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Faq

FAQ Accident Benefits

  • Dispute Resolutions

    Insurance company has stopped paying accident benefits. What should I do?

    If the insurance company refuses or stops paying benefits, they must give you written notice, including reasons for their decision. You can apply for mediation to specially designated branch of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) called Dispute Resolution Services (DRS). Mediation at FSCO is a mandatory first step in dispute resolution. An impartial FSCO mediator will help the involved parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution of their dispute.

    What application forms I need to fill in to apply for mediation?

    If you decide to apply for mediation, you must complete and send to the Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) an Application for Mediation - Form A within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal.

    What if the dispute is not resolved in mediation?

    After the mediation, the mediator will send you a Report of Mediator listing the issues the parties agreed on and the issues that remain in dispute. If the dispute is not resolved in mediation, and you decide to apply for arbitration, you must complete and send us an Application for Arbitration - Form C within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal or within 90 days of the date of the Report of Mediator, whichever is later.

    Can I apply for arbitration at once and skip mediation?

    You cannot apply for arbitration unless you first complete mediation at FSCO and mediation fails.

    What if I want to appeal the arbitrator’s order?

    You may appeal the arbitrator’s order within 30 days on a question of law. If you decide to appeal, you must complete a Notice of Appeal - Form I and send it to FSCO and the other party. You may also wish to consider applying for neutral evaluation or variation/revocation.

    Where can I get help?

    Call us, email us or write to us! It’s the easiest way. However, if you decided to do it yourself then the Dispute Resolution Practice Code and Practice Notes describe the rules for participating in DRS proceedings. Guidelines for accident benefits and the claims process are given in the Superintendent’s Guidelines and can be found at:  http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/guidelines/Default.asp

    Do I need a lawyer?

    You do not need a lawyer for dispute resolution at FSCO. You can choose to represent yourself. You are also entitled to have a friend or family member help you in an informal and unpaid manner, but only if the person receives no compensation directly or indirectly. However, disputes can become complicated and most insurance companies have lawyers representing them at arbitration and appeal, you should consider consulting one of our lawyers or licensed paralegals.

    How much dispute resolution cost?

    FSCO does not charge claimants for participating in mediation. If mediation does not resolve the dispute, a claimant must pay $100 to apply for arbitration, and $250 to start an appeal. There are different charges for insurers. At arbitration, most claimants and insurance companies will incur certain arbitration expenses, including legal fees, fees charged by doctors and other experts for preparing reports, witness, and other fees.

    Please remember, there are lots of things that have to be taken to consideration: the criminal injury compensation process is nothing but simple. Sometimes even professionals with a great experience can be overwhelmed. To be on the safe side, just ask a paralegal or a lawyer and they will help you.

  • Personal Injury

    Can I sue for assaults and/or sexual assaults?

    Yes. There may, however, be financial reasons why suing is not the most economical way to address these claims. Your lawyer will be able to guide you as to the best route to take to address your claims against those responsible for your injuries.

    What if my injuries prevent me from working?

    You can receive income replacement benefits through your accident benefit insurance company. An income replacement benefit will pay 80% of your net loss of income up to a maximum of $400.00 per week. You may also be entitled to receive short term disability benefits and/or long term disability benefits through either a privately held insurance policy or a group policy of insurance purchased by your employer. Lastly, you may apply to Canada Pension Plan for a disability pension in certain circumstances. In addition to these benefits, you are entitled to claim for remaining loss of income in your lawsuit.

    What benefits am I entitled to if I was not working?

    If you were the primary caregiver for someone in your home before the accident and you are not able to continue providing care after the accident, you may be entitled to caregiver benefits of $250.00 per week. You may be entitled to an additional $50.00 per week for every other person you were taking care of before the accident. Even if you were not the primary caregiver for someone in your home, you may be entitled to non-earner benefits of $185.00 per week beginning six months after the accident, if you are completely unable to carry on a normal life. You must be at least 16 years old to receive non-earner benefits.

    What if I am a student and can't return to school?

    If you cannot return to school, you are eligible for a lost educational expense not to exceed $15,000.00 for expenses incurred before the accident for tuition, books, equipment or room and board.

    What if I am a pedestrian or cyclist and don't have insurance?

    You are still entitled to receive benefits from the accident benefit insurance company or the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. In addition, you can start a lawsuit against the at fault driver.

    What if I'm at fault for the accident?

    You are still able to receive full accident benefits. If your injuries are serious, these benefits may be substantial.

