There are four compulsory types of auto accident coverage Toronto drivers must purchase, one of which is accident benefits. This coverage provides certain benefits to people in Toronto who are injured in a car accident, irrespective of fault. Whenever a driver buys a standard auto insurance policy in Toronto, it will include statutory no-fault accident benefits.
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Statutory Accident Benefits
Accident benefits are set by the provincial government under the Insurance Act of Ontario. Basic accident benefits are compulsory and are meant to cover certain damages drivers sustain whenever they are involved in an automobile collision.
However, benefits are not just for the driver. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) explains: “Any person who is injured in a motor vehicle collision or certain relatives or dependants of any person who is injured in a motor vehicle collision may be eligible for benefits.”
The coverage applies in any car accident anywhere in Canada or the United States, regardless of the cause of the accident. The details about accident benefits coverage are laid out in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).
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Types of Available Benefits
Statutory accident benefits cover a wide range of damages, regardless of who caused the accident. SABS lists some of the available benefits:
- Income replacement benefit – if someone is unable to work because of their injuries, they can receive up to 70 percent of their gross weekly income (with a max figure of $400 per week and a max duration of 104 weeks). If they are unable to do any job that is reasonably suited for them, they can receive benefits past 104 weeks
- Non-earner benefit –the IBC explains that if they do not qualify for income replacement benefits but are at least 16 and “suffer a complete inability to carry on their normal life,” they can receive non-earner benefits, which entitle them to $185 per week for a period of 104 weeks. If they continue to qualify after 104 weeks, this benefit will increase
- Medical and rehabilitation benefits –this will cover any reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses up to $1,000,000 that their regular health insurance policy does not cover
- Attendant care benefits –if their injuries require them to hire an attendant to assist them with personal care activities, this benefit will provide them with up to $3,000 per month to help with the costs
- Expenses of immediate family members to hospital
- Reimbursement for personal effects destroyed in accident
- Funeral and Death Benefits
There are also other optional statutory accident benefits to which they may be entitled provided that they purchased these optional benefits. Common optional benefits are:
- Housekeeping and Home Maintenance benefit – if applicable, they can receive up to $100 per week for this benefit
- Caregiver benefit – if they are a caregiver (which may include a parent) who no longer can perform their duties due to their injury, this benefit will provide them with $250 per week for the first person and $50 per week for each subsequent person
Rental Car Accidents and Insurance Options
Renting a vehicle can be very convenient, but there are things that consumers need to be aware of when renting a vehicle relating to insurance coverage. Further, individuals renting cars should confirm whether they have insurance on the vehicle. If they are renting from the individual down the street, this could affect whether the auto policy relating to the vehicle will respond because this is a commercial activity and not normally contemplated by the policy of insurance. Bill 18, which relates to the priority of claims with respect to the insurance companies, meaning who is on the hook, is relevant in rental car cases.
If a person rents a vehicle in the US or in Canada and a person owns a vehicle with a valid policy of insurance, it is likely that their personal insurance would have priority in the claim. This can be a very complicated area of law and confirming proper insurance before renting a vehicle is always recommended.
Sometimes, depending on the vehicle that is rented, personal insurance policies may not have the required coverage. This is important to confirm in cases of truck rentals and should be confirmed prior to rental. Classification can be different in cases where the vehicle rented is commercial in nature or requires a special license for use. These situations can result in cases where added coverage or special coverage is required. The laws of insurance apply to all of these situations. There must be a valid policy of insurance or someone’s right to sue is barred, even if they are not at fault for the accident.
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Role of An Attorney
Benefit amounts vary, depending on whether you suffered minor, non-minor or catastrophic injury. Plus, you may purchase additional coverage to provide more adequately for your needs should an accident occur. Speak to your insurance agent to discuss any coverage questions or speak with an attorney if you were in an accident.
Toronto car accident lawyers have represented thousands of people who have suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Dealing with your insurance company is a highly complex and confusing process. A lawyer’s goal is not only to obtain the maximum amount of compensation on your behalf, but to ensure that you receive the medical treatment you require.