Last updated Feb. 15, 2018.
Were you, a spouse, or close family member recently injured in a snowmobile accident in Ontario? If so, you likely qualify for compensation to address medical bills above and beyond what OHIP covers, as well as other accident-related costs, such as lost income and out-of-pocket expenses.
It’s not unusual for recent accident victims to feel overwhelmed by injuries and immediate financial needs. Unfortunately, delaying action after a serious snowmobile accident in Ontario could jeopardize your right to financial recovery after an accident.
Below are four things to immediately consider after a snowmobile accident.
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1. Ontario insurance laws require fast action
Ontario’s insurance laws give you limited time in which to file for compensation after motor vehicle collisions, including snowmobile accidents. You are required to report the accident and your injuries to your insurer within seven days of the incident. Once you receive the application from your insurer, you have just 30 days to file for Accident Benefits.
Failure to meet these deadlines can harm or destroy your chance at collecting Accident Benefits. It also can limit or eliminate your options for filing a lawsuit based on negligence. Ignorance of the deadlines is not considered a valid excuse.
Available accident benefits may include — but are not limited to — up to $50,000 for medical costs, up to $400 a week for lost income, and up to $3,000 for attendant care (to a maximum of $36,000). If you are catastrophically impaired, you could receive significantly more benefits.
Your lawyer can assist you with submitting these forms within the allotted timeline. You have just 120 days to notify a liable party of your intent to file a lawsuit against him or her for that party’s role in the accident.
2. Seeking prompt medical attention helps both you and your claim
Seek prompt medical attention after a snowmobile accident, even if there are no obvious signs of injury, such as a fracture or lacerations. Some injuries, such as brain trauma, may not be immediately apparent. These accident injuries require a complete physical examination that may include X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.
Failure to seek qualified medical attention endangers your health and the integrity of your injury claim. Be certain to adhere to your physician’s advice, including guidelines of when you may return to work or resume normal activities like driving and exercise.
3. Collect and preserve evidence as quickly as possible
With every passing day, chances increase that the evidence connected with your snowmobile accident will become misplaced, destroyed, or otherwise compromised. This includes items like damaged vehicles, ripped clothing, and other personal items.
Other evidence to collect includes photos of the accident scene, police reports, accident reports, medical records, and income statements. Also note that as time passes, witnesses can become difficult to locate or contact and their memories may fade, making their testimony less reliable in helping you to prove your claim.
Many victims find this to be a particularly time-consuming aspect of the claims process. Your personal injury lawyer can facilitate the collection and preservation of your accident evidence.
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4. An injury claim benefits from professional guidance
The longer you delay taking action and contacting an injury lawyer, the greater the chances that you unintentionally will damage your claim. This can happen to victims who do not have the benefit of personalized advice from an accident lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer will have the experience and training necessary to help you pursue all owed benefits and compensation. Your lawyer can discuss entitlement to Statutory Accident Benefits as well as to file a claim against another party who may have caused your injuries. The sooner you select and hire your lawyer, the sooner he or she can get to work securing owed damages.
Are you uncertain of whether you should take legal action after a snowmobile accident? Schedule a free case evaluation with Preszler Law in Ontario to learn about your options — call 1-800-JUSTICE®, or complete our easy online case evaluator form.