    Do I have the right to choose my own case manager and treatment providers or must I accept those assigned by the insurance company?

    You have the right to choose the person who will manage your care, treat your injuries and direct your rehabilitation. The right lawyer can help you make an informed choice. It is not in your best interest to speak to any representative for the negligent party. Do not speak to an insurance company or the claims adjuster. The insurance company has a business interest to maximize your claim and recovery and pay you less. If you wish to speak to the insurance company, talk to a lawyer first to be advised and prepared for questions that likely will be asked. Typically the insurance adjuster will want to take a tape recorded statement. Before giving such a statement, you should be prepared and counseled as to how to answer expected questions. We do not typically suggest you agree to give a recorded statement to any insurance adjuster.

    Can I recover damages no matter how I am injured?

    No. In the most general terms, someone other than the injured party must be responsible for causing the injury. This responsibility can arise in one of a number of ways:

    • An intentional act, such as a physical assault;
    • A failure to act, or omission, where the responsible party has a duty to act (i.e. peace officers, municipal officials, etc.);
    • Negligence; where a party fails to meet legally-required standards of care to avoid harm or injury.

    The assessment of whether or not a particular incident creates liability on the part of some other person or agency is one of the most technical aspects of personal injury practice. To paraphrase a common warning, "Don't try this yourself". Leave it to the experts. In particular, do not rely on the advice of friends, co-workers or other non-professionals. In the area of motor vehicle law, there are certain circumstances in which even an "at fault" driver may be entitled to certain payments (or "benefits") even if they are the sole cause of their own injuries. (Please refer to the section in this manual dealing with "Accident Benefits".)

    What is a “notice period”?

    Somewhat similar to a limitation period, it is a period of time, usually shortly after the event causing the injury, within which the injured party must formally notify a particular party or entity of an intention to seek damages from them. The form of the notice usually specifies that it must be in writing and contain certain particulars such as the date and location of injury, contact particulars for the injured party and various other matters. It also must be delivered (or "served") on a specific party or entity. It is critical not only that the notice is delivered, but also that proper proof of delivery is obtained. Failure to provide a required notice can have the effect of limiting, reducing, and in extreme cases, eliminating the prospect of recovery. Because these notice requirements are often as short as several days after the event, timely appreciation of a notice requirement is crucial.

    What is a “limitation period”?

    It is a legal time limit that forces you to start a court proceeding within a specific period of time following the incident that caused your injury. Failure to do so is fatal to your right to recover compensation (damages). The specific limitation periods for different matters range from several years to merely a number of months. Critical periods relating to motor vehicle accidents are set out elsewhere in this guide and on our website. For other claims, we urge you to take the time to find out from a qualified source. Our experts would be more than happy to hear from you about the particulars of your situation and advise you accordingly.

  • Dog Bites / Animal Owner Liability

    Do I have to send my pit bull out of Ontario or have it euthanized?

    No. Owners of pit bulls may keep their pit bulls, provided they keep them in compliance with the requirements of the new legislation and any regulations made under it. The new legislation will take effect on August 29, 2005.

    Is my dog a pit bull?

    Under the amendments to DOLA, pit bull is defined as:

    • A pit bull terrier
    • A Staffordshire bull terrier
    • An American Staffordshire terrier
    • An American pit bull terrier
    • A dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs.

    Who decides whether or not a dog is a pit bull?

    The amendments provide that in a Part IX proceeding the onus of proving that the dog is not a pit bull will lie with the owner of the dog. In offence proceedings, the amendments provide that the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, a veterinarian's certificate attesting that a dog is a pit bull is evidence of that fact. Part IX proceedings and offence proceedings are heard before the Ontario Court of Justice.

    What sort of documentation do I need to travel with my pit bull?

    The amendments do not deal with customs documentation regarding shipping of dogs to Canada from foreign jurisdictions and dogs that are in transit destined for other countries. The legislation bans pit bulls and their importation into Ontario. It is the responsibility of an owner to show that a pit bull is not being imported into Ontario in contravention of the ban.

    What if I am just passing through Ontario with my pit bull?

    You will be in contravention of the law if you are found to have imported a pit bull into the province. Your pit bull may be subject to seizure and you may be subject to a fine and/or jail time. Please note that exceptions exist for Ontario residents who are out of the province with their pit bulls for less than three months. Limited exceptions also exist for individuals coming to Ontario for purposes of participating in recognized dog shows and flyball tournaments.

