After car, bus or truck accidents in Kingston or Ottawa, drivers and passengers often suffer injuries and damages. What most injured individuals may not know is that they can recover benefits for their injuries and damages from their own car insurance companies as a result of the motor vehicle accidents.
Ontario motor vehicle insurance law operates under the “no-fault” principle. This means that regardless of who is at fault or caused the accident, injured drivers/passengers’ own car insurance policies provide them with benefits.
Per Ontario’s Insurance Act, the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) defines the types of benefits injured insured drivers/passengers may receive. Some of the benefits include:
Injured individuals who were working at the time of their Ontario car accidents may receive income replacement benefits. For a detailed discussion, see Ontario Car Accident Law – Lost Pay or Wage Loss Benefits.
Injured drivers/passengers who were not working at the time of the accident may be eligible to receive non-earner benefits pursuant to SABS.
Section 12(1) of the SABS provides:
The insurer shall pay a non-earner benefit to an insured person who sustains an impairment as a result of an accident if the insured person satisfies any of the following conditions:
1. The insured person suffers a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of and within 104 weeks after the accident and does not qualify for an income replacement benefit.
2. The insured person suffers a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of and within 104 weeks after the accident and,
i. was enrolled on a full-time basis in elementary, secondary or post-secondary education at the time of the accident, or
ii. completed his or her education less than one year before the accident and was neither employed nor a self-employed person after completing his or her education and before the accident, in a capacity that reflected his or her education and training.
In a nutshell, an individual who suffers a complete inability to carry on a normal life may receive non-earner benefits, so long as the individual:
• does not qualify for the income replacement benefits;
• was at least 16 years of age and a full-time student at the time of the motor vehicle collision; or
• at the time of the motor vehicle collision, completed his/her education in the previous year but had not yet secured employment related to the education.
Unfortunately, the non-earner benefits do not kick in until after 6 months have passed, i.e., 6 months after the individual has been completely disabled. After that period, the individual may receive a weekly payment of $185.
If the individual continues to be disabled for more than 104 weeks and is still eligible to receive non-earner benefits, then the weekly payment increases to $320.
Whether an injured Ontario driver/passenger is eligible depends on his/her activities before and after the accident. Therefore, activities that the injured individual can and cannot do pre and post-accident will be carefully considered.
If you were injured in a car or truck accident in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby and need help filing an accident benefits claim with your car insurance company, call the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford. Edward Bergeron, Chris Clifford and their team are experienced car accident lawyers who have helped numerous victims of motor vehicle accidents in Ontario. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886.