WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS, REMEDIES, AND THE LEGAL PROCESS
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT, THIS IS A BASIC GUIDE TO HELP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY: Personal Injury
• Know your rights.
• Access the help that is available.
• Choose the best lawyer for you.
TEN IMPORTANT STEPS TO TAKE WHEN INJURED IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS SUFFERED A SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, SOME VERY IMPORTANT STEPS NEED TO BE TAKEN WITHIN THE FIRST FEW DAYS:
1. Make sure the police have all of the information they need about the accident.
2. Record the names and addresses of involved parties and witnesses to the accident.
3. Keep your family doctor informed of your injury.
4. Notify your insurance company as soon as practicable of your car accident.
5. Notify your employer or school.
6. Record the names and contact information of your health care professionals.
7. Record insurance information.
8. Keep receipts for all related expenses. Family members should also record dates and time spent caring for the injured person.
9. Check for other insurance coverage (i.e. through your work, school or private plans).
10. Contact a personal injury lawyer and know your rights.
OBTAINING COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS, REMEDIES, AND THE LEGAL PROCESS
1. How do I know if I have a claim?
If you are injured in an accident, you may have the right to make a claim against the person who caused or contributed to your injury. Claims for compensation can be made for injuries suffered in many situations and are often covered by insurance.
2. What if the accident is my fault?
If you are injured in an automobile, snowmobile, ATV, motorcycle or dirt bike accident, you are entitled to certain accident benefits (usually paid by your own insurance company), even if you are at fault for the accident.
Further, depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may also be entitled to benefits from other sources. We can help you identify those potential sources and obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.
3. Where do I begin?
The first step is to determine if you have a claim. The quickest and surest way to do this is to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after a serious personal injury, because there are strict time limits and deadlines that must be met in order to avoid delays or disqualification from obtaining compensation.
4. What if I am injured in an automobile accident?
There is a special system for obtaining compensation related to motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, it is complicated. Our experienced professionals can help you obtain full and just compensation.
There are two sources of compensation, both described below:
– A claim against your own car insurance company or the car insurance company of another vehicle involved in
the accident is called the Accident Benefits Claim; and
– A claim against the at-fault driver is called the Tort Claim.
5. Can I claim for other types of accidents?
Yes. If your injury was caused by the negligence of someone else, you may be able to seek compensation.
For accidents that do not involve motorized vehicles, accident benefits are not available. Generally, compensation for your losses will not be paid by the insurance company until the end of your case. However, in certain circumstances, we may be able to persuade the responsible party’s insurance company to make an advance payment.
TYPES OF CLAIMS:
• Accidents involving cars, motorcycles, planes, boats, trains, snowmobiles, ATVs and other motorized vehicles.
• Slips and falls on public or private property.
• Injuries caused by defective products.
• Medical negligence.
We understand that you may be uncomfortable dealing with a lawyer. Most of the people we represent have never talked to a lawyer before. However, you will find that the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is informative and helpful.
You may also have concerns about the cost of talking to a lawyer. Find a lawyer who will provide free consultations, and in most cases do not require any payment until you receive compensation. When you meet the lawyer, ensure you are informed about legal fees and costs.
WHO IS MY ACCIDENT BENEFITS INSURER?
If you are injured in a car accident, no matter who is at fault, you are entitled to accident benefits. These benefits are available to you from either:
• Your own car insurance company;
• The car insurance company of any other vehicle involved in the accident; or
• The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (1-800-268-7188).
You may qualify for the following accident benefits:
• Weekly benefits
– A benefit for lost income from employment, equal to 70% of your gross income, to a maximum of $400 per week.*
– If you were not employed at the time of the accident, a non-earner benefit of $185 per week (and in some circumstances $320 per week). This benefit is not available until 6 months have passed since the date of your accident.
– In certain situations, if you were the primary caregiver for a person in need of care, a caregiver benefit of up to $250 per week, plus $50 for each additional person requiring care, may be available based on “incurred”** expenses.
* See glossary of terms “Optional Benefits” ** See glossary of terms “Incurred” Expense
Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits
• The accident benefits insurer is required to pay for a wide range of “incurred”** medical and rehabilitation expenses over and above what is paid by O.H.I.P.:
– If you suffer a non-Catastrophic injury – up to $50,000 is available over a 10 year time period*; or,
– If you suffer a Catastrophic injury-up to $1,000,000 is available over your lifetime.*
– All fees and expenses for conducting assessments, examinations and preparing reports are paid out of your medical and rehabilitation limits.
– If you suffer a Minor Injury, only $3,500 is available, except in certain circumstances.
Attendant Care Benefits
• The accident benefits insurer is also required to pay for various personal care services, as determined by an Occupational Therapist or Registered Nurse, that you require and have “incurred”** following your accident, to a maximum of:
– If you suffer a Catastrophic injury-$1,000,000 ($6,000/month) over your lifetime;
– If you suffer a non-Catastrophic injury-$36,000 ($3,000/month) for up to 2 years; or,
– If you suffer a Minor Injury, Attendant Care Benefits are not available.
Death and Funeral Benefits
• $25,000 to the victim’s spouse.
• $10,000 to each former supported spouse.
• $10,000 to each of the victim’s dependants or more if the victim had no spouse.
• $10,000 to the person upon whom the victim was dependant.
• Up to $6,000 for funeral expenses.
The Accident Benefits Claim – Time Limits and Forms
The insurance process is very complicated and includes very specific time limits that must be met to avoid delay or denial of your benefits.
During your initial consultation with Thomson, Rogers we will help you fill out the accident benefits application, at no charge.
The following is a summary of some of the steps that must be taken to claim Accident Benefits:
• Determine which insurance company should pay the benefits.
• You must provide “written notice” to the accident benefits insurer within 7 days of the accident.
• Complete an application for accident benefits within 30 days of receiving the forms from your insurance company.
• Your treating health care professional and your employer must complete certain forms.
• If requested, you must, within 10 business days of the request, provide your insurance company with information they need to determine your entitlement to accident benefits, such as hospital records and family doctor records.
• If requested, you must, within 15 business days, provide a health practitioner’s disability certificate.
• If requested, you must provide a statutory declaration-a sworn statement describing the circumstances that gave rise to your claim.
• If requested, you may be required to attend an examination under oath, where you will be questioned by the insurance company. If required to do so, we urge you to have a lawyer present to represent you.