We understand that after a car accident you probably don’t know what to do. You don’t know who to call. You don’t know where to turn. You don’t know who can help. You’ve never been in this type of situation. You are worried about
What we can tell you with certainty is that you are not alone. We understand that a serious car accident can turn someone’s life completely upside down – physically, emotionally, and financially. We understand that your injuries may cause life to never be like it was. We understand that you will need major adjustments and transitions in terms of your emotions, body, and lifestyle.
In the past 20 years, we have helped thousands of car accident victims who have been in the same exact situation as you. What is important to remember is that if you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have only one chance to seek compensation for your car accident injuries. Having the right Hamilton car accident lawyer on your side can mean the difference between winning and losing your case. It will also help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
We understand that suffering severe injuries in a car accident can be a catastrophic event that changes your life and presents you with challenges that you never thought you would have to face. As difficult as it may be, it’s important that you work with your social workers and medical team and focus on your rehabilitation and therapies which will prepare you for your discharge home. Focus on your own self-care, rehabilitation and on rebuilding your strength and endurance so, when you are released from the hospital, you can perform many activities of daily living on your own.
In the interim, however, we would always recommend that you contact our Hamilton car accident lawyer sooner rather than later so that we can help get the proper no-fault insurance issues into place, ensure that proper post-discharge care is set up and that your home is fully accommodated to welcome your current disabilities.
It’s very important that you retain a car accident lawyer early in the case so that we can ensure that any income replacement you’re entitled to, whether through auto insurance or your long-term disability policy, is being paid to you without delay. Our Hamilton car accident injury lawyers and our occupational therapy team we will ensure that all insurance benefits are put in the place, your home is a comfortable and welcoming environment, your attendant care will be ready to be provided and the legal process is started without delay.
NEVER let the insurance company adjuster take control and dictate your case. You need somone on your side from day one to help you make decisions, get the proper insurance in place, hire the proper occupational therapy team, help get you home, make sure your home is a safe environment when you return and make sure money is coming in. Insurance companies are not your friends. You need an advocate and at my firm, it’s ALWAYS FREE to talk to us.
Below are a few simple FAQ that may help you while looking for a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer:
You can call us toll free at 1-844-LALANDE or local at 905-333-8888. If you are nervous, unsure or uncomfortable you can always chat with out live chat operator 24/7 or send us a confidential email through our website by clicking here.
We understand that you life has been turned upside down and that you probably have lots of questions – but we promise – we have been told that talking to our car accident lawyers is like talking to a friend. We are on your side.
Absolutely. It is much better to hire a local lawyer who is in expert in car accident law, then hiring a firm out of town and simply being a “case”. You should hire a local lawyer that is relatively close to you, that you can drive to, visit, sit with and talk to about your case.
No – it is MUCH easier for our car accident lawyer to get the accident investigation and insurance issues sorted out early. Also, it is important that we assist in putting together the right occupational therapy team immediately. It's much. much easier to get the process started now, rather than trying to undo insurance mistakes later.
No – you should never speak to the insurance company for the at-fault driver on your own – we will take care of this for you. The opposing adjuster is not your friend.
We know you are going through a lot at the moment – you only need to give our chat operator a short summary of your accident and injuries. We ALWAYS return call and emails within a very short time.
Yes – and you are absolutely welcome to chat with her 24/7.
We will get in touch with you by email or telephone call, and then set up a meeting within a day with Matt Lalande or another lawyer so that you and your loved ones understand ALL of your legal options
Absolutely not. In fact, Mr. Lalande often recommends that you speak to multiple law firms and make sure you speak to the lawyer who will be pursuing justice on your behalf.
It is 100% free and even more important – we will NEVER as you for money or a retainer at any point. We fund the case until the very last day.
No you do not. In fact, we have many clients that cannot come into the office because of their physical disabilities. In that case, we can always set up a talk through zoom, Google meet or facetime – whatever you prefer!
Our Hamilton car accident lawyers understand that serious car accident injuries can cause potential devastating impacts including far-reaching physical, social and psychological consequences. Often times, seriously injured victims require an immense amount of rehabilitation in order to property reintegrate into the community and adjustment to a very different lifestyle with the re-establishment of satisfying work and interpersonal relationships. Also, we understand that the emotional recovery from a serious car accident is dependent on proper rehabilitation and structure in one’s life – rehabilitation which is often brutally expensive.