    Do I have to have my pit bull muzzled and leashed?

    Regulations provide that pit bull owners must comply with leash and muzzle requirements by October 28, 2005. Municipal by-laws may have such requirements prior to October 28, 2005. Check with your local municipality for further information.

    What if I want to complain about a dog? Who do I contact?

    Municipalities are responsible for animal control and you should generally contact your local animal control or by-law enforcement office in relation to animal control issues. In emergency situations, the police should be contacted. Please note that after October 28, 2005, owners of existing pit bulls must ensure that their dogs are sterilized and that they are muzzled and leashed while walking them in public.

    Do I have to register my pit bull?

    There is no provincial plan for dog registration as animal control is a municipal responsibility. You should license and register your dog in compliance with requirements set by your local municipality.

    I am being harassed when walking in public with my pit bull. What should I do?

    The Ontario government's amendments to DOLA are designed to make all Ontarians safer. The fact that the government has chosen to ban pit bulls is no justification for harassment of pit bulls owners or cruelty to animals. Pit bull owners are allowed to keep their dogs and walk them in public, as long as they obey the law as it applies to all dog owners. However, pit bull owners walking their dogs in public after October 28, 2005, must comply with certain requirements, such as keeping the dog muzzled and on leash. Pit bull owners who are subject to harassment that may constitute criminal activity and/or fear for their safety should contact the police.

  • Product Liability

    What’s the definition product liability?

    Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.

    Can food poisoning be considered a product liability?

    Indeed, food poisoning due to negligence in the preparation and process of food, is a very common situation faced by restaurant’s and bar’s costumer, where the problem becomes serious you have the right to sue the owner of the place. Our team is willing and ready to help you at any time

    My son was injury playing with a defective toy, what should I do?

    If you have enough grounds to prove that the device caused injure you may sue the manufacturer, to find out where you stand, give us a call and our team will give you a clear assessment of your case.

    I bought a power tool and because it did not stop on time, I broke two fingers, fell and hurt my head I was never told that the safety power was not working properly in that specific model, can I sue the manufacturer?

    Surely you can, if they did not recall the product is completely their fault. You have the right to be compensated for injuries and pain.

    While I was carrying a full pallet of chemical products two of the bags tore apart and explode; the powder hit my face and my eyes, I was taken  to the hospital and still not feeling well.

    You should make an appointment as son as possible with us, bring all the paper relevant to the incident; you may sue for physical damages and pain and suffering

     

  • Criminal Injuries Compensation

    What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board?

    The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is an administrative tribunal that is governed by the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. The role of the Board is to assess financial compensation to those who qualify under the Act as victims or the family members of deceased victims of violent crimes committed in the Province of Ontario.

    Who can apply?

    It depends on whether there was an injury or a death.

    For an Injury:

    Anyone injured as a result of violent crime in Ontario can apply. This includes those hurt or affected while making an arrest or assisting a peace officer with law enforcement duties, or while trying to prevent a crime. Violent crimes may include firearm offences, poisoning, arson and other offences such as assault, sexual assault, domestic assault (e.g. abuse by a spouse/partner), child physical assault, child sexual abuse, etc. The injuries may either be physical or psychological. However, the injuries must be more than merely transient or trifling in nature in order to be awarded compensation. If a victim is under the age of 18, or unable to manage his/her personal affairs, a legal guardian must make the application.

    For a Death:

    If a person died as a result of violent crime in Ontario, or while making an arrest or assisting a peace officer with law enforcement duties, or while trying to prevent a crime, any family members that were dependent on the deceased person or who paid expenses as a result of the death (including expenses to care for one or more children of the deceased person or expenses for bereavement counselling) can apply for compensation. A person can also apply for compensation if he/she witnessed or came upon the scene of the crime that resulted in the death and meets the criteria for a finding of "mental or nervous shock." If a claimant is under the age of 18, or unable to manage his/her personal affairs, a legal guardian must make the application.

    How do I apply for compensation?

    If you believe you meet the criteria for a claim, complete an application form with as much detail as possible. You can download the form from The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board website, or you can call, fax or mail the Board and an application form will be mailed out to you. Once completed, send the original application form (typed or printed in ink) to the address shown on the form, along with any supporting documents. Faxed or photocopied application forms are not accepted. It is important to keep a copy of any document you send us, as the documents will not be returned. You have to fill in your application form very carefully otherwise it might be dismissed. To be on the safe side, just call us and we help you. Remember, the criminal injury compensation process is nothing but simple.

