If you are involved in a car accident in Canada and you suffer injuries, the law allows you to seek settlement from the auto insurance carrier.
The type of benefits you get is outlined in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. You, however, have to notify your insurer within 7 days, submit your application within 30 days, and meet other insurer qualifications.
Note the Statutory Accident Benefits are available regardless of whether or not you are at fault. Additional compensation may apply if you added additional coverage to your standard auto policy and if you are eligible to sue the at-fault driver.
The amount and type of compensation you are eligible for after a car accident depends on the negligence factor, the extent and nature of your damages, and the type of claim you are filing. So, which benefits you do expect?
Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits
As the term suggests, this benefit is available to address medical expenses resulting from accident injuries. It applies only to medical care not covered under other health plans. The “rehabilitation” portion of the benefit pays for care to eliminate or reduce the impact of the injuries and/or disability.
You get up to $3,500 in coverage for minor injuries and up to $50,000 for injuries that fall between minor and catastrophic. For a catastrophic injury such as one resulting in paralysis or amputation, you can claim up to $1,000,000.
Income Replacement Benefits
Income Replacement Benefits are applicable in case you are unable to work and earn an income following car accident injuries. The cover is aimed at covering a portion of your lost income. It, therefore, follows that you can claim this benefit only if you were employed before the accident or were self-employed. You also qualify if you had worked for 26 weeks out of the last 52 weeks before the accident.
You will get a payout totaling 70% of your gross income. This is paid out every 2 weeks for as long as you are eligible, with a maximum of $400 per week. If you are eligible past 104 weeks, you are entitled to a minimum weekly benefit of $185.
If you do not qualify for income replacement benefits (if you were not employed, self-employed, or you did not work for 26 weeks in the 52 weeks prior to the accident), if you were a recent graduate who had not gotten employment, or if you were a student aged at least 16 years old attending school full-time, you qualify for Non-Earner Benefits. The benefit is meant to cover those who cannot engage in normal activities, but who would have had that opportunity had they not been injured.
The benefits, payable at a rate of $185 per week, are available after the first 26 weeks of disability. If the disability continues past the 104th week, the weekly payment may increase to $320, less replacement assistance.
This benefit is available to those who were primary caregivers to dependent children or adults. The optional benefit is available only if the injuries sustained prevent you from carrying out normal caregiver duties and is only applicable if you lived with the dependent person prior to the accident.
If you qualify for the Caregiver Benefit, you will get $250 weekly for the first dependent and $50 weekly for each additional dependent. The purpose of this benefit is to help you hire another caregiver for your dependents.
Attendant Care Benefits
This benefit is available if you require daily assistance in such activities as eating and bathing. If you have a non-minor injury, you get up to $3,000 monthly for a total of $36,000. If you have suffered catastrophic injuries, you qualify for as much as $6,000 per month and a total of $1,000,000.
Death and Funeral Benefits
If your loved one loses his/her life in a car accident, you may be entitled to a one-time survivor benefit. The “funeral” component of the benefit is meant to cover funeral expenses. It is usually limited to $6,000 but can rise to $8,000. The “death” component of the benefit gives the surviving spouse a one-time payment of $25,000. If there is no spouse, the dependents split the $25,000. The benefit also includes a payment of $10,000 if the deceased was your dependent or you were a dependent of the deceased.
Do you need a lawyer to assist you in your car accident injury settlement?
A personal injury lawyer will have the training and experience necessary to investigate fault given that fault affects the compensation you are entitled to. A lawyer will comb through your policies, which requires a trained eye given the complex way in which insurers draft them. Your long term disability lawyer will also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, calculate the amount of damages you should seek, draft and file the relevant paperwork, and represent you in case if necessary. This allows you to recover from your injuries.