If you have been seriously injured, there is no doubt that life can suddenly become tragic and difficult. Personal injuries may prevent you from going to work, enjoying your life, sleeping, spending time with your loved ones, exercising, and living your life with the comfort and enjoyment you are used to. You also may be overwhelmed and suffering from emotional, physical, and financial burdens.
We also understand that you will have lots of unanswered questions. Who will pay the bills and the additional costs of rehabilitation? Who will help at home if you are unable to take care of yourself? What if you can’t work and earn an income to pay your mortgage? What if you have to borrow money from your line of credit or credit cards to buy groceries? Who will take care of your loved ones?
After an accident, there are two types of compensation available in Ontario for injured people:
Accident benefits (often called SABS which is short form for Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule) are complicated to understand. Often times, the process does not make sense and your own car insurance company will make you feel like the process is adversarial.
We often tell our clients that as a part of your auto insurance premiums that you pay for every month, you also pay for what is called “accident benefit protection”. This means that if you are hurt in a car accident, your own insurance company will help pay for your rehabilitation to assist you in getting better. Depending on the severity of the injury, you will be entitled to a certain amount of money to apply towards reasonable and necessary rehabilitation to help get you better.
After you’ve been involved in a car accident, and you speak to your insurance company, the insurer then must send you an application package containing the appropriate application forms and a written explanation of the benefits which are available to you.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be entitle to apply for certain accident benefits, depending on seriously you were hurt:
Matt Lalande has obtained favorable results for hundreds of car injury victims and their families in Hamilton and throughout Southern Ontario, including victims who have suffered major orthopedic injuries and broken bones, spinal injuries, chronic pain injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and injuries that cause full or partial paralysis. Since 2003, Matt Lalande has represented hundreds of victims and recovered millions of dollars for those injured in various types of car accidents.
Intersection Accidents – There is no doubt that accident are often caused by misjudging the distance and speed of oncoming traffic. In addition, intersections car accidents can be the result of drivers running red lights, failing to yield to others, distracted driving or driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The injuries suffered in these accidents can be extreme, due to the following reasons:
a) Drivers who failed to stop at red lights, combined with excessive speeds, can result in very serious car accidents that threaten the lives of innocent drivers on the road.
b) Multi-car accidents within intersections no doubt have the potential to become brutally devastating to the all motorists involved. If a vehicle who is initially struck is pushed into the intersection at the wrong time, it can crash into other vehicles and set off a very serious chain reaction of other accidents.
c) Intersection car accidents are very often caused by drivers who are distracted. Unfortunately, when drivers choose to text or use other smart phone functions while driving, they are simply not unaware of how they are threatening the safety of other cars, trucks and motorcycles around them. A simple glance away from the road can cause the driver to drive through a red light or stop sign, or even worse, head into oncoming traffic at an intersection.
a) Driving under the influence is a common cause of intersection accidents in Ontario. Being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or even medications can terribly impact driving judgement and affect reaction times. In fact, even some cold medications even contain alcohol or drowsy related ingredients. It is extremely important that drivers take responsibility for what alcohol, drugs or medications they ingest prior to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Head on Crashes – Head-on collisions are more likely than most treacherous forms of car accidents and are responsible for numerous fatalities every year. Some common causes of head-on crash type car accidents are:
a) Bad weather and adverse can make Ontario roads more difficult to travel, as well as reduced visibility and debris into the path of unsuspecting drivers. Other reasons which can contribute to adverse road conditions can be large pot holes, poor lighting, missing or faded lane markings and poorly signed medians and guardrails – all of which can contribute to serious car accidents and head on collisions.
b) The failure to properly navigate intersections is a major cause of thousands of Canadian car accidents each and every year. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to accidents that take place in the middle of intersections such as malfunctioning traffic lights, driver inattention, drivers misjudging their speed and timing, drivers misjudging distance and even more importantly and most common, drivers turning left into the path of oncoming vehicles without making sure it is safe to do so.
c) Distracted drivers with smartphones have become the number one cause of accidents in Ontario. Too many drivers are attempting to text, talk, map and multitask behind the wheel and despite advances in safety technology; car accidents are continuing to happen. In fact, according to Transport Canada’s National Collision Database, distracted driving contributed to 21.7 % of fatal collisions and 27% of serious injury collisions in Canada in 2019. The majority of distracted driving traffic collisions were caused by cell phone use, in particular, texting while driving.
d) Multi-Vehicle Accidents -head on collision car accidents often happen when one car forces another car into the opposing lane, where it then strikes an oncoming vehicle. This is common at intersections when a car that is turning left is rear ended or when a car that is entering the path of another car is struck in the intersection and unfortunately sent in the direction of oncoming traffic.
e) Sleep deprivation is another common cause of head-on crashes in Ontario, particularly with trucking accidents. Truck drivers are often overworked and under-rested despite Ontario trucking mandates concerning how many hours they are allowed to work in a day. Other drivers – such as shift workers or workers that start work excessively early are often the cause of early morning car accidents. Nobody who is excessively tires or who has difficulty concentrating on the road should operate a vehicle until he or she has rested.
