Car Accidents and Statutory Accident Benefits
All auto insurance policies are not created equal. Depending on your insurance provider, the specific benefits package that you purchase, and the provisions of those benefits, you could be compensated very differently depending on the nature, circumstances, and liability of a car accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you make sure that you are properly compensated according to the specific agreement that you signed, but there’s not much wiggle room for things not covered under your policy. This makes buying the right policy very difficult, since no one can know in advance what kind of accident they may encounter, or what injuries they may incur as a result. Fortunately, there is a standard minimum of benefits guaranteed to all policy holders in Ontario. These are set out by a regulation under the Insurance Act called the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, or SABS.
About Statutory Accident Benefits
All policy beneficiaries in Ontario are entitled to the benefits detailed in the SABS. These are standard benefits, and not exceptionally comprehensive. While additional coverage can be purchased, even if you are unable to afford additional benefits, these will be available to you. These include: an Income Replacement Benefit (to a maximum of $400 weekly); a Caregiver Benefit for those who are no longer able to provide for their dependents; an Attendant Care Benefit that offers a limited amount to those no longer able to tend to their personal needs following a car accident; a Medical and Rehabilitation Benefit which can help pay for necessary medical care not covered under OHIP (to a reasonable extent); a Death and Funeral Payments Benefit which provides a lump-sum in the unfortunate event of a death in an automobile accident; and other potential benefits.
Each of these benefits is limited in scope, but can be expanded through purchasing additional coverage through your auto insurance provider.
When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
While you are guaranteed these minimum benefits under the Insurance Act and may have more extensive benefits under your specific policy, your insurance provider may challenge your benefits claim following an accident. This is a purposeful tactic used to save the provider money by splitting hairs on the specific nature of your benefits and whether or not they apply to your case. If this happens, you should reach out to a personal injury lawyer to assist in determining exactly how much you are entitled to under your insurance policy and arguing your case to make sure that you are rewarded the full and complete benefits following a car accident.