    Can I file an application on behalf of another person?

    Yes. However, you can only do so if:

    • you are a parent or legal guardian of a victim/claimant who is a minor (under the age of 18); or
    • you have the legal authority to make decisions for a victim/claimant because he/she cannot make decisions for himself/herself (e.g. due to mental/physical incapacity).

    Is there a time limit for filing my application with the Board?

    Yes. An application for compensation must be made within two years of the date of the incident. However, we can extend the two-year limitation when it is warranted, but you will have to request such an extension and explain your reason(s) for the delay in the application form.

    Do I need a lawyer or legal representative to apply to the Board?

    It is not necessary for you to have a lawyer. But remember, the criminal injury compensation process is nothing but simple. Once you hire us, we (not you!) will communicate to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and do our best to resolve the problem and get full and fair financial compensation.

    What happens after I send in my application?

    When the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) receive your application form, they assign it a file number. CICB will inform you of that number, and you should write it on any further documents you send to them. CICB may contact you to ensure that the application form is complete. CICB requires information and documents to support the claim. These documents may include receipts, medical or counselling reports, police reports, court files and so on. In some instances, CICB can assist in obtaining documents. When CICB determines that the file is substantially complete, they will schedule either an electronic, oral or documentary hearing. CICB will tell you the time, location and type of hearing. You are responsible for ensuring that CICB has your current contact information (e.g. telephone numbers and mailing address).

    Will the person who committed the crime find out about my application?

    In cases where there has been a criminal conviction, CICB will refer to the person who committed the crime as an "offender." In all other circumstances, CICB will refer to him/her as the "alleged offender." CICB will advise you whether the (alleged) offender will participate in the hearing process. It is important to understand that, by law, the (alleged) offender is entitled to be notified of a Board hearing and may choose to participate. If you have concerns about CICB’s notification of an (alleged) offender or any disclosure of personal information to the (alleged) offender, you must tell CICB representative during the application process.

    Do I have to attend a hearing?

    If your claim can be assessed based on written evidence alone, you won't need to attend a hearing. One of CICB’s adjudicators will make a decision based on the information in the file. This is called a documentary hearing. If an oral hearing is needed, you must be present. During an oral hearing, the adjudicators will ask questions about the incident, injuries and associated costs. Victims/claimants who are minors (under the age of 18) are not required to attend the hearing. In certain cases you or others may participate in a hearing by telephone while the adjudicators are present at a hearing site. An electronic hearing is generally held when the Board determines there is good reason not to have the parties in the same room. The Board may combine an electronic and oral hearing in one proceeding.

    Where are the hearings held?

    The Board holds hearings in 19 locations across the Province: Belleville, Cornwall, Hamilton, Kenora, Kingston, Kitchener, London, North Bay, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sault Ste Marie, Sioux Lookout, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Windsor.

    What will the Board consider when it makes a decision on my claim?

    When deciding whether to make an award for compensation and the amount of the award, CICB must consider the following:

    • whether a violent crime under the Criminal Code or an arrest has occurred, or whether the injured/deceased person was assisting a peace officer with his/her law enforcement duties, or trying to prevent a crime from occurring. The Board considers the provisions of the Criminal Code in effect at the time of the incident,
    • whether there is enough reliable information available to support your claim,
    • all of the relevant circumstances, including any behaviour of the injured/deceased person that caused or contributed to the injuries or death,
    • whether you have refused reasonable cooperation with or failed to report the offence promptly to the police,
    • whether you have received any benefits paid by private insurance, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or any other source, as a result of the crime (not including Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program).

    What happens after my hearing is held?

    Following the hearing, you will receive written notice from the Board informing you of the adjudicator's decision. If you are awarded compensation, we will attach a cheque to the decision. If your claim for compensation is denied, the reason(s) for the denial will be described in the decision. You will also be provided with options if you wish to ask for a review or appeal of the Board's decision.

    What happens if I move or change my phone number after I file my application?

    You must ensure that your contact information is correct. You must also inform CICB if your contact information changes while CICB is processing your claim to ensure that they can send documents to the correct address and can contact you directly, if necessary. If CICB is unable to reach you by phone or mail, your application may be dismissed.

    Am I giving up my right to sue the person who committed the crime?

    No. Our process does not interfere with your right to sue the (alleged) offender(s) in a civil action. However, if you are successful in a civil action, you must reimburse the Board for any compensation you receive from it.

    What is the maximum award the Board can pay?