Rear End Car Accidents – Although the majority of rear-end collisions in Ontario result in minor injuries, some serious high speed rear end car accidents can be absolutely devastating. The impact of being violently bucked forward and backwards again can be extremely hurtful on the body and injuries to the neck and back are quite common. The following are some types of rear-end car accident injuries which we routinely see:
a) Injuries to the neck – It’ has been claimed that 85% of the neck injuries caused by car accidents are the result of rear-end collisions. Disc pathology after rear end car accidents are almost always a contributor to a victim’s complaints of chronic pain. Disc bulges and disc herniations caused by rear end car accidents can be crippling – with pain ranging from constant and chronic aching in the neck to radiculopathic pain that radiates into these arms and hands. At times, numbness, tingling and weakness can also be present. When cervical disc herniations originate from some sort of trauma or neck injury caused in rear end accidents, the symptoms commonly start spontaneously – and be excruciating.
b) Injuries to the spine and back are also common in car accidents. Similar to cervical injuries, the thoracic and lumbar spine can suffer serious damage in high speed rear end collisions. These areas of the back and spine can suffer mechanical issues and soft-tissue injuries which can become chronic and life-changing. Herniated discs are also common in car accidents. This is when the enter of the disc tears, bulges or rips and then irritates a nerve root in the area – causing nerve root pain. The herniated part of the disc can become inflamed, as well compress nearby nerves. Nerve compression can in turn cause thoracic and lumbar spinal stenosis. The disc wall which surrounds the center of the disc is full of nerve fibers, and tearing through the disc wall can cause significant pain.
c) Spinal cord injuries can also occur in severe high speed rear end car accidents. Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is truly a devastating injury with profound consequences for car accident victims. The spinal cord is that part of your central nervous system that transmits messages between your brain and your body. It is similar to a cable which is about as thick as a little finger, begins at the base of the brain and runs down the length of the back ending behind the 1st lumbar vertebra. If your spinal cord has been damaged in the thoracic area, there is a possibility of either complete or incomplete lower limb paraplegia.
d) Traumatic brain injury are often caused in serious rear end collisions. Traumatic brain injuries are caused when a force transmitted to the head or body results in neuropathologic damage and dysfunction. Acceleration and deceleration forces cause the brain to rattle and rotate in the skull. As a result pressure is exerted on the frontal and temporal regions resulting in sheering and extensive white matter damage. In a closed head injury, brain damage over a large area often results in a great variety of deficits including loss of consciousness, problems in attention and memory, and alterations in social behavior. After a serious car accident related closed head injury, it can be very difficult for head injury
e) Speeding and Stunt Racing – reckless driving greatly increases the chance of rear end car accidents and severe injuries, so why do so many drivers blatantly disregard the posted speed limit and drive like fools? It’s impossible to know. It could be that some drivers are distracted. Some drivers don’t care. Some drivers are driving “suped-up” fast and furious type cars and are eager to speed, drive too fast, are unaware of their speed, ignore red lights, or race other vehicles. These actions can no doubt easily lead to catastrophic and deadly rear end car accidents.
Pedestrian Accidents – Pedestrians have absolutely no means to protect themselves when a driver fails to yield or fails to stop at a stop sign or red light. When pedestrian car accidents happens, injuries are more often than not extremely severe and result in serious orthopedic trauma and head injury. Other common car accident pedestrian injuries are internal bleeding and organ damage, degloving injuries, injuries to the head and neck and wrongful death. In Ontario, The Highway Traffic Act imposes a “reverse onus” on the driver who hits a pedestrian. In a car accident involving a pedestrian, the driver of the motor vehicle is always presumed to be negligent unless it can be proven otherwise.
Read more about the following types of car accidents:
If you have been involved in a serious car accident in Ontario, you have only one chance to seek compensation for your injuries. Having the right Hamilton personal injury lawyer on your side can mean the difference between winning and losing your case. It can also ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our dedication to personal service and answering all your questions will give you peace of mind. We strive to achieve the best possible results for our clients. We are practical, reasonable, and respected in our field. We know when to settle a case, or take a case to a jury for decision.
