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What Are Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits?

— September 2, 2022

In the case of a fatal car accident, these benefits will help pay for funeral expenses and related fees.

In Ontario, Canada, anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident is legally entitled to benefits. These benefits – called statutory accident benefits or SABs – are “no-fault”.  This means that even if you were at fault for the accident, you are eligible.

After a car accident in America, the injured party usually sues the at-fault driver in a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits are aimed at securing compensation for the victim, which is paid out by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

In Ontario, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit and claim statutory accident benefits, according to the Ottawa lawyers at SG Injury Law. The only risk in filing a lawsuit is that you must prove negligence to win.

Statutory accident benefits are paid out by either your own car insurance company, or if you don’t have insurance, they’re paid by the insurance company of another party involved in the accident. SABs are a mandatory aspect of car insurance in Ontario, according to the Insurance Act. SABs benefits claims are handled by the Automobile Accident Benefits Service (AABS). If no one involved in the car accident had insurance, injured victims may still be able to recover compensation from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

SABS Benefits

Statutory accident benefits are categorized into different types of benefits that may be required. Your Ontario car insurance policy should outline which benefits are included in your plan. Not all injuries will qualify for all of the benefits – it depends on the severity of the injury.

Income Replacement Benefits

IRB (income replacement benefits) are there to cover loss of income after an injury renders you unable to work. To be eligible for IRB you must be over 16 and employed, or have been previously employed for at least 26 weeks within a 52 week period before the accident.

Non-Earner Benefits

If you were unemployed at the time of your car accident, you won’t be eligible for IRB. Instead, you can qualify for non-earner benefits if you are completely incapacitated from completing everyday tasks. These benefits pay out $185 a week, assuming your injury qualifies.

Caregiver Benefits

Primary caregivers who are severely injured in a car accident are eligible for caregiver benefits. These benefits are there to cover necessary expenses (up to $250 per week) while the caregiver recovers from their injury and cannot provide care.

Medical and Rehab Benefits

Medical benefits are there to cover the injured party’s hospital bills and any related expenses. These can include ambulance rides, physical therapy, wheelchairs, home modifications, and more.

Attendant Care Benefits

If your car accident injuries are so severe that they require assistance with everyday tasks, attendant care benefits will cover the expense of hiring an aide or paying for a long-term care facility.

Death and Funeral Benefits

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In the case of a fatal car accident, these benefits will help pay for funeral expenses and related fees.

Benefits for All

If you were seriously injured in a car accident and have expenses beyond the ones mentioned above, don’t worry. SABs include additional benefits for things like childcare, housekeeping or maintenance costs, repair to damaged personal items in the crash, and lost educational expenses.

In the case of a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, victims can recover up to $1 million for their medical and rehabilitation costs. In order to make sure no one takes advantage of these helpful benefits, insurance companies in Ontario demand substantial proof for claims.

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