    When one person is injured or killed as a result of a violent crime, the maximum award that we may pay as a lump sum is $25,000 When more than one person has been injured or killed as the result of a violent crime, we can award a maximum of $150,000 as a lump sum to all of the claimants. Ongoing monthly periodic awards can be made in certain cases when there is an ongoing financial loss (e.g. lost income, child care expenses). When a periodic award is made, the amount of the lump sum component cannot exceed $12,500. The maximum amount that we may award as a periodic payment is $1,000 per month. Periodic payments cannot exceed a total of $365,000. Periodic awards are reviewed on an annual basis to determine whether there is still a need for the funds.

    What types of things can the Board pay for?

    The Board may award compensation for any of the following:

    • treatment expenses
    • travel to treatment expenses
    • loss of income
    • pain and suffering
    • funeral and burial expenses
    • bereavement counselling expenses
    • loss of financial support for the dependants of a deceased victim
    • costs associated with supporting a child born as a result of a sexual assault

    CICB requires original receipts and/or supporting documents before we make such an award.

    What types of things will the Board not pay for?

    CICB does not award compensation for:

    • crimes committed outside the Province of Ontario,
    • damaged, lost or stolen property,
    • motor vehicle incidents (except where the vehicle was used deliberately to assault or harm another person),
    • legal fees for criminal court and/or civil suits,
    • distress and/or loss of wages for attending criminal court,
    • workplace accidents (claim should be filed with the WSIB),
    • accidental deaths,
    • deaths resulting from suicide,
    • pain and suffering for grief and sorrow (however, we may award compensation for bereavement counselling expenses),
    • monetary loss due to fraud,
    • neglect or abandonment of children (except where it amounts to criminal negligence),
    • accidental injuries (slip and falls),
    • negligence by an institution/organization,
    • malicious prosecution of accused persons.

    What happens if I am also receiving benefits from Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW)?

    If you receive an award from CICB while you are also receiving benefits from either the Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works, CICB’s award may have an impact on those benefits. It is recommended that you contact your ODSP/OW caseworker for more information.

    Does the Board need to know if I received (or will receive) other monies for this injury or death?

    Yes. You must inform CICB of any other compensation you have received or will receive in respect of the injury or death (e.g. life insurance, CPP benefits, etc.). CICB must consider this information when we are deciding whether or not to award compensation and assessing the amount of compensation. If you are successful in a civil action in a related matter, you must reimburse the Board for any compensation you received from it.

    What if my circumstances change after my hearing and I need more treatment?

    After a hearing, CICB may vary an order for payment in certain instances where there has been a change in circumstances. A variation can only be granted if an award was made initially at the original hearing.

  • Occupier Liability

    What would I consider a “slip & fall accident”?

    The most common are: fall on wet surfaces, ice, wet or slick substances leaking from another’s person house, tripping on loose steps, tiles or flooring, trip and fall on lawn or garden, torn carpets or wet entrance mats.

    Are commercial properties liable for slip and fall accidents?

    If you slip and fall in premises such as malls, restaurant, offices, nightclub, bars etc, you may be entitled to financial compensation due to negligence of the owners to keep the place safe for people entering the commercial dwelling.

    Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident?

    The law states that both, the owner of the property and the injured person are responsible, the first because their obligation to keep the property safe and the latter. Have a duty to watch where they are going as well as to be aware of their surroundings, because objects may fall or substances may spill on walking surfaces

    I am completely sure that my accident was not due to my negligence, how can I be partially responsible?

    The court will decide after examining the evidence the percentage of liability for each party involved, an analysis called: “comparative negligence”. The more liable the court find either side, it will determine the amount of compensation for the injured individual.

    What should I do after the accident?

    There are two actions you can take:

    1) if you are seriously injured, ask somebody at the scene of the occurrence to help you gather the most relevant information such as: conditions of the surface, lighting and any other abnormality that is evident. If possible take pictures of the spot in which you fell and if there is any physical evidence or marks in your footwear or dress keep those in a safe place.

    2) if you injury is serious but you can still function, make a detailed report of the incident, describing step by step the occurrence; if somebody help you or other people witnessed the accident, ask for their names, addresses and telephone number, and write down any other opinion that you consider relevant.

    Should I speak with the representative of the insurance company without consulting a Lawyer?

    That’s a no-no, first you need to contact an experienced lawyer as HGGGFFF, to go over the incident. The “Adjuster” from the insurance company will want to know every detail before and after the accident and our expert will help you to organize all the information and prepare a summary of the incident.