It’s not often that you need a lawyer in your life. Our Hamilton car accident lawyers understand that seeking legal help can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to how much it will cost. Even if you are confident you will obtain a settlement or good verdict, you may fear that hiring a Hamilton personal injury lawyer will cost too much.
The first step is booking a free consultation. You don’t pay us to talk to us. Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers will never ask personal injury victims for money up front. If somebody is seriously hurt or killed because of someone else’s negligence, the last thing the family needs is a legal bill. There are no up-front legal fees for you to pay to get your case started. Your legal fees are paid upon the successful conclusion of your case.
If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident, it’s important that you speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Hamilton sooner rather than later, especially before you speak with an insurance company.
We often explain to our new clients that retaining our personal injury law firm early can assist with your discharge from the hospital, especially if you suffered orthopedic trauma or underwent surgery. We can also help you hire the proper occupational therapist to measure your functional ability; obtain a true reflection of your home environment and your ability to function in that environment; and have the proper attendant care put in place.
If you wait too long to hire an experienced Hamilton car accident lawyer, insurance companies will hire their own occupational therapists and, more likely than not, provide you with only the minimum requirements to fit your needs.
Most of our clients ask us this question – and we will try to answer it as extensively as possible here. Unfortunately, putting an exact dollar amount on your case is a very difficult thing to do, mostly because every case is different. It’s simply not possible to accurately estimate or determine what each case is worth until we are approaching resolution or trial. There is no formula or magic chart to determine a range of compensation.
What we can tell you is that our Hamilton car accident lawyers are dedicated to obtaining the maximum compensation for you and your family. We never recommend resolving a case without full investigation, without our clients recovering to their full possible potential, or without obtaining proper medical opinions from experts to provide an opinion on how your injuries will affect your future.
While insurance companies are dedicated to minimizing your compensation, an experienced Hamilton car accident lawyer from Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers will present your case in a professional and persuasive way. In a free consultation, we will explain this process to you in detail so you understand how it works.
Factors that will no doubt be important in determining your entitlement to compensation are the severity of your injury, your medical treatment, the permanency of your injury or disfigurement, the amount of your lost wages, and, more importantly, how much insurance is available under policy limits. Equally important is the reputation of the insurance company defending your case. While all insurance companies are more than happy to withdraw monthly premiums from the bank accounts of their policyholders, several insurance companies have a reputation for being determined to pay out as little as possible.
Below are some car accident questions that we are commonly asked:
Police in Ontario have recently reported that distracted driving is causing more collisions than speeding and impaired driving combined. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported that they have made roughly 15,000 to 20,000 distracted driving charges on OPP-patrolled roads every year from 2011 through 2016.
Unfortunately, many people inaccurately think distracted driving is only talking or texting. Distracted driving is being focused on anything that diverts your attention from the road. Activities like using a GPS device, putting on makeup, fiddling with a radio, shaving, using a smartphone, eating, drinking, watching a video, and texting can take your attention away from the road and cause a crash.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a group that educates Americans about the dangers of distracted driving, shows that texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a single text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At ninety kilometers per hour, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
There is no doubt that distracted driving accidents can cause a variety of devastating injuries. If you have become the victim of someone else’s failure to focus on the road, we can help you recover the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Book a free consultation to tell us about your case and learn more about your options.
Every accident is different – and the victims and facts involved such as the speed of motorists, road conditions, weather conditions and the location of the incident can all have an influence on the cause of why it happened. However, most injuries that we see are actually quite similar – depending of course on the type of accident involved.
Brain Injuries – traumatic closed head brain injuries are incredibly common in car accidents, particularly in serious T-Bone collisions. Traumatic brain injury often presents in various forms ranging from mild alterations of consciousness to an unrelenting comatose state and death. Concussions, extra-axial hematomas, contusions, traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage and diffuse axonal injury.
Spinal Cord Injury and Back Injuries – serious high energy collisions could no doubt cause paralyzing spinal cord injuries. Although traumatic spinal injuries compose just a minority of all traumatic car accident victims, these injuries are brutally disabling, and so have a significant influence on the patients’ quality of life, social and financial situation.
