Motor vehicle accidents are tragic, but tens of thousands of such incidents are recorded every year in Ontario alone. In the best-case scenario, there is nothing besides property damage to the vehicles but that can easily escalate into one or more parties sustaining a life-threatening injury — or worse, death. If the accident results in a medical emergency for one party at the negligence of the other, a personal injury claim is either opened by the claimant or on behalf of their personal injury lawyer to obtain their rightful compensation for pain and suffering. Have you ever wondered what happens in cases where an individual is involved in a hit-and-run incident and the responsible party is not found? Or the individual is known but they were driving without insurance? The motor vehicle accident claims fund in Ontario comes with the assistance of claimants involved in such cases. Let’s understand further what entails exactly.
What Is Considered A Motor Vehicle Accident?
Legally, an automobile accident or a traffic collision are other terms for a motor vehicle accident. While some car accidents are caused by colliding with another vehicle, this is not always the case. A motor vehicle accident occurs when a motor vehicle (a car, motorcycle, truck, etc) collides with another motor vehicle, a pedestrian, an animal, or a stationary object. Motor vehicle accidents can cause varying degrees of physical damage to the vehicle as well as bodily injury to people involved.
Understanding The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund
The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund is a fund that is accessible to those who have been injured in a car accident and do not have another means of securing Statutory Accident Benefits claims as well as tort (negligence) claims (for example, from their insurance company). This occurs most often when the wounded individual is a passenger in an uninsured motor vehicle who does not have access to his or her own auto insurance policy, a pedestrian or cyclist who is the victim of a hit-and-run accident or is struck by an uninsured motorist
There is an eligibility criterion for receiving compensation from the motor vehicle accident claims fund in Ontario. According to the requirements, you must:
- You must be a resident of Ontario,
- The incident must have occurred within Ontario,
- You have suffered injuries but have no available insurance to cover the expenses and neither does the negligent party (or the at-fault party is unknown i.e. a hit and run incident).
What Expenses Can Be Covered By The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund?
There are a few types of compensation for a motor vehicle accidents that you can be eligible for from the MVACF. Such as:
- Benefits if you sustained a personal injury that requires medical attention,
- Death and funeral benefits if the victim died as a result of the collision,
- Benefits for property damage (if the vehicle damaged your personal property as a result of the collision).
The motor accident fund compensates up to 200,000 in benefits total for either or a combination of the above-mentioned instances in the case of a tort claim.
What Happens After Acquiring Motor Accident Benefits, Ontario
Once you acquire the benefits you are eligible for from the Fund, you cannot file a claim against the negligent party to secure additional compensation from them. That is because the Fund has already calculated and granted you the rightful compensation for your specific case since you were unable to receive it from the negligent party’s insurance company.
Does this leave you wondering what happens to the uninsured negligent party if their identity is known? If they are left unpenalized, then every resident of Ontario would opt to not drive with valid insurance in place, knowing the Fund would cover the expenses in any case. For that reason, they are obliged to repay the amount to the Fund that was granted to you for your compensation. The negligent party’s driver’s license will be suspended until they repay the amount to the Fund. If the party fails to repay the fund or put a regular repayment schedule into place, they may face legal consequences.
From slip and fall incidents to catastrophic injuries, Steinmetz and Associates personal injury lawyers are here to help you acquire your rightful compensation in Ontario, Canada.