Applying For Benefits
If you are injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for benefits determined under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule of Ontario's Insurance Act. When you call your insurance company to report the accident, you must tell them that you wish to apply for benefits. Your insurance company will send you a benefits package, which must be returned to them within 30 days or as soon as reasonably possible.
In a previous post, we have outlined the benefits that are available for those who are injured in a car accident. Regardless of fault for the accident, your own insurance company will pay your benefits to you. If you do not have an insurance policy, the package must be requested from the owner of the vehicle.
If neither of the above applies, then send your package to the insurance company of the person who owned the car in which you were injured. If you were a pedestrian your application will go to the insurance company who insured the vehicle that hit you. If you were injured by an uninsured vehicle, call the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund at 1.800.268.7188. If you did not have insurance you can still apply to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund for medical rehabilitation benefits only.
It is also important that you retain copies of all medical reports and testing that you undergo after the accident. Keep a journal of treatment providers, activities, and symptoms that you experience while recovering from your accident. These will be important if you decide to contact a lawyer to obtain compensation for your injuries.
If your insurer denies benefits and you feel that the benefits or treatments approved are not adequate to cover your needs during your recovery, you can contact a lawyer to review your entitlement. A law firm can advise you whether your level of accident benefits will be adequate for your recovery, whether there may be other types of assistance or treatment your insurer should fund, and ensure you are treated fairly.
It may be difficult for you to deal with all this paperwork depending on the nature of your injuries. "Recovery after brain injury can take place, as, in some cases, other areas of the brain compensate for the injured tissue, or the brain learns to reroute information and function around the damaged areas. The exact amount of recovery is not predictable at the time of injury and may be unknown for months or even years. Each brain injury and rate of recovery is unique. Recovery from a severe brain injury often involves a prolonged or lifelong process of treatment and rehabilitation. Pain, sleep disruption, psychological issues and brain injuries may act as a barrier to an injured person acting on their own behalf and submitting the correct paperwork.
You may require additional benefits to ensure optimal medical care and a more complete recovery. You and your family may have access to additional resources if your recovery takes longer than expected. Lawyers may review your treatment with you and ensure access to non-OHIP covered treatment and services.
Let's ask the lawyers what they recommend when applying for Insurance benefits after a car accident:
Obviously when you are hurt and trying to recover, replace your vehicle, and get your life back on track the last thing you want to do is fill out lots of paperwork. The problem is that if you do not apply for accident benefits, you will impact your ability to claim against the at fault driver and if you do not engage in recommended treatment, this will be held against you as you have a duty to limit your damages or, in other words, to take steps to aid your own recovery. Also, early evaluation will help address whether you have access to the full $50,000 in medical benefits under the policy or if you are limited under the Minor Injury Guideline (MIG) or in more serious cases whether you are entitled to enhanced coverage for "catastrophic" claims. The MIG limits your treatment from the $50,000 ten year maximum that you paid for to $3500. All of these choices often require help and advice. If you are unsure, consult one of our Regions many good lawyers.
Call a local law firm like Dietrichlaw to discuss your options. There is no obligation and your first meeting is free.