Orthopedic Trauma – serious car accidents can result in torn muscles, joint damage and complex fractures. Although bones are strong, they do bend or “give” somewhat when a serious outside force is applied. The severity of the orthopedic trauma usually depends on the force that caused the bones to fracture. In car accident crashes, we have helped clients who have suffered open fractures (when a bone breaks and stick out through the skin), open compound fractures, transverse, oblique and comminuted fractures.
Disfigurement, degloving and lost limbs – can occur in the most serious of pedestrian car accidents, or if an accident happens with an arm hanging out the window, in a convertible car or if a person is ejected. Degloving happens when the skin and tissue are ripped from the underlying muscle. Degloving injuries normally occur when vehicle-pedestrian accident victims are run over.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident that is caused by someone else, you will be entitled to compensation to help make you whole again.
In Ontario, you are entitled to claim compensation for the the following heads of damage:
Our goal is simple: to achieve the best possible results for each of our clients in every case we handle and leave nothing to chance. We are practical, reasonable, and respected Hamilton lawyers. Our Hamilton personal injury lawyers know when to settle a case, close a case, or take a case to trial. We recognize the challenges our clients face and are here to provide not only support and guidance, but assertive legal representation throughout the entire process.
Matt Lalande is a Hamilton car accident lawyer with extensive experience representing victims who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries, as well as families who have lost loved ones in car crashes. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our Hamilton car accident lawyers would be happy to explain your rights to you – at no cost and without obligation. Our firm will go over the details of your crash, determine your options, hire the appropriate occupational therapists, help with the discharge plan to bring you home, and make sure your insurer is paying your medical bills and attendant care benefits. We are here to protect you and your family every step of the way.
You will find that the legal team understands your worries and is easy to talk to. Please feel free to email us through our website or give us a call from anywhere in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton-Toronto area at 905-333-8888 and let our family help yours today.
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Absolutely. Ontario is not a victim friendly Province and the insurance system is an extremely convoluted and complex system. In addition, if you’ve suffered life-changing injuries, you are entiteld to significant funding from the insurance company. A car accident lawyer can ensure that all insurance funding is in place and occupational therapists are retained to help with your discharge planning. It’s important that all your medical needs are met and paid for on an ongoing basis – and a car accident specialist can assist with all of this.
In Ontario, anyone injured in a car accident are entiteld to apply for accident benefits, which are benefits that are provided to persons who become injured as a result of the use or operation of a motor vehicle. You can be entitled to receive up to $3500.00, $65,000.00 or $1,000,000 in accident benefits, depending on your level of injury. The benefits are to help pay for your care, rehabiliation, replaces lost wages and help reintegrate you back into society. Under certain circumstances, you will be entitled to sue the negligent driver as well, for compensation for your pain, suffering, wage losses and anything else you require to assist you into the future.
Accident benefits are part of Ontario’s no fault insurance scheme. If you have been hurt in an accident – whether it’s your fault or not, you may be entitled to receive accident benefits to assist with your recovery. The amount of benefits you are entitled to will depend on the severity of your injuries that you have sustained in the accident.
An insurer is not required to pay an income replacement benefit, a non-earner benefit, benefits for lost educaiton or visitors expenses in respect of a person who was the driver of an automobile at the time of the accident (i) if the driver knew or ought reasonably to have known that he or she was operating the automobile while it was not insured under a motor vehicle liability policy, (ii) if the driver was driving the automobile without a valid driver’s licence, (iii) if the driver is an excluded driver under the contract of automobile insurance, or (iv) if the driver knew or ought reasonably to have known that he or she was operating the automobile without the owner’s consent. In addition, if a person was engaged in an act for which the person is convicted of a criminal offence, or was an occupant of an automobile that was being used in connection with an act for which the person is convicted of a criminal offence – accident benefit coverage may not be available.
You are entitled to sue for such things as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of amenities, past wage loss, future wage loss, the loss fo housekeeping capacity or the inability to care for your home, as well as future costs of care that would not be covered by OHIP or your accident benefits carrier.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries you need hire a car accident lawyer right away. Remember insurance company adjusters will begin investigating the accident and evaluating your injury claim right away. It’s vital that you hire representation to protect your self. Also, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer early on will ensure that you hire your own occupational therapy team without the insurance company appointing one first, who will only serve in it’s best interest. An experienced car accident lawyer can also make sure that all insurance funding is in place to pay for anything you need and help you get dischgarged and back home safely.
