Injured in a Bus Accident? Know Your Rights
Motor vehicle accident victims often feel overwhelmed by the physical, emotional and financial implications of their injuries. Understanding your rights as the victim of a bus accident may help empower you to take action.
Below are five things you should know if you were injured recently in a bus accident in Ontario.
1. You have the right to Accident Benefits only if there is a collision
Ontario’s insurance laws provide you the right to Accident Benefits in the event of a motor vehicle accident, such as one involving a privately owned or public bus.
If a bus struck your vehicle or you were on a bus that struck another vehicle, and you suffered a serious injury, you may be eligible for as much as $400 per week in Income Replacement Benefits or up to $185 per week in non-earner benefits (if unemployed at the time of the accident).
You also may receive up to $3,000 per month in Attendant Care Benefits (with a maximum of $36,000) and up to $50,000 in Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits (more may be available if you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as paralysis or amputation). Other benefits are available to address accident-related losses. Survivor benefits are available to qualified family members in the event of a fatal bus accident.
2. You have the right to compensation, even if the accident was your fault
Accident Benefits are part of Ontario’s standard no-fault insurance system. The benefits are available to you, regardless of whether or not your actions caused the accident.
For instance, you may be eligible to collect benefits even if you failed to yield the right of way to an oncoming city bus, or you followed a charter bus too closely and caused a rear-end collision. Fault will, however, impact your ability to pursue additional compensation in a tort action such as a lawsuit.
3. You have the right to hire a lawyer
You may choose to enlist an auto accident lawyer to help pursue the full extent of your available Accident Benefits and/or file a lawsuit based on negligence. You are not obligated to work with a lawyer, but you may benefit from the experience and knowledge a lawyer can bring to your case.
4. You have the right to understand your lawyer’s fee structure
Before you hire a lawyer, you have the right to know how his or her fee structure operates and what you will be obligated to pay. Do not work with a law firm that is not forthcoming with this information or will not disclose its fee policies in writing.
5. You have the right to appeal an insurer’s decision
Ontario’s no-fault insurance practices do not mean you are guaranteed a fair settlement. An insurer may attempt to deny or undervalue your claim. If this happens, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Act quickly after a bus accident – you have just seven days in which to notify your insurance company of the accident and 30 days in which to apply for Accident Benefits after receiving the application package. Don’t miss out on your opportunity for compensation. See our free Personal Injury Information Kit to learn more.