Accident benefits are those forms of compensation that are provided when passengers, drivers or pedestrians are hurt or killed in a car accident. These benefits are available to all the injured persons, regardless of fault. If your injuries have occurred because of an accident that directly involved the use or operation of a motor-vehicle, you are entitled to statutory benefits. All provinces in Canada except Newfoundland and Labrador have made accident benefits mandatory in case of car accidents.
In general, they cover funeral expenses in case of death, medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of income and also death benefits. Provinces like Ontario also provide care-giver and non-earner benefits, besides education costs, house-keeping and maintenance expenses replacement. Ontario and Nova Scotia also allow consumers to purchase extra Accident Benefits coverage. Under the current laws, victims are entitled to receive:
- Income replacement benefits
- Medical and rehabilitation
- Dependent care
- Replacement of damaged appliances like dentures, spectacles, hearing-aids etc
- Indexation benefits
- Lost education
- Visitors expenses
- Home maintenance
- Funeral and death
However, not all victims are entitled to all the benefits listed. The settlement is awarded based on the circumstances of the case, type of injuries and their impact on the victim’s and family’s life. The types of injuries that victims sustain in accidents include minor, non-catastrophic and catastrophic injuries. If you have purchased additional coverage, then you are entitled to receive benefits to the extent of coverage.
Issues and Problems in Collecting Compensation
When accidents happen, the shock, grief, trauma etc render it almost impossible for victims and their families to focus on anything other than the immediate emergency. Getting the right medical treatment, ensuring that they can arrange the funds for it and making sure that the injured person is safe are top priority at such a time. However, this period is also a crucial one from a legal point of view.
One of the biggest issues in getting statutory benefits is that victims and their families fail to file their claims within the specified time period. The injured
person or their authorized agent has to inform the insurance company of the accident within 7 days that they intend to seek statutory benefits. The insurers usually send a package containing the forms to be filled etc to avail of such benefits and this has to be returned within 30 days.
Victims and families may not also provide the complete documentation. The medical treatment that they have undergone may not fall under the purview of the benefits schedule.
Additionally, the laws are constantly being updated, amended, revoked, changed, added to, etc. Only an experienced and expert professional who regularly handles such cases can stay abreast of all these features and tackle the complex medical, legal and insurance issues involved. An experienced lawyer with expertise in handling accident claims can assist you and ensure that your rights are protected. So if you or your friends or family suffer from any accident you should contact an experienced lawyer immediately.