Bicycle Accidents in Ontario: How to File a Claim?July 11, 2020
Bicycle Accidents in Ontario
There are two types of bicycle accident claims you can make if you are injured while riding your bicycle in Ontario.
The first claim you will make is an Accident Benefits claim, this is where you will submit an Application for Accident Benefits to your auto insurer, or if you don’t have car insurance, the insurer for the vehicle that struck you. The Accident Benefits system is a no-fault system that provides victims of car accidents immediate medical rehabilitation benefits and income replacement / non-earner benefits and in some circumstances attendant care benefits, housekeeping benefits, and caregiving benefits.
Initially, you will have access to $3,500.00 for medical and rehabilitation expenses. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may be entitled to a higher monetary threshold of benefits, which are for those determined to be catastrophically impaired or those who are not-catastrophically impaired but have sustained non-minor injuries.
If you were employed at the time of the accident, you may qualify for income replacement benefits, which provides up to a maximum of $400.00 weekly if you have the standard income replacement benefit. Income replacement benefits can be increased through enhancing your auto policy for an additional premium.
If you were not employed at the time of the accident, you may qualify for non-earner benefits, which will pay you $185.00 per week, up to two years post-accident.
For seriously injured victims of an Ontario bicycle accident, the benefits you receive from your accident benefits insurer will not be enough to cover your economic losses and your full medical and rehabilitation needs. Nor will your accident benefits insurer compensate you for your pain and suffering. In this case, you may commence a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Do I Sue for Pain and Suffering?
In order to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering, you have to prove you have suffered as a result of the car accident a permanent serious disfigurement or a permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function. This is known as the Threshold.
In addition to proving that you meet the Threshold, to get compensation for pain and suffering, you have to prove that your pain and suffering are valued more than the statutory deductible on pain and suffering of $39,556.53. The deductible is not applied if pain and suffering are valued at $131,854.01 or more. The deductible is adjusted for inflation every year.
Meet the Timelines
There are time limits to start a lawsuit in Ontario. Generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to start a lawsuit for compensation for injuries arising from a car accident. Motor vehicle accident compensation involved complicated laws regarding who is entitled to compensation. Moreover, as a claimant, it will be your task to prove that you are entitled to compensation. It is therefore important to consult with an experienced lawyer who will assess your claim and provide you with advice and assistance throughout the claims process, be it for accident benefits claim or a claim against the at-fault driver.
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