Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule grants you access to various types of benefits in the event that you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident. This includes all parties who are injured as a passenger, pedestrian or bicyclists, so long as another motor vehicle was involved. You must, however, follow established protocol to in order to gain access to Accident Benefits.
The Application for Accident Benefits – otherwise known as OCF-1 – is a crucial component of your Accident Benefits Application Package. Below are five tips to help you complete and submit an OCF-1 in support of your accident claim.
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Tip 1 – Meet all filing deadlines.
You should report your accident to your insurance company within seven days of the incident. At this time, you should request an Application for Accident Benefits. Complete and submit the OCF-1 within 30 days of receiving the forms. Failure to meet these deadlines may jeopardize your right to benefits in a timely manner. Ignorance of these deadlines is not a valid excuse.
Tip 2 – Be honest and stick to the basic facts.
Submitting false or misleading information in an OCF-1 is a punishable offense under Ontario’s Insurance Act. A victim who exaggerates the nature of his or her injuries – or otherwise falsifies an Application for Benefits – may be subject to various penalties, which include an outright denial of your claim or worse. Do not overstate your injuries or other financial losses. Instead, stick to information you can corroborate and make sure you list all of your injuries, not just the significant ones. If you fail to mention certain injuries, down the road, if further problems arise relating to that injury, your insurance company will likely state that the problem is unrelated to the accident. Make sure that when you describe how the accident occurred, keep it simple, factual and straightforward as this statement can be used against you in the event that you decide to commence a lawsuit against the at fault party.
Tip 3 – Allow yourself plenty of time to complete the OCF-1.
The current OCF-1 is seven pages long and includes sections that cover everything from your employment status to insurance policy details. Completing this form can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Allow yourself enough time to collect all of the necessary information and to provide detailed answers about your income, injuries and losses.
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Tip 4 – Do not sign anything you do not understand
By signing the OCF-1, you will grant certain rights to the insurance company. Do not sign and submit this document if you are confused about any of the details contained within. Sign the form only once you have fully completed the form and you have a sound appreciation of all of your rights and responsibilities.
Tip 5 – Hire a personal injury lawyer to help you complete the OCF-1.
A personal injury lawyer familiar with motor vehicle accident claims can offer insight into how best to complete an OCF-1.
This may include such help as:
- ensuring the submitted form lists all your injuries;
- clarifying which types of benefits apply in your case;
- explaining confusing aspects of the form;
- explaining which insurance company the form should be submitted to; and
- submitting the form to the correct party and ensuring that it is received and acknowledged.
A personal injury lawyer also may complete the OCF-1 and other forms on your behalf.
Download the OCF-1 online to begin the application process. Are you in need of personalized assistance to complete your application? Call our offices and schedule a free case evaluation in Ontario –1-800-JUSTICE®.