It depends – it’s vital that you speak to a car accident lawyer to learn your rights. Sadly, the Province of Ontario and the insurance companies have made it notoriously difficult to sue a driver that has ruined another person’s life. Fault determination must be investigated and you must have suffered a certain level of injury before being entitled to sue a negligent driver. Speak to one of our Hamilton car accident lawyers as soon as you can to learn about your rights.
In Ontario, if you are awarded compensation or you settle your case, it is NOT the defendant that pays this money. It is that driver’s insurance company that will pay your settlement or Court award.
You have two years from the date of your accident to sue a negligent driver for compensation. After two years, you lose your entire rights to file suit and collect daamges.
The answer is, we don’t know. If you suffered serious injuries that were life changing and the accident was not your fault, then there is a good chance that our lawyers and the insurance company can work out a resolution and save both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars in Court fees. We normally tell clients that if the accident is partially your fault, your injuries turn our to be not life changing, there is a plethora of evidence that is inconsistent with what your are saying or there are credibility issues that the insurance company has issues with – then your case can in fact go to trial and the onus is on you to prove your losses.
Absolutely, our consultations for car accident cases are always free and if we decide to work together, we will never, under any circumstances, as you for money upfront.
Firstly – were you an occupant in a vehicle that was involvd in a car accident? If so, then:
i. you have recourse against the insurer of an automobile in respect of which you are an insured;
ii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, you have recourse recourse against the insurer of the automobile in which he or she was an occupant;
iii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i or ii, you have recourse against the insurer of any other automobile involved in the incident from which the entitlement to statutory accident benefits arose;
iv. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, ii or iii, you have recourse against the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
If you were not an occupant (a pedestrian or cyclist) if so, then:
i. you have recourse recourse against the insurer of an automobile in respect of which the you are an insured,
ii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, you have recourse against the insurer of the automobile that struck the you;
iii. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i or ii, you have recourse against the insurer of any automobile involved in the incident from which the entitlement to statutory accident benefits arose,
iv. if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, ii or iii, you have recourse against the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
Income replacement benefits (IRBs), as set out in sections 4 to 11 of the SABS, compensate accident victims for their loss of income from employment or self-employment, so long as the applicant meets the necessary requirements. The SABS puts tight limits on the amount of income that can be recovered under the SABS, and many applicants will find that the income replacement benefits they receive do not adequately compensate them. Many will have to look to the tort claim to recover additional pecuniary damages.
Starting one week after the accident, IRBs compensate an insured person for 70% of gross income up to a weekly maximum of $400.
A claimant cannot receive IRBs if one has elected to receive either non-earner or caregiver benefits.
The non-earner benefit, covered in section 12 of the SABS, is unique among the benefits available under the SABS. Unlike the other benefits, which aim to compensate claimants for specific financial losses or expenses, the non-earner benefit compensates for daily loss of life functions. It is similar in nature to non-pecuniary damages and general damages in the tort claim. Given its strict requirements, it is one of the toughest accident benefits to qualify for under the SABS. In particular, it is difficult to qualify for applicants with soft-tissue injuries or psychological impairment. Claimants must suffer from a complete inability to perform their daily activities in order to qualify.
Non-earner benefits pay a base rate of $185 per week for the qualifying period. Prior to June 1, 2016, some claimants, such as students, could potentially qualify for higher amounts. These higher amounts are not available for accidents after June 1, 2016.
Caregiver benefits, as set out in section 13 of the SABS, are only available to catastrophically impaired claimants who were also the primary caregiver of one or more dependants at the time of the accident. Non-catastrophically injured claimants who purchased optional benefits may also qualify.
Caregiver benefits pay eligible claimants $250 for the first person in need of care per week, and $50 per week for each additional person in need of care. They last up to 104 weeks after the accident unless claimants can show that they suffer from a complete inability to carry on a normal life.
Medical and rehabilitation benefits, covered under sections 14 to 20 of the SABS, are the most common of all the benefits available to motor vehicle accident victims under Ontario’s no-fault accident benefits regime. Medical and rehabilitation benefits provide you with the modalities needed to restore your health and return to work and society.
Maybe – if the defendant has not been convicted criminally with an imposed sentence. In some cases, Courts may be reluctant to award punitive damages if a Defendant has already been dealt with by the criminal courts. If a Defendant has been convicted of a criminal offence such as impaired driving causing bodily harm and that a custodial sentence has been imposed with a period of driving prohibition, some Courts have taken the position that it would be inappropriate for a civil court to go behind the determination of the criminal court and substitute its own finding as to whether that sentence appropriately met the objectives of retribution, deterrence and denunciation.