FAQ: What is the timeline for filing a claim after a car accident in Kingston?
Answer: There are two kinds of claims injured drivers can make after a Kingston car accident:
1. accident benefits claims, and
2. tort claims (lawsuit).
For each type of claim, there is a timeline injured victims should be mindful of.
Accident Benefits Claims
After drivers/passengers are injured in Kingston car accidents, they may file accident benefits claims with their auto insurance companies to receive benefits such as medical and rehabilitation benefits and income replacement benefits. Because of the no-fault system in Ontario, these benefits are covered by the injured motorists' insurance companies and not by the at-fault drivers' insurance companies. This may seem odd, but it is the law.
In order to receive accident benefits, injured motorists must notify their insurance companies, and it is crucial to do so within 7 days of the accident. If injured motorists cannot call, their family may call the company on their behalf. Of course, there are instances when it is not possible to contact the auto insurance company within 7 days, such as when the individual suffers catastrophic injuries and is unconscious. Family members should notify the auto insurance company as early as possible.
Injured drivers/passengers have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a tort claim against the at-fault driver. A tort claim is typically filed by the individual's personal injury lawyer. There are no exceptions to this deadline. Even if victims are catastrophically injured and have slam dunk cases against the at-fault drivers, they are barred from filing a car accident tort claim if it is after the 2 year deadline.
Two years may seem like a long time, but it can go by quickly. Thus, if you are thinking of filing a tort claim, it is best to speak to a car accident lawyer in Kingston as soon as possible. This way, a lawyer can ensure that your tort claim is timely filed.
Though there are no required timelines for when you should see a medical doctor, injured motorists should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Don't let work or other obligations get in the way of your treatment. You want to make sure your health needs are met to help with your recovery.
It is important to note that not all relevant timelines for filing tort claims are discussed in this article. In certain circumstances, there can be a different timeline for giving notice of a claim, as opposed to making a claim (filing a lawsuit). For instance, if the at-fault party is a road authority, then injured victims may be required to give notice of a potential claim within a time period as short as 10 days from the accident. If the timeline is missed, injured victims lose their legal rights to sue. Therefore, it is important for car accident victims to talk to a car accident lawyer immediately after an accident or they may risk losing their rights to file a tort claim if a deadline is missed.
If you have other questions about Ontario's accident benefits and tort claims, feel free to call our office and schedule a FREE consultation. 866-384-5886.