5 Things You Should Know if You’re a Pedestrian Who Was Hit by a Car
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable and can suffer disabling or fatal injuries because of a careless or negligent driver’s actions. Brain trauma, spinal cord injuries and facial lacerations are common injuries among those struck by cars while walking or traveling via wheelchair.
Ontario laws protect pedestrians’ rights, but you still must take action to secure fair and sufficient compensation.
Five things you should know if you recently were hit by a car and suffered serious injury:
1. You have limited time in which to inform your insurance company of the accident – Your automotive insurance most likely covers your accident and injuries, even though you weren’t in your car or driving at the time of the accident. However, in order to secure compensation from the insurance companies, you must act quickly.
Provincial laws require you to notify your insurance carrier of the accident within seven days of the incident. Failure to meet this deadline could compromise your right to compensation through your insurance company and limit your rights to pursue a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
2. You may be owed money to pay your medical bills and other accident-related expenses – Accident Benefits are available to all injured parties in an accident, regardless of fault. You should receive an Accident Benefits application soon after you notify the insurance company of the accident. You must complete and submit this application within 30 days.
Available benefits include:
- Up to $50,000 in Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits (more money may be available if your injuries are classified as catastrophic – this classification can include traumatic brain injury, amputation and paralysis)
- Up to $3,000 per month for Attendant Care Benefits or $6,000 per month if you are catastrophically impaired
- Up to $400 per week in lost income benefits if you were employed at the time of the accident
- Up to $185 per week in non-earner benefits if you were not working at the time of the accident
- Other benefits related to accident- and injury-related losses
Remember: Failure to meet the deadlines outlined above could limit your rights to collect Accident Benefits.
3. You have the right to dispute a denial of your claim – Your insurance company may attempt to deny your application for Accident Benefits.
Your benefits may be denied for reasons such as “non-compliance” with a medical examination or for other reasons. If this happens, you have the right to hire a lawyer to help dispute the denial.
4. You have the right to sue a negligent driver – In addition to Accident Benefits, you may have the option to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your accident or a liable third party. A lawsuit can seek damages such as economic losses (loss of income and lost earning capacity), health care costs, and pain and suffering. A lawyer can explain how a successful lawsuit would impact your available Accident Benefits and vice versa.
5. Surviving family members also have rights – You may have the right to collect death and funeral payments if your spouse, parent or child was killed in a pedestrian accident. You may also be able to file a lawsuit for your loss of care, guidance and companionship in addition to a loss of any shared family income.
Learn more about what to do after a pedestrian accident in Ontario. Call 1-800-JUSTICE®. or complete our online evaluation form.