Serious car accidents in Ontario often result in injured victims suffering catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. As a result, auto accident victims may not be able to work or continue to carry out their normal daily activities. In such instances, injured victims may qualify to receive income replacement benefits or non-earner benefits from their auto insurance companies. While there are other accident benefits injured drivers may receive, such as medical and rehabilitation benefits, this article will address when victims may receive income replacement or non-earner benefits.
Income Replacement Benefits
An injured Ontario car accident victim is eligible to receive income replacement benefits if he/she was employed at the time of the car accident. However, an injured car accident victim who was not employed at the time of the accident may still be eligible to receive income replacement benefits. There are two situations when this can occur. The individual must have been employed for at least 26 of the 52 weeks prior to the accident, or the individual must have been receiving employment insurance benefits at the time of the accident.
It is important to note that income replacement benefits are intended to partially compensate victims for their loss of income and not 100% of their lost wages.
If a driver has a standard auto policy, he/she is entitled to receive 70% of his/her weekly gross income, with a maximum of $400 per week. Therefore, if 70% of an injured driver’s weekly gross income is $500, he/she will still only receive $400. Drivers do, however, have the option to increase the maximum amount by purchasing additional coverage.
Injured drivers can only receive income replacement benefits for up to 104 weeks (2 years) if they are substantially unable to perform the essential duties of their jobs. Many injured car accident victims believe that they can only receive income replacement benefits for 2 years. This is partially true. The 2 year, or 104 week, limit applies in cases where the injured individual is substantially unable to perform the essential duties of his/her job. In cases where the injured individual is completely unable to carry out the essential duties of his/her job or any other employment after the 2 year period, he/she may continue to receive income replacement benefits.
Click here to continue to part 2 of this article, which discusses non-earner benefits after an Ontario car accident.
Ontario Auto Accident Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Ontario and need help with accident benefits, please call the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford to schedule a free consultation. 1-866-384-5886