    What happen if I am hurt in a city property?

    You need to contact a lawyer as soon as you can, because there are strict rules to notify the City in written about the accident. According to section 44(10) of the Municipal Act, you have 10 days to do so, otherwise, you might lose the right to sue.

  • Pedestrian Accidents

    I was hit by a driver that left the scene of the accident, I could not get any identification either from the car nor from the driver what should I do?

    Any pedestrian involved in an accident has the right to be compensated for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, medical and out of pocket expenses, in addition if any member of your family is affected due to the accident they also might be compensated

    Am I entitled to any benefits?

    As same as any other victim of an accident, a pedestrian has the right to apply for benefits and compensation, including:

    • Weekly income replacement benefits
    • Supplementary medical and rehabilitation benefits
    • Attendant care benefits
    • Caregiver benefits
    • Housekeeping benefits
    • Non-earner benefits
    • Funeral and death benefits

    Where should I apply for the benefits?

    You should contact us immediately, our team of injury lawyers will guide trough the process, from the applications to FSCO, the institution that authorize the benefits to the determination of damages due to your injury.

    How long should I wait to be entitled for Therapy and replacement income?

    A. as soon as, FSCO, determines that you fulfill all the requirements, a clinic specialized in physiotherapy will make an assessment of your injuries and time you need to recover and will propose a schedule of rehabilitation to FSCO for approval. Most of the time, experienced clinics can assess before hand the validity of your claim, and start the therapy at once.

    How long should I wait to be entitled for replacement income?

    You might have to wait 1-2 weeks after FSCO approved your claim to receive the first check, you also will inform for how long you are entitled to the replacement income.

  • Bicycle Accidents

    Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet while riding on the road?

    Yes, if you are under the age of 18 you are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet when traveling on any public road. Cyclists over 18 are encouraged to wear helmets for their own safety, but are not required to by law.

    Why was the bicycle helmet law introduced?

    Research shows that helmets can be extremely effective in preventing head injuries. About three-quarters of all cycling fatalities involve head injuries. The Ontario government is committed to promoting cycling safety.

    What is the fine for not wearing a helmet?

    The fine is $60. With court costs of $5 and the victim fine surcharge of $10, the total is $75 for a plea of guilty.

    How do I know which helmet to buy?

    Consumers should look for a helmet that fits comfortably and meets safety standards. Check the inside of the helmet for stickers from one or more of the following organizations:

    • Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
    • Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
    • American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
    • American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
    • British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
    • Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990

    Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet while riding a power-assisted bicycle (also known as an electric bicycle or e-bike)?

    Anyone operating an electric bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times.

  • Motor-Vehicle Accidents

    What are the first steps I should take immediately after an accident?

    • Be sure that you or your passengers if any do not have any serious injuries and are able to move without any restrictions
    • If after the accident you are in a good shape, check the occupant(s) of the other vehicle to find out if anybody is in need of emergency services
    • If you have any suspicions that somebody is hurt or the other driver might be impaired call 911 immediately. Do not move anybody who is injured, you can aggravate their condition with this action.

    What should I do next?

    • Collect all the information about the other driver involved in the accident: name and making of the automobile, name of insurance company including policy number and expire date, plate’s numbers and any other details you consider relevant information; if you have a camera handy takes as many pictures as you deem necessary, they will be very useful to back up any claims.
    • Contact your insurance company, report the accident facts and provide the information you gathered about the other driver.

    The police came to the scene of the accident, what is the best way to approach them?

    • Be honest and just express the facts, do not give any personal opinion or blame your self or the other driver
    • It is very important if the Police ask you to fill an accident report to request a copy of it and be sure that all information related to the agent in charge of the incident is given to you, otherwise, in the future you will need to request that information to the Police Headquarters.

    What could happen to me if I leave the scene of an accident?

    You maybe prosecuted according to Section 252(1) of the Criminal Code and if found guilty, face the possibility of 5 years of imprisonment.

    Should I visit my family doctor the day after the accident?

    Lots of injuries are not felt or detected right away after an accident therefore is the vital importance that you visit your doctor in order to assess your state of health.

    If I believe that I sustained middle or major injuries, when is the best time to contact a personal injury lawyer?

    Do it as soon as possible in order to start your claim and apply for accident benefits.

    How much should I pay to consult about my situation?

    We do not charge for the first consultation, we carefully analyze your case and give you the options you have to succeed with your potential claim.

    What are Statutory Accident Benefits?

