Car accidents hurt. They result in all kind of injuries: concussions, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (mild to severe), soft tissue, etc. These injuries can seriously impair you in a variety of different ways including work, housekeeping, social life, and self care. When someone is faced with injuries after a serious car accident they might wonder how they can be compensated for all the ways in which their lives have changed for the worse. Here is a brief description of the two ways you can be compensated.
1. Accident Benefits
Accident Benefits are the first, and most immediate, way in which a victim of a car accident can be compensated (and treated). To start, if your injuries are not objective in nature, your accident benefits insurer will likely provide you with $3,500.00 worth of treatment. They will also pay you an income replacement benefit – 70% of your gross income up to a maximum of $400.00/week.
If your injuries turn out to be more serious in nature then you will be provided with $65,000.00 worth of medical, rehabilitation benefits and attendant care benefits. You will have to convince your insurance company that your injuries warrant receiving these enhanced benefits. You can provide medical records and reports to indicate this. You may ultimately have to file a claim with the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT). There are several other benefits that you can claim when your injuries are no longer deemed to be minor in nature. These can be found in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) to the Insurance Act.
Catastrophic Impairment from a Car Accident
Ultimately you may be deemed to be catastrophically impaired and your benefits will increase to $1,000,000.00 in medical rehabilitation benefits and $1,000,000.00 in attendant care benefits. This category is meant for the more serious injuries. The definition for this can, again, be found in the SABS.
To recap, accident benefits are the benefits you normally receive from your insurer after an accident. They primarily compensate you for your health care expenses and income replacement benefits for up to the first $400.00/week you have lost from work.
Your second form of compensation is a lawsuit. You can sue the person who caused your accident. There are several different things you can sue for: pain and suffering, housekeeping, health care expenses, out of pocket expenses and loss of income (beyond the $400.00/week you receive from Accident Benefits).
You should keep in mind that there is a threshold that plaintiffs must meet in order to receive compensation for pain and suffering (general damages). The threshold test is a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical, mental, or psychological function.
On top of needing to meet the threshold there is also a deductible of nearly $40,000.00 to all pain and suffering dollars that fall under $130,000.00. This deters a lot of plaintiffs in Ontario from bringing pain and suffering lawsuit claims. For more information you can research the threshold online or consult with a personal injury lawyer.
So, to summarize, if you are injured in a car accident you can be compensated through: (1) Accident Benefits usually from your own insurance company; and (2) a lawsuit against the at fault party for the previously mentioned categories of compensation.