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Car Accident Victims are Entitled to Benefits for Personal Injuries

 

After the Crash…

 
In Toronto, there are thousands of car accidents annually on the city’s congested streets.  The chances are that sooner or later you will become a car accident victim yourself. It is important to know what to do – and to act quickly with that knowledge.
 
You have exactly seven days to notify your insurer that you were in an accident and intend to apply for accident benefits under Ontario’s no-fault insurance legislation. But what benefits exactly do you qualify for?
 
Let’s assume that your injuries – at least at the beginning – seem relatively minor and you are only planning to seek benefits under the Ontario Insurance Act. A full description of the benefits to which you are entitled are available on the website of the The Insurance Bureau of Canada.

However, a thumbnail listing of benefits are:

  • Income replacement benefit. This allows for partial compensation for loss of income if you are unable to go back to work as a result of an injury sustained in an accident
  • The Non-earner Benefit provides for further compensation in the event that you can’t go back to work and are prevented from carrying out your normal activities.
  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits pay for medical expenses that are not already covered by a government or private plan, provided they are "reasonable and necessary”.
  • The Attendant Care Benefit pays for an assistant with personal care activities.
  • Other expenses included are lost educational expenses, housekeeping costs, death and funeral costs, and even the replacement of clothing lost or damaged in the collision.

Hiring a Lawyer

 
A lawyer can take care of all your post-accident benefits. In fact, hiring a personal injury lawyer should be the second thing you do – The first should be to get immediate medical attention. Given that you have exactly seven days to inform your insurer of your desire to seek benefits under the Ontario Act, you must move quickly.
 
It is important that you talk to a lawyer before your insurance adjuster because anything you say to the adjuster will go into your file and affect your future accident claims, as well as any subsequent tort action you may find advisable.
 
Don’t forget, insurance companies deal with cases like yours all the time – but hopefully your involvement in a personal injury claim will be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. You are not on equal footing with your insurer, so you need a lawyer to protect your rights.
 

Things to Look for in a Personal injury Lawyer

 
Find an experienced personal injury law firm. The law is simply too complex to expect a general practitioner to adequately press your claim or claims. And don’t be daunted by the prospect of financial outlay in pursuing your claim. Your lawyer should take your case on a contingency fee basis – taking the fee out of the eventual settlement, at a percentage that you have agreed upon at the commencement of proceedings. In other words, you should never be out of pocket in the process.
 
Being a car accident victim is not one of life’s happy events, obviously. However, engaging the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer quickly should bring you both peace of mind and as successful an outcome as possible for your benefits claim.

When Your Injuries Are More Severe

By Mark

If you are a car accident victim whose injuries are more severe or you have suffered catastrophic injuries, you may consider a tort claim as well as benefits under the Ontario Insurance Act. There are a number of injuries that qualify as catastrophic injuries under Ontario law, including, but not limited to paraplegia or quadriplegia, amputation of a limb resulting in total and permanent loss of use, the total loss of vision in both eyes, severe brain injury and injury resulting in severe mental or behavioural impairment.

 

Catastrophic injuries are particularly troubling because they not only cause physical and cognitive impairments, but also because they cause emotional and psychological distress that can slow down the recovery process. Also, many catastrophic injuries are not immediately apparent. Spinal injuries, for example, can cause increasing impairments over time.

 

Some car accident victims are hesitant to consult a lawyer after an accident because they assume the insurance company will pay all of their bills and make a fair offer of damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to settle personal injury claims for as little as possible. This is why it is important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help car accident victims obtain fair compensation.

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Interested in learning more about the options available to you after an accident?

Call the Sokoloff team today to claim the accident benefits you deserve!

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