    If you are injured in a car accident you may be entitled to the following benefits:

    • Income replacement: 80% of net weekly earnings up to $400.00 dollars per week; for a maximum of 104 weeks
    • Non-earner: $185.00 dollars per week for a maximum of 104 weeks, 6 month deductible applies
    • Medical & Rehabilitation:No more than $100,000 Dollars for a period of 10 years
    • Caregiver: $250.00 dollars per week for the first child, and $50.00 dollars for any successive children, for a maximum of 104 weeks. Only children under the age of 16 are entitled to this benefit.
    • Attendant care: $3,000.00 per month for a maximum of 24 months, Monthly payments according to specific regulations
    • Other expenses: Benefits pay for some expenses incurred such as: home maintenance, housekeeping, repair of replacement of items damaged or lost at the time of the accident and some educational expenses.

    I have a very bad accident and major injuries; do I have the right to sue?

    Yes, if the other driver was at fault, and you meet the requirements an award for damages will be given to you. You have the right to sue for pain and suffering but you must meet the threshold.

    Can you describe the term “Meet the Threshold”

    To meet the threshold, the test is often, whether or not the injured person sustained a "permanent, serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function" or “a permanent serious disfigurement”.

    How difficult is to get compensation?

    The “no fault” System is very complicated, there are so many regulations and requisites that only an experienced lawyer can understand at full. Do not get confused about what you read or hear; large amounts are rarely awarded if the process is not handled properly and the information is not classified accordingly. We always make sure that every step is carefully examined and analyzed to the best for our client.

    If I am compensated, there will be any deductions to the amount awarded?

    One of the restrictions on an injured person’s right to sue is the deductible. Simple put, deductible is an amount of money that is subtracted from the amount awarded for pain and suffering. In Ontario the amount is $30,000.00. Is very important to emphasize that this deductible does not apply when the amount awarded is superior to $100,000.00

    If I file a personal injury claim, will we settle out of court or go to trial?

    Many injury cases can be settled out of court. A lot depends on what the insurance company offers as a settlement for your claim. As you representatives If we believe that the amount is fair to you, we will settle out of court. But if the offer is unacceptable, we may take the case to trial

    What about my family?

    Your family member also has a right to sue if one of the members dies or sustained serious injuries; the prime example is the bread winner not able to support the needs of children and wife. Damages may be awarded for lose of care, guidance and companionship.

    What do I do with the legal documents which the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund has forwarded to me and which appear to deal with a motor vehicle accident?

    You must contact your lawyer or the solicitor for the plaintiff (the person making the claim against you).

    What if I disagree with the claim being made against me as the uninsured motorist?

    You must file a written dispute with the Fund or with the appropriate Court. You may also wish to consult your own lawyer.

    My property (i.e. bicycle, wheelchair) was damaged by an uninsured driver. Can I make a claim with the Fund?

    Yes, under certain circumstances. You should know, however, that the Fund requires specific information about the damage, its location and insurance details on your property before it can consider your claim.

    Can I collect accident benefits from the Fund?

    Only when no other source of automobile insurance recovery is available. If you have contravened the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act then your benefits may be restricted.

    How long does it take to get my first cheque?

    If we have received all of the required information, you can expect to receive your first cheque within 14 days of processing your claim for accident benefits.

    Why am I indebted to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund?

    You were the owner and\or driver of an uninsured vehicle involved in an accident, in which someone was hurt, or property was damaged. Because you were uninsured, the party suffering the loss in the accident requested that the Fund pay for their damages on your behalf. You must now repay this amount to the Fund.

    Why was my driver's licence suspended?

    The Fund paid for property damages or personal injuries caused by the uninsured vehicle of which you were either the owner or the driver. The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act requires that a suspension be recorded with the Ministry of Transportation against the owner and driver of the uninsured vehicle when a payment is made from the Fund on their behalf, until the amount is repaid in full, or a satisfactory repayment schedule is established.

    If I was not both the owner and driver of the vehicle, am I responsible for the entire debt?

    Both the owner and driver are responsible for paying the full amount of the debt.

    How do I get my driver's licence reinstated?

    Repay the full amount of your debt, or establish an acceptable repayment schedule by completing the Fund's Repayment Application form and provide proof of your income and expenses. If you are the owner of a motor vehicle, you must have your insurance company forward an Ontario Certificate of Insurance to the Fund.

    Why must I file an Ontario Certificate of Insurance with the Fund?

