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Know Your Rights

Applying for compensation after being injured in a car accident is a complex and time-consuming process. In the case of a lawsuit, for example, it normally takes three years before a settlement is achieved. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it is important to understand your rights.

There are two types of compensation available to people who have been injured in a car accident in Ontario, accident benefit claims and lawsuit, or tort, claims.

With an accident benefit claim, anyone injured in a car accident is entitled to some form of compensation. In accordance with the province’s “no-fault” insurance system. This is true regardless of who is to blame and who is injured. Whether the injured person is a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, he or she is entitled to some form of compensation including medical and rehab expenses, caregiver and dependent care costs, loss of income, and housekeeping expenses. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you must submit an Accident Benefits Claim form to your insurance company as soon as possible. The amount of the benefit you might receive varies from case-by-case basis but it is typically governed by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.

In the case of a lawsuit, or tort, claim, if you’re injured in a car accident that you’re not responsible for, you are also entitled to sue the at-fault driver as long as you file the lawsuit within two years of the accident. There are three main claims for damages. The first, pain and suffering, relates to both your physical and psychological injuries. Amounts for pain and suffering vary depending on the seriousness of your injuries and whether or not they are permanent. Loss of income, the second type of claim, refers to 80% of the injured victim’s net after-tax income loss (up to trial) and 100% of future loss of income post-trial. The third type of claim relates to the new cost of past and future care. Damages in some cases can be in the millions.

Related Information

Richard and Alden, are without a doubt, a pleasure to work with. When a car accident tragically took my parents, the tragedy was multiplied by the fact that my parents cared for my mentally handicapped brother, Mike. While I was busy making new living arrangements, and dealing with estate and guardianship issues, Richard and Alden took the reins, and charged forward to protect my brother’s future.  It was critical to get Mike the largest settlement possible. Not unusual in Down Syndrome kids, Mike started to show signs of early onset Alzheimer’s during this process, causing more concern for his future wellbeing and security. This laid more financial burden on myself by causing me to take a leave of absence from work, and eventually to hire a live-in caregiver. All the while, Richard and Alden plugged away taking care of matters with minimal phone calls and visits to the office. Everything was carefully explained, and Richard was beside me, whether dealing with the insurance company, talking to annuity specialists, or dealing with my own investment bankers. In the end, the settlement was finished in a timely manner, with some money to relieve my financial burden, but more importantly, enough money to ensure that Mike can keep his current standard of living and remain financially independent well into the future. It took an enormous amount of pressure off me, and I can never thank Richard and Alden enough for all they did. For the time that I’ve known Richard and Alden, I’ve found them to be honest, reliable, hardworking, conscientious, and courteous.

I would highly recommend this firm to my family, and have in fact recommended them to a close friend.

David Jenkins

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