Pedestrian accident victims typically face a long – and costly – road to recovery. Fortunately, there are options available for economic and legal relief.
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Below are four things you must know if you or an immediate family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Ontario.
1. You Needn’t Have Been in a Car to Qualify for Accident Benefits
Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits are available to you after a motor vehicle accident – even if you weren’t driving or riding in a car at the time of the incident. These benefits are available to you, regardless of fault. This means you may recover money to pay for lost wages and doctor bills, even if you were partially to blame for the accident. If you were struck as a pedestrian, a claim for accident benefits can be made through the insurance company of the at-fault party’s insurance company, even if you don’t have your own insurance.
2. You May be Entitled to Benefits Beyond Lost Wages and Medical Care
The Income Replacement Benefit and the Medical and Rehabilitation Benefit are among the most commonly sought category of Accident Benefits. Other available benefits include:
- Attendant Care Benefit – This benefit offsets the cost of hiring a nurse or other professional to provide in-home assistance with personal care activities. It also may be used to pay for residence in a long-term care facility.
- Non-Earner Benefit – Provides a regular payment for those who were not employed at the time of the accident and whose injuries make it impossible to perform all activities of normal life (such as chores and so on).
- Caregiver Benefit (Optional Benefit)– Provides a payment to those who are unable to fulfill the role of caregiver to a live-in dependent.
- Other Expenses Benefit – This compensates you for all “reasonable” expenses related to your injury, such as transportation costs. You must be able to provide receipts and other records of your expenses.
- Death and Funeral Payments Benefit – You may qualify for a lump-sum payment if you lost a close family member in a pedestrian accident. Funeral expenses may also be payable up to a certain amount.
The type of benefits available to you depends on the terms of your insurance policy and the categorization of your injury. For instance, you may not receive the Attendant Care Benefit if your injury is classified as “minor.” Further, those injuries classified as catastrophic typically provide more compensation and have fewer time restrictions.
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3. You Have a Limited Time in Which to Take Action
You must adhere to a number of deadlines in order to safeguard your claim or potential lawsuit. The time limits are as follows:
- 7 days after the accident – notify your insurance company of the accident;
- 30 days after receiving an Application – submit a completed Application for Benefits; and
- 120 days after the accident – notify the negligent party of your intention to file a tort claim (lawsuit).
Failure to meet these time restrictions may jeopardize your right to recovery.
4. An Attorney Can Help You Recover Benefits
Accident victims who understand the claims process may be less likely to accept an insufficient or unfair benefits package. To ask specific questions about your case, schedule a free case evaluation with a lawyer at the Preszler Law Firm in Ontario. Call 1-800-JUSTICE® or use our online case evaluation form.