Last updated Feb. 13, 2018.
Obtaining compensation after a motor vehicle accident can be a complex process. There are numerous mitigating factors involved, as well as several avenues through which to pursue compensation.
Ontario’s no-fault auto insurance system provides a number of benefits in the event you are injured in an accident. These Statutory Accident Benefits are available regardless of whether or not you were responsible for the accident. Additional motor vehicle accident compensation may be available if you added additional coverage to your standard policy or if you’re eligible to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver.
If you are involved in an accident, it’s important to look into all your legal options and determine what might be most fruitful for you. Below, we discuss motor vehicle accident compensation in Ontario, how it works, and what you can do to get help obtaining the most compensation for your injuries.
Our personal injury lawyers can meet with you for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims and Compensation
There are several types of claims that Ontario car accident victims may be eligible to file, depending upon the circumstances of the accident:
- Fault- or tort-based claims — if another party was at fault, you might be able to file a claim against that party to recover damages. This might mean the other driver, an auto manufacturer, an owner of the vehicle, or any other negligent party.
- Accident Benefits — you may also file an Accident Benefits claim for compensation. Accident Benefits are awarded irrespective of fault through one’s own policy. However, it may be important to work with a lawyer to ensure your damages are correctly categorized. If not processed correctly, you may not recover the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled.
- Disability benefits — if your accident has left you disabled, you might be able to claim for short- or long-term disability benefits, as well.
It’s best to speak with a legal professional when determining your best route to take. Your lawyer will be able to assess your accident, investigate fault, explain your rights and benefit eligibility, and then help you move forward with pursuing compensation.
Ontario Car Accident Settlement Amounts
The types and amount of compensation for which you might be eligible after a car accident is dependent upon the:
- type of claim you are filing;
- negligence factors; and
- the nature and extent of your damages.
If you are filing a third-party claim against a negligent party, you might be able to recover numerous types of damages, including:
- medical and rehabilitation expenses;
- future treatments;
- lost wages;
- decreased capacity to work;
- disability and disfigurement;
- the cost of hiring someone to care for your needs;
- mental anguish;
- the effect of your injuries on your relationships and well-being; and
- pain and suffering.
Accident Benefits may include income replacement, attendant care benefits, medical and rehabilitation benefits, and more. The amount of compensation available will largely depend on your degree of injury (minor, non-minor, catastrophic).
Here’s a little more about Accident Benefits and how they work.
Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits
This compensation is available to address necessary medical expenses stemming from accident injuries and applies to medical care not covered under another health plan. The rehabilitation portion of this benefit is intended to pay for care to reduce or eliminate the impact of your injuries or disability.
Minor injuries qualify for up to $3,500 in coverage. An injury that falls somewhere between “minor” and “catastrophic” may net up to $50,000 in Medical Benefits. A catastrophic injury — such as paralysis or an amputation — may be covered up to $1 million.
Income Replacement Benefits
Coverage under Income Replacement Benefits may be available if your accident injuries prevent you from working and earning income. It is intended to cover a portion of your lost income and is available only to those who, prior to the accident, were employed (or self-employed) or had worked for 26 out of the last 52 weeks prior to accident.
Payments totaling 70% of your gross income will be available every two weeks for the duration of your eligibility, with $400 maximum available per week. If you qualify beyond 104 weeks, the minimum weekly benefit is $185.
Non-Earner Benefits are available to those who do not qualify for Income Replacement Benefits (or who were at least 16 years old and a full-time student or a recent graduate without employment at the time of the crash). It is intended for those whose injuries prevent engagement in normal activities and available after the first 26 weeks of disability at weekly payments of $185. If your disability continues past 104 weeks, your payment may increase to $320 per week (less other replacement assistance).
This is an optional benefit and not part of a standard automobile policy. It is available to those who, prior to the accident, acted as the primary caregiver to a dependent child or adult. The benefit is available only if your injuries prevent you from carrying out your caregiver duties and you lived with the dependent person at the time of the collision.
The Caregiver Benefit allows $250 per week for the first dependent and $50 for each additional person per week. This is intended to allow you to hire another individual to perform your caregiver duties.
Death and Funeral Benefits
Survivor benefits may entitle you to a one-time payment to cover funeral expenses. This payment typically is limited to $6,000 but can go up to $8,000. The death benefit additionally may entitle a spouse to a $25,000 payment; if there is no spouse, the deceased’s dependents may split the $25,000. You also may be eligible for reimbursement of $10,000 if your loved one was your dependent or you were dependent upon the deceased.
How to Pursue Maximum Compensation in a Toronto Car Accident
Your best bet will be to speak to a lawyer to evaluate your case and help come up with a plan to obtain the highest amount of compensation to which you’re entitled.
Your lawyer will also be able to:
- investigate fault;
- comb through your policies;
- ensure your rights are upheld;
- negotiate with insurance companies;
- calculate your damages;
- ensure that the full extent of your damages are accounted for;
- warn you if you receive an offer that’s too low;
- draft and file the appropriate paperwork; and
- prepare a case for court, if necessary.
If you reside in Ontario and have recently been involved in an accident, we encourage you to call our staff at Preszler Law. Contact our lawyers at 1-800-JUSTICE® today to set up a free consultation so that we can help you take the initial steps at pursuing the compensation and benefits to which you’re entitled.