How do No-Fault Benefits Work in Ontario—will my Insurance Company Cover Me if I am to Blame for the Accident?
In Ontario, No-Fault Benefits mean exactly that; regardless of who is responsible for the accident, any driver, passenger or cyclist involved in an accident is entitled to accident benefits through your insurance company. It’s important to know that you have just seven days from the time of the accident to notify your insurance company of the intention to apply for no-fault benefits. You have 30 days from the time you receive the application forms to file the paperwork. The insurance company must receive and approve your application before benefits will be paid. Be aware that in many cases, insurance providers may attempt to deny your claims for no-fault insurance benefits. That is where the advice of legal counsel may be necessary to advance your claim and to get the compensation you deserve.
The amount of no-fault benefits to which you are entitled after notifying your insurance company (or the at-fault party’s insurance company) may depend on certain things, including the extent of the injuries suffered as a result of the accident and the long-term consequences of such.
In determining fault for underwriting purposes and property damage, Insurance companies rely on government rules to determine fault (wholly or partially or even two parties at fault) which may adversely affect your insurance and driving record. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada website (www.ibc.ca), “Your insurer will investigate the circumstances of the collision and make a fault decision. Complete or partial fault is allocated to each driver based on which scenario matches the circumstances and fault is then determined. If more than one driver is considered to be partially at fault, multiple insurance companies may be involved in a settlement. You can be determined to be anywhere from completely or partially at fault. If you are found to be at fault, the collision goes on your insurance record and your premium may increase upon renewal.”
If you have been involved in previous at-fault collisions and have made other claims, your insurance may also be affected. If you loan your car to someone else, it’s important to know that if they are involved in an accident, their accident goes on your insurance record.
However, no-fault benefits are paid regardless of fault, but may vary from policy to policy depending on the seriousness of the injury and whether you have purchased optional coverages to cover things like occupational therapists, physiotherapy, rehabilitation benefits, income replacement benefits, care for attendants, housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, funeral costs and death benefits.
Needless to say, no-fault benefit cases can be complex and insurance companies may try to deny your access to no-fault benefits. At Futerman Partners LLP in Toronto, we have more than 30 years of expertise and experience in helping clients pursue their no-fault benefit claims. We fully comprehend how to advance cases to get our clients the compensation they deserve under the law. While we do everything possible to settle your claim outside of court, our trial lawyers provide strong legal representation and know the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies and are not afraid to say “see you in court” in order to get a settlement. Call us today for a free consultation at 647-496-9619, www.futermanpartners.com.