, or quantifying your pre-accident income, and so on. An experienced lawyer can help you in this regard because they will know the “ins and outs” of the entitlement opportunities for you.
(3) Caregiver Benefits
Caregiver benefits are designed for individuals who were the primary caregiver for a dependant, such as a young child, elderly person, or sick person, at the time of their injury. Due to the injury or accident, these individuals are not able to care for their dependants any longer and require caregiver benefits. Generally, you do not need to show that you made any income prior to your accident. Rather, you are only required to demonstrate your status as the primary caregiver. As to weekly benefits, the caregiver is entitled to about $250/week, with an additional $50 for each extra dependant. A good lawyer will know these details about your benefits and can help you get the benefits you deserve.
Housekeeping/Home-maintenance benefits are designed to help the accident victim to complete necessary chores, housekeeping or home-maintenance, including the cleaning of dishes, preparation of meals, general cleaning like dusting, mopping, taking out the garbage, and so on, which become impossible in situations of physical impairment and injury following your accident. These benefits are generally $100/week and can be claimed by submission of appropriate receipts and invoices to your insurance company. If you do not submit these required documents to your insurer, you will not get these benefits, regardless of how hurt you are. A compassionate lawyer will understand the difficulty you may face with the stress of your injury and can help you to work out a plan so that you are not losing out on any benefits that you deserve.
(5) Attendant Care Benefits
Attendant Care Benefits are designed to compensate for individuals such as your family, friends, loved ones, or whoever is performing attendant care services for you after your injury. These benefits are designed to pay these individuals for their services, which after a tragic injury can include grooming, bathing, grocery shopping, brushing hair, putting on clothes, brushing teeth, etc, when the accident victim is no longer able to do so secondarily to their accident. As in the other benefits, a lawyer can help you to recover these costs. The process involves enlisting the services of a health care professional (e.g. occupational therapist, etc) to complete a “Form 1”. This form will describe the extent of help and care requirements a victim needs following their injury.
In short, if you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident you may be entitled to many accident benefits from your insurance company. Each year, thousands of victims neglect to see a top Ottawa Lawyer and lose out on many benefits that they deserve that could help them in their recovery. Top Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth can help you to ensure you protect and safeguard your interests by recovering your benefits, which can include (1) Medical/Rehabilitative, (2) Income Replacement (3) Caregiver Benefits, (4) Housekeeping / Home-maintenance Benefits, and (5) Attendant Care Benefits. If you do not have insurance, you may still be entitled to these benefits. As an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer, David Hollingsworth speaks and meets with people daily who have not been properly compensated by their insurance company. David Hollingsworth knows the system and is here to help you. You have been through an accident; you have been through enough. Visit www.ottawainjury.ca or email [email protected] for a free consultation.