ACCIDENT BENEFIT LAW FOR THE Sault Ste. Marie AREA

In the Province of Ontario, injured individuals (regardless of fault) are entitled to collect accident benefits through their own automobile insurance policy. In some cases, such as when you do not own an automobile and have insurance, other avenues exist for individuals to apply for compensation through the government (Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund) for accident benefits even if you were at fault. Confusing, we know, but we will assist you from the initial application process and ensure you receive all the benefits and treatments you are entitled to.


At Feifel Broadbent Gualazzi we are extremely fortunate to have an accident benefits specialist on site. Experience in the courtroom is simply not enough. In addition to our team of personal injury lawyers, the firm is fortunate to have Ric Thomson, who is our firm's accident benefits specialist. Ric had previously, for 22 years, worked for the insurance industry as an insurance adjuster, owning a local adjusting firm in Sault Ste. Marie. As a result of having worked for the insurance industry, Ric knows exactly what to expect from the insurance companies which directly benefits you, the injured victim.


Many individuals who have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident have already applied for accident benefits days, weeks, months, or even years ago and have yet to achieve a resolution to their claim. Often an injured person is met with a denial of a benefit by their own insurance company. The injured victim often trusts their insurance company and believes that she/he must not be entitled to the benefit which has been denied. The sad truth is that very often, nothing could be further from the truth. The denial by the insurance company very often in law is not justified, and we will vigorously fight for you to dispute the insurance company's wrongful denial. We will make sure you receive all the treatments and benefits to which you are entitled. An injured person, who most often is totally unfamiliar with the voluminous and complex accident benefit legislation and regulations, is up against the insurance companies, who have full-time representatives, often to the detriment to the injured victim. The injured person acting on their own is NOT on a level playing field with the insurance company. Numerous restrictions and strict time limitations are a very real part of Ontario’s accident benefits system, and we are happy to assist you wherever you may be in this often overwhelming process.


THE ACCIDENT BENEFITS PROCESS

Accident benefits are a large component of a motor vehicle accident case, more so than many individuals would expect. Unless you have already been involved in an accident, accident benefits can be unclear territory. Insurance companies are not always forthcoming about all of the benefits available to you when you file a claim for accident benefits. We are proud to be courteous and sympathetic to our clients’ needs and make our clients’ needs our first priority.


First and foremost, after you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, paperwork will be involved to apply for accident benefits. This can be a long and difficult process to tackle alone. Numerous limitation periods apply and it is crucial to file as soon as possible the appropriate documents for initial benefits and to dispute the insurance company’s refusal to pay weekly benefits or treatments or other benefits. If you fail to do so within what are very short limitation periods, you may no longer be entitled to receive that particular benefit.


Expenses at a time when your income may be reduced or eliminated altogether will undoubtedly be frustrating, especially when you may be focusing on just paying your everyday bills. Accident benefits cover many out-of-pocket expenses for both individuals that are at fault and not at fault including:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Expenses surrounding a hospital stay (parking fees, meals if you are out of town, etc.)
  • Expenses of visiting family members when you are in hospital out of town
  • Medication (not already covered by any private insurance plan)
  • Assistive devices – slings, crutches, braces, etc.
  • Clothing, hearing aids, etc. damaged in the motor vehicle accident
  • Housekeeping expenses
  • Childcare expenses
  • Attendant care & case manager expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Income replacement benefits
  • Caregiver benefits
  • Non-earner benefits


Of course, certain exceptions apply but we have a proven track record in assuring that our clients receive each and every benefit they are entitled to.


Treatments are a vital part of the long and often winding road to recovery. These may begin with a visit to the emergency department and/or your family physician. Medical treatments and rehabilitation may include but not be limited to psychological treatments, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, exercise therapy and programs, gym memberships, etc. You may or may not possess coverage through an extended medical benefit plan; however, accident benefits may provide coverage for these types of treatments. Accident benefits may also provide a means for you to obtain specialized diagnostic testing or referrals to specialists which may not be available through OHIP.


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