    When a balance is owing, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act requires that the Fund obtain the certificate of insurance before reinstating a suspended driver's licence. This confirms that you are fully insured and protects the Fund from further liability should you become involved in another automobile accident.

    What will my monthly repayment amount be?

    Monthly repayments are established by law, and are to be at least 10% of your gross monthly income. A Collections Officer from the Fund will establish the exact amount in consultation with you.

    After I have arranged to repay, when will my licence be reinstated?

    The Ministry of Transportation will advise you of your reinstatement two to six weeks after they receive the Fund's request for licence reinstatement.

    Do I have to pay a fee to the Ministry of Transportation to have my licence reinstated?

    Currently the Ministry of Transportation charges a fee of $150.00 for each reinstatement processed.

    How will I know when my repayments are due and where I should mail them?

    Your first repayment must be made to the Fund before your driver's licence can be reinstated. A further repayment is due within one month. You will receive a statement and a return envelope fifteen days before each subsequent repayment is due, similar to credit card or utility bills.

    Are there any other options available to me if I cannot repay the Fund?

    In certain cases the Fund accepts settlements of less than the full amount owing if the debtor can show that paying the entire debt would cause undue hardship or if the settlement is otherwise satisfactory.

    What if I refuse to pay?

    The Fund will suspend your driver's licence, and if it has paid a judgement on your behalf, a Writ of Seizure and Sale will be filed against you. If you are the owner of property, the Fund can seize and sell the property to pay off your debt. If you are employed, the Fund can garnishee your wages.

    What happens if I declare bankruptcy?

    The bankruptcy process renders any judgment null and void, limiting the Fund's legal sanctions. However, the Fund's authority to suspend your driver's licence for non-payment is unaffected by the bankruptcy. The Fund can still maintain the suspension of your driver's licence until you establish and adhere to an acceptable repayment schedule.

    Does the Fund charge interest on outstanding debts?

    Currently the Fund does not charge interest. However, in the future there may be interest or late payment charges, and a fee for returned cheques for "insufficient funds," "stopped payments," or "closed accounts."

    Insurance company has stopped paying accident benefits. What should I do?

    If the insurance company refuses or stops paying benefits, they must give you written notice, including reasons for their decision. You can apply for mediation to specially designated branch of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) called Dispute Resolution Services (DRS). Mediation at FSCO is a mandatory first step in dispute resolution. An impartial FSCO mediator will help the involved parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution of their dispute.

    What application forms I need to fill in to apply for mediation?

    If you decide to apply for mediation, you must complete and send to the Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) an Application for Mediation - Form A within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal.

    What if the dispute is not resolved in mediation?

    After the mediation, the mediator will send you a Report of Mediator listing the issues the parties agreed on and the issues that remain in dispute. If the dispute is not resolved in mediation, and you decide to apply for arbitration, you must complete and send us an Application for Arbitration - Form C within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal or within 90 days of the date of the Report of Mediator, whichever is later.

    Can I apply for arbitration at once and skip mediation?

    You cannot apply for arbitration unless you first complete mediation at FSCO and mediation fails.

    What if I want to appeal the arbitrator’s order?

    You may appeal the arbitrator’s order within 30 days on a question of law. If you decide to appeal, you must complete a Notice of Appeal - Form I and send it to FSCO and the other party. You may also wish to consider applying for neutral evaluation or variation/revocation.

    Where can I get help?

    Call us, email us or write to us! It’s the easiest way. However, if you decided to do it yourself then the Dispute Resolution Practice Code and Practice Notes describe the rules for participating in DRS proceedings. Guidelines for accident benefits and the claims process are given in the Superintendent’s Guidelines and can be found at:  http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/guidelines/Default.asp

    Do I need a lawyer dispute resolution at FSCO?

    You do not need a lawyer for dispute resolution at FSCO. You can choose to represent yourself. You are also entitled to have a friend or family member help you in an informal and unpaid manner, but only if the person receives no compensation directly or indirectly. However, disputes can become complicated and most insurance companies have lawyers representing them at arbitration and appeal, you should consider consulting one of our lawyers or licensed paralegals.

    How much dispute resolution cost?

    FSCO does not charge claimants for participating in mediation. If mediation does not resolve the dispute, a claimant must pay $100 to apply for arbitration, and $250 to start an appeal. There are different charges for insurers. At arbitration, most claimants and insurance companies will incur certain arbitration expenses, including legal fees, fees charged by doctors and other experts for preparing reports, witness, and other fees.