Visitor Expenses Incurred by Family Members of an Injured Person
When a person is injured in a car accident they need four things to help them get better or to achieve whatever their “new normal” will be. The first is time to heal. The second is money, which pays for the third which is medical treatment. The fourth and sometimes the most important thing an injured person needs is the support and companionship of loved ones.
But when a person is injured in an accident on the 401 in Ontario, how can the person’s family afford to have their sister fly in from Vancouver, and the kids fly back from out East, and then to put everyone up in a hotel and pay for meals while the injured person is in the rehab hospital?
When a person is injured in car accident in Ontario, whether they are the innocent party, totally at-fault for the accident, or something in between, they are entitled to coverage for “no fault benefits” under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) or what are commonly called Accident Benefits or “AB”.
Luckily the law is clear that the visitor expenses of certain family members will be covered by the AB insurer. Section 22 of the SABS states:
- (1) If an insured person sustains an impairment as a result of an accident, the insurer shall pay for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred not more than 104 weeks after the accident by the following persons as a result of the accident in visiting the insured person during his or her treatment or recovery:
- The spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of the insured person.
- An individual who was living with the insured person at the time of the accident.
- An individual who has demonstrated a settled intention to treat the insured person as a child of the individual’s family.
- An individual whom the insured person has demonstrated a settled intention to treat as a child of the insured person’s family. O. Reg. 34/10, s. 22 (1).
(2) The time limit of 104 weeks does not apply if the insured person sustained a catastrophic impairment as a result of the accident. O. Reg. 34/10, s. 22 (2).
An injury lawyer will be able to tell you in detail how to submit these expenses to the AB insurer. An injury lawyer will also be able to tell you what other AB coverage is available to assist in the injured person’s recovery and provide for income replacement. An injury lawyer will also be able to tell you what coverage is not available under AB, and if a tort lawsuit is a good option to recover damages for pain and suffering and other losses.