Personal Injury FAQ’s
After an accident, everyone has a lot of questions. Whether you or your loved one was affected by a life-changing injury, The HARRISON PENSAâ„˘ Personal Injury Group can answer all the common questions that are bothering you.
How do I complete all the necessary forms?
Completing the stack of accident benefits forms that your insurance company sends you can be an overwhelming task especially when you are also dealing with your injuries. The forms are complex but we can explain them to you and our benefits clerk can assist you in the completion of the documents. Keep in mind that even a small mistake can have unpleasant consequences and may delay the processing of your claim.
When should I talk to the insurance company?
You do not have any obligation to speak to the at-fault partyâ€™s insurance company after an accident. However, in order to initiate your accident benefits claim, you must communicate with your own insurance company if you have automobile insurance. If you do not have automobile insurance coverage available to you, you may be required to communicate with the at-fault partyâ€™s automobile insurer to initiate coverage for accident benefits under the at-fault driverâ€™s insurance policy. In either case, once you have communicated with the insurer for the purpose of initiating your accident benefits claim, we recommend that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible before providing any statement and for assistance with the completion of your accident benefits forms.
If I was injured at work can I commence a lawsuit or should I take Workerâ€™s Compensation Benefits?
Even if you are at work when you are injured, you may be entitled to elect to claim compensation against an at-fault party in a civil lawsuit rather than claim WSIB benefits. There are certain exceptions and it is recommended that you speak to a personal injury lawyer to discuss the circumstances of your accident to determine whether that election is available to you. One example of a case where you may be able to sue an at-fault party for injuries while you are working is when the at-fault party is not your employer but supplies machinery or equipment that causes your injury. Another example where you may be able to sue an at-fault party rather than claim WSIB benefits is when you are driving a car at work and you are struck by an at-fault driver who is not working at the time of the accident.
What if I canâ€™t work after the accident?
In this case, you may be entitled to receive some income replacement benefits (â€śIRBâ€™sâ€ť) through your automobile insurance company. An IRB pays up to 70% of your gross pre-accident income to a maximum of $400 per week unless optional benefits were purchased before the accident. You may have short-term disability (â€śSTDâ€ť) and long-term disability (â€śLTDâ€ť) benefits available to you through your employment, and you may also have an opportunity to apply to Canada Pension Plan for a disability pension.
What should I do after an automobile collision?
If you were injured in an automobile collision in Ontario, you should notify your automobile insurer and provide your intention to apply for accident benefits within the next 7 days after the accident. Then, you should complete an application for accident benefits within 30 days after receiving the application forms from the automobile insurer. However, if you are a passenger of the vehicle, a pedestrian or a bicyclist who is injured by a vehicle, and you do not have your own automobile insurance, you must also provide the notification and application mentioned above to the automobile insurer of the vehicle in which you are a passenger, or of the vehicle that injured you. Moreover, if your accident involved a road defect or improper removal of snow or ice on the road, you should also notify the road authority responsible for the roadway in question within 10 days of the accident.
What if Iâ€™m a student and I canâ€™t study after the injury?
If you canâ€™t return to school after the accident, you are eligible for lost educational expenses that include the cost of tuition, books, equipment, or room and board. Note, that the expense cannot exceed $15,000.00.
What if Iâ€™m a pedestrian/cyclist without insurance?
You can apply for accident benefits from the at-fault driverâ€™s automobile insurer and you can start a lawsuit for additional compensation from the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver did not have insurance coverage, you may be entitled to claim for accident benefits and compensation from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (â€śMVACFâ€ť) of Ontario.
What if the accident occurred because of me?
Even when you are at fault, you are still able to receive full accident benefits (â€śSABSâ€ť) from your own automobile insurer. If you are only partially at fault for the accident there may be other partially at fault parties. For example, the other driver may have been speeding or the road condition may have contributed to the accident. In these cases, you should discuss the circumstances of your collision with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can determine whether you may have a claim for compensation against another at-fault party.
If I or my relative was injured in a collision that was caused by another driver who left the scene of the accident, what should we do?
First, you may have insurance coverage for situations involving an uninsured, underinsured or even an unidentified motorist. To determine whether this option is available, consult with a lawyer right away. In this case, an early investigation of witnesses and physical evidence on the scene before the evidence is lost is crucial to support the existence of another driver who left the scene.
I lost my job and my employment benefits after I was injured in a car accident, what are my rights?
Consult an employment lawyer right away because you may have employment rights in such a circumstance. We have experienced employment lawyers at HARRISON PENSAâ„˘. Furthermore, if you are unable to work as a result of your injuries you may claim the loss of your employment benefits as part of your income losses in your claim against an at-fault driver.
What is the Ontario Disability Support Program?
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides numerous benefits for eligible people with disabilities. The ODSP benefits include financial help, assistance for living expenses such as food and housing and other supports including:
- Health benefits
- Disability-related benefits (such as help to pay for hearing aids)
- Employment incentives and benefits, such as help to pay for child care costs or things you need for work
- Housing-related benefits
- Transition child benefit